Posts Tagged leery
The party was in full swing. Matinee had a huge turnout, and some of my suspicions were already confirmed. I was in for a long night.
As the evening progressed, CK ran into a handful of people he knew. I was very leery of many of these people because I assumed the majority were previous hookups and fellow circuit party enthusiasts. My guard was up. No one was going to make a move on my man without me having more than a few words to say. One previous hookup in particular was starting to weird me out. I would catch him staring at CK across the crowd, which turned me into a guard dog. I wasn’t going to let CK out of my sight.
I still had a lot of anxiety after he told me he didn’t go to the last circuit party because he wasn’t sure what might happen. It was honest, but it didn’t exactly instill confidence in me. I wasn’t holding it against him, because after all, he was forthcoming. But, that didn’t mean I wasn’t going to be hypersensitive.
Speaking of infidelity, out of the corner of my eye, I caught a glimpse of one of the newlyweds I’d met earlier in the night with his tongue down another man’s throat. I scanned the crowd for his husband, and he too was sucking face. My heart sank a little. I was so thrilled to have met a gay married couple because it is something I long for. But, judgment aside, after witnessing their definition of marriage, it brought the idea I would never find a man who shared my own definition of marriage back to the surface.
Since Hip was still recovering from hip replacement surgery, he needed periodic breaks from all the dancing. I can’t tell you how happy I was to have him there. Every time he took a break from the dance floor, I joined him. I needed a break as much as he did. While we stood on the sidelines, I complained, “When is this lozenge going to kick in!?” We chuckled a bit while watching CK search the crowd to try to find us until I finally got his attention.
Hip wasn’t the only other guy I knew there. I’d been texting with my ex, Broadway, who I am still friendly with. We rarely see each other anymore, but when we do, it’s completely platonic. I learned he’d be attending, so I suggested we at least take a minute to say hi. I also wanted to introduce him to CK so they could both put a face to the name. We managed to find each other in the crowd over the phone and exchanged a hug. He introduced me to the guy he was there with, and I introduced him to CK. It felt a little forced for some reason, so I didn’t dwell on the conversation, and we said goodbye.
As the night continued, I began to feel the effects of my lozenge. I was very happy because I mellowed me out. I was in a good state from there on out. That is until others in the group pulled out some of the stronger vices. It was my first time witnessing this. I don’t feel I’ve lead a sheltered life, but my friends and I just never put ourselves in those situations. I felt quite uncomfortable. A big part of that is the unknown — I knew very little about it. Another part of it stems from resentment. I feel a sense of, “Am I not enough that you feel the need to heighten the experience?”
I tried to turn a blind eye to it and get on with my night. CK really wanted to be there, and he really wanted me to have a good time. I wanted to give him that. I wanted him to see me enjoying myself, so that’s what I did. I worried about the things I could control and tried to forget the rest.
We danced and danced and danced. We had a really great time dancing. Natasha Bedingfield performed, and I even saw my favorite Twitter couple, @AustinWilde and @AnthyRomero. I pointed them out to CK, and he suggested I go say hi. I put myself in their shoes and refrained. They were there to have a good time, just as I was, and I didn’t want to bother them.
Another round of substances made a pass through the group, and once again, I was feeling on edge. This time I wasn’t as good at hiding my lack of comfort. CK was really good about checking in with me to make sure I was alright and having a good time. When I told him how my lozenge made me feel great, he chuckled and gave me a kiss.
The night was coming to a close. Sure, it was stressful as all hell, and when it was over, I felt incredibly relieved. Relieved and exhausted. It takes so much out of you to be so anxious for so long. But, looking back, I did have fun. After experiencing that and XL the night before, the next go around would be far less stressful. I would a least know what to expect. People began making their way back to the ferry to hit up more club parties in Manhattan. Before we left, CK and I snapped a few romantic pictures with the city skyline in the background. This part was easy. I could stop worrying and finally let myself be engulfed by the love I shared with CK. In the end, that was what mattered. When he was happy, I was happy. This was something he’d been looking forward to for months, and I hoped I delivered.
While we were away from the crowd, CK pulled me in to discuss our plans for the remainder of the night. Originally, we discussed going to Work (Peter Rauhofer was spinning) at Roseland, but to my surprise, he suggested another plan. “Baby, tonight’s been amazing! And I know Work’s gonna be off the hook, but if you’re game, I think we should go to a really exclusive after-party. Getting on the guest list is nearly impossible, but we’re on it.” Without another beat, he said, “Let’s go back to my place and make love till the sun rises. Words cannot express how welcome those words were.
