Posts Tagged distraction

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.

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Small Expectations, XL Frustrations

For weeks upon weeks, I stressed about Pride Weekend, and it finally arrived. CK wasn’t helping, and it exploded into an argument over the phone, culminating in a temper tantrum on my part.

We were finally able to come to an agreement, and I went back to packing a bag. Needless to say, I still wasn’t thrilled with the idea of the weekend ahead of me, but my nerves were slightly calmed after my chat with CK.

I made the voyage into the city to head to CK’s apartment. The plan was to head to XL that night. I’m not quite sure why, but none of CK’s friends were joining us that night. We had plans to hang with some of them the following day/night, but we were on our own for XL. I would have preferred to have more familiar faces around me in such an unfamiliar place, but that wouldn’t be the case. I got dressed with a little help from CK, but of course this turned into a bit of a heated discussion. Our nerves were very exposed, and he was encouraging me to expand my wardrobe comfort zone further than I was ready to. I wanted to fit in, but I still wanted to stay true to myself. I didn’t want to dress like everyone else there, however, I wanted to make sure I wouldn’t stand out.

As we walked there, I was very quiet. CK and I were holding hands as we walked the streets of Hell’s Kitchen, but all I could think about was how I could make myself feel comfortable in this foreign land. As we approached the entrance, there were gay men in every direction. I felt reasonably comfortable with my wardrobe choice and laughed to myself a little at some of the ridiculous outfits. I know this is going to come off as if I saw myself as better than them, but quite the opposite. I give them a lot of credit for feeling so comfortable in their own skin that they dress the way they do, but I could never pull it off. I would feel too uncomfortable and self-conscious, and then I’m absolutely no fun to be around. That was one of my main worries going into this weekend — I would feel uncomfortable, clam up, and I would be no fun to be with.

The cross-dressing boy checked our IDs, and we made our way inside to pay the cover charge. CK had some kind of VIP card and encouraged me to sign up for one with one of the boys holding iPads for just that thing. We paid, and I was a little shocked how expensive the cover was just to get in. Obviously, it was cheaper for CK since he was a member, but overall I was a little taken aback. I wasn’t aware of any talent performing that would justify the rate being so high.

As we made our way inside, I needed a drink bad! There were men in every direction, half without shirts on already. This wasn’t my kind of place. I liked the run-down pubs where the bartenders knew my name and they played good music. This, on the other hand, was a scene. We made our way to the bar and ordered drinks from a shirtless bartender who made me feel I needed to go to the gym immediately. I downed my first drink pretty quickly. The only way I would survive this would be with some help from some special spirits.

We made our way down to the dance-floor and started dancing and grinding with each other in front of the fog machine. I’m not sure why we didn’t relocate. At one point, I couldn’t breath, let alone see CK in front of me, and his back was pressed against my chest. Directly in front of me was a feast for the eyes. There were go-go boys dancing on the stage wearing very skimpy briefs. Some of the guys had the most gorgeous bodies with cute smiles, and it was hard to divert my attention at times. I even received a text from my old roommate asking me if I wanted to go out. I responded telling him where I was, and he jokingly responded reprimanding me for not inviting him. That’s when I responded with a picture message, to which he said, “Okay. Never mind. I’m good.”

I wasn’t the only one on his phone throughout the evening. CK was on his phone a lot when we were together, so this was nothing out of the ordinary, however, I wasn’t aware of the plans he was making over text. Minutes before he walked through the door, CK informed me the guy from his old building he used to hook up with would be joining us. Needless to say, I wasn’t happy. I can be very reasonable, but the idea of hanging out with one of CK’s old hookups didn’t thrill me. It also didn’t exactly seem on the up-and-up since he waited until he was walking through the front door to tell me he was joining us.

When he arrived, CK gave him, who we’ll call Old News, a big hug and a kiss on the cheek. He was thrilled to see him. I swallowed my pride and extended a hand to shake his. From then on, and for quite some time, CK and Old News were deep in conversation. I felt like a third wheel in my own relationship.

