Posts Tagged nervous

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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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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His Mother’s Day

The day after my birthday, CK and I made plans for me to meet his mother while she was in town. I celebrated my birthday the day before without him, but I still managed to have fun. I was incredibly excited to see him. I was also incredibly honored to meet his mother. I couldn’t believe he felt comfortable introducing me to her exactly one month from the date we first met, however, we’d grown extremely close in that short period of time.

There was a plan for me to meet CK, his mother, and three of his friends at Essex and Beauty on the Lower East Side for brunch. It was Mother’s Day, so I knew wherever we were going was going to be a sh*tshow! I was slightly anxious. I was more nervous about meeting the one friend I’d never met before than I was about his mother. I’m not sure why, but I didn’t feel any pressure there. I was pretty relaxed about it. Either way, I was missing my Superman terribly.

I arrived a few minutes late for our reservation. CK and his mother were still in transport, but the three friends had already sat at the table. One of them came to the front to greet me and take me to the table. I’d met him before when we all went to see Avengers together. As we ascended the staircase to our table, he informed me of a problem in the kitchen. He mentioned something about a leak and having to shut the kitchen down. There was new immediacy to our plans.

Per usual, CK was running quite late. I learned they were in a cab, but they were on the other side of Manhattan, however, he shared the good news he finally found a new apartment. It wasn’t in Brooklyn. It wasn’t on the Lower East Side. It was in Hell’s Kitchen. I was thrilled!!

We learned they wouldn’t arrive in time for us to order, and one of the friends began to protest in uproar. He argued with the staff until he learned of the true nature of the problem. The maître d’ offered to walk us over to their sister restaurant, The Stanton Social to ensure we got a table and were served quickly.

On the walk over, we happened upon CK and his mother getting out of their cab. He was in the process of calling me. I said hi to him and was introduced to his mother. She wasn’t what I expected at all. I’m not sure what my expectations were, but she certainly surpassed them. She was gorgeous and very lively. I immediately loved her spirit and energy.

We continued to the other restaurant. Not only did we get a table quickly, we were also served champagne to start. They more than made up for the inconvenience. On top of that, I feel we upgraded restaurants, not downgraded.

His mother took the time to hug all the other boys and say hi. She knew two of them from Miami, where CK grew up, so there was some catching up to do. CK was rather reserved in regards to PDA. We didn’t kiss, but I got a hefty hug. He whispered in my ear how much he missed me. We held hands under the table nearly the entire meal.

It was very nice being with everyone. The conversation flowed, and there was rarely an awkward moment. Our food was excellent, and we all enjoyed our meal. I was worried I’d feel like an outsider, not because his friends wouldn’t include me, but because they all already knew each other. I was the new guy. I didn’t know the stories. I didn’t know the inside jokes. That would take time. Generally, until I’m comfortable, I get quiet. I was worried they would think I was antisocial, which clearly isn’t the case.

If they hadn’t done enough to ensure we had a great experience, our lovely waitress brought us a plate of complimentary donuts to make up for what happened at Essex and Beauty.

I really loved watching CK and his mother interact. She had a nickname she called him, and I found it adorable. They shared a lot of the same mannerisms. I watched her keep him in line (and made sure I took mental notes). They were incredible together, even with the hell they went through over that weekend to find him a new apartment. It was obvious the copious amounts of love they shared.

When we exited the restaurant, his mother returned to go to the bathroom. He took the opportunity to pull me in and give me the biggest kiss. It was quite a scene, but we didn’t care. His friends made comments, and he pointed out how he wouldn’t kiss me in front of his mother. Apparently, it made her slightly uncomfortable when he “flaunted his homosexuality.” I thought this was funny, because it’s the kind of thing I could hear coming out of my mother’s mouth.

I also learned that when I went to the restroom while we were eating, his mother expressed her approval to him. “He’s really cute,” he told me she added.

When she came back outside, we made plans to go back to his place and spend the rest of the evening on his roof watching the sunset. We stopped for a bottle of wine and some beers and went up to the roof with the batch of cookies I baked for his mother. Before heading up to the roof, CK and one of his friends were talking in the kitchen. That left myself and his mother in his living room to chat. I learned about all her dogs, as well as CK’s dog all living under her care. She told me how early she had to get up to take care of them the morning she flew out. We talked about what it takes to raise a dog and discussed CK’s desire to get a dog. He was constantly trying to take me shopping for a dog, but I couldn’t take care of one on my own. I wouldn’t have a dog until I lived with someone who would help me raise it. Maybe CK could fill that roll one day.

