Posts Tagged closure

Is Something Bothering You?

That Tuesday, I woke to the sound of my alarm. I was going to go for a run, but the sound of my alarm wasn’t all I heard. It was raining outside. I turned off the alarm and looked out the window to see rain pouring down. I checked my phone to see if CK texted, but he hadn’t. Who knew what happened? I sure didn’t.

I wanted to text him when I got to work, but I decided against it. He knew where I was. He was the one who suggested plans that evening. He would be the one to hit me up and clue me in on those plans.

Finally, around noon I got a text: “Hey sexy.” I didn’t see it until a little later. I responded, “Hey. How was the rest of your night?” Apparently he’d gotten tipsy at the work event he called me from. He went home and passed out in all his clothes including his shoes. When he woke at 4:00am, he properly put himself to bed. The he apologized for not calling me back and asked how my night was. I mentioned my cancelled run, and he expressed interest in going for an early run with me sometime. Tthat would be the only way he’d do it since he’s not a morning person. I told him we’d both just stay in bed because I’d just be tempted to lie there with him.

I then asked him if we were still on for that night. “I’m game. What’s the plan?” he responded. I reminded him he set the plans, and I was waiting for the details. He decided he’d rather stay away from alcohol, and I asked what he wanted to do instead. He was eating his lunch, so he asked if he could get back to me later. 5:00 rolled around, and I still hadn’t heard back from him. I certainly wasn’t feeling very special anymore. That’s when the phone rang. I was heading into a meeting, so I sent him a text. When my meeting ended, I called him but got no answer. At 6:00, I finally got a call back. He was heading home and wanted a quiet night in with me. I wasn’t opposed, but I wasn’t thrilled either. I was beginning to wonder if it was all about sex with him. He needed time to straighten up his apartment, so I made my way over there around 7:00.

When I got to his apartment, I stood in the hall waiting for quite some time before he answered the door. I hadn’t called to tell him I’d arrived. A small part of me was surprising him on purpose. He just happened to be getting out of the shower.

He greeted me with a giant hug and a big kiss. I removed my shoes and got comfortable. He finished toweling off and joined me on the bed. We cuddled a bit until he asked me if everything was alright. I lied and said everything was fine. He pointed out I seemed short in my text messages. Big kudos to him for noticing the subtleties in my mood. We continued to hug until we discussed what we wanted to do for the evening. He mentioned watching the sunset, and I told him that’s exactly where my head was.

I had ulterior motives. When we got to the roof, I would find the appropriate time to bring up my concerns that arose since Sunday. He also asked if I wanted to smoke, and I shook my head yes. “Are you sure everything is cool?” he added. I told him I was short in my texts cause I was actually working all-day and apologized. I didn’t really think I was being all that short. We smoked and finally made our way up to the roof about a half hour later, Coronas in hand.

When we got to the roof, we continued snuggling on the outdoor couch. We talked about the surrounding buildings in an “I’m high” kinda way. The conversation never really had any direction. Then again, he brought up my mood and asked if everything was alright. I didn’t think I was being that obvious with him, but I also wasn’t being myself. That’s for sure. I didn’t know how to let myself be free with him anymore. I started to close myself off to ensure I wouldn’t get hurt. I was shoving distance in there with both fists.

I finally told him how I was feeling. I explained how I thought his sentiments came out of nowhere on Sunday. I told him I thought it was a bit early to have that conversation, but now that it’s been had, a few issues were brought to top of mind. I addressed my feelings regarding him being on Grindr and how that made me feel. I told him I felt as if I wasn’t enough for him. I told him I didn’t need to be on there, and while I wouldn’t dictate to him to not be as well, I just didn’t understand why he felt he needed to still explore it.

I was having a hard time expressing my feelings, but I think I got the point across eventually. I told him because of what he told me, I was afraid of getting hurt. I wasn’t able to be myself and give him the real me if I felt vulnerable to pain. I wanted to be myself with him. I wanted to give him the real me. I needed to feel safer than I did. “Since meeting you, you’ve made me feel incredibly special. Since you told me what you did on Sunday, I no longer felt special,” I told him.

He looked a bit shocked. “The last thing I want to do is make you worried or scare you. What I said to you on Sunday was not calculated. It was just how I felt at the time. You are incredibly special, and that hasn’t changed. You are… an aspirational boyfriend. I’d be insane to do anything to lose you. Baby, I think you’re incredible. Part of me knows how amazing you are and wants to dive in full force, but another part of me wonders if I still want my freedom. I’ve already started thinking of you less as something to schedule in my life and more as just part of my life.”

I wasn’t expecting him to tell me he wouldn’t hook up with other guys and tell me we were exclusive. I think I just needed him to know how I felt and where my head was. I could see in his eyes that he understood what was in front of him. I would still be patient and let him figure it out on his own. I just wasn’t going to find myself in another Smiles relationship. He needed to know that eventually the Grindr would have to go, or I would have to go. He needed to know that I wanted a boyfriend and not a friend with benefits. I needed to hear from him I wasn’t just a hookup cuddle buddy. I needed to know I was different from the other guys he slept with from Grindr.

We kissed and embraced. I felt a lot better. It was really starting to weigh me down. I think I handled it very well to suit my needs. A large part of me wanted to ignore the conversation we had in the Sonic parking lot. The other part of me, my constantly overactive brain, wanted me to get some closure on the topic. I think I found the sweet spot.

