Posts Tagged beach

Visit From the Sugar Plumm Fairies

We all know that red roses are the queen of Valentine’s Day, and chocolate is king. If you read my blog, you know just how much I like chocolate. Although I never heard of them before this weekend, I am thrilled to introduce Sugar and Plumm, the Purveyors of Yumm!

Chef Pichet Ong spoke to our intimate group about the delicious creations they are whipping up. Perhaps best known as a judge on Top Chef: Just Desserts, award-winning corporate pastry Chef Ong is the whimsical creator behind the sweet and savory confections of Sugar and Plumm. He combines the fond flavors of his childhood with modern cooking techniques to create culinary offerings that are seasonal, pure, light, and delightfully experimental, yet nostalgic.

After introducing us to the brand, he was kind enough to treat us to their For The Love of Chocolate gorgeously packaged box of some of their finest chocolate creations. It is an amazing assortment of hand-crafted artisan chocolates with origins from around the world. This box included two white chocolate blueberry and six pure dark Mexican chocolate ganache. However, the pleasant surprises didn’t end there. Hidden below were chocolates with flavors and aromas consisting of raspberry, vanilla, coconut, hazelnut praline, jasmine tea infused ganache, ginger, milk chocolate and pure dark Peruvian. On top of allowing us to sample some of their finest chocolate creations, we were also give a pair of their brightly colored, delicate French macaroons. It was all I could do to keep myself from digging in immediately.

When I untied the ribbon and opened my brightly colored box, I was blown away by the impeccably pristine chocolates before me. They were almost too pretty to eat. Luckily, that would not stop me. What did stop me was the thought of my boyfriend waiting for me at home. There’s something incredibly romantic about fine artisan chocolates that makes it sinful not to share with a loved one.

On our anniversary, the day before Valentine’s day, I told my boyfriend I had a surprise for him. I told him to close his eyes and open his mouth. After a bit of trepidation, he complied, and boy was he glad he did. His face lit up from ear to ear as he savored his first bite of the dark chocolate ganache-filled heart. I sampled the white chocolate blueberry-filled heart. I’d never tasted anything so complex and exquisite. It was heaven. I was reminded of the first time blueberry wine touched my lips, and I had to have more. The combination of blueberry and white chocolate was pure genius. I forced myself to put the box away so I could savor these the little bits of chocolate heaven for a few days; I simply did not want the experience to end!

There was no way I could possibly ignore the fresh macaroons waiting the ultimate demise. Although there were two, I wanted the best of both worlds. As it’s rather impossible to split a macaroon, I simply bit half for myself and passed the other half to my boyfriend. We made long extended moans as we enjoyed these incredible indulgences, and that was just the vanilla macaroon. I repeated our ritual with the strawberry poppy-seed, and the moans of happiness only grew louder. The flavors transported me back to the beach with my parents snacking on strawberry Twizzlers.

It was amazing how incredibly nostalgic Sugar and Plumm’s confectionaries were. How could so much be contained in such a small morsel?

I was shocked to learn that Sugar and Plumm serve breakfast, lunch, dinner, weekend brunch, and every craving in between. I was expecting a purveyor of sweets, but they create works of art from homemade ice cream and macaroons, to house-smoked salmon and Berkshire pulled pork, our team of master chefs, bakers, and chocolatiers are purveyors of all things delicious and delightful. The bake shop even makes everything handmade, from scratch. The only problem you’ll find is deciding what to order (and possibly that top button on your pants).

Although it’s too late to place an order for Valentine’s Day delivery, if you’re looking for that perfect way to show the special person in your life just how much they mean to you, this is a perfect for Valentine’s Day — Or any of the other 364 days of the year. The have gift boxes for every budget and an in-store experience you won’t soon forget! This Upper West Side spot with Parisian charm and a downtown vibe is sure to knock the socks off anyone who enters and will certainly not disappoint!

For more information, visit the on Facebook.

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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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Technical Difficulties

On the night of July 3rd, CK and I slept at his apartment. I had a beach bag packed to head to Fire Island the following day. I insisted if we were going to trek all the way out there, we needed to leave early in the morning to get a full day of it. We also decided to make an effort to come back to the city in time to view the fireworks from his rooftop. We made plans with one of my old roommates and his girlfriend. They were going to join us on his roof since he had such spectacular views of the Hudson River.

When we woke, the weather didn’t look like it was going to be the most cooperative. We checked the report, and there was a threat of thunderstorms all day long. We both agreed to nix the idea of going to the beach and decided to stay local instead. We lounged around his apartment all morning, watching TV and eating a light breakfast, all the while waiting for the rain. When lunch time rolled around, I was anxious to get out of the apartment. It still hadn’t rained, and it was shaping up to be a pretty beautiful day. While we both agreed we could have gone to the beach, we also agreed not going was nice too.

Recently, I broached the subject with him of spending habits. I realized I was spending a lot more money, especially going out to dinner. I proposed a plan to try to cook more and go out less. I didn’t want to keep spending money frivolously, and thought he was probably in the same boat. The topic was well received, and we agreed to make and effort to spend less money.

