Posts Tagged depressed
The idea that I was in LA for work completely faded from my mind, as did the trysts I’d met since my arrival. After meeting The Navigator, I was on cloud 9 since we hung out on the beach. He was an amazing guy, and I knew if we lived in the same city, we’d be dating.
Before going to bed, we exchanged a few messages around 2:00am. “Hiya handsome. Sorry for texting you so late. Just wanted to say hello,” he texted. I texted back, “Miss you lots. Can’t wait to see you again!” I didn’t care if I was being a bit aggressive; I was being honest. I had nothing to lose here, and I needed to get back to being more honest with myself and the guys I date.
The next morning, I woke up to my early alarm alone in my bed and immediately missed his presence. I quickly looked to my phone to see if I had a message. I did! “The pix of you on the hike turned out great! You look so handsome!” The previous night, we became Facebook friends. This wasn’t the text I was looking for, but it still made me happy.
I had a plan to go for a run that morning, and should I still have the energy, I would take a dip in the pool. I’d gone to the weight room and the pool the night before from 10:30-11:30. Even with all the guys I was spending time with, I was finding time for myself. I needed to get myself in line on this trip as well. I’d been floundering for far too long.
When I finished my run, I checked my phone, and I still didn’t have a message from The Navigator. I decided to take a dip in the hot tub to relax my muscles and take my mind off the excitement I anticipated all day. Finally, my phone lit up: “Morning! We have a call out for the next shift, so if there are no volunteers we draw straws. Keep your fingers crossed for me pal!”
My heart sank. There was no possibility he wouldn’t be joining me on the PCH until now. Now, I had to prepare myself for the idea this drive would be solo. If you recall, I HATE being alone. I don’t do well alone. I get depressed. This was one of the fears I had booking this trip, but I wanted to force myself to get used to it if I had to. I quickly responded, “Tell your boy to take one for the team. You have a hot date 🙂 Fingers crossed.”
I hopped out of the hot tub and made my way back to my room to shower and get ready for my road trip. I tried not to think about an empty passenger seat until I got another text: “:( Looks like there may be a surgery… If the owner approves the estimate, then it’s no longer a choice. I’m [Dr.’s] surgery tech. Still a slim chance :(“
I was now facing the fact I would be driving alone. It was supposed to be a nice day, so I convinced myself I would be fine. It was going to be an exciting drive up the coast. I was going to go all the way up to Santa Barbara and check things out along the way. I still wanted to see him, so I asked, “What time would you be done ish?”
He didn’t answer me immediately. After I packed my bags, I got another text: “I’m gonna stop dragging my heels. Everyone is looking to me. UGH!!! It’s another full shift, but then I have the next day and a half off. So, I’ll be off at 5:30.” I could accept that, but I asked, “Can I see you then?” He immediately responded, “I’ll hurry home as soon as I can… yes!”
I told him I was packing up the car and about to hit the road. “I’ll aim to be back in the area around 5:30. Let me know closer to then what’s up… Maybe we’ll just meet somewhere since I don’t have to come back to the hotel. Sad I’m not spending the day with you, but I understand completely… Looking forward to this evening!” I added. With that, I hopped in the car and made my way to Porto’s Bakery for an amazing Cuban Medianoche sandwich that was incredibly difficult to eat in the car, a chocolate croissant and an iced mocha latte. If you even happen to be in Glendale, check this place out. It’s amazing!
I drove all the way up the coast taking in all the sights. At one point, Highway 1 cuts inland. I wasn’t paying attention, and I ended up in the middle of the orange groves and strawberry patches. I watched the motorcycle gangs as I passed them with envy. I would have killed to have my motorcycle out there. I get out of the care until I reached Santa Barbara. I pulled up to the beach and stood up for the first time in a few hours. I stretched out and broke out my camera to snap some pictures. It was a gorgeous area, and all I could think about was living there. I could move to LA, marry an amazing man, and we could retire to Santa Barbara. That’s when my thoughts jumped right back to The Navigator.
