Posts Tagged courage
Finally, work sent me somewhere fun, and I was taking full advantage. I stayed out in LA, managed to have some fun, and even managed to find myself a pretty great guy, The Navigator, to hit up the beach with. After swinging by his apartment, we agreed we weren’t done hanging out.
We made our way back to my hotel. After we turned off his street, I came to a stoplight. I took the opportunity to reach over and put my hand on his leg. He immediately responded positively to my advances. He reached down and laid his hand on top of mine and gave it a squeeze. We continued to hold hands the entire way back to the hotel.
We made our way to the room, and when we arrived, we quickly got comfortable with each other. We dropped our bags and laid down on the bed. We chatted a bit before he reached over, pulled me in, and we exchanged a long deep passionate kiss. When we finally came back up for air, I said to him, “I’ve been waiting to do that all day long!” He smiled from ear to ear and pulled me right back in for another deep kiss. He was a great kisser — Not just a good kisser, but a great kisser.
Was there anything wrong with this guy? He certainly wasn’t going to make leaving easy on me. I still had to keep myself in check. This thing would have an end. I couldn’t grow too attached, or I would be in for a world of pain.
The thing I liked most about the chemistry between us was how playful we were. There was no drama. We were just having fun. Everything was so easy. We cuddled and talked and tickled and joked. I felt incredibly comfortable with him. We just seemed to be on the same page about everything. He was certainly giving me hope that I could find a guy out there who I just clicked with right off the bat.
All day long, he had been texting with his friend giving him updates on our “date” as he so-called it on the beach. While we laid there he teased his friend about how good-looking I was, but lied and told him I’d just dropped him off at home while I listened on speaker phone. The exchange between the three of us was very comical and flirtatious. He showed me pictures of the guy we were talking to, and we sent pictures of me to his friend. We all had a good laugh, and his friend asked for continued updates.
The kissing slowly turned into making out. The making out evolved into heavy petting. The heavy petting became stripping. The stripping led to oral pleasures. And finally, the oral pleasures led to me learning he is versatile, which of course led to penetration. My provisions weren’t presumptuous at all. I suspect he noticed my condom/lube purchase at CVS, and this is what gave him the courage to propose going back to my hotel room.
The sex wasn’t the most amazing because I was having difficulties with the condom, but it certainly wasn’t bad. We were passionately enjoying each other on many levels.
After we had sex, we laid next to each other talking more. We attempted to take some pictures together to send his friend, but we couldn’t keep our eyes open because the flash was too bright. After our romp in the sheets and copious amounts of cuddling, I was hungry. I remembered an In-and-Out burger down the street. It was 1am, and they were one of the few places still open, so we got dressed and made our way there to grab dinner.
We took our food back to the room and had a picnic in my bed. We talked and made plans to go hiking the following day. The whole night, all I could think about was how crazy it was I even met him. It was even crazier how we both dove in headfirst. He even mentioned being worried I might be a serial killer for the first couple of minutes in the car. After we finished eating, I jokingly confirmed he was staying. He went to his bag and got changed and broke out his toothbrush. It seems he may have been presumptuous as well in packing his bag.
I didn’t care one bit. I was thrilled to be sharing my bed with such a great man. I only wished it was for a longer-term basis…Follow @onegayatatime
I needed to be honest and upfront with PR. He deserved that at the very least. However, this was going to be a very delicate situation. I wanted to make sure I didn’t hurt his feelings. I really did like him and wanted to be his friend — I just didn’t think we’d be a good match to date each other. I gathered up a little courage (if I was truly courageous, I would have called him on the phone), and I we had the following exchange:
Me: After you left yesterday, I gave our compatibility a lot of thought. I have bigger doubts now. You and your friends are into the scene, and that’s not really my thing. Then there’s the sexual compatibility issue was well… And we’re in very different places right now. I can see you’re still recovering from your breakup. I don’t want to seem callous, but I don’t want to lead you on. I’d rather take a step back from this now, rather than when we get deep into things and serious feelings develop. You’re a great guy. I think very highly of you, and I hope we can remain friends. I’m sorry if this comes as a shock, but again I thought it better to speak up now.
PR: Okay. I just saw this. I understand your concerns. But I would like to say I’m not all about the “scene.” I do enjoy going out with my friends, and that is exactly all it is to me. Regarding our sexual compatibility, I thought I was making it clear that I am willing to be versatile for you. I get the sense that this is more about my moving back home and where I am in my life right now. Obviously I recognize I’m not in the most stable position in terms of my job, but I’m working to change that. As for my emotions, I can honestly say that I’m over my previous relationship. Yes, this is a bit of a shock. I know we were moving quickly. And I am willing to slow down, but as I understand it, you are asking to just be friends. Is this correct?