As we walked to lunch, we made a plan to grab something small and cheap. We ran a few of CK’s errands before finding a spot to grab lunch — Uncle Nick’s, a Greek restaurant in HK. This was not part of the plan. Everything was a bit more expensive than a $5 sandwich. CK reminded me of our frugal conversation, and pointed out this place was not part of the plan. However, since all the portions were larger, I pointed out that this could serve as our dinner as well. We could take the leftovers home and eat them before the fireworks. It would work out nicely since we ate such a late lunch.

This worked out perfectly. We did swing by the grocery store to grab a few snacks for his rooftop to supplement our lunch/dinner. We grabbed chips, humus, cookies and supplies to make sangria. Before digging into making sangria, we decided to check out the scene on the roof. We wanted to know what we were getting ourselves into. CK lived in a large apartment building, and the roof certainly wasn’t going to hold all the residents, especially if they were bringing guests like me. Much to our surprise, it was still fairly sparse, but we knew that wouldn’t last long.

We quickly went downstairs to gather our things so we could lay claim to a prime fireworks viewing spot. As we made sangria, I reached out to two friends who were to be joining us, but they weren’t going to be able to make it. Looked like it was just going to be the two of us. That, and his roommate and the harem of friends he gathered for the night.

We made it back upstairs in time to lay out a blanket and enjoy a drink as the sun set. I was enjoying some quality time with my man before the crowd showed up. After some time, he had to run back downstairs. Of course, he disappeared for quite some time. I was sitting there alone trying to fend for our spot as more and more people arrived. Slowly but surely, his roommate and his friends started showing up. Of course, they assumed we were holding a spot for them, so I was surrounded by them on the blanket — Still no CK. This was not how I wanted to spend the night.

Finally, he came back. By then, the roof was fairly full. Shortly after, the fireworks began. Well, at least I think the fireworks began. CK’s roommate assured us the building had a prime view of the fireworks. He informed us he’d watched them from the roof the year before. LIES! All lies! We couldn’t see the fireworks at all. Immediately, there was both a mass movement forward toward the river to get a better view and a mass exodus out of the building to head to the river. CK and I tried to maneuver the roof to gain a better vantage point. When I turned around, he wasn’t following me.

In the chaos, I wasn’t able to find him again. I looked all over, standing on planters to see over the crowd. I tried calling him, but he wasn’t answering. I assumed he went downstairs, and to be honest, I was pissed. I assumed he abandoned me in an attempt to better view the fireworks. The elevators were overrun with people. I descended the twenty-five floors until I reached the ground floor. Because I didn’t have a building access card, I was a bit trapped. My only option was to walk back up to the top floor. I tried calling and calling, but still, CK was not picking up. When I got back to the roof, I managed to find CK. I explained what happened, and he explained how he was unable to find me. I was disappointed because the romantic night I was hoping for had gone to sh*t. This would be yet another fourth of disappointment. We had a fun day together, and I really enjoyed it. But, I wanted romantic fireworks with my man for our first Fourth of July together.

When the crowd thinned out, we managed to find a decent vantage point. Of course, we got b*tched out by a girl, who after investigation we learned was not a resident of the building. Although our night wasn’t quite as romantic as it could have been, another couple was having an incredibly romantic night. A man was proposing to his girlfriend via a presentation on his iPad. It was very touching and made me realize the night was a success just being with CK. I needed to stop thinking about the perfect picture I had in my head and just go with it.

When the fireworks ended, we made our way down to his apartment. The alcohol was flowing, among other things, and all his “roommates” were already home causing a raucous. When we moved into CK’s bedroom to escape the party a bit, it slowly but surely moved into the room as well. I wasn’t thrilled. Slowly but surely, they piled in, one by one. I inched my way further and further up the bed until I was sufficiently pressed against the wall to make room for more “roommates.”

That’s when it happened. I was so incredibly disappointed. CK and I discussed in detail how uncomfortable certain situations made me, and he breached that comfort level quite drastically. I wanted to be anywhere but there. I wanted to go home. I completely shut down. He made me so incredibly minuscule by ignoring the entire lengthy conversation we’d shared about this very subject. I wasn’t exactly being forthcoming about what made me so upset. The fact that he was so clueless about why I was so upset only made it worse. He actually thought I had cheated on him and didn’t know how to tell him. He couldn’t have been further off base.

I just wanted to leave, but I knew there was no way I would be able to make it home before the sun rose in the sky with all the crowds. Luckily, everyone began to file out of the room naturally. I laid there with my back to CK crying myself to sleep. He tried to comfort me and made excuses, but it was no use. The damage was done. He knew how I felt about this, and he selfishly did what he wanted anyway. This was not how someone treats you when they love you.

My head was spinning. Because I was worried I would have to let him go, the tears streamed more and more. I’d reached the last straw. I wasn’t ready to talk about it that night because I wanted a clear head when we talked about it for the last time. That night, we’d have to go to bed with tension in the air.

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Before the Fourth

After our day at the beach, I still had a few lingering worries. I’d made the mistake of getting involved with the wrong guy before, and I wasn’t getting any younger. I wanted to make sure if I was getting into a relationship it was with the right guy. There was no use getting attached if in the end I was just going to get hurt. Or at least that’s how I saw it.

Sunday morning, we woke up in my bed. In his usual fashion, I woke to a kiss on the lips. With a lot weighing on my mind, I’m sure I wasn’t the most affectionate. I certainly wasn’t cold either. I just had a lot to figure out. I wanted to make sure I was the right guy for CK, and he was the right guy for me. There was no use panicking just yet. I needed more information about CK’s true intentions.