We began to make our way to the bar to get another round. CK and Old News walked ahead of me, and as I climbed the stairs, a guy extended his arm out to shove me out of his way as he passed me. It was so obvious my mind flashed back to my days on the basketball court in junior high. He wasn’t being subtle at all. He was also messing with the wrong guy at the wrong time. I wasn’t about to let this little sh*t get away with it. I was already on edge on so many levels. I gave him a solid shove back in the opposite direction, so much that he stumbled down a stair. When his glance came back up to meet mine, I looked at him in a way of saying, “Go ahead. Bring it! What you got?” Me being 6′ 2″ and him being about 5′ 7″, he immediately turned and walked the other way.

When I got to the bar, of course CK and Old News were ordering and didn’t quite notice I was lagging behind. I understand the need to catch up, but I felt I had no part in the conversation. After I was handed my drink, I felt so outside the conversation, I simply walked away and stood at the railing overlooking the dance-floor. It took CK quite some time to even notice I’d stepped away.

From then on, Old News was attached to us. When we went to the bathroom, he came. When we danced, the circle was opened up to him. I didn’t think we would ignore him for the rest of the night, but I felt like he always made sure to put himself between myself and CK. I was shocked and  happy to say, I was actually having a great time with CK before he arrived. We were dancing shirtless and taking pictures in front of the fog machine and on stage. I finally felt comfortable in this new setting. I was no longer concerned with anyone else’s eyes on me. My only slight concern was CK’s eyes on anyone else. My whole mood went to sh*t the minute this intruder arrived. I wasn’t just dealing with being at the club anymore — I was having fun, but now I was back to being miserable again. I tried to be cordial with him, but I was not happy with his presence. He and CK hooked up at one point, and while CK assured me they were just friends, I was never quite sure Old News fully got that memo. I could tell he still had feelings for CK. He was very flirtatious, and took every opportunity to exclude me when possible.

In the middle of the night, a crazy drag queen named Ebonee Excell came out and performed. It was a welcome distraction. When the go-go boys came back out on stage, I recognized one of them from the Meet Me at the Ice Cream Truck music video.

Finally, our night was coming to an end. We were ready to head home. CK was hungry for sex, so we said our goodbyes to Old News and made our way back to CK’s bed. Old News may have garnered CK’s attention throughout the night, but in the end, I got to go home with him. He was my man! But, neither of us were quite expecting what was to come next…

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A Night Off

CK and I had been spending a lot of time together. That’s what happens when you’re in love. But, that also means there’s a transition period where one goes from being single to being in a relationship. This transition takes some finesse. When you’re as used to being as independent as I was, it’s a serious adjustment.

I was used to working out on my own schedule. I would watch whatever TV I wanted whenever I wanted. I would go to bed when I was tired and wake up when I wanted. I would make dinner and not have to worry about catching a train to go see someone. That doesn’t go to say I wasn’t happy. Quite the contrary. It’s amazing the amount of free time I had by not hunting for a man all the time. I had an amazing man who loved me. Who could ask for more?

Wednesday morning, I woke up in CK’s bed by the sound of my alarm. I reach across him to grab it from the charger and turn it off. It’s safe to say, at that point, we were both awake, however, we were both incredibly groggy. It was hard to wake up. It’s also safe to say, with my libido, I was horny. After a few permutations of snuggling configurations, we started escalating the cuddling. This turned into grinding which led to sex.

This wasn’t exactly a quickie either. We had sex for quite some time. So much that it made us both late for work. We quickly showered and got ready to get out the door. It’s not the easiest to get ready with CK either since he’s such a distraction. I catch a glimpse of his sexy body out of the corner of my eye, and I can’t help myself. I find the gravitational pull too strong to resist, and I quickly find him in my arms with my lips traversing his neck. When he asked me what we were doing that evening, I gently pulled him away and suggested we take a night apart. “Don’t take this the wrong way! I’m not sick of you, nor am I trying to put distance in here. I just need to do my own thing tonight. I want to go for a run and do all the boring things you need to do in life that I don’t feel the need to put you through. Is that cool?” “Yea. I guess that’s fine,” he responded. I could tell he wasn’t thrilled with the idea, so I explained how a little distance may be good for us. “Absence makes the heart grow fonder,” I added while explaining how I was shocked I actually hadn’t grown tired of him. In the end, he agreed it was probably a good idea.

We finally made our way out the door, and he walked me to my office. I said goodbye to him with a big kiss since we were planning to take the night off.

