Posts Tagged Extra Virgin
New Year’s Day, Smiles woke me in the morning. I was in a complete fog. I immediately began wracking my brain to remember how the night ended. I knew we had sex, and once again, I could only remember a tiny flash of the intimate moment we shared the night before but no more than a flash. I could remember being p*ssed at Smiles on the walk home for walking five paces in front of me. And, I could remember smoking on the balcony.
Smiles was up and about walking around the apartment. I searched the room for my briefs, but couldn’t locate them. He came in the room and retrieved them for me from deep within the sheets. I had a massive headache, so he gave me some pain killers and water. It was sweet of him to take care of me in my still inebriated/hungover state. I asked Smiles about leaving the party, and he recounted the details for me. It was clear he wasn’t thrilled about it, but he also wasn’t holding it against me. The he uttered, “And I haven’t even gotten to the fun part yet!” he added.
He was going to leave it at that. I told him he couldn’t do that to me. He had to tell me what else I did. He asked if I really wanted to know, and I insisted. This is the “fun” part:
Apparently, the advances made by the guy on the balcony didn’t end there. Clearly he was persistent, and clearly I was vulnerable and well intoxicated. Smiles recounted a scene for me that drained all the blood from my face. “[The guy who sang my praises to Smiles] came up to me and asked me if you were okay. When I told him you were fine, he replied, ‘Are you sure? Because he’s making out with someone else on the couch.” I nearly passed out. I couldn’t believe it. Was I really capable of that? Could I really do that to another person after witnessing N do that to me? Was I that heartless?
I racked my brain trying to remember any bit of a make-out session on the couch. A vague image came to mind of this man kissing all over my neck. I remember asking him to stop, but also couldn’t remember putting up a strong fight. I’m not sure if my mind was making this up or if it was reality. Either way, my actions were deplorable.
I froze. I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know what to say. I couldn’t believe he was still speaking to me. I couldn’t believe he still had sex with me that night after that. I was mortified. What was going on? My head was spinning!
“What did you do? Did you come over and stop it?” I asked. He shook his head no.
“[Smiles], I don’t know how to apologize for that. I can’t believe I did that! I can’t believe your still speaking to me right now. I can’t believe you didn’t leave me there. I don’t have words for how sorry I am. I don’t remember any of that. At all!” I plead.
“It’s okay. You were drunk. It was New Year’s Eve. Don’t worry about it,” he said.
Don’t worry about it!? I made out with another guy in front of you, and you tell me don’t worry about it?! Should I be happy you’re not that upset about it, or should I be even more hurt that you’re not phased by it. “I still don’t know what to say. I can’t believe I did that,” I added. He just looked back at me with a face that said, “Yeah. You did that.” I wanted to slither away into darkness and forget the world.
We continued to get ready for brunch and walked out the door. As we walked, all I could think about was how disrespectful I was to the man I’d grown so fondly of. Sure we had our moments where I questioned our relationship, but what I did was unforgivable. I would not have been able to forgive myself for what I did. When N did it to me, it signaled the end of our relationship.
I did this in front of his friends — Many of which I told I was dating Smiles. I made myself look like a complete whore, and I made Smiles look like a fool. The man who was singing my praises was the man who witnessed my greatest downfall. This was one of the worst things I’ve ever done in my life, and there was no making up for it and no undoing it.
I continued to tell Smiles how bad I felt about the whole thing. He was trying to make conversation and ignore the subject, but it was all my mind could fixate on. “It’s fine. Stop worrying about it,” he kept saying. We ate breakfast and talked about a few things I can’t recall because my mind was completely elsewhere. I was crushed. I almost had to leave the restaurant, Extra Virgin — His favorite restaurant, so I could go outside and cry.
It was a gorgeous day, and Smiles told me he wanted to go for a bike ride. He asked what I had planned for the day. I couldn’t think. I had no plans. I was hoping to spend the day with Smiles, but clearly that wasn’t an option. I decided I was going to try to meet Boston before he left the city, even if it was at the bus stop. I had to tell him what I did. I knew he wouldn’t look favorably on me, but I also knew he wouldn’t judge me. I left Smiles with a kiss as he walked south, and I turned and walked north. I decided to walk off my disgrace.
