Posts Tagged bus

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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Just Add Water

CK and I were having a very long holiday weekend, and we were only half way through it. As CK wanted to go to the Scissor Sisters concert on Friday, which ended up happening on Saturday, I wanted to spend the weekend with my friends as well. We made plans before the weekend kicked off, and we were going to try to stick to it.

Early Sunday morning, CK and I woke up and quickly got ready for the day. We hopped on my motorcycle and made our way to Hoboken. We were catching a ride with K to her parents’ house on Mohawk Lake. Since it was an hour drive, K wanted to leave early. Of course, we made it back to Hoboken and finished getting ready just in the nick of time to stay on her schedule. K’s roommates, D and G, and D’s girlfriend were also joining us. The five of us were spending the day on the water, tubing, swimming and lounging in the sun.

When we arrived at the lake, we visited with K’s mother before prepping the boat. We all piled in, along with all the proper refreshments, and shoved off the dock. I was excited for a nice relaxing day on the lake. The weekend was off to a bit of a chaotic start, and I needed a day to hit the reset button. Everyone else was drinking, but that was the last thing I needed. For me, the sun was all I needed to be happy. I just wanted to lay out on the back of the boat and work on my tan.

Before breaking out the tube, we drove to the far side of the lake to drop anchor and hang out in the cove. The water was smooth, and there weren’t many people out on the lake. In usual fashion, wherever CK went, so did his music. We weren’t even out of the dock before he was plugging in his music. I wasn’t opposed to music in general, but he was playing all the songs we’d heard the night before. I could also tell, Scissor Sisters weren’t exactly my friends’ cup of tea. However, this was not something I was about to engage in. I found my happy place, laid out a towel, and tried to drift off in the warmth of the sun.

When I got hot, I decided to hop in. Everyone else had already taken a dip. It was the perfect Sunday. Everyone was relaxing and just enjoying themselves. We all talked about our weekends and caught up with each other. I’ve always liked this group of friends. They all felt like my “Seinfeld” crew. On top of that, I had my man with me. That always makes me happy.

When we were all hungry, we drove to the other end of the lake to grab a few slices of pizza for lunch. When we all finished eating, we snapped a few fun and patriotic pictures on the boardwalk of the lake.

Once we all managed to digest our food, it was time to break out the tube. K was an experienced whip cracker. Everyone took turns riding the tube with a partner. It was a blast. In her usual fashion, K was relentless when I was on the tube. I think I frustrate her sometimes, and she uses that time to take all those frustrations out on me. However, I usually manage to hold on for longer than expected. That being said, she always finds a way to get me off that giant rubber floating donut.

I especially had a lot of fun riding the tube with CK. We made a great team, and my friends snapped quite a few great shots of us both. I was happy to have such a nice day after how bad our Friday night was. We really needed a nice day together.

It wasn’t all smooth sailing however. Over the course of the day, I noticed K getting frustrated with CK. She was not only the owner of the boat, but also the captain. He wasn’t listening to instructions very well. When she was ready to hit the throttle, CK was standing on the back of the boat. When she’d need to maneuver to circle back to pick someone up who fell off the tube, he was standing to change the music. I was worried we wouldn’t be invited back again. Or worse. I would be, but I wouldn’t be able to bring him back again. I asked him to be more conscientious about her directions. “Whatever she said, goes,” I added.

When we were all sufficiently exhausted, we made our way back to K’s parents’ dock. We had a bit of a drive ahead of us.

D had his new car with him since he drove separately. I had yet to be in it, so I suggested CK and I ride with him, leaving the other two to drive together. On the ride home, we all planned to hit up D, K and G’s apartment for a bar-be-cue. It would be our last hurrah of the holiday weekend before heading back to work. D dropped us off at my place, and we got ready to head over to grill up some burgers. I quickly made a pasta salad as well because I didn’t want to show up empty handed.

I wasn’t originally aware, but we were also going to meet K’s new man. He is much younger than the rest of our group, and as a result, he spent the better portion of the evening trying to impress us. That’s a surefire way for me not to be impressed. I like genuine people, not people who put on airs and say what they think I want to hear.

