Posts Tagged Midtown
Before you jump into today’s post, I’d like to bring to your attention a story a reader shared with me last night. Being the hopeless romantic I am, I was so touched by their story. Check it out here.
Back to our regularly schedule program:
When CK and I got home after a long night out on the town, we argued about the timing of the following morning. I was insistent we would keep our plans, or I would leave him behind. I wasn’t going to flake on Boston because he wanted to stay out at the bar that night. I realized we weren’t making much progress, and we were only staying up longer by arguing, so I set my alarm and climbed into bed.
The next day, I woke up and started reaching out to Boston. Much to my chagrin, he wasn’t responding. I tried over and over and over again via text and phone, but still no response. I’d already managed to get CK up, and he was being incredibly cooperative considering how early it was and how little sleep we got. I wasn’t happy because I got in an argument with CK over this, and now Boston was flaking on me. I was trying so hard to salvage this so CK wouldn’t flip out on me when I told him Boston wasn’t responding. I hit up Hip to see if he’d be interested in the beach. It’d been some time since we hung out, and I thought it would make CK much happier to have one of his friends there. I asked D and his girlfriend if they wanted to join us at the beach, and surprisingly, they were in. They would just be joining us a little later. I also reached out to my sister, and I learned she was driving out to the beach. We were planning to take the train, but now that Boston was missing in action, I asked her if she would give us a ride. Now, I had to manage the logistics of getting someone from Brooklyn, CK and I in Hell’s Kitchen and my sister coming from Hoboken through midtown coordinated.
CK and I were making great time. We hopped in a cab, and it was looking like we would all get to our meeting point at the same time. I couldn’t have been happier and more stressed. My sister arrived a few minutes before us, and we all piled into her car and were off to the beach. This was the first time my sister met Hip. I had a feeling they would get along since Hip is such a mellow guy and easy to get along with, but in her usual fashion, she took a little warming up. Once she warmed up to him, they were really hitting it off.
As we drove, I texted Boston telling him we were on our way and invited him to join us out there when he and the girl he was staying with got moving for the day, but I had a strong feeling I wasn’t going to see him. About half way out there, he finally called and told me he was way too hungover to come out to the beach. He offered to meet up later that evening, so I told him I would hit him up on my way home.
We arrived at the beach and spread out, taking over a solid chunk of beach. D and his girlfriend were on their way and would be joining us shortly. This day was going so much more smoothly than I ever thought possible. The weather was gorgeous, and we were all having a blast. I was really enjoying being with such a great group. Everyone was relaxed and having fun. We took a picture together, and we all agreed it was the picture of the summer. Now that summer is over, I can testify it was, at least for me.
Later in the day, CK and I decided to go for a jog/walk. It was nice to separate from the group for a little and take a nice stroll. We talked about the night before, and he apologized. He also thanked me for such a great day. The biggest smile grew across my face. I know I was stressed that morning and annoyed how things were playing out, but it was all worth it to have such a fun and carefree day. I was so happy with him. I loved him, and I couldn’t see myself with any other man. He was the man I wanted to spend the rest of my life with.
We stopped to take pictures on the rocks of the jetty. This quickly turned into a typical CK photo shoot, which I’m not the most thrilled with. I’m not a fan of having my picture taken because 99% of the time, I hate the results. I don’t like being in the spotlight, but CK does. When I take the pictures of him, I know these pictures will be sorted through as fodder for his Instagram feed. This is yet another account of my attention not being enough. He still needed the attention of his adoring fans. I wasn’t crushed by this. I have thicker skin than that, but it didn’t exactly have a positive effect on my feelings. On top of that, I knew everyone was about ready to go home when we started our walk. I didn’t want to make them wait too long to leave. I tried to be a good sport and shot some pictures of him and even let him snap a few of me, but the time came for me to insist we return to the group.
