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The Move

Nothing really puts stress on a relationship quite like a move. One year had gone by for CK in The Big Apple. He moved to the city in a hurry, finding a nice apartment in a convenient neighborhood, but because of the rush, he ended up paying more than one would like living in New York City. There are plenty of things to see and do in the city that never sleeps, so spending all your money on rent is no fun!

He decided when his lease was up, it was time to find new living quarters. This was quite stressful, not only for him, but also for me. Selfishly, he lived two avenues and a few blocks from my office. I could easily walk there, and commuting to his place from mine in Hoboken was a snap. Chances are, it wasn’t going to get any easier.

When he told me he started looking on the Lower East Side, I was nonplussed. I knew it was going to be a bit of a hike to get to his place every time I came to see him. The Lower East Side is only convenient to get to from one place — The Lower East Side. But, in the end, this wasn’t my decision. I was there to be supportive while he went through the stress of trying to find a new place.

When the search expanded out to include Brooklyn, I nearly had a panic attack. Screw hike — Brooklyn was going to be a day’s journey to get to from Hoboken. I was petrified for our relationship. I wasn’t sure at the time if our relationship could survive the stress on a day-to-day basis.

Finally, after his mother flew to NYC to help him pack and find a new apartment, he landed in a sweet spot. I was thrilled with the final outcome. He managed to find a room in an apartment in a managed building in Hell’s Kitchen with two roommates. I had experience in Hell’s Kitchen. Broadway lived in Hell’s Kitchen, and I was able to walk to work from his apartment. It was also very convenient for me because Port Authority wasn’t far from his apartment, so I could use the bus system. It was the quickest way to travel when heading to or from that part of town. I felt very comfortable in HK as well. I’d taken more than a handful of dates to that neighborhood. The gay population was large enough that no one looked twice at two men holding hands or sharing a kiss.

When the time came to move, I wanted to run and hide. I’d dealt with CK’s attention span before, but nothing of this caliber. I thought it nearly impossible to keep him on task so this move would go as smoothly as possible. Even with the help of his mother, there was still a lot of work to be done. CK isn’t the best planner in the world either. While the idea of booking moving men a few weeks in advance or gathering boxes crossed his mind, the action and follow-through never occurred.

I was trying to be patient. He was going through a lot. I was going to help him, not out of obligation, but out of love. He needed me, and I was going to be there for him, however, it was going to take a lot of strength and biting my tongue to get through this.

I agreed to help him pack things up Thursday after work. I had limited time, however, because I had a volleyball game that evening. I left work as soon as I could and arrived with flat boxes for him from my mail department. We made a lot of progress, but it certainly wasn’t without a lot of comments. I do have to say, it went a lot better than I expected. It certainly could have been a lot worse. Luckily I had a built-in time limit, and the time came for me to head back to Jersey.

We both took the following day off from work. After many failed attempts to get a truck, borrow someone’s car, book movers, we decided to try to rent a Zipcar. This of course wasn’t going to work because there is an application period. Although we were able to walk over to one of their offices in New York City, we had to wait for him to be approved to rent a car. We wasted most of the rest of the afternoon trying to figure out what to do and lying around. After growing incredibly frustrated with the poor use of our time, I decided to stop worrying. I tried to keep my frustration to myself. While I was going to be there to offer my support, in the end this wasn’t going to be my problem. If he drug his feet long enough, this was either going to become his huge hassle or it would increase his financial burden.

There were rides in the back of a van with boxes and potholes. There were things packed at the bottom of a box only to be torn open again. There were enough dust bunnies to start a farm. The list goes on…

Of course, there were copious amounts of arguing. We rarely agreed on anything, but we did both make an effort not to rile the other up. When we finally got all his things in a rented U-Haul van, we had to wait outside in the cold/drizzle until his roommate came downstairs to let us into the elevator bank. His roommate still hadn’t given him the key, so we had yet one more person to rely on to be responsible.

After a little blood, a lot of sweat and almost some tears, we managed to get everything into his apartment. Beyond that, we managed to get all of his belongings into his bedroom. The only thing that saved us was the fact that he didn’t have a bed yet. He left his old bed behind in the previous apartment and hadn’t ordered a new one yet. Of course, it would take some time before things got unpacked. The lack of bed also meant we had to head back to Hoboken every night so we had somewhere to sleep.