Warning: The following may be too graphic for some. After kissing and embracing, he began to get a bit frisky. He started to undo my pants. There was high risk here. We were in plain sight of the doorway leading to downstairs. One neighbor had already come up to the roof once to smoke. He began blowing me, always keeping one ear out for signal of someone approaching. I undid his pants and began pleasuring his endowment with my hand. Finally, paranoia got to him, and he suggested we move to the far corner of the roof, out of sight of the door.

When we got over there, he pulled my pants down to my ankles and did the same with his. He was pleasuring himself while going down on me. He edged me many times, getting quite close to making me finish. I was picturing my seed all over his chest, just as he wanted it. Alas, I wasn’t able to fulfill his wish. I came close many times, but just couldn’t get over the hump. He stood and suggested we move downstairs. We got dressed and made our way downstairs. I was incapacitated and had a hard time descending the stairs. My legs were jello from the full-body orgasm he gave me. I may not have had the release, but I still received all the pleasure. He laughed at my struggle.

As we walked down the stairs, I realized he had a slight exhibitionist streak in him. The stunt on the roof, sex with the blinds always open… I had a bit of this in me, but in smaller quantity. He was expanding my comfort zone.

When we got downstairs, the fooling around continued until we took a break to order Thai food. It was 10:30. Once that was taken care of, we had sex. I had the first chance on top, and then we swapped. It wasn’t long before he finished all over my back. He was out of breath and in a daze from how amazing it was. I knew I was having a blast, but I was thrilled our time in bed was so enjoyable for him.

Like clockwork, the food arrived. We settled into bed and ate while we watched Smash. I convinced him he needed to see the show so I could talk to him about it. He really enjoyed it, so much so we watched two episodes, eventually switching to dessert. I passed out half way through the second episode. When it was over, we turned out all the lights and went to sleep. I was happy to have the weight off my back after telling him my concerns. I felt comfortable with him once again. I fell asleep with an amazing man in my arms and a smile across my face from ear to ear.

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Revisiting the Past

Relationships aren’t easy. No matter whether you’re friends or lovers, each relationship is accompanied by its own set of issues. When you introduce sex into these relationships, things get exponentially more complicated.

Tuesday, I engaged in unprotected sex with M.E. It happened in the middle of the night in the passion of a moment, however, there is never an excuse. People’s lives are at stake. I tell you about the poor decisions and the mistakes I’ve made because I hope you can learn from them.

From that morning on, I was on damage control. I’d already talked to him about what transpired between us, and we agreed to get tested and share our results to ensure we were safe going forward. I called a doctor’s office and made an appointment that Wednesday following work to have an STD test.

As I walked into the doctor’s office, I noticed a few other men sitting in the waiting room. I had never been to this facility before. I was curious if they were there for the same thing I was. I began to wonder what was going through their heads. Were they petrified? Were they already infected? etc. I myself began to worry a little. I wasn’t particularly worried until I walked into the waiting room. There was nothing I could do at that point, so I tried to calm my nerves. The only good part about this was it made me quite ready to fill a cup with my urine sample. They also drew blood and told me to call in three days for my results.

Now, it was the waiting game. I couldn’t do anything and would have to wonder for three days.

That night, I had plans with P to go see Silence, The Musical. After my tests, I walked all the way downtown to meet her for dinner near the theater. Dinner was very nice. I got her caught up on all the latest action in my life. She’s always incredibly supportive, even when I make poor life choices.

We went to the show, and about two minutes in, I noticed how attractive one of the male actor/dancers was. It was a small theater, and any time he was on stage, I couldn’t take my eyes off him. When they came out for curtain call, he caught my eye, and we made eye contact. There was a bit of an awkward moment, but I was crushing a bit.

I wasn’t intimidated because I’d already dated someone who worked on Broadway. This was Off-Broadway. I didn’t think twice about what I was about to do. That night, when I got home, I decided to do some research (and when I say research, I mean stalking). I pulled out the Playbill and looked to see if I could find him on Facebook. Much to my surprise, he was on there. I decided to message him. What the hell, why not? What did I have to lose?

I’m sure you’re wondering who this is, and I really hope this doesn’t come off incredibly creepy. I myself can’t believe I’m about to send you this. (And, something tells me I may not be the first).
First off, I came to see Silence tonight and thought you were incredibly cute and incredibly talented. Your mother must be so proud.
Second off, I have no idea if you’re single or even gay. But gay or straight, single or taken, I’d love to strike up a conversation with you. On the flip side, I fully understand if this makes you uncomfortable. 
Anyway, with nothing to lose but a little dignity, I thought I’d give it a shot. Hit me back if you’re interested in chatting some time. If not, enjoy the flattery…

Then, I noticed he was a friend of Broadway, the guy I dated for ten months. I pulled out my phone and texted him to see what their relationship was. His response was, “Who is that?” I explained who he was and how they were Facebook friends. “Oh yes. We audition together. HOT!! You dating?” I told him, “No. I just cold called him on Facebook after seeing his show… LOL. We’ll see what happens. Think I creeped him out?” He felt I did creep him out, but I explained how I had nothing to lose.

Sadly, I never heard back from him. It just wasn’t meant to be.

Much later that night, I received a text from the guy I had sex with when I cheated on N. We’d been texting a bit recently after noticing each other on Grindr. He asked if I was up. I replied, and he asked if he could come over. Apparently, I was getting a booty call. It was about 11:30, but I didn’t see the harm. After all, I did fantasize about the first time we had sex quite often. It was something my mind went back to many times. This isn’t because of the cheating. It was simply because the sex was that good.

He came over, and I could tell he’d been drinking a bit. He immediately commented on how crazy it was that my new apartment looked exactly like my last. He began taking his shoes off before hopping on the bed with me. He immediately began making out with me interspersed with conversation. He never got closure with how messed up things ended between him, N and myself.

