Posts Tagged friend

I Never was Good at Sharing

As gay men, CK and I had been anticipating the release of Magic Mike with bated breath. One Friday night, CK suggested we check it out. When he said we, I assumed he meant just the two of us, but I quickly came to learn we included Old News as well. As long as we were inviting friends, I knew P wanted to see the movie as well, so I reached out to her. This was two-fold because it would also help balance the scale since I wasn’t exactly comfortable with how Old News was with CK. We were all planning to gather in midtown to check out a late showing.

I was meeting CK at his apartment before the movie, and when I arrived, I learned Old News would be meeting us there as well before walking to the theater together. I already couldn’t wait. From the moment Old News arrived, he began schmoozing CK. A friendly greeting with a hug is completely acceptable, but the kiss on the cheek was a little unnecessary. This was no air kiss, and I know because I was behind CK looking right at him as he did it. It probably was not his intent, but I felt it may have been done for my benefit. I didn’t like it — Not one bit. All I could do was stand by and watch this without saying anything. I would have to wait to have a private conversation with CK later.

Of course, he was very cordial toward me, but I couldn’t have cared less. I still had a bad taste left in my mouth from the last time we hung out at XL. That night, I was going to get the answer to a question that arose every time he came around. Was he actually flirting with CK because of lingering feelings, or was I imagining things? I had an advantage that night. I had two sets of eyes on him. I had asked P to watch and tell me if my suspicions were correct.

We met P in front of the theater, and as we took our seats, what transpired next could not have made me happier. It just so happened, as we walked into the theater, the order was Old News, myself, CK and finally P. So, when we sat, I was between Old News and CK, and I was thrilled. When CK and I go to the movies, we’re fairly affectionate in the way we sit. We hold hands or put our arms around each other. I wasn’t going to change that this time, and Old News was about to get a front row seat to this. Maybe he’d realized the CK ship has sailed. He was my man now, and it was time to back off and learn to simply be his friend. Nothing more. Don’t get me wrong. I didn’t want Old News out of the picture completely. He was CK’s friend. I simply wanted him to respect the relationship between CK and I.

The theater was a sh*t show — Like being in an actual strip club. Women were everywhere, shouting and squealing at the screen as they jumped out of their seats in excitement. I was shocked I didn’t see a dollar bill or two go flying in the air.

As we left the theater, Old News commented to us, “Wow! It smells like wet vagina in here! Do you smell that?” I thought the comment was hysterical because he was pretty spot on, but I wasn’t exactly in the frame of mind to laugh at his jokes yet.

We stopped on the corner of the street to discuss what we wanted to do next. None of us had eaten, so food was discussed, but no one would make a decision. Finally, we landed on heading back to CK’s apartment to smoke and hang out.

As we walked down the street, Old News was joking and what I would certainly call flirting with CK. When the opportunity arose, he’d throw an arm around him or pat him on the back. Don’t get me wrong. I’d seen this interaction time and time again with Hip, and I had no problem with it. In fact, I welcomed it. It all seemed completely different with Old News. Old News would draw CK into a conversation, and the two of them continued on as if P and I didn’t exist. At some point, CK noticed I was a bit out of sorts. He hung back with me and asked what’s wrong. I reiterated how I felt Old News was flirting and still had a crush on him. Once again, he told me I was imagining things. I started to get adamant, and I think he finally realized how much this bothered me.

If he was willing to act like this in front of me, what would Old News try to do if I wasn’t around. Like I said, it wasn’t CK I trusted, it was Old News. After chatting for so long, I’m sure he realized something was up. We agreed to talk about it again later and returned back to the other two.

We hung out at CK’s for quite some time, and around 2:00am, we decided to go to Flaming Saddles, and P decided to head home. As I walked her out I asked her what she thought. She agreed he was still flirting, but to a bit of a lesser degree. It was all I needed to confirm I wasn’t being irrational. I thanked her and gave her a hug goodnight. I wasn’t thrilled with the idea of going out since it was already quite late, and we were going to the beach the following morning with Boston and a few others. As our group was shrinking by one, we were also growing by two. CK’s roommate and his assistant joined us. The night was only getting better and better.

When we arrived at Flaming Saddles, no one was there. Instead, we continued on to Industry. It was a good scene, and the good news was that CK and I were dancing. Old News seemed to disappear. However, it wasn’t long before I felt I was beginning to disappear too. I was slowly but surely getting comfortable with going to gay bars, but I was also learning something about CK in gay bars I didn’t exactly appreciate.