“Santa Barbara misses you,” I texted him. I was still disappointed he wasn’t with me, but I wasn’t going to let it ruin my drive. I had a sick convertible, no real timetable, and the freedom to do whatever I wanted. The ride up did allow me some clarity. I cleared my head of all the thoughts of the past. Everything was forward-looking.
After I had my fill of Santa Barbara, I made my way inland to Ojai. I’d always wanted to check it out since I seen Brothers and Sisters. The family business was there and it always looked gorgeous on-screen. I climbed up one side of winding mountains and down the other. I pulled off the side of the road a few times to take in the beauty of it all and snap some pictures for posterity.
When I arrived down into Ojai proper, I was shocked by how small town it was. I was out in rural farmland. It didn’t quite feel like home because the geography was very different from home, but it was very nice to see this side of the West Coast. I called my parents to tell them I was searching for Nora (a character on Brothers and Sisters), and they both laughed at me. They’d forgotten I was out there for work/vacation, and they expressed their jealousy. I thought about my new friend as well, texting, “Ojai misses you too.” Finally, he responded. I knew he was busy working, so I was surprised to get a response. “What’s Ojai? Pic?” he asked. When I told him, he added, “I miss you :)” I was swooning a little bit.
I told him I was on my way back to LA and asked where he worked. He told me the name of the street, and I added, “Maybe I should meet you there. Then I’m not venturing that far from the airport.” He’d forgotten I had to catch a flight. I told him it would just mean more time we would get to spend together.
As I passed through Santa Monica, I reached out to him once again: “What’s the plan Stan? At Venice Beach. Was gonna drive down to Marina Del Ray… Could come out there and let me take you out to dinner.” I waited a long time to hear from him again. I even stopped at a Starbucks so I could park the car and walk around a bit. I ordered a coffee and walked out onto the pier in Venice Beach to take some pictures of the ocean. I still had a lot of time to kill, so I sat in the Starbucks charging my laptop while I wrote a blog entry.
Then I got a text from him I wish I’d never read: “Hey pal. I think I’m gonna have to skip hanging out. I’m exhausted. I just want to sleep. I hate to do that to you. I know you’ve been waiting. I’m not even gonna drive home. Gonna sleep at a coworkers place a couple blocks away. Didn’t really get to sleep before the shifts started. I had an amazing time with you and would love it if we stayed in touch. Hope you have a safe flight home and maybe I can come visit you in Jersey (hint hint) Muah handsome… Thanks for everything :)” I was heartbroken. All I could think to respond was, “Wish I at least got to say goodbye.” He quickly shot back, “I know. Me too… I’m just very tired.”
This wasn’t good enough for me. “Let me know if I can at least come and say goodbye. If not, it’s cool…” I sent in an attempt to strike and emotional chord. When I got no response, I called him – No answer.
He texted back, “Still at work. Can text, but not talk. I’ll call you at 5:30 handsome.” I would have to be patient. I know my usual aggressive style, so I tried to curb that bad habit. When the clock reached 5:45, I called him again — No answer. I texted him again, “I have the time to kill. I could come and say bye and you go to sleep. I get it if you’re too tired to hang.” More time passed, and I still didn’t hear from him. I was emotionally beginning to panic. I knew the time to say goodbye was going to come, and I tried to prepare myself for it. But, to not have that at all rocked me a little.
Now, I was grasping at straws. I changed course and sped back to downtown LA. I called him over and over again while I weaved in and out of cars. Maybe if I wasn’t so locked in on one thing, I would have realized I could actually deal with LA traffic with the skills I was exercising.
In a last stitch effort, I texted, “In the middle of LA hoping I can come say goodbye before I go to the airport. Please call.” Silence. He’d gone dark on me. I was so disappointed in him. I thought we shared something special. I wanted him as a friend, and he was abandoning me. I was being very selfish, but so was he. I admitted defeat and gave up:
“Heading to airport. Sorry. I wasn’t trying to make a big deal about it. Just wanted to give a proper goodbye, even if just for two minutes. Get some rest. Def stay in touch. Hope I made a good friend on this trip! You’re a great guy! You have a place to stay any time you want to visit New Jersey/New York! Would love it if you called tomorrow when you wake up! 🙂 Stay sexy!”
