Posts Tagged miserable

The Next Chapter

Two years ago, I started this blog. I began writing because I felt alone. I knew there had to be other gay men out there who were looking for the same thing I was, and I wanted a way to connect with them.

grindrAt the time, I just ended my first gay relationship, and I found myself in very unchartered waters. I was already out to close friends, but not publicly. Because I had so few gay friends and a strong aversion to gay bars, I had to find a mate digitally. I began serial dating, at one point going on four dates in four days — And thus, One Gay At A Time was born.

Since the beginning, I have gone on MANY dates and put myself in many situations well outside my comfort zone. I have not only grown more comfortable in my own skin, but I’ve also grown up as a gay man. I got all the hookups out of my system and began searching for a meaningful, long-term relationship.

This blog began as an open forum diary of the daily occurrences I encountered navigating the gay world. I told my side of the story honestly in hopes that others out there would be able to relate, comment and most importantly, realize they are not alone.

The time has come for the next chapter of my life and for this blog. For quite some time I’ve been blogging about CK (aka Clark Kent or Superman). You’ve gotten to know him through my eyes in the early stages of our relationship. It’s been some time since I’ve blogged, and I apologize for leaving you, my readers in the lurch. I do not mean to abandon the small community I’ve worked so hard to foster, but I’ve been struggling with the next chapter of the blog.

When I first told CK about the blog, he was very open to and even grew excited about the idea of my writing our relationship. Over time, as you could probably understand, his excitement waned, and we began to argue about the content of the blog.

I had to make a choice between the blog and my man. It’s quite obvious which I chose. As a result, I will no longer be blogging about the specifics of my relationship with CK. However, in lieu of continuing to finish our story in a daily dairy format, let me catch you up on what has happened since July. Here are some of the highlights…

In July, CK joined my family for our annual beach vacation. While I went for the entire week, he only joined us for a few days. It was the first time we’d spent an extended period of time apart, and with my trust/cheating baggage, it was a true test of my sanity. I was thrilled and relieved when he finally arrived. It was also nice that he would finally get to spend some real-time getting to know my parents.

In early August, I traveled to Miami, CK’s birthplace to surprise his family with a visit to celebrate the birthdays of his two beautiful nephews (turning 1 and 2 only a week apart). I felt incredibly special taking this trip with CK. I was meeting his ENTIRE extended family. Before this point, I’d only met his mother. I was welcomed into the family with open arms and came to grow strong bonds with them over just a handful of days. This was unchartered territory for both of us, as I’d never been brought home to meet the family by anyone other than my high school girlfriend, and he’d never brought a man home to meet everyone before. It could not have worked out better!

Around Labor Day, CK and I went on week-long vacation to the Hamptons with 15 of my friends and family. While there, our relationship grew very strained. I felt he was trying too hard to impress my friends. I wanted him to be himself so all of them would come to love the man I knew, not the man I felt he was trying to be for them. By the end of the week, I reached my breaking point. I was so stressed out from organizing the vacation and ensuring everyone was happy that I made myself miserable, and I took it out on the person closest to me. In the penultimate moment of the trip, one night we not only exchanged words but also fists and shoves, as my closest friends and sister witnessed the lowest moment of our relationship.

It took a lot of time for CK and I to figure things out. This wasn’t the first time our relationship reached physicality, but I hoped it was the last. It also took a long time for things to return to normal between CK, me and my circle of friends. My sister wasn’t speaking to me for over a month and my friends had semi-ostracized me from typical gatherings. I burned a lot of bridges on that trip, and I am still working to rebuild them today. You can expect to read about my experiences and feelings dealing with issues such as physical violence in a relationship as one of the topics I will cover in coming posts.

In September, CK and I found an apartment in Hoboken to call our own. We moved in together in the midst of Hurricane Sandy’s wake on November 2. Although the experience of moving immediately following a hurricane is incredibly overwhelming, we are both stronger as a result of the experience. In my experience, moving in with a lover is unlike sharing a space with any other. You’ll certainly be reading about my experiences and the things I’ve learned from this experience as well.

After Sandy exhausted my last modicum of energy, I decided I was too tired to shave my upper lip. CK and I both decided to raise awareness and funds to fight prostate cancer by growing mustaches for Movember. I proudly raised over $500 for charity as a result of my stache, and I was thrilled when we both shaved them off — We both looked like pedophiles.