As we walked back, we passed two hot and I can only assume straight men walking the opposite direction. As we passed, CK not only made a comment regarding their aesthetic, but took the conversation one step further and asked if I would ever entertain the idea of fooling around with another couple (acknowledging a previous unprovoked sentiment I stated expressing my lack of interest in ever bringing another person into our relationship). I immediately started getting very anxious, and my heart sank a little. I was immediately taken back to the previous night with him looking around the bar to see who was looking at him. I was right back to worrying I would not be enough for him. My heart beat started pacing. I immediately and definitively expressed to him my feelings on this, and I think he recognized how worked up this was making me. I told him this was my worry when I finally came out. I didn’t know if I could ever find a man who would settle down with me and give me a “traditional” relationship. I realized that’s not for everyone, but that’s what I wanted. It’s not something I wanted to compromise on, nor do I think it’s something I should budge on. Now, I was worrying if CK was the right man for me.
“This isn’t something I want. I just wanted to know if you would be open to this,” he said. I responded, “If it’s not something you want or you’re interested in, then why did you bring it up? If this is coming up now when everything is fresh and fun, how’s it going to be ten years from now? Will I ever be enough for you?” He started backtracking immediately. He put his hands on my shoulders and said, “Babe, you are who I want. No one else. I was just asking the question, not proposing we do it.” I explained to him how worried I was that it was even brought up. He managed to calm me down and acknowledged that knowing that was off the table does not make him want to stop dating me. He added, “You have nothing to worry about. I want to spend the rest of my life with you.” I was a bit more relaxed, but I was still questioning if I was enough for CK. It had been the theme of many of my past relationships, and I didn’t want to go through that again.
When we got back, we all packed up and headed home. On the ride home, I fell asleep in CK’s lap. Unbeknownst to me, Hip and my sister we’re now like two peas in a pod. They were having so much fun together blasting music and weaving through traffic. D and his girlfriend were following, so when traffic came to a halt, Hip climbed up through the sunroof and started making faces and flailing around at them.
When we got back to the city, my sister dropped the three of us off at CK’s. He needed to pack an overnight bag before we went back to Hoboken for the night. We hung out for a majority of the evening before finally taking the bus to the other side of the Hudson River. Not before getting ice cream, of course. In the end, I didn’t get to hang out with Boston before he left town. It just didn’t work out. Maybe I’d have to wait another year to finally see him.
All in all, it was a great day. I had so much fun hanging with my friend and CK’s friends. It was completely refreshing to see his friends getting along with my friends. It wasn’t all roses and sunshine, however. I was still worried I wasn’t the man CK was looking for. I worried I was looking for him to settle down with me, and he wasn’t quite ready for that. It’s not that I didn’t trust him to not cheat on me so much as worrying we didn’t have the same relationship goals and outlook. Only time would tell if our paths were heading in the same direction.
As gay men, CK and I had been anticipating the release of Magic Mike with bated breath. One Friday night, CK suggested we check it out. When he said we, I assumed he meant just the two of us, but I quickly came to learn we included Old News as well. As long as we were inviting friends, I knew P wanted to see the movie as well, so I reached out to her. This was two-fold because it would also help balance the scale since I wasn’t exactly comfortable with how Old News was with CK. We were all planning to gather in midtown to check out a late showing.
I was meeting CK at his apartment before the movie, and when I arrived, I learned Old News would be meeting us there as well before walking to the theater together. I already couldn’t wait. From the moment Old News arrived, he began schmoozing CK. A friendly greeting with a hug is completely acceptable, but the kiss on the cheek was a little unnecessary. This was no air kiss, and I know because I was behind CK looking right at him as he did it. It probably was not his intent, but I felt it may have been done for my benefit. I didn’t like it — Not one bit. All I could do was stand by and watch this without saying anything. I would have to wait to have a private conversation with CK later.
Of course, he was very cordial toward me, but I couldn’t have cared less. I still had a bad taste left in my mouth from the last time we hung out at XL. That night, I was going to get the answer to a question that arose every time he came around. Was he actually flirting with CK because of lingering feelings, or was I imagining things? I had an advantage that night. I had two sets of eyes on him. I had asked P to watch and tell me if my suspicions were correct.
