Posts Tagged heart

No Day at the Beach

For one, I was really enjoying the company of my new friend, The Navigator. Secondly, the weather was amazing. I couldn’t have been happier to be away from the cold weather on the East Coast.

Contrary to my plan, the weather wasn’t fully cooperative. The closer we got to the coast, the cloudier and colder it got. I didn’t care how cold it was, I was not putting the top on the convertible back up. I did, however, turn the heat up. That kept us cozy while we acclimated to the new weather pattern.

We drove around for a little before finally finding a parking spot. We walked to the beach, and we spread out the blanket I asked him to bring. He sat down, and he started pulling out the other provisions he brought — A bottle of Sprite, a bottle of Absolut, and some snacks and granola bars. I think I was falling in love. He was spontaneous and courteous. I added the provisions I grabbed at the gas station to the pool.

We sat next to each other commenting on how much the weather deteriorated and chatting about some of the surfers. We were among sparse company. The only other people brave enough to hit the sand that day were the surfers we both scoped out.

We relaxed and the conversation from the car continued. He talked about his family and his background. I learned he was a Jehovah’s Witness. He wasn’t very passive in his faith either. He had the prestigious honor to attend a bible college in Brooklyn. While there, through a slip up, it was discovered he is gay. He was excommunicated from the religion and has very limited contact with his family.

My heart was breaking to hear this sad story. He was an incredible man for surviving all that, and even more impressive for his comfort telling this to virtually a complete stranger. I told him about my religion, and my new outlook on it. I told him about my conversation with my mother on Christmas Eve, even though it was nothing compared to what he went through.

As if his story couldn’t be more complicated, I learned his brother is also gay and struggling with his religion. He was actually finding men online and hooking up with them at rest stops until he was nearly caught by police. His brother chose to take a different route in dealing with this. The Navigator tried to suppress his homosexuality with the aid of his religious elders, but came to accept who he is. His brother was not as fortunate to have the mental confidence to know himself. He was going through conversion classes to help him become heterosexual. They were trying to brainwash him. My skin was crawling at the sound of this.

After leaving his religion, he moved around a lot. One move was for a man, but obviously that didn’t work out. He’d been in LA for roughly a year and was still settling in.

I was really enjoying his company. We took turns making trips to the restroom, and when he stood to walk away, I took the opportunity to check him out. In the back of my head, a voice was screaming, “Be careful! You’re on vacation. You can’t fall for another West Coaster!” My heart was not going to be so easily convinced. I was cautiously proceeding. I really liked this guy. If he lived in New York, we’d definitely be dating. He was just what I was looking for. A masculine man who had his life together and knew what he wanted in life.

When we sufficiently froze our a$ses off, we hopped back in the car and made our way back inland. While we drove back to Glendale, I realized I’d already used up all my condoms and almost all the lube. I would need to stop for provisions along the way, but it wasn’t going to be easy with The Navigator with me. I decided to stop at a CVS. While he looked for the bathroom, I looked for the condoms and lube. I told him I needed to buy sunscreen, which I did, but that was very low on the priority list.

When I finally found what I needed, I realized they were under lock and key. I had to push a button that made the announcement, “Assistance needed in the family planning department.” Family planning couldn’t be further from what I was looking for. The irony was killing me. As Broadway always joked, “Butt babies don’t live.” I wondered what I’d done recently to deserve this karma. It was going to be nearly impossible to pull this off without him seeing what I was purchasing.

Someone came to unlock the case, and he turned his head in an attempt to give me my privacy. That was long gone. I grabbed what I needed and quickly walked to the checkout counter. Of course, when I arrived, there was a long line. I took my place in line behind an old man and hoped The Navigator was still looking for the restrooms.

I was next in line. Maybe I was going to get away with this after all. It wasn’t in the cards for me. The old man in front of me was taking FOREVER! Every second that passed was nerve-wracking. I didn’t want him to see what I was purchasing because it may have been perceived presumptuous.