For the first time in my life, I had someone to take home to meet my family for Thanksgiving. Before venturing home, I sent my extended maternal family an email to get the awkwardness out of the way. You’ll be pleased to know my family welcomed him with open arms. I imagine coming out to extended family creates a lot of anxiety for man, as it did for me, so I hope sharing my experiences will encourage more to share the truth with the ones they love.

When I returned to Hoboken after Thanksgiving, preparations began immediately for what would have been my Sixth Annual Holiday Bash. This year, it became Our First Annual Holiday Bash. I finally had someone to share the hosting duties with, making it extra special.

Although CK and I spent Christmas apart, after all the festivities with my family, I hopped on a flight down to Miami to spend the rest of the holiday season and New Years Eve with my man and his family. CK’s sister and brother-in-law planned a trip with their two boys to Disney World for two days. After a little persuading, I convinced CK we should join them. I preferred Disney to a raucous gay party any day, and it was truly magical to see Disney World through the eyes of a two-year-old.

In February, CK and I took a romantic trip to Mohonk Mountain House in New Paltz, NY. Although it seems we can’t go anywhere without having some kind of quarrel like an old married couple, the trip was amazing and couldn’t have come at a better time. We went ice skating, snow shoeing, swimming, hiking, and much more. It was a perfect escape for both of us to get out of the city and away from the bustle of it all after the holidays.

In between, there have been countless brunches, parties, trips, nights out, Broadway shows, fights… Oh yea, and plenty of sex — Can’t forget the sex! Overall, things have been going well for us. You have good days and bad days, but you have to realize the bad days are just there so you appreciate the good ones all the more. I am thrilled to announce, this past Saturday, CK and I celebrated our one-year anniversary at the restaurant we went to on our first date, Frankies Spuntino 570. Although we waited nearly an hour, the evening was perfect, and I look forward to many more years together.

Although I won’t be detailing the specifics of my relationship going forward, I hope to share with you what I have learned along the way. It’s not easy being in a relationship, but then again, the things that are worth it never really are.

To my most dedicated readers who haven’t let me lack of posting stop them from commenting words of support on my blog, thank you. You are what has motivated me to get back into this once again. I feel like many of you have integrated my writing into your daily routines, and I have left you with your morning coffee in hand and no reading material. You will not see the frequency of posts you may have grown accustomed in the past, but I still hope you find time in your lives for One Gay At A Time.

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Separate Battle Camps

After spending a nice night at CK‘s apartment, I had a very hard time waking up the following morning. CK was fully motivated and had to be at work early, so he persisted in waking me up. This was quite the role reversal, as I was often the one dragging him out of bed (sometimes physically). I just wanted to spend the entire day in his bed wrapped up in his arms. Going to work was the last thing I wanted to do.

Things were improving on that front. I was making a lot of headway with my social media endeavors, and I had two interns to help me with this massive roll-out. I was developing a presence on Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, WordPress, Instagram and SlideShare while revamping our presence on YouTube and Twitter. That being said, I still wanted to stay in bed all day.

CK finally motivated me to get out of bed and into the shower. I always enjoyed showering together, and today was no different. As I slowly emerged from my slumber under the warm jets of water, I began to fully appreciate CK’s body. I pressed it against mine while my soapy hands explored all his crevices. Being a water conservationist certainly had its benefits. I think CK was starting to regret waking me once he realized I couldn’t keep my hands off him. I was awake, and I was horny. I tried to get some action, but CK was on a mission to get ready for work. I needed a release. There was no way I was going to be able to concentrate the entire day at work.

I laid down on the bed and began to take care of myself. CK immediately noticed and inquired what I was doing. I explained my situation, so he decided to pitch in on the effort. While I manually stimulated my member, he got to work on my prostate. Turned out, my libido was contagious, as CK began to pleasure himself as well. After a few minutes, I climaxed, only to be followed close behind by CK. Now, we could finally go about our day. I felt like I was awake, and I finally had a clear head (literally and figuratively). Nothing quite motivates you like a good morning orgasm.

We finished getting ready and were out the door rather early. We swung by our favorite place to grab breakfast before heading to work, Pick-A-Bagel. It sounds incredibly cheap, but it never disappoints. After we grabbed our food and coffees, we made our way to the subway. His train always came first (or I would narrowly miss mine), but today was my day. We parted ways, brown bags in hard, with a kiss as he waved goodbye from the subway platform.