We met P in front of the theater, and as we took our seats, what transpired next could not have made me happier. It just so happened, as we walked into the theater, the order was Old News, myself, CK and finally P. So, when we sat, I was between Old News and CK, and I was thrilled. When CK and I go to the movies, we’re fairly affectionate in the way we sit. We hold hands or put our arms around each other. I wasn’t going to change that this time, and Old News was about to get a front row seat to this. Maybe he’d realized the CK ship has sailed. He was my man now, and it was time to back off and learn to simply be his friend. Nothing more. Don’t get me wrong. I didn’t want Old News out of the picture completely. He was CK’s friend. I simply wanted him to respect the relationship between CK and I.
The theater was a sh*t show — Like being in an actual strip club. Women were everywhere, shouting and squealing at the screen as they jumped out of their seats in excitement. I was shocked I didn’t see a dollar bill or two go flying in the air.
As we left the theater, Old News commented to us, “Wow! It smells like wet vagina in here! Do you smell that?” I thought the comment was hysterical because he was pretty spot on, but I wasn’t exactly in the frame of mind to laugh at his jokes yet.
We stopped on the corner of the street to discuss what we wanted to do next. None of us had eaten, so food was discussed, but no one would make a decision. Finally, we landed on heading back to CK’s apartment to smoke and hang out.
As we walked down the street, Old News was joking and what I would certainly call flirting with CK. When the opportunity arose, he’d throw an arm around him or pat him on the back. Don’t get me wrong. I’d seen this interaction time and time again with Hip, and I had no problem with it. In fact, I welcomed it. It all seemed completely different with Old News. Old News would draw CK into a conversation, and the two of them continued on as if P and I didn’t exist. At some point, CK noticed I was a bit out of sorts. He hung back with me and asked what’s wrong. I reiterated how I felt Old News was flirting and still had a crush on him. Once again, he told me I was imagining things. I started to get adamant, and I think he finally realized how much this bothered me.
If he was willing to act like this in front of me, what would Old News try to do if I wasn’t around. Like I said, it wasn’t CK I trusted, it was Old News. After chatting for so long, I’m sure he realized something was up. We agreed to talk about it again later and returned back to the other two.
We hung out at CK’s for quite some time, and around 2:00am, we decided to go to Flaming Saddles, and P decided to head home. As I walked her out I asked her what she thought. She agreed he was still flirting, but to a bit of a lesser degree. It was all I needed to confirm I wasn’t being irrational. I thanked her and gave her a hug goodnight. I wasn’t thrilled with the idea of going out since it was already quite late, and we were going to the beach the following morning with Boston and a few others. As our group was shrinking by one, we were also growing by two. CK’s roommate and his assistant joined us. The night was only getting better and better.
When we arrived at Flaming Saddles, no one was there. Instead, we continued on to Industry. It was a good scene, and the good news was that CK and I were dancing. Old News seemed to disappear. However, it wasn’t long before I felt I was beginning to disappear too. I was slowly but surely getting comfortable with going to gay bars, but I was also learning something about CK in gay bars I didn’t exactly appreciate.
When we danced, I never felt like I was dancing with just him. I felt like I was dancing with the entire bar. He danced, and I was tried to dance next to him. He constantly looked around to see who was looking at him, gently touching guys as they passed by him. I never had his full attention. This was only exacerbated when he stepped up on the stage, and I was two steps below him. I felt like I was there with a go-go boy, and I have to admit I was a little crushed. It hurt. Was my attention not enough for him? Did he need the eyes of every other guy in the room? This brought up a lot of worries I’d been having about our relationship. I was worried I wasn’t enough for him, and that was all I wanted.
We ended up closing down the bar at 4:00am. We were all starving, so we foraged for food. We settled on Empanada Mama and grabbed a table outside. They had a packed house, so it took forever for us to get our food. When it finally arrived, everyone dug in. When I went to grab my second empanada, it was gone. I looked across the table and noticed Old News shoveling it into his pie hole. I don’t think he took it on purpose, but it was a perfect picture of my relationship with him. First, he was trying to steal my man. Now, he was stealing my food.
I was already agitated by Old News, but at this point, it was 6:00am and the sun was starting to come up. As the time ticked on, I grew more and more anxious about getting up the next day to follow through on my plans. CK was already so tired he actually fell asleep at the table. It was time to go home and go to bed. We said goodbye and made our way home. While we walked he turned to me and said, “You’re nuts if you think we’re heading to the beach tomorrow at 10:00.” That set me off. I told CK about my plans to go to the beach days prior to this. He should have planned accordingly. This was important to me. I hadn’t seen Boston in over a year. He was completely disregarding my plans, and I was furious. “You’re nuts if you think we’re not.” He looked at me with a confused look.
