Posts Tagged back off
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…
After realizing PR wasn’t the one for me, I was ready to move on. I liked him a lot, but I felt we’d be sacrificing ourselves to stay together, and that’s not fair to either of us.
Wednesday night after work, we made plans to meet down near his neighborhood for some cocktails. I let him pick the place, and he told me where to meet him. When I arrived to the corner where he was, he immediately came off as shy. We shook hands and introduced ourselves, which always feels forced and awkward for me. I sometimes wonder if a hug may be more appropriate considering we’re about to embark on a date, but I never have the guts to go in for it from the start.
We walked towards the bar he had in mind while we struggled to make small talk. I asked him about his day and how work was. In turn he asked the same questions, and I detailed my boring day at the office.
Finally, we arrived at the establishment, The Dove Parlour and took our seats on two bar stools on the corner of the bar. We ordered our drinks and returned to our awkwardly forced conversation. Again, we returned to the topic of work. Every question I asked him was returned with a quick short response. It was like pulling teeth to keep the conversation going. There were long periods of silence I wasn’t sure how to deal with.
When we finished our second drink, the bartender approached and asked if we’d like another. This is where I failed miserably. This is why I’m too nice. I defaulted to him, expecting him to have felt as awkward as I did, but instead, he asked for another round. I was shocked. Did he think this date was going well? How could he?
I sat there and struggled to find a subject to continue to talk about over the next round of drinks. I was ready to leave, but I felt I’d be rude. I was in for another night of wasting my own time due to my lack of confidence to say, “I’m sorry, but I think I’m going to go.”
I ended up staying for two more rounds — Four in total. Things were slowly improving. As the drinks passed his lips more words finally came out the opposite direction. He was finally starting to hold a real conversation. The topics were nothing exciting, but at least it was bearable.
By the end of our fourth round, he wanted a kiss. He moved in to make a move, and I allowed it. It’d been a while since a man kissed me, but I wasn’t entirely weak in the knees from it. He really did have soft lips and was a good kisser, but that didn’t negate the fact that our date was not going well.
He beckoned me to change stools so we weren’t straddling the corner. He wanted me to be closer. At this point, he wanted a makeout session. I wasn’t having any of that. I don’t make out in bars (not unless I’m hammered and don’t know any better, and the last time I did that was with a woman).
I told him I thought it was bad manners to make out at the bar. I pointed out how it always turns into a spectacle, especially when it’s two men kissing each other. He pointed out the lack of people in the bar and asked if I wasn’t comfortable with my sexuality in public. I pointed out if he was a woman, I’d feel the same way. There’s never a need to make out at the bar. Take it outside. This was going to be a point we differed on, because he did not stop attempting to convince me to lock lips. This is when I basically told him to back off. It wasn’t going to happen.
When we were ready to leave, he decided to walk me to the PATH — The complete opposite direction of his apartment. He was going to take a cab home and mentioned something about his supervisor paying for it.
When we got to the PATH station, he took the opportunity to pin me against the fence so he could have his makeout session. Again, I’m too nice and too accommodating, but at least he was a good kisser. It was an amazing change of pace from the night before, in which my “date” tried to eat my face.
Finally, I pulled back and said goodbye. He mentioned his desire to meet again in the near future, and I left that door open for possibility (seeing the too nice trend beginning here). When I got to the other side of the Hudson, I had a text waiting for me: “In spite of being terrified, I had a really good time! Hope to see you soon!” I simply responded, “Terrified?” “Oh, I have panic attacks before dates,” he added.
I didn’t respond, but in the morning, I had another text waiting for me: “Those French Lavenders (the drinks he was having) pack a punch. Sorry :/” I simply put his mind at ease and said, “No worries.” That would be the last I would hear from him. I was happy to skip all the awkward texts and requests. He simply took the hint I wasn’t interested and moved on…Follow @onegayatatime