That night after work, we planned to hit up yoga on the pier. As the day progressed, I learned CK probably wouldn’t be able to make it since he had to work late. I was still committed. I tried to encourage other friends to join me, but it was no use. Regardless, I still went and had a great workout. On my way home, I swung by the grocery store to get a few things for dinner. On my way into my apartment, I noticed a package for me. Like most people, I love getting mail. It always makes me feel special for some reason — The novelty has never worn off. When I got upstairs, I immediately opened my package.

12It was the highly anticipated package from aussieBum. I’d been anxiously awaiting its arrival ever since they promised to send me some of their best underwear and bathing suits so I could review them on my blog. But, however large my excitement, I put the package aside and began working on dinner immediately. I wanted to food to be ready when CK arrived from a long day at work.

When he arrived, I showed him the package, and he grew quite excited. “I want a full fashion show when we’ve finished dinner!” he exclaimed.

As per usual, we ate our dinner in front of the TV, exchanging stories about our days. When we finished, we moved to my bedroom to lounge about. While he laid on the bed, I began to strip so I could model my new wares for him. As I moved from pair to pair, CK must have felt left out and asked if he could try some of them on. I asked that he not do so. I knew I’d want to include pictures of myself in them for the post, and I didn’t want anything to happen to them until I had time to snap the pictures. I’m not sure why, but this put his panties in such a bunch (pun intended).

I didn’t understand where his frustration was coming from. I thought my request was completely reasonable. He’d done nothing to deserve the underwear. They were not his. Why was he getting so bent out of shape. This, of course, led to an argument, and now, something so fun as modeling new underwear had now turned into a fight.

Gay FightI’d had enough. I left the room with him in it so he could be miserable by himself and went back to the couch to watch TV. I know I was being as childish as he was, but I’d had enough. There was no reason we should be arguing about anything so fun. Sure, I could have just relented and let him try on the underwear. But, I wasn’t in the mood. If he was going to be so miserable, he could do so by himself.

That night, we went to bed not speaking to each other. There was no sex and no cuddling – All over a few pairs of underwear. Rarely had my California King felt so big, but that night, we might as well have been sleeping on opposite sides of the Hudson.

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Small Expectations, XL Frustrations

For weeks upon weeks, I stressed about Pride Weekend, and it finally arrived. CK wasn’t helping, and it exploded into an argument over the phone, culminating in a temper tantrum on my part.

We were finally able to come to an agreement, and I went back to packing a bag. Needless to say, I still wasn’t thrilled with the idea of the weekend ahead of me, but my nerves were slightly calmed after my chat with CK.

I made the voyage into the city to head to CK’s apartment. The plan was to head to XL that night. I’m not quite sure why, but none of CK’s friends were joining us that night. We had plans to hang with some of them the following day/night, but we were on our own for XL. I would have preferred to have more familiar faces around me in such an unfamiliar place, but that wouldn’t be the case. I got dressed with a little help from CK, but of course this turned into a bit of a heated discussion. Our nerves were very exposed, and he was encouraging me to expand my wardrobe comfort zone further than I was ready to. I wanted to fit in, but I still wanted to stay true to myself. I didn’t want to dress like everyone else there, however, I wanted to make sure I wouldn’t stand out.

As we walked there, I was very quiet. CK and I were holding hands as we walked the streets of Hell’s Kitchen, but all I could think about was how I could make myself feel comfortable in this foreign land. As we approached the entrance, there were gay men in every direction. I felt reasonably comfortable with my wardrobe choice and laughed to myself a little at some of the ridiculous outfits. I know this is going to come off as if I saw myself as better than them, but quite the opposite. I give them a lot of credit for feeling so comfortable in their own skin that they dress the way they do, but I could never pull it off. I would feel too uncomfortable and self-conscious, and then I’m absolutely no fun to be around. That was one of my main worries going into this weekend — I would feel uncomfortable, clam up, and I would be no fun to be with.

The cross-dressing boy checked our IDs, and we made our way inside to pay the cover charge. CK had some kind of VIP card and encouraged me to sign up for one with one of the boys holding iPads for just that thing. We paid, and I was a little shocked how expensive the cover was just to get in. Obviously, it was cheaper for CK since he was a member, but overall I was a little taken aback. I wasn’t aware of any talent performing that would justify the rate being so high.