Just then, he walked up behind me. My cover was blown. I tried to hide the products in the crooks of my crossed arms, but there’s a really good chance he saw what I had. Of course, this was also the moment the next register opened up. I walked up and purchased my items. I paid, and we walked back to the car without mentioning what I bought at all.

We talked the whole ride back to his apartment. When I turned onto his street, he turned to me and said, “Sooo, do you want to hang out some more?” Without hesitation, I shouted, “Yes!” He asked if I want to go back to my hotel room and hang out, and I agreed that was a great idea!

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Special Forces

My time in San Francisco ended. I was thrilled I finally got to meet the online friend I’d shared so much of my life with over the past two years. We grew much closer in the little time I spent with him. I was already looking forward to the next time I would get to see him.

Early Saturday morning, I made my way to the airport. I was off to Chicago to finish out my week-long work trip. I’ve actually begun to look forward to these plane trips. It’s one of the few times I can sit and concentrate on writing blog entries without any distractions.

As I boarded the plane, I made my way past first class to my standard seat. I was happy to see it was a newer plane with slightly extended leg room. Being 6’2″, flying has become quite uncomfortable these days. I look forward to the day I get an upgrade, but those days seem to happen about once a year, even with status.

I was also thrilled to find I was sitting next to a very good-looking man with a great body. I could tell this guy was no weekend warrior. He spent a lot of time taking care of himself. I was enamored by his square jaw line and cute dimples. He started chatting me up when they announced the upgrade of six passengers to first class. Since we are both larger gentlemen, we jealously talked about their comfort levels with a certain level of “good for them.” I asked him what he does and learned he was a green beret in the Army Special Forces. I scolded him for not making that known. “If you were in uniform, you’d be first in line to get one of those seats!” He was such a nice guy. “It’s cool. I’m fine here,” he replied nonchalantly. It was such a nice change of pace not having to sit next to someone fat who stole half my seat or who smelled and ruined my entire flight.

Apparently, I wasn’t going to get through very much writing on the plane. So much for no distractions. I asked him if he was headed for business or pleasure. He told me he was flying to Brussels for an internship in defense analysis for the next three months. He told me all about what he does and how much he loves doing it. He also took the time to ask me what I do. I was proud to be sitting next to this man. To me, he was bigger than sitting next to a celebrity. I’ve always had a major soft spot for the military service men and women. Not necessarily in a sexual way. Being in the Navy was my grandfather’s proudest accomplishment. I regularly donate to the USO in his memory partly because I know how much it meant to him, but more so because I know what they have to give up to serve our country. I have friends in the service, so I’ve seen first hand what they sacrifice to keep us safe.

Through chatting with him more, I also learned his girlfriend is also in the Air Force. They were both stationed in California while he was finishing up at the Naval Postgraduate School and got to see each other on the weekends. They had it rough. They got to see each other so rarely, my heart really went out to him. We talked a great deal about his relationship and how they make it work. He realized it wasn’t ideal, but they make it work. I admired his convictions. I asked if she’d be coming to visit him while he was abroad in Belgium, but they have yet to determine if it would be worthwhile since he doesn’t know what his leave will be yet.

The more I talked to him, the more I realized how polite, cute, smart and sexy he is. I wanted to be friends with this guy. I wanted to hit up the bar and buy him a beer. It was completely in a non-sexual way too. Since I was young, I’ve craved to have “the guys.” I’ve never had a group of guys I’ve hung out with regularly. And, I’m not talking about a gaggle of gay men either. I’m talking about a group of men, gay or straight, who hung out all the time and were just real. We could rely on each other to have our backs, no matter what. He seemed like a guy who would fit that mold. He was a genuine good guy. I always try to surround myself with individuals like him, but it’s not easy.

When the flight attendant was coming by handing out drinks and asking for food/snack orders, I wanted to buy him one of my favorite United Tapas snack boxes. Had she not asked him before she asked me, I probably would have done it, however, looking back I’m not disappointed it didn’t work out. It may have made him feel awkward or uncomfortable. I just wanted to show my appreciation first-hand for what he does, however, I didn’t want to do it at the expense of his comfort. He probably had no idea I was gay, but some people are uncomfortable taking handouts. I also loved watching him flirt with the flight attendants. He was quite a smooth operator without being overt or corny.