We spent a lot of time talking about cooking. CK’s friend was an avid cook, so we had a lot to chat about. I showed him my massive digital cookbook I created. I learned where CK inherited his lack of cooking skills. Apparently, his mother was a self-admitted non-chef. She barely cooked, so the two of them discussed their lack of skill in the kitchen, however, each had their specialty they could cook. I expressed my plan to teach CK how to cook, but ensure he wouldn’t cut his finger off again under my supervision.

After a while, a guy CK used to hook up with who lived in the building joined us. CK privately made a comment to me when we were downstairs how he may have seen us all through the window. He mentioned inviting him to join us, and I didn’t protest. My guard was up however. I had no idea how he’d treat me. After all, I was the one who got the man he had a crush on. They were almost roommates until it came to light he had a crush on CK, who told me he did not share the same feelings.

In the end, this guy was pretty cool. He wasn’t combative toward me in the slightest, and we actually got along. The conversation continued through the night. When this guy left, CK made an attempt to set him up with the friend who joined us from brunch. I really liked this guy. He seemed to get it. He was very realistic and had a great sense of humor. Of the friends I’d met so far, he was the one I felt I would get along with the best. When the old hookup left, CK’s friend called him to set up a date. This also killed two birds with one bullet. The old hookup would be tied up and would stay away from my man. Yes, I was getting territorial.

CK’s mother told us stories about him when he was a child, and I was really enjoying getting to know him, his mother and his friends. It was starting to get late, and CK and his mother still needed to get dinner. I needed to get home and get ready for work the next day. I too needed to eat something other than cookies. I said goodbye to CK’s mother with a big hug and CK walked me to the door.

We talked about how much we couldn’t wait until his mother left, not because either of us were tired of her, but because we were hungry for each other. We hadn’t slept together in days, and our animal instincts were growling. I said goodbye to him with a big kiss and made my way to the PATH to head home.

It was a very successful weekend. I had a great birthday, and apparently, I was a hit with CK’s mother. The whole day was a big success. I was all the more excited to be a bigger part of CK’s life, and I couldn’t wait for the next moment.

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Ladies and Gentleman, My Boyfriend

The morning after my “wild night,” I woke early. I was happy to realize I didn’t have a hangover, but I had a lot to do. I sat at my desk and went through circulars to make a grocery list, I went over my to-do list, I cleaned my bedroom, did two loads of laundry and sorted through my clothes to get rid of some of them. It was a very productive morning. The only thing I didn’t get done was to make it to the gym.

Around 11:00am, CK called. I didn’t want to call him because I was afraid of waking him. I knew he wasn’t a morning person. I was happy to hear his voice. He told me he needed to do laundry and wouldn’t come to Hoboken until about 2:00. I was fine with that. It allowed me to finish what I needed to get done for the morning.

I planned to head over to the Hoboken Arts and Music Festival around 2:00. That’s what I told P and my sister. As I was walking out the door, he called to apologize for running late. He was just walking out the door to hop on the PATH. Obviously he wasn’t going to arrive at 2:00. I told him I’d be at the festival, and I would make my way to him when he arrived.

I managed to find P, my sister and her friend without much effort. P had her dog, Baby, with her and needed to find her water. I told them I needed to make my way to the PATH to get CK, and they were welcome to join me. They all followed. We waited at the PATH for some time before he finally arrived. It was close to 3:45 before he finally arrived. He was running late as usual. I happily introduced him to the three of them, and we made our way back to the festival to find lunch.

Before he arrived, I had a worry in the back of my head. We were used to showing affection openly, but not in Hoboken. I still wasn’t out to everyone I knew around town, and I had my reservations about PDA. I was trying to get over it. There was no reason I shouldn’t feel comfortable being myself. But, I can’t lie. I was very nervous.

That being said, I greeted him with a hug, and we spent a large portion of the day holding hands and our arms around each other. This was a first for me. I did relax a bit and began to let my guard down.

We found the steak sandwiches I’ve gotten many years in the past and hopped in line. My old roommate (also my favorite roommate) was making his way toward us, so I told him where we were. I introduce him to CK, and he reminded me I’d met the girl he was with in the past.