As we made our way inside, I needed a drink bad! There were men in every direction, half without shirts on already. This wasn’t my kind of place. I liked the run-down pubs where the bartenders knew my name and they played good music. This, on the other hand, was a scene. We made our way to the bar and ordered drinks from a shirtless bartender who made me feel I needed to go to the gym immediately. I downed my first drink pretty quickly. The only way I would survive this would be with some help from some special spirits.

We made our way down to the dance-floor and started dancing and grinding with each other in front of the fog machine. I’m not sure why we didn’t relocate. At one point, I couldn’t breath, let alone see CK in front of me, and his back was pressed against my chest. Directly in front of me was a feast for the eyes. There were go-go boys dancing on the stage wearing very skimpy briefs. Some of the guys had the most gorgeous bodies with cute smiles, and it was hard to divert my attention at times. I even received a text from my old roommate asking me if I wanted to go out. I responded telling him where I was, and he jokingly responded reprimanding me for not inviting him. That’s when I responded with a picture message, to which he said, “Okay. Never mind. I’m good.”

I wasn’t the only one on his phone throughout the evening. CK was on his phone a lot when we were together, so this was nothing out of the ordinary, however, I wasn’t aware of the plans he was making over text. Minutes before he walked through the door, CK informed me the guy from his old building he used to hook up with would be joining us. Needless to say, I wasn’t happy. I can be very reasonable, but the idea of hanging out with one of CK’s old hookups didn’t thrill me. It also didn’t exactly seem on the up-and-up since he waited until he was walking through the front door to tell me he was joining us.

When he arrived, CK gave him, who we’ll call Old News, a big hug and a kiss on the cheek. He was thrilled to see him. I swallowed my pride and extended a hand to shake his. From then on, and for quite some time, CK and Old News were deep in conversation. I felt like a third wheel in my own relationship.

We began to make our way to the bar to get another round. CK and Old News walked ahead of me, and as I climbed the stairs, a guy extended his arm out to shove me out of his way as he passed me. It was so obvious my mind flashed back to my days on the basketball court in junior high. He wasn’t being subtle at all. He was also messing with the wrong guy at the wrong time. I wasn’t about to let this little sh*t get away with it. I was already on edge on so many levels. I gave him a solid shove back in the opposite direction, so much that he stumbled down a stair. When his glance came back up to meet mine, I looked at him in a way of saying, “Go ahead. Bring it! What you got?” Me being 6′ 2″ and him being about 5′ 7″, he immediately turned and walked the other way.

When I got to the bar, of course CK and Old News were ordering and didn’t quite notice I was lagging behind. I understand the need to catch up, but I felt I had no part in the conversation. After I was handed my drink, I felt so outside the conversation, I simply walked away and stood at the railing overlooking the dance-floor. It took CK quite some time to even notice I’d stepped away.

From then on, Old News was attached to us. When we went to the bathroom, he came. When we danced, the circle was opened up to him. I didn’t think we would ignore him for the rest of the night, but I felt like he always made sure to put himself between myself and CK. I was shocked and  happy to say, I was actually having a great time with CK before he arrived. We were dancing shirtless and taking pictures in front of the fog machine and on stage. I finally felt comfortable in this new setting. I was no longer concerned with anyone else’s eyes on me. My only slight concern was CK’s eyes on anyone else. My whole mood went to sh*t the minute this intruder arrived. I wasn’t just dealing with being at the club anymore — I was having fun, but now I was back to being miserable again. I tried to be cordial with him, but I was not happy with his presence. He and CK hooked up at one point, and while CK assured me they were just friends, I was never quite sure Old News fully got that memo. I could tell he still had feelings for CK. He was very flirtatious, and took every opportunity to exclude me when possible.

In the middle of the night, a crazy drag queen named Ebonee Excell came out and performed. It was a welcome distraction. When the go-go boys came back out on stage, I recognized one of them from the Meet Me at the Ice Cream Truck music video.

Finally, our night was coming to an end. We were ready to head home. CK was hungry for sex, so we said our goodbyes to Old News and made our way back to CK’s bed. Old News may have garnered CK’s attention throughout the night, but in the end, I got to go home with him. He was my man! But, neither of us were quite expecting what was to come next…

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Tying Up Loose Ends

It was happening. I was falling for this great guy who managed to find me on Grindr. Who would have thought? I was still quite unsure how he felt about me, but I still had no luck finding a single fault in him.