Dinner was nice and very relaxing. It was the perfect end of the holiday weekend. My weekend started off very crazed and chaotic, and it ended very relaxing and serene. When it was getting late, CK and I said our goodbyes and made our way back to my apartment. I agreed to spend the night in the city at his apartment, so I quickly packed a bag before we hopped on the bus.

When we got to his place, neither of us had much energy. We quickly settled into bed and mentally prepared for the workweek coming up after having quite a few days off. CK tuned into The Rachel Maddow show while I shut my eyes and tried to fall asleep in the arms of the man I loved.

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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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After our week in the “country” house, as CK liked to call it, it was time to utilize our city abode. It was in no shape, however, to be lived in. Sure, the new bed was delivered, the delivery of which was a bit of contention between us, but the bed was surrounded by towers of boxes.

The day the bed was delivered followed a week straight with CK. There were errands I needed to take care of I never got to do when we were together. Because of this, I dropped CK off for the bus and told him I would meet him in the city later. I was trying to be productive with my time, rather than waiting for the bed to be delivered with him. Looking back, we probably should have just done them together, but at the time, I didn’t want to subject him to my boring burdens.

We were both eating dinner when I cooked at my place, so there’s no reason I should feel guilty dragging him to the grocery store. Going forward, I learned to shed that guilt quite easily. But on the flip side, this meant I would be going to the grocery store with him on the other side of the river. That seemed like a much better arrangement. I was beginning to resent that I had to do the responsible duties while he had all the fun, but that wasn’t fair to him. He never turned me down when I asked him to help me, but in reality, I never asked him in the first place. I couldn’t resent him if I didn’t give him the chance to delight me. There were lots of not exciting things we would both need to do, like cleaning our apartments, that while not fun at all, they could be completed much faster with both our efforts in tandem. Our lives were blending together, and I loved it. It wasn’t smooth, but I loved it.

On the flip side, since we were spending so much time together, I was finding it hard to make the time to work out. My body was paying the price, and as a result, my self-esteem plummeted even lower. I needed to start running again. I needed to get back in the gym and start lifting again.

This posed the challenge of a delicate situation. CK proposed that we work out together. I knew I was a far better runner than CK was. That’s not a dig against him at all, but put simply, I ran cross-country in high school and swam in college. In order for me to get results from my workouts, I needed to push myself, and I needed to push myself hard! I wouldn’t be able to do that if I was holding back to run at CK’s pace. I didn’t want to insult him or his abilities, but I wasn’t sure this was something we’d be able to integrate.

Regardless of this, I decided to make an effort to give it a shot. When I told CK I wanted to go for a run one night, he wanted to join me. We both got ready and walked over to the west bank of the Hudson to run along the trail. As I predicted, we clocked a pace much less effective than I was hoping. I decided I needed to speak up. I was met with the response I had dreaded. He took insult to my comments that I needed to run faster. I didn’t know any way to navigate this without creating a conflict. He took it personally that I was insinuating he was holding me back.

As a result, he played the role of the martyr and told me to take off. The result of running at our own pace was what I was hoping for, but the hurt feelings and passive-aggressive response was exactly what I was hoping to avoid. I tried to talk to him about it to make it a discussion so there would be no hurt feelings, but he wanted none of it. He’d rather I just go, so that’s what I did.

While I ran, I thought about how to deal with the fallout of this. It made sense to me that we work out together, but we needed to do it in a way that benefited us both. I was going to resent it if I wasn’t getting the full potential out of the workout, and that benefits no one. That’s when I came up with a solution:

When we ran together, we would start out together at a warm-up pace. When I was sufficiently warmed up, I would pick up the pace and run ahead of him. When I felt I was half way through the workout, I would turn around and pick him up on the way back. When I overtook him, I would slow down to a cool down pace. I thought it the perfect solution.

It’s also basically what we were doing. When I turned around, I quickly came to find myself right behind him. As we ran, I proposed this new idea, but he still wasn’t having any part of it. I realized I was in a losing battle, and this would have to be addressed later when his ego healed.

