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The Next Chapter

Two years ago, I started this blog. I began writing because I felt alone. I knew there had to be other gay men out there who were looking for the same thing I was, and I wanted a way to connect with them.

grindrAt the time, I just ended my first gay relationship, and I found myself in very unchartered waters. I was already out to close friends, but not publicly. Because I had so few gay friends and a strong aversion to gay bars, I had to find a mate digitally. I began serial dating, at one point going on four dates in four days — And thus, One Gay At A Time was born.

Since the beginning, I have gone on MANY dates and put myself in many situations well outside my comfort zone. I have not only grown more comfortable in my own skin, but I’ve also grown up as a gay man. I got all the hookups out of my system and began searching for a meaningful, long-term relationship.

This blog began as an open forum diary of the daily occurrences I encountered navigating the gay world. I told my side of the story honestly in hopes that others out there would be able to relate, comment and most importantly, realize they are not alone.

The time has come for the next chapter of my life and for this blog. For quite some time I’ve been blogging about CK (aka Clark Kent or Superman). You’ve gotten to know him through my eyes in the early stages of our relationship. It’s been some time since I’ve blogged, and I apologize for leaving you, my readers in the lurch. I do not mean to abandon the small community I’ve worked so hard to foster, but I’ve been struggling with the next chapter of the blog.

When I first told CK about the blog, he was very open to and even grew excited about the idea of my writing our relationship. Over time, as you could probably understand, his excitement waned, and we began to argue about the content of the blog.

I had to make a choice between the blog and my man. It’s quite obvious which I chose. As a result, I will no longer be blogging about the specifics of my relationship with CK. However, in lieu of continuing to finish our story in a daily dairy format, let me catch you up on what has happened since July. Here are some of the highlights…

In July, CK joined my family for our annual beach vacation. While I went for the entire week, he only joined us for a few days. It was the first time we’d spent an extended period of time apart, and with my trust/cheating baggage, it was a true test of my sanity. I was thrilled and relieved when he finally arrived. It was also nice that he would finally get to spend some real-time getting to know my parents.

In early August, I traveled to Miami, CK’s birthplace to surprise his family with a visit to celebrate the birthdays of his two beautiful nephews (turning 1 and 2 only a week apart). I felt incredibly special taking this trip with CK. I was meeting his ENTIRE extended family. Before this point, I’d only met his mother. I was welcomed into the family with open arms and came to grow strong bonds with them over just a handful of days. This was unchartered territory for both of us, as I’d never been brought home to meet the family by anyone other than my high school girlfriend, and he’d never brought a man home to meet everyone before. It could not have worked out better!

Around Labor Day, CK and I went on week-long vacation to the Hamptons with 15 of my friends and family. While there, our relationship grew very strained. I felt he was trying too hard to impress my friends. I wanted him to be himself so all of them would come to love the man I knew, not the man I felt he was trying to be for them. By the end of the week, I reached my breaking point. I was so stressed out from organizing the vacation and ensuring everyone was happy that I made myself miserable, and I took it out on the person closest to me. In the penultimate moment of the trip, one night we not only exchanged words but also fists and shoves, as my closest friends and sister witnessed the lowest moment of our relationship.

It took a lot of time for CK and I to figure things out. This wasn’t the first time our relationship reached physicality, but I hoped it was the last. It also took a long time for things to return to normal between CK, me and my circle of friends. My sister wasn’t speaking to me for over a month and my friends had semi-ostracized me from typical gatherings. I burned a lot of bridges on that trip, and I am still working to rebuild them today. You can expect to read about my experiences and feelings dealing with issues such as physical violence in a relationship as one of the topics I will cover in coming posts.

In September, CK and I found an apartment in Hoboken to call our own. We moved in together in the midst of Hurricane Sandy’s wake on November 2. Although the experience of moving immediately following a hurricane is incredibly overwhelming, we are both stronger as a result of the experience. In my experience, moving in with a lover is unlike sharing a space with any other. You’ll certainly be reading about my experiences and the things I’ve learned from this experience as well.

After Sandy exhausted my last modicum of energy, I decided I was too tired to shave my upper lip. CK and I both decided to raise awareness and funds to fight prostate cancer by growing mustaches for Movember. I proudly raised over $500 for charity as a result of my stache, and I was thrilled when we both shaved them off — We both looked like pedophiles.

For the first time in my life, I had someone to take home to meet my family for Thanksgiving. Before venturing home, I sent my extended maternal family an email to get the awkwardness out of the way. You’ll be pleased to know my family welcomed him with open arms. I imagine coming out to extended family creates a lot of anxiety for man, as it did for me, so I hope sharing my experiences will encourage more to share the truth with the ones they love.

When I returned to Hoboken after Thanksgiving, preparations began immediately for what would have been my Sixth Annual Holiday Bash. This year, it became Our First Annual Holiday Bash. I finally had someone to share the hosting duties with, making it extra special.

Although CK and I spent Christmas apart, after all the festivities with my family, I hopped on a flight down to Miami to spend the rest of the holiday season and New Years Eve with my man and his family. CK’s sister and brother-in-law planned a trip with their two boys to Disney World for two days. After a little persuading, I convinced CK we should join them. I preferred Disney to a raucous gay party any day, and it was truly magical to see Disney World through the eyes of a two-year-old.

In February, CK and I took a romantic trip to Mohonk Mountain House in New Paltz, NY. Although it seems we can’t go anywhere without having some kind of quarrel like an old married couple, the trip was amazing and couldn’t have come at a better time. We went ice skating, snow shoeing, swimming, hiking, and much more. It was a perfect escape for both of us to get out of the city and away from the bustle of it all after the holidays.