I was prepared to take things slow with Clark Kent. I saw no need to rush things. Dating all these men in NYC helped me relax and enjoy things in real time. I didn’t need to think about what was coming next. I only needed to think about what was happening now. I was enjoying his company immensely.

That being said, I needed to tie up some loose ends. I had no desire to see any other guys while seeing CK. He was great, and he kept my attention. I didn’t want to wander and philander. I wanted him and him alone.

The first loose end to tie up was Southern Drawl. It took me two weeks to realize he wasn’t right for me. He’d gone home to the South to visit family, and it offered me a necessary reprieve from him. He sent me a few pictures from down there and a few texts. I responded in turn, but they were very short. When he asked how my day was going, I responded with what I’d done that day. “Well thanks for the play by play. Enjoy the rest of your week. Let me know if you wanna hang out again when I get back,” he responded. I wasn’t going to take that lying down. “Whoa! Where’s the hostility coming from?”

He apologized and explained he didn’t mean it that way. “How bout enjoy the rest of your week, and I look forward to hanging with you sometime when I get back 🙂 xoxo,” he added. I told him we only knew each other a short period of time and warned him not to get ahead of himself. I was using this turn of events to drive a rift between us.

He texted: “Well, that was a joke, but point taken. Wow! So I’ll go back to your statement from a few months ago. Ball is in your court. Otherwise, you won’t be hearing from me.” I reminded him to recall who picked that ball up again in the end. Then came the clincher: “Well, I guess I dropped it cause I’m being drunk and stupid again. Oh well. That ‘let’s not get ahead of ourselves’ $hit just irked me. So Grindr away, do your thing and hit me up if you want to hang out sometime. No hard feelings if not. I’ve learned my lesson about guys in the city and was a dumba$$ to think you could be different. But that’s my fault, not yours.”

I had my out. I wasn’t going to let him talk to me like that. I wasn’t going to try to foster a relationship with someone who made such accusations. We’d known each other two weeks, and I was already getting drunken rants. This wasn’t a good sign of what was to come.

In my book, he was done. I deserved an apology, and until I got one, I wasn’t going to communicate with him. I was going to give him a day to apologize. Just when I was about to inform him he’d killed any chance with me, he texted, “Had a rough night last night. Whiskey on the river. Bad combo.” This was an excuse, not an apology — Unacceptable. Two days later, I responded, “Still waiting for an apology. You were way out of line, and I did nothing to deserve your assumptions!”

He apologized profusely and cited more reasons why he’d been so harsh. “You’re an incredible guy, but if you never want to hang out again, I get it. But, for the record, I did miss talking to you and stuff this week,” he texted. He still seemed to be making excuses for himself. I didn’t respond. A day later, he said, “So, I guess that’s it then, huh?”

I was done with him. I told him from the start I don’t play these games. It seemed to be his mode of operation. I simply replied, “I think we should try friends for a bit. I get that you were drunk, but drunk minds speak a sober heart…” He asked if we could talk and tried calling me. I texted back telling him I was still at work, which was the truth. He started playing the martyr and going off on me. I told him to stop being so melodramatic. When I left work to grab dinner before returning to the office, I called him.

We talked for about a half hour. I explained to him all the things he did and how they were wrong. He didn’t even realize all the things he was doing. I pointed out how he was unloading all his baggage on me and how unfair that was. I did nothing to deserve that. I proposed we take a big step back and work on a legitimate friendship first. In reality, I was pretty much done with him. I was purely being polite. He was a decent guy, but he was a little broken.

He wasn’t satisfied with this and wanted to redeem himself, but I gave him an ultimatum. I said we could either be friends, or we could be nothing. That was his choice. It all depended on his future actions toward me.

As time progressed, and I was too busy to hang out with him when he asked me to, he began getting very snippy with me. I suggested a happy hour drink, but that went south fast. His sarcasm came out in full force until I said, “On second thought, maybe that was a bad idea.” I pointed out to him how combative he was toward me and said obviously this wasn’t going to work out between us. I gave him my work address so he could mail me back the sunglasses he borrowed from me. I didn’t even want to have to go through seeing him again. He’d gotten on my last nerve.

He told me how hurt he was by the whole thing, but I pointed out to him it was all of his own doing. He never treated me with trust and respect before he even had any reason to doubt me. I wasn’t going to take any more of his crap. I’d already dealt with enough. He couldn’t understand how his going off on a drunken tirade toward me was such a deal breaker. “It just doesn’t add up,” he said.

