Tensions were high between CK and I. Nearly every night, we’d find something to argue about. Although it didn’t always result in an explosive fight, there always seemed to be some kind of noise in the background. The honeymoon was officially over.
When we woke in the morning, CK apologized for the night before, as did I. As we got ready for work, we both agreed underwear was not something we should be fighting about. After making us breakfast, we ate, showered together, got dressed and made our way to the PATH.
A day prior, CK got tickets to see Hot Chip in Brooklyn from a coworker . He asked if I was interested in going. We had already planned to head to Brooklyn to visit Hip since he was recovering from his second hip replacement surgery, so I said, “Sure. Why not?”
While we were at work, we nailed down plans via text and phone. Since I finished much earlier than he did, I hopped on the subway and made my way to his office. He wasn’t quite ready yet, so I asked for his coffee order and hit up Starbucks. I didn’t sleep very well the night before, so I needed something to keep me up and give me the energy to be a fun date.
While riding the subway out to Brooklyn, I asked CK if he requested the time off to join my family on vacation. He reacted to the question as if this was some big surprise. I’d only been asking him about it for a solid month. When he asked me to take time off and book a flight to Miami for his nephews birthdays, I did it without question. Now that I was asking him to take time off to be with me and my family, he didn’t think he could get the time off. I was p*ssed! I found it quite selfish. If he’d requested the time when I originally asked, we wouldn’t have gotten into the argument that ensued. As I said, we seemed to be fighting about everything.
The rest of the ride wasn’t pleasant. It grew to far higher proportions when we got off the subway. I wanted nothing more than to get right back on the subway and make my way home. I no longer had any interest in going to the concert, and I told him that. It takes two to fight, so I take half the responsibility, but he was being rude and treating me in a way I wasn’t willing to subject myself to. As a result, I skulked behind him as we walked through Prospect Park. As he yelled at me for not helping him navigate our way to the concert, I shouted back, “Fine. Just go without me! I don’t want to go anymore. I’m not going to have any fun.” I wanted nothing to do with him or Hot Chip.
I think he understood I was serious and responded by apologizing. “Can we just get past this tonight?” he asked. “Do we have to sacrifice our entire night over this fight?” I didn’t want to just put on a happy face and grin through it. I was angry, and to be honest, I wanted to go home out of spite. The concert was something he wanted to go to, and just as he didn’t put in the effort to come with me on vacation, I wasn’t going to come to the concert. I realized how unproductive this would be, so I agreed to go (not before numerous attempts to make my way back to Hoboken).
When we finally made it in to the concert, CK bought me a few beers, and we cut through the crowd to watch the concert already in progress. Surprisingly, I started to have a better time. Admittedly, I’d never heard of the band before we arrived, and I didn’t recognize any of their music. The fighting ended, and CK was being affectionate. We even made a few friends while moving from place to place among the crowd and managed to bum a smoke off some nice guys.
When the concert was over, it was far too late to visit Hip. I felt really bad considering he was the original plan and reason for the trip to Brooklyn. I wasn’t thrilled we sacrificed his visit for a concert, but in the end, it was CK’s decision.
On the walk to the subway, we found ourselves in a situation once again that birthed yet another argument. When we were a safe distance away from the situation, I began to calmly explain how p*ssed I was at him. Once again, he didn’t think it was a big deal and almost brushed it off as if I was overreacting. I didn’t care. To me, it was so much more. I told him explicitly how much I didn’t like these types of situations, and he completely disregarded those feelings. I don’t think he consciously acted in spite of my request — Quite the opposite. I don’t think he was thinking at all.
After arguing about the matter the rest of the way to the subway, I decided I wasn’t going to engage him in conversation any longer. Clearly I wasn’t getting through to him. We rode the subway with a large group CK decided to befriend. I wanted nothing to do with them. When he asked me questions or tried to introduce me, I simply ignored him. If he wasn’t going to take my feelings into consideration any longer, I wasn’t going to regard his either. I began to wonder if this was something we’d ever get passed. Maybe we were just inherently different. Maybe he would never be able to see things through my eyes. I began to think about what it would mean to end things. Obviously that would be my last resort, but I began to prepare myself for that possibility.
I was also in a tough spot because I was spending the night at his place. By the time we resurfaced in midtown, CK finally realized I was ignoring him. He started to get irritated by this, and yet another fight broke out between us. This time, I didn’t care. I went nuts. I didn’t care who saw us fighting or what they heard as I laid into him. We argued back and forth about the severity of the incident at hand for some time. He didn’t realize it, but as each of these incidents came up, my tolerance for them dwindled more and more. Toward the end of the argument, I think CK finally got a clear idea of the zero tolerance I had left. I’m not the most bending person (and that’s an understatement), but this was one sticking point I wasn’t going to bend on. I didn’t care how small the infraction. He had a choice, and he needed to pick me.
He finally understood my stance and apologized for everything. He didn’t think this fell under my umbrella of discomfort. He finally understood that nothing in this realm would be acceptable to me. We were able to civilly walk the rest of the way back to his place, but the conversation was certainly nonexistent.
When we got back to his bedroom, I brushed my teeth, stripped down to my boxer briefs and climbed right into bed. CK finished what he needed to do before bed and climbed into the opposite side of the bed. That night, we didn’t go to bed fighting, but there wasn’t a lot of love in the bed either.
Since Monday night was spent at CK’s, as per usual, we decided to spend our Tuesday night in Hoboken. Tuesday night in the summer is a big night in Hoboken.
CK and I had begun hitting up free yoga on the pier every Tuesday after work. It was a great way to hit the reset button and recharge for a new week. I found myself looking forward to the group outdoor session more and more. We’d even begun to make a few friends in the class.
I got out of work on time and made my way home to grab our yoga mats. CK had to work a little later, so he was going to meet me on the pier. I invited many of my other friends who had hit up yoga once or twice, but no one took the bait. I arrived just barely on time and reserved a spot for the two of us. CK finally arrived a few minutes into class as we continued our poses and relaxing breathing.