He never called. When I got home, he never Facebook messaged me either. I was very disappointed. I wasn’t giving in that easily though. I texted him days later to see if he’d truly cut me off completely: “Hey stud. How’s it going? Just wanted to say hi.” I was happy to see a response some time later: “Hey 🙂 Sorry I didn’t say goodbye. I’m not very good at that type of thing. I know it wasn’t very nice. I had a wonderful time with you though. How is everything?”
We continued to text each other periodically over time. He even called me one day, but I missed his call. I hope I have a true friend in him. He really is a great guy, and if I can’t have him as my own, I’ll take him as a friend. I look forward to the day I can see him again. Maybe work will send me out there again. Maybe he’ll come to New Jersey for a visit. Maybe I’ll make a true pleasure trip out there and see him on my own. Who knows???Follow @onegayatatime
Things between PR and I seemed to be something of a fairy tale. We’d met months earlier on Grindr after he had a very rough breakup, and I was just getting my relationship off the ground with Smiles. He temporarily moved a few blocks from me, and after a night out as friends, we’ve been spending a lot of time together as love interests.
After our night out to the movies and dinner, PR spent the night once again. Why should he sleep on a pull-out when he could be sharing a California King with me. I got ready for work, and he made his way home to figure out his day. He was on-call that day, but ended up not having to go into work. Instead, he went shopping with his mother.
When he returned to Hoboken Wednesday night, he came over to hang out. We watched TV in each other’s arms on the couch and he spent the night once again. Things were getting hot and heavy with us, and fast. We still hadn’t had “sex’ in the traditional penetration sense of the word, but we were fully enjoying each other’s company.
Thursday night I have volleyball. This was good because it offered a natural break for us. I couldn’t believe he wasn’t tired of me yet. We’d been spending A LOT of time together, and I’m not always the easiest to be around. I was happy to have the time apart – Not because I didn’t want to see him, but more so because it made me look forward to seeing him again that much more.
When I got home from volleyball, he started texting me. We texted about the shows we were watching until he added, “So, I miss you.” I quickly replied, “Stop being so adorable. You know I can’t resist it!” And then he called it spot on. I love how real and upfront he is about things. “Is today resist each other day? If you need a break, I understand. I find you intoxicating in the best sense — Like happy,” he texted. I told him I did not need a break, and I in fact did miss him. But I also told him I wanted to make sure we didn’t tire of each other. He told me he was having a rough day. He heard back about a job he applied for and was told he didn’t get the position. I felt really bad that was the night we decided to spend apart. I’m sure he just needed a hug. He was depressed. I told him. “I can try to hug it away.” He asked if we could hang out the following night. I told him I had no plans and would love to.
When he stopped responding to my texts, I joked, “Replaced me with pizza?” He apologized since his pizza was delivered, and he added, “Food won’t comfort me as much as you.” And with a smile on my face, I dozed off for the night.
The next night, he came over. I made dinner for us both, and we watched movies. It was nice to have someone to spend my evenings with. This is what I really wanted in a relationship. This is what I was looking for. I was happy!
When we woke the next day, I made us breakfast. He spent the afternoon with me, and we finally motivated ourselves to hit the gym. He went home and changed while I showered. We met at the corner and walked to the gym together. He was very quiet and solemn that morning. We didn’t work out together, but that’s because I like to do my own thing at the gym. We finished at the same time and walked home together.
That’s when he dropped a small bomb on me. He told me he was moving back home. I didn’t quite know how to take the news. I wasn’t thrilled with it. It meant he would be much further away, and we wouldn’t be spending evenings together so readily. I knew why he did it, and I realized he needed to get his life back on track. But, I selfishly didn’t like the idea.