Working out in the gym was also a whole other battle. When I go to the gym I like to be by myself. I do not treat it as a social excursion. I am there to work out and go home. I don’t even like spotting someone when they ask me for help. I resent it because I am there for my workout, not theirs. I don’t ask anyone else to spot me. I am not a trainer or an employee. Why should I be “working” at the gym? I know this sounds very antisocial, and that’s exactly what it is. I’m not the biggest fan of lifting. I see it as a necessary evil. I want to get in and out of there as quickly as possible.

When CK asked me to lift with him all the time, I was very hesitant. I loved him, but I was so used to lifting by myself. I knew if we did this together, I would get cranky, and it would start a fight. I was trying to save us from that. I also liked to go to the gym during my lunch break at work, so when he would ask me to hit the gym with him in the morning or the evening, I wouldn’t want to. I would want to use that time for far more fun things.

It was going to be a delicate balance, trying to integrate our lives, but eventually we would find equilibrium. Both sides would have to make sacrifices and concessions, but both sides would benefit from each other as well. Needless to say, CK was the first guy I’d gone to these steps with. It was new territory for me, but it was certainly exciting as well!

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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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The One I’ve Been Waiting For

Today is another Fast Forward Friday!!!  

Hope you are enjoying these. It will help bring the blog a little closer to real-time. If you’re keeping up with the stories chronologically, please skip down to this morning’s post first, then read this one. I think it’s a good one! Enjoy!

Never before have I prefaced an entry by giving away some of the details of what’s to follow, however, I’ve received numerous comments from readers tired of reading my “sex journal.”

“Your blog used to be interesting when it was about your relationship with your ex bfs, but it turned me off when it became a sex journal,” wrote one reader.

We’re both on the same page here. I dislike writing about these trysts as much as you dislike reading about them. It’s bad enough I’ve lived them once, let alone having to live them all over again when I write them.

So, without further ado, I am pleased to present you a love story…

On a Wednesday morning in April, while on my way to work, I happened to poke around on Grindr a bit. There was a message from an interesting guy on there. We began to chat a bit while I walked. He seemed pretty cool. I was about to head underground, so I quickly asked him for his phone number so we could continue the conversation on the other side.

We chatted a bit over text, and I came to learn a few things about him. I explained to him I wasn’t looking for sex, so if this was his motive, he should move on now. I was there purely for dates and friends. He seemed okay with that sentiment, and the conversation continued for a bit. I tried to check his spontaneity and asked if he would be interested in drinks that evening. He couldn’t because he had to work late. That’s when I learned he worked in advertising. I explained to him, if anyone understood working late for a pitch, it was I. I explained I too worked in advertising. When he told me he worked downtown, I started guessing what agency. Ironically enough, he worked for my previous agency. He worked closely with one of my favorite ex-coworkers. We were really hitting it off and I was excited to meet him. We agreed to make plans in the near future.

Wednesday evening, I was on my way home from a mediocre date. I fired up Grindr on the bus ride home and noticed he was on. I messaged him to say hi. He and asked what I was up to. When I told him I was on my way home from work, he responded, “You’re kidding me! Let’s f*ck.” My heart sank immediately. I had such high hopes for him. I was crushed. “You don’t know who you’re talking to do you? This is [O.G.A.A.T.],” I shot back. He admitted to confusing me with someone else and began damage control. I think he immediately realized he lost any shot of anything with me, however, he still took the time to apologize profusely.

If you know me at all, you know I give second chances out fairly often. I decided to lay on the guilt a little bit, but also give him the opportunity to redeem himself. As I got off the bus, I picked up the phone and called him. His timing caught me at a vulnerable moment. I was turning my dating life around. I told him what he did wasn’t cool. Again he apologized. I told him I would turn a blind eye this once for one reason; a few days prior, I probably would have said the same thing on Grindr. I couldn’t hold it against him when I too had treated Grindr in this way. He fully comprehended what I was saying and promised not to let me down.

The following day, I asked him if he would be interested in drinks Friday for happy hour. He immediately agreed that would be a great idea. When Friday arrived, we made more definitive plans. Since I was done work before he was, I offered to come down to his neighborhood. I just told him to text me when I should start walking down there, and he did. I texted him when I got the bar, but he was still working. I told him I’d hang out by the bar for a bit. I walked a block to Starbucks, got a coffee and wrote a blog post. I needed a kick in the a$$, considering it was a Friday night after a long week. When nearly an hour passed, my patience was at its end. This guy was not winning me over by any means. I was a block away from the PATH and very tempted to just leave. Just as I was closing my laptop, I got a text from him. He was on his way.