He wanted to talk a lot about him. I would have been fine if N never even came up in conversation. I learned they got together once after I told him to take a hike. It was hysterical how much their accounts of this encounter were completely different. The only commonality was how much disdain they had for each other. At one point he mentioned how dirty N was. I asked him to clarify as in physically or as in naughty. He then went on to describe a particular body part that would only have been encountered during sex and how disgusting it was. He then went on to tell me they never had sex. He told me N just gave him a blowjob and he finished on his face. He pointed out his surprise I ever dated N. N’s account of the story was they met on the street. After seeing him, he couldn’t believe I would hook up with someone so ugly, let alone cheat on him with someone of that caliber. All I could do was laugh my a$$ off in my head. These two were ridiculous. I was so happy I cut things off with both when I did.

After the N conversation concluded, he really wanted to have sex with me. He mentioned how amazing it was the last time we hooked up, and he told me he hadn’t had sex with a man since the previous summer. I told him how hot it was last time we hooked up and how I referred back to it many times in my mind. With that, the clothes began to strip off.

Warning: The following may be too graphic for some. We were intertwined in each other’s embrace making out. I found myself lying on my stomach with him on top of me. I knew he would try to penetrate me, but I wasn’t game for that. The last time he did that, I sprang from the bed because he did it with no preparation and full force. I wasn’t about to let that happen again. He tried and tried, and I never relaxed to allow entry. I think he got embarrassed with his fumbling, and he made a comment. I complimented him and told him he was too large for me. We switched positions, much to his chagrin, and now I was the one on top. He was on his back, and I put his legs up on my shoulders.

He told me how much he enjoyed me inside him because I hit his prostrate just right. With that, I slipped inside him. It felt amazing. It was just as good as the last time I played over and over again in my mind’s eye. He loved it too. After a short while, he finished on his abdomen. Seconds later, I alerted him I was about to finish. He replied, “I want you to shoot inside me,” and I did. For me, this was a first, and it felt incredible.

I’m not sure why, but I had no problem finishing this time. It completely came naturally and without over thought. I felt amazing and incapacitated all in one. We lay there next to each other speechless for a minute before even moving or talking. We were in euphoria.

When that wore off, I became the topic of conversation. N told him about the blog when everything went down. He told me he read part of it and still didn’t understand why I wrote it. He also asked this story not make an appearance, but I find it too important to exclude. He pointed out I was looking for a boyfriend, and that was not what he was looking for at all. He pointed out how I was going about things all the wrong way if I wanted to find love. I explained to him all my trials and tribulations and what I was looking for in the end. He fully understood.

Then he made a comment about how stupid we were to not use a condom. I agreed. I’m sure he was far more worried about the situation than I was since I finished inside him. Apparently, with everything I’ve been through, I still didn’t learn my lesson. I wasn’t being responsible.

This was my wake-up call. I’d hit rock bottom. I’d gotten so reckless with my life. I needed to stop before I did something that could end my life. What was I doing? How could I be this stupid? This wasn’t how to find love — Having unprotected sex with the guy I cheated on my ex with. No more excuses. No more Grindr hookups. No more strangers. If I wasn’t finding love, I would be single and celibate for some time until I got myself under control. This was my turning point.

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Boston Therapy

My relationship with Smiles had come to a close. We met. We discussed. I guess you could say we had closure.

I’d already moved on to other men and began rebuilding my roster. It’d been a while since I was in the game, and I was a little intimidated. Over the three months I dated Smiles I lost my edge. It was my sister who pointed out to me, “I didn’t like you with him. You weren’t yourself. You were much more reserved around him.” I didn’t like the sound of that. I pride myself on being open and myself all the time. Apparently, I lost that somewhere along the way. I needed to find it again.

I would do so with the help of my therapist, Boston. I really lucked out in my timing. Boston was on a break from his final year of school, which meant his services were available. I was going to take full advantage. He was a good friend, and I missed him. I was really disappointed we didn’t get to meet up when he came to visit New York for New Years. It really made me look forward to the day when he graduates, and I convince he to come to New York or Hoboken so I can have him around more often.

Monday night when I got home from work, I called Boston. I wanted to give him an update on how everything with Smiles went since we’d been chatting about it a bit. I told him how everything ended and how I was moving on.

Ironically enough, Boston had a few tales of his own. Apparently, a little of me was rubbing off on him. I was very happy to hear this news. Sometimes I think he puts his love life on the back burner too much. I think he loses hope at times and engulfs himself in other ventures. I want to see him happy. He’s a great guy and he deserves this.

So, when he told me about a straight friend of a friend coming to visit and the sub sequential hookup that ensued, I was downright proud. He managed to attract a “straight” man enough that this man took the opportunity to make out in the bathroom of a club.

I was so happy to have my friend back. I loved swapping stories with him!

I also took the time to explain to him how LES wouldn’t talk to me. For the life of me, I couldn’t figure out what I could have done to him to make him stop talking to me all of a sudden. We were building a strong friendship. I had the feeling he developed feelings for me, especially since he asked me, “So what’s the deal with [Smiles]?” He invited me to his birthday, and I missed it. I apologized, and he told me it was okay. I invited him to my holiday party, but he dropped off the face of the earth and never showed. Following, I attempted to reach out to him on numerous occasions. Okay, so maybe I’m under exaggerating. I tried to text or call almost every day for a while there. I thought I was being funny, but now looking back, I could easily see my actions being misconstrued. Maybe he thought I had stalker tendancies.