We had a lazy Sunday. After making breakfast, we made our way to the Hoboken pier get some sun. I took along the weekly circulars and a few magazines so I could make my grocery list and catch up on the stack of magazines piling up in my room.

At one point, CK excused himself to make a few phone calls he’d been neglecting. He walked around the entire pier while chatting on his phone for quite some time. I was a little turned off. After all, we were supposed to be spending the afternoon together. Instead, I was spending it with GQ. When he came back, he informed me one of his exes was going to be on Fire Island for the Fourth of July (three days away). He really wanted to go out there for the holiday after asking me to go out there all summer. Of course I wasn’t okay with going out there to hang out with one of his exes. It just didn’t feel right. I also wasn’t sure I wanted to trek all the way out there (my reason for not going all the previous times he asked). We hadn’t made solid plans yet, but I did want to watch the fireworks. One year prior, I was searching for N so I could break up with him. I was unsuccessful, and I didn’t exactly have the best Fourth of July. I wanted this year to be spent in CK’s arms watching explosions of light with the New York City skyline as the backdrop. I told him we would discuss it further. I have to admit, I was also stalling because I wanted to see what my friends were up to as well.

When the sun began to set and a chill developed in the air, we made our way back to my apartment. I agreed we’d spend Sunday night at his place, so I packed a bag so we could make our way into the city before dinner. While I packed, CK made plans to grab dinner with his two friends. We went to CK’s apartment to drop off our things before meeting them at the Statler Grill in midtown. After dinner, we went back to CK’s to watch TV before falling asleep.

Monday we woke and made our way to work. Our only saving grace was the short week. It was the only thing getting me out of bed and motivating me to finish my workday. I even managed to finagle working from home the following day.

That night, CK asked if I would be up for the midnight showing of Spiderman 4. I told him, “I don’t have to go in to work tomorrow. You do. Are you sure you want to do this?” He was all in. Being a big comic book fan, he was waiting for this movie for some time. Of course, we both struggled to stay awake the entire film, and there were certainly portions I was out cold.

The following day, CK went to work, and I stayed home. I had to “work” a half day, and I actually got a lot of work done. I just picked up the social media duties at work, so I had a lot on my plate. That being said, when 1:00 rolled around, my workday was finished. I was out the door on my way to the gym. I just started a membership at the gym near my apartment via Living Social  because I would finally be able to get back in the pool and get back in shape. I was incredibly motivated and had a great workout in the pool and in the weight room.

It was also just what I needed to clear my head. It’s amazing what staring at the black line on the bottom of a hole in the ground filled with water can do for you. I thought a lot about CK and came to the conclusion I was overreacting in response to his comments on the beach. I heard his comment, but I also needed to hear him when he stressed how much he loved me and was willing to do what it takes to make me happy. Thinking about this made me happy and made me smile. I learned to let some of my worry go.

This also served as motivation. I wanted to look sexy for my man. Summer was in full swing, but my body was not. I’d fallen into the soft trap — When you date someone and your body goes soft from lack of exercise.

After my workout, I made my way home and got ready to head into CK’s place. We were laying low because I agreed to go to Fire Island with him the following day. We were entertaining the idea of watching the fireworks out there. I was trying to be more flexible and understanding — Something I’m certainly not the best at. Regardless, I was happy to be in his arms and his bed. Whenever I was in his arms, I felt home. This was going to be a much better Fourth of July than the previous one, that’s for sure!

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Sunshine and Smiles

Before you jump into today’s post, I’d like to bring to your attention a story a reader shared with me last night. Being the hopeless romantic I am, I was so touched by their story. Check it out here.

Back to our regularly schedule program:

When CK and I got home after a long night out on the town, we argued about the timing of the following morning. I was insistent we would keep our plans, or I would leave him behind. I wasn’t going to flake on Boston because he wanted to stay out at the bar that night. I realized we weren’t making much progress, and we were only staying up longer by arguing, so I set my alarm and climbed into bed.

The next day, I woke up and started reaching out to Boston. Much to my chagrin, he wasn’t responding. I tried over and over and over again via text and phone, but still no response. I’d already managed to get CK up, and he was being incredibly cooperative considering how early it was and how little sleep we got. I wasn’t happy because I got in an argument with CK over this, and now Boston was flaking on me. I was trying so hard to salvage this so CK wouldn’t flip out on me when I told him Boston wasn’t responding. I hit up Hip to see if he’d be interested in the beach. It’d been some time since we hung out, and I thought it would make CK much happier to have one of his friends there. I asked D and his girlfriend if they wanted to join us at the beach, and surprisingly, they were in. They would just be joining us a little later. I also reached out to my sister, and I learned she was driving out to the beach. We were planning to take the train, but now that Boston was missing in action, I asked her if she would give us a ride. Now, I had to manage the logistics of getting someone from Brooklyn, CK and I in Hell’s Kitchen and my sister coming from Hoboken through midtown coordinated.

CK and I were making great time. We hopped in a cab, and it was looking like we would all get to our meeting point at the same time. I couldn’t have been happier and more stressed. My sister arrived a few minutes before us, and we all piled into her car and were off to the beach. This was the first time my sister met Hip. I had a feeling they would get along since Hip is such a mellow guy and easy to get along with, but in her usual fashion, she took a little warming up. Once she warmed up to him, they were really hitting it off.