When we danced, I never felt like I was dancing with just him. I felt like I was dancing with the entire bar. He danced, and I was tried to dance next to him. He constantly looked around to see who was looking at him, gently touching guys as they passed by him. I never had his full attention. This was only exacerbated when he stepped up on the stage, and I was two steps below him. I felt like I was there with a go-go boy, and I have to admit I was a little crushed. It hurt. Was my attention not enough for him? Did he need the eyes of every other guy in the room? This brought up a lot of worries I’d been having about our relationship. I was worried I wasn’t enough for him, and that was all I wanted.

We ended up closing down the bar at 4:00am. We were all starving, so we foraged for food. We settled on Empanada Mama and grabbed a table outside. They had a packed house, so it took forever for us to get our food. When it finally arrived, everyone dug in. When I went to grab my second empanada, it was gone. I looked across the table and noticed Old News shoveling it into his pie hole. I don’t think he took it on purpose, but it was a perfect picture of my relationship with him. First, he was trying to steal my man. Now, he was stealing my food.

I was already agitated by Old News, but at this point, it was 6:00am and the sun was starting to come up. As the time ticked on, I grew more and more anxious about getting up the next day to follow through on my plans. CK was already so tired he actually fell asleep at the table. It was time to go home and go to bed. We said goodbye and made our way home. While we walked he turned to me and said, “You’re nuts if you think we’re heading to the beach tomorrow at 10:00.” That set me off. I told CK about my plans to go to the beach days prior to this. He should have planned accordingly. This was important to me. I hadn’t seen Boston in over a year. He was completely disregarding my plans, and I was furious. “You’re nuts if you think we’re not.” He looked at me with a confused look.

I explained how upset I was and of course started getting loud. The fact that he remembered the beach plans and completely disregarded them was incredibly demeaning. In doing so, he was telling me that his unplanned fun mattered and my planned day did not. We could have called it quits at any point throughout the night so we could have done a bit of both. Had he brought it up before 6:00am, I probably would have been receptive of a compromise. I would have said we could leave around 11:00 so we could stay out a little later. At this point, after being told I’m nuts, I wasn’t about to give up any ground. I told him I was going, with or without him. I had made plans with a friend visiting from out-of-town, and I wasn’t about to back out because he wanted to stay out all night.

Against the advice of nearly every couple I’ve ever met, that night (or should I say morning) we went to bed angry…

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One Giant Misstep for Mankind

Tuesday arrived, and that meant back to work after the holiday weekend. It’s always harder to get back into the groove when you’ve been away from the office for some time. Everything takes just a little bit more effort.

That morning, CK and I woke, and although we didn’t have sex, we certainly fooled around a bit. After showering together to conserve water 😉 we got out the door at a decent hour for once. This is quite an occasion for us. It’s normally tough balancing our responsibilities and our libidos, but at times, we manage to master the scale.

We both needed a bit of help getting through the day, so a Starbucks pit stop on the way to the office was essential. We hopped in the long line waiting to order a caffeinated beverages. I would have taken mine intravenously through a central line at the door if given the option. Alas, we filled the time with chatter amongst the two of us. That is, until one of my coworkers walked by.

This wasn’t just any coworker. This was a coworker I’d been on many pitches with. She is one of the biggest names in my agency, running a global piece of business across multiple agencies. Over time, she’d grown to be a fan of mine, but not without hiccups first. Days earlier, her husband entered the hospital with heart issues. This was the first time seeing her since we heard of the incident, so I wanted to giver her space. Anyway, enough back story.

She passed me with two coffees in hand, and we said hi to each other. She sat right next to where CK and I were standing in line. When her son came and joined her at the counter, she took a second to introduce me to him. We shook hands, and they went back to enjoying their morning. In the five seconds for all this to transpire, I panicked.

I am not “out” at work. A few coworkers know I’m gay, and I assume most/the rest suspect. But, in that moment, I didn’t know how to handle the introduction of CK. He was standing right next to me, and in my panic, I acted like he didn’t exist. I failed to mention him at all.

I didn’t want to say, “Oh hi! And this is my friend, [CK].” If he’d done that to me, I would have been quite offended. We were much more than friends. This was the man I was in love with, not simply a friend.

On the other hand, I didn’t want to say boyfriend. I didn’t think that was the moment I came out to her. When the time came for me to be courageous and stand up as who I am, I was a coward.

I try to be strong and proud of who I am, but sometimes I really disappoint myself. I have tried to keep some separation between my personal and work life, but standing there with CK next to me, I should have stood proud. It didn’t matter what I said. She knew who he was in the end anyway.

CK was very upset. We’d had a discussion about my poor introduction skills over the weekend, and then I pulled that stunt. I knew instantly he was upset, and I knew I failed. I started to talk to him about it, but I could tell he was fuming. We talked about it for the rest of the time we were in Starbucks, with the exception of the moments we stood in silence because of the tension. As we walked to the subway/my office, the conversation continued as I explained what happened and how I panicked. I also explained that I wasn’t making excuses for myself, and this was something I needed to get over. I am going to be gay for the rest of my life.