That evening I had a bunch of friends come over to pregame before hitting up my friend’s birthday gathering at a bar a block away. He met many of my friends and seemed to fit in, but I still had the idea of him moving home in the back of my mind. When the time came, we all made our way to the bar. It was a fun night, but PR was being standoffish. He wasn’t mingling with my friends and was only talking to me a majority of the night. I was a little disappointed. On top of this, he was getting pretty inebriated and flirtatious. I’m comfortable with my sexuality, but I don’t like PDA in a “straight” bar. I feel all eyes on me, and it hinders me from enjoying myself. Nothing he was doing crossed the line, but it also was edging further and further.
By the time we moved to a friend’s bar (after hours) he was being overt. Granted it was a much more exclusive group and mainly my friends, but he was drunk and making me uncomfortable. I tried to just look past it.
Once again, we went to Cluck U to get a late-night snack. He was so drunk he couldn’t stay awake long enough to eat his. I carried him to my bed and tucked him in. He wasn’t happy because he wanted his chicken, but soon enough he dozed off. I put it in the fridge until the following day. I wasn’t resentful at all of this. I actually enjoyed taking care of him. I knew if our relationship continued, he’d be doing the same for me down the road. I sat in the living room and ate my chicken with the company of my thoughts. I had a lot on my mind since he told me he’d be moving back home. The news he didn’t get the position he applied for was a little unsettling as well. On top of this, there was the incompatibility we shared in the bedroom that hadn’t been resolved. This wasn’t the stability I was searching for, but I was still enjoying his company.
When I had my fill, I tucked myself in bed in quickly dozed off.
The next day, we woke, and he continued to give me $hit for not allowing him to eat his chicken the night before. He ate it for lunch instead.
We got dressed and ready for the day finally. I needed to go grocery shopping, so we walked to Garden of Eden together. His mother was coming in an hour to take him home. It was a bittersweet day. We’d spent more than a week straight together with the exception of one day. Things progressed quickly, but then again, they were about to change drastically.
I said goodbye to him as we made plans for the coming days. We were a few days away from Valentine’s Day, and he really wanted to celebrate it together. I obliged.
I thought about him the rest of the night and what this new arrangement would mean for us. I was quickly coming back down from the clouds…Follow @onegayatatime
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
Yet another video I’d like to share. This one is a music video for one of my new favorite groups, Duck Sauce. Great song and love the sexual connotations, but may not be safe for work depending on what you do. Enjoy!
On with the story…
Every Tuesday in Hoboken is free movie night if you have Cablevision’s triple play. I do not, but I have some very generous friends who do, and they lend me their card when they’re not using it.
I asked Smiles if he wanted to catch a movie and dinner. He told me he could possibly do dinner, but there was no way he could do the movie. He had to be up at 6:30 the following morning for a work meeting, so spending the night in my bed was off the table.
While I was finishing up work, he was moving his final boxes into his storage unit from Harlem. I agreed to help him when I arrived downtown, but when I got there, he was already finished.
I walked him back to his apartment. We talked about his day on the walk. I waited while he showered and changed after loading and unloading all those boxes to go to dinner.
While he was moving the boxes, both his parents called, separately. He was a little worried, so on the way to the restaurant, he dialed his mother. Smiles said he needed to walk a while, so we kinda just went for a stroll. We talked a little about work and how he got to where he is today. We stopped in a few stores on the way. We were walking for over a half hour before we settled on a spot to grab some grub.
We settled on Peels. When he returned to the table after washing his hands, the conversation was very dry. There were many long awkward pauses throughout the night. I struggled to think about anything we could to talk about. Nothing. I didn’t know what to do. We continued to eat in silence. It was incredibly awkward. I was so worried we’d hit that point already where we had nothing to talk about. I was petrified.
Was he distracted by the phone calls? Did something happen? Who knows?
When we finished eating, we paid the bill and began walking back toward his place and the PATH. We ran into a friend along the way, and Smiles chatted with him for a short while after barely introducing me. After we left the friend, he explained who he was and how close a friend he is. I was a little surprised. If he was such a good friend, then why was he so casual when introducing me. Maybe I didn’t mean as much to him as he did to me. Maybe I was putting too much of myself out there too soon. We’d been dating for a month and a half. I thought we’d be closer knit at this point, but maybe I was wrong. Maybe I had different expectations.