When the plane landed, he proved once again his gentleman status. He was “Mr. Chivalrous” helping all the women with their bags. I glanced over at his boarding pass for his connecting flight to Brussels and caught a glimpse of his rank, Major and his name. He turned to me just before stepping into the aisle and wished me luck on my pitch.

As we exited the plane, I snapped a picture as he walked away (trying not to be creepy!).

When I got to my hotel, I hopped online to see if I could look him up. I wasn’t going to stalk him. I was just curious to know more about him. I found him on LinkedIn and learned more about his educational/occupational background. It is vastly impressive. I resisted the urge to add him as a connection on there and went about my day.

While I was in Chicago, I planned to visit my friend who moved there a few months prior. I hit him up when I landed because I was going to try to meet him for dinner/drinks that evening instead of dining with my coworkers. He replied telling me he had a fever and wouldn’t be able to make it out while I was in town, and we’d connect at a later date.

This was going to truly be a work trip, so I dove in full force to make sure I delivered.

In only somewhat related news…

A photo I came across in my Facebook feed over the past week makes me smile every time I see it. I dove into researching all about it. I am fascinated by it and love the media attention it is receiving. This shouldn’t be getting media attention. It should simply stand on its own as an amazing display of love and affection. But, until homosexuals are treated as equals, I welcome the attention. I hope it inspires you to be more courageous in your life, as it has inspired me.

If you’d like to read the full story of what is happening in these images, click here.

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Goodbye to a Closer Long-Distance Friend

Today is another Fast Forward Friday!!!  

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!

Back to your special edition of One Gay At A Time…

On Friday, my last night in San Francisco, I made plans with Swinging D*ck to come to my hotel. We talked about grabbing dinner before staying in for the night. However, he casually invited me to come out with him and his friends when he realized he had to go out for a friend’s birthday. I was apprehensive since it was a torrential downpour outside. It hadn’t rained for three months prior, but now it was raining for three straight days. This trip was turning out to be an epic fail.

I graciously accepted his invitation and waited for his call to tell me where to meet them. Hours passed, and I didn’t hear from him. I was all dressed up with nowhere to go. I decided to run out to grab dinner at In-and-Out when dinnertime passed by. That’s when I finally got a text. He told me they were going to Lookout in a bit. He would text me when they were leaving, and I could meet them there.

I ate my burger in my hotel room and made my way outside to hail a cab. Luckily I wasn’t out in the rain too long.

When I arrived, I made my way to the second story bar and began looking for him. After two minutes, and noticing a lot of men scoping me out, I found him in the crowd on the other side of the bar. I walked over and said hi with a big hug. He introduced me to his friends. They were all very nice. I wasn’t sure exactly how much they knew about me.

I ordered a beer before I was told we would be moving on for the night. It was back out into the rain. Apparently, we were headed to a house party for the remainder of the night but not before popping into a liquor store for some beer. We hopped in a cab and made our way to the party.

It was slightly awkward because I was now a friend of a friend of the host. I was hoping everyone would be okay with my attendance. Luckily, only the entrance was slightly awkward. After that, I was in my element. I talked with my friend, his friend, and many other men at the party. It was the biggest sausage fest I’d ever been too. I think there may have been two women there versus the fifty gay men.

I met some interesting people and one very sexy man who looked a lot like Steve Pasquale (Sean Garrity) from Rescue Me. Swinging D*ck is a smoker, and when I drink I’ve been known to smoke the occasional cigarette, so those were nice breaks where we somewhat stepped away from the group and could talk more. He really was a sweet, intelligent guy. I learned a lot about him talking to him on Skype, and I only wanted to get to know more.