When pointed out how I felt bad abandoning Hip, I suggested we get back to him. Of course, I was thrilled to learn he met an aussieMan on the dance floor who took quite a shining to him. They were having a great time together, and I couldn’t have been happier. While I loved having Hip there, I worried he felt like a third wheel with CK and I. That doesn’t go to say he should have. I loved having him there. To be honest, I don’t think I would have made it through the night without him. He is an amazing guy, and he really deserves an amazing man to make him happy. It also just so happened the aussieMan had an extra ticket to Work, so Hip became his plus one.
We all rode the ferry and the subway together until we reached Hell’s Kitchen. After an exchange of hugs, we parted ways. CK and I walked home blissfully hand-in-hand. CK may get a little bent out of shape when I say this, but that was my favorite part of the night. I was always happiest when it was just the two of us. True, we are both social beings and love being surrounded by people, but there’s nothing quite like some quality time with my man! I really did love him!
When we got home, we were both quite exhausted, however, we weren’t too exhausted to take advantage of each other before dozing off. But, that’s another story for another day…
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After coming to the realization Middle Eastern was not dating material, I began my search for a boyfriend once again. I thought I’d give him a second chance, and he proved to me he wasn’t worthy of that.
I went back to my matchmaker once again – Grindr. I was a little addicted. I found myself spending hours out of my day on the app. I was searching with great fervor. When I woke in the morning, the first thing I did was reach for my phone and fire up Grindr. The next thing I did was grab my tablet and fire up Grindr on that. It was even better on my tablet. The pictures were bigger, I could multitask with my phone, etc. I fully realized how much time I was spending searching for a man. I saw how much of my day was stolen from me. It was like a second job.
On a few occasions, I would strike up a conversation with a guy I thought worthy of my time. One such man lived nearby in Jersey City. We started chatting on Grindr, and I did what I always do. I asked him for his number so I could take things out of the Grindr app and start a conversation over text. I always asked for a picture from the start so I could keep the guys straight in my phone contact list. I kid you not when I tell you I have around 100 contacts from Grindr, Adam4adam.com, ManHunt and OKCupid. I had a system in place as well. Everyone’s name began with where I met them. I was cataloging these guys in theory. Some I never spoke to on the phone, let alone met them in person, but they were saved no less.
After getting this guy’s number, We texted about chatting on the phone some night. He picked up the phone and called me. This earned him a lot of brownie points in my book.
We started with the superficial things – Where we lived. He told me all about his building. I was quite familiar with it. I’d run past it on many occasions. This morphed into a discussion about where we grew up. He was fascinated to learn I grew up out in the country on a farm. Through texting, I’d already learned he was from Canada. I told him how surprised I was he didn’t have a Canadian accent. It popped up a few times, but quite infrequently for someone who grew up there.
I quickly learned he certainly fit the Canadian nice guy stereotype. Everything he said was sweet and polite.
I learned he was slightly older than me. This wasn’t an issue for either of us. I had always liked slightly older men, but I am always leery that older men aren’t thrilled with dating a younger man. I’m quite mature for my age, so I hope my personality can make up for the age gap.
We chatted about our jobs, and I learned he worked in the travel industry. He jetted around the country and internationally quite frequently. He even mentioned the possibility of taking someone like me with him on said trips. I wasn’t getting ahead of myself, but I did enjoy the idea of traveling with my boyfriend to far off locations. He detailed many of the perks, which I really enjoyed, but I didn’t want to let that cloud my perception of him. On the flip side, I told him one of my most embarrassing secrets. I told him I’d never left the country with the exception of Windsor Canada from Detroit. He told me it wasn’t a big deal, and he would help me remedy that issue.
Somehow we got on to the topic of dating and being single and previous lovers. He wasn’t very forthcoming with the information of his major heartbreak, but all it took was one question for him to tell me the overarching story. It seemed it was a sensitive subject, but he was willing to tell me the story. He was dating a man for seven years. This was before he was traveling for work. He was scheduled to go away for work, and at the last-minute, his trip was cancelled. He came home to their shared residence to find his boyfriend in their bed with another man. I expressed my grave sympathy. After seven years with someone he must have been crushed. My heart broke for him. He told me he simply told his boyfriend he needed to move out and that was the end of them.
I tried to lighten the mood and asked him what he likes to drink. Ironically, our lists shared a lot of the same drinks. It was uncanny how similar our pallets are. I learned he too is a fan of Malbec. We discussed how it would need to be present on our first date. I was happy we were on the topic of meeting for a date. He seemed like a great guy. Maybe he was the ship I was searching for in the storm.