He was clearly hurting. I know this because he typed it out in black and white. “I’m miserable right now,” the text read.

He told me to delete him from my phone and he planned to delete me from his. In another instance, he said, “And for the record, I’m truly upset. You’re one of the good ones. And I’m a piece of $hit to write off apparently.” He wasn’t going to guilt me into liking him again. It was OVER!

That left two other loose ends to tie up. I had been meaning to text the Jersey City athlete for some time. He seemed like a really nice guy, and we got along great, but he was no CK. I needed to be fair to him and let him know what’s up. I texted him and said, “Hey dude. I def owe you a text and an explanation… I had a great time with you that one night, but at the same time, I’d also just met someone. I want to let you know I think you’re a great guy, but things have progressed. And, I want to give this a shot. I hope you understand and don’t take it personally! And I apologize since this message is long overdue!” He responded quickly, saying, I completely understand. I’m in a similar situation myself actually. When it rains, it pours, right?” I was happy to hear he was cool with things. I added, “LOL. Yes. Glad to hear. Maybe we can hang out again sometime and build a friendship?…” He responded, “I’d like that.”

After that, we chatted a few times on Facebook. I asked him how things were going with his new man, but learned the guy simply stopped responding to him. Turns out it was one of my neighbors. We still haven’t found time to hang out as friends, but I’m sure it will happen sometime. I need to have a gay friend nearby these days…

Middle Eastern and I hadn’t seen each other in quite some time. He’d text periodically to see how I was doing, but we made no plans to see each other. I was still a little put off from the time he told me he’d come over and never did.

At one point, he asked if we could hang out again. I told him that would definitely work. I was not opposed to hanging out, but that would be all that transpired between us. No more sex. No more intimacy. We’d purely be friends. It wouldn’t be easy, because we did have a great deal of fun in bed, but I had faith I could do it.

The time came for me to tell him I’d met someone else. “So anything new?” he texted one day. “Actually, yes. I’ve recently started dating someone. Been trying to figure out a way to bring it up… I hope you understand,” I responded. Immediately, he shot back, “Well, I’m definitely happy for you :). And I’m glad you told me. Kinda stung a little, not gonna lie about that.”

I felt really bad. I did like him a great deal, and I didn’t want to hurt him. There was no easy way to tell him, so honesty would be the only way to go. “Sorry! Hence my hesitation. You’re a great guy, and I hope we can be friends!! You kinda disappeared on me. Seemed like you met someone else. I put myself out there and met someone…” I added. He expressed how he was really happy for me and pointed out it just wasn’t meant to be. I told him he deserved someone young and fun and told him I really meant it about being friends. “Maybe. When I get over you. Of course I wanna be friends with you. We discussed grabbing a drink sometime, but that still had yet to happen. Some day we’ll find the time to hang out and become good friends.

And just like that, all loose ends were tied up. It wasn’t easy, but it was over. Now, I could concentrate all my efforts on the new man in my life — Clark Kent. The man who cut the roster down to one.

We tried to make plans to see each other during the week, but it never seemed to work out. Instead, we’d have to wait until the weekend to see each other again. It wasn’t easy, but it would have to do. I didn’t want to do anything to scare him off. I was too infatuated to lose him already. I would be patient. I would wait for things to happen naturally. I would finally do things right, and hopefully, by putting everything I’d learned from all the men I dated, I would find true love.

P.S. I still don’t have my sunglasses…

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Happy to See Him Happy

In continuing with sharing fun videos I come across, I thought I’d share this one. After reading Anthony Romero’s comment on Twitter, “Siri, tell my wife I’m gay,” I thought I’d heard the funniest Siri reference. (BTW, follow the porn star couple, @AnthyRomero and @AustinWilde on Twitter, they’re very entertaining!) Then this video came along and made me laugh so hard I cried… You may have already seen it, but I hope you like it!

On with the story…

On the night following my conversation with Smiles to bring him back from the edge, he had a film screening in New York City. This was the same film I had traveled out to the Hamptons to view. But, that was a dry run of sorts. The New York City premier was the real deal. Smiles was stressing about all the last minute details, and who could blame him?

I didn’t talk to or text him that day. I knew he’d be busy. Long ago, I made plans to attend the screening. Even though I’d seen it, I wanted to be supportive. I wanted to prove to him I cared about him and wanted him to be successful. And, if he wasn’t, I would still be there.