In between, there have been countless brunches, parties, trips, nights out, Broadway shows, fights… Oh yea, and plenty of sex — Can’t forget the sex! Overall, things have been going well for us. You have good days and bad days, but you have to realize the bad days are just there so you appreciate the good ones all the more. I am thrilled to announce, this past Saturday, CK and I celebrated our one-year anniversary at the restaurant we went to on our first date, Frankies Spuntino 570. Although we waited nearly an hour, the evening was perfect, and I look forward to many more years together.

Although I won’t be detailing the specifics of my relationship going forward, I hope to share with you what I have learned along the way. It’s not easy being in a relationship, but then again, the things that are worth it never really are.

To my most dedicated readers who haven’t let me lack of posting stop them from commenting words of support on my blog, thank you. You are what has motivated me to get back into this once again. I feel like many of you have integrated my writing into your daily routines, and I have left you with your morning coffee in hand and no reading material. You will not see the frequency of posts you may have grown accustomed in the past, but I still hope you find time in your lives for One Gay At A Time.

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The Perfect Ending on a Cloudy Day

Saturday morning, I woke up to CK’s lips caressing mine with a gentle kiss. “Morning baby,” he whispered. As my eyes opened and slowly adjusted, his face came into focus and a smile grew on my face. What a great way to wake up!

After taking my sweet old time getting out of bed, I made my way to the kitchen to start making us coffee and breakfast. We planned to hit the beach for the day, but our coffee wasn’t the only thing with clouds in it. I realized trekking out to Long Beach wasn’t worth it if the weather wasn’t going to shape up. So, instead of having cereal, I cooked us eggs and pancakes.

CK asked if there was anything he could do to help as he wrapped his arms around me from behind. “No. I think I have it covered,” I responded.

While I didn’t need his help in creating the food we were going to eat, I was hoping he would keep me company while I did it. However, while I was cracking eggs, he was off in the corner tweeting, Instagramming, GetGluing, and emailing away. This was a point of contention between us. At times, I felt he put more importance on his virtual friends and followers than he did with the man who was physically present at the moment. When I asked him a question, and it fell on deaf ears. I started to feel unappreciated. I felt like making breakfast for us was my duty. It was simply expected of me.

I asked him, once again, to be more present and put the phone down. I pointed out how often he was glued to his phone. Even though I understood how important social media was to him, I felt overshadowed by it. Of course, he responded quite defensively, and an argument ensued.

This continued for some time before he used the same phrase I heard on Friday: “Do you really want me, or do you want some changed version of me?” I reiterated for him how much I loved him and how I was not trying to change him. There were so many inherent qualities he possessed I loved about him, but there were also a few behaviors by which I felt disrespected. This was something new for both of us, and we were both learning what it means to be in a substantial relationship.

Instead of diving into another world while I cooked his breakfast, perhaps he could have sat at the counter and engaged with me. I know I’m sound like an unappreciated housewife, but at the time, that’s exactly how I felt.

In an isolated incident, this would have been nothing. However, I’m a very analytical person, and I notice patterns, sometimes in their infancy stages. I didn’t want this to become a typical behavior. We’ve all seen it in movies — The dad who doesn’t engage with his family because he’s glued to his blackberry putting out fires for work. I wanted him to take the time to separate out the noise. I wasn’t asking him to give up his virtual world. I was just asking him to be conscientious of when and where he engaged. Obviously, I have my own social media accounts to manage, but I never put them before the people I am with in real-time, especially him.

I’d been on the other side of this paradigm. Before I met CK, when I went out to straight bars with my friends, I was often engaging with others on Grindr. My friends complained I wasn’t present, but I explained how that was the trade-off for spending time with them in places I was much less likely to meet a man. Looking back, I can see how insulting it can be to be physically with someone while mentally, they are in a virtual world.

The fight grew and grew much bigger than the initial sentiment merited. I tried to calm things and explain I wasn’t looking for a fight. I was simply trying to point out something I didn’t appreciate so he could do something about. I was trying to communicate. I didn’t want him to get defensive, and I wasn’t looking to take the offensive. In time, hopefully these situations wouldn’t escalate like this. I was trying to lengthen my fuse, while he was learning to deal with the enigma that is myself.

Diner BreakfastEventually, cooler heads prevailed, and we sat to eat our breakfast. He thanked me for making breakfast with a kiss.

Since the weather was far from motivating, we spent a majority of the day on the couch watching Game of Thrones and fooling around. Our ever-healthy libidos were calling out to be quenched as well. Fooling around soon turned into more vigorous exercises.

The front of my apartment is nearly all windows. This doesn’t exactly allow for privacy unless the shades are drawn. I didn’t want to interrupt the moment by closing the shades, and I knew it would only feed CK’s exhibitionist side to leave them open. Self-consciously, I glanced out the window and noticed a woman across the street. I had a feeling she’d seen us and tried to decipher whether or not she was continuing to watch us. I couldn’t decide either way, and I was far more distracted by the gorgeous man in front of me than the stranger across the street. If she wanted to watch, let her. All this commenced with a climax, and me taking an afternoon nap on top of him.

When we woke, I continued with my plans to bake a few pies. This time, when CK asked if he could help, I welcomed his assistance with open arms. Together, we made two pies, torturing ourselves with the delicious smells coming from the oven as they baked. We engaged in Instagram together, taking pictures of our masterpieces and uploading them together. At least our heated conversation earlier that morning was finally bearing fruit.

That night, to properly celebrate three months together and make up for the previous night, we decided to hit up a restaurant I’d been dying to go to for six years, Anthony Davids. It was always difficult to get into because there was usually a line of people waiting for a table. We didn’t have any other pressing plans, so we decided to give it a shot.

We were seated in the coziest table in the joint. The ambiance was already setting the perfect mood for the night. All the fighting and bickering from earlier in the week slowly disappeared from my consciousness. Our stellar waitress opened the Malbec we brought with us, and CK proposed a toast. “Here’s to the beginning of our 2nd quarter,” he boasted. It was a very cute sentiment, and it put a smile on my face.

