Posts Tagged crowd

Reset Button

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.

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

2 Comments

Gym Hottie

Since my breakup with Smiles, I’ve been making greater efforts to spend more time with friends. I didn’t neglect them while I was dating him, but I certainly didn’t shower them with attention either. They’re very important to me, and I wanted to make sure they knew they were appreciated. Of course, I also just loved hanging out with them, otherwise they wouldn’t be my friends.

One of my old roommates asked me if I wanted to go out to the bar. It’d been a long time since he’d done this. It came quite out of the blue, but I was very happy for the invitation. Since we don’t live together, we get along much better. It wasn’t that we fought all the time while we lived together or anything. It’s just much simpler now. I look forward to bar nights with him.

At the same time, one of the girls who I know from my annual Martha’s Vineyard trips was planning a birthday gathering the same night a block from my office. I asked my old roommate if he minded going there for happy hour. I thought it would make things convenient so I could spend time with both. It’d been a long time since I caught up with both friends.

My old roommate and I arrived at the bar early. We made our way through the crowd at Gingerman to the bar to order some beers. I offered to pick up the first round, as I generally do. I handed him his beer and we cheersed. It was at that moment I learned it was his birthday. I had no idea until he said something. I felt like such a sh*t. He was a close friend, and I was usually up on that sort of thing. I have everyone’s birthday in my phone, so I checked to see how I missed the date. It turned out I didn’t have his birthday in there, but with more investigation, I had scheduled it a month later on the same date. I told him how bad I felt, but also added, “At least I offered to buy the round! Haha.” He laughed and quickly forgave my mistake. I thought about it for a second, and realized I was the only one meeting him for drinks. I was the one he wanted to spend his birthday with. I was touched and happy.

We stood by the door because it was the only place we could stand, drink and have a discussion. He told me his plans to go to Atlantic City that weekend for his birthday with a busload of people. I wished him luck since it sounded like such a complicated situation.

After some time, the birthday girl arrived. She came in and gave me a big hug. I introduced her to my old roommate, and we quickly caught up. She decided to make her way to the back of the bar to see if she could grab a table when the bouncer chased us away from the front door. My old roommate and I had already been back there and knew there were no tables, so I let her find out for herself after telling her that. He and I made our way to the front corner of the bar. Just as we did, a couch opened up. I texted the birthday girl to come join us. About ten minutes later, she finally did and brought the rest of her group over.

I talked with my old roommate as more and more people filtered in. It was becoming an intimate little circle. I introduced him to everyone that joined that I knew. When the evening was dragging on, I decided I was read to head home. I had to take equipment home from work, so I was going to book a car service from my office. I invited my old roommate to join me since he still lives in Hoboken as well, and he accepted. I pointed out how I bought all his drinks and provided him a ride home, proving I wasn’t a bad friend who forgot his birthday after all.

We said goodbye to the birthday girl and the rest of the group. She pulled me aside and told me how cute he was. I explained to her he wasn’t a love interest. I pointed out how she’d met him at my Christmas parties, as well as his girlfriend. She was so confused, but I realized what happened. He was guilty by association. Because he was sitting on the couch with me, and because of my status as a gay man, everyone who knew this bit of information also assumed he was gay as well.

As we walked to the car, I pointed out to him what happened. Even though there was nothing I could have done to prevent it, I apologized to him for it. He was oblivious to it, and he laughed it off.

That night, I also had to say goodbye to another ex-roommate. He was still a good friend and tennis partner. He was moving to San Francisco for work, which meant I would probably see him once a year like my other San Francisco friends. I was very sad to see another friend go. Slowly but surely, all my friends were moving away or pairing up and falling off the face of the earth. I know this is part of getting older, but that doesn’t make it any less painful.

My sister and I went to the bar where he and his friends were gathering. It was nice to get to see him since it had been so long. He’d been quite busy with his new job, but now I’d see even less of him. After I got to chat with him for a bit, I texted my other friends, D and his girlfriend and asked what they were up to. They wanted to meet up for drinks, so we decided to go to Cooper’s Union, where I know the owner and bartender.

We met them there, and the whole lot of us wasn’t charged for a single drink the entire night. He always took great care of me and my friends when he worked at my usual watering hole. Now that he branched off and opened his own bar, the attention only got better.

