Posts Tagged house party

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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Breakfast 2.0

I continued my walk of shame north on Seventh Avenue. I was still dressed for a night out from New Year’s Eve the night before. I didn’t care if anyone judged me. I was in my own world. No one else existed that morning. I was utterly alone in a city of millions.

I continued to try to reach Boston through text and by phone, but no dice. Since I was going to be near his apartment, I thought I would reach out to Broadway. At the very least, I could kill time with a visit until Boston finally decided to get back to me. I called him, and he picked up after a few rings. I asked him what he was up to and told him I wanted to swing by for a visit. He was still in bed and said he needed a few minutes, but he told me to come by. I told him I was walking from the 20s, so there was no rush for him to get out of bed.

When I arrived, I walked right up to his apartment. It was like old times — A blast from the past. It’d been months since I’d been there, but it felt like yesterday. I knocked on the door, and he greeted me. I came in and sat while he finished getting ready for the day. We sat on the couch, and he asked how my New Years was. “Tell me stories. You always have good stories to tell me,” he added. I told him what I did the night before. I gave him the cliff notes because I didn’t want to belabor the point. The wound was still fresh and bleeding. He shrugged it off and suggested we go to the diner for breakfast. I kinda loved that about him. He knew how I felt about it, so he did his best to brush it under the rug.

I agreed to go to breakfast, but I told him I’d already eaten. I would keep him company, and we could catch up. It’d been since the summer since I’d seen him.

Breakfast was nice. He told me about the party he went to the night before and all the guys he was pursuing. As usual, he was very passive about it. “I dunno if I really want to see him again…” he’d say. He’d find something completely superficial to judge the guy about so he wouldn’t have to put in the effort.

Since Smiles’ birthday gathering, we gained a mutual friend. We learned this from Facebook. The guy who I palled around for the night had been at the party Broadway went to the night before. They interacted, but it wasn’t a positive interaction. Broadway was remotely interested in this guy, but apparently he gave him the cold shoulder. This really turned him off, but I assured him my birthday buddy was a really great guy. If I’d been single that night, I probably would have asked him for his number. Broadway wasn’t sold.

Ironically enough, Smiles and I were almost at this party. It wasn’t until Smiles learned of the over-priced charge to enter that he decided we were just going to the house party. It was crazy to realize Broadway, Smiles and I were all swimming in the same circles in New York City. Apparently the gay community was pretty tight, even in a big city. It put it all into perspective. It also made me realize the picture of myself I painted when I let a stranger suck on my neck and face in front of the guy I was dating.

I wasn’t feeling very talkative, so I did a lot of question asking and listening. When Broadway finished his breakfast, he asked for the check. He wasn’t feeling well, so he wanted to go back to bed. I checked my phone, and Boston still hadn’t gotten back to me. I guess I wouldn’t see him before he left the city.

I walked Broadway back to his apartment and said goodbye. Something I learned from him was it is okay to kiss an ex on the lips when you see them. When I first came out, I was fascinated by how often gay men kissed each other. This was completely foreign to me and not something I was comfortable with. Even if I travel in a big gay pack, I don’t think I would be kissing my gay male friends. But, I felt comfortable kissing a man who I had kissed over a hundred times. So we exchanged a kiss and a hearty hug before I made my way to Port Authority to snag a bus back to Hoboken.

While I walked to the bus, I texted Smiles: “Since I have the day off tomorrow, can we do something fun?” I was hoping I could do some damage control and get us back on a happy track.

It wasn’t long before I received a simple text in response: “I have to work tomorrow.” I was already picturing a Monday afternoon with me sinking deep into the couch by myself in front of the TV. I was very disappointed, but it’s not like I had anything to say. I was the one who royally messed up here. I was going to have to deal with the consequences.

Later that evening, I talked to Boston on Facebook. I told him what I did and how things played out. We didn’t talk long, but promised to come back to the topic when he had more time.

I had time all day to assess the situation. Why wasn’t Smiles mad? I realized I wasn’t happy about this. It hurt even more. It showed me quite clearly how little I meant to him. I didn’t see any way to recover from this. I was pretty sure our relationship was over. And, since I’m pretty much a high schooler in the gay dating world, I hopped back on adam4adam.com and Grindr that night to see what was out there. I wasn’t throwing my line into the sea, but I could at least swim around and see what kind of fish were out there…

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