As we ate, we walked uptown chatting. He mentioned wanting to do something special for my birthday that Friday. He asked if I’d be able to get out of work early, and I told him it shouldn’t be a problem. All I knew about this surprise was that it would cater to my adventurous side. I thought it was incredibly sweet of him to plan something special for me.

When we reached the north end of the festival, I was ready for dessert. I hadn’t passed anything along the way I really wanted, so I decided to hit up Ralph’s for some cream ice. I ordered the peanut butter cookie dough, and we shared it. It was utterly amazing.

P, my sister, her friend, CK and I were all heading to City Bistro to grab a drink on the rooftop bar since it was such a nice day. We found a seat and relaxed. I could tell one of the guys on the roof was making comments about CK and I, but I didn’t care. I continued resting my hand on his leg or putting my arm around him. I noticed two guy I thought might be gay and informed CK of the “Pickle game” I’d learned from Boston in Miami. We agreed they were gay.

The time came for us to head out. CK wanted to go for a ride on the motorcycle, and I needed to start dinner. We had to stop at ShopRite on the way home for supplies, and it was a bit of a walk home. CK wasn’t happy, but he did it — Not without complaining most of the way.

When we got home, we cuddled in bed for a few minutes before I told him I wanted him to help me with dinner. As I put the beef roast in the oven, I asked him to slice the potatoes for the scalloped potatoes on the mandolin. I warned him quite pointedly to be careful since the blade was so sharp, and I’d already cut myself pretty severely on it once, as did my mother. When he was cutting the last potato, he sliced his finger pretty badly.

I immediately ran to his rescue. He was bleeding pretty bad, but not enough for stitches. He sliced off a small piece of the tip of his thumb. He was now the third person to cut themselves on that mandolin (Him, my mother, and myself). He couldn’t believe how well I was handling the blood. I told him I was a lifeguard for seven years and had my own share of accidents involving a lot of blood. “Awww. Baby, you’re my lifeguard,” he said. I bandaged him up, told him to hold his arm above his head, gave him some painkillers and told him to sit on the couch. Maybe asking him to help was not a good idea. I thought it would be romantic, but it turned out tragic.

When dinner was ready, we ate in front of the TV. He raved about how good dinner was. We watched the shows I normally record on a Sunday night. It was really nice to have him fit so nicely into my routine. That was a sign our relationship had a solid foundation.

When we got tired, we made our way to my bedroom. He must have been really tired, and he kept dozing off. I wanted sex, but it was quite obvious that wasn’t going to happen. It’d been quite some time since we had sex, but I would have to settle for some cuddling instead.

He was out cold, so I brushed my teeth and came back to bed. I must have roused him, because he too got out of bed to brush his teeth. We turned out the light and fell asleep in each other’s arms.

It’s rare to find me happier than when I wake up next to him. It’s impossible not to have a smile from ear-to-ear. Warning: The following may be too graphic for some. As per usual, he began to give me a bl*wjob. It was one of his favorite morning activities. He told me he wanted me to finish for him. This is an immediate killer for me. I begin to concentrate on that alone. (I really need to see someone about this!) After a while, I told him it was time to shower. I scooped him up and carried him to the shower. He began bl*wing me outside the shower as well. I was too distracted in the bathroom, so I grabbed his hand and led him back to the bed. He felt amazing, and when he began teasing my boys with his tongue, I used my hand to get me over the edge.

“Baby. You taste so sweet today!” he told me. I was a bit shocked to hear this considering N told me I tasted awful. This made me like CK so much more in that moment. Seconds later, he exploded all over his own abdomen. It was incredibly hot to watch.

We went back to the shower and cleaned up. That morning, we joked about water sports. He threatened to pee on me in the shower. I told him if he did, I would certainly be returning the favor. When I saw his warm stream hitting my feet, I delivered on my promise. Both of us immediately got weirded out, and that ended immediately. “Yea. That’s definitely not going to be a thing!” I exclaimed. He nodded his head in sever agreement. Afterwards, I bandaged his finger once again and gave him a band-aid for the road.

We got ready and made our way to the PATH. I had to say goodbye to him in Hoboken to get my allergy shot, and he hopped on the PATH.