As we walked, he told me he was tired and a bit out of it. This wasn’t news to me after the awkward dinner we just had. He walked me to a crossroad and said goodbye. When I went in for a kiss, I barely received anything in return. It was almost like a child begrudgingly accepting a kiss from a grandparent. I felt like a piece of sh*t.
As I walked by myself to the PATH, I wondered if this thing had run its course. How much longer were we going to go before he fully opened up to me? — Before I didn’t have to wonder where I stood with him? I was tired of the uncertainty. It was dragging me down.
I needed to talk to someone, so I called Boston. No answer as usual. College always gets in the way of our friendship!
Next, I called LES to see what he was up to. No answer, so I left a message.
Then I texted the Principal just to say hi and see how he was doing. When I came above ground on the other side of the Hudson River, I received a response from him. We texted back-n-forth for the remainder of my walk home. When I got to my apartment, I immediately climbed into bed. I was depressed. This relationship was looking pretty bleak. Silence at dinner and an awkward kiss goodnight. Once again, maybe he just wasn’t into me.
The Principal and I continued to text over the next hour while I watched some TV. I explained to him I still had some feelings for him, however, the distance thing just wouldn’t work out for me. Apparently, I opened up a can of worms there. He really did miss me. I’m not sure why I felt the need to reach out to the Prinicpal that night. I thought I passed that chapter in the story. I think I did it for selfish reasons because I needed to feel wanted again. I knew the Principal would provide that for me. Looking back, I never should have done that.
In my mode of depression, I also responded to one of the guys who had hit me up on OKCupid. I asked him if he wanted to grab a drink sometime. I was taking my friends’ advice. I wasn’t going to put all my eggs in one basket. The guy responded, and we scheduled a date for the following night…Follow @onegayatatime
After being rejected yet again by Smiles, I became quite depressed about my situation. The guy I was dating just didn’t seem all that interested in me. I was always chasing him, but it never seemed to go the other way. I needed to do something to distract myself.
One was headed to the car dealership to pick up some paperwork for his new car. He invited me to tag along, and I jumped at the opportunity. Anything to get me out of the apartment and distracted from my own misery was welcome.
We drove around for a while and the distraction was working for the most part, but my mind would periodically wander back to thoughts of Smiles. I knew he was at Six Flags, but had no idea who he was with. I was a little suspect, but I definitely needed to get out of that mentality. I WAS NOT going to have a repeat of the N situation!
While at the dealership, I got a text from one of my other friends who wanted to go to the mall. I told him I’d go as soon as I got back to Hoboken from the dealership. We drove back, and I switched cars.
The mall proved to be a decent distraction. I didn’t need to buy anything, but shopping and browsing gave me something to concentrate on. I tried to be a good friend and help my buddy pick out new clothes, but he’s not the easiest to shop with.
While walking around, my new friend in the city (we’ll call him LES for Lower East Side from here on out) texted back. He wasn’t doing anything and was looking to do a little day drinking. I told him I would join him, but I was at the mall. “People still do that?” he responded.
I had a little fun while shopping, texting LES about the random sh*t I encountered and sending him some picture messages. After my friend had his fill of the mall, we grabbed lunch and went home.
I showered and changed and made my way into the city. We met up at the 14th Street PATH station and walked down to the Village. I knew of a few fun bars near the NYU campus I thought we could hit up. I was forcing LES to get out of the Lower East Side and start venturing west. As we walked, we swapped a few fun stories. The first bar we went to was Off The Wagon, and staple in my old bar routine. We grabbed beers and chatted. After some time, LES proposed we do shots of Jäger. Jägermeister always gets me in trouble cause I get crazy, but I obliged.
The plan was to hit up a birthday gathering at the Standard Biergarten later that night, but we would drink our way through the city until then.
After Off the Wagon, LES wanted to go to a gay bar. The problem is, I don’t know where any of them are, and he was in a neighborhood he was not familiar with. I know there are a fair amount on Christopher Street, so we headed in that direction. We came upon a few gay bars, but they all seemed to be packed with daddies and bears. Neither of us were thrilled with the clientele so we continued on. The good news was we were heading towards the Standard the whole time.