Me: I know you’re willing to be vers, but I’ve been down this road. With my last relationship, I put sex on the back burner for things I thought could make up for it. I learned my lesson. I told myself I would find someone with great sexual chemistry with me. I told myself I wouldn’t settle. As far as the scene things, Griffin doesn’t sound like fun to me, and I know how much you enjoy it. We’d end up constantly making sacrifices for each other. I have no desire to put on a wig and dress up. I’m not judging. It’s just not my idea of fun.
Me: You’re moving home and the job search thing are factors, but not the main obstacles I foresee us running into going forward. I just think we lead different lifestyles. We have a lot in common, but we also have a lot of different priorities. I don’t think slower is going to change things.
PR: As far as the dressing up thing, I did that for the first time in my life for a couple of hours! I never said or expected you to do so. I understand the sexual aspect. And, I agree it’s a big concern. But I thought it was workable. I felt our chemistry was worth exploring and being versatile. My priorities and getting myself in a stable position in my work and home and to one day be able to share all I have to give with someone and build a home and life together. Listen, I thought we had great chemistry. I’m not trying to argue or beg. I just feel like maybe you have some misconceptions about what I value and look for in a person.
Me: I think I have an understanding of what you’re looking for, but I don’t want to sacrifice who we are to make the other happy. It never works. Been there, done that.
PR: I just don’t understand what sacrifices you’re talking about. I don’t believe you were faking the whole time. I feel like something spooked you and you’re not telling me. It sounds like you’re saying I’m too gay for you. But you have never voiced anything like this when I spoke of things like Griffin. I mean this is a drastic reversal from when I last saw you yesterday.
Me: I wasn’t faking it, but we only spent time together. We weren’t out with your friends or mine all that much. It is a reversal because I took a step back and looked at the week and what I learned about you. I didn’t say anything about Griffin because I try to have an open mind, but I need to make changes or I’ll keep repeating old mistakes.
PR: Okay. I wish you the best of luck.
Me: Please don’t be that way. We obviously have a lot in common, so we should be friends.
PR: I would like to be friends. But, I am hurt.
Me: I’m sorry. That’s not my intention at all. That’s what I’m trying to avoid!
PR: I know. It’s better you told me now. I’m not angry or anything towards you. Just sad. I was really looking forward to seeing you tomorrow and had something special planned.
Me: I’m very sorry. I didn’t want to get into tomorrow under false pretenses. That wouldn’t be fair to you. I knew you’d do something utterly sweet.
And with that, our week-long intense relationship came to a close…
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…
On Friday, my last night in San Francisco, I made plans with Swinging D*ck to come to my hotel. We talked about grabbing dinner before staying in for the night. However, he casually invited me to come out with him and his friends when he realized he had to go out for a friend’s birthday. I was apprehensive since it was a torrential downpour outside. It hadn’t rained for three months prior, but now it was raining for three straight days. This trip was turning out to be an epic fail.
I graciously accepted his invitation and waited for his call to tell me where to meet them. Hours passed, and I didn’t hear from him. I was all dressed up with nowhere to go. I decided to run out to grab dinner at In-and-Out when dinnertime passed by. That’s when I finally got a text. He told me they were going to Lookout in a bit. He would text me when they were leaving, and I could meet them there.
I ate my burger in my hotel room and made my way outside to hail a cab. Luckily I wasn’t out in the rain too long.
When I arrived, I made my way to the second story bar and began looking for him. After two minutes, and noticing a lot of men scoping me out, I found him in the crowd on the other side of the bar. I walked over and said hi with a big hug. He introduced me to his friends. They were all very nice. I wasn’t sure exactly how much they knew about me.
I ordered a beer before I was told we would be moving on for the night. It was back out into the rain. Apparently, we were headed to a house party for the remainder of the night but not before popping into a liquor store for some beer. We hopped in a cab and made our way to the party.
It was slightly awkward because I was now a friend of a friend of the host. I was hoping everyone would be okay with my attendance. Luckily, only the entrance was slightly awkward. After that, I was in my element. I talked with my friend, his friend, and many other men at the party. It was the biggest sausage fest I’d ever been too. I think there may have been two women there versus the fifty gay men.
I met some interesting people and one very sexy man who looked a lot like Steve Pasquale (Sean Garrity) from Rescue Me. Swinging D*ck is a smoker, and when I drink I’ve been known to smoke the occasional cigarette, so those were nice breaks where we somewhat stepped away from the group and could talk more. He really was a sweet, intelligent guy. I learned a lot about him talking to him on Skype, and I only wanted to get to know more.