As I pounded the pavement from 11th street to 43rd, I tried reaching Boston. He wasn’t answering the nearly twenty-five calls I made to him. I needed him. I needed someone to talk to. I decided to hit up my roommate and see what she was doing. Maybe we could curl up on the couch and watch a movie to help make the day pass by. I talked to her for a bit, but she had plans. I couldn’t bring myself to tell here what I did. I was too ashamed. I would tell her later.
I decided to call Smiles during my walk. I wanted to make sure he knew how broken up I was about it if we were to survive this. I reiterated how bad I felt and how wrong I was as I tried to choke back tears and a vocal quiver. “Listen. It’s okay. It’s in the past. It was New Year’s Eve. You were drunk. That was 2011. This is 2012. Don’t worry about it. It’s alright,” he assured me. I think he realized how upset this made me, and that was all I could do. My fate was in his hands…Follow @onegayatatime
I told him I was heading home for the night and was about to leave work. However, I was pleasantly surprised to get the text, “Meet me for a drink at Extra Virgin. I haven’t heard from [my friend] confirming dinner yet, so I’m guessing it will be closer to 8:00 or he will flake.” I wasn’t thrilled with being second choice/fall-back, but I knew this was a friend he hadn’t seen in years who was in the city from L.A., so I was understanding.
I agreed to meet him and texted him when I arrived at the restaurant. “Oh goodness. I’ll be there in 10. Btw, I forgot I have a call from 6:00 – 6:30. My life is a pain-in-the-ass sometimes,” was the response I received. It didn’t help I was already feeling like an afterthought. Now I was learning the little time I had to spend with him was going to be interrupted by a half hour phone call.
I’d already been waiting for him for 15 minutes before he arrived. We exchanged a quick peck and a hug, and he suggested I could go inside while he made the call. I told him I could occupy myself outside while he took care of business.
While he talked with his movie team about next steps with their film, I sat on my phone playing with every app I could think of to pass the time. I checked my WordPress stats. I answered emails. I read everyone’s Twitter post that day. Anything I could do to keep busy.
When he finished his call, we grabbed a seat at the bar. The bartender was struggling to harvest a pomegranate, so I offered to help her. Smiles pointed out my culinary experience and told her she was in for a real treat. She was all too happy to receive my advice, as this was one chore she abhorred. After running to the restroom to wash my hands, I demonstrated for her how she could save herself some time and energy. She was very appreciative of my advice and thanked me.
Smiles and I placed our drink orders. We chatted over drinks on the spinning stools. I made it a point to turn my stool so I was facing him and our legs were interlocked. I heard all about his holiday on Long Island and the craziness he went through upon his return with his client. I told him about my relaxing trip home, my dysfunctional family, my Black Friday adventures, and my slow day at work.
At one point he had my his arms extended with his hands on my thighs rubbing them. He flippantly made the comment, “I love your big manly legs.” This was the first time he’d ever complimented my physically, so I took notice. He continued to rub them and massage them, and I continued to melt inside.
At that moment, he checked his phone and learned his friend wouldn’t be able to do dinner that evening, so they agreed upon breakfast the following morning.
With that, he turned to me and asked if I’d like to get dinner somewhere. Surprised, I told him, “Well. We’re already here. Why don’t we just eat here.” I was expecting to get the boot at any moment throughout the course of the evening, but instead I was extended a dinner invitation. Once again, I was happy to get to spend time with him.
We quickly placed our dinner orders and continued our conversation. Our dinner was very pleasant, and our meals were excellent. After we finished eating, we split the bill and began to walk down the street.
As per usual, when we reached the crossroad between his place and the PATH, we said goodbye. And, as per usual, it was said with a simple kiss and a gentle squeeze. I pulled him back in for another kiss and made it more than a peck. He smiled, and we said goodbye.
