Posts Tagged film festival

Chicken Soup for the Surgical Soul

Since my parents were staying with me to help me settle in after a move, I was relegated to the couch. Luckily, my roommate was out of town for work at the same time. Before he left, I asked if he minded if I use his bed.

It was working out quite well for me. Smiles offered me his bed Thursday night, and my roommate was nice enough to allow me to use his the other two nights my parents were staying with me.

We woke early that Saturday morning. We had a lot to do, so we got started with breakfast and began our day.

My mother finished unpacking the kitchen and washing dishes while my father and I got a jump on my closet. Since I had it designed and all the boards were cut to size, it should be a relatively simple project.

We were making good progress when I realized I needed to take a break so I could deliver the chicken soup I made for Smiles the night before. I texted him, “Morning babe. How you feeling? Gonna be home in a little bit? Gonna swing by and drop something off for you. :).” He was awake and responded relatively quickly: “Going to crawl over to see the doctor, then straight home. Should be back about 12:00.”

I asked him how he was feeling since he was in surgery only a few hours earlier.  “OK. Sore, but can move,” he responded. “Will you bring over Tylenol? I can’t go out again to get some, and I need it for swelling,” he asked. I was more than happy to be able to help him. I felt guilty I wasn’t there when he woke up from surgery. I originally planned to, but with the move, it became difficult. Luckily, one of his other friends was able to be there.

I sent him a text letting him know I was on my way, and he responded, “OK. See you in a bit. [My friend] is stopping by to bring me soup :).”

SH*T! I didn’t want her to beat me there with soup. Chances are she made chicken soup too, because who makes anything else when someone is sick or recovering. The race was on. I needed to get there first. I didn’t want to be the superfluous soup. I wanted to be the primary.

I quickly packed up the soup and added some of the brownies my dad made. I ran down the stairs and hopped on the bike. I was off into the tunnel. It would take me only fifteen minutes to get to his apartment. Hopefully I would beat her there!

When I buzzed at his door, his friend answered. DAMNIT! She beat me. I was so disappointed. She came down to let me in since the buzzer wasn’t working. We chatted while we descended the stairs about how we hadn’t seen each other since the Hamptons for the film festival.

When I walked in the door, Smiles was sitting on the couch eating a bowl of soup. I noticed the take-out containers on the counter and realized she didn’t make soup. She’d only brought him soup for lunch.

I showed Smiles the large Rubbermaid of soup and placed it in his fridge. I also told him about the brownies, and he asked me to bring them to him now.

I came into the living room and gave Smiles a kiss. I sat while Smiles and his friend continued their conversation about work. I noticed a very large bouquet of flowers by his bedside and eucalyptus next to the couch in a vase. The arrangement was gorgeous, and I immediately felt guilty and outdone. I know it wasn’t a competition over who cared more about him, but in my warped mind, it was. (I later learned he bought the flowers himself before the surgery since he’d be so homebound).

While sitting and talking, another friend arrived. I was also taking every opportunity to wait on Smiles. I gave him the Tylenol, got him water and cleared his dishes. I learned he was the one who brought Smiles home from the hospital. We’d met before, so I said hi. The four of us sat and chatted a bit about a funny scenario involving Smiles, his straight friend and a girl from the night before.

After a bit, he had to be on his way. The conversation changed from Smiles’ movie project to a new work project he was getting into. I moved across the room to help massage a knot out of Smiles’ back. I was crouching next to the couch in an uncomfortable position, so when I couldn’t take it anymore, I made a move back across the room. Smiles then moved over on the couch and asked me to continue. I was happy to be doting on my man.

The time came where I ha to get back to my parents and moving in. I already stayed past the time I told my parents I’d be back. I’d been waiting for the opportune time to head out. I was under the impression his friend/coworker was going to leave shortly, and I wanted a little alone time with Smiles. When that didn’t happen, I had to bounce.

I kissed him goodbye and told him I’d talk to him later as I made my way out.