As we drove, I texted Boston telling him we were on our way and invited him to join us out there when he and the girl he was staying with got moving for the day, but I had a strong feeling I wasn’t going to see him. About half way out there, he finally called and told me he was way too hungover to come out to the beach. He offered to meet up later that evening, so I told him I would hit him up on my way home.

We arrived at the beach and spread out, taking over a solid chunk of beach. D and his girlfriend were on their way and would be joining us shortly. This day was going so much more smoothly than I ever thought possible. The weather was gorgeous, and we were all having a blast. I was really enjoying being with such a great group. Everyone was relaxed and having fun. We took a picture together, and we all agreed it was the picture of the summer. Now that summer is over, I can testify it was, at least for me.

Later in the day, CK and I decided to go for a jog/walk. It was nice to separate from the group for a little and take a nice stroll. We talked about the night before, and he apologized. He also thanked me for such a great day. The biggest smile grew across my face. I know I was stressed that morning and annoyed how things were playing out, but it was all worth it to have such a fun and carefree day. I was so happy with him. I loved him, and I couldn’t see myself with any other man. He was the man I wanted to spend the rest of my life with.

We stopped to take pictures on the rocks of the jetty. This quickly turned into a typical CK photo shoot, which I’m not the most thrilled with. I’m not a fan of having my picture taken because 99% of the time, I hate the results. I don’t like being in the spotlight, but CK does. When I take the pictures of him, I know these pictures will be sorted through as fodder for his Instagram feed. This is yet another account of my attention not being enough. He still needed the attention of his adoring fans. I wasn’t crushed by this. I have thicker skin than that, but it didn’t exactly have a positive effect on my feelings. On top of that, I knew everyone was about ready to go home when we started our walk. I didn’t want to make them wait too long to leave. I tried to be a good sport and shot some pictures of him and even let him snap a few of me, but the time came for me to insist we return to the group.

As we walked back, we passed two hot and I can only assume straight men walking the opposite direction. As we passed, CK not only made a comment regarding their aesthetic, but took the conversation one step further and asked if I would ever entertain the idea of fooling around with another couple (acknowledging a previous unprovoked sentiment I stated expressing my lack of interest in ever bringing another person into our relationship). I immediately started getting very anxious, and my heart sank a little. I was immediately taken back to the previous night with him looking around the bar to see who was looking at him. I was right back to worrying I would not be enough for him. My heart beat started pacing. I immediately and definitively expressed to him my feelings on this, and I think he recognized how worked up this was making me. I told him this was my worry when I finally came out. I didn’t know if I could ever find a man who would settle down with me and give me a “traditional” relationship. I realized that’s not for everyone, but that’s what I wanted. It’s not something I wanted to compromise on, nor do I think it’s something I should budge on. Now, I was worrying if CK was the right man for me.

“This isn’t something I want. I just wanted to know if you would be open to this,” he said. I responded, “If it’s not something you want or you’re interested in, then why did you bring it up? If this is coming up now when everything is fresh and fun, how’s it going to be ten years from now? Will I ever be enough for you?” He started backtracking immediately. He put his hands on my shoulders and said, “Babe, you are who I want. No one else. I was just asking the question, not proposing we do it.” I explained to him how worried I was that it was even brought up.  He managed to calm me down and acknowledged that knowing that was off the table does not make him want to stop dating me. He added, “You have nothing to worry about. I want to spend the rest of my life with you.” I was a bit more relaxed, but I was still questioning if I was enough for CK. It had been the theme of many of my past relationships, and I didn’t want to go through that again.

When we got back, we all packed up and headed home. On the ride home, I fell asleep in CK’s lap. Unbeknownst to me, Hip and my sister we’re now like two peas in a pod. They were having so much fun together blasting music and weaving through traffic. D and his girlfriend were following, so when traffic came to a halt, Hip climbed up through the sunroof and started making faces and flailing around at them.

When we got back to the city, my sister dropped the three of us off at CK’s. He needed to pack an overnight bag before we went back to Hoboken for the night. We hung out for a majority of the evening before finally taking the bus to the other side of the Hudson River. Not before getting ice cream, of course. In the end, I didn’t get to hang out with Boston before he left town. It just didn’t work out. Maybe I’d have to wait another year to finally see him.

All in all, it was a great day. I had so much fun hanging with my friend and CK’s friends. It was completely refreshing to see his friends getting along with my friends. It wasn’t all roses and sunshine, however. I was still worried I wasn’t the man CK was looking for. I worried I was looking for him to settle down with me, and he wasn’t quite ready for that. It’s not that I didn’t trust him to not cheat on me so much as worrying we didn’t have the same relationship goals and outlook. Only time would tell if our paths were heading in the same direction.

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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 Lake

I am very fortunate to have amazing friends that come with amazing perks. It just so happens one of my friends’ parents own a house on a lake with a boat. In the summer, if I’m not worshiping the sun on the beach, you can find me relaxing and fooling around on the lake. Either way, I gotta work on my tan!

Saturday evening, CK and I were invited to D and K’s backyard for a barbecue. While there, we were also invited to join a small group on K’s boat. I’d been going out there for years with her. I was the Gilligan to her Skipper, however, I’d like to think I was a little more helpful. I’d actually become quite versed in some of the crucial acts of boating through my trips out to the Lake with K. She even joined me when I bought a Groupon to learn to sail. For her birthday, I bought her a life vest I happen to see on sale in a store I was in.