It was a very stressful weekend, but in the end, I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Sure, it could have gone smoother, but in the end, everything worked out. I was happy to help my man, and I know he truly appreciated my help. And the fact that we survived something as stressful as this told me we could survive just about anything.

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Knowing is Love

After a night apart from CK, there was nothing I wanted more than to be with him. Days apart from him drug on incredibly slow. Work was what I did between spending time with my man.

We were really finding our relationship groove, spending nearly six nights a week together. I was a little worried I was losing touch with friends because I was spending so much time with CK, but I put in extra effort to make sure I found time to spend with them, especially if the opportunity arose for me to integrate CK with my friends. We didn’t live together, but we might as well have. After work, he’d come to my place, or I’d go to his. We watched TV together in the evenings and even turned some special TV events into romantic date nights, such as the season finale of Revenge or catching up on our new favorite cable series, Game of Thrones.

Couples that play together, stay together. We went for runs and worked out together. I was also taking the time to teach him some of the knowledge I collected over the years in the kitchen while we cooked dinner in tandem. We were a bona-fide happy couple. Rarely a moment passed we didn’t tell each other how much we loved each other. I’m sure everyone was jealous of our love or disgusted by our cuteness.

I started taking a passive interest in his hobbies. I went with him to the comic book store and watched him with great pleasure looking like a kid in a candy store. He too took an interest in my hobbies as well. One Thursday, he came to my weekly recreation league volleyball matches. He sat in the bleachers cheering me on taking pictures. I knew he was going to be bored out of his mind, but it meant the world to me having him there. What made it even more special was that I didn’t even ask him to come. He asked me if he could come some time. It really proved to me he loved me. It was also quite an ego boost having him there as well because he was turned on by my “jockness.”

On of our shared hobbies, we shared something else incredible — Our sex life. It was very healthy, and while we didn’t have sex every time we saw each other, we came close. We had sex sometimes before bed and sometimes sex when we woke up in the morning. At times, I even ended up going to work late because I couldn’t keep my hands off him, in the bed or in the shower. I’d also found the ideal sexual partner. Between us, there was no top, and there was no bottom. We both experienced sex with each other to the fullest. Our sex was passionate and fun. We never took things too seriously. We had fun in bed, taking pictures and tickling and wrestling. At times, sex got messy. This isn’t the most pleasant thing to write about, but it’s a fact of life when you’re having homosexual intercourse. We learned to deal with this without the embarrassment. We took care of things and moved on. I tell you this because I think you should be prepared for it to happen. Know you’re not the only one, but it is a very important step in a relationship when you can be so comfortable together.

We’d been together only a month, but I felt like I’d known him for years. Never before had I felt so comfortable with someone or loved them with all my heart. Never before had I felt so loved. I even went so far as to give CK a key to my apartment, and I cleared out a small space in one of my drawers to store clothes at my place.

On our days off, we’d lay around most of the morning before getting in gear to head out into the world, sometimes not leaving my bed until 1:00. If the weather didn’t cooperate, we’d stay on the couch watching movies all day snuggled in each other’s arms.

Since we first started having sex, we talked about getting tested. It was the responsible thing to do. I trusted him, but you can never be sure. I’m sure he felt the same way about me. Before we met each other, we had sex with multiple partners, so getting tested wasn’t a question. We’d also had unprotected sex, so that made it even more imperative we get tested.

One Friday, we had the day off and had plans to head into the city to see an off-Broadway show, The Accidental Pervert with my friend P. I had the idea to call the clinic and see if the had any appointments later in the day that we could be go in and get tested. I did this without consulting CK, but I didn’t think it was a big deal considering I made the call in front of him. If he was opposed, I would simply change the appointment, but I was certainly not going to cancel it. I needed the peace of mind knowing we were both clean and HIV negative. We had a discussion about the testing and agreed to keep the appointment I made. We both got tested and made our way to the show. We’d have to wait a few days for the results, but at least we were making big progress. Knowing is love. After the show, the three of us all went out for a lovely dinner at Boquiera in the Flatiron District.

I had never been so happy before in my life. I had a great man. We were being responsible. He was becoming a greater part of my life. Things were finally looking up for me. I have dated a lot of guys int he past and had sex with even more. Looking back, I’m not proud of a lot of what I did, however, I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I was better for the experience, and if all that lead to meeting CK, it was all worth it. I wouldn’t trade that for the world. I’d finally found the man of my dreams, and we were in love.

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