We passed Employees Only, the bar I met Smiles in, and decided to stop in. LES was intrigued by its mysterious look. From the outside, it looks like a psychic’s parlor, not a bar – This is done on purpose. Being there made me think of Smiles, but I was really enjoying my time with LES. There was no drama, and we were having a lot of fun.
After grabbing one drink there, we started to make our way into Chelsea. LES wanted to stop into Gym, a slightly clubbish gay bar. He hit up the bar to grab us drinks, and I made my way to the restrooms. When I returned, he had four gigantic shots of Jäger waiting for us. I asked he what he was trying to do, and he explained there was a credit card minimum. He tried to give two of the shots away, but no one was interested. We each threw back two, and I prepared for a crazy night. LES wasn’t thrilled with the scene, so he proposed we move on.
It was time to hit up the Standard Biergarten, so we walked the last few blocks and bought our beer tickets. We found LES’s roommates and friends and made our way to the ping-pong table with our large beers. I liked his friends, and it appeared they all really liked me. We played a bit and had a really good time. The Standard also reminded me of Smiles, but I was having too good of a time to get depressed about it. LES was doing a great job of keeping me in the present.
Shortly after arriving, a strange black man came up to us wearing a letterman’s jacket and started talking to LES. It appeared LES made a new friend. We chatted with him about his jacket and took pictures with him. Apparently it was this guy’s birthday, and he was there alone. LES felt bad for him and bought him a beer, but I knew this guy was a stage-five clinger. He wasn’t gay (wedding ring) and wasn’t hitting on LES, but I could tell he was lonely and needed friends. I didn’t want to get stuck with him for the night. Somehow, LES managed to ditch him.
At one point, we discovered a photo booth near the restrooms. I told LES we had to hop in and take pix. We took some of the pumpkins that were lying around in with us and had a blast.
After all that drinking and not eating, I was starving. I wasn’t the only one. We all came up with a plan to distract the baker and steal one of the large soft pretzels they sell there. Everyone had a role, and we executed the plan flawlessly. I was having a lot of fun. I felt like I was back in college again, mainly because I was hanging out with a lot of fresh college graduates.
We scarfed down that pretzel like a pack of hyenas over a fresh kill and washed it down with yet another beer. While we ate, LES turned to me and said, “So, what’s the deal with this other guy?” I explained how we’d been dating for some time, but was honest about the uncertainty. I told him about Six Flags, and LES immediately replied, “You need to drop him!” I have a feeling he had ulterior motives, but maybe he was just looking out for me. It was flattering for him to ask about the “other guy.” I took that to show he was interested in me.
I was drunk. All the Jäger and all the beer finally caught up with me. LES was ready to go and proposed we head back to his place and smoke.
We took a cab to his apartment and smoked while we watched an episode of Archer. All of a sudden, I felt incredibly nauseous. LES looked at me and suggested we go for a walk outside because I had “pukey face.” I knew I did, so I agreed. I know myself, and I knew I would never give up to the urge to puke in his apartment. But, I also hoped the fresh air would help make me feel better. It did. LES was happy, and we went back inside.
It was around 2:00am, so LES invited me to just spend the night, and I climbed into his bed. I wanted to make out with him. It was all I could do to fight the urge to make out. I was drunk and not of sane mind, but I managed to realize how messed up that would be. As mad as I was about the Smiles situation, I still really liked him. I couldn’t lead LES on like that. He was too nice of a guy, and I liked him too much to do that to him. As much as I wanted to get at it, I behaved. Not a thing transpired the entire night.
When I woke early in the morning, I needed to make a quick exit. I had to get into work that Sunday morning, but there was no way I could go into work in the condition I was. I said goodbye, walked all the way across town to the PATH and went home to shower and change.
It was going to be a loooonnnggg day at the office. I was incredibly hungover, but had no regrets about anything from the day before.Follow @onegayatatime
My weekend with Smiles was a decent one. I’m not self-destructive, nor do I get in my own way enough to think it was a failure or a bad weekend. Any time I spendt with him was progress, and it made me happy. But, I left the weekend feeling a little uneasy. I was denied twice in two days. Did he not find me attractive? Was he just thinking of me as a friend? Not knowing where I stood was eating away at me.