In the end, he understood and accepted my apology. I asked for his patience. I have only been out for two years. He, on the other hand, has many more years on me being openly gay. I even went as far as to publicly chastise myself in Twitter that day to show him how sorry I was. Earlier in the weekend, we discussed opening our relationship up publicly to Twitter. I’d admired how @AustinWilde and @AnthyRomero send each other messages and love across Twitter. I wanted to share that with CK. We started sending each other messages publicly expressing our love for each other. When he sent out the message, “@Onegayatatime baby, i love you,” I melted a bit. As a joke, I responded, “Who is this?” He didn’t appreciate the humor, and immediately deleted the tweet. From the other room, I discovered this and asked him about it. He was angry, and I began to cry. That message meant the world to me. It was the first time he expressed his love for me in a public forum, and it was gone. Or at least I thought so. I did, however, manage to save it by screen-grabbing my phone before it was gone forever. We both took a step back and realized what happened and how much we loved each other and moved on.

That day, CK met my old coworker who left to go work at his agency. After meeting him, she reached out to me to tell me how cute he is. I was thrilled. She’d heard me talk about him quite a bit when I first met him, and now she finally got to meet him. After messing up the morning, failing to share my joy and the love of my life with a current coworker, at least I could share it with a previous one.

That night, we discussed going to an event together, but in the end we didn’t go — I think possibly out of anger for the morning. We spent the night apart. I filled my free time with a late night run. As I ran along the waterfront in Hoboken, I wondered what he was up to in the city. Any time we were separated, I wondered what he was doing with a twinge of suspicion. It was hard not to. Guys in my past treated me poorly, so my self-esteem was very low. The thought of me not being enough for him was not so far-fetched, however, I just left these at suspicions. I never acted on them or accused him of anything. They were simply figments of my imagination…

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Letting Him Down Easy

Monday, I decided to be a good brother and pick my sister up from the airport. I drove her to Newark Airport early Friday morning before all of my Grindring, and she was arriving around 2:00.

Before I hopped in the car, I made plans with M.E. to meet up later that day. I wasn’t planning to tell him I knew about his Grindring from my bedroom. I was just going to keep that in mind when interacting with him. I wasn’t going to let myself fall for a guy like that. For us, it would be purely fun. He told me he had class that afternoon, but he would come meet me on the pier when he finished.

I was regretting agreeing to pick my sister up since it landed smack in the middle of my day. I wanted to head out to the pier and get some color while I was off from work. The forecast was looking gorgeous for the week, and I planned to take full advantage. I decided not to waste the morning and went for a run around 1:00. I came back to my apartment, showered and packed a bag for the pier. I hopped in the car and headed to the airport. My sister was delayed, so I spent about a half hour circling the grounds. When she finally touched down, I parked in front of her terminal and began reading my first Out magazine. I was becoming a full-on gay man. I finally subscribed to a clearly homosexual publication.

She came out, and I drove her back to Hoboken. We swung by the pier to drop be me off so I could get some sun, and she went home.

Around 3:30, M.E. joined me on the pier. We laid next to each other talking for a bit. I gently stroked his hand with mine. We weren’t being blatant or obvious, but we still found ways to show affection. It was a nice time. Around 4:30, the sun was beginning to set. The temperature was dropping, so I suggested we head back to my apartment. I wasn’t even thinking about this in terms of sex. I was just cold.

He gave me a ride back to my place and decided to come up for a bit. He couldn’t stay too long because he had plans for the evening. We ended up in my bedroom fooling around a bit. It was nice to have him in my bed again. Every time we were together, I enjoyed myself.

The time came for him to leave, and I said goodbye to him at the door with a kiss.

Over the next week, I didn’t really reach out to M.E., and he didn’t really hit me up either. When enough time had gone by, I assumed he met someone else. I was trying to get away from the relationships based on sex, so I wasn’t exactly protesting or questioning why his calls stopped.

One day I got a text from him asking me why we hadn’t been in touch in some time. I told him I assumed he met someone else. He assured me this wasn’t the case. He told me the reason he was so quiet was because he was trying to create distance. He was beginning to fall for me and didn’t want to get hurt. This is when I pointed out to him I knew he was on Grindr when he was at my apartment. I didn’t tell him how I knew this information. At first, he denied it and told me he was chatting with his friends about his spring break trip postponement. I acknowledged that, but also pointed out he was on Grindr while he was in my apartment. I told him how insulting that was to me. I pointed out how, by no means, were we exclusive, but to be on the app while sitting with me was not something I looked kindly upon. He apologized profusely. I told him I noticed he blocked me on Grindr as well. He told me the reason for this was because he saw me on there periodically, and it was killing him. He was imagining me with other guys, and it was getting to him so much he blocked me so he wouldn’t have to see it anymore. I told him I wasn’t holding anything against him, but it was shaping how I looked at whatever was going on between us.