I explained how upset I was and of course started getting loud. The fact that he remembered the beach plans and completely disregarded them was incredibly demeaning. In doing so, he was telling me that his unplanned fun mattered and my planned day did not. We could have called it quits at any point throughout the night so we could have done a bit of both. Had he brought it up before 6:00am, I probably would have been receptive of a compromise. I would have said we could leave around 11:00 so we could stay out a little later. At this point, after being told I’m nuts, I wasn’t about to give up any ground. I told him I was going, with or without him. I had made plans with a friend visiting from out-of-town, and I wasn’t about to back out because he wanted to stay out all night.
Against the advice of nearly every couple I’ve ever met, that night (or should I say morning) we went to bed angry…
I first downloaded Grindr as I was pushing back from the gate on my flight to San Francisco for business. Upon my return, I often played around with it at work. Early in my Grindr experience, I found a VERY sexy torso to strike up a chat with. The guy seemed very level-headed and not simply interested in hooking up. I also discovered he worked across the street from me.
But, when I asked him to hang out, he got very shy. He told me he was very picky and wasn’t that interested in meeting someone. I asked if he would grab a drink after work sometime, and he kinda let me down easy. Periodically, I messaged him after that just to say hi, but I never got much of a response. It was disappointing. Finally, I gave up.
Then one day, out of the blue, he messaged me. He asked if I had just been in Bryant Park sitting on a park bench for lunch. I was impressed and thrilled he recognized me without having met me. Ironically enough, I was on a lunch date with someone from adam4adam.com.
We chatted about the chances of him picking me out of a crowd in the city. I brought up the idea of getting a drink together. A month passed by since the last time I asked him. This time he was ready to play ball, maybe since he saw me in person? Not exactly sure. Either way, I convinced him to send me both his number and a picture of his face. At this point, I’ve had so many guys’ numbers in my phone, I needed some way to keep them straight (the first sign I was becoming a whore). My strategy was to get pictures of them to attach to their contact profile. I’m much better with faces than names.
A week later, on a whim, I sent him a text asking if he would be interested in grabbing lunch that very afternoon. I knew it was a long shot since it was such short notice, but why the hell not. Much to my surprise, he agreed. I had to run into a meeting, but would be able to meet immediately following since my work for the day was pretty much over. I told him to pick a spot. He told me he’d get right on it.
We met in the square between our offices and walked to KyoChon for some excellent wings. I had never been there before, so he explained all the ins and outs to the place. We took our food and grabbed a table upstairs.
He was great company. The conversation started immediately when I met him. The whole walk over we chatted about careers and how we got where we are today. The conversation still flowed while we ate. There were no awkward pauses or hiccups. I was very comfortable with him. He also had a great smile, something I’m coming to find is a weak spot for me. Ironically enough, he looked like Boston, had the same name as him, and he recently moved to NYC from Boston. The resemblance was a little uncanny, but I moved past it quickly.
I had a lot of respect for him. He left a very successful job at a law firm to come to NYC to find himself. He wanted a new job, but didn’t know what he wanted to do. He just knew he wasn’t going to find himself in Boston. Right now he was working in marketing, but that also wasn’t exactly what he wanted to be doing. He was still on the path to clarity.
We also talked about therapy. He was seeing a psychologist from time to time to talk through issues. He told me most people don’t realize it’s covered by most insurance companies to go for periodic sessions. He explained how it’s been a good outlet for him to get his head straight. I didn’t see him as a crazy person. I actually saw him as more sane for having such a healthy respect for it. I began to entertain the idea myself. My friends are my therapist. I have abused many of my friends in this respect and turned to writing a blog to alleviate some of that burden. Maybe a therapist was what I needed.