Over the course of our amazing meal, I slowly began to realize the bigger picture. I realized it was all worth it. No matter how much fighting there was, the good times – times like these – were priceless!

Our night could not have gotten much better. The service was impeccable, the food was divine, the ambiance was indescribable… We finished our meal and walked back to my apartment hand-in-hand. We were exhausted from a long day of lounging about on the couch. When we got home, we brushed our teeth and climbed straight into bed. I could not have been happier. I was utterly in love, and my relationship with CK was really starting to take shape.

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Raw Chicken and Video Games

After a tumultuous weekend, it was back to work on Monday. Both CK and I had very busy days, and we didn’t find much time to chat. But, before we went to work that day, we decided to spend the night in Hoboken.

I finished work at a reasonable hour, so I decided to hit up the gym for some lifting and a quick swim. When I finished my swim, I called CK to find out what time he was expecting to leave work. I was about to head home and make us dinner for the night. Something seemed different. He hadn’t reached out to me all day, and it was now 8:00pm. When I finally got him on the phone, he seemed distant at best.

It was then I learned he had other ideas in mind. It almost seemed like he was looking for a night apart. I was wondering if he was beginning to have doubts about us. I couldn’t figure out his motives, but it felt like something was up. When I told him I wanted to see him, he asked if I would be willing to come into the city to spend the night at his place. I wasn’t thrilled with the idea. I had it in my head we would be spending the night in Hoboken all day. I hadn’t packed an overnight bag and had already traversed the Hudson twice. I had the ingredients for dinner sitting on my kitchen counter.

He pointed out how much of a pain it was for him to come to Hoboken, and I pointed out how it was just as difficult for me to make my way back into the city for the same reasons. We began arguing about the long-standing issue. Whenever it was my turn to come into the city, I did it without complaint. When it was his turn to travel, he often managed to slip in subtle complaints or excuses for why he couldn’t make it. I didn’t feel like he was meeting me half way, and I let him know it.

Although I wasn’t happy, and I didn’t quite agree with the situation, I decided to relent and come to him. I wanted to see him, and that was more important to me than the inconvenience of a short bus trip. This would allow him to continue to work while I made my way in. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have been able to see him that night.

I went home, showered and packed the ingredients for dinner to take into the city. Hauling raw chicken into the city didn’t make the most sense, but it was economical and faster than many other options. I was also taking raw pork ribs with me, as I was planning to make myself lunch for the following day.

I slung a heavy bag over my shoulder and hopped on the bus headed for Hell’s Kitchen. When I arrived, I received a warm welcome from CK at his door. He flung his arms around me and gave me a giant hug. I was truly happy to see him. We had a rough patch only a few days earlier, but I put all that behind me. I wanted to get back to us — Back to happiness.

He took my bags from me and brought them into the kitchen. I began prepping dinner and my lunch for the following day while he sat at the counter digging into work.

When one of his two roommates came home, we all began chatting about the third roommate in his absence. There was always a plethora of things to chat about when it came to him. He was like a walking carnival. Every day was a new adventure with that one. He didn’t lead a double life. It was more like a quintuple life. He was one shady mo-fo, and every day was a new shocking story of what new ruse he was trying to pull.

When dinner was ready, we sat and ate together in front of the TV. CK was very appreciative that I made dinner so he could continue to finish his work. I was happy to be sharing a meal and a nice night with him. I liked taking care of my man every once in a while, especially when it was so apparently appreciated.

When we finished eating, CK finished his work. We had about an hour before bedtime, so CK suggested we play some video games. This isn’t something I’d done in six years at best. I wasn’t very good at video games because I never played them, so it was always a frustrating situation. I don’t like things I’m not good at. I warned CK of this before we got started because I didn’t want the night to result in an argument.

We began playing, but CK wasn’t giving me any directions on what I needed to be doing. As long as someone gives me the tools necessary to do something, I can usually manage, but if I’m going in blind, it won’t end well.

It didn’t take long before I got frustrated, so I sat there with the controller in my lap while CK continued to play. When he realized I wasn’t playing, he paused the game to question me. I explained how I didn’t know what I was doing, and I think he finally understood. He took me through a short tutorial, and I was back to being happy again. Now that I knew what I was doing, I was even able to beat him at his own game.

When 11:30 rolled around, I made my way to the bedroom. I asked CK to join me, but he wanted to continue playing. So, I left him to his own devices while I brushed me teeth and got ready to go to bed.

When I was ready to climb between the sheets, CK was still in the living room playing video games. I came into the room and was very blunt. “Can you please come to bed? I didn’t trek into the city so you could play video games all night. If I knew that was what was going to happen, I would have stayed in Hoboken,” I declared. I know it was a bit heavy-handed and melodramatic, but I was very put off by his actions. He got the picture and joined me in bed.

I was happy he came to join me and thrilled to be falling asleep in the arms of the man I loved.

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I Never was Good at Sharing

As gay men, CK and I had been anticipating the release of Magic Mike with bated breath. One Friday night, CK suggested we check it out. When he said we, I assumed he meant just the two of us, but I quickly came to learn we included Old News as well. As long as we were inviting friends, I knew P wanted to see the movie as well, so I reached out to her. This was two-fold because it would also help balance the scale since I wasn’t exactly comfortable with how Old News was with CK. We were all planning to gather in midtown to check out a late showing.

I was meeting CK at his apartment before the movie, and when I arrived, I learned Old News would be meeting us there as well before walking to the theater together. I already couldn’t wait. From the moment Old News arrived, he began schmoozing CK. A friendly greeting with a hug is completely acceptable, but the kiss on the cheek was a little unnecessary. This was no air kiss, and I know because I was behind CK looking right at him as he did it. It probably was not his intent, but I felt it may have been done for my benefit. I didn’t like it — Not one bit. All I could do was stand by and watch this without saying anything. I would have to wait to have a private conversation with CK later.