Earlier that morning, we planned to attempt to go to the movies that evening as part of Optimum’s Triple Play free movie night in Hoboken. I myself don’t have the service, so I have to borrow a friend’s card and hope he has no intention of going. When I learned we wouldn’t be able to get ahold of his pass, we decided to forgo the movies. Instead, we swung by the grocery store on our way home to share a home-cooked dinner for two.
We enjoyed our food on the couch in front of the TV, relaxing for the rest of the evening. It was nice to cuddle up next to him and watch TV. It was beginning to feel like a routine. Even though we still lived in separate apartments, it felt like we were living together. We spent nearly every night in each other’s company. The only difference was we had two residences.
We’d talked about moving in together. Neither of us was thrilled with our current roommate situations. Mine were simply disrespectful and unappreciative, and his… Well, we could be here all day. Every day was a new shady dealing. He needed to get out, and his lease was scheduled to be renewed in November. We didn’t make a concrete decision we would live together at that time, but we both began entertaining the idea.
I know many of you are shocked by the timeline there. Come November, we’ll have been dating for eight months. I know that sounds like a very short time to be together before moving in together, but like I said, it was almost as if we already lived together. Not much would be different. We both agreed this would be a goal for now, not a definitive date.
When bedtime arrived, we made our way to the bedroom to get ready for bed. Things took a bit of a detour when CK began seducing while I brushed my teeth. From there, things only got better. The sex was great. We were back on our game. And, true to our fashion, we flipped. That seemed to be how things went for us. Neither was a top, and neither was a bottom. We both experienced all the parts of sex. Our sex-life was very healthy and diverse. I’d finally found my match both inside and outside the bedroom. He managed to satisfy my physical and emotional needs. I was truly happy.
I thought about all the others before him. They seemed a distant memory. None of them came close to my relationship with my Superman. Many of them treated me poorly and didn’t deserve my love. Some of them attempted to love me, but the connection wasn’t there. I didn’t regret a single one of them, for they all brought me to where I am today. Sure, I was still carrying around some of the scars, but I was a stronger man for them. Those were my battle wounds. Those were my war stories. I didn’t miss any of them, but cherished their presence in my life — Even the a$$holes. I was truly in love, and I didn’t want it to end. The road I’d taken had led me to CK, so looking back, I wouldn’t have changed a single direction.
The next night was spent apart. I was supposed to be getting my review at work, but my boss rescheduled it twice that day, and then he had to schedule it for the following day. I was frustrated and needed to take those frustrations out somewhere.
I hit up the gym to lift and swim to calm my nerves. While there, he calls finally, telling me he’s working late and probably can’t come see me. Once again, I felt disappointed. He asked if I would mind coming into the city, but I wasn’t up for that. After not hearing from him all day, I made alternate plans. I was meeting up with my old roommate for a drink. I suggested maybe we needed to spend the night apart. He agreed.
More and more, I was realizing maybe we had been spending too much time together. Small things were getting on each other’s nerves. I wondered if I was losing my individuality. Now that I was back in the gym again, I was feeling better about myself. I relished my workout time. This was something I put on the back burner after meeting CK. We both needed some “me time” every once in a while.
As time progressed, we would find that balance. We’d only been dating four months. We were still figuring everything out. But, I knew, in the end, we’d figure it out together.
Before you jump into today’s post, I’d like to bring to your attention a story a reader shared with me last night. Being the hopeless romantic I am, I was so touched by their story. Check it out here.
Back to our regularly schedule program:
When CK and I got home after a long night out on the town, we argued about the timing of the following morning. I was insistent we would keep our plans, or I would leave him behind. I wasn’t going to flake on Boston because he wanted to stay out at the bar that night. I realized we weren’t making much progress, and we were only staying up longer by arguing, so I set my alarm and climbed into bed.
The next day, I woke up and started reaching out to Boston. Much to my chagrin, he wasn’t responding. I tried over and over and over again via text and phone, but still no response. I’d already managed to get CK up, and he was being incredibly cooperative considering how early it was and how little sleep we got. I wasn’t happy because I got in an argument with CK over this, and now Boston was flaking on me. I was trying so hard to salvage this so CK wouldn’t flip out on me when I told him Boston wasn’t responding. I hit up Hip to see if he’d be interested in the beach. It’d been some time since we hung out, and I thought it would make CK much happier to have one of his friends there. I asked D and his girlfriend if they wanted to join us at the beach, and surprisingly, they were in. They would just be joining us a little later. I also reached out to my sister, and I learned she was driving out to the beach. We were planning to take the train, but now that Boston was missing in action, I asked her if she would give us a ride. Now, I had to manage the logistics of getting someone from Brooklyn, CK and I in Hell’s Kitchen and my sister coming from Hoboken through midtown coordinated.
CK and I were making great time. We hopped in a cab, and it was looking like we would all get to our meeting point at the same time. I couldn’t have been happier and more stressed. My sister arrived a few minutes before us, and we all piled into her car and were off to the beach. This was the first time my sister met Hip. I had a feeling they would get along since Hip is such a mellow guy and easy to get along with, but in her usual fashion, she took a little warming up. Once she warmed up to him, they were really hitting it off.
As we drove, I texted Boston telling him we were on our way and invited him to join us out there when he and the girl he was staying with got moving for the day, but I had a strong feeling I wasn’t going to see him. About half way out there, he finally called and told me he was way too hungover to come out to the beach. He offered to meet up later that evening, so I told him I would hit him up on my way home.
We arrived at the beach and spread out, taking over a solid chunk of beach. D and his girlfriend were on their way and would be joining us shortly. This day was going so much more smoothly than I ever thought possible. The weather was gorgeous, and we were all having a blast. I was really enjoying being with such a great group. Everyone was relaxed and having fun. We took a picture together, and we all agreed it was the picture of the summer. Now that summer is over, I can testify it was, at least for me.