This was truly a quality guy. A guy I really wanted to get to know. I knew I would need to take it slow with this one. I didn’t want to come on too strong and turn him off right off the bat. We walked back towards our offices and said goodbye with a nice handshake. He turned and said, “This was good. We should definitely do it again!” I was very happy. I passed the test. Also, was this a successful “date?” It didn’t quite feel like it was a date going in, but maybe it was a lunch date by the time we were done. I was looking forward to our next.
As time passed, I didn’t push the issue of a second “date.” I also became distracted with other guys, but one day, while going through my contacts, I discovered him again. I shot him a text asking if he’d want to grab lunch again soon. He told me he was out-of-town for the week, but we would touch base when he got back the following week. Only time would tell if we’d figure it out…Follow @onegayatatime
After all the drama of the week and the mindless hookup, I was ready for change. I wanted to be more present. I accumulated over 60 phone numbers of men in my phone, but had only met 9 of them at that point. I needed to fix this ratio. I needed to go on more dates and have less hookups. I also needed to find myself again.
My roommates and I decided to hit up our favorite bar. We were going to put their new connections with my favorite bartenders to good use. Once again, we had a blast, and on the way home we had a very interesting conversation.
I got into a debate with my male roommate about the perils of unprotected sex. He insisted the worry was greater for straight couples, as a baby could be the end result. I begged to differ. While bringing an unplanned child into the world can be very stressful, it certainly isn’t the end of the world. HIV can be just that if not detected and treated. It can be a life sentence just from a few minutes of pleasure. Regardless, we both agreed the perils of unprotected sex were not worth it, but we agreed to disagree about which was worse.
The conversation switched to Grindr. Both roommates couldn’t believe how easy it was for me to “meet” a guy and turn it into something more. My male roommate was jealous how easy it was to find sex, and my female roommate was jealous because of the sexy men I was talking to. I explained how both were a double-edged sword. While I had no problem finding a hot man to come over for sex, I had a very difficult time finding a man who was interested in a monogamous relationship. It is nearly impossible. I still have hope for upstanding men out there who are interested in other men, but they are becoming somewhat of a unicorn.
The next morning, while passing through the city on the way to the beach, I pulled up Grindr. Much to my surprise, my old college roommate popped up. I remembered him telling me he lived in that neighborhood, and I did know he was gay. But, I never thought about him popping up on my Grindr. When I first came out to friends, I contemplated coming out to him. He respected me enough in college to tell me early on about his homosexuality. Since I was comfortable with myself then, I thought it was only proper I told him. We talked about meeting up for drinks to catch up, but it never came to fruition.
I decided to have a little fun. I messaged him and told him I knew him. He started asking a lot of questions, and I answered them all truthfully. It was taking him a LONG time to figure out who I was. I even told him I lived with him in college. I got very specific, and he still wasn’t getting it. He started guessing names, but still wasn’t getting it. FINALLY, he figured out it was me.
We both had a good laugh. It took him from Midtown Manhattan all the way through Queens to Long Island before he figured it out. We talked about his suspicions and our interactions living together. Sophomore year we shared a room. I told him I even looked at porn with him sleeping in the bed a few feet away. He asked questions about the logistics of that, and I explained the bathroom was right next to our room, so he would have never caught me “in the act.” Also, he always slept facing the wall, which turned out to be very convenient for me! “If I only slept on my right side!” he responded.
We chatted about it some more and he joked, “I’m not gonna lie. With those big hands and your huge feet, I definitely snuck a peek here and there when you were in your boxers back then.” He was embarrassed, but I thought it was hilarious. I was also very flattered. I referred him to my blog to catch up on my gay life so far. He said he was going to read it and then realized, “This conversation is going to end up on there, isn’t it?” I told him of course it would. He suggested I leave out some parts, such as him checking me out, but I explained those were the best ones.
I was happy to reconnect with him and we chatted a bit more. We joke about the gay resident director for our living quarters. He had a crush on my roommate, while I suspect his boyfriend had a crush on me. His boyfriend is a police officer in the local city and followed me home on more than one occasion just to say hi. We had some more good laughs and agreed we need to grab a drink together soon.
I was happy to be fostering better relationships on Grindr, as opposed to the unsubstantial ones I currently had. I needed to work harder at it, but I still had hope of finding the right guy. I will have to date half the city, but in time, Prince Charming will find me…Follow @onegayatatime