Of course, he was very cordial toward me, but I couldn’t have cared less. I still had a bad taste left in my mouth from the last time we hung out at XL. That night, I was going to get the answer to a question that arose every time he came around. Was he actually flirting with CK because of lingering feelings, or was I imagining things? I had an advantage that night. I had two sets of eyes on him. I had asked P to watch and tell me if my suspicions were correct.

We met P in front of the theater, and as we took our seats, what transpired next could not have made me happier. It just so happened, as we walked into the theater, the order was Old News, myself, CK and finally P. So, when we sat, I was between Old News and CK, and I was thrilled. When CK and I go to the movies, we’re fairly affectionate in the way we sit. We hold hands or put our arms around each other. I wasn’t going to change that this time, and Old News was about to get a front row seat to this. Maybe he’d realized the CK ship has sailed. He was my man now, and it was time to back off and learn to simply be his friend. Nothing more. Don’t get me wrong. I didn’t want Old News out of the picture completely. He was CK’s friend. I simply wanted him to respect the relationship between CK and I.

The theater was a sh*t show — Like being in an actual strip club. Women were everywhere, shouting and squealing at the screen as they jumped out of their seats in excitement. I was shocked I didn’t see a dollar bill or two go flying in the air.

As we left the theater, Old News commented to us, “Wow! It smells like wet vagina in here! Do you smell that?” I thought the comment was hysterical because he was pretty spot on, but I wasn’t exactly in the frame of mind to laugh at his jokes yet.

We stopped on the corner of the street to discuss what we wanted to do next. None of us had eaten, so food was discussed, but no one would make a decision. Finally, we landed on heading back to CK’s apartment to smoke and hang out.

As we walked down the street, Old News was joking and what I would certainly call flirting with CK. When the opportunity arose, he’d throw an arm around him or pat him on the back. Don’t get me wrong. I’d seen this interaction time and time again with Hip, and I had no problem with it. In fact, I welcomed it. It all seemed completely different with Old News. Old News would draw CK into a conversation, and the two of them continued on as if P and I didn’t exist. At some point, CK noticed I was a bit out of sorts. He hung back with me and asked what’s wrong. I reiterated how I felt Old News was flirting and still had a crush on him. Once again, he told me I was imagining things. I started to get adamant, and I think he finally realized how much this bothered me.

If he was willing to act like this in front of me, what would Old News try to do if I wasn’t around. Like I said, it wasn’t CK I trusted, it was Old News. After chatting for so long, I’m sure he realized something was up. We agreed to talk about it again later and returned back to the other two.

We hung out at CK’s for quite some time, and around 2:00am, we decided to go to Flaming Saddles, and P decided to head home. As I walked her out I asked her what she thought. She agreed he was still flirting, but to a bit of a lesser degree. It was all I needed to confirm I wasn’t being irrational. I thanked her and gave her a hug goodnight. I wasn’t thrilled with the idea of going out since it was already quite late, and we were going to the beach the following morning with Boston and a few others. As our group was shrinking by one, we were also growing by two. CK’s roommate and his assistant joined us. The night was only getting better and better.

When we arrived at Flaming Saddles, no one was there. Instead, we continued on to Industry. It was a good scene, and the good news was that CK and I were dancing. Old News seemed to disappear. However, it wasn’t long before I felt I was beginning to disappear too. I was slowly but surely getting comfortable with going to gay bars, but I was also learning something about CK in gay bars I didn’t exactly appreciate.

When we danced, I never felt like I was dancing with just him. I felt like I was dancing with the entire bar. He danced, and I was tried to dance next to him. He constantly looked around to see who was looking at him, gently touching guys as they passed by him. I never had his full attention. This was only exacerbated when he stepped up on the stage, and I was two steps below him. I felt like I was there with a go-go boy, and I have to admit I was a little crushed. It hurt. Was my attention not enough for him? Did he need the eyes of every other guy in the room? This brought up a lot of worries I’d been having about our relationship. I was worried I wasn’t enough for him, and that was all I wanted.

We ended up closing down the bar at 4:00am. We were all starving, so we foraged for food. We settled on Empanada Mama and grabbed a table outside. They had a packed house, so it took forever for us to get our food. When it finally arrived, everyone dug in. When I went to grab my second empanada, it was gone. I looked across the table and noticed Old News shoveling it into his pie hole. I don’t think he took it on purpose, but it was a perfect picture of my relationship with him. First, he was trying to steal my man. Now, he was stealing my food.

I was already agitated by Old News, but at this point, it was 6:00am and the sun was starting to come up. As the time ticked on, I grew more and more anxious about getting up the next day to follow through on my plans. CK was already so tired he actually fell asleep at the table. It was time to go home and go to bed. We said goodbye and made our way home. While we walked he turned to me and said, “You’re nuts if you think we’re heading to the beach tomorrow at 10:00.” That set me off. I told CK about my plans to go to the beach days prior to this. He should have planned accordingly. This was important to me. I hadn’t seen Boston in over a year. He was completely disregarding my plans, and I was furious. “You’re nuts if you think we’re not.” He looked at me with a confused look.

I explained how upset I was and of course started getting loud. The fact that he remembered the beach plans and completely disregarded them was incredibly demeaning. In doing so, he was telling me that his unplanned fun mattered and my planned day did not. We could have called it quits at any point throughout the night so we could have done a bit of both. Had he brought it up before 6:00am, I probably would have been receptive of a compromise. I would have said we could leave around 11:00 so we could stay out a little later. At this point, after being told I’m nuts, I wasn’t about to give up any ground. I told him I was going, with or without him. I had made plans with a friend visiting from out-of-town, and I wasn’t about to back out because he wanted to stay out all night.

