Posts Tagged High Line

Is This Really Working?

Since my last date with Southern Drawl, he had been bothering me for another date. I was trying to take things slow with him. I wasn’t gaga for him by any means. He was growing on me a little, but he still left a lot to be desired.

We made plans to make plans after work Tuesday evening. I left work when he was about finished after trying to bang out a blog entry and made my way downtown to his office. I waited for him on the street corner to finish work for about ten minutes when it began to drizzle. I had not expected rain at all and had no umbrella. I was growing impatient. I called him, but he didn’t answer. Finally, I noticed him walking up to me at a very slow pace with his headphones attached to his phone.

Normally, I would greet someone I’d gone on this many dates with a kiss, but not him. He was too self-conscious. He was not out and was not comfortable with public displays of affection. This bothered me. I needed someone who could love himself enough to not care about everyone else.

We decided to walk downtown on the High Line. I climbed the stairs, and he walked behind me. We took a nice stroll south to find a place to grab dinner. We didn’t have a place in mind, but we had a neighborhood — the West Village. We talked about our days while we walked. Once again, he made a crack, and I didn’t respond well. It was always hard to gauge his sense of humor. We never seemed to be on the same page. If I joked back, he would tell me I was getting defensive and loud. It was insulting. He obviously didn’t get my sarcastic sense of humor.

When we reached the end of the High Line, we descended the stairwell and walked to find food. We passed more than a few places that looked good, but they didn’t have any available tables. They were either too crowded or they appeared non-desirable. We finally came to Frankies 570. I had been there, and the food is amazing. I hesitated going there for a solid second because I already had memories with Smiles there. We shared a really nice meal there one night after work. Then I thought about it, and it made more sense for me to expunge those memories. I could overwrite them with new ones. I didn’t exactly have positive associations with him. I felt used by him as a meal companion.

I suggested it to S.D., and we perused menu before going in. He agreed on the spot and was seated by the front widow at a nice table for two. We ordered drinks and chatted casually. It was nice to sit and relax and just talk about things and my day. We discussed his coming trip home. He was very excited. This would be the last time I saw him before he left. He told me he’d be sending me a lot of pictures from home and would call periodically.

Throughout dinner, he was much more demur than usual. There were no overtly sexual comments and no innuendoes. It was kinda nice. He asked a lot of questions as well. Usually, he was just talking away. It was nice to talk about our upbringings and his home, however, his sense of entitlement was still shining through. He spoke about politics and slavery. He told me stories of his family and how they basically still had slaves. He certainly wasn’t winning me over. I was never all that thrilled with the South’s way of doing things, and he was certainly perpetuating the stereotype in my mind. I also learned how important money is to him, and it was a real turnoff.

Slowly but surely, I was realizing this guy really wasn’t right for me. We had so little in common. I was simply enamored by someone paying attention to me and being interested in me. We were in a downward spiral.

On the positive side, my meal was spectacular. I ordered the rabbit ragu and enjoyed every bite. My drinks was pretty amazing as well.

When we finished eating, we sat there talking a bit more before heading out. When we finished our drinks, he accidentally spilled his water all over me. It was a bit humorous because we were just joking about it, and it embarrassed him immensely. The table next to us took notice of the large commotion this caused, as did the wait staff. We paid our tab and made our way out into the street.

He walked me to the corner to say goodbye. I could tell he was very uncomfortable. I was a block from the PATH and ready to head home. I was not going to a second location, and I was not going home with him. I think he was itching to hang out more, but I wasn’t interested. Just as I was about to go in for a kiss, he turned his head. I was partially p*ssed and partially happy. This was creating an out for me. I scoffed at him and began to walk across the street to go home. He chased me and stopped me on the other side of the street. I told him what he did was not cool at all. As he went in for a kiss, I played along, and at the last second, I too turned my head. Just then, a man was crossing the street and witnessed this. He began to chuckle to himself, and I pointed this out to S.D. He was embarrassed. It served him right. If he thought he had a chance with me, he’d have to sack up. I wasn’t about to date a closet case. I’d moved past that.

