Posts Tagged moving

The Move

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Winding Down

Although things didn’t exactly end the way I would have hoped, I had a really great time with my new uptown Grindr friend. He was a very down-to-earth, sexy man whose body I found irresistible.

I made my way home on my motorcycle only to find my apartment full of my friends and my roommates’ friends. They apparently noticed my Irish exit, but I was shocked to find none of them texted me to find out where I’d gone. They didn’t seem to care much. They were all drunk and about to smoke.

I put my helmet in my room and joined in the fun. D pulled me aside and asked if I’d gone to hook up, and I didn’t lie. I nodded my head in agreement, and he said, “I knew it!” with a smile.

My roommate immediately mentioned breaking my glass planter that sits in the window, but failed to apologize for the act. She simply pushed it into a pile, plants and all, and left it there on the floor. After sitting in the room a solid ten minutes, my friend K announces, “Where’s [One Gay At A Time]?” I responded, “Really K! How many have you had!?” We all laughed.

The previous night, I talked to a guy on OKCupid who was quite an athlete. He seemed like a really fun guy, and I was anxious to meet him. We’d emailed a few times back and forth, and I learned he would be coming to Hoboken for the festivities in the evening. Ironically enough, he would be in the apartment across the street. The same apartment my roommate and I scoped out on numerous occasions, noticing a gay couple lives there. I texted him to see if he was there, but he told me he decided to stay home after not feeling well.

This, of course turned my attention to the apartment across the way. My roommate and I had scoped out this apartment many times starting on New Year’s Eve when we presumed two mo’s lived there. This night, they were having a party. We noticed many men, and we tried to make a sign with a sharpie and the inside of a paper bag. It was no use. Anyone’s attention that was looking out the window was drawn to our neighbors upstairs. They too were having a raucous party.

I decided to use technology to find a way to make friends with the mo’s across the street. I pulled up Grindr and tried to find anyone very close. When I finally got in touch with someone nearby and asked him if they were at that address, I came to learn that person had left the party already. I made many more futile attempts to reach out to the party. A few of us watched with curiosity when people moved into the bedroom, but nothing exciting happened. Our front window became a version of “Rear Window.”

When I grew tired of my new entertainment, I made my way to bed. It was a long day, but a fun day. I was beat.

The next day, I returned the favor of a friend for helping me move. I rode my motorcycle over to his new apartment and dug in moving bags and boxes. When we drove to his old place, I realized we were in the same neighborhood as Indiana Jones lived. I pulled out my phone and texted him to see if he was around. It’d been months since I last saw him, and I was anxious to see him again. We were due for a catch-up. I didn’t hear back from him that day, but I wouldn’t give up at that.

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My Week with PR

Things between PR and I seemed to be something of a fairy tale. We’d met months earlier on Grindr after he had a very rough breakup, and I was just getting my relationship off the ground with Smiles. He temporarily moved a few blocks from me, and after a night out as friends, we’ve been spending a lot of time together as love interests.

After our night out to the movies and dinner, PR spent the night once again. Why should he sleep on a pull-out when he could be sharing a California King with me. I got ready for work, and he made his way home to figure out his day. He was on-call that day, but ended up not having to go into work. Instead, he went shopping with his mother.

When he returned to Hoboken Wednesday night, he came over to hang out. We watched TV in each other’s arms on the couch and he spent the night once again. Things were getting hot and heavy with us, and fast. We still hadn’t had “sex’ in the traditional penetration sense of the word, but we were fully enjoying each other’s company.

Thursday night I have volleyball. This was good because it offered a natural break for us. I couldn’t believe he wasn’t tired of me yet. We’d been spending A LOT of time together, and I’m not always the easiest to be around. I was happy to have the time apart – Not because I didn’t want to see him, but more so because it made me look forward to seeing him again that much more.

When I got home from volleyball, he started texting me. We texted about the shows we were watching until he added, “So, I miss you.” I quickly replied, “Stop being so adorable. You know I can’t resist it!” And then he called it spot on. I love how real and upfront he is about things. “Is today resist each other day? If you need a break, I understand. I find you intoxicating in the best sense — Like happy,” he texted. I told him I did not need a break, and I in fact did miss him. But I also told him I wanted to make sure we didn’t tire of each other. He told me he was having a rough day. He heard back about a job he applied for and was told he didn’t get the position. I felt really bad that was the night we decided to spend apart. I’m sure he just needed a hug. He was depressed. I told him. “I can try to hug it away.” He asked if we could hang out the following night. I told him I had no plans and would love to.