I asked him what he was looking for, and he described his ideal situation. Amazingly, our perfect pictures lined up quite impressively. I was really excited to meet him. I only had one picture, and he appeared to be an attractive man. I was more excited to meet him to see how strong the chemistry would be. It was already pretty strong considering we spoke on the phone for two hours.
Only time would tell, and we made tentative plans to grab a drink or dinner in the near future.
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After a very nice date Wednesday, I was pretty happy. It had been a while since I had a good first date. I spent a lot of time having strings of bad first dates or finding guys to simply have fun with and send on their way. Nothing was fulfilling, but for the first time since PR, I was hopeful.
Thursday nights are always my volleyball nights. It’s the one night of the week I get to fulfill my competitive edge and work out some of the frustrations that have built up over the week. I always look forward to it, and I almost always commence the night at my favorite watering hole, McSwiggans.
Before riding home on the motorcycle from volleyball, I checked Grindr to see if I had any messages. A few started flowing in as soon as I opened the application. Where I play volleyball is a hotbed for Hispanic Grindrs and it seems they flock to me like a moth to the flame.
When I got home, I started chatting with one guy who seemed nice enough. When I told him where I lived, he was confused why I showed up so much closer. I explained to him why I was in his neighborhood. He was disappointed to hear I’d already left the area. “We could have grabbed a drink or something.” I told him it wouldn’t have worked out since I had the motorcycle and was disgusting from playing three games.
I did, however, invite him to come to Hoboken and join my friends and I at the bar. I had already texted a few friends and told them to meet me there. Two of my friends were already in the process of getting ready to meet me.
He entertained the idea for a few minutes before finally accepting my offer and dragging his roommate along for the ride. I was going into this arrangement mainly thinking this would be a friendly drink. I made it clear I had friends with me so he wouldn’t think I was asking him out on a date.
I arrived at the bar at the same time my friends did. We grabbed beers and sat at one of the tables. I informed both my friends a guy and his roommate would be coming by to hang out. My male friend looked very leery, but I told him this was just a friendly drink thing. I think he was worried he was basically going to sit through one of my dates. After some time passed, my Hispanic Grindr friend and I started texting. He arrived and was sitting at the bar. I had walked up and ordered right next to him without noticing him there.
I immediately walked over and said hi to him and his roommate and introduced myself. I called my two friends over to introduce them as well.
It wasn’t long before my male friend’s comfort level dropped, and he decided to meet other friends at another bar. My female friend, P, was hitting it off with the guy I met through Grindr. They are both Colombian and were sharing a few stories. The other guys seemed very nice and decently cool. We started with the small talk and then got into more of a discussion. It was nice, but I wasn’t really attracted to this guy at all. This was purely going to be a friendly drink. We talked for at least another hour, and more than a few rounds later, we decided to head out.
He was a really nice guy, and we all left at the same time. P lived uptown and in the direction they were heading to go home, so they offered to give her a ride home. They were parked in the direction of my apartment, so I agreed to walk them to their car at the least before heading home. As we got closer, the convinced me to hop in and let them drop me off. I finally agreed.
When we got to my apartment, it was slightly awkward because I could tell this guy wanted a moment alone with me. Maybe he wanted a kiss out of the night. I don’t know. I reached up and tapped his shoulder and said, “Thanks for coming down here. It was fun. We should connect again sometime soon.” He smiled and agreed. It was my subtle way of letting him down easy without getting his hopes up for a “date.”
Finally, I was making gay friends without overcomplicating things with hookups or sex. I needed to do more of this. I had one local gay friend, and he was all but married with a serious boyfriend, an apartment, a shared dog and a shared car. This was something I looked forward to, but maybe I needed to find a wingman to help me find the right guy first.
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It was another day at work and another day on Grindr. I was back to work after my relaxing and fun day off. It’s not easy jumping right back in the grind after a four-day weekend, but I still have to pay the bills.
I decided to pull up Grindr when I went to the gym on my lunch break. I started talking to a few guys, but I was more enamored with some of the hotties live in front of me picking up heavy things. They were very motivating in an “I could look like that” kind of way. Every once in a while I checked to see who messaged.
One of the guys who responded to my message was absolutely jacked. I knew messaging him was a shot in the dark. I never expected a response from him. We chatted a bit before he asked for my picture. I wasn’t able to send it through, so I asked for his cell phone number. I sent him the picture, and he blocked me on Grindr. I was very disappointed, because in the little time we chatted, he seemed like a really nice guy. I texted him and asked if he blocked me. He apologized and said I wasn’t his type. He explained he was really just looking for steroids. I told him I couldn’t help him there. “They are illegal in my country,” he added. I told him they are illegal here as well. This was news to him. I told him if he was looking for them, his best bet was at the gyms.