I had a great time with everyone that night. I got to see so many of my friends. Normally I’m too lazy to do any of these things. I always bail last minute out of selfishness, but I was trying to be better about it. It was already paying off. I had a really great time.

In the middle of all this, a gorgeous man walked into the bar. I’d seen him many times before. I’d actually seen quite a bit of him as well. He was a usual at my favorite bar, and he was a usual at my gym in the city. Apparently we both lived in Hoboken, and we both worked in the same neighborhood. I’d had a crush on him for a looonnnggg time, but had a very strong feeling he was straight. He was still gorgeous and fun to look at.

At the same time, I noticed he caught my sister’s eye as well. It’s ironic, but we have the same taste in men periodically. We both acknowledged shared interest in him, but I pointed out to her it wasn’t even worth a battle. She’d already won. There was almost no question in my mind he was straight “How do you know?” she asked. “I can just tell. But, I can also tell you he looks great with no clothes on — At least from the backside anyway,” I added. We both laughed and she continued to ogle him from afar. I did as well, but I was much more discreet about it.

When I was tired and it was time to go home, I gathered everyone to make our way home. Of course I wasn’t going to walk out without paying. I gathered cash from everyone and handed him a wad of cash before walking out the door.

I had a great night. I saw a lot of my friends in one night, I got to scope out a hottie I’ve had my eye on, and I had cheap drinks. Maybe single life was working out well for me. Maybe it was time I tried that for a while… Maybe not…

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment

Goodbye to a Closer Long-Distance Friend

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!

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

5 Comments

Every One But the One I Want

Friday arrived, and I was starting to nail down plans with Smiles for the night. He had things to do all day, so we planned to grab dinner and then head to his friend’s birthday party.

This meant I had time to kill after work. My good friend A asked me to grab happy hour drinks with her. She recently moved our of Hoboken into the city with her boyfriend, so I was already seeing a lot less of her. We were due for a catch-up.

She picked a place in the Flatiron District that’s known for their happy hour. We cozied up to a spot at the bar and chatted about our new situations. It had been a while since I caught her up on the status between Smiles and I. I took her for a ride on the roller-coaster ride of emotions I’d been through. She gave me advice on how I should proceed and things I should watch out for. After five years, she knows me quite well and can predict a lot about me, so I’ve come to listen intently to what she says.

She also took the time to talk about the new challenges she faced moving in with her boyfriend. I tried to give her my two cents for what it was worth. My biggest advice to her was to pick her battles. On the things she could let go, she should, but on the things she really cared about, she should make a stink. That way, he would realize with more poignancy when he was doing things that got under her skin.

In the middle of our conversation, Smiles called to discuss dinner. He chose a place about two blocks from where we were drinking, and we agreed to meet in a half hour. When the time came, and A and I had our fill of cocktails, we walked to the restaurant Smiles chose. I coerced her into coming along to meet him since none of my friends had the opportunity yet.

I introduced them to each other, and Smiles invited her to join us for dinner. A had plans to meet her boyfriend for dinner, and I could tell she was looking for a quick exit, so she agreed to sit with us for a few minutes. She was already running late. I appreciated her making the extra effort, and gave her the out she needed. I told her to get on her way.

After she left, the conversation with Smiles was slightly forced and awkward. I was having a hard time breaking through and there were periods of silence. I learned he was feeling very sick and his stomach was bothering him. He had issues with his appendix, and it was inflamed and bothering him again.

Now, I was worried. I genuinely cared for him and my paternal instincts kicked in. I was worried for his safety and said, “Don’t be a hero on me here. If you aren’t feeling well, we can go at any time. Don’t soldier on on my account.”

“Thank you for your concern, but I’ll be fine,” he replied.

The rest of the meal was pleasant, but quiet. I reached my hand under the table to rub his knee to try to make a better connection while we chatted. That, and I was still worried about his condition.

When we finished dinner and desert, we had some time to kill. Smiles walked around the neighborhood looking for a massage parlor (legit, not sexual) in which to kill time before the birthday party. We couldn’t find one still open to take advantage of, so we hopped in a cab and made our way to the party.

When we arrived at the party, I was slightly overwhelmed by the crowd. I’d never been to a party so heavily skewed male in my life. I learned the birthday boy was gay, which answered a lot of questions for me.