When I got home, later in the day, I received a text from him. “Thank you for coming over and making soup. Yay.” I told him I was glad to see he was okay and to think nothing of the soup. “Ya know, those brownies aren’t going to make it to tomorrow. Haha,” he added. We joked about what it might do to his system.

I was happy to see him in good sorts and glad he was surrounded by friends. I was also happy I got to show him how much I cared about him, even though I was insanely busy getting settled in my new apartment. He’s a good man, and he deserves special treatment every once in a while.

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You’re an Actor Too?

I had been scheming for weeks, ever since I found out Smiles was screening his movie in the Hamptons in conjunction with the annual film festival. I finally had my answer – He wanted me there.

I had a wedding on Long Island the following day, so it was convenient for me to head out there early to catch his film. I hadn’t seen it yet, so I was very curious.

Since I already booked a hotel for the wedding, I wasn’t exactly thrilled about dropping more money on another hotel room (if I could even get one with the festival). Then I had a brilliant idea. My great-aunt has a house out in the Hamptons. I emailed my cousin and asked her if she thought I could use her mother’s house for a night. I wasn’t looking to make a whole weekend of it. We literally just needed beds to sleep in and showers in to use in the morning. Luckily, my great-aunt obliged. I asked Smiles if he’d like to stay with us, but I didn’t get a straight answer. He was trying to find something closer to the screening.

My roommate was my date for the wedding (sad, I know, but this is the life you lead when you’re gay and single). I ran my plan by her, and she was down for it all. I left work early Friday, went to Hoboken to picked up her car and our bags, drove back into the city, and pick her up when she finished work. After that, we headed up to Mount Vernon to hit up my great-aunt’s house to get the keys.

Of course, this took forever! We got turned around twice and had to deal with Friday evening city traffic. I was starting to fear missing the beginning of the screening. When we finally arrived at the house to get the keys, I couldn’t just grab the keys and run. I hadn’t seen my great aunt since the funeral of my grandmother, and it had been years before that since we last saw each other. I knew I would have to sit and chat a bit. She was thrilled someone was getting use of the house and gave me long instructions on everything. Luckily, she is still sharp as a tack and after a short chat, she suggested we get on the road quickly so we didn’t have to sit in too much traffic.

We made our way across almost the entire length of Long Island before finally arriving at the bowling alley the film was screened at. We didn’t even stop to grab dinner, so I was praying this place had some decent food.

We walked inside and were greeted by Smiles. He and his crew were getting set for a round of bowling. My roommate and I took over the lane next to them to bowl a game or two before the film. Apparently, we made excellent time and even had some to spare (Get it? Bowling… Spare…).

Smiles looked very smart and was being decently affectionate. I wasn’t sure how the night was going to play out. I had a feeling it may be slightly awkward, but I wanted to be supportive. I talked to him before heading out there to see what the situation would be. I asked, “Will you be working the whole time, or is it more relaxed than that.” He explained he would get to spend time with me, and it would be worth it for me to come since I was already heading out in that direction.

While we were bowling, the alley owner’s teenage boy was hanging out with Smiles and his crew. He’d been with them all day hanging flyers around town. At one point, he made a comment to Smiles about his wife coming to the screening. Smiles told him he wasn’t married, and the kid immediately questioned himself and said, “Or girlfriend?” When Smiles shook his head, the kid replied, “Oh, or boyfriend or whatever.” Smiles simply replied, “Well… Him,” and pointed at me. I didn’t notice this happening, but Smiles made it a point to come over and recount the story for me.

The time came for the crew to start getting set up for the movie. My roommate and I finished our game and hit up the bar to grab some drinks and grub. From across the room, I watched Smiles greet some of his friends and chat with them a bit. When he finished, he came over to check on me and grab a beverage. He mentioned his friends and their names. When he said one name in particular, my ears perked up. It was his ex. I was very curious how that would play out since I know they are still close, but rarely get to see each other. He told us to grab seats since the movie would be starting soon, so we made our way over to the chairs and grabbed a spot.