When he stopped responding to my texts, I joked, “Replaced me with pizza?” He apologized since his pizza was delivered, and he added, “Food won’t comfort me as much as you.” And with a smile on my face, I dozed off for the night.

The next night, he came over. I made dinner for us both, and we watched movies. It was nice to have someone to spend my evenings with. This is what I really wanted in a relationship. This is what I was looking for. I was happy!

When we woke the next day, I made us breakfast. He spent the afternoon with me, and we finally motivated ourselves to hit the gym. He went home and changed while I showered. We met at the corner and walked to the gym together. He was very quiet and solemn that morning. We didn’t work out together, but that’s because I like to do my own thing at  the gym. We finished at the same time and walked home together.

That’s when he dropped a small bomb on me. He told me he was moving back home. I didn’t quite know how to take the news. I wasn’t thrilled with it. It meant he would be much further away, and we wouldn’t be spending evenings together so readily. I knew why he did it, and I realized he needed to get his life back on track. But, I selfishly didn’t like the idea.

That evening I had a bunch of friends come over to pregame before hitting up my friend’s birthday gathering at a bar a block away. He met many of my friends and seemed to fit in, but I still had the idea of him moving home in the back of my mind. When the time came, we all made our way to the bar. It was a fun night, but PR was being standoffish. He wasn’t mingling with my friends and was only talking to me a majority of the night. I was a little disappointed. On top of this, he was getting pretty inebriated and flirtatious. I’m comfortable with my sexuality, but I don’t like PDA in a “straight” bar. I feel all eyes on me, and it hinders me from enjoying myself. Nothing he was doing crossed the line, but it also was edging further and further.

By the time we moved to a friend’s bar (after hours) he was being overt. Granted it was a much more exclusive group and mainly my friends, but he was drunk and making me uncomfortable. I tried to just look past it.

Once again, we went to Cluck U to get a late-night snack. He was so drunk he couldn’t stay awake long enough to eat his. I carried him to my bed and tucked him in. He wasn’t happy because he wanted his chicken, but soon enough he dozed off. I put it in the fridge until the following day. I wasn’t resentful at all of this. I actually enjoyed taking care of him. I knew if our relationship continued, he’d be doing the same for me down the road. I sat in the living room and ate my chicken with the company of my thoughts. I had a lot on my mind since he told me he’d be moving back home. The news he didn’t get the position he applied for was a little unsettling as well. On top of this, there was the incompatibility we shared in the bedroom that hadn’t been resolved. This wasn’t the stability I was searching for, but I was still enjoying his company.

When I had my fill, I tucked myself in bed in quickly dozed off.

The next day, we woke, and he continued to give me $hit for not allowing him to eat his chicken the night before. He ate it for lunch instead.

We got dressed and ready for the day finally. I needed to go grocery shopping, so we walked to Garden of Eden together. His mother was coming in an hour to take him home. It was a bittersweet day. We’d spent more than a week straight together with the exception of one day. Things progressed quickly, but then again, they were about to change drastically.

I said goodbye to him as we made plans for the coming days. We were a few days away from Valentine’s Day, and he really wanted to celebrate it together. I obliged.

I thought about him the rest of the night and what this new arrangement would mean for us. I was quickly coming back down from the clouds…

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Mom & Dad to the Rescue

Moving to a new apartment is both exciting and strenuous. For me, anything new is stimulating, but the arduous task of physically moving is exhausting. I needed to call in reinforcements.

Before my big move, I enlisted the help of my parents. When I broached the subject with them, my mother pointed out their physical inability to help my move. She volunteered them to come help me pack or unpack, but they were not lifting any boxes. I would never even consider the idea since neither of them are spring chickens.

I preferred they help me unpack because I would be able to pack over a long period of time, but I would need to have my apartment set up quickly for my holiday party. I also had a few major alterations I wanted to implement in the new place. I design a closet I would need to build to fit all my clothes. (This is where my inner gay comes screaming out).

They were set to arrive Thursday night in time to come watch my sister and I play in our weekly volleyball league. They were going to stay through the weekend, so my mother made lasagna and was bringing a turkey. We planned to go to the gym for our match and then have a late night dinner after.