We met on the street in front of Employees Only. He’d never been before, so I led us inside to order a round of drinks and find a wall to lean against. He apologized for taking so long and explained what was going through his head. He was working on something late and told the editor they’d need to pick it up again on Monday. He’d already used up one of his chances with me. If he messed this one up, there’d be no redemption. I thought it was cute, and I loved his honesty. We talked about our jobs and our shared favorite coworker. I told him about my coworkers and how we’d be excellent fodder for a reality show. (I really work with a circus of a crew, but I love them!)

We were really hitting it off. Everything just felt so easy. He was also incredibly easy on the eyes. I felt I was a bit out of my league here. He was five years my senior, gorgeous, smart, witty, well spoken, had a solid job, etc. Basically, he was the full package. I already knew he had a healthy libido as well, so we’d probably be fine there.

After two rounds of drinks, he took the opportunity to kiss me. I can’t tell you how much I loved that kiss. He was a real man, and he kissed me. I was crazy swooning. We decided to make moves. In our conversation, I was talking about what I do in my free time and mentioned the pier I lounge on directly across from the Christopher Street pier. He suggested we take a walk out there before grabbing a bite to eat somewhere.

We walked holding hands to the end of the pier. He took my bag, set it on the ground with his own, and we walked to the railing. He stood facing the water and pulled me in, wrapping my arms around him. It was incredibly romantic. While we talked, I nuzzled his neck. Things were so easy with him. There was no drama. There were no games. There was just us. I couldn’t believe an hour earlier I was ready to abandon our date and go home.

He turned around and hiked himself up so he was sitting on the railing dangling over the river. I was between his legs with my arms wrapped around him while we chatted. I decided to tell him how new to the game I was and tell him my coming out story. I figured I might as well get that out of the way, because if it was going to scare him off, I figured it was better sooner rather than later since I’d already grown so attached to him. He was totally cool about it. This is also when I learned our age difference of five years. Obviously I was fine with that considering Smiles was nine years my senior. He was cool with that as well.

As we walked to find dinner, he told me about his coming out story. It was interesting and not all that different from mine. I learned he was bisexual through college, which actually was reassuring to me. I liked men that had experience with women as well. It wasn’t a necessary skill I needed to see them utilize. I just liked knowing they’d experienced women as well and realized they were more attracted to men. It also generally proved to produce more masculine men, which I’m far more attracted to. I also learned in that conversation he was a cancer survivor. I didn’t know how this guy could get any better. He was like Superman.

The date was off to an amazing start. We were walking hand-in-hand to find dinner somewhere, and I didn’t want the date to end. I was on cloud nine. I think I floated the whole way. We finally arrived at a spot I was quite familiar with, Frankies 570. So familiar, in fact, I’d been there a few days prior. The date was just beginning. I couldn’t wait for the next course…

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Another Boring Date

Tuesday night, I was happy to be home. My date with S.D. wasn’t bad, but it helped me realize he wasn’t the guy for me. We had too many differences of opinion.

I noticed on my calendar Broadway‘s birthday had arrived. I made sure to call him to wish him a happy birthday, but he didn’t answer. If I recalled correctly, he was in California for a vacation. I left him a message and told him to call me when he had a free second. I didn’t hear back from him for over a week. I was a little disappointed, however, we still maintain a friendship. His friendship is important to me.

On my walk to work Wednesday morning, I checked my Grindr messages. I began to chat with one guy, but that’s another story for another day…

I had a date planned that Wednesday with a guy I chatted with on OKCupid, but he ended up bailing on me at the last-minute. This time, I had no one waiting in the wings. I debated just lying low and going home after work, but another part of me didn’t want to waste a free night. I thought I’d reach out to my current roster to see if any of the guys were free to meet. I figured I might as well get a first date out of the way while I had the time. I was really looking at dating like a job. This was bad policy, but with someone like me who has a busy schedule, you gotta do what you gotta do. I sent out feelers to the guys to see who was available to grab a drink after work.