Monday, he called me as I was picking out a wedding card at CVS. He wanted to know if I was still in the city so we could meet up for a bit. I’d just gotten off the PATH five minutes prior. He was hopping elevator, so he told me he’d call me when he got up to his apartment, but I didn’t hear back from him.

I sent him a picture message of a t-shirt saying “I would cuddle you so hard.” He didn’t acknowledge the message. When I called later that evening, he seemed weird. He told me he was reading Hunger Games and sounded like I woke him up. The conversation was very short and awkward, so I just said goodnight and went to bed.

We made plans for Tuesday, but work got in the way for him. I proposed getting together Wednesday night at my place for Revenge again instead. I also left work early to pick up my new custom-made bed. I was so excited! I brought it home and assembled it. It was amazing. I sent him pictures, and he responded, “Can’t wait to break it in!” He also asked me if I would be interested in a show at the Upright Citizen’s Brigade. I told him that sounded great. Later Tuesday night, I texted him, but got no response until 12:30, just after I dozed off.

The question of fidelity did cross my mind for a hot second. I wondered if we needed to have the exclusivity conversation or was that covered under the can I be your boyfriend conversation? It wasn’t that I didn’t trust him, but my mind can run wild at times. I was just going to keep it in the back of my mind until I decided whether it was necessary to bring it up…

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A Child’s Plaything

A Thursday finally arrived where I didn’t have volleyball. I thought I would capitalize on this opportunity and do something with my night.

Southern Drawl was visiting home in the South, and I was in the process of dissolving things between he and I. Slowly but surely, I would draw back communications until it was over. I had a great date night with the Jersey City athlete the night before, and only time would tell where that was headed.

That left Middle Eastern. Things between he and I had become purely physical. I liked him, but I was not interested in a relationship with him. He was still in college and apparently entertaining other offers. We had chatted about us over text. He said, “I was just keeping my distance because I am getting too attached to you. And I don’t know what’s happening between us. It sucks because I miss you. Have you slept with someone else in the past week?” I said no. I lied because in truth I had slept with S.D., however, we didn’t have sex. “So what’s happening between us. I get nervous when I think about it. I have an amazing time every time I see you. I don’t want to get stuck in the just friends phase,” he stated.

I had been waiting for this question for some time. I told him, “To be honest, I don’t know. I’ve taken things too fast in the past, and I’m trying to get away from that.” I was being honest now. I didn’t know what we were. We were both on the same page that we enjoyed each other’s company, and we were having fun together in bed. He would send me scandalous picture messages of himself and tell me how much he wanted to see me. I’d put him on the back-burner for a little bit since he grew quite attached. We also went through the Grindr thing, so I wanted things to cool down. He added, “I honestly still don’t know how you feel about me. I’m not asking you to be in a relationship or anything. I know you’ve told me where you stand.” I reassured him, “Just taking it one day at a time and enjoying it along the way. I like you, and if I didn’t, I’d have moved on a long time ago.  He responded, “I’m enjoying this too. I don’t know. Like it’s a little hard because I wanna have fun, but in my mind, I have fun and emotions kind of together. So, it’s hard for me to say I’m not emotionally attached to you in any way. So I just get a little scared because I thought you’re going to move on when you get bored with me.”

I explained further, “I never said I wasn’t emotionally attached to you. I don’t know what this is, but I can assure you it’s more than just sex!” He apologized for being a head-case, and we began to discuss our plans for the evening.

That being said, I did want to be with him. He was great in bed, and it had been some time since I last had sex. I texted him to see what he was up to. “Busy tonight?” I texted. He was still in class, but he had plans to come to Hoboken later that evening. I told him, “So I take it you met someone else…” He adamantly denied meeting someone else and told me he would possibly be able to swing by after class. “Maybe I can sneak out. I really want to see you,”he added. We continued to talk over text trying to make plans to see each other. I didn’t really fit into his plans that evening, but he was making an effort. He got me horny, and I sent him some of my sexier pictures. He responded, “No, no. Don’t do this to me! I’m in class, and I’m wearing tight pants!” I laughed at the thought and continued to send more pictures.

Eventually, he had to bail on coming to see me before going out with his friends in Hoboken. I had been sitting on the couch waiting for him and was quite disappointed. “I hate disappointing you,” he shot back. I simply sent him another sexy picture. He told me he would sneak away from his friends and come see me at some point. When 9:30 rolled around, I sent him a text telling him to have a fun night. Around 11:00, I texted him again. “Wish I didn’t get my hopes up, ” I added for dramatic effect. He apologized, but I was already quite disappointed and ready to move on from him.