The night before, Smiles offered for me to stay with him Thursday night since he knew my parents were staying with me. I graciously accepted since it would save me from sleeping on the couch when I gave up my bed for my parents. I thought it was really sweet of Smiles to notice that and offer a solution. He was also going into surgery the next day. While I was comforting him and put on a brave face since he was so worked up about it, I am always slightly concerned any time someone goes under the knife, especially when they’re being put under. I care a great deal about him, so I was thrilled to sleep with him the night before surgery.

My parents have seen my sister play volleyball in college, but had never seen me play. I was excited for them to be there. However, I was still exhausted. I could barely keep my eyelids open, as they felt like sandpaper, and I could barely lift my arms. We were doing fairly well, when out of nowhere, I came down on the side of my ankle after a hit. I knew as I was coming down to the floor it was a bad sprain. I’d sprained both ankles many times before running cross-country and playing tennis in high school. I was done.

I moved over to the bleachers to elevate my ankle and ice while my team finished out the matches. My mother took the opportunity to point out that I should have taken the night off. A sprained ankle couldn’t have come at a worse time. I still had a lot I needed to do that weekend. The only thing that could have made it worse was if it came the night before the big move.

My team fared well without me, and they all came over to console me after they finished. The sprain was bad, but I was able to walk on it. This wasn’t my first rodeo. I knew exactly what I was in for.

When I got home, my mother, who teaches athletic training to high school students, wrapped my ankle. I hadn’t told my parents yet, but I was still planning to ride into the city and spend the night in Smiles’ bed.

As we were waiting for the lasagna to heat up in the oven, I proposed my sleeping situation to them. They didn’t seem phased by it, but pointed out that I needed to be home in the morning at a reasonable hour. I told them about his surgery and how I would have to leave earlier regardless, but I wasn’t waking up until 9:00 anyway.

I was leery about the ride into the city. When I sprained my ankle, all I could think about was if it would limit my ability to shift gears on my motorcycle to ride into the city to Smiles’ bed. Luckily, I was still able to do so after wrapping it.

Smiles called to see when I would be coming into the city, and I told him I would arrive around midnight after we finished eating.

I got my parents settled, threw on sweats to head into the city and was on my way.

When I arrived, Smiles told me how long he had to go without eating or drinking anything, even water. He was a little worked up, so I did my best to calm his nerves. I told him to concentrate on his hot doctor instead. I was really hoping for one last throw down in the sheets since I knew he’d be out of commission for quite some time, but since it was so late, that wasn’t in the cards. Instead, after chatting a little bit about my ankle and his surgery, we dozed off in each other’s arms.

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Moving Date

After my impromptu date with Smiles Monday night, I sent him a text telling him how I truly felt. I didn’t feel entirely comfortable doing it, but that’s who I am. I speak my mind. I realized I needed to start being myself and stop worrying about “auditioning” for Smiles.

The next morning, I received a very surprising text from Smiles. “Morning handsome, sleep well? I woke up at 4:30 ready to go for the day! Weird huh? Guess that happens when into bed at 10:00. LOL. Hope you have a good day.”

He never sent me text messages like that. Maybe I’d opened up a new door that granted me access to his feelings. I shot him a text back as I walked to work: “Morning sexy. Slept great! Can’t believe you were ever up that early! Good luck with your client today!” The previous night, while talking with my roommate in my bedroom, I noticed written among the list of other things actually in the box on one of the packed boxes on my bookshelf was “Sex Toys.” After asking my roommates and my sister if they were the culprits, I snapped a picture with my phone and sent it to Smiles with the caption. “Btw… Was this you?” He copped up to doing it.

“LOL. Now I’m that guy walking down the street laughing to himself that everyone looks at like he’s nuts…” I responded.

I went on with my workday and didn’t hear from him again. Late that night, I sent him a text: “Hey babe. How’d your day go?” but sadly, I received no response.

I woke early the next day to begin my long arduous day of moving to a new apartment. This was no small feat. I own a lot of things, and we weren’t able to procure a moving team since we were moving mid-week. Myself and my three roommates were going to have to work overtime to get it all done in one day. I had been dreading it for two months.

The morning was spent retrieving a UHaul truck and loading it up. That was the easy part. We had an elevator for that part. The hard part would come when moving into our new apartment. In the middle of all this, I got a text from Smiles. It was a welcome distraction, but I barely even had the time to look at the message. “Hey there. Find anything to do today?” I responded indignantly, “Are you kidding me?! So sore already.” He responded with laughter and a wink. “Presentation to dr.’s went well today. Just finished grabbing lunch and getting back to work,” he detailed. I congratulated him and went back to lifting heavy boxes and furniture.