Ironically, two of the guys responded. One was in Hell’s Kitchen and the other lived in Jersey City. I wondered if I could schedule them both in the same night. Hell’s Kitchen would work out because I could just take the bus home, and Jersey City could work if he came to Hoboken to grab a coffee or a drink when I got home later. I wasn’t all that psyched about the guy from Hell’s Kitchen, so I assumed it would be a short date and work out.

The first guy picked a nice restaurant, Pier 9, at the north end of Hell’s Kitchen to grab a drink and maybe an appetizer. It just so happened to be right across the street from his apartment. We met just inside the restaurant. I wasn’t excited by what I saw. He wasn’t unattractive, but he wasn’t attractive either. That being said, I wasn’t writing him off based on looks.

He was a regular here. He knew a lot of the wait staff, and they took good care of him. We grabbed a seat and began to chat.

The conversation was pretty relaxed. We both decided to order wine, and since it was happy hour, we split a bottle at half price. We also noticed a great edamame appetizer on the table next to us and ordered that to split while we got to know each other. It was a very nice place, and the wait staff was super sweet to us. They could tell we were on a date and treated us as such.

We talked about our jobs, our families, life in the city, etc. It was nice conversation. Nothing was forced or awkward, but there was no spark either. He seemed like a really nice guy, and we agreed on a lot of things. I could see us getting along really well, but more in a friendship capacity than a dating one. I could see him being a good date for Sunday morning brunch to talk about the weekend and talk about guys.

We were there for a decent chunk of time. The date lasted about an hour all said and done. We finished the bottle and the appetizer and decided it was time to head out. I could tell he didn’t find a strong connection there either. I had to initiate the goodbye hug, and there certainly was no feeling behind it. This would make things easier. We left with the same expectations of not hearing from the other much after we parted ways.

As I walked to the bus, I started texting the guy from Jersey City. We’d talked more than a few times before. We’d become Facebook friends, and I was supposed to see him on Hoboken St. Patty’s when he was attending the gay party across the street from my apartment, but he never made it. I asked him to an unconventional date. I lined it up for him to come to my place and just relax with a glass of wine. He agreed that sounded like a great idea, so he came over shortly after I came home. We were finally making time to meet up in person…

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My California King

Things were going well for PR and I. He was turning out to be a great guy.

He’d been out with my friends and fit in. We’d had fun in the bedroom, and living room for that matter. I still had yet to meet any of his friends, but so far I was liking where things were going.

One evening after work, we made plans to finally go see The Woman in Black in the city. We both shared an interest in horror/scary movies, so I agreed. It sounded like a nice date too. I was sure it would involve some intimate hand holding in the theater and a nice night on the town for us.

I stayed at work killing time by writing a few blog posts until the time came to go to the movies. We agreed to meet in midtown by the PATH station and walk to the theater together. I didn’t hear from him for quite some time. It was getting very close to showtime, and I was getting annoyed. Why wasn’t he answering me? We were going to miss the movie.

Finally, I got a call from him. I met him on the street after learning he’d already started walking towards the theater. When I met him, I informed him we missed the movie. We needed to go to a different theater or find somewhere to grab a bite before the next showtime. He was very apologetic, but I was okay with everything. I didn’t have a schedule for the evening. I was just happy to be spending it with him.

We altered our plans and started walking to the theater on 42nd street. This would work out well because we could just hop on the bus at Port Authority to head back to Hoboken after the movie.

PR tried to pay for my ticket, which I thought was very sweet of him, especially since he was just working part-time until he found a full-time position. I thanked him for offering as I put my own credit card into the ticket vending machine to buy my own ticket. He tried to fight me, but it was no use.

We grabbed a big bag of popcorn and sodas and found our seats. I enjoyed holding his hand or rubbing his arm while we watched the movie. He was an affectionate guy like me. I liked that we were a match in that department. I was falling for him pretty fast, and we were spending a lot of time together over a short period of time.

The movie was decent. I don’t know that I would have picked it, but I was entertained and was happy to be out with PR.