He texted the following day to let me know he was using my picture to pleasure himself. I didn’t respond. He told me he would swing by the previous night, and he didn’t deliver. I sat at home alone on the couch in hopes he’d come, and he never did. I was angry with myself for getting so caught up in him. I decided I needed to move on from him. My roster was now cut down to one single possibility.

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On A Sexual Roll

I have a generous amount of vacation days, as I did a very good job negotiating when I was hired at my job. I don’t, however, have friends who share the same luck. They can either take the time off and have no money to travel, or they have money, but can’t get away from work. On top of this, being single leaves me only with the option to travel – Alone. I don’t enjoy this. As a result, I build up all these vacation days and never use them.

When the new year arrives, I have until the end of March to use up all the days I carried over. As a result, I start giving myself four day work-weeks and have staycations. I decided to take Monday off after the local holiday in Hoboken. As per my usual, I woke up horny and turned to Grindr. I tried to get one guy I’d been flirting with to come to my place. He lived in the city in Harlem, so no matter how hard I tried, he was not going to come to Hoboken.

After him, I went through a ton of Grindr guys trying to find someone to come over for some morning fun. None were biting. I turned Grindr off after what I’m sure was over an hour of surfing, and hopped on the computer. I thought I would give adam4adam a shot. I had messaged a few guys, but I wasn’t getting a response. That was until I found one guy who is 26 and worked in the area.

He was a good-looking guy, as per his profile pictures. We began exchanging messages. He unlocked his pictures, and I got a glimpse of his face finally. He was a very sexy, light-skinned black man. He had this college jock look about him, and I was very turned on. His body was fit, he was clean-cut, and his smile was utterly adorable.

I asked him if he’d be free later to swing by. He had a light day at work since his boss was out of the office. We discussed logistics since he worked in neighboring Jersey City. He could either take a cab or the light rail to my place. I gave him all his options, and we made a plan for him to come by around 4:00. I learned he was usually a top, but he was willing to bottom for me. This was extra exciting to me, because I had greater hope he’d be a more masculine man than most typical bottoms.

When he arrived, I was immediately taken back by how sexy he was in his work clothes. Then I noticed his incredible blue eyes. He looked just like Michael Ealy. He was very masculine and had on slacks, a dress shirt, a tie and an incredible smile. He wasn’t nervous about this at all, which I found to be very sexy. I led him into my room, and he immediately began undressing himself. I liked his matter-of-factness — His “I know the drill” style. I sat on the bed talking to him as he undid his tie, stripped off his shirt, removed his shoes and took off his pants.

Warning: The following may be too graphic for some. The man had an amazing body. I was very pleased. I could tell he takes good care of his body, and I was ready to ravage it. I wanted to touch every inch of his milk chocolate colored skin. I was still sitting on the bed in my gym shorts and tank top when he unexpectedly took off his boxer briefs as well. If I wasn’t already excited before, now I was rock hard. He walked toward me as I stood and removed my clothes as well.

He was a well gifted man, and once we were both fully undressed, we laid on the bed with him on top of me making out for a bit. He had amazing lips and knew how to use them. He had a strong body, and I enjoyed wrapping my arms around him. It was hot! We began to fool around and explore each other’s bodies.

Ater some making out and mutual oral pleasure, he got into position for me to use some of the techniques I’d read in Tickle My Tush. I knew he was normally a top, so I took the time to make sure he was fully ready and not rush things. I was enjoying myself as well. He seemed to be really enjoying himself as well from the sound of things.

That’s when I reached over the edge of the bed to my nightstand and grabbed a condom and some lube. He was face down on the bed in front of me, and the real fun was about to begin. I really enjoyed being up against his body and feeling him. He may not have been a bottom, but he sure was passionate in the bedroom and knew how to use his body. The sex was great, and eventually he finished. Seconds after that I too pulled back and finished. It was very hot! I grabbed a towel to clean up his back and the sheets below while we exchanged a few more kisses and expressed our enjoyment with each other.

