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After an arduous morning dealing with a nasty hangover and an overly energetic Hip, CK and I managed to finally emerge from our hibernation. But, not before we washed away the stink from the night before.

CK and I have been saving the planet for months now. Whenever we showered, we conserved water by showering together. We helped each other ensure all our crevices were clean. We brushed our teeth and got ready to face the world outside.

We decided to head toward Central Park, but we never quite made it there. Put an establishment like Shake Shack in front of three hungover guys who love to eat, and the rest of the world disappears immediately. We hopped in line and discussed at length all the food we were going to consume. Shakes, fries, burgers… The works! As we were paying, CK suggested we take our food to go and enjoy it outside. Hip and I agreed. When our food was ready we grabbed our shakes and sucked them down like someone might steal them.

We were out the door headed straight to Rockefeller Center. It was actually shaping up to be a nice day. We sat on the benches in front of 30 Rock Center and watched the tourists while we ate. In true CK fashion, he found a group of Spanish-speaking women who were visiting and needed help getting everyone in the group shot. I was simply happy to be out and about in the sunshine rather than being cooped up in CK’s apartment. It was a good distraction. Surprisingly, it was actually helping me get over my massive hangover. That, and the greasy burger and fries and a milkshake. While I was slowly getting over my hangover, I wasn’t quite getting over the night before. I suppose I was putting on a decent face, but deep down inside, I was hurting. I was appalled by how CK treated me after dating for three months.

When we finished eating, CK explored all of Rockefeller Center taking pictures as he moved along. Hip recently had hip replacement surgery, and he was starting to feel it. I kept him company as we sat playing Where’s Waldo in the crowd of people to find CK. When he circled back around, I hinted to him that we should go so Hip could get off his feet. He still had to head back to Brooklyn as well.

On the walk home, CK proposed we try to go to the concert again. I wasn’t so sure I was up for it. I told him we’d discuss it when Hip left since he already expressed his lack of interest in trying to go again.

When it was just the two of us again, we discussed things. Like I said, I still wasn’t quite over the night before, even if we did discuss it that morning and fooled around. When I got it all off my chest, we discussed the concert that night. CK was scheming to get in some way, shape or form. He was hoping to sweet-talk the ticket collectors into letting us in. I told him I would go, but I made no promises how long I would stay, and in full disclosure, I told him I certainly wouldn’t be the most energetic with the effects of my hangover still lingering.

We got ready and made our way to Terminal 5. When we got to the door, CK did all the talking, but it was no use. They weren’t feeling sympathetic at all. The person in line behind us, however, was. While CK was busy sweet-talking, I began chatting with the guy behind us in line. He asked if we needed tickets, and when I explained what happened, he offered us his two extra tickets at no charge. CK was still arguing with the ticket collectors when I finally got him to shut up. I handed them our tickets, and we walked in the door. CK had the most confused look on his face as I explained what happened. We immediately thanked the guy in line over and over and over again. It was truly a generous gesture — A serendipitous moment.

We made our way inside and both grabbed waters from the bar before finding a spot to watch the concert amongst the crowd. Our luck was really turning around, and CK was being extra sweet. It was like night and day from the previous night. I think it was then that I was beginning to forgive him.

When the concert started, I got a little more energy from the crowd. I suppose it was a little infectious. We danced shirtless and laughed and had a good time. Scissor Sisters really do put on a good show. They’re one of the most genuine bands I’ve ever seen perform. You could tell they were having as much fun as the crowd was. This was the final night on the final stop of their tour, and they played it out. There were even points where CK was on my shoulders with me jumping up and down. At one point, CK cut through the crowd like a razor to get to the stage as Jake Shears began crowd-surfing. He came back incredibly excited he touched his hand.

Throughout the night, there were guys aggressively grinding up on my a$$, but I ignored them. However, they started getting a bit more aggressive and overt. I didn’t need this. I was there with my man, and this was quite obvious for all to see. I gently pushed back and then took a big step forward so they could clumsily lose their balance and fall backward. After a few rounds of this, they got the hint I wasn’t interested nor a poll to rub their a$$ on.

At one point, I noticed the assistant of the guy I dated ever so briefly before meeting CK. It was a bit awkward after all. Things didn’t exactly end on good terms there. I avoided eye contact, but as he was leaving, he stopped to say hi. Surprisingly, it wasn’t awkward at all. I was glad to see he could separate himself from his boss’s issues. That being said, Monday morning, I’m sure he was right back at the office saying, “You’ll never believe who I saw last night!”

When the concert was over, CK was raring to go and wanted to go to a bar. I was spent. I barely made it through the whole concert. I could tell he was disappointed, but he did a good job of hiding it as he took me home. I was happy to see the CK I knew and fell in love with again. When we got back to his place, I was still feeling a bit of the infectious energy from the crowd, and CK was still in concert mode. We stripped down to get ready for bed, but instead of falling asleep, we had the most epic sex we’d ever had to date. It was incredible! It was exactly what we needed. All our frustrations and cares were gone. It was a bit mind-blowing. It was passionate love-making at its best. It was all there, and I was truly happy again.