Against the advice of nearly every couple I’ve ever met, that night (or should I say morning) we went to bed angry…

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The Routine

Monday morning, after a long Pride Weekend, CK and I woke in my bed. As per usual, I woke to the feeling of his lips pressing against mine. It was raining outside, and all I wanted to do was cuddle with him for the rest of the day. That wasn’t an option. Bills had to be paid, so money had to be made. We got out of bed and went through our morning routine.

I liked our morning routine. We’d hop in the shower together while listening to music and talking about what we had on our plates for the day. It started out as something fun and sexual, but it really turned into a bonding moment for us every day. I looked forward to our shower chats. On days we were both struggling, we’d simply lather up next to each other not saying a word, simply exchanging periodic gentle kisses. I’ve also never had such a clean back as I did since we started this.

After we showered, we got dressed and ate breakfast while watching Chelsea Lately. This had also become a part of the morning routine. Either I’d make some breakfast with the wonderful help of my sous chef, or we’d each pour ourselves a bowl of Reese’s Puffs, Kellogg’s, or some other cereal.

That morning, I wouldn’t be able to ride the PATH with CK. I had an allergy shot, so I had to say goodbye to him in front of the doctor’s office in the rain. I began missing him almost immediately.

Later that day, we chatted while at work. Since he’s my boyfriend, he knows all about the blog and is an avid readers. This particular day, he enjoyed the blog but had some critiques to deliver as well.

It was turning out to be the new norm for us. This was a typical day. When I finished work, I went to his place to spend the night. We were going to make dinner together, but he was constantly distracted by the television. I liked when making dinner was a team effort. I resented it a lot less. I pointed this out to him, but deep down I’d come to accept this about him. Cooking wasn’t his strong suit — It was mine. Whenever I made food for him, he greatly appreciated it, so in turn, I appreciated making it for him. I just didn’t want it to become my duty.

After our discussion, he came back to helping me while we both chatted with his new roommate who was sitting on the couch. I liked the new guy. He was very sane and likable, which is more than I could say for some of his other “roommates.” There was always a slew of people there, and they were quite the cast of characters. This guy was very normal and easy to have an intelligent conversation with.

Once dinner was prepared, we ate while watching TV and went to bed. I have always shot to be in bed around 11:30. As I get older, I find I need closer to eight hours of sleep. CK, on the other hand, had a harder time falling asleep at that hour. He needed a book or to watch Rachel Maddow or Game of Thrones on his iPad to fall asleep.

Our routine continued. Tuesdays after work, we went to yoga in the park. After yoga, we’d try to catch a free movie using my friends’ movie passes. Some nights we’d stay in and cook, and other nights, we’d have food delivered or burn up a Groupon or Living Social.

Some mornings we’d fool around before work, and sometimes, we’d have our romp between the sheets before bedtime. However, no matter what time it occurred, it was always great. Sure, we weren’t having sex as often as we did the first month we were together, but that certainly doesn’t mean it was lacking or of any lesser quality by any stretch of the imagination.

One night when he wasn’t feeling 100% and mentioned going to the doctor, I offered to go with him. As we discussed it, I began to tear up a bit. I started thinking about domestic partnership, and I got a little choked up and began to tear up. I never loved anyone before, but I truly loved this man. The thought of something serious happening to him and not being able to be with him because of legalities rocked me quite a bit. He consoled me in the way he does when I get overly emotional, and everything was fine again.

We slept together almost every night, whether in my bed or his, and woke up feeling secure and happy knowing the other was inches away. I found it hard to sleep when he wasn’t sleeping next to me. Some mornings, it was a real treat for me because I got to wake him up with a kiss.

It’s funny to write this and realize how much we sound like an old married couple. We found a routine and got very comfortable together. If it weren’t for things like circuit parties the weekend before, I’d say we may have become a very boring couple, however, I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Of course it was fun when we hung out with my friend and his friends, but nothing made me happier than just hanging out with my man. I loved him dearly, and he was everything I needed.

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Closing Ceremonies

This year was the first time I was fully participating in Pride Weekend, and I have to say, it was certainly starting out to be an interesting one to say the least. Going into the weekend, I was petrified my relationship with CK wouldn’t survive. A lot of that due to the baggage I was still carrying around from my previous relationships. The guys from my past didn’t appreciate me, and I didn’t want to go through that again. That wasn’t helped by a few comments CK had made to me in full disclosure. Let me point out, he never gave me a reason not to trust him, however, he never gave me a reason to trust him either. It would take time, but eventually I would learn to trust him.

Overall, I had a good time at Matinee. I may not have been able to realize that at the time because I was so stressed throughout the night, but looking back from a relaxed state, I am able to recognize I was having a good time. When we got home that night, we had an even better time. I wasn’t entirely comfortable with everything that went on that night, but I was thrilled to be in the arms of the man I loved. We had amazing sex that night. It seemed to be a turning into a trend. Our sex life was indescribable. The passion was without parallel. We were both strong men, so tossing each other around came easy and provided fun and excitement. We even pulled out a reverse cowgirl or two. To put it succinctly, it was epic.

We slept in the following morning. We both had a long day. My exhaustion came at my own hand from mental anguish. CK’s exhaustion came more from hip gyrations on the dance floor. I was happy to relax for a bit with some light pillow talk. Before the weekend began, CK mentioned going to Alegria Sunday night. I told him right off the bat, I would not be able to do that. I had to go to work Monday morning, so that was not something I would participate in. Again, I didn’t really want him to go without me, but I wasn’t going to stop him.

