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Technical Difficulties

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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His Mother’s Day

The day after my birthday, CK and I made plans for me to meet his mother while she was in town. I celebrated my birthday the day before without him, but I still managed to have fun. I was incredibly excited to see him. I was also incredibly honored to meet his mother. I couldn’t believe he felt comfortable introducing me to her exactly one month from the date we first met, however, we’d grown extremely close in that short period of time.

There was a plan for me to meet CK, his mother, and three of his friends at Essex and Beauty on the Lower East Side for brunch. It was Mother’s Day, so I knew wherever we were going was going to be a sh*tshow! I was slightly anxious. I was more nervous about meeting the one friend I’d never met before than I was about his mother. I’m not sure why, but I didn’t feel any pressure there. I was pretty relaxed about it. Either way, I was missing my Superman terribly.

I arrived a few minutes late for our reservation. CK and his mother were still in transport, but the three friends had already sat at the table. One of them came to the front to greet me and take me to the table. I’d met him before when we all went to see Avengers together. As we ascended the staircase to our table, he informed me of a problem in the kitchen. He mentioned something about a leak and having to shut the kitchen down. There was new immediacy to our plans.

Per usual, CK was running quite late. I learned they were in a cab, but they were on the other side of Manhattan, however, he shared the good news he finally found a new apartment. It wasn’t in Brooklyn. It wasn’t on the Lower East Side. It was in Hell’s Kitchen. I was thrilled!!

We learned they wouldn’t arrive in time for us to order, and one of the friends began to protest in uproar. He argued with the staff until he learned of the true nature of the problem. The maître d’ offered to walk us over to their sister restaurant, The Stanton Social to ensure we got a table and were served quickly.

On the walk over, we happened upon CK and his mother getting out of their cab. He was in the process of calling me. I said hi to him and was introduced to his mother. She wasn’t what I expected at all. I’m not sure what my expectations were, but she certainly surpassed them. She was gorgeous and very lively. I immediately loved her spirit and energy.

We continued to the other restaurant. Not only did we get a table quickly, we were also served champagne to start. They more than made up for the inconvenience. On top of that, I feel we upgraded restaurants, not downgraded.

His mother took the time to hug all the other boys and say hi. She knew two of them from Miami, where CK grew up, so there was some catching up to do. CK was rather reserved in regards to PDA. We didn’t kiss, but I got a hefty hug. He whispered in my ear how much he missed me. We held hands under the table nearly the entire meal.

It was very nice being with everyone. The conversation flowed, and there was rarely an awkward moment. Our food was excellent, and we all enjoyed our meal. I was worried I’d feel like an outsider, not because his friends wouldn’t include me, but because they all already knew each other. I was the new guy. I didn’t know the stories. I didn’t know the inside jokes. That would take time. Generally, until I’m comfortable, I get quiet. I was worried they would think I was antisocial, which clearly isn’t the case.

If they hadn’t done enough to ensure we had a great experience, our lovely waitress brought us a plate of complimentary donuts to make up for what happened at Essex and Beauty.

I really loved watching CK and his mother interact. She had a nickname she called him, and I found it adorable. They shared a lot of the same mannerisms. I watched her keep him in line (and made sure I took mental notes). They were incredible together, even with the hell they went through over that weekend to find him a new apartment. It was obvious the copious amounts of love they shared.

When we exited the restaurant, his mother returned to go to the bathroom. He took the opportunity to pull me in and give me the biggest kiss. It was quite a scene, but we didn’t care. His friends made comments, and he pointed out how he wouldn’t kiss me in front of his mother. Apparently, it made her slightly uncomfortable when he “flaunted his homosexuality.” I thought this was funny, because it’s the kind of thing I could hear coming out of my mother’s mouth.

I also learned that when I went to the restroom while we were eating, his mother expressed her approval to him. “He’s really cute,” he told me she added.

When she came back outside, we made plans to go back to his place and spend the rest of the evening on his roof watching the sunset. We stopped for a bottle of wine and some beers and went up to the roof with the batch of cookies I baked for his mother. Before heading up to the roof, CK and one of his friends were talking in the kitchen. That left myself and his mother in his living room to chat. I learned about all her dogs, as well as CK’s dog all living under her care. She told me how early she had to get up to take care of them the morning she flew out. We talked about what it takes to raise a dog and discussed CK’s desire to get a dog. He was constantly trying to take me shopping for a dog, but I couldn’t take care of one on my own. I wouldn’t have a dog until I lived with someone who would help me raise it. Maybe CK could fill that roll one day.

We spent a lot of time talking about cooking. CK’s friend was an avid cook, so we had a lot to chat about. I showed him my massive digital cookbook I created. I learned where CK inherited his lack of cooking skills. Apparently, his mother was a self-admitted non-chef. She barely cooked, so the two of them discussed their lack of skill in the kitchen, however, each had their specialty they could cook. I expressed my plan to teach CK how to cook, but ensure he wouldn’t cut his finger off again under my supervision.

After a while, a guy CK used to hook up with who lived in the building joined us. CK privately made a comment to me when we were downstairs how he may have seen us all through the window. He mentioned inviting him to join us, and I didn’t protest. My guard was up however. I had no idea how he’d treat me. After all, I was the one who got the man he had a crush on. They were almost roommates until it came to light he had a crush on CK, who told me he did not share the same feelings.

In the end, this guy was pretty cool. He wasn’t combative toward me in the slightest, and we actually got along. The conversation continued through the night. When this guy left, CK made an attempt to set him up with the friend who joined us from brunch. I really liked this guy. He seemed to get it. He was very realistic and had a great sense of humor. Of the friends I’d met so far, he was the one I felt I would get along with the best. When the old hookup left, CK’s friend called him to set up a date. This also killed two birds with one bullet. The old hookup would be tied up and would stay away from my man. Yes, I was getting territorial.