We found a comfortable spot to plant ourselves and each grabbed a drink and something to nosh on. We made a friend and chatted with him a bit. He was an extremely jacked and cut black man who is an interior decorator. It was interesting hearing him talk about his occupation, all while looking at someone who looked like a personal trainer.

After some time, this man turned to us and said, “Oh. Are you two together?”

Both their eyes focused on me. The pressure was on. I didn’t know what answer Smiles was looking for, but I saw this as an opportunity to gauge his reaction. I tilted my head slightly to the side nodding and said, “Yeah.”

Our new friend called attention to and questioned my head tilt heavily. I pointed out we didn’t know each other all that long. I still look back and wonder if Smiles was actually looking for me to say yes. I still wonder if he was being distant because he thought I wasn’t fully invested in our budding relationship. Of course I wanted to say yes, we were dating, but I didn’t know where his head was at the time. I didn’t want to scare him off by being overzealous.

We were nearing the time to head out for the night, but I needed to use the facilities first. That was particularly a challenge because the bathroom was being used by a few to sign a birthday book photo album. Finally, I gave up and assumed I could go when I got back to Smiles’ apartment.

We went downstairs and hopped in a shared cab with one of the female guests from the party. As we progressed, I learned I would not be going back to Smiles’ apartment. My destination was the PATH to go home. I was slightly shocked and annoyed. It was a Friday night. Why wasn’t I being invited back to his place. I know I’d never been there before, but this was a bit ridiculous. It was around midnight, and I was dreading my trek back to Hoboken.

He hopped out of the cab with me. We said goodbye on the street with a quick kiss, and I was on my way home. I’m not gonna lie. I was hurt. I felt rejected. There was only so much rejection I could take.

As I walked, I pulled out my phone. I called Boston, but of course, he was still ignoring my calls. I left him yet another voicemail. I also called my new friend to see what he’s been up to. No answer either. Finally, I texted the Principal. It’d been a while since we chatted, so I thought I’d given him enough space. We began texting, but I told him I’d have to continue the conversation on the other side of the river.

While waiting for the PATH, I nearly p*ssed my pants. The train going into the city dropped off a tranny who felt the need to flirtatiously wave at me and say hi. When it finally arrived, I leaned my back against the wall and closed me eyes to concentrate on something other than my bladder. Two women were in front of me on the crowded train, and around a turn, one fell into me. They started arguing with each other and engaged me in conversation. Though not stated outright, I learned they were a lesbian couple, and they were hot. We had a long conversation, and when we arrived at the Hoboken stop, they invited me to come hang out with them. They had no idea my preferences fall in the men category, and they were inviting me back to their place. I used my bladder as an excuse and said goodbye. It was early enough, but I  was not in the mood to play.

While speed walking home, a very large black girl grabbed my arm, pulled me towards her, and shouted, “TAKE ME HOME WITH YOU!” I ripped my arm free and continued to walk home, all the while texting with the Principal. I was flirting slightly, but not to the point of crossing the line with him. I missed talking to him and our flirtations. I really did like the guy, but the distance was still killer.

When I got home, I relieved myself and hopped into bed. I was disappointed I was there alone, but I opened up a whole new can of worms with the Principal. He still wasn’t over me, and I just scratched open that scab again. I even went as far as to pull up Grindr again for the first time in over a month.

It was just my luck. The one I wanted to be spending my night with just sent me on my way, while everyone I didn’t want anything to do with seemed interested in me.

Furthermore, I wouldn’t be seeing Smiles the following day. Originally I was planning to go to a horse race in New Jersey and invited him to join. When the day was approaching I was no longer interested in going and sold my ticket. I was hoping to spend the day with Smiles, but I learned he was going to Six Flags with friends — without me. I understand he has a life of his own, and I don’t have to spend every waking moment with him. But at this stage in our relationship, I wanted to spend more and more time with him. I certainly would have invited him on a fun trip such as the one he was going on. Apparently, he didn’t feel as strongly for me. A clearer picture was being painted for me. Maybe he just wasn’t that into me.

I realized things weren’t going as smooth as I would have liked, so I set myself on entertaining other ideas…

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

3 Comments