In the end, things got very suspicious. He would never respond to my Facebook messages, and he never showed up as online. However, he never unfriended me. As long as that didn’t happen, I didn’t think he was all the annoyed by me. I sent him another long apologetic message on Facebook asking him to please reach out to me. When I finished writing it, I thought I’d give him a call to see if I could get through. It’d been about a month since I last texted or called. When I did, I was shocked to find out the number was no longer in service. He either blocked my number or changed his.

I couldn’t believe it. Had I really taken it that far. Maybe he wasn’t mad at me. Maybe he was afraid of me. I hung up the phone and immediately sent another Facebook message: “I’m sorry if I’ve been bothering you. Don’t worry. It won’t happen anymore.” I was mortified. Did he really think I was that insane, or was he really that mad at me. I was really hurt that someone would ever be that mad or upset with me that they’d simply cut me off. My ego was seriously bruised.I also happened to be perusing my old messages on OKCupid, and it told me LES deleted his account. When I made a new OKCupid account shedding an identity I’d used since college, I came to realize he was still on there and had an updated and active account. He’d blocked me on there as well. He really wanted nothing to do with me, and there was nothing I could do about it.

“You can be a bit aggressive,” Boston told me. That really resonated with me. I did tend to be agressive. I’m a tenacious man. When I see something I want, I don’t give up until I attain it — This goes for everything.

The interesting part was that I simply wanted a good friend back. He was a really fun guy to be around, and I wanted to introduce him to Boston. I thought they’d make a GREAT pair. I would have loved to see the two of them together. But, I don’t think that will ever happen. New York is a big city, and I don’t know that we’ll ever cross paths again.

Boston and I talked more over the course of the week. We almost had a nightly check in for a while there. We’d chat on the phone for about an hour about our dating lives and the mistakes I made with Smiles. He told me more stories about another guy he was helping to introduce to the gay world. I hope I’m not blowing up Boston’s spot, but once again I was proud of him. He was facing new challenges and having new experiences. I was happy to see my friend experiencing more of life these days. I understood how busy school made him, but at least he was taking advantage of his time off.

I was building my roster and had a friend to gossip about all the new things going on in my life. Things were getting better, but I still wasn’t happy to be back out in the dating pool. I was anxious to land another man, but this time around, I wasn’t going to just settle for a guy who was willing to date me. I needed to “find a man who will worship you like you worship him,” as my friend A so eloquently put it. I needed a real man, not another little boy. A man who could express himself verbally, emotionally and physically. I was going to find a triple threat, and once again I had one of my closest friends in my corner.

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Saturday finally arrived. Smiles so graciously found time in his busy schedule to meet with me to discuss “us.” I wasn’t in a combative mood, but I was resolved in the notion that I wouldn’t be a doormat for him anymore. I had a lot of things I wanted to say to him, but I didn’t rehearse them in my head. I wanted my emotions to speak for me.

I knew how I felt, and I knew how he let me down. I was so disappointed in him for simply trying to back away from our three-month relationship instead of just speaking to me like a man. I was embarrassed for him.

We decided to meet at Doma Coffee Shop. Ironically, it’s pretty much where our relationship started (after a failed date at Employees Only). I had a few places to go in the city that day, so I took the motorcycle in. It was a nice enough day I could get away with it with a few layers.

After I parked my bike and walked toward the shop, I noticed Smiles was just arriving. We shared an awkward hello. I think he may have been going in for a kiss, but I gently turned and just gave him a hug. I had no interest in giving him any more of my affections. I’d already given him enough.

We went inside, and he ordered his coffee and began to pay. I wasn’t expecting him to buy my coffee, but it was interesting he didn’t even offer. He found a table for us to sit at while I ordered my coffee.

I joined him at the table, and we awkwardly chatted about work for a bit. Surprise, surprise — Our conversation revolved around his job once again. I was trying not to enter this meeting bitter or with a superior attitude. After all, it was a week earlier I was kissing another man in front of him. I wasn’t above him in any respect.

He talked about his business partner who was in the news at the time. Because I stay well-informed, I knew a lot of the story about the man’s current situation that Smiles did not. So when he was complaining about the man not getting back to him, I informed him of the news of the day and his new partner’s involvement in it. He was shocked to learn some of the details I knew. We were about to break up, and I was still keeping Smiles up-to-date on the goings on in the world at the time.

When that conversation got stale, Smiles kicked off the “us” conversation. He led with his thinking on the “situation.” He told me he recognized he wasn’t putting as much of himself into the relationship as he could have and how that wasn’t fair to me. He pointed out his priority of focusing on his career currently, and his schedule didn’t allow for a relationship. He acknowledged the possibility of his being partly responsible for my actions on New Year’s Eve. Over more conversation, I realized he thought I might have been acting out or doing it on a subconscious level.

I reiterated for him how little of the end of the night I remembered. I was on the verge of tears as I explained this to him. I told him I never would have done it had I been sober. I told him I didn’t initiate the kissing, but I also didn’t stop it immediately. I told him that I would like to think I stopped it relatively quickly, but I have no idea because I don’t remember a single moment of it. I think Smiles wanted to know the motivation for the make-out session. He half asked a question and then stopped when he again realized I didn’t recall any of the end of that night. I apologized emphatically and acknowledged how horrible what I did was. I choked up as I told him it was one of the worst things I’d ever done in my life. I could see that it did in fact bother him. The morning after, he told me he was okay with it, but now, I knew he wasn’t.

Sadly, it made me feel a little better knowing it upset him. It showed that maybe he, on some level, actually did care about me, even if just a little bit. At least I knew he felt something toward me.