After work, I made my way home. I took some things out of the freezer to make for myself for dinner. I was trying to eat healthier and work out more. I was starting to get pudgy again. I wanted to look hot for my man. On top of this, NYC Pride weekend was a month away. I couldn’t look like a fat mess. It was safe to say I’d be dragged somewhere I’d have to take my shirt off. I would already feel uncomfortable the way it was. Having to take my shirt off in a crowded bar would only make it more stressful.

I put on running shorts and my shoes and took off into the hot night shirtless to run along the waterfront. I felt great. It’d been a while since I worked out like that. I missed it and needed to get back to it. My body needed it too. Every song I heard made me think of Clark Kent. They made me miss him, but they also made me wonder what he was up to. Since I was still carrying around some light luggage, I have to admit I was a little worried CK may be engaged in some extra curricular activities. He gave me no real reason not to trust him, but I couldn’t quite get passed the fact I met him on Grindr. I know how I was on Grindr. I know how I’d cheated on N because of my suspicions he was cheating on me (which were rooted in fact, but still not excusable what I did). There was a small shadow of doubt in the back of my mind. In time, I would learn to fully trust him, but I was still a little broken from my previous experiences with Grindr guys.

I couldn’t stop thinking about him. I had nothing to do but run and think. This is why I don’t do well alone. I crawl up into my head and start causing problems. I even paused to take a picture of the Empire State Building in the NYC skyline to post to Instagram. I tagged him in the picture and sent it out to my Twitter followers. Just when I was missing CK the most, my phone started ringing. I was in the middle of my run and came to a screeching halt. I picked up, and we chatted a bit. It was very reassuring to me he wasn’t up to no good. He wanted to let me get back to my run, but I wanted to talk some more. I was happy to hear the sound of his voice. I told him how it was a dumb idea to take a night apart, but it did help me realize just how much I love him. I didn’t even want to spend one night away from him.

He asked me to send him a picture of me all sweaty and shirtless, but I declined. Instead, I dug into my pictures on my phone and sent him a sexy picture from there after we hung up. We said goodbye, and I continued on my run home.

I do find it’s necessary for parties in a couple to do their own thing sometimes. I had a lot of friends I hadn’t seen in some time because I was spending a lot of time with CK alone. I didn’t want to be one of those people who gets into a relationship and falls off the face of the earth. It was a delicate balance I needed to figure out. I hadn’t had many relationships over the span of my life, so this aspect was a bit new to me, however, I would figure it out. I had plenty of love to go around for all since CK made me the happiest man on the planet.

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Dinner Reunion

Smiles and I made plans over the Christmas break to share a home-cooked meal my first full night back in town. I was greatly looking forward to it after not seeing him for a week. We’d spent a week apart before, but not over Christmas. Something about it made it tougher for me to get through.

That morning, Smiles sent me a text. He was wishing me luck on my first day back in the office after being away for some time. It was a truly sweet gesture considering how out of character this was for him. Since I left him, he was showering me with attention I didn’t normally receive. I attribute this to our conversation the night before I dropped him at the airport. That was just my assumption, but the only other factor that changed was spending time apart.

Out of the blue, in the middle of the afternoon, he picked up the phone and called me. I’d told him I had to go to the office that week, but there was little chance I would actually be working, so I guess he felt I’d have the free time to chat. It was a very welcomed distraction from my Facebook status perusal and email correspondences.

He called out of boredom. He couldn’t seem to motivate himself to work. He was still in vacation mode from being away. “My head is still at the beach,” he added. I told him there was no need to dive back into everything unless it was urgent. We all have lazy days. Why not ease back into the workload?

Before Christmas, I bought two cashmere hats from Bonobos. Smiles had mentioned interest in similar hats. I bought them just in case we made a last-minute decision to exchange presents. I could ship them back free of charge and Smiles would be none the wiser, but that seemed like a waste. I got a great deal on them considering how much he paid for the last one he purchased, so I decided I was going to ask if he wanted them. It wouldn’t be a gift — I would just be facilitating the deal.

