Posts Tagged limited contact

The Game of Phones

Early in my relationship with CK, I was introduced to two of his friends in line at the movies. They were dating each other, and had been CK’s friends for some time. He had a small ensemble of friends compared to my rather sizable pack, so I knew each of them was precious to him. I was nervous to meet them the first time, and following that night, I didn’t quite feel I’d made the cut. I’d seen them twice since then — on the day we took CK’s mother out for mother’s day, but we were in a large group. I couldn’t quite gauge how they felt about me. The other time was to see Battleship, and I had very limited contact with them that night.

When CK asked me if I wanted to go see Prometheus with this pair, I politely obliged. Prometheus wasn’t something I felt necessary to go to the theater to see, as I didn’t go to the movies all that often, but it was something CK was excited to see. To say his friend was excited to see it would be an understatement. To him, this was “the movie of the summer.”

As you know, I’m a Groupon/Living Social fiend. When CK asked if I wanted to go, I asked him to tell his friend to hold off on buying our tickets because I had a Fandango gift certificate I purchased through Living Social. It was commonplace for his friend to purchase our tickets as well as his own, and while this gesture is very nice and greatly appreciated, it offered the two of us little advantage. Once, we had to search the theater to find out who had them at “will call.” Another night, we were at dinner and had to ask for our entrees to be packaged up so we could make the movie in time. Had the tickets not been pre-purchased, we could have simply apologized for our lack of planning and told the happy couple to enjoy the movie without us.

I attempted to use the gift certificate, but it expired. I wasn’t about to ask his friend to purchase our tickets at this point after already telling him not to. I took care of it myself. All of this transpired over text, and when the purchase was finalized, I told CK I got our tickets.

The day of the movie, we arrived at his friends’ apartment slightly behind schedule. It’s rare CK and I can get anywhere on time. I learned early on, as I was told by CK’s friends, “There is normal time, there is Cuban Standard Time and there is [CK] Standard Time.” As a result, CK’s friend was already in a less than chipper mood. We quickly flagged down a cab to the theater to try to get there in time to get decent seats. As soon as we entered the theater, I made a beeline to the ticket kiosk. I swiped my card and the machine dispensed two tickets. At this point, CK’s friend spoke up and said, “Wait. You didn’t get our tickets?!” I explained to him how I told CK to tell him to hold off on purchasing our tickets, not all the tickets. He was fuming. I told him to see if it was sold out, and indeed it was. I was mortified. I know I did nothing wrong, and it was a miscommunication, however, I felt horrible. I immediately told his friend to take our tickets. We would go see something else. He wanted none of it. He got into a tizzy and said they wouldn’t get good seats at this point anyway because we were so late. I insisted he take out tickets, and he said no and stormed off.

At that point, my guilt was lifted. As I said, I did nothing wrong, but for him to respond to me in that way after an honest mistake on all our parts was totally uncalled for. At this point, it was safe to say his opinion of me was no longer in limbo; it was in the sh*tter. As a result, I was p*ssed! Why was he holding this against me? CK was the one who told him to hold off. After speaking to CK, he didn’t expect me to have all four tickets. He was under the same assumption I was about our two tickets. I was already walking on egg shells around this friend, but now I didn’t know how to act around him. We both agreed, from then on out, we would always take care of our own tickets and no one else’s.

CK and I found two seats and watched the movie with ample time to get popcorn and soda from good seats. We both enjoyed the movie, but I left with a bad taste in my mouth from the whole experience. I didn’t understand why all the hostility was being directed at me. Yes, I was a part of it, but I certainly wasn’t the entire problem. With that, I let it go. There was no use in me harping on it. It happened, I apologized, and it was time to move on.

After the movie, we went back to CK’s apartment. I was still a little stressed and still feeling a little fat, so I asked CK if he minded if I went for a quick run. He was cool with it, so off I went for fifteen minutes. When I returned, we showered and attempted to find a place for dinner.

We managed to find a place very close to his apartment. We’d eyed Taboon every time we passed, so we decided to finally give it a shot. The food was excellent, the service was superb, and the company was impeccable. It was the perfect way to end a weekend. I couldn’t think of a better place to finish my Sunday night than a romantic dinner with my man close to “home.” We shared a great meal and great conversation throughout dinner, and when it was over, we walked back to his apartment.

As our lives were blending, I was still finding pitfalls, however, I feel I was navigating them pretty damn well. The movie incident could have gone much smoother, but mistakes happen and life goes on. In the end, it was a movie, but as I would learn later, it was so much more…

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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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