The night was beginning to draw to a close. For one, I had a flight to catch in the morning. Secondly, the birthday boy/host was ready to hit up the bars. Everyone was getting kicked out. S.D. told me he had to tell me something when we got outside. We walked away from the party to find a bodega to get him cigarettes. As we did, he took the opportunity to confide a big secret he’d been walking around with.
He pointed out to me how standoffish he was the previous night, how he had to leave early and how he changed plans from coming to my hotel that night. Then he told me all this wasn’t because he wasn’t attracted to me — Quite the opposite. The reason was because he was HIV positive.
My heart immediately sank, and not in a selfish way. The compassion I felt for him in that moment was so great, I can’t even begin to explain.
Apparently I know very little about HIV. He told me he’d been “positive undetectable” for a year and a half now. I never heard that term before, but deduced its meaning from its name. I also did the math in my head and realized he contacted it just after he started talking to me on Skype. I put two and two together and realized that’s why he was so depressed when I was talking to him. My heart was breaking for him.
He explained that he is on medication, and the doctor told him he would lead a very normal and full life for the remainder of his time on this planet. I was learning a lot about the treatment for HIV. I realized I needed some education, and I was happy I had someone so amazing to teach me.
A large part of me wanted to cry and give him a big hug because I couldn’t imagine what he was going through all this time since being diagnosed. The larger part of me was upset because he felt he couldn’t just tell me outright from the start.
He didn’t know how to tell me, nor did he want to. He thought I would treat him differently or stop being his friend. I told him he needed to give me more credit than that. He was an amazing guy, and nothing changed between us.
He started to explain his strange behaviors I wasn’t even noticing. When I asked him back to my room, he was very leery because of what might happen, but he still wanted to be with me. So, he agreed. When we were fooling around, he said he was purposely taking more time to please me so I wouldn’t even have a chance to please him. When I went for it, that’s when he really said he had to get going. It wasn’t because he wasn’t attracted to me. It wasn’t because he didn’t like me. “I think you’re amazing,” he added. It was because he was scared. I understood completely.
When I asked him to come to my room a second night, he talked to his friend about it. “I don’t know if I can tell him,” he told his friend. His friend told him to do whatever he felt comfortable with. He actually invited me to come out with them that night in an attempt to set me up with his friend. Looking back, I did feel as if I was being sized up as the night progressed. However, I was not feeling him in the slightest.
When we were at the party, he encouraged me to go with the guys who asked me to come with them for some fun because it would get him off the hook. I wasn’t the slightest bit interested in them either, however their compliments were always welcome. 🙂
I never noticed all this, but I jokingly reprimanded him for going through all those charades instead of just telling me as a friend. Of course I would understand. I told him about all my skeletons. I would have hoped he’d feel comfortable telling me his.
We continued to walk to the bar everyone was heading to. He told me about how he contracted it and how bad the situation was. He admitted that’s why he was so depressed when I first started talking to him. It all made sense now.
When we arrived at the bar, it was time for me to say goodbye. I had an early flight, and it was already two in the morning. We talked a little bit more, gave each other a big hug, and made out a little bit. It was hard saying goodbye. I felt we had so much more to talk about. But I needed to go. We kept coming back for just one more kiss before we finally parted ways.
As I walked towards my hotel searching for a cab, I thought about what just happened. My heart was still breaking for him that he had to go through that. I wish I’d known sooner so I could have been there more for him. I was so proud of him for finally finding the courage to tell me. I was starting to think he just wasn’t into me a little bit, but that’s not important. What is important is that I have a friend I love dearly and will always be there for, no matter what happened to him. I just hope he knows that!Follow @onegayatatime
Another night went by, and I was still in the dark about where I stood in Smiles‘ eyes. He had to be somewhat interested, otherwise why would he be sticking around. However, the question remained, was he interested enough for me?
Out of nowhere, Smiles asked me to come with him to see a Christmas play in New Jersey. One of the men he worked with on his movie wrote a spoof on the Nutcracker and thought to ask me to come with him.
I was so frustrated! I was getting mixed signals in every direction. He didn’t invite me to casual Christmas parties, but he invited me to be his guest for a stage-play. I graciously accepted the invitation, but informed him I had a doctor’s appointment I would have to change if we wanted to get a ride from his friends instead of taking the train.
I managed to change my appointment, so I planned to just make my way to his apartment when I finished. I called him as I walked out of my office, but he told me he was still working. I had nowhere to kill time after the doctor really, but I didn’t exactly feel welcome to go down to Smiles’ apartment and hang out while he finished what he needed to do. I figured I would walk around Union Square and try to find something to kill time.
My appointment ended later than expected, and when I called Smiles after, he told me he was wrapping up work, and I could come by. I asked him if he wanted anything from Starbucks and walked towards his apartment.