“Are you still interested in cashmere hats, and what is your price point?” I asked. He told me anything under $80 each, which was $20 more than what I paid for them. I decided I was going to show him the hats and come clean about how I came to purchase them. I was worried I would look anxious in his eyes, but since we had our talk about where we were, I decided I needed to start being more of myself. It’s very much like me to do something slightly awkward and come clean about it. I’m very honest when it comes to things like that, shame or no shame. If he didn’t like it, then he didn’t like me.

That night after work, he came over. He texted me as he was getting on the PATH. When I didn’t hear from him for over a half hour, I tried calling and texting. I was getting no response. I wasn’t sure what happened, but I was hoping the meal wouldn’t be overdone waiting for him. Finally, he told me he’d arrived in Hoboken. When he got to my apartment, he told me he’d gotten on the wrong PATH train and ended up in Jersey City. He had to switch over and come back towards Hoboken.

I filled plates for the two of us, and we sat on the couch to eat dinner while we watched TV. Smiles loved the meal. He said it was cooked perfectly and everything was delicious. I was very proud and thrilled with how much he enjoyed it. One thing I love to do is cook for a man, especially when I get such rave reviews.

While we watched TV, my attention was constantly stolen by the reflection of headlights on the windows across the street. He kept asking what I was looking at, and when I told him, he poked fun at my inability to keep my attention fixed. We had a good laugh about it.

Smiles asked if I had any ice cream to finish our meal (you know him and his sweet tooth). I didn’t have any. We had two options. We could venture back out into the cold to pick up a pint, or we could settle for a variety of candy I had stashed in my room. He settled on the candy.

After dinner, we moved things into the bedroom. I was anxious to hop into bed with Smiles, just to feel his body against mine. I didn’t even care if it involved sex. I just wanted to be close to him. But, before we hopped into bed, I decided to bite the bullet on the hats. I explained, and he decided he wanted to keep the gray hat and have me return the black since he already had one. He gave me cash, and the transaction was complete. I was glad I didn’t just send the hats back without consulting him as many of my friends suggested (I have a habit of doing what I want even against my friends’ better judgment).

We laid in bed and exchanged random stories. We discussed how he was healing after his appendectomy. Like I said before, I was going to start being myself, so I told him the ridiculous story about my belly button. For some unknown reason, when I was in college and I got drunk, I would encourage my friends to feel my belly button. I was a swimmer so I had a flat stomach, and when I got drunk, I like the way it felt (maybe the beer pushed it out a bit). I insisted it was incredibly sexy and even took some of my friends’ finger and guided it to my belly button. I also proceeded to tell him about the time my belly button was handpicked as the body shot glass for a bachelorette party when I was in Key West. “ ‘Wow! You have the Grand Canyon of belly buttons!’ one girl shouted,” I told him. He laughed and looked at me like I was from another planet as he examined my belly button.

The rest of the night was more of the same — Lots of cuddling and chatter, but no sex. I was fine with this, as I was just happy to have him in my bed. We both brushed our teeth and climbed under the covers. I was going to bed a happy man that night, and I was looking forward to waking in the morning to a sexy man in bed next to me.

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Let’s Talk About… God?

Christmas Eve, my family and I always go to mass. We wake Christmas morning and open presents, so we go the night before.

Every year when we get home, it’s a tradition for my family to take a picture in front of the tree. I am always the obligatory photographer, which for some reason I strongly resent. Everyone in my family has a point and shoot and knows how to set up a tripod and click a button. I’m not exactly sure why it is my duty just because I’ve taken photography classes. I digress…

We take the family portrait and make our ways to our separate rooms to take off the Christmas outfits and get comfortable for the rest of the night.

My father and my sister wanted to watch a football game, and my mother and I had no interest. I can’t for the life of me remember what we decided to watch, but we were in the family room while the other two were in the living room watching the game.

Somehow my mother and I got back on the topic of church and the changes to the mass. For those non-Catholics out there, the Vatican altered the verbiage used in the mass this year. Apparently when they originally translated the mass, they messed up. All of a sudden they felt the need to “fix” it to be truer to the original text. I was arguing the changes weren’t necessary. The changed things like the following: The priest says, “Peace be with you.” In the past the congregation responded, “And also with you.” Now, the response is, “And with your spirit.” To me, those changes are semantics.