When I arrived, there was a small line forming. They weren’t allowing anyone in until 7:00. I stood in line patiently while optimistically telling him there was a decent line forming outside stretching to the corner.

When they finally let us in, I found Smiles. As per usual these days, I didn’t get a kiss. We said hi and chatted about our days quickly and the set up of the film. Shortly thereafter, his friend arrived and we were introduced. The friend was very familiar and quite attractive, and then I learned he was at the birthday gathering weeks earlier. The three of us chatted a while, but Smiles hadn’t seen him in a while, so they dominated the conversation.

After some time, one of Smiles’ cast mates came over to talk to him. He was introduced to the two of us. While conversing, he asked us, “So how do you know [Smiles]?” Just then, my phone rang, and I didn’t have to answer the question. I politely excused myself and answered the call. It was A. Her plans for the night fell through, and she was able to come to the screening. I talked details with her and returned to the conversation, but it had already moved on. I didn’t have to answer the question, but I also didn’t get to hear Smiles answer the question. It would have answered if we’d made progress since the last time that question was posed and would give me insight as to where I stood with him.

I didn’t jump right back into the conversation between Smiles and his friend. Instead, I leaned against the bar, drank my drink, and took in the whole scene. In my peripheral hearing, I heard the friend ask Smiles, “So, you dating anyone these days?” My ears perked up. Now I would get my answer!

“Yeah. This shy little guy over here,” he said as he pulled me closer.  I must have had a smile from ear to ear. “Oh,” said the friend. “I was going to ask who brought the kid? he joked. Shortly after, Smiles had to run to take care of other things. I was left to talk to the friend, and we got along great. He’s a really nice guy. When A arrived, I introduced the two of them.

It wasn’t long before the film was about to begin. Just before we were about to sit, I grabbed Smiles and reminded him to have fun. Too many times he worried about things and forgot to enjoy them as well. We grabbed three seats (Smiles was sitting elsewhere) and settled in before the film started. A leaned over and said to me, “He’s really cute! You should totally go after him.” She’s such a bad influence sometimes! Just before the movie started, I leaned over to the friend and asked him if he knew Smiles was in the film as well. He too had no idea. Apparently I wasn’t the only one he didn’t tell that detail to.

The movie was actually better the second time around. It also helps when you watch it with a packed house. The premier was so successful, they had to bring out extra chairs. I was so proud of Smiles and happy for him. When the movie ended, they had a little “Inside the Actors’ Studio” moment with a few questions and explanations. He looked comfortable yet slightly embarrassed on stage. It was cute to see him a little vulnerable.

Afterwards, he came up to me and planted a big kiss on me. I was a little shocked. I was so happy to see him so happy. He needed a break like this! For the rest of the night, he was floating around being a social butterfly. I hung out with A until she had to leave. At that point, I held my own being alone. Smiles would come and snag me periodically to make sure I was okay and to semi celebrate. He was being very affectionate and quite publicly. I rather enjoyed it!

One of the girls in the film was in attendance and was also working for a show on HBO. I had just watched the episode she was in at work to kill time before the screening, so I took the time to pull her aside and chat with her. She asked if I knew anyone in the film. When I told her I knew Smiles, she had nothing but amazing things to say about him. Once again, I was so proud of him.

The the crowd was thinning out, Smiles ran out on the dance floor and started dancing with the star of the film while one of the bands in the film played music. He noticed I was standing by the bar. He came running over, grabbed my hand, and drug me out on the floor with him. I was having fun.

When he finished his business and wrapped up, we left together, but not before he introduced me to the star of the film. We walked to nearby Pop Burger for dinner. We were drinking all night on an empty stomach, and Smiles’ tolerance is much lower than mine. We ordered food and sat to eat it. I had never heard of a shrimp burger, so I ordered that.

While we sat, I made fun of his clamshell phone, taking pictures of it and tagging him in the photo on Facebook.

I called for the car service from work and had them pick me up to take me home. Shhh. Since Smiles lives on the way to the tunnel, we dropped him off in front of his building. He climbed over me to get out of the car and gave me a kiss goodnight. I went home a happy man. I made a lot more progress that night. Dare I say it? I think I was in a relationship at that point???

I went home and climbed into bed with a big grin on. However, the grin didn’t last long. Just my luck, I woke up with food poisoning in the middle of the night. I spent a majority of the night in the bathroom and did not get much sleep. I went from having a very happy night to a miserable one in no time…

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