CK’s mother told us stories about him when he was a child, and I was really enjoying getting to know him, his mother and his friends. It was starting to get late, and CK and his mother still needed to get dinner. I needed to get home and get ready for work the next day. I too needed to eat something other than cookies. I said goodbye to CK’s mother with a big hug and CK walked me to the door.

We talked about how much we couldn’t wait until his mother left, not because either of us were tired of her, but because we were hungry for each other. We hadn’t slept together in days, and our animal instincts were growling. I said goodbye to him with a big kiss and made my way to the PATH to head home.

It was a very successful weekend. I had a great birthday, and apparently, I was a hit with CK’s mother. The whole day was a big success. I was all the more excited to be a bigger part of CK’s life, and I couldn’t wait for the next moment.

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Breaking Through

Saturday night, we had a special celebration planned. Every year, to commemorate another year of my father being on the planet, my parents come visit, and we go out to dinner in New York City. Afterwards, we take in all the Christmas sights around town.

Even though I recently moved and invited my parents into town to help me move in, this year would be no different.

With a closet built and an entire chest of drawers assembled, we prepared to go out for dinner. My parents wanted to have dinner in Hoboken, so I decided to take them to my favorite restaurant I go to every year for my birthday, Piri Piri. I coordinated with my sister to meet her there to celebrate my father’s birthday.

We sat down for dinner and placed our appetizer orders. Somewhere along the way, we started to talk about me and the guy I was dating. For the first time, they didn’t change the subject to who my sister was dating at the time. I was shocked when my mother brought it up. I think they got the hint this was more than just a fling when I went into the city to spend the night. They were finally taking an interest in my dating life, and I loved it. They asked questions about what he did for a living and where he grew up. It was great. I was happy to talk about him.

Both my father and my mother were showing a vested interest. I wonder if my sister spoke to them about my unhappiness. It seems like a night-and-day shift from past history. I don’t care how the change came about. I’m just happy it happened. My dating life is a LARGE part of who I am, and for them to not share that with me was painful (However, I don’t share everything. I don’t quite know how to tell them I write a blog).

Our food arrived, and we had a very pleasant meal. My sister wasn’t feeling well, so when we were ready to make our way into the city, she went home instead to rest.

I took my parents to a cute shop in Hoboken, Michaelangela’s. They had the store decked out wall-to-wall with Christmas decorations and ornaments. We continued to the PATH as I asked them what they’d like to see. We have all grown tired of the standard Macy’s windows and the Rockefeller Christmas Tree. One of our favorite displays, the Sak’s snowflake window show, was discontinued. I proposed a new set of sights. We’d never done the Union Square shops, so I proposed we start there.

When we got off the PATH, we walked to Union Square. It wasn’t too cold out, so the walk wasn’t too bad. When we arrived, all the shops were closed for the night. I apologized, and we hopped into a cab to head uptown to Bloomingdale’s. This was another part of the city we never usually visited. The cab ride was cramped, and he was a very bad driver. I’ve never gotten so many red lights in the city in my life!

Bloomingdale’s was less than thrilling, so I suggested we head over towards Fifth Avenue. My mom kept commenting on how impressed she was. She couldn’t believe how quickly I could learn to navigate the city coming from a the farm life out in the country. I explained how easy it was. As I was showing them new landmarks they’d never visited before, my mother commented on how many she’d seen on her Sex in the City tour of New York City. (I found it ironic that subject came up. Even though I’ve only seen the show twice, I aspire to maintain my blog in the Sex in the City fashion).

She was finally piecing parts of the city she’d been to before together on a map in her mind. It was all starting to make sense to her. Who knew Sex in the City could teach you geography. We window shopped as we walked because many stores were closed. I took them to The Plaza Hotel. They were happy to see the inside since they’ve never been.

Afterwards, we walked past the Bergdorf Goodman window displays. These are some of my favorites since they are not childish and are often done tastefully. My parents took pictures in front of them and of each and every window. They really enjoyed them. I was happy to be sharing the joy with my parents after they spent the weekend substantially helping me settle in to my new apartment.

A small part of me wished Smiles joined us on our little adventure. It would have been nice for him to meet my parents and spend a little time with them, but we weren’t there yet. I also wanted him there because I love spending Christmas in the city with someone I care about. Last year, Broadway and I made a point to take in the Christmas sights. He even treated me The Plaza Hotel to my first drink ever bought for me by another man at. I wanted to share such happy times with someone else I cared about. However, this wasn’t possible or realistic. We weren’t at the meet the parents stage yet, and Smiles was home in bed recovering.

We continued to stroll down Fifth Avenue, but by this time, we were searching for some kind of dessert. We were striking out because it was around 11:00 at night. Most things had closed for the night. On top of that, I was walking around the city on a freshly sprained ankle — Probably not the best idea. My parents were starting to grow weary as well, so I suggested we head towards my office for a pit stop before hopping on the PATH home.

I realized we’d be passing McDonald’s, so I suggested we get hot fudge sundaes, cookies, and fries for dessert. My parents agreed. It would also eliminate the stop at my office because I could use the restrooms there.

I checked the PATH schedule. The next train was leaving in eight minutes, and the following one was another fifteen minutes after that. I urged them to hurry and bring our dessert with us. We hustled to the train, making it there with a little time to spare.

Luckily, we all got seats and relaxed on our ride home. I was really happy to do something nice for my parents in return for what they do for me. It was nice spending some quality time with them as well. I was also still on a high from their newfound interest in my love-life. It removed a big roadblock in our relationship. I could go to bed a happy man.

It was a long day, and we were all tuckered out. We would all surely sleep well the minute our heads touched the pillow.

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