When he sat down, he sat with his other friends. I wasn’t jealous. I knew he didn’t get to see them much, so I would take a backseat on this one (however, a small part of me was very disappointed after driving over four hours to see this). I watched the movie intently, but I have to say, I did glance at Smiles and his ex in front of me to see the body language happening. Again, we weren’t in a relationship yet. We weren’t even dating yet. We were just seeing each other, or at least in my mind that’s how it was defined.

Part of the way into the film, I was shocked to see Smiles on the screen. I knew he was a producer of the film, but I had no idea he was acting in it as well. I was very proud of him and the great job he did. The film was great and surpassed my expectations — Totally an indie film I’d rent at Blockbuster, not some NYU student project.

After the film, my roommate and I made our way back to a spot at the bar to grab another drink. After chatting with his friends some more, he came over to me, apologized to my roommate and asked for permission to steal me away to introduce me to them. I’m sure my face lit up like a Christmas tree. He was acknowledging me to his friends. FINALLY! It was the validation I was looking for after the birthday party.

However, when one of the friends asked how we met, Smiles turned to me. My head immediately went to Grindr and how I didn’t want to say that. I could have said we met through a mutual friend, but I said, “I’m going to default to you on this one,” and turned to Smiles. He paused a minute and replied, “We’ve gone out to dinner a few times back in the city.” It was interesting to see him struggle with the answer as much as I had. After a short while, the friends had to be on their way. A band was beginning to play, so I called my roommate over and stood by her with Smiles and some of his crew. Later in the night, I learned the man I thought was his ex simply share the same name as his true ex. I felt a little more relaxed for some reason.

Periodically we showed signs of affection towards each other, such as a subtle hand hold or a glance. It was nice. It was still nerve-wracking because I didn’t know what he was comfortable with yet. We weren’t defined, so I wanted to make sure I didn’t overwhelm. That happened in the past, and I didn’t want it to happen again.

Smiles directed me to speak with the director of the film. She and her friend wanted to know if they could crash at the house for the night as well. This was the first conformation I received of Smiles coming as well. Until then, he hadn’t given me a definitive answer. I explained to the two girls, I hadn’t been to the house before and wasn’t sure of the bed situation. However, they were more than welcome to join the adventure. When the band finished, we made our way to my great aunt’s house.

The drive was nice and cut through some cute towns. When we arrived, Smiles said, “Do the Bouviers live here?” in a reference to Grey Gardens. The exterior of the house didn’t look to be in great shape. I was a little worried. When we got inside, I was pleasantly surprised to find the house in more than decent shape. It was very large and slept about sixteen comfortably. All the girls got their own rooms if they so chose. Smiles and I would be taking the master downstairs of course.

We immediately settled in. We talked a bit, and I came to find out he wouldn’t be able to grab brunch with us in the morning. He had to get the rental car back to the city by noon. I was very disappointed. Everything I planned so far had worked out perfectly. The screening. The house. My plan to make it a quick little getaway with him was failing. After brushing our teeth, we climbed into bed and cuddled a bit until we dozed off.

When we woke around 9am, I tried to get a little frisky. I reached my hand down and gently began to try to excite him until I was gently pushed away and told he was exhausted. I admitted defeat and disappointingly went back to just laying next to him. Me ego was a little bruised.

Shortly following, we both got out of bed, and he got dressed and packed up to go. I said goodbye to the bunch and tried to find something to entertain myself until my roommate woke up…

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Central Park Loop

After my amazing date with Smiles Saturday into Sunday, I was in heaven. Of course that only means I couldn’t wait to see him again! I had to keep cool. I couldn’t get all mushy on him already.

Before it arrived, I knew Monday would be hell for me. We had a pitch early Tuesday morning, so I would be working straight into the night on Monday to finish preparing. I was right. I barely had time to shoot him a text. Smiles also had a busy day, as a friend was in town with whom he needed to talk business. I typed, “Hey sexy man… Any chance I can interest you in dinner tomorrow or Wed night?” He responded, “Working out my schedule. [My friend] hasn’t told me what his is yet…” I told him to keep me posted. My schedule was fluid.