We chatted a bit more, and I told him he seemed like a really nice guy. He returned the compliment. Since I wasn’t really able to help him with what he needed, and that was really all he was looking for, the conversation ended.
That night, I went home alone. I was okay with that. I’d been having more than my fair share of sex lately. In the meantime there was another man I met on Grindr. This one seemed like a really good guy. We hit it off almost immediately, and a strong connection grew between us. We were both there for the right reasons. Ideally, we each really wanted a boyfriend. We both had our transgressions in the past on Grindr. Part of me was leery about that. Another part of me was quite happy. It meant he wasn’t a wet noodle, like many of the guys from OKCupid.
We made plans to go out Wednesday night after work. When I had finished work I walked his apartment. We didn’t have real concrete plans, but we were going to go out for a drink. He apologized because he was still doing laundry, and he invited me inside until he finished. It would only be a few minutes. He greeted me at the lobby, and we went up to his apartment with a pit stop in the laundry room to pick up his clothes. I was pleasantly surprised how nice is one-bedroom apartment was. I knew he had a good job but I didn’t know it was that good.
Since we didn’t have a game plan, I defaulted to him. We were in his neighborhood after all. We agreed on Mexican and margaritas. Salsa Y Salsa was nearby, and he knew some of the wait staff, so we headed there.
We had a cute table in the middle of the restaurant. It was very crowded for a weeknight. We chatted a bit before deciding on the flavor of margaritas we wanted. It was nice conversation. We got along swimmingly. He was a little flamboyant, but no more than I imagine I really am. It was nice because there were no awkward pauses. We both very much enjoyed our drinks and our meals. We decided to order a few things to share as appetizers and then shared a few bites of our meal choices with each other. It was romantic and comfortable. The more he drank, the more flirty he became. I didn’t have a problem with this, but it was interesting to watch the slow transformation. We had ordered quite a few rounds of drinks before we were both stuffed and ready to head out.
Early in the night he told me he may be having a few people over to watch the premier of Happily Divorced. He wanted to make sure he got home before it aired. He also invited me to join.
When we got the bill, I was shocked to learn we were each only charged for one drink. Chelsea was friends with the Brazilian waiter who served us. Over dinner, I came to learn he had quite a few Brazilian friends. Of course, we left him a very generous tip.
When we got outside, there was an awkward moment of “now what?” I offered to walk him home since we weren’t far from the PATH. When we got to his apartment building, a girl was standing outside smoking. We chatted with her for a few minutes before she went back inside. He paused awkwardly for a minute before finally asking me up to his apartment. His plan of having friends over for the premier went by the wayside.
He was excited for Happily Divorced, so we sat on the couch watching the episode. I decided to hang out for one episode before making my way home. A short bit into the show, I put my arm around him, and he nuzzled in the crook of my arm. It was nice cuddling with him. When a commercial finally came, we kissed — Slow at first, but then passionately. He was a good kisser. I appreciated his skills. When the show ended, we began making out a bit. He pulled me to the bed, and we spooned a bit. He already laid down the ground-rules that there would be no sex until the appropriate time. I was happy with this. He invited me to stay the night, but I graciously declined. I needed to go home before work the next day, and I liked taking things a little slower than I had in the past.
With that, he kiddingly kicked me out so he could go to bed before a crazy workday the following day. I decided to head over to my office three blocks away and take a car home.
It was a good night, and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. I was looking forward to seeing him again and the possibilities the future may hold.
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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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On Thursday afternoon, I made plans with Smiles to go out with him Friday night. We planned to grab dinner and then go out the bars for a night on the town finally. However, that plan would have to be postponed.
Thursday night, he sent me a text explaining he forgot he had dinner plans in Brooklyn and then a birthday gathering in the West Village. He quasi invited me, but added, “That’s probably not exactly what you meant when you said night out on the town,” he added.
I suggested we simply postpone our plans one night. It was still relatively early in our relationship, so some space can sometimes help. I didn’t want him to get tired of me. I would use the time to go out with my friends since I was spending many of my weekends with Smiles or traveling.
Friday, I went out in Hoboken with my friends. He texted me to tell me he got a new phone. I was thrilled to know he was thinking of me even though I wasn’t with him (Or, at least that is what was going through my head as I read it).
Saturday morning, I woke and was feeling very productive. For quite some time, I wanted to trek down to the Financial District to check out the Occupy Wall Street movement in Zuccotti Park. I wanted to take the nice camera from work with me to snap some cool shots of the protestors. I didn’t want to do this alone. It was something Smiles and I discussed many times. I tried texting him and then eventually called him to see if he would join me. He was doing work, so he wouldn’t be able to join me until later in the day.