My mother heavily disagreed. She felt the changes were necessary and good. She felt it helped her pay closer attention to the mass. To me, it was a distraction. I was now paying more attention to a piece of paper I had to read than I was to the mass. My mother asked me if my priest had been explaining the changes, and somewhere I slipped up. It became apparent I hadn’t been going to church every week.

My mother got heated about that issue. “You haven’t been going to church every week, have you? But you had no problem receiving communion tonight!”

My sister and I had discussed religion and my status as a gay man on numerous occasions. I told her there was going to come a point where I told my parents I don’t want to go to church anymore more. She asked that I hold off on that for a while. I told her I wasn’t going to bring it up anytime soon. I wasn’t going to bring this topic up, but when my mother brought up this topic, I was gonna go with it.

“Really, Mom? Really? That’s going to be the reason I don’t go up to receive communion?” I quipped. “What do you mean? she said. “I mean, not going to church is going to be the reason I don’t get communion, not me being gay?” I responded.

My mother voiced her opinion that being gay is not a sin. Not attending church is a sin. I pointed out to her that both are sins in the eyes of The Church. She tried to convince me The Church’s stance on homosexuality is based on decisions made by men, and not attending church goes against a God-given law in the commandments. I pointed out to her the commandment to honor thy wife. (I know my argument is flawed here because the commandment refers to adultery). She sighed a bit because I did have a point in her mind.

“Well then everyone who’s ever had premarital sex shouldn’t be receiving communion either,” she added. “Exactly! That’s exactly what the Catholic Church believes,” I told her.

“Well then I shouldn’t be receiving communion because I’ve used birth control,” she noted. “Exactly. If you don’t believe birth control is a sin, then you’re not truly Catholic. You’re Catholic lite,” I exclaimed. “I have never been a true Catholic. I’ve always been a ‘cafeteria Catholic.’ I pick and choose what I want to believe. That is what religion is. It’s personal. I don’t always need to go to a specific building with a specific man to have a relationship with God.”

“You’re not going to church because you’re lazy, not because it’s against something you believe,” my mother accused. “I don’t want to be a part of an organization that doesn’t want me to be a part of it. It’s insulting. I am a man of convictions,” I defended.

“Then why go at all?” she asked. “I go because sometimes I want to go. Sometimes I want to be in church and among other people. And, sometimes I can’t get over it, and I decide not to go. But, that’s my choice. Religion is personal. So maybe I’m not a Catholic, but I am still a Christian. And, I still believe in God.” I declared.

My mother wasn’t happy with this. She was raised staunchly Catholic, and it’s been a part of her entire life. She didn’t see my side of the argument at all, but it was clear it was upsetting her. She had been crying during the conversation, and she’d had enough. She said, “I need to go to bed,” and turned to leave the room.

I walked into the other room with my father and sister. My dad asked, “Did you chase your mother to bed?” I told him, “She wanted to talk about God and gays. You can see how well that went. I wasn’t going to bring it up, but when she did, I wasn’t going to avoid it.” With that, the subject was closed.

I felt bad she got upset, but I was honest about my feelings. It’s how I felt. I really wish it wasn’t how we spent our Christmas Eve, but it had to happen sometime. It wasn’t a positive conversation, but at least the subject was broached, and at least we were having an open dialogue.

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Bradley Cooper?

Welcome to Fast-Forward Fridays!!!

For a limited time only, I’m trying something new. After receiving many requests to bring the blog closer to real-time, I have decided to start releasing two posts on Friday. I hope you like the new addition. Scroll to the previous post below to keep up to date with the story. Keep your eyes open for new and exciting things to come…

On with this special edition of One Gay At A Time…

Wednesday morning I dropped Smiles off at the airport. I felt like a chauffeur considering the goodbye I received at the curb.

After running my errands, I was home alone with my thoughts. My good friend, A proposed we hang out, and I jumped at the opportunity. She was passing through Hoboken to the city since a coworker was giving her a ride. It would be a great distraction, and I needed to catch her up since the last time we chatted, I was in need of the “where are we” conversation.

She arrived at my apartment, and I made us dirty martinis because we were both due for a good stiff drink. She proposed we go out for dinner, and I agreed since I wasn’t in the mood to cook food. A suggested we go there to Cucharamama. I’d never been, but I’d heard some great things, so I was on-board.