Following the pitch Tuesday morning, my team came back into the city and went out to lunch at Keen’s. I ate a whole lot more than I needed to.

After lunch, I went back to the office, and called it an early day. My boss told me to go home, but I had other ideas. I called Smiles to see if he’d be interested in a run in Central Park. We’d talked about running together once before, and I rather liked the idea. It worked out well when I called. I explained I was finished work for the day. He happened to be free and was up for the idea. We planned to meet at Columbus Circle in a half hour.

I ran up to the park from my office rather than taking the subway because I thought it might be quicker. I was already regretting such a big lunch. When he arrived, I walked up to him and gave him a light kiss. We walked into the park as we talked about the time passed since we last saw each other. I liked this conversation. He seemed to be opening up, and the relationship seemed to continue to grow.

Once we got to a running path, we picked up the pace. We chatted as we ran. I know it’s not the most romantic thing for two men to do together, but we both are very active. He runs triathlons regularly, and being a division I college swimmer, I try to stay in shape every chance I get.

I learned a lot about his plans with the visiting friend. I gave him some of my thoughts on his proposal, but he clearly knew what he was doing. He’s a very smart and entrepreneurial guy. I love that about him.

As we ran, the connection seemed to drop off. The conversation started to feel a bit forced. There were awkward pauses, and periods of silence, searching for something to talk about. Looking back, I feel like he was distracted. I don’t think he was fully present since he had so much on his mind.

We ran a good distance, but we clocked only an average pace. Neither of us had run in a few weeks. At one point, we needed to stop so he could take a phone call. That phone call turned into three because he had to take care of something from one of his projects. We were walking again while he talked. I didn’t feel it was rude, because he was working. It wasn’t even 5:00 yet. I had to respect that. But, it wasn’t what I had in mind when I called him to get out for a run.

When he finished his calls, we began to run again. As we neared where we entered the park, we cooled down by walking. Somehow we got on the topic of my size 14 feet. He was gibing me and poking fun at them. “There will be no drag for you! Not unless you are G.I. Jane.” I laughed. The thought of size 14 high heels was hilarious.

I suggested we go into the Time Warner Center so I could relieve myself. He agreed as we joked about the fat naked statues that adorn the lobby. He told me he wanted to take a picture of me molesting it. I declined, but we still joked about it for some time.

Smiles hadn’t had lunch, so after the bathroom, he was looking to grab a quick bite. We descended into Whole Foods and he whipped up a salad. We found a table so he could eat and I could sip on my iced tea to rehydrate. I was enjoying sitting there just watching him. He caught me a few times, and we exchanged flirtatious glances. Since he made fun of my feet, I found a gentle way to make fun of his hair, or lack thereof. He shaves his head, and he took my jokes with a smile. I didn’t have room to talk however, as my hair is receding as well. I’ve just done a good job of hiding it. We were having fun poking fun at each other.

He looked wiped out. He was supposed to be meeting his friend that evening for dinner. He got a text to come to his friend’s hotel for drinks before they went out. He was torn. He was entertaining the idea of going back into the park to take a nap. I told him he needed real rest before he went out, or he’d be no fun. I suggested he decline drinks at the hotel with his friend so he could take a nap and be more of a human being for the rest of the night. (By the way, I wasn’t worried at all about this friend. I’d seen pictures, and he certainly was not the type one hooks up with). Smiles agreed with me, and we made a move for the door.

When we got upstairs, we were heading in separate directions. I asked him for more details about his upcoming film screening in the Hamptons in conjunction with the film festival. I was heading out there for a wedding that same weekend, so I contemplated supporting him by attending the screening of a feature film he worked on. I was still feeling him out to see if he actually wanted me there, or if I was going to be in the way or a distraction. We exchanged a quick kiss, and I said goodbye.

The run hadn’t gone exactly as I planned, but it was still nice to get to spend time with him again. I always relish getting to see him and his smile. It never fails to brighten my day.

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