Later in the day, CK and I decided to go for a jog/walk. It was nice to separate from the group for a little and take a nice stroll. We talked about the night before, and he apologized. He also thanked me for such a great day. The biggest smile grew across my face. I know I was stressed that morning and annoyed how things were playing out, but it was all worth it to have such a fun and carefree day. I was so happy with him. I loved him, and I couldn’t see myself with any other man. He was the man I wanted to spend the rest of my life with.
We stopped to take pictures on the rocks of the jetty. This quickly turned into a typical CK photo shoot, which I’m not the most thrilled with. I’m not a fan of having my picture taken because 99% of the time, I hate the results. I don’t like being in the spotlight, but CK does. When I take the pictures of him, I know these pictures will be sorted through as fodder for his Instagram feed. This is yet another account of my attention not being enough. He still needed the attention of his adoring fans. I wasn’t crushed by this. I have thicker skin than that, but it didn’t exactly have a positive effect on my feelings. On top of that, I knew everyone was about ready to go home when we started our walk. I didn’t want to make them wait too long to leave. I tried to be a good sport and shot some pictures of him and even let him snap a few of me, but the time came for me to insist we return to the group.
As we walked back, we passed two hot and I can only assume straight men walking the opposite direction. As we passed, CK not only made a comment regarding their aesthetic, but took the conversation one step further and asked if I would ever entertain the idea of fooling around with another couple (acknowledging a previous unprovoked sentiment I stated expressing my lack of interest in ever bringing another person into our relationship). I immediately started getting very anxious, and my heart sank a little. I was immediately taken back to the previous night with him looking around the bar to see who was looking at him. I was right back to worrying I would not be enough for him. My heart beat started pacing. I immediately and definitively expressed to him my feelings on this, and I think he recognized how worked up this was making me. I told him this was my worry when I finally came out. I didn’t know if I could ever find a man who would settle down with me and give me a “traditional” relationship. I realized that’s not for everyone, but that’s what I wanted. It’s not something I wanted to compromise on, nor do I think it’s something I should budge on. Now, I was worrying if CK was the right man for me.
“This isn’t something I want. I just wanted to know if you would be open to this,” he said. I responded, “If it’s not something you want or you’re interested in, then why did you bring it up? If this is coming up now when everything is fresh and fun, how’s it going to be ten years from now? Will I ever be enough for you?” He started backtracking immediately. He put his hands on my shoulders and said, “Babe, you are who I want. No one else. I was just asking the question, not proposing we do it.” I explained to him how worried I was that it was even brought up. He managed to calm me down and acknowledged that knowing that was off the table does not make him want to stop dating me. He added, “You have nothing to worry about. I want to spend the rest of my life with you.” I was a bit more relaxed, but I was still questioning if I was enough for CK. It had been the theme of many of my past relationships, and I didn’t want to go through that again.
When we got back, we all packed up and headed home. On the ride home, I fell asleep in CK’s lap. Unbeknownst to me, Hip and my sister we’re now like two peas in a pod. They were having so much fun together blasting music and weaving through traffic. D and his girlfriend were following, so when traffic came to a halt, Hip climbed up through the sunroof and started making faces and flailing around at them.
When we got back to the city, my sister dropped the three of us off at CK’s. He needed to pack an overnight bag before we went back to Hoboken for the night. We hung out for a majority of the evening before finally taking the bus to the other side of the Hudson River. Not before getting ice cream, of course. In the end, I didn’t get to hang out with Boston before he left town. It just didn’t work out. Maybe I’d have to wait another year to finally see him.
All in all, it was a great day. I had so much fun hanging with my friend and CK’s friends. It was completely refreshing to see his friends getting along with my friends. It wasn’t all roses and sunshine, however. I was still worried I wasn’t the man CK was looking for. I worried I was looking for him to settle down with me, and he wasn’t quite ready for that. It’s not that I didn’t trust him to not cheat on me so much as worrying we didn’t have the same relationship goals and outlook. Only time would tell if our paths were heading in the same direction.
In this day and age, it’s nearly impossible to surprise someone. Everyone is far too connected through so much social media. It’s even more difficult to surprise someone you love because you spend so much time with them.
For the longest time, I’ve had two things on my life’s to-do list regarding surprises — To throw a surprise party and to have one thrown for me. Since I’ve shared this list with CK, he’s well aware of these two items. So, when he birthday arrived, he would have a heightened sensitivity regarding a surprise party. Over the years, I’ve learned to not celebrate my birthday because in the end, if you don’t celebrate it, you can’t be disappointed by the turnout. CK is a bit different. He loves a big party and certainly loves to be the center of attention ;). Nothing was going to stop him.
I knew from the start if I was going to pull off a surprise for CK’s birthday, I wasn’t able to do it alone. I needed to recruit help. Since one of his friends wasn’t particularly thrilled with me after The Prometheus Debacle of twenty ought twelve, I decided to hit up his other close friend for help. It was the day before his birthday which fell on a Friday. I quickly shot him a message on Facebook and told him my plan to surprise CK the following day. I had one big problem. I was swamped at work. We were in the middle of a pitch, and I knew his friend has much more time on his hands as he was recovering from surgery. I asked him to pick a place, set a time, and invite the friends who were still bitter about the movie tickets, as well as any others I didn’t know about. He was onboard.
When he suggested we go to this cute little Thai restaurant in CK’s neighborhood because they also served alcohol, I immediately knew what he was talking about. “That’s perfect!” I responded. I used to order from Q2 when I worked in that neighborhood, and CK and I ate there the day he moved into his new place. I was thrilled, and it would work out well because it was close. It was never easy getting CK moving and out the door. Proximity was prime.
We also decided to create a diversion. I told him to have everyone involved feed a story to CK. The friend I was planning with was going to tell him he would meet him up for a drink later in the night, but he had dinner plans already (which partially was true). The other friends were going to be going out of town to Connecticut until Sunday, but would make it up to him and take him out to dinner Sunday night.