Since I knew he was by his phone now, I sent him a sexy picture of myself from the summer with the caption, “Wanted you to have a sexy picture for your new phone.” He responded, “Haha. Love it!”
I tried a few of my other friends to see if they’d tag along, including LES. After much convincing, I was able to get him to join me, but under one condition. I had to come by his place to smoke first. I agreed and also proposed we use up my Groupon that was expiring that day.
When I finally got to LES’s place, we smoked and got on our way downtown in a cab. The sun was setting quickly, so I proposed we just grab something quick for lunch instead of using the Groupon.
We got downtown to the Occupy movement, and we began exploring. I took many pictures and was even approached by an editor from The Suit Magazine asking me to send her some of my shots. She was looking for pictures to use in an article.
After we had our fill of protestors, we made our way to Wall Street. While walking, LES said to me, “So what’s the deal with this other guy? How old is he? What does he do?” I knew exactly what that question was. I interpreted it to mean, “What does this guy have that I don’t? What makes him so special.” It was an awkward moment, but it was bound to come up at some point. I really liked Smiles, but I also really enjoyed LES’s friendship. I didn’t want to create too many waves or hurt anyone’s feelings. When we got to Wall Street, we found they were filming Batman, and we wanted to check it out. By the time we got there, they were cleaning up the “set.”
As I was walking LES home, Smiles called. He finished work and was ready for dinner. I wanted to go home, shower, change and drop off the camera before we went out. I told him I would meet him for dinner later, and we made plans. I felt very guilty having that phone call with LES walking next to me.
After I cleaned up and changed, I met Smiles in Chelsea for dinner. We had no location picked out, and ended settling on Elmo for dinner. Conversation during dinner was great. He had a very productive work day, and I feel he let me in even more. He was opening up more and more every time I saw him. We were finally peeling back the layers of that onion.
After dinner, he proposed we go over to Barracuda. I’d never been and have always been leery of it. I’m not a fan of gay bars. They make me uncomfortable.
When we arrived, I learned he knew two of the bartenders. I had met them before as well. They were both very good-looking and pretty unforgettable. They were at Smiles’ birthday gathering. Barracuda wasn’t anything like what I expected. I was expecting a flashy club like seen, not a dive bar. I immediately felt more comfortable.
That is until a tall overly friendly black man came up behind me and started feeling up my chest with his arms around me. He was a feisty one, and I wasn’t interested. I made that pretty clear by my extremely uncomfortable facial expression. Smiles on the other hand was playing ball. I assumed it was a friend of his, until I learned he never met the guy before. This was just Smiles being his charming self.
Because I wasn’t completely comfortable, I drank a little more excessively than I should have. On top of that, Smiles’ ex arrived. I had no problem meeting him and talking to him, but I did have a problem when Smiles said to me, “I hope you don’t mind, but I’m going to steal away with [him] for a minute. I haven’t seen him in a while, and I need to chat about some things.” Based on the interaction, I wasn’t worried that he was going to do something with his ex. I was more annoyed I was being ignored in a place I’d never been before where I wasn’t completely comfortable and knew no one else.
I entertained myself by watching the bartenders cutting off the tall black man because he was being obnoxious to everyone at the bar. However, for me, the drinking continued — In excess! I drank so much, the bartender started giving me free drinks. I drank my face off. I was hurt and p*ssed. This little chat went on for a long time. There was some flirting and maybe Smiles wasn’t 100% over him, but I was okay with that. It’s natural. I wasn’t okay with being ignored! When the conversation ended, Smiles said to me, “How come you’re so quiet?” What the hell was I supposed to say to that? — “I’m quiet because you just ignored me for the past half hour?”
Next thing I know, when I woke up in his bed, the first thing I noticed was I was naked. I never sleep naked. The second thing I noticed was some lube on my backside. I couldn’t for the life of me remember anything about the night before. I don’t remember much after that. I don’t remember getting my coat from coat check. I don’t know how we got back to his apartment. I don’t remember climbing into bed.
I racked my brain to remember anything from the night before. The only thing I could conjure up was a flash of about ten seconds of sex with him on top of me. It was a very scary feeling! I’d blacked out before, but never have I blacked out sex. I was the only one ordering my drinks all night, but I couldn’t 100% rule out the possibility someone roofied one of my drinks.
I never mentioned to Smiles my panicky thoughts. There is no chance in hell Smiles would have done that to me, so I wasn’t worried in that respect. I knew he would never take advantage of me. I was probably pretty lucid in my drunken state, if previous history has anything to say. I was worried I may have done something to embarrass myself. I decided to play it cool and pay close attention to how the rest of the morning progressed…
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