Just as he undressed like he knew the drill, he began to get dressed. I learned he was heading back to work. I was surprised because he lived in the city. I assumed I was a pit stop on the way home. I felt bad for him he had to return to the office, but I didn’t regret inviting him over. I had a great time with him and would certainly be willing to have him swing by again sometime.

I walked him to the door and gave him another kiss goodbye. He was such a polite gentleman. I could tell him momma did a good job raising him. He thanked me, to which I replied, “Thank me!? Thank you! That was great! Anytime you want to do this again, you know how to reach me.” And with that, he was gone.

In the coming weeks, we’d try to do it again, but he was having a busy week. I could tell he was more than just a hot body, so after that, I asked him if he’d ever be interested in grabbing a drink sometime, but I got no response. Perhaps he will just remain a fond memory of a day off…

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Connecticut Cutie

Since I’ve been slacking, I’m going to make it up to you this week. Hope you don’t have a busy week, because you’ve got a lot of content coming your way!

For as long as I can remember, I was trying to nail down a date with a specific guy I met on He had the cutest smile that could light up a room (in case you haven’t noticed — and I’m just coming to this realization — I’m a sucker for smiles). He messaged a few times on a4a, but nothing ever materialized.

Months passed, but I could never seem to get him to meet me. He’d show a lot of interest, and then he’d disappear for a bit. Like the ocean, it was a constant ebb and flow with him. Finally, I just flat out gave up on him, and I didn’t hear from him again. When I broke up with Smiles, I went back through my saved messages and decided to hit him up and see if this time would be different.

Ironically enough, I learned he moved out of the city. He was originally from Connecticut, and he moved back home with his parents to save a little money. It seemed now he was interested in finally meeting me, just when it would be most difficult. We discussed many evenings as possibilities to grab a drink before we finally found a good day to grab lunch. Even then, we were playing things by ear.

Of course, this didn’t happen. He had to cancel on me. However, he proposed raincheck options. He agreed to meet me for a drink one night after work on his way to Grand Central to hop on Metro North to CT. I did some research to find a bar that would be convenient for both of us. We set a time, and I told him to meet me at Annie Moran’s by Grand Central Station.

I was already having reservations about this guy. Was this how it was going to be all the time. Quick rendezvous before he went home? I finished work before him, so I decided to walk there instead of taking a subway or cab. It was raining lightly, so I broke out my umbrella, however I wasn’t walking alone. I had Grindr to keep me company while I walked. I’m such a whore. I was already looking for the next date before this one even got off the ground. But, it’s what you gotta do if you have an aversion to gay clubs. I stood outside the bar paging through profiles while I waited for him to arrive. He too was walking from work, and he worked about fifteen blocks away.

Just before he walked up, he gave me a call. I told him where I was, and when he saw me he hung up. As he walked towards me, he wasn’t quite what I was expecting. It wasn’t a bad thing; he was just smaller than I originally thought. We greeted each other with a handshake, and with that made our way into the bar. He offered to buy me a drink since I’d been waiting for him. I was in charge of watching our bags and trying to find a piece of real estate to stand/sit and chat.

He came back with the beers, and we dove into conversation. It was slow going at first, going through the standard order of questions. As he talked about his job in fashion, I noticed a bit of flamboyance coming through. I wasn’t thrilled, but it was far from a deal breaker. He was certainly cute (although he looked much cuter in his pictures before he cut his hair shorter).

We talked about family, work, his moving back home, where I live and grew up, commuting nightmares, etc. It was nice. I couldn’t quite tell if he was all that into me. I was starting to think he thought I was too “straight” for him. But, as the conversation progressed, his body language began to change. I realized he may have just been nervous. Once he relaxed, I could tell, he was flirting a little heavier. After the first beer, he asked if I wanted another. I gladly accepted. I figured he was going to dictate the end of the date since he was the one who had to catch a train. He told me all about his curfew and how he’d have to take a taxi if it got past a certain hour; his parents would no longer pick him up.

We talked about watching sports on TV and participating in them. Somehow skiing came up, and I told him my story about the first time I skied and how well I did. When the group next to us lef their table I snatched it, while he got us a third round of drinks. The date was going well, or at least I thought so.

While we sat, he took the opportunity to touch my leg periodically. I love that. It’s a surefire sign of interest. I returned the favor as well. I could tell there was a lot of sexual energy between us as well. We were both feeling it. We talked more about what we do for fun when we’er not working. He told me about his old apartment and how he still comes back into the city to do rotating dinner with friends at their respectful apartments. There were slight awkward pauses, but that can be warranted on a first date.