We walked the few blocks to the restaurant in the drizzling rain and got a nice table in the back of the restaurant. It was cozy and warm, and I was happy to be out of the bad weather. We sat and she told me about how things are with her boyfriend.

A month or so ago, she’d told me about the communication problems they had shortly after moving in together. Apparently, things had greatly improved and they seemed to be finding their groove. I was happy for her.

My relationship was taking a different direction. I told her about the conversation we had the night before. I told her everything he said when I asked him where we stood as a couple. A was already skeptical going in. When I last told her how I was feeling about things, she told me it was time to move on. She didn’t think he was right for me. She told me, “You need someone who will worship you. You need someone who is as into you as you are them because you as so giving in a relationship.”

She was kinda right, but I was still going to give him a chance. It wasn’t like I was blissfully unaware of our issues, but I wasn’t willing to turn my back on him because of it.

After I told her my feelings and thoughts on my current situation with Smiles, she agreed with my plans to proceed. I told her I was going to continue to date him, but I wasn’t going to close myself off to other possibilities should they come my way. I wasn’t going to completely throw myself out there and jump back on adam4adam.com or Grindr, but I also was going to be open to possibilities. I knew I deserved better, and so did she. I was going to give him a short window of time to prove he was going to treat me better, but if that window closed, I was ready to move on. There was no reason for me to immediately drop Smiles. I had no other prospects lined up. Why not give him a chance.

Then the conversation switched to men and women in general. We talked about emotions and dating. The topics of masculinity and femininity came up, and we exchanged our opinions on both. It was a very friendly debate, and I really enjoyed and appreciated the time with her. If there was a time I needed her, it was then. We ordered glasses of wine and a few appetizers and main courses and shared all of them. All the food was great, but the company really made the night. I needed someone to talk to about what was going on in my love-life, but I also needed someone who wouldn’t let me dwell on it and change the subject after we’d discussed it at length.

I wasn’t even thinking about Smiles by the time the check came. And, because my friend A is overly generous, she would not let me pay for dinner. She paid the entire bill. She wouldn’t even let me pay the tip. If anything, I should have been paying for it since she was helping me and giving me what I needed. She gave me the confidence boost I needed to realize what is best for me and seek it out.

I needed to return my friend’s keys since I borrowed his car to take Smiles to the airport, so I said goodbye to A at the restaurant with a hearty hug and went in the other direction towards his apartment. I returned his keys and stayed to chat a bit before heading home for the night.

My roommate was at trivia that night, and it was a block from my friend’s apartment. So, I joined him for the close of the night. Ironically, the host of trivia was Adam from Big Brother. I’m quite a fan of the show, so I chatted him up a bit about what it was like to live in the house. I’d love to be on that show, and I think I’d clean up.

When I got home, I was bored and a little horny. I decided to hop on manroulette.com. It was usually a good go-to for casual fun and an ego boost. The talent on their wasn’t exactly great, but I managed to find a decent guy to chat with and have some camera fun. He paid me numerous compliments, and I ate them up. He told me I looked great. Over the three months I dated Smiles, I think I got maybe five compliments from him. This guy paid me five in five minutes. I needed it. I often need validation. It’s a defect, but it’s who I am.

When the guy told me I looked like Bradley Cooper, I questioned him. I thought he was just stroking my ego to keep me interested in him, but when I questioned him on it, he insisted. I’d heard that in the past, but for some reason he made me start to believe it. I really needed that.

The time came to end my chat with my new online friend and get ready for bed. I realized I hadn’t heard from Smiles all day. He was probably settling in with his family, but he also told me he’d call me later that night when I dropped him at the airport. I was disappointed. He wasn’t exactly winning my affections already. I laid there as my mind struggled with what to do. I wasn’t sure how to proceed, but it certainly would be with caution.

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Holiday Split

Thanksgiving came and went, and I didn’t see Smiles. However, it was too early in the relationship to invite him home to meet my family.

Home was relaxing and I was happy to see my family. I needed the time away from the craziness. In just a few days following Thanksgiving, I was moving.

On Thanksgiving, he called and left a message saying, “Heyyyy! What up? HAPPY THANKSGIVING! Call me later.” I didn’t get it until much later in the day because when I travel home, I am in a black hole of cell phone service.