After our epic romp in the sheets, it was time for bed. We had plans for the following day, and we both had a very long and eventful weekend already. With that, we turned out the lights, and I fell asleep with CK nestled in my arms.

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I Never was Good at Sharing

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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The Best Worst Date Ever

After a mediocre day at the beach, CK and I made our way back to Hoboken for dinner. I had a Groupon to use up, so we decided to head to 1Republik. Earlier in the week, we were turned away from the place because we were wearing shorts and flip-flops. This time, we knew better.

When we got in the door, I searched for the hostess. I couldn’t find her. There were plenty of staffers milling about, but no one was offering to help us. Finally, I went over to one girl, who was heavily distracted and flirting with one of the big bouncer dudes, and I asked her if she wouldn’t mind assisting us in finding a table. She looked around for the hostess with an annoyed expression on her face before taking down CK’s number so she could text us when a table was ready.

In the meantime, we grabbed a stool by the bar and ordered beers. We were nearly finished our beers when his phone started vibrating. We weren’t ten yards from the front of the bar where the girl took our number, so we quickly walked back over there. She was nowhere to be found. After another five minutes passed, she walked past me. I asked her about our table, and she looked at me with the most confused look on her face. She told me someone else was responsible for tables. When I explained to her that she took down CK’s number and we just received a text, she finally agreed to get us a table. I couldn’t believe the incompetence already.

We got a table right by the front door, but at this point we didn’t care. We were hungry, and we wanted to eat. Naturally, it took a solid ten minutes before someone came to wait on us. When I explained to her I had a Groupon, she pointed out to me it had expired. When I told her that Groupons don’t expire, she took my phone to her manager to show her my digital certificate. Five minutes later, she came back with my phone and told me the manager agreed to honor the Groupon. Because two beers were included she took our beer order and was off. After some time, she came back with our beers, and before I could tell her our order, she was off again. This was the last we would see of her for quite some time. When another ten minutes passed by, I grabbed another waitress and asked her if we could order with her. I explained everything, and it turns out she was the manager as well. She was responsible for the laxed staff aimlessly wandering the restaurant. She agreed to take my order, and from then on, we were on our own.

I knew this was a bar/club at night as well as a restaurant, so I wasn’t expecting fine dining. However, we weren’t expecting the music to be so loud we would have to shout across the table. After some time, we realized it would be easier to text each other. I was laughing hysterically at how bad this date was turning out already. While we waited for our food, a bus boy came by and took my beer away. Granted there wasn’t much left, but I still wasn’t done with it. I just laughed more and more. I felt like we were living a sitcom.

Just when it couldn’t have gotten worse, some of our food arrived. You would think the first thing to arrive would be our salad. It was, but it was also accompanied by our dessert, apple pie a-la-mode. CK and I looked at each other and burst into laughter. I started in on dessert because the ice cream was going to melt. He was much more traditional and wanted to start with the salad. We weren’t two spoon/forkfuls in when our steaks arrived. At this point, we didn’t even have room on the table for all our food. We had to start piling food on the table next to us. Just then, as a girl was leaving the bar, she placed her empty bottle on our table. Again, we both looked at each other and began cracking up. How could this possibly get any worse.

Just then, our original waitress returned, but not to wait on us. She got a new table with fat men stuffed into the corner next to us. One had he chair pushed basically up against our table. I texted CK, “Don’t be rude! Offer Cletus some food!” The waitress passed by our table without saying a word. We were getting quite full, and couldn’t eat anymore. I was tempted to ask for a container to take some of the leftovers home, but I didn’t want to spend any more time at the place. CK texted asking what we do about tip, and I told him we leave nothing. We had no waitress and no one waited on us and our meal all came at the same time. If anything, they should have been offering us another free meal, let alone expecting any sort of tip.

When we were finished, we picked up and left without a word. I had never been served so poorly in any restaurant. It was ridiculous. The only redeeming quality was that we got an awesome story to retell. This was textbook poor hospitality.

Some friends were drinking at my local watering hole, so I proposed to CK grabbing a drink on the walk home. He wasn’t feeling it, so we walked straight home and hopped in bed for the night.

Had I been at that restaurant with anyone else, I would have gone insane. The fact that he was so cool about everything really made me fall in love with him even more. We took lemons and made lemonade. There is no one with whom I’d rather be sippin’ on lemonade than CK.

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Rallying Friends

Every year, for the past four years, I’ve hosted an annual holiday party. Ironically, I started it with a First Annual Holiday Bash because I wanted it to become one of my holiday traditions. It would be the one time of year I gathered with my closest friends and spent time with them around the holidays to show just how much I truly appreciate their friendship.

From its first year, it’s been a big hit. An invitation one year is no guarantee of an invitation the following year. I always make sure I surround myself with the people in my life I care most about. If within the following year I fall out of touch with someone, I don’t extend an invitation.

Earlier this year, my friend reached out to me to plan weekends in December. She knows of my party and wanted to make sure I wasn’t hosting it the same night she was celebrating her birthday. We both picked dates and put it to bed.