As this wasn’t the first time I’d been on the boat, it wasn’t the first time I brought a man with me. In the previous summer, I was very excited to integrate N in my friend circle. While I don’t regret this at all, looking back at the pictures leave a bitter taste in my mouth. CK and I were still going strong, and I knew these memories would erase the old. When I thought about the good times on the boat with my man, it would be with my Superman.

The downside of the lake is that we have to get up very early to go. It’s about an hour drive away, and the later we wait, the worse the traffic gets. CK and I had our fun before bed, and when the alarm went off in the morning, although groggy, we were on point. It took us a little time to get out of bed, but once we did, we were making moves. We fooled around and got frisky, taking our fun from the bed to the shower, all the while staying on schedule. I even had time to make us CK’s favorite breakfast burritos and iced coffee in a mason jar.

It turns out, we were ahead of the game. Let the record show, and I would like to repeat: We were not only on time, we were early — A feat worthy of praise. When I called K, she was just waking up. She told me she’d swing by in fifteen minutes to get us. In the meantime, she called all the other girls who were coming with us. They were taking much longer to get their act in gear. K picked us up and drove up to my sister’s apartment, where she and two other girls were preparing.

Apparently, they were having a rough morning after a long night out. I was really relishing my reasonable exit with CK. We waited so long, I finished my burrito. When I opened the car door, tragedy occurred. The mason jar containing the iced coffee for CK and I shattered on the sidewalk. My mind immediately shot back to CK’s comments in my kitchen: “Why are you putting it in a mason jar?” I turned to him immediately and said, “I should have listened to you! DAMMIT!”

After waiting for over 45 minutes, my sister emerged. Alone. We waited all the time to learn the girls were sick and not joining us. Regardless, we were on our way. The four of us made our way out to the lake for a day of fun.

We all hopped on the boat and got it ready to shove off. We lounged… We tubed… We swam… We had a blast. I was really enjoying my day with my man in one of my favorite places. I couldn’t take my eyes off him all day. His package looked amazing in his trunks, and I let him know it. When no one was looking, I would give it a gentle squeeze. I couldn’t wait to get him home and ravage him! K was driving the boat while CK and I rode the tube together, swerving and “cracking the whip” at every opportunity.

When we finally fell off the tube, she circled around to pick us up. She asked if we could drop anchor and relax for a bit, but told us she’d tow us to the end of the lake where we can drop anchor. While being tugged along, CK and I were horsing around. I began to slip, somewhat by accident, and somewhat on purpose. As I slipped, I grabbed onto his trunks. I knew exactly what I was doing. This wasn’t a survival action — This was a horny action. As I gripped his shorts, they seemed more attached to me than him. His bare bottom was exposed to the sunlight. It was all I could do to stop myself from pulling myself back up so I could give it a gentle bite. It looked purely spectacular in the sunlight. He wasn’t too thrilled I was doing this to him, but I was in heaven.

Many times on the lake K mentioned a restaurant on the way home that has a very cheap lobster meal, but we never had the time. At the sound of this CK made sure we had the time to stop. The meal was delicious and we had fun.

For the rest of the ride home, I laid in CK’s arms in the back of the car. I was always happiest cuddling in his arms. We made one pit stop on the way so I could buy us all Sonic ice cream since I was craving a sweet.

That wasn’t the only sweet I was craving. I was struggling to keep my hands off my sweet all day long. K dropped us off at my apartment, and I was finally able to exercise my hormones and my libido. We had a long exhausting day at the lake, so we didn’t have the most energy, however, we weren’t going to let that stop us from an evening romp in the sack…

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Highlights From My Trip

CK and I were about to hit our two-month mark. It was two of the best months of my life, and I wouldn’t trade them for the world. I learned I could truly find love in a man, and slowly but surely, I started to give more and more of myself to him. The wall I built up around my heart was not only cracking but also crumbling. There were a handful of guys in my past I had come to enjoy the extended company of beyond a hookup, but CK was the first man I ever really came to love.

My life was no longer my life. There was no longer a me. It became our life and us. I stopped making plans for one. CK was front and center in my thoughts at all times. We were living together in two homes. We were dining together, drinking together, taking trips together, etc.

CK’s move to an apartment with roommates allowed him a new cashflow he hadn’t had before, however, I was trying to prevent us from blowing that on going out to dinner in the New York City. It’s not cheap, and if we were going to build a life together, he needed to start saving. I wasn’t thrilled with spending all that money going out to eat either. It wasn’t that we couldn’t afford it, but we felt it was a bit of a waste. When I was living on my own, I made dinner for myself almost every night. Going out to dinner felt like a luxury and a treat. I wanted to get back to that. We both agreed to live more economically wherever possible. Since CK isn’t the biggest cook, I even started making food and taking it to his apartment so we could have convenient meals prepared. For instance, one night after work, we grabbed some groceries and thawed the frozen spaghetti sauce I made for dinner. We cooked together in the kitchen and ate in front of his TV. It was nice, it was cheap and it was delicious. That meal cost us pennies compared to what we’d spend going out to an Italian restaurant. We were also taking advantage of Groupons and Living Socials whenever possible so on the nights we didn’t feel like cooking, we could grab a nice dinner out and not pay full price.