We got a really slow start, and it took a long time for us to get out of the apartment. A part of me wanted to see the parade since I’d still never quite seen it before, but once again, I was going to miss it. In the big picture takeaway, I was alright with that as well. We walked from Hell’s Kitchen down to the Village to see what was still going on. Along the way, I spotted Hunter Parrish of Weeds fame coming out of Starbucks and pointed him out to CK. Once we got down to the Village, we came upon some of CK’s friends from Miami and stopped to chat with them for a bit. They were headed to Alegria that night and encouraged us to join them. CK turned to me and asked how I felt about the idea.

I was ready to kill him. The part of that interaction that bothered me the most was the hypocrisy. When I had done something of a similar fashion, CK was sure to point out how unfair that was and how uncomfortable it made him. Now, he was doing the same thing after we had a long conversation about avoiding putting each other in that exact situation. I gave him such a look. I think he picked up on it rather quickly and told them he wasn’t sure what we were doing yet. He told them he’d hit them up and try to go. They commented, “Yea… You’re not going to show up,” through a chuckle.

After that, we reached out to Hip to see how his day was going. The night before, he met a cute Aussie, and they were heading to the unofficial after-party at Work. CK and I were anxious to get the details on how the night went. He wasn’t far from us, so we stayed put while he made his way toward us. He greeted us with big hugs and began detailing his night. We were all feeling quite peckish, so we decided to grab a bite to eat a few blocks away. On the walk there, CK literally almost trampled an incognito Matthew Broderick, looking quite disheveled I might add. We sat outside Cowgirl and ordered food while we talked and took in the sights passing us by. We were right at the end of the parade route, so it was quite the sh*tshow. Apparently, the day was also full of celebrity sightings. While we ate, Hip noticed Colin Farrell walking up the street away from the parade. This of course spurred a whole new conversation about Colin’s sexuality and prowess.

It was a fun day, and I couldn’t have thought of a better way to end Pride Weekend than with my boys. It was the perfect cherry on top to a long weekend. We had a gay ol’ time joking, laughing and judging the sh*t out of the people who passed by. I drank my fill of people watching while I chased it down with fried chicken.

Overall, I had a good time at all the Pride events. Granted, the weekend stressed me out so much I probably should have been put on anti-anxiety medication, but I still had a good time. I opened me up to trying similar experiences down the road I wouldn’t have before the weekend. I was slowly coming out of my shell and finally beginning to bear some of that gay pride, and it was only going to grow from there.

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The Move

Nothing really puts stress on a relationship quite like a move. One year had gone by for CK in The Big Apple. He moved to the city in a hurry, finding a nice apartment in a convenient neighborhood, but because of the rush, he ended up paying more than one would like living in New York City. There are plenty of things to see and do in the city that never sleeps, so spending all your money on rent is no fun!

He decided when his lease was up, it was time to find new living quarters. This was quite stressful, not only for him, but also for me. Selfishly, he lived two avenues and a few blocks from my office. I could easily walk there, and commuting to his place from mine in Hoboken was a snap. Chances are, it wasn’t going to get any easier.

When he told me he started looking on the Lower East Side, I was nonplussed. I knew it was going to be a bit of a hike to get to his place every time I came to see him. The Lower East Side is only convenient to get to from one place — The Lower East Side. But, in the end, this wasn’t my decision. I was there to be supportive while he went through the stress of trying to find a new place.

When the search expanded out to include Brooklyn, I nearly had a panic attack. Screw hike — Brooklyn was going to be a day’s journey to get to from Hoboken. I was petrified for our relationship. I wasn’t sure at the time if our relationship could survive the stress on a day-to-day basis.

Finally, after his mother flew to NYC to help him pack and find a new apartment, he landed in a sweet spot. I was thrilled with the final outcome. He managed to find a room in an apartment in a managed building in Hell’s Kitchen with two roommates. I had experience in Hell’s Kitchen. Broadway lived in Hell’s Kitchen, and I was able to walk to work from his apartment. It was also very convenient for me because Port Authority wasn’t far from his apartment, so I could use the bus system. It was the quickest way to travel when heading to or from that part of town. I felt very comfortable in HK as well. I’d taken more than a handful of dates to that neighborhood. The gay population was large enough that no one looked twice at two men holding hands or sharing a kiss.

When the time came to move, I wanted to run and hide. I’d dealt with CK’s attention span before, but nothing of this caliber. I thought it nearly impossible to keep him on task so this move would go as smoothly as possible. Even with the help of his mother, there was still a lot of work to be done. CK isn’t the best planner in the world either. While the idea of booking moving men a few weeks in advance or gathering boxes crossed his mind, the action and follow-through never occurred.

I was trying to be patient. He was going through a lot. I was going to help him, not out of obligation, but out of love. He needed me, and I was going to be there for him, however, it was going to take a lot of strength and biting my tongue to get through this.

I agreed to help him pack things up Thursday after work. I had limited time, however, because I had a volleyball game that evening. I left work as soon as I could and arrived with flat boxes for him from my mail department. We made a lot of progress, but it certainly wasn’t without a lot of comments. I do have to say, it went a lot better than I expected. It certainly could have been a lot worse. Luckily I had a built-in time limit, and the time came for me to head back to Jersey.

We both took the following day off from work. After many failed attempts to get a truck, borrow someone’s car, book movers, we decided to try to rent a Zipcar. This of course wasn’t going to work because there is an application period. Although we were able to walk over to one of their offices in New York City, we had to wait for him to be approved to rent a car. We wasted most of the rest of the afternoon trying to figure out what to do and lying around. After growing incredibly frustrated with the poor use of our time, I decided to stop worrying. I tried to keep my frustration to myself. While I was going to be there to offer my support, in the end this wasn’t going to be my problem. If he drug his feet long enough, this was either going to become his huge hassle or it would increase his financial burden.