When he finished his third beer, he told me he had to be running for his train. I thanked him for picking up the tab, and I told him I would pay next time. “If there can be a next time,” I added. I walked him to the doors of Grand Central and said goodbye. He was lingering, and I could tell he wanted a kiss. I wasn’t sure his position on PDA, but I decided to go for it. I wanted a kiss, so I was going to get one. I leaned in with my arm behind his back and gave him a nice quick kiss goodbye. We agreed to find time to see each other again soon as we parted ways.

On my ride home, I took the opportunity to text him and let him know I thought he was cute. He told he had a great time, but also told me how he’d locked himself in the bathroom on the train. It was a really funny story, and I was happy to hear he had such a great sense of humor and easy-going personality. He told me he wanted to grab lunch later in the week, and I agreed. We would figure out a time that worked for us both. I was already looking forward to it…

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Deep Pockets

Since deciding to end things with Smiles, I’d already been on one date and had one hookup. I certainly hit the ground running. I felt slightly guilty all this was going on before we even had the chance to formally end things, but then again, things never really formally began between us.

I wasn’t wasting any time either. I had been talking to a really nice guy on and set up a date to grab drinks with him after work Friday evening. It was a bit awkward because this was truly a blind date.

He had two pictures on a4a, but neither was clear and one didn’t include a face. When I asked him to send me a better face picture, he told me he didn’t like taking pictures of himself. Of course a red flag raised in my mind, but I had nothing to lose either. If I arrived and the guy was unacceptable, I was right next to the Port Authority bus terminal. I would be home in no time with little of my time wasted.

We agreed to grab drinks at Arriba Arriba in Hell’s Kitchen. It was conveniently located between his apartment and my office, and like I said, it wasn’t far from my transportation hub to go home.

As I left my office and began walking north, I was quite nervous. I’d never been on a true blind date before. I’d at least seen pictures of their faces, but this time I had no idea what he looked like. I joked with him, “Not gonna lie. Not sure what you look like… Haha.” It didn’t take him to respond: “Sorry mate. Don’t like taking pictures of myself. We will find each other… haha. You can ask me to leave once you see me and how ugly I am. Lol.” I didn’t care all that much at this point for the picture. I was already going in blind. I replied, “No apologies needed. Just tellin’ ya you’re gonna have to find me…”

I waited for him on the street corner. I put that time in a good location to good use. I surfed Grindr in HK for any new prospects. I know some may say that is classless considering I was waiting for a date, but I’m not in HK all that often anymore, and there is more talent in that neighborhood than where I work. He finally arrived and approached me. I asked how his trek to HK was, and we went inside to find a table.

When we learned we could only stand at  the bar since we weren’t ordering food, we decided to go elsewhere. I was at a bit of a loss because I hadn’t been in the neighborhood for some time. I didn’t know of a good place for us to go for a drink. Luckily, this guy was good on his feet. He suggested Eatery, and we were off.

We grabbed a seat at the bar and ordered a few rounds of drinks. We chatted for a long time about a myriad of things. The whole time, he kept his ball-cap on. Beyond the fact that he should know it’s bad manners, especially since he was an older gentleman, I was also worried there may be no hair under there. I’m not shallow, and looks are not everything to me. But, if he was balding without shaving his head, I wasn’t sure I could deal with that. (Smiles shaved his head and I was obviously okay with that).

We talked about our upbringings. He lived a bicoastal lifestyle, living in California and South Carolina. He also was shipped off to boarding school in Switzerland, where his grandparents lived. I grew up on a farm and went to public school. We had quite the education/socio-economic divide before. This is one thing I‘m not sure I am capable of getting past. I’m sure if it was the right guy, I could handle him coming from wealth, but it’s something that makes me quite uneasy. He came from money, and a lot of it.

I also learned he leads a very lavish lifestyle. He told me about his plans to purchase a house in Barcelona. He’d recently traveled there to scope out some places. He also told me about the $200,000.00 loan he gave a friend and was never paid back because the friend died and left his only possession, his apartment, to someone else. He told me about his lavish trips to the Caribbean islands recently. The list goes on.