We decided to grab dinner back in Hoboken. PR had only lived there a short period of time. He was anxious to get a lay of the land, so I suggested a few places we could hit up along the way. We settled on It’s Greek to Me and rode the bus through the Lincoln Tunnel. We hopped off the bus at our stop and went into a convenient store to grab a bottle of wine to take to the restaurant.

We sat at a table and decided on our meals. I insisted he try my favorite appetizer there, saganaki cheese. It was perfect with the wine we bought. I was really enjoying a casual night with him. The conversation was so relaxed and easy. We’d already gotten well past the awkward date stage. I was happy to just sit there with him at times, not even talking.

After we split the bill, we made our way home. We chatted more while we walked, and when we got to the intersection between our apartments, he was ready to say goodbye. I questioned him, and asked, “Aren’t you going to spend the night?” He replied immediately, “Do you want me to?” To which I confirmed and pulled him towards my apartment immediately. He asked if my roommates were home, but I told him that wouldn’t matter. They were cool and had people over all the time. He had no worries.

He’d forgotten to call his sisters to wish them a happy birthday, so he made a few phone calls to them while I answered a few emails and checked up on the blog. We relaxed on the couch for a little bit before making moves to the bedroom to go to bed. We watched Archer and Chelsea Lately in bed together, and laughed at all the same parts. It was nice to just sit and watch TV with a man.

When a commercial break came, I asked him what his “roommate” thought about him not being home all the time lately. “I told him I’m sleeping in a cute guy’s California King bed,” he quipped. I laughed and joked with him: “Is that all I am to you — A comfy bed?” He laughed and kissed me to show the contrary. Shortly thereafter, we dozed off and went to bed.

When my alarm went off in the morning to get ready for work, I looked back to the bed and smiled. I was happy to be waking up next to him. Of course I hopped back into bed and started to get a little frisky, but that wouldn’t make me late for work. I planned ahead and set the alarm a few minutes early.

I always leave room for play time…

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Deep Pockets

Since deciding to end things with Smiles, I’d already been on one date and had one hookup. I certainly hit the ground running. I felt slightly guilty all this was going on before we even had the chance to formally end things, but then again, things never really formally began between us.

I wasn’t wasting any time either. I had been talking to a really nice guy on and set up a date to grab drinks with him after work Friday evening. It was a bit awkward because this was truly a blind date.

He had two pictures on a4a, but neither was clear and one didn’t include a face. When I asked him to send me a better face picture, he told me he didn’t like taking pictures of himself. Of course a red flag raised in my mind, but I had nothing to lose either. If I arrived and the guy was unacceptable, I was right next to the Port Authority bus terminal. I would be home in no time with little of my time wasted.

We agreed to grab drinks at Arriba Arriba in Hell’s Kitchen. It was conveniently located between his apartment and my office, and like I said, it wasn’t far from my transportation hub to go home.

As I left my office and began walking north, I was quite nervous. I’d never been on a true blind date before. I’d at least seen pictures of their faces, but this time I had no idea what he looked like. I joked with him, “Not gonna lie. Not sure what you look like… Haha.” It didn’t take him to respond: “Sorry mate. Don’t like taking pictures of myself. We will find each other… haha. You can ask me to leave once you see me and how ugly I am. Lol.” I didn’t care all that much at this point for the picture. I was already going in blind. I replied, “No apologies needed. Just tellin’ ya you’re gonna have to find me…”

I waited for him on the street corner. I put that time in a good location to good use. I surfed Grindr in HK for any new prospects. I know some may say that is classless considering I was waiting for a date, but I’m not in HK all that often anymore, and there is more talent in that neighborhood than where I work. He finally arrived and approached me. I asked how his trek to HK was, and we went inside to find a table.

When we learned we could only stand at  the bar since we weren’t ordering food, we decided to go elsewhere. I was at a bit of a loss because I hadn’t been in the neighborhood for some time. I didn’t know of a good place for us to go for a drink. Luckily, this guy was good on his feet. He suggested Eatery, and we were off.

We grabbed a seat at the bar and ordered a few rounds of drinks. We chatted for a long time about a myriad of things. The whole time, he kept his ball-cap on. Beyond the fact that he should know it’s bad manners, especially since he was an older gentleman, I was also worried there may be no hair under there. I’m not shallow, and looks are not everything to me. But, if he was balding without shaving his head, I wasn’t sure I could deal with that. (Smiles shaved his head and I was obviously okay with that).