I told him I would take care of CK. That night, I made plans with CK for the following day. I was going to be working down in our Chelsea office, which is relatively closer to his office. I asked him if we could grab lunch together since I was in the middle of a pitch, and I wasn’t sure what time I would be done work that evening. He was thrilled, particularly after no one hit him up to make plans for his birthday.
In the middle of the afternoon, I called CK to make sure we were still on for lunch. We agreed to meet in Chelsea Market (probably a huge mistake). I figured we could get food there and take it up on the Highline to eat it.
I went in one side of Chelsea Market, and he went in the other. Of course, we didn’t find each other in the middle. When I reached the far door without seeing him, I called him. And I called him. And I called him. The phone rang in my hand about one hundred times before he finally picked up the phone. I was getting extremely frustrated since I had limited time to eat with him, and that time was shrinking. But, I took a deep breath and remembered it was his birthday. I needed to keep cool.
We both grabbed some crab/lobster sandwiches and made our way outside to the Highline to find seats for our “picnic.” As we walked, he told me about his friends and how they had plans. He was asking them all to come out for the night, but found only disappointment. I apologized and told him I was still unaware what time I would be released from work (and sadly, that was the truth). In reality, we had plans/reservations for 9:00, and I was desperately hoping we would make that time. I could tell he was a little upset no one would be around for his birthday.
He was very skeptical and asked if I was up to something and planning something, but I denied it over and over. I told him how one friend would meet us for drinks around 10:00, and how he told me the other friends had to head out of town for the night. One last time, he questioned me, and I replied, “Babe, I tried to do something, but it’s not working out. I’m not even sure I can spend your birthday with you. What makes you think I can plan something with others? I’m really sorry! Can I take you out for dinner tonight? A quiet night with just the two of us?” He agreed, but I could tell he was a little upset. I told him I had the perfect restaurant, but I wanted to surprise him with that since I wasn’t able to surprise him with anything else. He looked like someone shot his puppy, but his demeanor also changed. It was almost as if, “Well, if they don’t want to spend my birthday with me, then f*ck them.”
He no longer suspected a thing. We finished our meal, and he walked me back to my office. I gave him a big kiss goodbye and told him I would keep him posted on what time I could get out of work. My diversion worked. I completely threw him off the scent, and we both went back to work.
As soon as I got back to my office, I called his friend. “He was suspicious, but I think I broke his spirits a bit, and now he doesn’t suspect a thing. He thinks it will be a quiet night out to dinner for just the two of us. He has no idea what’s coming…”
Early in my relationship with CK, I was introduced to two of his friends in line at the movies. They were dating each other, and had been CK’s friends for some time. He had a small ensemble of friends compared to my rather sizable pack, so I knew each of them was precious to him. I was nervous to meet them the first time, and following that night, I didn’t quite feel I’d made the cut. I’d seen them twice since then — on the day we took CK’s mother out for mother’s day, but we were in a large group. I couldn’t quite gauge how they felt about me. The other time was to see Battleship, and I had very limited contact with them that night.
When CK asked me if I wanted to go see Prometheus with this pair, I politely obliged. Prometheus wasn’t something I felt necessary to go to the theater to see, as I didn’t go to the movies all that often, but it was something CK was excited to see. To say his friend was excited to see it would be an understatement. To him, this was “the movie of the summer.”
As you know, I’m a Groupon/Living Social fiend. When CK asked if I wanted to go, I asked him to tell his friend to hold off on buying our tickets because I had a Fandango gift certificate I purchased through Living Social. It was commonplace for his friend to purchase our tickets as well as his own, and while this gesture is very nice and greatly appreciated, it offered the two of us little advantage. Once, we had to search the theater to find out who had them at “will call.” Another night, we were at dinner and had to ask for our entrees to be packaged up so we could make the movie in time. Had the tickets not been pre-purchased, we could have simply apologized for our lack of planning and told the happy couple to enjoy the movie without us.
I attempted to use the gift certificate, but it expired. I wasn’t about to ask his friend to purchase our tickets at this point after already telling him not to. I took care of it myself. All of this transpired over text, and when the purchase was finalized, I told CK I got our tickets.
The day of the movie, we arrived at his friends’ apartment slightly behind schedule. It’s rare CK and I can get anywhere on time. I learned early on, as I was told by CK’s friends, “There is normal time, there is Cuban Standard Time and there is [CK] Standard Time.” As a result, CK’s friend was already in a less than chipper mood. We quickly flagged down a cab to the theater to try to get there in time to get decent seats. As soon as we entered the theater, I made a beeline to the ticket kiosk. I swiped my card and the machine dispensed two tickets. At this point, CK’s friend spoke up and said, “Wait. You didn’t get our tickets?!” I explained to him how I told CK to tell him to hold off on purchasing our tickets, not all the tickets. He was fuming. I told him to see if it was sold out, and indeed it was. I was mortified. I know I did nothing wrong, and it was a miscommunication, however, I felt horrible. I immediately told his friend to take our tickets. We would go see something else. He wanted none of it. He got into a tizzy and said they wouldn’t get good seats at this point anyway because we were so late. I insisted he take out tickets, and he said no and stormed off.
At that point, my guilt was lifted. As I said, I did nothing wrong, but for him to respond to me in that way after an honest mistake on all our parts was totally uncalled for. At this point, it was safe to say his opinion of me was no longer in limbo; it was in the sh*tter. As a result, I was p*ssed! Why was he holding this against me? CK was the one who told him to hold off. After speaking to CK, he didn’t expect me to have all four tickets. He was under the same assumption I was about our two tickets. I was already walking on egg shells around this friend, but now I didn’t know how to act around him. We both agreed, from then on out, we would always take care of our own tickets and no one else’s.