I tried calling, but the phone rang unanswered. I decided I would try again later that evening. I was a little disappointed I couldn’t get ahold of him. I missed him.

On my way home from my aunt’s house, my sister and I decided to hit up Wal-Mart to get in early on the Black Friday deals. What a mistake! The one item I wanted was sold out in the first five minutes, and my sister needed non-Black Friday items. I stood in the front of the store witnessing the madness while she paid. I called Smiles once again, and this time he picked up.

He told me about his day and asked if I saw the pictures of the dogs on the beach he posted to Facebook. He told me everyone was relaxing and watching a movie after their turkey comas. I told him about my day with my family and my encounter with tryptophan. We talked about the insanity I was witnessing and about my shopping adventure coming the following day. He told me about his plans for the rest of the time he was out on Long Island.

My sister wanted to be back in Hoboken Saturday morning, so after a visit to my childhood babysitter for dinner, we made our way back. It was a long boring ride which I slept through most of. When I woke, we were nearing Hoboken. I called Smiles to see how his day was going.

He was home alone in front of a fireplace. Apparently his friends were all going to his ex-boyfriend’s place of business, so he decided to have an easy night staying in. I felt bad for him he was all alone, but I also knew he’d enjoy the rest and the full night’s sleep.

Saturday, I was trying not to think about Smiles. It was no use. I texted him, “Thinkin’ boutchu… Miss ya ;)” He responded with a picture of a very nice living room including a fireplace. “Dinner shall be served shortly. It’s a rough life.” I, in turn, responded with a picture of all the boxes I was packing in my room and added, “Thanks for rubbing it in. I too have a similar view ;)” “I see the resemblance,” he retorted.

Later that evening, I went out to the bar with a full pack of friends. I was trying to distract myself from the fact that I missed Smiles. It was working because I hadn’t seen many of them in quite some time. That doesn’t mean I didn’t send him a picture of the bar with the caption, “My new view.”

He sent me a picture of a dwindling fireplace with the caption, “Night time fire. Falling asleep.” With that, my phone started ringing. I walked outside so I could hold a decent conversation with him. He was home alone again and simply wanted to say goodnight.

I asked him if I could see him the following evening, Sunday, but he told me he was already booked solid. I was very disappointed because I thought I’d be getting to see him when he returned to Manhattan. He did leave a glimmer of hope we could possibly find time to meet up, but when Sunday came, the glimmer would be snuffed.

I tried to find time on Monday to see him, but once again he was busy. “Sounds like you’re booked up tomorrow, but want you/to see you. Miss you 😦 When can I see you?” I asked. He told me, “Hi. Just back into city. I think Thursday is my first night free. Would that work? Sorry it’s so far out. :(” I reminded me about my Thursday night volleyball game and my parents’ arrival to help me move into my new apartment. He then proposed the possibility of Wednesday night, but he’d have to get a ticket for me from his friend. I too had a super busy week in front of me, especially with a move on Wednesday, so that wasn’t going to work. It was looking like I wasn’t going to get to see him for some time, but I did appreciate him making an effort to see me.

I suggested we do lunch on Tuesday instead, to which he responded, “Yes. Lunches are easy.”

I was content. I wanted to see him sooner, but I could survive until lunch on Monday or Tuesday. We both have lives to live, and his career was just getting off the ground, so I didn’t want to interfere with that.

I thought back to my thoughts about inviting him home for Thanksgiving, and I realized I made the right decision. While I would have liked spending the time with him, the timing and logistics would have been awful. Introducing him to my family would have been tough and emotional. My family was already on edge, as this would be the first time celebrating Thanksgiving since the passing of my grandfather.Furthermore, I’d have to introduce him to my uber-Christian babysitter from growing up, as I couldn’t just leave him home while we all went to dinner.

Lastly, I would have sent quite a message about my thoughts regarding our relationship if I put him in the position to decline my invitation. We weren’t at the meet the parents stage, let alone the come home for the holidays stage. I made the right decision overall and was proud of myself for showing restraint.

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Saturday Bar Crawl With a New Friend

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.

After chatting with my roommate about it, I decided to turn on a movie. It wasn’t really working, so I texted many of my friends to see what they were up to.

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.

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