Months later, I found out I was being evicted from my apartment since my landlord finally sold it. Our eviction date was November 30th; eleven days before the planned date of my holiday party.

This was one tradition I was not ready to relinquish, not matter what it took. Some of my friends look forward to the party a full year in advance. I make an incredible spread (not allowing anyone to bring any food of any sort), and everyone fasts for an entire day leading up to the party.

This posed a serious challenge. I would have to move into a new apartment, get it settled and cater for about forty people in ten days — A near impossible feat. However, my determination is not to be underestimated.

When I sent out my Evite, my sister immediately criticized the invitation of N. She was shocked to see I would invite him, but she also didn’t have the full story.

Apparently over the course of my short relationship with N, I mentioned my annual holiday party. As the holiday season was drawing nearer, he asked for the date of said party: “When is your holiday party so I can put it in my calendar? I’m trying to attend as many holiday parties as possible without missing one.”

Did he just invite himself to my holiday party?! I mean, he was on the maybe list, I’ll admit that. But I had no intention of inviting him in the first round of invitations.

This isn’t because I was holding a grudge over our failed relationship. It was mainly because I was disappointed in him. Considering we lived across the street from each other, I thought I’d at the very least be seeing him periodically. However, since our last discussion about our failed relationship, I hadn’t seen him once. I still had never been to his apartment considering I basically walked past it every day. He never put in an effort to be my friend following our breakup, so I no longer felt the need to attempt myself. I’d given up.

When he invited himself, I had to quickly think of the best and most dignified way to deal with the situation at hand. I started with honesty. “Oh.. Are you invited to my holiday party???” I quipped. “I’m …. just gonna go… f*ck myself…” he responded. I successfully made him feel uncomfortable, but then lightened the blow. I couldn’t do much. My hands were tied. I’m not rude enough to tell him he can’t come, but I wasn’t sure I really wanted him there either. “HAHAHA. Just giving you sh*t. Sending out the Evites today…”

When others friends learned of his attendance, they weren’t happy. I was confused by this. I didn’t think anyone would care. When we were dating, my friends loved him. Everyone approved and expressed this to me. He was a very charismatic guy to be around and played nice with all my friends. It was one of the biggest things that attracted me to him.

However, when he crushed me at the end of our relationship, everyone’s opinion of him quickly shifted.

I have to admit, I don’t know if my opinion wouldn’t have shifted so drastically. If he didn’t do anything to hurt me, I would see no need for malice toward him. I wouldn’t be his best friend, but I would certainly be civil.

This wasn’t the case with my friends. In an overwhelming show of support, they all rallied against him and attempted to convince me to retract my invitation.

I was blown away. I never experienced anything like that before from my friends. I was truly touched.

However, I would not be able to fulfill their requests. I was not capable of uninviting him. I also felt it gave him the satisfaction of thinking he still had an effect on my life. I’d completely moved on. It took a long time, and I went through a lot of turmoil to get to that point. But, I didn’t need him to know that. (Not quite sure if he’s still reading the blog…)

One friend, J, was particularly poignant in his disapproval. “I’ll crack his head open.” I told him I was going to be civil, but I wasn’t going to pay much attention to him when he arrived. “Honestly, I think its risky having him there. Especially since he is a drama oriented person.” He pointed out that N may bring up the blog in front of Smiles just to p*ss me off. “Good point… Going to have to tell him not to mention the blog,” I added. “He may leave early since no one really wants him there.”

K and some of my other friends expressed their lack of interest in interacting with him, and he didn’t really know many others. J responded, “If I have anything to do with it he will leave early.” I couldn’t believe how passionate J was getting about this. He’d never even met N. “Look I’ll be civil… but if he gets out of line you let me know.”

One of my other friends who witnessed my rebound in Martha’s Vineyard, Shorty, made the following suggestion: “You should warn him that your friends aren’t really fond of him so he doesn’t feel bombarded if people are mean to him.” “No one will be mean to him, but they’re not going to go out of their way to be nice,” I speculated. “Haha. I might be mean if I happen to end up talking to him :),” she finished.

I couldn’t believe how much my friends were rallying behind me. To be honest, I thought they all thought I blew things out of proportion when it ended. I thought they all looked at me like I was crazy for being so emotionally broken up after dating someone for a month and a half. He really did break me down a little bit, and I still feel some of the lasting effects of that relationship, as much as I would like to put it in the past and forget it. But, I thought they all thought I was being melodramatic. Apparently, they validated my sentiments.

On another level, N wanted to bring his new boyfriend. I’m sure he’s a sweet guy, but I’d never met him. I didn’t want him at my holiday party. It wasn’t the time or the place to meet him. Selfishly and childishly I also wanted the upper hand. I wanted N to see me happy with someone else, Smiles, while he didn’t have his security blanket to hold onto. I know that is very immature, but in the dating world, I am still a teenager. I’d like anyone to disagree with me they wouldn’t want to do the same thing.

So, I told him he couldn’t bring him. I explained he situation, and I think N accepted my reasoning. It was going to be an interesting night regardless. Many variables were bouncing around, and no one could predict the night, even if some of my friends wanted to start a pool of bets on how early in the night N departed…

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