As a gay man, I’m not quite as mirror conscious as some, but I am a bit vain in some aspects. I love how I look with a great tan, and I love it even more when my hair has a bit of depth and volume. Sadly, a few years ago, my hairline started receding. There was little I could do to prevent it, so I did what I could to mask it. That meant getting my haircut in a certain style, but it also meant highlighting it so it wasn’t one solid color against my scalp. This is one of my few gay vices.

Since I was in junior high, I stopped going to my father’s barber and started going to my mother’s hair stylist. Granted, since moving away from home, I didn’t go home every time I needed a haircut, but I did make it a point to go home and get it highlighted periodically throughout the year.

My hair got naturally lighter in the summer, so before the sun worked its magic, I would always try to trek home for some carmel colored highlights. My hair stylist was a magician. He never measured, but he always got my color just right. The one time I was left under the heat too long, everything slid to the back of the cap, bleaching the back of my head. He managed to dye my hair back to it’s natural color. You couldn’t tell anything went wrong.

My hair stylist also charges me a measly $30 for the highlights and the cut. Granted it’s in the middle of nowhere in Pennsylvania, but it would cost more over $100 to have this done in New York City. Whenever I get my hair cut by someone in the metro area, they ask about the highlights. They compliment them, and I get a big kick out of telling them how much I paid for them — Their jaws hit the floor.

It was particularly difficult to get home before the summer sun this year. My sister wasn’t being cooperative about trips home, so I had to plan something on my own. That meant hopping on the motorcycle and making the two-hour trek home (costing me $10 in gas). I didn’t want to give up my weekend because that was when I went to the beach with my boyfriend, but it was nearly impossible to get away during the week. On top of this, it had to be planned around nice weather. I couldn’t make the trip home if rain was in the forecast.

Summer was passing by, so I decided to take off a half day from work to get it done. After work Wednesday evening, I sped home trying to avoid traffic and made it to my parents’ house just before the sun went down. I found it very sweet that CK was worried about me. He was very concerned with my safety, even after riding with me on the bike many times. I was truly touched. I told him when I was heading home, and I texted him as soon as I got to my parents’ place. I told him it would take roughly two hours, and he was texting me worried after about an hour and a half. It showed me how much he truly cared about me and how much he loved me. “I don’t know what I would do if I lost you babe!” he said.

CK was against the trip from the onset. He didn’t like the idea of me getting highlights, but I told him to have faith. He’d seen pictures of me in the summer and commented how good I looked. I promised him I wouldn’t come back looking like an a$$hole. I think he thought I was getting my tips frosted.

It was also nice to catch up with my parents and have a relaxing night in front of the TV with a home-cooked meal. The next morning, I woke at the crack of dawn to hit up the salon. In an hours time, I looked like a new man, and I was back on the road. I had to get back to work by mid-afternoon.

That night, CK saw me for the first time in person, after asking me to send pictures to his phone. He commented on how good I looked. “Babe, I was really worried. I thought you were going to look ridiculous,” he added. I gave him a big kiss and reminded him how I knew what I was doing, cheekily.

Even if I came back looking ridiculous, I’m sure he would have played along and told me I looked fine. We were in love, and my hair wasn’t going to change that. On the flip-side, I think the highlights worked a little magic and made me more attractive to him because, after being away from each other for a night, we had some great passionate sex before dozing off.

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No Day at the Beach

Before going to bed Friday night, CK and I made plans to go to the beach the following day. The weather was supposed to be gorgeous, and I hadn’t made it to the beach yet this year. I was very excited to go, but I also knew it would be a bit up an uphill struggle to get CK and his friends coordinated for a train ride to the beach in a timely manner.

We spent the night at his place thinking it would cut down on commute time in the morning. I was already packed and ready to go the night before because I had to bring all my things into the city in anticipation of going. My plan was to wake up, shower and go. That plan would not come to fruition. It was very difficult not only getting CK out of bed, but also getting him to move once I got him up. We ended up leaving his apartment late and came to the realization we would not make the train we originally planned. It also didn’t help that I told his two friends to meet us on the wrong corner, but when we tried to reach both of them, neither picked up their phones.

When we finally all gathered, we realized we’d have to take the next train in 45 min. I felt bad because I knew how much of a stickler for time one of CK’s friends was. I bought our tickets, and we decided to find a nearby spot to grab breakfast. One of his friends offered to pay for mine since I bought the tickets. I found it ironic because he was normally he was also a stickler for numbers when it came to payments, and I didn’t see how he would be buying me $30 worth of breakfast. However, I didn’t say anything because I didn’t want to make it a thing.

We finished our breakfast and made our way to the train. The four of us found seats and relaxed for the ride out there. It was then I noticed, only by contrast, how affectionate CK and I were.

When we got to Long Beach, we made a pit stop at Starbucks and a drugstore to buy beach tickets before heading to the sand. We met up with my sister and one of my previous female roommates. I introduced everyone and we laid out in the sun. CK and one of his friends had square-cut suits on, and his other friend and I had on short board shorts. Because of this, I wonder if my sister was slightly uncomfortable. This wasn’t something she was used to. Periodically, I would wear my square-cut bathing suit from my days of college swimming, but I didn’t walk around in it. I only laid out in the sun in it, and this still brought comments from her. I bring this up because she basically didn’t talk to the four of us the entire day. She’s a little antisocial by nature, but never quite to this extent.