I transitioned into more conversation of how we would move forward. I told him I was pretty much on the same page as him as far as ending our relationship. I told him I wasn’t getting enough of what I was looking for from him, and it was a direct result of his priorities.

I told him how hurt I was that he would just drop me after three months. I really stressed that point. I told him I felt so disrespected that he would just stop texting and calling like a switch, as if I wouldn’t notice or I would be okay with it. It really did hurt, because in my mind it nullified our relationship. It showed he didn’t respect it enough to give it the attention it needed, even if it was coming to a close. He told me it was because he needed time to think about what he really wanted and how he wanted to proceed. I told him he didn’t need to cut me off while he thought about it, and he acknowledged his fault.

In the end, we were fine. The whole conversation lasted roughly a half hour. He was on task and had things to do, so when the conversation was winding down, he stood and said, “Shall we go?”

We walked outside and began to part ways. I turned back and said goodbye. I also told him to call me to grab dinner sometime. Just because we weren’t dating didn’t mean we couldn’t be friends. He responded, “Sure thing sir.” I thought that was an odd response, but I’ll take it.

It was an amicable breakup. I’m not sure if I got the closure I needed. I still felt like he used me and doubted if he ever really cared for me. I never got an answer if my suspicions were true. I wondered if he’d been with other men while dating me. I wondered if he met someone else. All questions I would never get answers to. I think that is the hardest part about a breakup — The blow to the ego. We take fault and feel there is a flaw in ourselves, even if that’s not the case at all.

I would recover from this breakup relatively quickly, but I certainly would walk away with a few new scars and a few pieces of luggage to my baggage pile. I would try not to let it affect me too greatly, but then again, you can only control your emotions so much.

Hopefully, as one door was closing, another would soon be opening…

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Creating Distance

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!

Back to your special edition of One Gay At A Time…

No matter how far apart we were or how busy we were, Smiles and I managed to find time to communicate or at the very least, send a text. It was something that always reminded me he was thinking about me when I wasn’t with him.

Silence. From Sunday afternoon through Tuesday evening — Crickets. Our last contact was Sunday afternoon when I asked him if we could spend the day together Monday. He told me he had to work, but that never stopped him from taking five minutes to pick up the phone and dial me or send me a text. He also told me he would call later Sunday night when I said goodbye to him after brunch, but as you know, that didn’t happen.

When Tuesday passed by, and I didn’t hear from him, I decided to give him a call. After-all, I’m the one who royally f*cked up, not him. Sure, he was distant throughout our relationship, but he never did anything quite as heartless as what I did.

The phone rang and rang and rang — No answer. I didn’t want to leave a voicemail because I wanted to say what I had to say live. I wanted to hear his reaction. I decided to wait.

After an hour, I decided to send him a text message: “How was the first day in the office?” You can see how patient a person I really am. Five minutes later, I received a response: “Lot happened today…” The text continued on to completely cover my entire phone screen and then some. Instead of picking up the phone and telling me all this, he sent a massive book of a text. I could tell he was very excited as things were really taking off for him, but all I could think about was how hurt I was. He completely dropped me like a bad habit. His career was really beginning to take off, and he had no use for me anymore. I had been there to support him through the rough stages, and when he began to have success, he forgot all about me. At this point, I didn’t give a sh*t about his new job. I barely even feigned interest. My responses were, “Gotcha,” “Sounds awesome!” and “Congrats.” I wanted to be happy for him, but I couldn’t. He treated me like trash.

He made sure to add things like, “Say that again at the end of March when I have free time again.” This was his way of not just nudging me away but giving me a big ol’ shove. I didn’t feel the least bit of guilt for “shopping” on a4a and Grindr the nights prior.

Just when I didn’t think the knife could cut any deeper, he said, “Ok. 9pm. Bedtime! Hope your first day back was more exciting than your last week there. Night!” I simply replied, “Night.”

If he was getting ready for bed, why didn’t he pick up the phone and call. I assumed he was at dinner or something. I was trying to justify him writing out a massive text versus calling me.

That’s when I realized how much of a coward he was. He was just going to put down the gun and slowly back away instead of just ripping the band-aid off. It was clear he wasn’t interested in pursuing a relationship with me any further. He should have been a man and said do. I thought I was done with all the petty childish games when I started dating a thirty-six year-old, but I was sorely mistaken. I was going to have to be the man in this relationship, or lack thereof.

That night was neither the time nor the place. I was going to do this in person. He wasn’t going to get the satisfaction of an easy fizzle. If we weren’t moving forward anymore, we weren’t going to be moving at all. I was going to end things. The time had come. No more second chances. No more opportunities to drag me along. For me, it was over.

Before he pulled this stunt, I was okay with the relationship coming to a close. I had already resolved myself to the fact it wasn’t what I was looking for, and it didn’t satisfy my needs. The only thing I lacked was closure. Now, I was mad as hell. After spending three months with him and dedicating a lot of myself to him, this was how he was going to treat me. Instead of looking back on our time together with fondness, I now began to look back with bitterness and doubt. I wondered if he ever really cared about me. I wondered if I was the only one in his life. Sure, we spent a lot of time together, but we also spent a lot of time apart. It’s not physically possible for him to be carrying on a relationship outside ours, but it doesn’t rule out any extra curricular activities.

I decided that night, Smiles was going to hear it. Everything I kept inside while we dated was going to finally come out. I just needed to pick the time and the place…

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What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger

Sunday afternoon, I tried to see if Smiles would want to do something fun the following day since I didn’t have to go to work. Sadly, he had work to do. He was trying to build up a company from scratch, and it is a lot of hard work, so I understood. What I didn’t expect was he would be busy he wouldn’t be able to find the time to pick up the phone and call or text.