The night was beginning to draw to a close. For one, I had a flight to catch in the morning. Secondly, the birthday boy/host was ready to hit up the bars. Everyone was getting kicked out. S.D. told me he had to tell me something when we got outside. We walked away from the party to find a bodega to get him cigarettes. As we did, he took the opportunity to confide a big secret he’d been walking around with.

He pointed out to me how standoffish he was the previous night, how he had to leave early and how he changed plans from coming to my hotel that night. Then he told me all this wasn’t because he wasn’t attracted to me — Quite the opposite. The reason was because he was HIV positive.

My heart immediately sank, and not in a selfish way. The compassion I felt for him in that moment was so great, I can’t even begin to explain.

Apparently I know very little about HIV. He told me he’d been “positive undetectable” for a year and a half now. I never heard that term before, but deduced its meaning from its name. I also did the math in my head and realized he contacted it just after he started talking to me on Skype. I put two and two together and realized that’s why he was so depressed when I was talking to him. My heart was breaking for him.

He explained that he is on medication, and the doctor told him he would lead a very normal and full life for the remainder of his time on this planet. I was learning a lot about the treatment for HIV. I realized I needed some education, and I was happy I had someone so amazing to teach me.

A large part of me wanted to cry and give him a big hug because I couldn’t imagine what he was going through all this time since being diagnosed. The larger part of me was upset because he felt he couldn’t just tell me outright from the start.

He didn’t know how to tell me, nor did he want to. He thought I would treat him differently or stop being his friend. I told him he needed to give me more credit than that. He was an amazing guy, and nothing changed between us.

He started to explain his strange behaviors I wasn’t even noticing. When I asked him back to my room, he was very leery because of what might happen, but he still wanted to be with me. So, he agreed. When we were fooling around, he said he was purposely taking more time to please me so I wouldn’t even have a chance to please him. When I went for it, that’s when he really said he had to get going. It wasn’t because he wasn’t attracted to me. It wasn’t because he didn’t like me. “I think you’re amazing,” he added. It was because he was scared. I understood completely.

When I asked him to come to my room a second night, he talked to his friend about it. “I don’t know if I can tell him,” he told his friend. His friend told him to do whatever he felt comfortable with. He actually invited me to come out with them that night in an attempt to set me up with his friend. Looking back, I did feel as if I was being sized up as the night progressed. However, I was not feeling him in the slightest.

When we were at the party, he encouraged me to go with the guys who asked me to come with them for some fun because it would get him off the hook. I wasn’t the slightest bit interested in them either, however their compliments were always welcome. 🙂

I never noticed all this, but I jokingly reprimanded him for going through all those charades instead of just telling me as a friend. Of course I would understand. I told him about all my skeletons. I would have hoped he’d feel comfortable telling me his.

We continued to walk to the bar everyone was heading to. He told me about how he contracted it and how bad the situation was. He admitted that’s why he was so depressed when I first started talking to him. It all made sense now.

When we arrived at the bar, it was time for me to say goodbye. I had an early flight, and it was already two in the morning. We talked a little bit more, gave each other a big hug, and made out a little bit. It was hard saying goodbye. I felt we had so much more to talk about. But I needed to go. We kept coming back for just one more kiss before we finally parted ways.

As I walked towards my hotel searching for a cab, I thought about what just happened. My heart was still breaking for him that he had to go through that. I wish I’d known sooner so I could have been there more for him. I was so proud of him for finally finding the courage to tell me. I was starting to think he just wasn’t into me a little bit, but that’s not important. What is important is that I have a friend I love dearly and will always be there for, no matter what happened to him. I just hope he knows that!

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Finally, Someone Who Knows What They’re Doing!

So far my trip was turning out to be a flop. I had on traumatic experience and an ex who tried convince me to have sex. I needed my luck to turn around.

Last time I came to San Francisco, tried to meet up with a friend of mine I met a very long time ago on manroulette.com. I’d known him for almost as long as I’d known about the site — roughly two years. We exchanged Skype names and kept in touch. I can remember having conversations with him long ago. He was a great guy who had been through a lot. My heart always went out to him when he told me his story. On top of this, he was incredibly sexy. We’d fooled around on Skype numerous times, and every time I yearned for it to be the real thing with him.