We had a nice relaxing day, taking pictures and making videos in the sun. When CK and I got bored, I decided to try to teach him paddle ball. I always liked playing because I get beach ADD. While we were playing, dark clouds started to roll in. We weren’t at the beach three hours when the other two guys were ready to go home. I don’t think they liked the scene because it wasn’t “gay enough” for them. On top of this, my sister wasn’t exactly chatting them up while CK and I played. We were summoned back to the blanket so we could pack up and head home. I felt it was a bit of a waste of a day, but I these were CK’s friends. I didn’t want to make a bad impression by disagreeing with their plans.

We found a bar so some of the group could use the facilities. While we waited, I ordered myself, CK and one of his friends a drink. When we finished, we made our way back to the train station. When we got back to the city, we split ways. I felt there was a bit of tension in the air, but I couldn’t put my finger on it. So, when the time came to split, it felt like a bit of relief. Had I done something wrong? Did his friend simply not like me? Who knew?

On the walk back to CK’s apartment, we stopped in the comic book store. Just then, the sky opened up and started pouring. At least we were indoors, so we poked around the comic book store until the storm lifted. We grabbed a slice of pizza to share to hold us over for dinner, we showered, and we had sex.

After laying in his bed most of the evening, the time came for us to head back to Hoboken to grab dinner. I had a Groupon I planned to use up. This was our new economical way of going out to dinner on a budget. It was around 10:30, so I called the place to make sure they were still serving dinner. We made our way back to the train to Hoboken to spend the rest of the night…

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Disappointment

The idea that I was in LA for work completely faded from my mind, as did the trysts I’d met since my arrival. After meeting The Navigator, I was on cloud 9 since we hung out on the beach. He was an amazing guy, and I knew if we lived in the same city, we’d be dating.

Before going to bed, we exchanged a few messages around 2:00am. “Hiya handsome. Sorry for texting you so late. Just wanted to say hello,” he texted. I texted back, “Miss you lots. Can’t wait to see you again!” I didn’t care if I was being a bit aggressive; I was being honest. I had nothing to lose here, and I needed to get back to being more honest with myself and the guys I date.

The next morning, I woke up to my early alarm alone in my bed and immediately missed his presence. I quickly looked to my phone to see if I had a message. I did! “The pix of you on the hike turned out great! You look so handsome!” The previous night, we became Facebook friends. This wasn’t the text I was looking for, but it still made me happy.

I had a plan to go for a run that morning, and should I still have the energy, I would take a dip in the pool. I’d gone to the weight room and the pool the night before from 10:30-11:30. Even with all the guys I was spending time with, I was finding time for myself. I needed to get myself in line on this trip as well. I’d been floundering for far too long.

When I finished my run, I checked my phone, and I still didn’t have a message from The Navigator. I decided to take a dip in the hot tub to relax my muscles and take my mind off the excitement I anticipated all day. Finally, my phone lit up: “Morning! We have a call out for the next shift, so if there are no volunteers we draw straws. Keep your fingers crossed for me pal!”

My heart sank. There was no possibility he wouldn’t be joining me on the PCH until now. Now, I had to prepare myself for the idea this drive would be solo. If you recall, I HATE being alone. I don’t do well alone. I get depressed. This was one of the fears I had booking this trip, but I wanted to force myself to get used to it if I had to. I quickly responded, “Tell your boy to take one for the team. You have a hot date 🙂 Fingers crossed.”

I hopped out of the hot tub and made my way back to my room to shower and get ready for my road trip. I tried not to think about an empty passenger seat until I got another text: “:( Looks like there may be a surgery… If the owner approves the estimate, then it’s no longer a choice. I’m [Dr.’s] surgery tech. Still a slim chance :(“

I was now facing the fact I would be driving alone. It was supposed to be a nice day, so I convinced myself I would be fine. It was going to be an exciting drive up the coast. I was going to go all the way up to Santa Barbara and check things out along the way. I still wanted to see him, so I asked, “What time would you be done ish?”

He didn’t answer me immediately. After I packed my bags, I got another text: “I’m gonna stop dragging my heels. Everyone is looking to me. UGH!!! It’s another full shift, but then I have the next day and a half off. So, I’ll be off at 5:30.” I could accept that, but I asked, “Can I see you then?” He immediately responded, “I’ll hurry home as soon as I can… yes!”

I told him I was packing up the car and about to hit the road. “I’ll aim to be back in the area around 5:30. Let me know closer to then what’s up… Maybe we’ll just meet somewhere since I don’t have to come back to the hotel. Sad I’m not spending the day with you, but I understand completely… Looking forward to this evening!” I added. With that, I hopped in the car and made my way to Porto’s Bakery for an amazing Cuban Medianoche sandwich that was incredibly difficult to eat in the car, a chocolate croissant and an iced mocha latte. If you even happen to be in Glendale, check this place out. It’s amazing!