We said our goodbyes, and we finally did share a kiss. There was nothing magical. He was still self-conscious. He may have made a good friend, but I couldn’t see myself with him in a relationship. I finally came to see the light. I said goodnight and hailed him a cab. I put him in the cab and said goodbye. I wouldn’t see him for over a week. This would give time for things to settle and fizzle out. I wasn’t going to end things over the phone across state lines, but I wasn’t going to make myself available while he was gone.

After all, I was back out there searching for a real prospect. I needed a real man who could make me happy. I didn’t need to settle on a guy like this. I live in NYC. I fired up Grindr to check my messages on my walk home. There are great gay men everywhere. Now, they just needed to find me…

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Smiles Returns

While returning home from alumni weekend, I sent an email to Smiles to see if we could find time to get together Sunday afternoon: “Hey dude. Let me know if you’re still up for meeting up tomorrow…” I sent it around 11:00 at night, so I didn’t expect a reply until the following day. So, when I got back to Hoboken, I asked around to see who was going out to the bar. No one seemed to be up for anything, so I went home did laundry and watched TV.

I woke the next morning to a return email from him saying, “Hey bud, yeah we can work something out. What did you have in mind?” I replied back, “Your call… Grab bite, drink, coffee, walk High Line…” Apparently, he was already out and about that morning, and he responded, “Just finishing brunch. Let’s grab cords and walk up highland. What time works?”

I was a little confused, but I was used to deciphering autocorrect text messages. “I’m assuming that cords means coffee and highland means highline… haha  I can meet you in about an hour? That work?” I responded. He replied, “Ah yes autocorrect. Let’s meet at 4:30 at Doma in west village its 7th and Perry I think.”

I was very excited but still very relaxed. I was thrilled he was still willing to see me again after the less that stellar first date, but I’ve also done a very good job of not getting my hopes up about these dates anymore. I’ve had enough bad ones to know the drill now. Yes, I’ve become jaded.

I arrived at the coffee shop and waited for him outside. When he arrived, we exchanged hugs and went inside to grab coffees. He paid for mine, which I thought was very sweet of him. He suggested we take a walk through the West Village on our way to hop up on the High Line park. As we walked, he told me about the crazy time he had the previous night at the bars and how he was a little less than 100%. He put his arm around me and explained he was afraid to postpone on me since I was so broken-hearted when he didn’t respond within the first twelve hours after our first date (in a playful way). I was a little embarrassed by my lack of patience and told him he could have postponed on me, and I completely would have understood. We had a good laugh about it.

We walked and came upon a band playing in a courtyard. We stopped to listen before continuing on to the High Line. We climbed the stairs to the elevated park and began to stroll along like everyone else. This was the third date I took up there. I could tell Smiles was really enjoying it. He is very interested in architecture and design, as am I, so we had extensive conversations about all the surrounding buildings. I found it utterly romantic when he would turn my attention to a specific building by putting his hand on my shoulder to talk about a specific element. We talked the entire span from 14th street to 34th street. We even passed Joan Rivers and her small entourage while walking. When we reached the top, we walked back down to street level.

As we walked back downtown, we talked more. I learned he attended three different Burning Mans in the past. Just that Friday, I watched a movie shot by a bunch of guys who attended this years. It looked spectacular, and I was highly interested in attending. He gave me some of the insider tips, and the conversation shifted to the traveling we’ve done.

As we were walking through the West Village again, he noted he’d love to grab a beer and asked if I was interested. We stepped into a nice spot that had an outdoor space in the back, Entwine. We both ordered sangria. When I mentioned I wanted to order hummus and pitas, he noted he had to cut gluten out of his diet. I was rather famished, and I think he realized this.

He originally planned to meet his ex for dinner that night, but hadn’t heard from him in some time. Since this was the case, he asked if I would be interested in grabbing dinner with him. Of course I obliged. He mentioned two spots he could think of. I agreed Extra Virgin sounded great. He warned me he was quite the regular at that spot, but I wasn’t quite sure why that warranted a warning.