CK and I found two seats and watched the movie with ample time to get popcorn and soda from good seats. We both enjoyed the movie, but I left with a bad taste in my mouth from the whole experience. I didn’t understand why all the hostility was being directed at me. Yes, I was a part of it, but I certainly wasn’t the entire problem. With that, I let it go. There was no use in me harping on it. It happened, I apologized, and it was time to move on.
After the movie, we went back to CK’s apartment. I was still a little stressed and still feeling a little fat, so I asked CK if he minded if I went for a quick run. He was cool with it, so off I went for fifteen minutes. When I returned, we showered and attempted to find a place for dinner.
We managed to find a place very close to his apartment. We’d eyed Taboon every time we passed, so we decided to finally give it a shot. The food was excellent, the service was superb, and the company was impeccable. It was the perfect way to end a weekend. I couldn’t think of a better place to finish my Sunday night than a romantic dinner with my man close to “home.” We shared a great meal and great conversation throughout dinner, and when it was over, we walked back to his apartment.
As our lives were blending, I was still finding pitfalls, however, I feel I was navigating them pretty damn well. The movie incident could have gone much smoother, but mistakes happen and life goes on. In the end, it was a movie, but as I would learn later, it was so much more…
From early on, I learned of CK’s affinity for comic books. When I started seeing more and more trailers for the new Avengers movie, I knew it would be a big event for him. I was curious to see if he’d want to go with a group of his friends or would this be something special he’d want to share with me.
I’m pleased to say it was the latter. He asked me if I was interested in seeing it, so we made plans for Friday’s premier. I was also pleased to learn I would be meeting two of his close friends who would be joining us. We bought our tickets early in the morning, as they were already beginning to sell out.
After work, I went home and packed an overnight bag to take with me back into the city. I met CK at his apartment an hour before the movie. We cuddled and chatted a bit before making our way to the theater. As we got into the elevator, I noticed a sprig of hair dangling in front of his face. He really looked like Superman, and I loved it. This is where the Superman nickname came from. Just as I was noticing this, he ran his hands through his hair, messing up the sprig. That’s when he called me out for not commenting on his haircut. He had it cut after work that evening and was legitimately mad I didn’t comment on it, and he let me know it. I told him how I noticed the sprig of hair, but apparently that wasn’t enough. I needed to verbalize. I apologized profusely. I felt really bad. He eventually forgave me, but he was still a little putout.
I thought we had plenty of time, but he seemed worried about timing. He was trying to flag down a cab to cut across town, but none were available. When he spotted a pedi-cab, we hopped in and shot across town. He was like a little kid in a candy store. He was shouting at passersby and snapping pictures left and right. He took a lot of pictures of us kissing each other, in which I always look AWFUL!
We met his friends in line for the movie. CK introduced me, and I tried to make small talk. They weren’t the friendliest of characters, but they were far from cold. CK was still hyper.
CK and I split off to grab drinks for all of us at Dunkin Donuts. We grabbed donuts as well. While putting a straw in one of the large iced teas, I spilled it everywhere on the counter. The whole store came to a halt for about 5 minutes while the cleaned it up.
When we got back to the line, his mother called. While talking to her, he mentioned how the day of her arrival is my birthday. He also mentioned wanting for the three of us to try to do dinner.
Finally, we got into the theater. We got great seats, and I peeled off to get popcorn, candy and soda. But first I needed to relieve myself. I didn’t want to have to go in the middle of the show. One of CK’s friends came out to concessions with me. After using the restrooms, we stood next to each other not speaking more than ten words. It was a bit awkward.
I thoroughly enjoyed the movie. It was awesome, and I really enjoyed seeing CK so excited. The cuddling the accompanied the movie was also a nice addition.
As we were leaving the theater, CK ran toward the mini arcade. He wanted to play the two-person Terminator game. We put in our money and began shooting. It wasn’t long before one of his friends mentioned their desire to go. CK shouted at them encouraging them to play a game. He wasn’t having any of it. “I think we’re just gonna go,” he responded. CK convinced them to wait until the game was over. We left with them and said goodbye at the curb. They were tired and ready to go home. CK and I hadn’t eaten yet, so we were trying to figure out dinner.
As we walked to grab food, CK pulled my arm around him over his shoulder. People were commenting left and right. I was surprised. This wasn’t my first sign of gay PDA in NYC. I never experienced this before. Some of the comments were negative or simply mocking. Others were actually positive. Hell. We’re two good-looking guys. Why not?
We stopped at Charley’s Grilled Subs for cheesesteaks before heading back to his place to eat them in front of his iPad (aka, TV). When we got back to his place, we smoked a little, stuffed our faces, and watched the first episode of Smash. I’d seen it already, but I wanted to share it with him since I knew he’d like it. I fell asleep about three quarters through the show. Eventually, he too fell asleep. When he woke, he turned off the lights, and we pulled up the covers and dozed off.
Sadly, I couldn’t sleep in. My parents were coming into town to see War Horse and grab lunch. I needed to leave his apartment at 10:00am. I still needed to get them a parking pass in Hoboken. We woke to my alarm. I set it early to allow for ample cuddling.
While we were lying there, he said to me, “I know this is completely unnecessary and not something I need, but I’m going to ask you anyway. I want to know if I could be your boyfriend?”
I have no idea the look that must have been on my face. I was shocked. I did not see that coming, but I immediately said yes through an enormous grin. “Bet you didn’t see that coming!” he added. “No. No I did not,” I responded. I told him how utterly happy he makes me. I told him I thought it was a great idea!
I really don’t think he realizes how happy he makes me. I was beaming for the rest of the morning. He asked if he should order us breakfast, but I told him he didn’t need to do that. I told him I’d rather spend the time cuddling than eating since I didn’t have much time before I needed to leave. We began to fool around, which led to grinding. When he turned around and asked if I wanted to f*ck him, I told him I want nothing more, but I couldn’t. I needed to walk out the door in fifteen minutes. I could tell he was disappointed, but so was I. We cuddled some more before I had to say goodbye.