He was completely torn up about it. I had a lot of other things going on in my life at the time, and I didn’t really feel like getting into it with him. I was partially using this as a way to make a clean break from him. I liked him and cared about him more than a one-night-stand. I considered him a friend who I also happened to enjoy in my bed. He was more friend than benefit. I didn’t want to hurt, but I also needed separation. There was too much going on in my life at the time. He begged me to talk on the phone, but I told him that would have to wait. I lied and told him I was with friends and didn’t want to be rude by taking a phone call.

I knew he wasn’t happy, and it wasn’t what he wanted. I needed to think about me for a change. I needed to put more effort into the men I was meeting and looking toward a long-term relationship with, rather than the men I just enjoyed having around for sex and a little companionship. It wasn’t fair to him, and it wasn’t what I needed. The time came to move on. How that would shape my relationship with M.E. was yet to be determined…

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Late Night Rendezvous

I nailed down plans to meet Connecticut Cutie after work that Tuesday night. He told me he’d be in my neighborhood, so it would work out well.

He ended up running late from dinner with friends, so I stayed in the office and did a little blogging until he was ready. When I go the call that he was on the corner, I went down to meet him.

My favorite date spot in the city lately has been The Breslin, so I suggested we go there. It’s a short walk from my office, and we had great flirtatious conversation on the walk there. He joked about going to a psychologist for mother issues, and I made more than a few Oedipal comments in jest. I told him I don’t go to a therapist nor need one because I have free therapy sessions all the time. I use my friends for that service. I’m sure they all just love to hear all about my problems and issues, but hell. What are friends for?

We also talked about our days at work. I had a very easy day involving a lot of personal work with just a little professional work.

When we got to The Breslin, it was very crowded. I couldn’t believe how many people were there on a Tuesday night. We had a hard time finding a seat, so he ordered drinks at the bar while I tried to hold some ground in the corner. I was standing next to some of the most obnoxious men I’d ever met. You could tell they were a real “boys’ club” type, making lewd comments. I knew it was only a matter of time before I heard the f@ggot term thrown out. I decided to move away from the group before they p*ssed me off more.

I ordered my usual dark and stormy, and he followed my lead. He’d never had it before, and I told him it was a good winter drink. He tasted it, and was happy with his selection.

FInally a table opened up, so we jumped on it. Space was limited, so we sat with our legs intertwined. This was good body language once again and made it easy for a little leg touching. Our conversation was going very well. We were both telling stories and laughing a lot. I told him about how much I get into Halloween and started showing him pictures from Facebook. He was shocked because he never got into the holiday. It was always something haphazard and last-minute for him.

Throughout the course of the night, there was a lot of leg touching. It was nice because we could flirt in this way without making a spectacle of ourselves. The only people who had a view of this were the bartenders, and I didn’t care if they noticed. It was mutual. As much as I was rubbing his legs, he was rubbing mine.

When he needed to use the facilities, I told him how to get there. I joked about the long journey he’d have to make through the basement of the hotel. He looked at me like I was insane. I equated it to backlot Disney. When he returned, he detailed his journey through the underground labyrinth he encountered. He detailed the myriad of characters he passed on his journey and joked about how strenuous it was. I liked his sense of humor. It was all something I would say. We were meshing well.

However, I was still having a hard time getting past the flamboyance. I had a feeling he was holding back some as well. I liked the guy quite a bit, but I also wanted a real man, not a man who acted in a feminine manner. The distance thing was still in the back of my mind. The vetting process was far from over. I’d have to continue to see where things went and evaluate if it was worth the extra effort.

I hadn’t eaten any dinner, so I ordered some fries from the bar. We joked about working out and my being fat as of late. I know I’m far from fat, but there is a certain level that is fat for me. I don’t like it, and it makes me want to eat better and work out more.

After three dark and stormies, when I brought it to his attention, he realized he needed to make his way to the train. If he missed it, he’d have to wait another hour for the next. I told him I’d walk him half way — Basically back to my office. He needed to stop at the bank along the way, but we also really needed to hustle. When we got to my office, I told him I’d walk him one more avenue before heading home. When we got to Fifth Avenue, we embraced on the corner. We started kissing, and this quickly turned into a bit of a makeout session. He was a great kisser, so I didn’t mind one bit. I was starting to worry he’d miss his train. We’d already joked about how his parents extended his curfew for the evening. I knew they’d be royally p*ssed if he made them pick him up at midnight.