Monday passed with me planted on the couch watching TV all day while surfing and reactivating my Grindr account. I was just seeing what was out there, but as the afternoon progressed, I started to think toward the future while examining the past.

I realized I wasn’t happy. I equated my relationship to the struggle of Sisyphus, a king punished by being compelled to roll an immense boulder up a hill, only to watch it roll back down, and to repeat this throughout eternity. I was constantly putting work into the relationship only to find I wasn’t receiving much benefit from it.

I had given Smiles more than his fair share of chances to finally woo me, and he failed. I enjoyed his company, and he was a very nice, successful, good-looking man, but the time had come to move on. It just seemed he wasn’t that into me, and I realized I deserve better. Since I had been on the journey to this conclusion for quite some time, I wasn’t that broken up about it. I’ve had varied reactions to the end of relationships in the past. I moved on with closure after my mutual breakup with Broadway. I had slight some minor cardiac scarring after I ended things with San Francisco. I was a wreck when things went south with N — Losing ten pounds in a week (Not proud of that).

This epiphany wasn’t all that earth-shattering for me. Things had been on the decline for some time. This certainly didn’t come out of the blue, so the blow was lessened.

I actually started to get slightly angry about things. I felt used. I recalled asking Smiles on our first date why he was on Grindr, and he had mentioned he was lonely. I realized I was someone to pass the time for him. I was someone he could go to dinner with so he didn’t have to eat alone. I was someone he could have the occasional romp in the sheets when he was in the mood. I was a seat warmer. He never had any plans to forge a relationship with me, and this made me really feel used.

I wanted more. I deserved more. And I was going to find more. I started searching once again on a4a and Grindr. These are clearly not the best place to find Mr. Right, but it couldn’t hurt to try. Once again, it was just going to be a lot of work.

On top of it all, our sex-life was minimal. As a result, I was horny. I was hungry for some good sex. Over the summer when I was having my wild time, I felt I started to really hone my craft. I had numerous guys constantly hitting me up for seconds, thirds, and more. It was great for my ego, and I craved a really good romp in the sack.

That’s when I turned my efforts toward Grindr. I wanted to find a local guy with a hot body. I knew it wouldn’t be easy from past experience, but maybe some new hotties moved into the area in the three months I’d been away. I started talking to one guy for quite some time. We even started to Skype with each other while I watched TV. He lived very close and had a really nice body. He was Asian, which doesn’t quite get my engine roaring so there he wasn’t a relationship prospect, but we could at least start on a friendship. We face-time chatted most of the evening. I gave him full disclosure on the situation. We even discussed him coming over to hook up, but in the end I decided to be good.

Afterall, I still hadn’t officially ended things with Smiles yet. It wouldn’t be right. I’d already betrayed that relationship once, I didn’t need to do it again, not matter how resolved I was about its end.

I got an offer from a man I’d had a tryst with in the past. He begged me to come to his apartment, but it was cold outside, and it was getting late. I had work the next day, and I needed to go to bed. I told him I’d take a rain check.

My new friend went to bed, and I continued to figure out a way to satiate my libido. I figured I would hit up some old friends in my Skype contact list. One of the sexiest men happened to be online. He lived in South America on an island, and I wanted to do bad things to his body. It was amazing. I loved camming with him. The only issue was he had a big thing for me. He always begged me to be his boyfriend, no matter how many times I told him it couldn’t happen because we are so far away. He begged me to come visit, but I told him I couldn’t afford the flight. I wasn’t about to fly to South America for a booty call. But if he lived anywhere close, I would have been over there in a second!

I convinced him to have a little fun on camera until I finished. As usual, it sapped all the energy from my body, and I jumped into bed and dozed off without a thought left in my head.

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A Pointless Cancellation

When Smiles and I spoke on the phone Sunday night on his way home from a party in Connecticut, I asked him to come to my apartment for a special dinner Monday night. He told me he had to work, but he was going to leave early and we’d just eat a little later. I told him this was perfect since it would take some time to cook the roast after work.

I’d told Smiles about my standing rib roast before, and he didn’t quite get what it was. I explained to him the similarity of it what one might be served at a carving station at a wedding reception. He got a clearer picture, but it still wasn’t crystal clear.

I had a rib roast in my freezer with our name on it. I finally had a chance to cook it for us, and he was on-board. I was excited. It was a plan.

Monday morning, before work, I took the roast out of the freezer to thaw for that night. I planned out the accoutrements as well. I was very excited for our romantic night. It’d been a while since we spent time together. I wanted a night of beef, wine, couch, and bed. The thought sounded spectacular to me!

What excited me even more was the idea of my sanity back. I planned to ask Smiles that night where we stood. I didn’t need a title. I didn’t need to be his boyfriend. I just wanted to know where his head was at.

I know I probably sound like a broken record at this point, but that’s what my inner dialogue is. I get fixated on something, and it exhausts me until I get some closure on the issue.

Much to my chagrin, at 1:00 that afternoon, Smiles sent me a text with some bad news. “Looks like I have people coming tonight so I’m not going to be able to sneak out. I don’t think dinner at 11:00 would be the bet. Do you want to have an early dinner here in the city before he show?” Very disappointed, I agreed with a “Sure.”

I was p*ssed. It wasn’t his fault, but I was a little crushed since I was taking so much care to plan out the evening, and it all went to sh*t. He suggested we do it another night, but came up with a consolation prize. He suggested I come over to his apartment for dinner instead before the screening. I begrudgingly agreed to the idea since it’d been so long since I’d seen him, and I sent my roommate a text asking him to put the roast back in the freezer.