It’s obvious he was interested in me. But, it was his level of interest that worried me. We were in the beginnings of a budding relationship, or so I hoped. Things were supposed to be carefree and fun. The heavy stuff comes later. We should have been having sex like rabbits and dying to see each other.
I felt like I was constantly chasing after him. I got no indication he was interested in chasing me. But, maybe I wasn’t giving him the opportunity. Maybe I got so excited about him, I was constantly initiating our time together, and if given the chance, he would be asking me out on dates.
On Monday evening I texted him to see if I could spice things up with a little getaway. “Hey. What would you say to getting out of the city for a weekend?… Celebrate your birthday, just the 2 of us… Something totally low-key and relaxing like New Paltz, NY. Gorgeous this time of year too and not that far…” I thought if we hit up a bed and breakfast, we could find the time to get wrapped up in each other with no other distractions.
A big part of me thought this was a giant leap forward, and I was moving too soon, but another part of me noticed a little bit of stagnation. Things were getting a little stale. Maybe I needed to intervene to get us to that happy-go-lucky mindset.
Just as I expected, he safely replied, “Hmmm that sounds like fun, can I think on that one for a min? I’d want to be able to give you my full attention and I think with [work] this weekend, the [possibility of a new prospective work project] starting and the over two jobs with a bit of clock on them, I might not be totally present. Which wouldn’t be fair.”
I was right. Too soon, too fast. I didn’t want to cower and backtrack. I had to play it cool. “Certainly. Wasn’t exactly talking about this weekend. Was more thinking 3+ weekend out. Just wanted to throw it out on your radar,” I replied. I wasn’t lying. I was really just planning in advance.
He got my drift. I soon got a text back: “Ah. Ok. Sleep well. I’m crashing early tonight for a change.”
I decided to take some advice from friends and play a little hard to get. I stopped texting or calling. The next point of contact was going to be initiated by him. It killed me. I wanted to text so bad. I never went anywhere without my phone, waiting for him to text or call.
Tuesday went by without a word. I was in a bad place. I started having doubts about the whole thing. We were only a couple of weeks in, and he already grew tired of me. These weren’t good signs, and I started to really get down about it.
I decided, I wasn’t going to put myself back out there completely, but I was going to continue to put my ear to the ground to see what was going on out there. I started answering my messaged on OKCupid and chatting with a few guys. It was nothing crossing the line, but in a way, I was laying some groundwork if Smiles decided he was done with me.
Finally, on Wednesday, he texted me to ask me how my day was going. The exchange went back and forth a bit before simmering out. I was thrilled — Back on top. I recognized how happy I was, but I also recognized how dependent I am on others for my own happiness. This is an issue. I really need to learn to be more independent. It’s not healthy to need other people to that extent.
In our exchange, he invited me to come with him to a bar to watch a friend’s band the following night. I reminded him I had volleyball on Thursdays and couldn’t go. I really wanted to go, but another part of me was happy I had to turn him down. I have a tendency to drop everything for men I’m interested in. I needed to show I was independent as well.
Thursday went by, and we didn’t talk to each other during the day. On my way to volleyball, I texted him: “Thinkin’ bout you 🙂 .” He responded, “Good luck at your game!” It was nice he remembered I had a game. He was showing a vested interest in my life, which is always a good sign.
After volleyball, we texted a bit. He told me about how he didn’t get the project he was counting on for work. I knew it meant a lot to him, so I tried to console him as best I could. I knew he would be depressed for a few days as a result because he was really looking forward to it. I called him, and we spoke on the phone. I also took the opportunity to ask if I would get to see him Friday night.
Since he asked me to watch the band with him, I was satisfied he wanted to spend time with me, and I knew it wasn’t simply me chasing him down.
He had plans to go to a friend’s birthday party Friday night and talked about us going together as if we planned this long ago, and it was assumed I would be attending with him.