It was comical as we both acknowledged the other’s hardon as we pulled back. We were both really enjoying each other’s company. I said goodbye, and he sped off to Grand Central Station.

I made my way home, and made it a point to text him and tell him how much I enjoyed myself that evening. I learned he did in fact make the train and would get home at a decent hour. He responded, and I could tell he was really into me. I needed to make a decision fast, or I would risk really hurting him. But, I still wasn’t sure. I had a lot to think about. I would be traveling to Chicago for work, so this would allow me time apart and time to think about what I really want.

We talked about possibly getting together over the weekend, possibly in Hoboken. I knew once that happened, things were going to escalate fast. I already knew he had a great body from his revealing pictures on a4a. I knew he had a healthy sex drive, so that wouldn’t be an issue. I just needed to decide if the flamboyance thing was something I could get over — Something I could either look past or fully embrace. It wasn’t my style, but after all, I was constantly expanding my horizons…

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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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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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Awkward Silence

Yet another video I’d like to share. This one is a music video for one of my new favorite groups, Duck Sauce. Great song and love the sexual connotations, but may not be safe for work depending on what you do.  Enjoy!

On with the story…

Every Tuesday in Hoboken is free movie night if you have Cablevision’s triple play. I do not, but I have some very generous friends who do, and they lend me their card when they’re not using it.

I asked Smiles if he wanted to catch a movie and dinner. He told me he could possibly do dinner, but there was no way he could do the movie. He had to be up at 6:30 the following morning for a work meeting, so spending the night in my bed was off the table.

While I was finishing up work, he was moving his final boxes into his storage unit from Harlem. I agreed to help him when I arrived downtown, but when I got there, he was already finished.

I walked him back to his apartment. We talked about his day on the walk. I waited while he showered and changed after loading and unloading all those boxes to go to dinner.

While he was moving the boxes, both his parents called, separately. He was a little worried, so on the way to the restaurant, he dialed his mother. Smiles said he needed to walk a while, so we kinda just went for a stroll. We talked a little about work and how he got to where he is today. We stopped in a few stores on the way. We were walking for over a half hour before we settled on a spot to grab some grub.

We settled on Peels. When he returned to the table after washing his hands, the conversation was very dry. There were many long awkward pauses throughout the night. I struggled to think about anything we could to talk about. Nothing. I didn’t know what to do. We continued to eat in silence. It was incredibly awkward. I was so worried we’d hit that point already where we had nothing to talk about. I was petrified.

Was he distracted by the phone calls? Did something happen? Who knows?

When we finished eating, we paid the bill and began walking back toward his place and the PATH. We ran into a friend along the way, and Smiles chatted with him for a short while after barely introducing me. After we left the friend, he explained who he was and how close a friend he is. I was a little surprised. If he was such a good friend, then why was he so casual when introducing me. Maybe I didn’t mean as much to him as he did to me. Maybe I was putting too much of myself out there too soon. We’d been dating for a month and a half. I thought we’d be closer knit at this point, but maybe I was wrong. Maybe I had different expectations.

As we walked, he told me he was tired and a bit out of it. This wasn’t news to me after the awkward dinner we just had. He walked me to a crossroad and said goodbye. When I went in for a kiss, I barely received anything in return. It was almost like a child begrudgingly accepting a kiss from a grandparent. I felt like a piece of sh*t.

As I walked by myself to the PATH, I wondered if this thing had run its course. How much longer were we going to go before he fully opened up to me? — Before I didn’t have to wonder where I stood with him? I was tired of the uncertainty. It was dragging me down.

I needed to talk to someone, so I called Boston. No answer as usual. College always gets in the way of our friendship!

Next, I called LES to see what he was up to. No answer, so I left a message.

Then I texted the Principal just to say hi and see how he was doing. When I came above ground on the other side of the Hudson River, I received a response from him. We texted back-n-forth for the remainder of my walk home. When I got to my apartment, I immediately climbed into bed. I was depressed. This relationship was looking pretty bleak. Silence at dinner and an awkward kiss goodnight. Once again, maybe he just wasn’t into me.

The Principal and I continued to text over the next hour while I watched some TV. I explained to him I still had some feelings for him, however, the distance thing just wouldn’t work out for me. Apparently, I opened up a can of worms there. He really did miss me. I’m not sure why I felt the need to reach out to the Prinicpal that night. I thought I passed that chapter in the story. I think I did it for selfish reasons because I needed to feel wanted again. I knew the Principal would provide that for me. Looking back, I never should have done that.