After hours and hours of grueling lifting, walking and carrying, I took a break to eat something. I realized I’d forgotten to eat all day, and I was starving! As I was finally putting food into my face, I received another text from Smiles. It was just the little pick-me-up I needed to get me through the rest of the night. “How did the move go? Ya worn out yet? I’m not looking forward to this surgery Friday. More on my mind than it should be. :(” He scheduled an appendectomy for himself in the coming days. Apparently it was weighing on his mind. In this respect, Smiles is a delicate flower. He was stressing himself over routine surgery. I found it cute. I was happy to be seeing his fragile side.

After reading his message, I tried to call him. I received a text message in response: “At Webster Hall. A friend from L.A. is performing tonight.” I’d forgotten he had plans for the evening. “Oh yea… I’m pooped but far from done… Don’t worry about your appendix. Call me later if you’re not too intoxicated ;),” I responded. I knew I would be up for a few more hours if nothing more than to find some sort of bed to sleep on. Smiles responded, “LOL. Light drinking. I promise.”

He called as he was making his way home for the night. I was exhausted from working to the bone all day. I swear I lost ten pounds that day. I become so much more energized the moment my phone rang. I knew immediately it was from him. We talked about my grueling day and what he did to occupy himself for the day. He told me about his friend and the concert that night before we said goodnight. That little call was all I wanted and was looking forward to all day.

I could go to bed happy, even though I was sleeping on a mattress on the floor amongst a sea of boxes.

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Miami Vice

Roughly one block away from my date with Dr. Nice, I began texting another guy I had on standby for a date that evening. I wanted to see if I could use my time wisely and see two guys on my free Friday evening. It would help cut down the roster if they weren’t quality guys. The story I told him was that I was out to dinner with clients, and I would get in touch with him as the dinner was ending.

We found each other a few days earlier, and we agreed to meet in Hell’s Kitchen, but never picked a specific location. As I walked south on 9th Avenue after my first date, I found out he wasn’t far. I told him to head north on 9th Avenue, and we would meet in the middle. We could pick somewhere in the neighborhood to grab a drink.

As I was walking, I realized how bad that idea was. We never met before, and there was a good chance we would walk right past each other. I picked a bar, Nizza, and told him to meet me in front of it.

He walked up with a smile from ear to ear. He was somewhat attractive, and when he opened his mouth, his Latino background was screaming at me. I have nothing against it, but I also don’t have much in common with the typical culture.

We grabbed a seat at the bar and ordered a few cocktails. I ordered a Dark and Stormy Float. It was a very interesting drink with the twist of Rum Raisin ice cream. I love Dark and Stormys, but I wasn’t thrilled with this concoction. My date insisted I order something else, but I insisted I would finish it. He enjoyed his drink while we talked about what brought him from Miami to New York. He was working as a producer on a Hispanic television news show, and was looking for a change. He wanted to move to New York and was afforded a job transfer.

It was interesting to learn he was in the city only four months, so he hadn’t yet experienced the changing of the seasons. He wasn’t quite used to the phrase “the end of summer.” As we talked, the conversation began to take shape as me giving him advice on how to adapt to New York City and less about us and any future we may have.

He told me all about being brought up in Miami and how he is going to miss being so close to his family. However, he was thinking about his career and needed to move up in this world. Surprisingly, he was living in New Jersey as well. I knew this bit of information earlier and asked him to meet on the other side of the river, but he explained where he lived and how it would be difficult to meet over there since he had no car.

The date was very pleasant, just as my date earlier that evening, but I wasn’t feeling a spark. When this date ended, I would not have a burning desire to see him again.

We closed our tab, and I agreed to walk him to Port Authority. I was heading there myself to go back to Hoboken for the night. Before he hopped on one of the shuttles, we exchanged hugs. He suggested we find the time to meet up again. I told him we would be in touch and manage to figure something out in the near future.

Of course, he was yet another man who would fall by the wayside due to lack of interest on my part. He was a nice enough guy, but there was nothing there to really draw me in.

It seemed I was back to my old ways of serial unsuccessful dating. I needed my luck to change, or my self-esteem was really going to land in the crapper…

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