There were rides in the back of a van with boxes and potholes. There were things packed at the bottom of a box only to be torn open again. There were enough dust bunnies to start a farm. The list goes on…

Of course, there were copious amounts of arguing. We rarely agreed on anything, but we did both make an effort not to rile the other up. When we finally got all his things in a rented U-Haul van, we had to wait outside in the cold/drizzle until his roommate came downstairs to let us into the elevator bank. His roommate still hadn’t given him the key, so we had yet one more person to rely on to be responsible.

After a little blood, a lot of sweat and almost some tears, we managed to get everything into his apartment. Beyond that, we managed to get all of his belongings into his bedroom. The only thing that saved us was the fact that he didn’t have a bed yet. He left his old bed behind in the previous apartment and hadn’t ordered a new one yet. Of course, it would take some time before things got unpacked. The lack of bed also meant we had to head back to Hoboken every night so we had somewhere to sleep.

It was a very stressful weekend, but in the end, I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Sure, it could have gone smoother, but in the end, everything worked out. I was happy to help my man, and I know he truly appreciated my help. And the fact that we survived something as stressful as this told me we could survive just about anything.

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High Anxiety

After my amazingly awful date with CK, we went home and went to bed. Waking up the next day with him in my bed was my true heaven. Not a day went by I didn’t appreciate waking up next to him, whether in his bed or my own. We were growing inseparable, however, that night we would spend apart.

When we woke, we couldn’t keep our hands off each other. Since we didn’t have sex the night before when we got home, we were both particularly horny. Our sex was becoming so much more than sex. We started making love. We started becoming one. This was something completely new to me. I have had sex with more than a handful of guys, but I never felt the connection CK and I have in the bedroom. We share a strong unbreakable bond as a couple, but when we’re making love, it feels like we could move mountains.

We spent the morning being lazy. That night, I was taking my roommate to J’s wedding. I’d planned to take her before I even met CK. Part of me wanted to pull her aside and ask if she minded if I took CK instead, but another part of me wasn’t sure I was ready for that. I wanted to be ready for that, but it was a big step. Just thinking about it, I could feel the eyes of the people around the room watching us — The two ‘mos dancing up a storm. I know I shouldn’t care about that. I know I need to get used to that, but I wasn’t quite sure I was ready yet.

We watched a few episodes of Game of Thrones while I got ready for the wedding. When the time came for me to head out with my roommate, I had a conversation with CK about his plans for the night. He was planning to hit up a circuit party. I was incredibly uneasy about this. I’d never been, but from the pictures and the stories I’d heard from others, as well as from CK’s own mouth, I was very apprehensive about the whole idea. I trusted CK, but then again, I didn’t. We’d only known each other two short months. Who’s to say he wouldn’t pop X and grind up on some guy all night? Who’s to say he wouldn’t fool around with said guy in the bathroom? Who’s to say he wouldn’t go home with said guy? We were growing very close, but I had no idea how CK would react to the temptations placed in front of him. All these thoughts, and many more, were swarming in my head. But, in spite of all this, I tried to be cool. I had to learn to trust CK. My baggage was not his fault. I would never tell him I didn’t want him to go without me. Hell, I didn’t even want to go myself, even if I was available. It would purely be his decision, however, that doesn’t mean I wouldn’t be a nervous wreck about the whole thing.

When the time came to say goodbye, I simply gave him some parting words gently expressing my concern. “Behave tonight,” I added. “What does that mean?” he asked. I simply just repeated myself. He knew what it meant, but he wanted me to prescribe for him exactly where the line was drawn. The thought of him in another man’s arms made my heart palpitate and beat uncontrollably. It gave me incredible anxiety to picture him sweaty and shirtless with his tongue in another man’s mouth. I wouldn’t be there to hold him back, and my imagination was running wild to fill in the blanks. Because of this, and because I didn’t want to seem psycho to him, he would have to define behaving. It didn’t instill confidence in my mind when he asked me “Well, what exactly is naughty?” If he had to ask, there was a good chance he’d cross the threshold of my comfort zone. I feared for the life of my relationship with CK. I was jealous of faceless men, and he hadn’t even walked in the door.

When I commit to a relationship, I commit fully to it. There are no other guys for me. That doesn’t go to say I don’t notice/admire a hot guy walking by, but I won’t ever act on my admiration. I won’t smile at him or wink. I’ll simply admire him as a gorgeous specimen of a man. I have had my transgressions in the past, but I have learned from these mistakes. I have committed to my man, and he is who I am with. This is incredibly frustrating because I have a very traditional view of a relationship, and the majority of other gay men have quite the opposite. To many of them, boyfriend just means the guy the spend more of their time with than the other guys they see/have sex with. I digress…

Between my regret of not taking him and his going to what I equate to a rave without me, I was an anxious nervous wreck. I kissed him goodbye as we dropped him off at the PATH to head back into the city. My roommate and I sped off to the wedding location and arrived just in time.

It was a gorgeous ceremony and the reception was a blast! I nearly cried watching J tear up as his gorgeous bride walked up the aisle. I pictured myself in his shoes with CK coming to meet my arm and knew I would be a complete mess. I tear up now just writing about it. There were parallels between this wedding and my relationship with CK as well. It was a marriage between a white bread dude and a Puerto Rican fireball (CK is Cuban). For instance, the ceremony was bilingual, as I imagine a ceremony between CK and I would be.

After one of the toasts, I even sent CK a text saying “Te amo con todo mi corazón.” (I love you with all my heart). I was really missing him and wished he was by my side.