In my mode of depression, I also responded to one of the guys who had hit me up on OKCupid. I asked him if he wanted to grab a drink sometime. I was taking my friends’ advice. I wasn’t going to put all my eggs in one basket. The guy responded, and we scheduled a date for the following night…

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The Wedding Roommate Date

After Smiles left for New York to return the rental car with the two other girls from the screening, I sat around waiting for my roommate to wake up. When I got bored with that, I hopped in the shower, repacked my bags and laid everything out to get ready for the wedding. The night before, I promised her I wouldn’t wake her before 10:30. Obviously, all that didn’t take and hour and a half.

Finally, the time came to wake her. I sat impatiently while she got ready. She suggested we go eat and come back to get ready for the wedding. I agreed. However, when we couldn’t find a place to get brunch for about 45 minutes, we gave up and decided to go back to the house to get ready. We would grab breakfast at the first decent place we passed on the way to the wedding.

I was ready in about 10 minutes and had to wait another 40 minutes until she finished getting ready. WOMEN! This always makes me realize part of the reason why I’m gay! I’m sure my straight male readers can relate to me on this one!

We found a nice place to grab some great coffee and breakfast sandwiches. It was owned by a brother and sister pair far older than I. At one point, while talking to the gentleman in the booth behind us, they started to bicker. I put my head down and began to chuckle to myself. “Excuse me sir! I don’t think this is very funny,” the sister said towards me in a semi-joking tone. Now, I was laughing blatantly. “What’s so funny?” she asked. I explained my relationship with my older sister and how I could easily relate to the brother. I immediately was on her bad side, but I could tell deep down she really liked me — It was all an act. Everyone was eying us up ever since we walked in the door. I was wearing a dapper suit and my roommate had on a hot dress. There was no way to simply blend in now.

We finished our breakfast, we made our way for the door. The sister made a point of making eye contact with me and giving me a dirty look, but the brother also made a point to wish us a pleasant day.

Once we got back on the road, I was reminded once again how bad a driver my roommate is. She was all over the road and scaring the crap out of me. In fact, as we approached a cop on the side of the road, she veered off the road once again.

We got to the hotel and settled in. As we checked in, I noticed a guy in a tux (who I would later find to be the groom) who resembled me. I pointed him out to my roommate and she agreed. When the time came, we made our way to the church. We barely made it in time. We were actually running from the car.

After the wedding, my roommate and I walked downtown to take a few photos and buy some chocolates for my great-aunt. We had a lot of fun.

We made our way back to the hotel to hang out at the bar with my friends from college before we hopped on the bus to the reception. While closing my tab, the uncle of the bride asked me if I was a relative. I was a little perplexed since he was a relative. He should know if I was family. Then I realized there were two families coming together that day. I told him I swam with the bride in college. “Oh. You look a lot like the groom — Like you could be his brother or something,” said this man. I laughed and said I noticed the resemblance as well.

At the wedding reception, I really came to appreciate my roommate. As a gay man, I have limited resources for a wedding date since I wasn’t in a relationship. I planned to go with another female teammate who is still a great friend, but she went and got pregnant on me so she couldn’t travel. I floated the idea to my roommate to be my date months prior, and she jumped on the opportunity. She went to the same college as the bride and I, so I knew she’d fit right in.

I witnessed another friend from college sitting at our table arrive to the wedding and the reception stag. We had quasi dated in college for a very short period. The bride actually tried to set us up. She was the only single person at our table (I’m not exactly sure how you get a table with an uneven number). I felt really bad for her, but I was also very happy I didn’t show up stag myself.

I got myself nice and lubricated with about half a bottle of scotch and had a blast the rest of the night. The only time my roommate and I weren’t on the dance floor was to walk outside so we would stop sweating. Then, we’d make our way right back to the floor. The girl who came alone even came up to my roommate and made a comment about how lucky she was to have such a great wedding date (or so I was told later by my roommate). I had so much fun at this wedding – The most fun I’d had at any wedding I’d been to before. This is all for one reason. I had a great date! It makes all the difference. Who’d have thought taking your roommate to a wedding could be so much fun?

After the reception, we went back to the hotel bar to hang out some more. The problem was, all my friends left, and my roommate and I were exhausted. Half an hour passed, and the bride was nowhere in sight. While we waited, I took the opportunity to text Smiles: “Sooooo much fun! Missing you!” We were ready to give up and go to bed, but not before we raided the cereal bar for a late night snack in our room.

In the morning, we went down for the complimentary breakfast in hopes of seeing the bride again. I learned she wasn’t coming down because they had to get on with their honeymoon plans. I also learned I missed her last night at the bar, had I only stayed a little longer. I also received a text while we ate from Smiles. “Morning! Glad you guys had fun. I wish I could have spent the afternoon out there with you!” It was a very nice sentiment, and it brightened my day a little.