When I got back to Hoboken, on my walk to my apartment, I texted, “Mmmmmmm. I like you. You make me happy… Just felt the need to say that…” He responded twenty minutes later, “Awwww. 🙂 Thank you.” Clearly, he didn’t feel confident to reciprocate the sentiment just yet, which stung slightly, but then again, I already knew I was ready to move faster than was…Follow @onegayatatime
Is Smiles the greatest guy out there? Is he the best guy out there for me? Who knows. I don’t know him well enough to make that assumption. However, my appetite was wet, and I wasn’t satiated. He is a really great guy, and possess a lot of the qualities I seek in a man. I was cautiously optimistic — Fingers crossed.
After our last date, I texted, “Had a great time last night btw :)” He responded, “Me too!” That being said, I asked him out once again. The following day, I said, “So… When do I get to see you again?” He proposed Tuesday night. I was a little surprised. I was waiting to hear Wednesday night, since he invited me to his birthday that night. I was thrilled he was interested in seeing me two days in-a-row. I was just hoping he would confirm for me once again he wanted me at his birthday celebration and wasn’t having second thoughts.
I had been apartment hunting, so when I found one, I sent him a picture. That was followed shortly after by a sexy picture of me I took last summer on vacation in California (you’ll recognize part of the picture in my Gravatar on the right). I thought I’d spice things up a little, especially since I promised him I would send the picture. He responded, “That’s way better than an apt pic!” I said, “I thought you’d appreciate…” However, he didn’t believe me when I told him I took the picture with the timer on the camera. He thought someone else took it until I went on to explain the entire situation. “You’re committed to this, huh? LOL. Good for you. Strong work,” he said.
When Tuesday arrived, I asked him if we were still on for that evening. He responded, “Yep. Barring a trip to the hospital for stitches after I punch my computer for not working and wasting my time today.” At the end of the day, he added, “I’ve calmed a bit, looking forward to seeing you. What time are you off? You don’t happen to have running shoes with you? I feel like I need a run, LOL.” After discussing my lack of running equipment, we decided on dinner at his favorite restaurant, Extra Virgin.
We grabbed a table outside the restaurant. It was that time of year right before it’s not too cold to sit outside, but it’s also not quite warm enough to be completely comfortable. We ordered our food and immediately dove into conversation. We talked about our days and what was new in our lives.
He told me he and a friend were going to a shaman to try Ayawaska (a Peruvian root similar to Peyote) for the first time. He explained the setting in a yoga studio and how it works. I was fascinated. I’m certainly not the type to be open to drug abuse, but recreationally or experimentally, I have an open mind, especially if it happens under close supervision. The point was to relax and open you mind. Many people use it to communicate with God/the spirits in a trippy way. There was slight reservation/worry in the back of my mind regarding the whole thing, but he is an adult. I knew he’d be safe.
We ate our meals (I don’t recommend the chicken pot pie at Extra Virgin, but everything else I’ve had is spectacular) and continued our conversation.
Smiles likes to order deserts when we go out. Going out to dinner is already putting a dent in my wallet that normally isn’t there. I cook in my apartment far more often than I dine out. Since I started seeing him, I was going out a lot more often for dinner. Not only that, it wasn’t exactly helping my waistline. It’s amazing how easy it is to put on pounds when you aren’t afraid of people seeing you in a bathing suit anymore.
Instead of getting desert, he suggested we go to this tea shop, McNulty’s and then grab desert elsewhere. He was looking for a specific tea, so I called the shop to make sure they were still open.
After the tea shop, we hit up a gelato place, L’Arte De Gelato. We took out gelato and walked down Christopher Street to the pier. We had a nice stroll along the pier holding hands. I pointed out a few things on the Jersey side, such as the pier I normally hit up in the summer looking back the other way. We chatted a bit at the end of the pier. I was hoping maybe for a little make out session or some hugging, but I didn’t get the feeling he was interested in that. I don’t think he noticed, but when I went to reach for his hand, that’s the exact moment he lifted it from the railing and turned around to head back to the Christopher Street PATH station. I wondered in the back of my head why he never invited me to come back to his apartment, especially since I knew we were in the neighborhood. But, I also know I needed to take it a little slower. I had a tendency to rush things, and I needed to break that habit.