We talked about our upbringings. He lived a bicoastal lifestyle, living in California and South Carolina. He also was shipped off to boarding school in Switzerland, where his grandparents lived. I grew up on a farm and went to public school. We had quite the education/socio-economic divide before. This is one thing I‘m not sure I am capable of getting past. I’m sure if it was the right guy, I could handle him coming from wealth, but it’s something that makes me quite uneasy. He came from money, and a lot of it.

I also learned he leads a very lavish lifestyle. He told me about his plans to purchase a house in Barcelona. He’d recently traveled there to scope out some places. He also told me about the $200,000.00 loan he gave a friend and was never paid back because the friend died and left his only possession, his apartment, to someone else. He told me about his lavish trips to the Caribbean islands recently. The list goes on.

Ironically enough, he wasn’t talking about all these because he was trying to impress me (Or at least it didn’t come off that way, which is fine). It simply came up in conversation or I coaxed them out with questions. I just felt uncomfortable with our socio-economic differences. I don’t really aspire to the position of kept man. I want someone who will share the financial burdens with me equally. I know a lot of people would love to find someone rich to marry, but money means very little to me when it comes to love. I think like I would constantly feel like less of a man if I had everything provided for me constantly, and I contributed far less to the relationship. Maybe this is something I will learn to get over in time, but for now, it makes me uneasy.

I learned how he continued to build his wealth and his professional relationship with a family in Canada. He told me about all the businesses he was involved in, and I started to worry he was another Smiles — Too much on his plate to commit to a real relationship. I also learned he wasn’t out to many people in his life, even after he’d been in a nine-year relationship with a man who left his wife for him. It ended when the man cheated on him while he was away on business. I wasn’t sure how I felt about him still being in the closet. He’d experienced too much and was far too old to still be in denial of his true self. I wasn’t sure I wanted a “project” at that age.

Drinks quickly turned into dinner. We stayed at the bar and made friends with the waitress. She was super sweet and very interested in chatting with us. Over our meal, we conversed more, and I learned we share a lot of the same morals and interests. We had similar outlooks in life.

He also became much more physical as the night progressed. He constantly had his hand on my leg rubbing my thighs and caressing the back of my knee. I started to do the same. Periodically, he would stand and give me a big ol’ bear hug. It was sweet. I liked knowing he was a passionate physical man. I needed that after Smiles constant distance.

Six hours later, we were ready to leave the bar. He decided to walk me to the bus. I thought when we exited the restaurant we’d exchange a kiss and go our separate ways. He was a true gentleman and walked me to the Port Authority. Not only that, but he walked me to my gate to wait for my bus and stood there waiting with me. It was midnight, and he was being a total sweetheart. He stood anxiously next to me as if he didn’t know what to do or how to close the date. He wasn’t really out, so I had a feeling a goodnight kiss in front of a large group of strangers was out of the question. When my bus arrived, he said goodbye and we agreed to be in touch.

As I rode home from the date, I wasn’t entirely sure what I thought of him. He became more attractive as the night went on, but I wasn’t sure if that was his personality or the alcohol stepping in for average looks.

I had a lot to think about. It was clear to me he was interested in me. The next day, he texted to see if I was interested in catching a movie that evening. I told him I had plans to hang with friends locally, but if they fell through, I’d let him know. When I decided to keep my plans, I texted him to let him know. He wasn’t all that concerned considering he had hopped on a flight to Boston to hang out with friends and go to a party. Yup, hopped on a flight that day. He obviously didn’t have a planned flight considering he asked me to go to the movies — Unless he was planning to fly me to Boston to do so…

That night, while out with my friends, I called Boston. He told me some of his new exciting war stories, and I told him of my trepidations about Deep Pockets. He told me I was nuts to write him off based on financial differences, so I decided to see where things went over the next week or so.

We texted a few times more, but interest wasn’t strong on either end as the text messages slowly came to an end. I was on to the next prospect…

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Breakfast 2.0

I continued my walk of shame north on Seventh Avenue. I was still dressed for a night out from New Year’s Eve the night before. I didn’t care if anyone judged me. I was in my own world. No one else existed that morning. I was utterly alone in a city of millions.