As I walked to the PATH, I had a smile from ear-to-ear. He made me so happy. I started texting friends to inform them of my new status.
I began to wonder a little if it bothered him my parents were coming into town and I wasn’t introducing them to him since he was so keen to introduce me to his mother. His mother lived much further away, so it somewhat made sense, even if it was early in the relationship. My parents would be back by at least June. I could introduce him then. I just hoped he wasn’t hurt I never mentioned it.
Either way, I wasn’t going to worry about that. I was too happy to car. For the first time in my life, I had a boyfriend!
Hope you are enjoying these. It will help bring the blog a little closer to real-time. If you’re keeping up with the stories chronologically, please skip down to this morning’s post first, then read this one. I think it’s a good one! Enjoy!
Never before have I prefaced an entry by giving away some of the details of what’s to follow, however, I’ve received numerous comments from readers tired of reading my “sex journal.”
“Your blog used to be interesting when it was about your relationship with your ex bfs, but it turned me off when it became a sex journal,” wrote one reader.
We’re both on the same page here. I dislike writing about these trysts as much as you dislike reading about them. It’s bad enough I’ve lived them once, let alone having to live them all over again when I write them.
So, without further ado, I am pleased to present you a love story…
On a Wednesday morning in April, while on my way to work, I happened to poke around on Grindr a bit. There was a message from an interesting guy on there. We began to chat a bit while I walked. He seemed pretty cool. I was about to head underground, so I quickly asked him for his phone number so we could continue the conversation on the other side.
We chatted a bit over text, and I came to learn a few things about him. I explained to him I wasn’t looking for sex, so if this was his motive, he should move on now. I was there purely for dates and friends. He seemed okay with that sentiment, and the conversation continued for a bit. I tried to check his spontaneity and asked if he would be interested in drinks that evening. He couldn’t because he had to work late. That’s when I learned he worked in advertising. I explained to him, if anyone understood working late for a pitch, it was I. I explained I too worked in advertising. When he told me he worked downtown, I started guessing what agency. Ironically enough, he worked for my previous agency. He worked closely with one of my favorite ex-coworkers. We were really hitting it off and I was excited to meet him. We agreed to make plans in the near future.
Wednesday evening, I was on my way home from a mediocre date. I fired up Grindr on the bus ride home and noticed he was on. I messaged him to say hi. He and asked what I was up to. When I told him I was on my way home from work, he responded, “You’re kidding me! Let’s f*ck.” My heart sank immediately. I had such high hopes for him. I was crushed. “You don’t know who you’re talking to do you? This is [O.G.A.A.T.],” I shot back. He admitted to confusing me with someone else and began damage control. I think he immediately realized he lost any shot of anything with me, however, he still took the time to apologize profusely.
If you know me at all, you know I give second chances out fairly often. I decided to lay on the guilt a little bit, but also give him the opportunity to redeem himself. As I got off the bus, I picked up the phone and called him. His timing caught me at a vulnerable moment. I was turning my dating life around. I told him what he did wasn’t cool. Again he apologized. I told him I would turn a blind eye this once for one reason; a few days prior, I probably would have said the same thing on Grindr. I couldn’t hold it against him when I too had treated Grindr in this way. He fully comprehended what I was saying and promised not to let me down.
The following day, I asked him if he would be interested in drinks Friday for happy hour. He immediately agreed that would be a great idea. When Friday arrived, we made more definitive plans. Since I was done work before he was, I offered to come down to his neighborhood. I just told him to text me when I should start walking down there, and he did. I texted him when I got the bar, but he was still working. I told him I’d hang out by the bar for a bit. I walked a block to Starbucks, got a coffee and wrote a blog post. I needed a kick in the a$$, considering it was a Friday night after a long week. When nearly an hour passed, my patience was at its end. This guy was not winning me over by any means. I was a block away from the PATH and very tempted to just leave. Just as I was closing my laptop, I got a text from him. He was on his way.
We met on the street in front of Employees Only. He’d never been before, so I led us inside to order a round of drinks and find a wall to lean against. He apologized for taking so long and explained what was going through his head. He was working on something late and told the editor they’d need to pick it up again on Monday. He’d already used up one of his chances with me. If he messed this one up, there’d be no redemption. I thought it was cute, and I loved his honesty. We talked about our jobs and our shared favorite coworker. I told him about my coworkers and how we’d be excellent fodder for a reality show. (I really work with a circus of a crew, but I love them!)
We were really hitting it off. Everything just felt so easy. He was also incredibly easy on the eyes. I felt I was a bit out of my league here. He was five years my senior, gorgeous, smart, witty, well spoken, had a solid job, etc. Basically, he was the full package. I already knew he had a healthy libido as well, so we’d probably be fine there.
After two rounds of drinks, he took the opportunity to kiss me. I can’t tell you how much I loved that kiss. He was a real man, and he kissed me. I was crazy swooning. We decided to make moves. In our conversation, I was talking about what I do in my free time and mentioned the pier I lounge on directly across from the Christopher Street pier. He suggested we take a walk out there before grabbing a bite to eat somewhere.
We walked holding hands to the end of the pier. He took my bag, set it on the ground with his own, and we walked to the railing. He stood facing the water and pulled me in, wrapping my arms around him. It was incredibly romantic. While we talked, I nuzzled his neck. Things were so easy with him. There was no drama. There were no games. There was just us. I couldn’t believe an hour earlier I was ready to abandon our date and go home.
He turned around and hiked himself up so he was sitting on the railing dangling over the river. I was between his legs with my arms wrapped around him while we chatted. I decided to tell him how new to the game I was and tell him my coming out story. I figured I might as well get that out of the way, because if it was going to scare him off, I figured it was better sooner rather than later since I’d already grown so attached to him. He was totally cool about it. This is also when I learned our age difference of five years. Obviously I was fine with that considering Smiles was nine years my senior. He was cool with that as well.