When we reached the PATH station, we hugged, and I gave him a kiss goodnight. I was happy to get to see him again, and I was cautiously looking forward to his birthday the following night. It was an awkward challenge for me, but I knew I was up for it. Birthdays are always interesting situations, especially when you’re the new addition to the crowd, but something told me I’d be alright.Follow @onegayatatime
As we walked, he reached down to grab my hand. I’m terrible at making those first moves, so when he did, I nearly melted into a puddle right there on the street. I loved every second of it. It also gave me the validation he was enjoying my company. We stopped to snap a few pictures of interesting things along the way. I was happy to see he was into photography since this was something I was truly interested in as well. We chatted more on the subject as we walked and stroked each other’s hands.
When we arrived at Extra Virgin, I learned why he warned me he was quite the regular. Immediately, the host made a killing fuss over him. He was a tall flamboyantly gay black man who had no qualms about jumping all over Smiles in front of me. I enjoyed the spectacle, especially since Smiles was getting quite embarrassed by the fiasco.
We took our seat at the bar and began to peruse the drink menu. Dark and Stormies have become one of my new favorite drinks, especially in a crisp fall day. The bartender asked Smiles what he wanted to drink, and much to my surprise, he replied, “I’ll have a Dark and Stormy.” Of course, when he turned to me, I replied, “I’ll have the same.” We commented to each other how much we like he drink and how perfect it is for this time of year. It was nice to see more and more commonality as the evening progressed.
As I was looking over the menu, I settled on the chicken with a mushroom sauce. He was looking over his menu and made the recommendation, “The chicken is excellent.” I informed him I already decided on that and was looking forward to it. Once our orders were placed, we could return to our conversation. We found more and more commonality between us, and I was really enjoying the time I was spending with him. What was supposed to simply be coffee and a stroll on the High Line turned into an all day affair.
Shortly after we arrived, a coworker arrived and sat next to Smiles. We didn’t acknowledge each other, and I was okay with that. I wasn’t hiding anything, but I’m still not out at work. It made for some slight awkwardness, but it certainly didn’t taint my evening.
Our meals arrived, and we both enjoyed them thoroughly as the conversation continued. At one point, he stood to use the restroom. As he passed my chair, he put his arms around me from behind and gave me a hug. It was one of the sweetest things any man had done to me in a long time. When he returned, he sat with his hand on my thigh as we chatted. The bartender brought over the desert menu since the host offered it to us on the house. I then took my hand an placed it on his thigh, gently stroking his knee while we chatted. At one point, I removed my hand, and he reached up to the bar and placed my hand back on his leg. I liked his conviction and it sent a clear signal to me he was enjoying his night as much as I was.
Following our meal, we walked down the street. He again reached out and grabbed my hand. While walking down a darker street, he guided me across the sidewalk, pulled me in closer, and he planted a kiss on me. These are the little things that really win me over. I was really falling for this guy, which was very interesting since the first date didn’t go extremely well. We came upon a cellist on the street corner playing for all passersby. He took the hand he as holding and pulled it around his back. We stood and listened for a song while he played. It was very relaxing having him leaning against me with my arm around him. I was truly there in the moment and extremely happy. I’m sure I had a smile from ear to ear.
When we decided to continue on, we walked toward the PATH station. We made one quick pitstop in a sex shop on Christopher Street. We looked in the front window at some of the wares the store sold. I wondered if this was a test to see if I could roll with the punches and have fun. I think he wanted to see how I would react, and I performed superbly. We had so much fun talking about everything in the store. He even took pictures of a few things, and we had a good laugh.
We continued another block before we were at the PATH station. We stood facing each other talking about how much fun we had. We hugged, and I pulled him in for a few kisses. I wanted to ravage him, but it was neither the time or the place. We had a conversation earlier in the night about making people a priority and seeing the people you care about the most. I acknowledged that conversation by turning to him as he walked away and said, “Let’s do this again soon! Make me a priority.”