I continued to try to reach Boston through text and by phone, but no dice. Since I was going to be near his apartment, I thought I would reach out to Broadway. At the very least, I could kill time with a visit until Boston finally decided to get back to me. I called him, and he picked up after a few rings. I asked him what he was up to and told him I wanted to swing by for a visit. He was still in bed and said he needed a few minutes, but he told me to come by. I told him I was walking from the 20s, so there was no rush for him to get out of bed.

When I arrived, I walked right up to his apartment. It was like old times — A blast from the past. It’d been months since I’d been there, but it felt like yesterday. I knocked on the door, and he greeted me. I came in and sat while he finished getting ready for the day. We sat on the couch, and he asked how my New Years was. “Tell me stories. You always have good stories to tell me,” he added. I told him what I did the night before. I gave him the cliff notes because I didn’t want to belabor the point. The wound was still fresh and bleeding. He shrugged it off and suggested we go to the diner for breakfast. I kinda loved that about him. He knew how I felt about it, so he did his best to brush it under the rug.

I agreed to go to breakfast, but I told him I’d already eaten. I would keep him company, and we could catch up. It’d been since the summer since I’d seen him.

Breakfast was nice. He told me about the party he went to the night before and all the guys he was pursuing. As usual, he was very passive about it. “I dunno if I really want to see him again…” he’d say. He’d find something completely superficial to judge the guy about so he wouldn’t have to put in the effort.

Since Smiles’ birthday gathering, we gained a mutual friend. We learned this from Facebook. The guy who I palled around for the night had been at the party Broadway went to the night before. They interacted, but it wasn’t a positive interaction. Broadway was remotely interested in this guy, but apparently he gave him the cold shoulder. This really turned him off, but I assured him my birthday buddy was a really great guy. If I’d been single that night, I probably would have asked him for his number. Broadway wasn’t sold.

Ironically enough, Smiles and I were almost at this party. It wasn’t until Smiles learned of the over-priced charge to enter that he decided we were just going to the house party. It was crazy to realize Broadway, Smiles and I were all swimming in the same circles in New York City. Apparently the gay community was pretty tight, even in a big city. It put it all into perspective. It also made me realize the picture of myself I painted when I let a stranger suck on my neck and face in front of the guy I was dating.

I wasn’t feeling very talkative, so I did a lot of question asking and listening. When Broadway finished his breakfast, he asked for the check. He wasn’t feeling well, so he wanted to go back to bed. I checked my phone, and Boston still hadn’t gotten back to me. I guess I wouldn’t see him before he left the city.

I walked Broadway back to his apartment and said goodbye. Something I learned from him was it is okay to kiss an ex on the lips when you see them. When I first came out, I was fascinated by how often gay men kissed each other. This was completely foreign to me and not something I was comfortable with. Even if I travel in a big gay pack, I don’t think I would be kissing my gay male friends. But, I felt comfortable kissing a man who I had kissed over a hundred times. So we exchanged a kiss and a hearty hug before I made my way to Port Authority to snag a bus back to Hoboken.

While I walked to the bus, I texted Smiles: “Since I have the day off tomorrow, can we do something fun?” I was hoping I could do some damage control and get us back on a happy track.

It wasn’t long before I received a simple text in response: “I have to work tomorrow.” I was already picturing a Monday afternoon with me sinking deep into the couch by myself in front of the TV. I was very disappointed, but it’s not like I had anything to say. I was the one who royally messed up here. I was going to have to deal with the consequences.

Later that evening, I talked to Boston on Facebook. I told him what I did and how things played out. We didn’t talk long, but promised to come back to the topic when he had more time.

I had time all day to assess the situation. Why wasn’t Smiles mad? I realized I wasn’t happy about this. It hurt even more. It showed me quite clearly how little I meant to him. I didn’t see any way to recover from this. I was pretty sure our relationship was over. And, since I’m pretty much a high schooler in the gay dating world, I hopped back on and Grindr that night to see what was out there. I wasn’t throwing my line into the sea, but I could at least swim around and see what kind of fish were out there…

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