With that, we took coffee to go and got back on the road home…

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Friend Date

Before I met Smiles, I was chatting with a guy on OKCupid. After cruising the site, trying to find anything remotely resembling a prospective man, I managed to find a guy who was both attractive and seemed to have a great personality — at least based on his profile. He looked like he led an active lifestyle and was smiling in all of his pictures, so I sent him a message.

Surprisingly, he messaged me back shortly thereafter asking me to email him some pictures (my profile only has my torso pic). However, he added, “And just to be upfront about intentions, I’m seeing someone currently, but I’m so down to make legit guy friends. I don’t do well with the fem/gay scene so I’m always eager to meet more guys like us :)”

I wasn’t exactly thrilled, but I was also looking for friends. At the least, maybe I could get a wingman out of him. I responded, “Of course you’re seeing someone… All the good ones are!!! I can use friends just as much as I can use lovers ;)”

He seemed like a very genuine, down-to-earth guy. I was pleasantly surprised by his response. “Awww! Well you’re very cute. Why are you single?” he asked. We exchanged numbers and planned a time to meet on Thursday night immediately following work. Ironically enough, it was a night I double booked.

When my day was winding down, I texted him to confirm, but, he had to cancel. He had an impromptu second interview for a job, so I couldn’t exactly hold it against him for the last minute cancellation. Instead, I called up Sexy Eyes to see if he could grab coffee and already had plans later to meet Smiles for the first time.

I tried to reschedule with my new prospective friend, but I got no response after that. I wasn’t sure what happened exactly, but enough time passed that I lost interest. Then, out of the blue, I received a message, “Hey man, I broke up with my boyfriend :/ So I’ve been in a funk. Sorry for flaking on you – I’m not usually like that, but the breakup wasn’t exactly amicable. If you want to give me a second chance, I’ve evened out and am down to chill.”

If you’ve ever read my blog, you know I’m all about second chances. However, now the roles were flipped. I was dating Smiles for a few weeks at this point, so this time I was the one looking for just friendship. For some odd reason, I didn’t make it a point to lay that out for him ahead of time, as he had done before the first time we planned to meet.

Wednesday after work, we met at Shima in the East Village, his neighborhood, for sushi. He was already waiting at the restaurant when I arrived. I sat and we immediately jumped into conversation. It was great because there was no tension or awkwardness. We jumped right in like we were old college buddies. I learned a lot about him over dinner — How he just moved to the city, what he wanted to do, what he did for fun, his family… The conversation flowed constantly. We really hit it off.

When dinner ended, we stood outside chatting a bit before he invited me back to his place to smoke and watch Archer, a show we found we shared a common love for.

The whole reason I went on this date was because my friends all encouraged me to date other people. They explained it was healthy to date a few people at the same time until you find one you really like. Things had become a but of a roller-coaster with Smiles emotionally. It went against every fiber of my being, but I decided to follow their advice. However, when push came to shove, I turned it into a friend date and couldn’t make a move. It was getting late, so after a full episode, I decided it was time for me to head home. I wanted to leave before things got awkward.

He may have thought we were on a date, but I was dating Smiles. And, as much as my friends told me I needed to be dating other people as well, I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t lead my new friend on while I had a strong interest in Smiles.

He walked me to the elevator to say goodbye. I could tell he was expecting a kiss. And, I can’t lie. I wanted to kiss him. I had a really good time, but like I said, I couldn’t lead him on like that. I knew where my true interests lay. I gave him a hug and said goodbye. I could see the disappointment in the expression on his face as he walked back into his apartment. I felt awful.

I knew I couldn’t leave things as they ended. I wanted a friendship from him, so I wanted him to know he didn’t just get rejected by me. I decided to text him to explain on my walk home.

I told him how great he is and how much I enjoyed myself with him, but I explained how I’d been dating Smiles since the night he first cancelled on me. He responded by noting, “Guess that was my loss.” We discussed it further. I realized I was wrong in not telling him my intentions going in to the date, but I didn’t know my intentions until the date was closing. I thought I could date more than one guy at a time, but it’s just not how I operate — At least not when I’d been seeing the guy for a few weeks. I could tell he wasn’t thrilled with the situation, but I had a feeling time would fix it, and we could start a great friendship.

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Sick to My Stomach

Monday morning, I woke to the sound of my alarm clock. The night before, N entertained the idea of taking the day off or working from home, however, this morning, his tone changed. He rushed to get ready for work since he was late, as usual. While he got dressed, everything from the night before slowly bubbled up in my brain. My disposition changed as I realized the hell my relationship was in. He gave me a kiss goodbye, and I gave him a forced smile as he walked out the door. I could tell by the expression on his face he knew how I was feeling.