After the date, I shot him an email the following day. “So I tried not to jump the gun so much this time… Waited ’til I had some downtime this afternoon to hit you up… Better?? Hope the cold calling isn’t too painful! (Acknowledging his workday) Had a great time yesterday! Hope you negotiated good rates with everyone (the cellist, bartender, host, Joan Rivers, …) to play their parts. Would love to see you again, so let me know when you’re free, and we can get together. P.S. Do you think I’m I phone number worthy yet?”
Shortly after, he replied, “LOL! yes, ###.###.####. Glad you appreciate my unplanned dating Karma ;-)” It was great to hear back from him so soon. It showed he was still interested in seeing me. I couldn’t have been happier. It was just a question of when I would get to see him again…
While returning home from alumni weekend, I sent an email to Smiles to see if we could find time to get together Sunday afternoon: “Hey dude. Let me know if you’re still up for meeting up tomorrow…” I sent it around 11:00 at night, so I didn’t expect a reply until the following day. So, when I got back to Hoboken, I asked around to see who was going out to the bar. No one seemed to be up for anything, so I went home did laundry and watched TV.
I woke the next morning to a return email from him saying, “Hey bud, yeah we can work something out. What did you have in mind?” I replied back, “Your call… Grab bite, drink, coffee, walk High Line…” Apparently, he was already out and about that morning, and he responded, “Just finishing brunch. Let’s grab cords and walk up highland. What time works?”
I was a little confused, but I was used to deciphering autocorrect text messages. “I’m assuming that cords means coffee and highland means highline… haha I can meet you in about an hour? That work?” I responded. He replied, “Ah yes autocorrect. Let’s meet at 4:30 at Doma in west village its 7th and Perry I think.”
I was very excited but still very relaxed. I was thrilled he was still willing to see me again after the less that stellar first date, but I’ve also done a very good job of not getting my hopes up about these dates anymore. I’ve had enough bad ones to know the drill now. Yes, I’ve become jaded.
I arrived at the coffee shop and waited for him outside. When he arrived, we exchanged hugs and went inside to grab coffees. He paid for mine, which I thought was very sweet of him. He suggested we take a walk through the West Village on our way to hop up on the High Line park. As we walked, he told me about the crazy time he had the previous night at the bars and how he was a little less than 100%. He put his arm around me and explained he was afraid to postpone on me since I was so broken-hearted when he didn’t respond within the first twelve hours after our first date (in a playful way). I was a little embarrassed by my lack of patience and told him he could have postponed on me, and I completely would have understood. We had a good laugh about it.
We walked and came upon a band playing in a courtyard. We stopped to listen before continuing on to the High Line. We climbed the stairs to the elevated park and began to stroll along like everyone else. This was the third date I took up there. I could tell Smiles was really enjoying it. He is very interested in architecture and design, as am I, so we had extensive conversations about all the surrounding buildings. I found it utterly romantic when he would turn my attention to a specific building by putting his hand on my shoulder to talk about a specific element. We talked the entire span from 14th street to 34th street. We even passed Joan Rivers and her small entourage while walking. When we reached the top, we walked back down to street level.
As we walked back downtown, we talked more. I learned he attended three different Burning Mans in the past. Just that Friday, I watched a movie shot by a bunch of guys who attended this years. It looked spectacular, and I was highly interested in attending. He gave me some of the insider tips, and the conversation shifted to the traveling we’ve done.
As we were walking through the West Village again, he noted he’d love to grab a beer and asked if I was interested. We stepped into a nice spot that had an outdoor space in the back, Entwine. We both ordered sangria. When I mentioned I wanted to order hummus and pitas, he noted he had to cut gluten out of his diet. I was rather famished, and I think he realized this.
He originally planned to meet his ex for dinner that night, but hadn’t heard from him in some time. Since this was the case, he asked if I would be interested in grabbing dinner with him. Of course I obliged. He mentioned two spots he could think of. I agreed Extra Virgin sounded great. He warned me he was quite the regular at that spot, but I wasn’t quite sure why that warranted a warning.
I paid the tab for the sangrias, and we started to walk to Extra Virgin. The night was shaping up to be quite a date, but it was only just beginning…Follow @onegayatatime