I was hoping I would finally get to live out my fantasy. I made plans with him to grab a drink Thursday night after work. He asked if I’d like to meet in The Castro, but I asked if he wouldn’t mind coming to my neighborhood in the Wharf since I trekked up there the previous night. He agreed, and I asked the concierge for a good spot to grab a drink and chat with someone. He gave me a great spot to check out two blocks away — Parlor. It was perfect. We could easily head back to my hotel room after a few drinks.

While I waited for him to get ready, I excited myself with some porn. I wanted my libido revved when I met him because I wanted to live out my fantasy completely.

When he was nearby, I made my way to the bar. There weren’t many people there. It was perfect. Good music, but quiet enough for us to chat.

When he arrived, he came up to join me at the bar, and we exchanged hugs. I was very happy to see him, and I think he was equally happy to see me.

We sat and talked for hours. He’d been seeing a therapist over the past few months, and he’d really been having some breakthroughs. He has a tough time with his family as they’re not accepting of his lifestyle “choices.” I told him my coming out story, and he was very happy I for me that I had such a supporting family.

Three beers later for each of us, and the conversation was going strong. Our conversation hit the pause button when we both heard someone at the other end of the bar making a gay comment, not in reference to us in the slightest. Our ears perked up ready to be on the offensive but there was no need. When we finished our fourth round, I asked him if he would like to come back to my hotel room. He accepted my invitation, but said he couldn’t stay too long since he had to work early the next day.

He proposed we stop for wine along the way, and I agree. He paid for the wine — He was such a Texas gentleman, even if he hadn’t lived there for years. When we got back to the room, we each finish a large glass of wine before I pounced on him. We made out for a solid fifteen minutes. I was really enjoying him. He had a great body, amazing lips, and he was a spectacular kisser. One of the best I’d ever experienced. My fantasy was on its way to reality.

Warning: The following may be too graphic for some. One by one I peeled off his clothes until he was naked. I took it all in with a big grin on my face. From the first time I laid eyes on his “big swinging d*ck” as I called it, I couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. It was beautiful, and I sure as hell had some fun with it.

He immediately went for mine and started orally pleasing me, front and backside. He was very good, but also very loud, moaning as his head bobbed up and down. This wasn’t something I was used to. I wanted to finish for him. I wanted to show him the fireworks I could set off, but I just couldn’t concentrate. After some time passed, I went to return the favor, but he stopped me. He told me he had to go because he had to be at work early the next morning.

I was so disappointed. He was really good in bed, and I needed that. I also had been looking forward to that for years now. But, I completely understood. Around midnight, he got dressed to head home. As he was leaving, he told me how great I tasted and how he wasn’t going to wash his hands or face for days. This was very dirty and very sexy. I’d never had anyone respond to my body that way before. He kept coming back for more as he made his way to the door. I could tell he didn’t want to leave, which made me happy. I was also purposely teasing him with my body, as I lay naked on the bed. I didn’t want him to go, but I still had one more night in San Francisco, which means I had one more chance to take him to bed…

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A Pointless Cancellation

When Smiles and I spoke on the phone Sunday night on his way home from a party in Connecticut, I asked him to come to my apartment for a special dinner Monday night. He told me he had to work, but he was going to leave early and we’d just eat a little later. I told him this was perfect since it would take some time to cook the roast after work.

I’d told Smiles about my standing rib roast before, and he didn’t quite get what it was. I explained to him the similarity of it what one might be served at a carving station at a wedding reception. He got a clearer picture, but it still wasn’t crystal clear.

I had a rib roast in my freezer with our name on it. I finally had a chance to cook it for us, and he was on-board. I was excited. It was a plan.

Monday morning, before work, I took the roast out of the freezer to thaw for that night. I planned out the accoutrements as well. I was very excited for our romantic night. It’d been a while since we spent time together. I wanted a night of beef, wine, couch, and bed. The thought sounded spectacular to me!