I paid the tab for the sangrias, and we started to walk to Extra Virgin. The night was shaping up to be quite a date, but it was only just beginning…

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Pillow Talk

After my first date with Pillow, I was very excited to see him again. However, I would have to wait a week. When the day finally arrived, I was very excited. I tried my best all day to get my work done to ensure a timely exit. After the debacle of picking restaurants last time, I put the burden on him to choose where we would go. We talked a few times during the day about him stressing to pick a location. We finally planned to grab dinner at Dos Caminos at 7:30.

At 7:30 on the dot, I got a text from him saying, “Hey. I need to reschedule for tonight. My sinuses are acting up, and I’m not feeling all that great. I just need to relax and hit the bed. So sorry for the late notice, but just not up for drinks or dinner tonight.” Needless to say, I was very disappointed, but also slightly annoyed. I sat around work with nothing to do for two hours. I could have gone home or made other plans. I responded with the only thing I knew to say, “Ok. Feel better!” I have to admit, I was very suspect of the last-minute cancellation. It seemed odd. If he wasn’t feeling well, I imagine he didn’t feel well all day long, not just that evening. But I didn’t want my imagination to run away since I have a habit of letting that happen. He mentioned hitting me up the following day to figure out a time to reschedule. Later that night, he suggested Friday for lunch, so I was reassured he wasn’t just blowing me off completely.

That Friday, we went to Dos Caminos for lunch. It was a very nice lunch, and we had good conversation. It wasn’t 100% fluid, but it was getting better. He had a hard shell to crack. We talked a lot more about his home and his living situation. I learned about his cat and a bit more about his relationship with his mother. It was nice getting to know him better. When we finished, I suggested we hit up the High Line as we had spoken about before. It was a gorgeous day, so he agreed it was a perfect idea, especially since he’d never been.

We made our way across town and walked to the bottom end of the High Line. He was really enjoying it, and I was enjoying watching his pleasure. We had nice casual conversation the whole length. When we go to the bottom end, we took a break in the shade against the railing. Through our conversation, there were about fifteen moments I wanted to just grab him and kiss him. Every time there was a pause, I wanted to go for it. However, there was an audience. There was never n instance when there wasn’t a crowd of people around to sneak a private moment. I think he wanted me to kiss him as well, or at least his body language suggested it. After a while, we decided to make our way north again to the other end of the High Line.

The whole walk back, I looked for a quiet corner to sneak into — No dice. I had experienced those pillow lips once before, and I wanted more. It had been too long! I was really starting to feel comfortable with him. The nerves ended and the conversation was much easier. We both really enjoyed our time up there. From start to finish the date lasted four hours. We walked the entire High Line, and it ended at Penn Station where he would grab his train home to Pennsylvania. As I said goodbye, he grabbed my hand. I pulled him in for a kiss. And then another. And then another. All short kisses, but nice ones nonetheless.

On my walk back to the PATH, I texted him, “Soooo…. I wanted to kiss you about 15 times on the High Line today. I just don’t do well with audiences…” He responded, “Had a great day!! Um, I’m with you. I’m not totally into an audience, but I was so relaxed at the end of the High Line in the Meat Packing District. I could have stayed and talked a while longer with you. ;)” It was nice to hear we were on the same page. He was a great guy who I still needed to get to know better, but a great guy nonetheless. I was looking forward to our next date and wanted to move things along a bit.

I took the liberty of inviting him to join me at my friend’s lake the following day. He told me he needed to see what he needed to get done the next day and wanted to check out Musikfest, but he would get back to me in the morning. That night, I followed up with a late night text, “I had a really great time with you today. Hope I get to see you again tomorrow. i.e. Come to the lake in the am and then head back for Musikfest in the evening.”

The next morning I went to the lake with my friends D, K and D’s girlfriend. I spent the day on the water and went waterskiing for the first time in my life. It was fun, but I was a little disappointed I never heard from Pillow. I went on with my day and tried not to let it phase me. I was unsuccessful. That night I went out with my friends, but it was very hard to have a good time…

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