As we walked to find dinner, he told me about his coming out story. It was interesting and not all that different from mine. I learned he was bisexual through college, which actually was reassuring to me. I liked men that had experience with women as well. It wasn’t a necessary skill I needed to see them utilize. I just liked knowing they’d experienced women as well and realized they were more attracted to men. It also generally proved to produce more masculine men, which I’m far more attracted to. I also learned in that conversation he was a cancer survivor. I didn’t know how this guy could get any better. He was like Superman.
The date was off to an amazing start. We were walking hand-in-hand to find dinner somewhere, and I didn’t want the date to end. I was on cloud nine. I think I floated the whole way. We finally arrived at a spot I was quite familiar with, Frankies 570. So familiar, in fact, I’d been there a few days prior. The date was just beginning. I couldn’t wait for the next course…
Relationships aren’t easy. No matter whether you’re friends or lovers, each relationship is accompanied by its own set of issues. When you introduce sex into these relationships, things get exponentially more complicated.
Tuesday, I engaged in unprotected sex with M.E. It happened in the middle of the night in the passion of a moment, however, there is never an excuse. People’s lives are at stake. I tell you about the poor decisions and the mistakes I’ve made because I hope you can learn from them.
From that morning on, I was on damage control. I’d already talked to him about what transpired between us, and we agreed to get tested and share our results to ensure we were safe going forward. I called a doctor’s office and made an appointment that Wednesday following work to have an STD test.
As I walked into the doctor’s office, I noticed a few other men sitting in the waiting room. I had never been to this facility before. I was curious if they were there for the same thing I was. I began to wonder what was going through their heads. Were they petrified? Were they already infected? etc. I myself began to worry a little. I wasn’t particularly worried until I walked into the waiting room. There was nothing I could do at that point, so I tried to calm my nerves. The only good part about this was it made me quite ready to fill a cup with my urine sample. They also drew blood and told me to call in three days for my results.
Now, it was the waiting game. I couldn’t do anything and would have to wonder for three days.
That night, I had plans with P to go see Silence, The Musical. After my tests, I walked all the way downtown to meet her for dinner near the theater. Dinner was very nice. I got her caught up on all the latest action in my life. She’s always incredibly supportive, even when I make poor life choices.
We went to the show, and about two minutes in, I noticed how attractive one of the male actor/dancers was. It was a small theater, and any time he was on stage, I couldn’t take my eyes off him. When they came out for curtain call, he caught my eye, and we made eye contact. There was a bit of an awkward moment, but I was crushing a bit.
I wasn’t intimidated because I’d already dated someone who worked on Broadway. This was Off-Broadway. I didn’t think twice about what I was about to do. That night, when I got home, I decided to do some research (and when I say research, I mean stalking). I pulled out the Playbill and looked to see if I could find him on Facebook. Much to my surprise, he was on there. I decided to message him. What the hell, why not? What did I have to lose?
I’m sure you’re wondering who this is, and I really hope this doesn’t come off incredibly creepy. I myself can’t believe I’m about to send you this. (And, something tells me I may not be the first). First off, I came to see Silence tonight and thought you were incredibly cute and incredibly talented. Your mother must be so proud. Second off, I have no idea if you’re single or even gay. But gay or straight, single or taken, I’d love to strike up a conversation with you. On the flip side, I fully understand if this makes you uncomfortable. Anyway, with nothing to lose but a little dignity, I thought I’d give it a shot. Hit me back if you’re interested in chatting some time. If not, enjoy the flattery…
Then, I noticed he was a friend of Broadway, the guy I dated for ten months. I pulled out my phone and texted him to see what their relationship was. His response was, “Who is that?” I explained who he was and how they were Facebook friends. “Oh yes. We audition together. HOT!! You dating?” I told him, “No. I just cold called him on Facebook after seeing his show… LOL. We’ll see what happens. Think I creeped him out?” He felt I did creep him out, but I explained how I had nothing to lose.
Sadly, I never heard back from him. It just wasn’t meant to be.
Much later that night, I received a text from the guy I had sex with when I cheated on N. We’d been texting a bit recently after noticing each other on Grindr. He asked if I was up. I replied, and he asked if he could come over. Apparently, I was getting a booty call. It was about 11:30, but I didn’t see the harm. After all, I did fantasize about the first time we had sex quite often. It was something my mind went back to many times. This isn’t because of the cheating. It was simply because the sex was that good.
He came over, and I could tell he’d been drinking a bit. He immediately commented on how crazy it was that my new apartment looked exactly like my last. He began taking his shoes off before hopping on the bed with me. He immediately began making out with me interspersed with conversation. He never got closure with how messed up things ended between him, N and myself.
He wanted to talk a lot about him. I would have been fine if N never even came up in conversation. I learned they got together once after I told him to take a hike. It was hysterical how much their accounts of this encounter were completely different. The only commonality was how much disdain they had for each other. At one point he mentioned how dirty N was. I asked him to clarify as in physically or as in naughty. He then went on to describe a particular body part that would only have been encountered during sex and how disgusting it was. He then went on to tell me they never had sex. He told me N just gave him a blowjob and he finished on his face. He pointed out his surprise I ever dated N. N’s account of the story was they met on the street. After seeing him, he couldn’t believe I would hook up with someone so ugly, let alone cheat on him with someone of that caliber. All I could do was laugh my a$$ off in my head. These two were ridiculous. I was so happy I cut things off with both when I did.
After the N conversation concluded, he really wanted to have sex with me. He mentioned how amazing it was the last time we hooked up, and he told me he hadn’t had sex with a man since the previous summer. I told him how hot it was last time we hooked up and how I referred back to it many times in my mind. With that, the clothes began to strip off.