It appeared things were back on the upswing, at least emotionally for me. The question remained. Would we continue moving up, or was it only a matter of time before things started sinking again?…Follow @onegayatatime
After the day on the lake with D, K, and D’s girlfriend, we all decided to go out for Mexican. It seemed this had become my new favorite cuisine considering I had it twice in the days prior on my date with Pillow and the Fire Island bartender. At dinner, I was scolded for being on Grindr. I really tried to limit my time spent on it when I was with friends, but it was a catch 22. If I spent time with them, I was not in a location where I could meet guys. We always went to straight bars. And, I was fine with this. In fact, I preferred it, but my friends would have to be tolerant of my Grindring.
I told D, “Just pretend I walked away from the group to talk to a guy when I’m on Grindr,” because that’s essentially what I’m doing. He suggested I physically walk away, but that was not something I was going to agree to. I asked him to be more understanding. I wish there is an easier way for me to meet men and still spend time with my heterosexual friends, but I have yet to find it.
After dinner and a quick pit-stop at a friend’s apartment to show face at his party, we made our way to the new Hoboken Biergarten. I wasn’t exactly in the most cheerful spirit. That morning, I never got a response from Pillow regarding his attendance to the lake. He didn’t take the time to text or call. I was starting to wonder if he just wasn’t into me. We had a great date the day before, and his texts following acknowledged that. But, I just had a feeling he wasn’t putting as much effort to get to know me as I was putting in to get to know him.
That night at the Biergarten, I noticed he was on Grindr. I’m not exactly sure why I sent him a message, considering he didn’t respond to my text messages, but I did. “Hey stud,” I sent. He responded, “Hi.” After not getting back to me at all, that’s all he had to say? So I said, “Did you go to Musikfest today?” His only response: “Yeah.” Well, that was over. So much for small talk. I said, “Well, have fun.”
After that, I figured I wouldn’t see him again. He obviously wasn’t interested, and it really started to get to me. I had been going on dates for a month and a half since breaking up with N. And, I went on A LOT of dates, almost all of which were failures. I thought this guy had a lot of potential, and I thought we were starting to click. I thought this was finally a success. He was part of an elite group — One of five guys with whom I’d gone on a second date with. Ever. I was feeling really low, and it showed.
A majority of the night, D looked my way and asked me why I was so gloomy. I told him I just wasn’t in a cheerful mood. He said, “I love this group, and I’m having a good time. Snap out of it. We’re having fun!”
I didn’t want to be a “Debbie Downer,” so I figured I’d step away from the table for a bit to try to clear my head. I had a hankering for a cigarette, so I went in search of someone from which I could bum one. I found a Good Samaritan who was willing to part with a cigarette. I relished every puff as a few raindrops fell on my skin. It was working it’s magic and relaxing me. I took the time to people watch. Everywhere I looked, I saw couples. Everything the cigarette gave me was just ripped from me, and I was back to feeling depressed. Dating was really starting to get to me. I’m a catch! Why couldn’t I find a good guy to realize that?
I went back to the table and tried to put on a happy face. I was successful for some time, but I was fading fast. I snuck away again to hunt for another cigarette. After I finished it, I walked home with two of my friends. I explained my issues to them both. They tried to console me, but I don’t think anything short of Bradley Cooper or Matthew McConaughey asking for marriage would have cheered me up.
When I got home, I poked around on Grindr. I found a guy who was two blocks away and looking for a good time. There was one issue — We are both tops. I told him we could just fool around and invited him over. He was an older man in his mid-thirties, but very attractive and had a great body!
We both undressed and had a good time. When we both had our fill, he began to get dressed. He expressed how much he enjoyed himself. He casually mentioned the possibility of a repeat, but we never exchanged numbers, so it would be completely left up to chance. Yet another casual encounter to add to my list.
This was the challenge I faced. I constantly wanted the instant gratification I knew I could conger up on-demand, but I also needed to stop destroying my emotional state following each of those casual encounters with men. It was a delicate balance, but I needed to figure it out so I would stop feeling so awful about my dating life…Follow @onegayatatime