When the time came to head home from the wedding, I said my goodbyes and reveled in the love and joy I witnessed between J and his wife. I hoped I would get to the blissful place they were someday. In the car on the way to the hotel, I called CK. I figured he’d already be at the circuit party or wasted or high, but I needed to try. As the phone rang, all my anxiety rose back to the surface. I certainly was not prepared for what was about to happen next…

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Keeping Momma Happy

All weekend long, Clark Kent and his mother were packing up his apartment. He still needed to live there for about two more weeks, but they put a big dent in what needed to be packed up. I was thrilled. While there was no doubt I would help him move, no one enjoys moving. No one enjoys packing and unpacking. I’d done it enough times myself.

I did try to do my part. Before I left on Sunday night, I offered to grab some boxes from work and deliver them to his apartment so his mother could continue packing while he was at work. His place was right by my gym, and I planned to take my lunch break at the gym. I grabbed as many boxes as I could from the supply room and took them over to his place.

I’d gotten his mother’s cell phone number the night before. I texted her to let her know I was on my way. She responded with many thanks.

When I arrived, she answered the door and gave me a big hug. She was very grateful and detailed for me all the progress she’d made. She was at a bit of an impasse because CK would have to make some decisions before she could pack any more.

I needed to be on my way, so I said a final goodbye to her since this was the last I’d be seeing of her on this trip. She was headed to the airport the following morning. She gave me another big hug and said, “Thank you.” I promised to keep CK in line and urge him to call home more often. She commented that he’d be in good hands with me. I was flattered and touched.

All day long, CK and I had been texting each other. We’d seen each other only a few short hours earlier, but it wasn’t enough. I missed him, and he missed me. On top of that, we hadn’t slept together since Friday night. It was shocking how quickly we’d grown so fondly attached. I was really gaga for this guy. Things were going great!

That night, I went home alone. I watched TV and wanted to call CK, but I didn’t want to interrupt his last night with his mother. I stalked him on FourSquare a bit until I learned they went to Dos Caminos for a late-night dinner.

Finally, very late that night, he called me. He’d gone up to the roof to smoke and call me. He told me he missed me and couldn’t wait for us to be together again the following night.

He detailed to me how much his mother liked me and told me how happy he was about the whole thing. I was really head over heels for this guy. Never had I felt so loved by another man. I could tell this guy was genuine. He really made me feel like a prince.

He also detailed for me how tired of his mother he was. They had spent a lot of tense time together. He was ready for a break. It’s understandable how they’d butt heads over a lot of things. I told him to stop being so mean to his mother. I pointed out to him it was Mother’s Day and she traveled all the way up north to help him. He realized what she was doing for him, and he truly appreciated it, however, her leaving would mean me arriving. We made plans for the following night and said goodnight.

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Spring Break Flake

This is my 300th post! You guys have been amazing! Here’s to many more to come!

I was particularly excited about my staycation because I was going to get to see Boston again. We made very tentative plans for him to come down for at least part of the week because he was on spring break from school.

As we got closer to the visit, Boston went dark on me. It was pretty standard for him to not return my calls. The only time I ever got to chat with him live was when I called on a Friday night when he was pregaming before hitting the scene. I understood he was very busy. It was his final year in school, and he had a lot going on. On top of classes, he was searching for an internship. He was even looking at a few places in New York City. I was very excited at the prospect of him being nearby, but I wasn’t getting ahead of myself.

I was more than annoyed this time because I was expecting him to visit or to have me swing up to Boston. I had to use the time off. I thought it would be a good time to try to see him. I’m sure he is reading this right now ready to kill me. He probably thinks this is a bit of a guilt trip, and it is. But, it is also part of the bigger picture for my week off. I made no plans because I thought I had some plans. Granted, even if I didn’t have those plans with Boston, I probably would have been doing the same thing — Lounging on the pier, going to the gym and having sex.

In early March, I tried to see if he was still coming to visit. “Gaah. Haven’t even thought about it yet. I’ve been drowning in work. I’ll know by next Wednesday though. That’s when midterms are over.” After that, complete darkness. I didn’t hear from him for a few weeks. I angrily texted him from the pier one day, “You could just text me back you don’t want to/can’t come…” After my vacation had come and gone, he finally texted me back: “Just got my phone back today. Lost it over St. Patty’s Day weekend. Will call you later tonight. You gonna be around?” Of course I would never receive that phone call. I did understand though. He was in college. I tried to put myself in his shoes, and I realized I wouldn’t have come down to visit either, however, I would have told him I wasn’t coming.

After time passed, I playfully texted, “As much as you suck for bailing on me, ‘A$$ Grab’ is not gay. He just showed up to the bar with a girl.” Surprisingly, he quickly responded, “Means nothing. And I didn’t bail on you!” I wasn’t going to let him get away with that. “Um. Yes you did. Just sayin’,” I added. He was quick to note, “We never had plans and this break hasn’t been conducive to going to NYC and back.” I pointed out our tentative plans and his lack of communication in his inability to come. I also pointed out that even though he lost his phone, there are other ways to reach out to me. I also expressed my disappointment in not getting to see him. It was something I was really looking forward to. He responded back saying, “Alright. I’m sorry. Been in Vermont all weekend and all break I’ve just been busy working, so I’ve been flustered a bit.”

Again, I understood, and I fully forgave him. I wasn’t going to hold a grudge for that. Time off when you’re as busy as he is can be precious time. I kept myself busy taking admiring guys on the pier in the sun in Hoboken as you see in this post.

I depend on him more than I should. The problem is I don’t have any gay friends. When I have something I want to share, I feel like I’m putting some of my friends out by talking to them about it. They just can’t relate, and I’m sure they’re tired of hearing it from me. I turn to him because I know he’ll give me sound advice, but also because I have no one else. This post may come across like I’m bitter, but that’s not the case. I truly appreciate Boston and everything he’s done for me. He’s a good guy.

We still good friends, and he still ignores my phone calls. But, I’m sure all that will change when he’s finally graduated and eventually moves down to New York. Or at least I can hope, right?

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