Warning: The following may be too graphic for some. We were intertwined in each other’s embrace making out. I found myself lying on my stomach with him on top of me. I knew he would try to penetrate me, but I wasn’t game for that. The last time he did that, I sprang from the bed because he did it with no preparation and full force. I wasn’t about to let that happen again. He tried and tried, and I never relaxed to allow entry. I think he got embarrassed with his fumbling, and he made a comment. I complimented him and told him he was too large for me. We switched positions, much to his chagrin, and now I was the one on top. He was on his back, and I put his legs up on my shoulders.
He told me how much he enjoyed me inside him because I hit his prostrate just right. With that, I slipped inside him. It felt amazing. It was just as good as the last time I played over and over again in my mind’s eye. He loved it too. After a short while, he finished on his abdomen. Seconds later, I alerted him I was about to finish. He replied, “I want you to shoot inside me,” and I did. For me, this was a first, and it felt incredible.
I’m not sure why, but I had no problem finishing this time. It completely came naturally and without over thought. I felt amazing and incapacitated all in one. We lay there next to each other speechless for a minute before even moving or talking. We were in euphoria.
When that wore off, I became the topic of conversation. N told him about the blog when everything went down. He told me he read part of it and still didn’t understand why I wrote it. He also asked this story not make an appearance, but I find it too important to exclude. He pointed out I was looking for a boyfriend, and that was not what he was looking for at all. He pointed out how I was going about things all the wrong way if I wanted to find love. I explained to him all my trials and tribulations and what I was looking for in the end. He fully understood.
Then he made a comment about how stupid we were to not use a condom. I agreed. I’m sure he was far more worried about the situation than I was since I finished inside him. Apparently, with everything I’ve been through, I still didn’t learn my lesson. I wasn’t being responsible.
This was my wake-up call. I’d hit rock bottom. I’d gotten so reckless with my life. I needed to stop before I did something that could end my life. What was I doing? How could I be this stupid? This wasn’t how to find love — Having unprotected sex with the guy I cheated on my ex with. No more excuses. No more Grindr hookups. No more strangers. If I wasn’t finding love, I would be single and celibate for some time until I got myself under control. This was my turning point.
In the spirit of trying new things, once again I have asked a friend to guest host for today’s blog. Our blogs differ greatly, but her blog has some really great content I highly suggest you check out.
Recently one of my roommates turned me on to Pinterest, a Virtual Pinboard that lets you organize and share all the beautiful things you find in your life. People use pinboards to plan their weddings, decorate their homes, and organize their favorite recipes.I find it to be quite entertaining and useful.
For example: one day, I hope to own my own home. As I see cool images/ideas on the web, I pin them to my board for future reference. You can check out my boards here: http://pinterest.com/onegayatatime/.
My good friend J. Rothman is going to tell you all about Pinterest and the magic you can create.
Hello y’all. My name is J. Rothman from the wonderful world of www.design-newyork.com, and I am filling in here to inform you on the very popular website Pinterest. Here’s the definition of Pinterest on Wikipedia:
“Pinterest is a pinboard-styled social photo sharing website. The service allows users to create and manage theme-based image collections. The site’s mission statement is to “connect everyone in the world through the ‘things’ they find interesting.”
Honestly, I wasn’t that excited about Pinterest when it first came out, specifically for two reasons — One, I am leary of anything new, especially technology-based things (I got my first cell phone when I was twenty-seven, joined Facebook at thirty, etc.), and two, I’ve been keeping something along the lines of Pinterest in a tangible Luddite form for years. Every time I see something on the internet I drag it to a folder on my desktop. When the folder has thirty or so items in it, I print them out on pages, three-hole-punch them and put them in a binder. I use this predominantly for design purposes, and you can see it here:
The only problem with this is you cannot organize this into subgroups, like “posters” or “calligraphy” or “color palettes”. This is one of the places where Pinterest is superior to a scrapbook. You can catalog the images into collections. Here’s how it works.
1. Once you’re signed up, you can do a variety of things, all of which are very fun. You can look through what other people have pinned already and “like” it or “repin” it, or you can pull images yourself off the internet. Underneath the “About” button at the top right is the “Pin It Button” option. You can drag that to your bookmarks bar at the top of your browser window, and whenever you’re on a page that has an image you would like to pin, you click the Pinterest button and — Voila! You see all the images on that webpage. Roll over this image you want, click “pin it” and it’s yours. It’s amazing.
2. You can organize your pins into groups. Under the “Add +” button on the top right corner, there is “Create a Board” button. For example, let’s say you want to make a super kick-a$s cupcake. You find your cupcake inspiration, pin it, and put it in a dedicated “Awesome Cupcakes” board. Want to assemble a collection of pictures of Rio de Janeiro to keep you motivated until you can travel there? No problem, make a board for it.
3. You and your friends can share pins. You can search for your friends, follow their board, and then an email is sent to them asking if they want to follow you back. Here’s what my homepage looks like. I can see what all the people I follow are pinning. It lets me know what they are interested in right now. It’s another way for me to understand what they are thinking about.
4. If you want people to follow your pins from your blog, you can do that. Also under “About / Pin It Button” is the option to add a link to your blog and encourage people to follow your pins.
5. And there’s an app! You need not be tethered to your laptop or desktop. You can pin with wild abandon while sitting in a restaurant or the library or wherever it is that you find yourself.
Remember, the point of Pinterest is not to advertise yourself, so it is recommended that you do not pin your own work. The point is to collect pieces that inspire you and to share those things with your friends. The link below will give you some ideas. Happy Pinning! http://pinterest.com/about/
Posted by One Gay at a Time in Gay News on November 22, 2012
Today I am thankful for many things.
I am thankful I am a gay man who is comfortable in his own skin.
I am thankful to have a man in my life – The love of my life, even if it isn’t always smooth sailing.
I am thankful for all my readers, especially the dedicated ones who offer support and comments.
I truly love these! Keep em’ comin’!
I am thankful for all my friends and family and the support they give me on a daily basis.
I’d be nowhere without them.
I am thankful to be alive. Thankful every day when my eyes open and breath life in for one more day.
And lastly, I am thankful for Thanksgiving cards like these!!
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