We didn’t have a lot of time before we were supposed to be picked up, but just enough time to chat a bit and move a few more of his boxes to his storage unit.
When we got picked up, the driver/writer asked me what my connection was. “I know [Smiles],” I responded. I was purposely ambiguous because I myself would like to know the answer to that question. When he asked for clarification, Smiles spoke up and said, “We’re dating.” I was happy to hear him say it publicly for once, but I still didn’t quite know what that meant. At least it was verbalized. He then elaborated as to how long we’ve been dating. He pinpointed it to around the time of the NYC screening of his film. In my mind, I did the math. That was about a month after I met Smiles. Apparently I was one month ahead of him as far as our timelines were concerned. I’d already journeyed out to The Hamptons to see his film once before that night.
The rest of the ride was casual. Smiles even playfully reached his hand down and tickled my crotch. “That’s going to make for an interesting car ride,” I said to him. Smiles sat between myself and one of his friends I’d met twice before. Some in the car were joking about Jersey, and it was interesting to see Smiles defending it now that I’ve given him a more positive opinion about it. I kinda got to know his friend a little better, and I thought he was a good guy. I liked knowing that I could get along well with one of Smiles’ best friends.
When we arrived in the town, we all went out to dinner. It was pleasant, and I met a few new people. Over the course of the meal, somehow it came up that Smiles used to be a dancer. He’d taken classes throughout childhood. This was news to me. Even his good friend didn’t know about it. When I went to make a comment, Smiles jokingly shushed me out of embarrassment. He told me I wasn’t allowed to bring it up again.
We got to the theater and took our seats. Our group was all over the auditorium. Smiles and I were nowhere near anyone else. Before the show started, we cracked a few jokes and made some sexual innuendos about the Nutcracker on the stage curtain. I liked the playfulness I was witnessing in Smiles for once.
The show was far from good, but I had fun with it. I wasn’t expecting a Broadway hit. Smiles was nonplussed.
We got a ride back, and swapped Smiles’ friend for another. When we were getting in the car, Smiles had the friend sit in the middle. I’m significantly taller than anyone in the car, so I wasn’t going to sit in the middle, but the fact that Smiles wasn’t willing to make that sacrifice to sit next to me I found VERY off-putting. I sat next to a stranger, which I’m comfortable with, instead of the man I was dating for an hour-long car ride.
I became the topic of conversation once again. This time it was about my origins. They were surprised to learn I grew up on a farm. “Oh. A farm boy. Better hold onto this one [Smiles],” the driver exclaimed. The rest of the ride home was casual as well. They were kind enough to drop us at my apartment since Smiles was spending the night.
It was late, so we immediately began to get ready for bed. “What’s with you and the purple underwear?” he said. I informed him it was navy. I showed him my one pair of purple underwear and said, “This is purple.” I continued with, “What? Don’t you like it?” He told me he did. He was just surprised I had such colorful underwear. I hardly find navy boxer briefs all that arresting, but I went with it.
We hopped into bed and spooned for a little while we chatted about a few random things. I wasn’t going to see Smiles for some time after that night because of the Christmas break, so there was no way I was making it through the night without getting my answer on where we were. Somehow the topic of chatroulette and manroulette came up. I explained to him how it worked and told him it was how I met the first guy I dated.
As time passed, we turned out the light. We were still snuggling when I finally built up the courage to say, “So where are we?”
“Somewhere between Hoboken and SoHo,” he joked. I responded, “That’s an avoiding answer if I ever heard one.”
After a pause, Smiles said, “I can’t be in a serious relationship right now. When I am, I put a lot of myself into it, and I can’t let myself do that. I need to concentrate on my career right now. But, I really enjoy hanging out with you and spending time with you.”
I took a second to absorb what he just said to me. It wasn’t the answer I was looking for, but it also wasn’t a crushing blow. My response was: “I was pretty much okay with whatever answer you had for that question. I just needed to know where I stood. I would like to continue to move forward, but I’m not in any rush or anything.” He knew I wasn’t thrilled with his answer. I don’t know if it was out of fear I would leave or if he truly was concerned with my feelings on the situation, but he added, “If it becomes a problem, let me know.”
We cuddled some more and went to sleep. I was relieved to finally have the answer. I felt a huge weight lift off my back. I was also horny. I tried to seduce him. “If you keep rubbing me, I’m never going to fall asleep,” he retorted. I quickly quipped, “Maybe that’s what I’m going for.”
I didn’t keep putting up a fight. I knew it was useless. He was stubborn enough that he’d certainly win that battle. I made myself comfortable to sleep and tried not to dwell on the news I’d just received. It was time to sleep. Worrying about what he said would only get in the way of that. Tomorrow was another day…Follow @onegayatatime
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.
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…