When I finished work, I made my way downtown to his apartment. When I arrived, I was shocked to be received with a nice big kiss. Maybe he missed me. Maybe I wasn’t just a seat warmer in this relationship. There was actually emotion behind that kiss. I was happy.

I was a little anxious because I was still planning to ask him where we stood that evening.

He told me he had food in the fridge to make and suggested we cook that instead of going out for dinner. He preferred that since he wasn’t feeling well, and he was exhausted. It made no difference to me. Asking him my question in the privacy of his apartment sounded like such a better idea than in a restaurant anyway.

I ended up cooking the pork chops and asparagus for the two of us since Smiles wasn’t quite himself. We sat and ate — Him at his computer chair working while he ate and me on the couch. Not nearly the romantic meal I planned for the evening. When we finished, I helped him clean up and put the leftovers away. He started getting ready for the rest of his night, and we talked about my plans. He asked if I was planning to spend the night. “Well, I guess the first question I should ask is if you were planning to come to the screening tonight,” he added.

This was the first I was hearing this. I was quite open to the idea, but I told him, “I have nothing for work tomorrow. You were supposed to be coming out to Hoboken, remember.” “Right,” he responded. I reminded him I’d seen the movie twice now, but if he wanted company, I would come with him. I asked if he actually watches the movie, or if he does other things during the film. He told me he usually watches most of it. Things remained unsettled as he made his way over to the couch to take a quick nap on me.

That was my opportunity to ask him my burning question. Every moment I tried to open my mouth, I froze. Nothing would come out. I was suddenly transported back to when I sat on the couch trying to tell my parents I was gay. The anxiety was making my heart pound out of my chest. I tried over and over to ask him, but I couldn’t muster the courage. I’m not sure what I was afraid of, but it was driving me insane.

After a half hour of this, it was time for him to get up. I asked him if he wanted me to sleep over, or did he want to get some rest alone. We made a final decision. It was better he get some uninterrupted rest that night since he was so exhausted as much as I wanted to spend the night with him. He told me, “It’s very sweet of you to offer to see the film again to spend the night with me.” I liked hearing that. He recognized the sacrifice I was willing to make to spend time with him.

With that, I said goodbye, and he made his way to the screening while I made my way to the PATH — Without my answer.

I was so p*ssed at myself for getting so worked up about a stupid question. What was wrong with me?! Obviously, I needed someone to talk to. I tried Boston, my therapist. I needed him to talk me off the ledge and help me make sense of the situation. I couldn’t do it on my own. We talked it over for over a half hour and he convinced me I had no choice but to blatantly ask him where we stood. We even helped me nail down the phrasing.

When I got to the other side of the tunnel in Hoboken, I got a text from Smiles telling me he was on his way home. His friends never showed. My blood was boiling. We cancelled our dinner plans for NOTHING. I still had no closure on where I stood with Smiles. It certainly was going to be a toss-n-turn kinda night…

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Life Interrupts

My great apologies to my dedicated readers, but I will not be publishing this week. I had a death in the family, and I will be traveling and unable to write. Thank you for understanding.

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Your Cheating Heart

Saturday, I woke up fairly later in the morning. N was still sleeping in my bed, and Boston was still sleeping on the couch when I started to make breakfast. I fried up some frozen homemade sausage patties and eggs. In the meantime, my two favorite men woke up and joined me in the kitchen. I brewed a pot of coffee, and we sat and ate. Boston and I planned to go into the city for the day. He hadn’t been to the city in ten years. He is in music school and asked to check out the original Steinway store to play on some of their finest pianos. We invited N to join, but his plans included shaving his back and getting a haircut.

When breakfast ended, N and I went into my room and fooled around. I was horny since we didn’t do anything the night before and hungry for real sex. But, N wasn’t 100% cooperative. “I feel bad that Boston is out there alone right now. Ya know, we could let him watch,” he said with a wink and a smile. I just laughed it off and continued with my heavy petting. (I did feel bad for Boston because he got out of the shower and all his clean clothes were in my bedroom.) When I finally realized it wasn’t going to happen, we stopped. N went home to get ready for his day of primping, and I showered to get ready for the city. (I would later come to find N accusing me of hooking up with Boston at this point)

When Boston and I arrived in the city, we came upon a street fair. We walked around and got lunch. Following, I showed him some of the major attractions. It was really nice just relaxing with Boston and walking around the city. He started to feel like a little brother. Finally we arrived at the Steinway and Son’s a half hour before they were about to close for a recital. Boston sat at a few of the pianos and blew me away with his talent. I told him if he ever wanted to impress a guy, he should take him to a piano store and it would be in the bag.

We also stopped into to Saks to visit one of Boston’s old friends. We said hi, and he invited us to a house party and a drag show at a bar on the lower east side, Drom.

On the walk back to Port Authority, we passed a few of the pianos sprinkled around the city. I made Boston sit and play after The Naked Cowboy finished tinkering in Times Square. He ended up being filmed by the man in charge of documenting the project. Overall, I’d say it was a good day for Boston.

When we got back to Hoboken, we got dressed to go out and went to my friend K’s for a bbq. We were skipping the house party, but were going to meet them at Drom.

Likewise, N had plans for the night. Originally, he told me he was going out to dinner with friends and they didn’t know if they were staying in the city or coming back to Hoboken. To me, this meant straight friends. I figured i received no details because he wasn’t out to his- fellow diners. I was wrong. As the day went on, I received more details. He was going to dinner with eight gay men, and then it evolved into them going to Industry, a gay bar.