I drove all the way up the coast taking in all the sights. At one point, Highway 1 cuts inland. I wasn’t paying attention, and I ended up in the middle of the orange groves and strawberry patches. I watched the motorcycle gangs as I passed them with envy. I would have killed to have my motorcycle out there. I get out of the care until I reached Santa Barbara. I pulled up to the beach and stood up for the first time in a few hours. I stretched out and broke out my camera to snap some pictures. It was a gorgeous area, and all I could think about was living there. I could move to LA, marry an amazing man, and we could retire to Santa Barbara. That’s when my thoughts jumped right back to The Navigator.

“Santa Barbara misses you,” I texted him. I was still disappointed he wasn’t with me, but I wasn’t going to let it ruin my drive. I had a sick convertible, no real timetable, and the freedom to do whatever I wanted. The ride up did allow me some clarity. I cleared my head of all the thoughts of the past. Everything was forward-looking.

After I had my fill of Santa Barbara, I made my way inland to Ojai. I’d always wanted to check it out since I seen Brothers and Sisters. The family business was there and it always looked gorgeous on-screen. I climbed up one side of winding mountains and down the other. I pulled off the side of the road a few times to take in the beauty of it all and snap some pictures for posterity.

When I arrived down into Ojai proper, I was shocked by how small town it was. I was out in rural farmland. It didn’t quite feel like home because the geography was very different from home, but it was very nice to see this side of the West Coast. I called my parents to tell them I was searching for Nora (a character on Brothers and Sisters), and they both laughed at me. They’d forgotten I was out there for work/vacation, and they expressed their jealousy. I thought about my new friend as well, texting, “Ojai misses you too.” Finally, he responded. I knew he was busy working, so I was surprised to get a response. “What’s Ojai? Pic?” he asked. When I told him, he added, “I miss you :)” I was swooning a little bit.

I told him I was on my way back to LA and asked where he worked. He told me the name of the street, and I added, “Maybe I should meet you there. Then I’m not venturing that far from the airport.” He’d forgotten I had to catch a flight. I told him it would just mean more time we would get to spend together.

As I passed through Santa Monica, I reached out to him once again: “What’s the plan Stan? At Venice Beach. Was gonna drive down to Marina Del Ray… Could come out there and let me take you out to dinner.” I waited a long time to hear from him again. I even stopped at a Starbucks so I could park the car and walk around a bit. I ordered a coffee and walked out onto the pier in Venice Beach to take some pictures of the ocean. I still had a lot of time to kill, so I sat in the Starbucks charging my laptop while I wrote a blog entry.

Then I got a text from him I wish I’d never read: “Hey pal. I think I’m gonna have to skip hanging out. I’m exhausted. I just want to sleep. I hate to do that to you. I know you’ve been waiting. I’m not even gonna drive home. Gonna sleep at a coworkers place a couple blocks away. Didn’t really get to sleep before the shifts started. I had an amazing time with you and would love it if we stayed in touch. Hope you have a safe flight home and maybe I can come visit you in Jersey (hint hint) Muah handsome… Thanks for everything :)” I was heartbroken. All I could think to respond was, “Wish I at least got to say goodbye.” He quickly shot back, “I know. Me too… I’m just very tired.”

This wasn’t good enough for me. “Let me know if I can at least come and say goodbye. If not, it’s cool…” I sent in an attempt to strike and emotional chord. When I got no response, I called him – No answer.

He texted back, “Still at work. Can text, but not talk. I’ll call you at 5:30 handsome.” I would have to be patient. I know my usual aggressive style, so I tried to curb that bad habit. When the clock reached 5:45, I called him again — No answer. I texted him again, “I have the time to kill. I could come and say bye and you go to sleep. I get it if you’re too tired to hang.” More time passed, and I still didn’t hear from him. I was emotionally beginning to panic. I knew the time to say goodbye was going to come, and I tried to prepare myself for it. But, to not have that at all rocked me a little.

Now, I was grasping at straws. I changed course and sped back to downtown LA. I called him over and over again while I weaved in and out of cars. Maybe if I wasn’t so locked in on one thing, I would have realized I could actually deal with LA traffic with the skills I was exercising.

In a last stitch effort, I texted, “In the middle of LA hoping I can come say goodbye before I go to the airport. Please call.” Silence. He’d gone dark on me. I was so disappointed in him. I thought we shared something special. I wanted him as a friend, and he was abandoning me. I was being very selfish, but so was he. I admitted defeat and gave up:

“Heading to airport. Sorry. I wasn’t trying to make a big deal about it. Just wanted to give a proper goodbye, even if just for two minutes.  Get some rest. Def stay in touch. Hope I made a good friend on this trip! You’re a great guy! You have a place to stay any time you want to visit New Jersey/New York! Would love it if you called tomorrow when you wake up! 🙂 Stay sexy!”

He never called. When I got home, he never Facebook messaged me either. I was very disappointed. I wasn’t giving in that easily though. I texted him days later to see if he’d truly cut me off completely: “Hey stud. How’s it going? Just wanted to say hi.” I was happy to see a response some time later: “Hey 🙂 Sorry I didn’t say goodbye. I’m not very good at that type of thing. I know it wasn’t very nice. I had a wonderful time with you though. How is everything?”

We continued to text each other periodically over time. He even called me one day, but I missed his call. I hope I have a true friend in him. He really is a great guy, and if I can’t have him as my own, I’ll take him as a friend. I look forward to the day I can see him again. Maybe work will send me out there again. Maybe he’ll come to New Jersey for a visit. Maybe I’ll make a true pleasure trip out there and see him on my own. Who knows???

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