What excited me even more was the idea of my sanity back. I planned to ask Smiles that night where we stood. I didn’t need a title. I didn’t need to be his boyfriend. I just wanted to know where his head was at.

I know I probably sound like a broken record at this point, but that’s what my inner dialogue is. I get fixated on something, and it exhausts me until I get some closure on the issue.

Much to my chagrin, at 1:00 that afternoon, Smiles sent me a text with some bad news. “Looks like I have people coming tonight so I’m not going to be able to sneak out. I don’t think dinner at 11:00 would be the bet. Do you want to have an early dinner here in the city before he show?” Very disappointed, I agreed with a “Sure.”

I was p*ssed. It wasn’t his fault, but I was a little crushed since I was taking so much care to plan out the evening, and it all went to sh*t. He suggested we do it another night, but came up with a consolation prize. He suggested I come over to his apartment for dinner instead before the screening. I begrudgingly agreed to the idea since it’d been so long since I’d seen him, and I sent my roommate a text asking him to put the roast back in the freezer.

When I finished work, I made my way downtown to his apartment. When I arrived, I was shocked to be received with a nice big kiss. Maybe he missed me. Maybe I wasn’t just a seat warmer in this relationship. There was actually emotion behind that kiss. I was happy.

I was a little anxious because I was still planning to ask him where we stood that evening.

He told me he had food in the fridge to make and suggested we cook that instead of going out for dinner. He preferred that since he wasn’t feeling well, and he was exhausted. It made no difference to me. Asking him my question in the privacy of his apartment sounded like such a better idea than in a restaurant anyway.

I ended up cooking the pork chops and asparagus for the two of us since Smiles wasn’t quite himself. We sat and ate — Him at his computer chair working while he ate and me on the couch. Not nearly the romantic meal I planned for the evening. When we finished, I helped him clean up and put the leftovers away. He started getting ready for the rest of his night, and we talked about my plans. He asked if I was planning to spend the night. “Well, I guess the first question I should ask is if you were planning to come to the screening tonight,” he added.

This was the first I was hearing this. I was quite open to the idea, but I told him, “I have nothing for work tomorrow. You were supposed to be coming out to Hoboken, remember.” “Right,” he responded. I reminded him I’d seen the movie twice now, but if he wanted company, I would come with him. I asked if he actually watches the movie, or if he does other things during the film. He told me he usually watches most of it. Things remained unsettled as he made his way over to the couch to take a quick nap on me.

That was my opportunity to ask him my burning question. Every moment I tried to open my mouth, I froze. Nothing would come out. I was suddenly transported back to when I sat on the couch trying to tell my parents I was gay. The anxiety was making my heart pound out of my chest. I tried over and over to ask him, but I couldn’t muster the courage. I’m not sure what I was afraid of, but it was driving me insane.

After a half hour of this, it was time for him to get up. I asked him if he wanted me to sleep over, or did he want to get some rest alone. We made a final decision. It was better he get some uninterrupted rest that night since he was so exhausted as much as I wanted to spend the night with him. He told me, “It’s very sweet of you to offer to see the film again to spend the night with me.” I liked hearing that. He recognized the sacrifice I was willing to make to spend time with him.

With that, I said goodbye, and he made his way to the screening while I made my way to the PATH — Without my answer.

I was so p*ssed at myself for getting so worked up about a stupid question. What was wrong with me?! Obviously, I needed someone to talk to. I tried Boston, my therapist. I needed him to talk me off the ledge and help me make sense of the situation. I couldn’t do it on my own. We talked it over for over a half hour and he convinced me I had no choice but to blatantly ask him where we stood. We even helped me nail down the phrasing.

When I got to the other side of the tunnel in Hoboken, I got a text from Smiles telling me he was on his way home. His friends never showed. My blood was boiling. We cancelled our dinner plans for NOTHING. I still had no closure on where I stood with Smiles. It certainly was going to be a toss-n-turn kinda night…

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