I asked him if it was an issue if we met up at Industry until Boston’s friends went to the lower east side. He told me to come. When Industry had a long line, they decided to go to Ritz, not my favorite bar. Boston and I finished at the bbq and headed to Ritz. On the walk there from Port Authority, I expressed my concerns about N and the night. I told him how shady it felt since he was being somewhat secretive. When we arrived, N’s phone was dying. I tried calling and texting to no avail. We went into the first floor and couldn’t find him anywhere. We tried upstairs to no avail as well. Finally, he texted me back. He was outside to smoking and trying to find us.

When he finally came back in, he was a drunk sweaty mess. I was way too sober to be there. I get very uncomfortable in gay bars for some reason. So, I ordered four straight vodka shots, two of which were for myself. He began to grind his ass in my crotch, and I liked it! This was the first time we could dance together and not create a total scene. A good portion of the night from then on is a blur for me. I got very drunk so I could tolerate the heat and the club and have blacked out a few bits.

When Boston got a text from his friends, we decided to leave. N told me he was coming with us. I was very pleasantly surprised. Boston and I went outside while N said goodbye to his fiends. When ten minutes passed, and he didn’t come out, I went back into the bar. As I was walking up the stairs, I noticed him talking to someone. Men were passing between us going up and down the stairs, but just then I saw him lean in and kiss this man. My heart shattered into a million pieces. In that millisecond, I felt my world crumbling around me. I know it was just one little kiss, but the fact that he was talking to another man, exchanging numbers and kissing broke my heart. I was crushed.

I didn’t know what to do other than run. I turned and sped down the stairs. He must have seen me at that instant because he chased after me. He tried to spin me around by grabbing my shoulder, but I flung my arms into the air and shouted, “Don’t touch me!” All that went through my head at that point was how many other guys were you grinding on and kissing before I arrived at the bar? We never had the exclusive conversation, but at that point, he was sleeping in my bed almost every night. We were in a relationship, even if it wasn’t defined.

He tried to calm me down on the street, but I was making a scene. I didn’t know what to do. When I get heated I get loud. He asked me to have a conversation and stop shouting, but I couldn’t be calm. I couldn’t be rational. I was enraged. Somehow, he managed to calm me down and convince me it was just a peck on the cheek in passing. Out of my inebriation, I let it go, and we went to the next bar. I felt awful. Boston was standing across the street witnessing this whole scene uncomfortably waiting for us to meet up with his friends at Drom.

In the cab ride, I decided I would pretend it didn’t happen for the night. Boston was only in town until the morning. I would deal with the situation later. I needed to entertain my good friend.

Boston lost his ID the night before, so when we attempted to enter the bar, the bouncer was not cooperative. Finally, when I shoved $40 into his hand, he let us in. After we each paid the $12 cover (on to of the $40), we came to realize Boston’s friends already left. The scene was dead. When I realized there was no chance in hell I was going to have fun the rest of the night, we grabbed a few drinks, and I volunteered to go on the hunt to find Boston a man to have fun with. We asked him what his type was. He explained. Then, N asked him if he was a top or a bottom. (This really had no relevance to the situation, and I think N took advantage to satiate his own curiosity.) When Boston was reluctant to elaborate, N said, “I’m a total top, but I love it when he puts his dick in my ass.” This was news to me. Especially since it never really fully made it there. It was just confirmation he was pumping Boston for information because he had a crush on him.

At one point, N and Boston walked to the bar to get drinks while I went to the restroom. Days later, Boston recounted for me the following exchange: N firmly gripped Boston’s ass and said, “How do you get an ass like that? So tight and firm. I’d really like to put my dick in there.” Had I known this happened that night, I would have left the bar with Boston and that would have been the end of it.

When we were all thoroughly exhausted and bored, we hopped in a cab back to Hoboken. No sooner we were in the door, and N was passed out face down on my bed in his underwear. This raised a whole new red flag in my brain. He was donning the sexiest underwear I’d ever seen him wear. His back was freshly shaved, his chest was cleanly shaved and he had a new haircut. All those are fine, but who was he expecting to see his underwear at a gay club. He spent the entire day getting ready for this night out. He never spent that much time primping to see me. Everything was starting to add up. From the business trip I took on, N was quickly distancing himself and seeking relationship freedom.

I went back out to the kitchen to chat with Boston. He immediately said, “OK! What happened!? What did you see!?” I explained to him the kiss, and in typical fashion, he dealt me the truth. He explained how N manipulated me that night as he watched from across the street. He told me to trust what I saw and trust my own instincts. We talked for at least another hour after that.

N’s phone was sitting there the whole time as well. I picked it up and was about to look through his Grindr messages because I wanted to find the closure I needed to tell him it was over. I couldn’t trust him anymore, but if I had proof, I would be able to get over it myself. Boston convinced me how bad that idea was. I put the phone down without pushing a button. To this day, I still regret not looking. It’s completely out of character for me to not trust someone and read their phone, but it would have delivered me the closure I needed.

At that point, I was exhausted. Physically and emotionally. That night I was delivered a heavy blow to the gut and needed to sleep to forget about it even for one instant. Boston went to the couch, and I begrudgingly went to share my bed with the man I had seen kissing another man. I laid down with my back to him and tears streaming down my face. I was crushed by what happened. I had no idea what to do. I still had very strong feelings for him, but couldn’t turn a blind eye. It isn’t who i am. I’m no one’s fallback or second best. However, I did know it was certainly not going to be a fun morning for him either…

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