Besides feeling like someone ripped my heart from my chest, I was feeling even sicker than the day before. My stomach was turning. I had so much work to do that day, but I couldn’t fathom going into the office. All morning, I was back n forth to the bathroom. I also realized sitting at home all day by myself with just my thoughts for company would be THE WORST thing possible for me at the time. The distraction of work would be a good for me, but I just couldn’t do it. I didn’t know if I could make the walk to the PATH, let alone make it through the whole day, so I called in sick.

All morning, I curled up in a ball on the couch watching TV. I tried to eat a bowl of cereal, but after four bites, I felt nauseous. I really did a number on myself that weekend. I drank very heavily both Friday and Saturday well into the morning, as well as a few cocktails on Sunday, which was because I thought a little hair of the dog might help. NOPE!

After a while, I tried to fall asleep, but sadly all I could do was think about N. I started to tear up again, but refused to let myself cry. Finally, out of exhaustion, I fell asleep.

After some time, my roommate’s girlfriend came by. She was packing their things for their move to a new apartment. I needed someone to talk to, so I told her what happened. She gave me her take on the situation and offered advice. I didn’t fully agree with her on some things, but I knew she was right about most of it. It just wasn’t what I wanted to hear. I knew in my brain I needed to break up with him — the guy in which I had zero trust to be faithful to me. But, my heart was not in sync. It still wanted him — this great guy I met and integrated into my life so easily. I was torn. I knew if I just had hard proof, it would be the closure I needed to get over it and end things with him.

Nevertheless, I didn’t think our conversation was over. I didn’t have all the answers I needed, and if I was going to be treated like a second string booty call, this relationship was over. I asked him if he would be around that night since he couldn’t spend the day at home with me. He responded by telling me he completely forgot, until his roommate reminded him, he was going to her brother’s graduation party and would be spending the night. I would not see him for at least another 36 hours.

A big red flag went up in my head. Since I had no trust in him whatsoever, I began stalking him on Grindr. Was he meeting up with a man? Grindr would tell me how far away he was. I knew his job was 6 miles from my apartment. At one point that evening, he was 10 miles away, and then it jumped to 33 miles away. Of course, my brain racked over what the pit stop was. Did he stop at a Grindr friend’s apartment on the way to the party for a quickie? Who knew? This is was I was reduced to.

I was driving myself insane, so I took my frustrations out on someone who was bothering me for some time, Gatsbie69. The week before I met N on Grindr, I met what seemed to be the perfect guy for me also on Grindr. He was 28, and his name was Tim, or so he said. We talked for hours between Grindr and AIM. He emailed me numerous pictures of him and his hot body, but something never quite added up. Long story short, we discussed our lives and interests and matched up quite well. I was excited to meet him, except he always had an excuse why he couldn’t. Over two months, I did some research and came to find how much of a fake he was. I couldn’t figure out what he was getting out of this arrangement, and in my agitated state, I ripped into him that night on AIM. He denied the accusations, but with little fervor. When I finished telling him what an awful person he is, I made sure to make a full report to Grindr for impersonating someone else.

I needed to get out of my apartment. I was driving myself crazy. I texted my friends to see what everyone were up to. I didn’t care what it was. I just needed a distraction. K finally answered. I told her how much of a wreck I was. I explained my lack of appetite during the day (K knows how much I love to eat, so she knew how out of sorts I was), so she invited me over for dinner. I jumped at the invitation. I was at her apartment in five minutes. She made lobster ravioli, and I was able to stomach four of them. So if you’re keeping track, I had four spoonfuls of cereal and four raviolis. But, I couldn’t help it. The thought of food made me nauseous. At this point, I knew it was more than just a hangover. I was causing myself so much emotional distress; it was beginning to affect my digestive system.

I was stronger than this. I didn’t do this. This is not who I am. Why was I letting one boy’s folly tear me down? It was ridiculous! But, no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t shake it.

After dinner, I laid on her couch watching TV with her. We didn’t talk, but it was just nice to be with someone and watching mindless TV. She doesn’t realize it, but she really helped me that day. I haven’t felt that depressed in a long time, and I really needed a friend to be there. Thanks K!

When N posted pictures of the party to Facebook, I knew he actually went to the party. When it started to get late, I walked home. I didn’t want to keep K up, and I knew it would probably do me good to get more sleep.

When I got back to my room, I hopped into bed. My California King never felt so empty as it did that night. I know I didn’t want N in my bed that night, but I also know I didn’t want to be alone either. The nightmarish thoughts that were my love life ran though my head until I was finally able to doze off to sleep.

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