Ironically enough, he wasn’t talking about all these because he was trying to impress me (Or at least it didn’t come off that way, which is fine). It simply came up in conversation or I coaxed them out with questions. I just felt uncomfortable with our socio-economic differences. I don’t really aspire to the position of kept man. I want someone who will share the financial burdens with me equally. I know a lot of people would love to find someone rich to marry, but money means very little to me when it comes to love. I think like I would constantly feel like less of a man if I had everything provided for me constantly, and I contributed far less to the relationship. Maybe this is something I will learn to get over in time, but for now, it makes me uneasy.

I learned how he continued to build his wealth and his professional relationship with a family in Canada. He told me about all the businesses he was involved in, and I started to worry he was another Smiles — Too much on his plate to commit to a real relationship. I also learned he wasn’t out to many people in his life, even after he’d been in a nine-year relationship with a man who left his wife for him. It ended when the man cheated on him while he was away on business. I wasn’t sure how I felt about him still being in the closet. He’d experienced too much and was far too old to still be in denial of his true self. I wasn’t sure I wanted a “project” at that age.

Drinks quickly turned into dinner. We stayed at the bar and made friends with the waitress. She was super sweet and very interested in chatting with us. Over our meal, we conversed more, and I learned we share a lot of the same morals and interests. We had similar outlooks in life.

He also became much more physical as the night progressed. He constantly had his hand on my leg rubbing my thighs and caressing the back of my knee. I started to do the same. Periodically, he would stand and give me a big ol’ bear hug. It was sweet. I liked knowing he was a passionate physical man. I needed that after Smiles constant distance.

Six hours later, we were ready to leave the bar. He decided to walk me to the bus. I thought when we exited the restaurant we’d exchange a kiss and go our separate ways. He was a true gentleman and walked me to the Port Authority. Not only that, but he walked me to my gate to wait for my bus and stood there waiting with me. It was midnight, and he was being a total sweetheart. He stood anxiously next to me as if he didn’t know what to do or how to close the date. He wasn’t really out, so I had a feeling a goodnight kiss in front of a large group of strangers was out of the question. When my bus arrived, he said goodbye and we agreed to be in touch.

As I rode home from the date, I wasn’t entirely sure what I thought of him. He became more attractive as the night went on, but I wasn’t sure if that was his personality or the alcohol stepping in for average looks.

I had a lot to think about. It was clear to me he was interested in me. The next day, he texted to see if I was interested in catching a movie that evening. I told him I had plans to hang with friends locally, but if they fell through, I’d let him know. When I decided to keep my plans, I texted him to let him know. He wasn’t all that concerned considering he had hopped on a flight to Boston to hang out with friends and go to a party. Yup, hopped on a flight that day. He obviously didn’t have a planned flight considering he asked me to go to the movies — Unless he was planning to fly me to Boston to do so…

That night, while out with my friends, I called Boston. He told me some of his new exciting war stories, and I told him of my trepidations about Deep Pockets. He told me I was nuts to write him off based on financial differences, so I decided to see where things went over the next week or so.

We texted a few times more, but interest wasn’t strong on either end as the text messages slowly came to an end. I was on to the next prospect…

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Merry Christmas Darling

December 25th — Christmas day. An important date on anyone’s calendar, but a date that carries more weight when one is dating another.

I’m quite the hypocrite, you see. I complain about the treatment of Valentine’s Day and New Year’s Eve as a special holiday for couples, when I really just fancy another holiday more. I just hate the weight put those two days, but for me, Christmas carries much more weight.

I woke Christmas morning and hopped the shower. I’m so tired of seeing pictures of me Christmas morning with greasy hair and scruff. The timetables are quite turned on their head since I was a kid. My sister and I would sit at the top of the stairs waiting for my father to come home from the morning duties at the farm. On top of that, we’d have to wait til he showered so we could stand to be in the same room as him. Nowadays, my sister and I are the last to wake. I knew I could leisurely shower, as my sister would still be asleep until someone came to wake her.

My family and I opened our presents and shared in the joy of Christmas. My mother made us sticky buns for breakfast while I brewed a pot of coffee.

My mother’s side of the family came to our house in the afternoon to celebrate the holiday. We always spent Christmas afternoon with my mother’s side of the family, but this year was a little different. My uncle and his recent wife were not attending because she was due to have a baby in January. One of my aunts and her husband always came for New Years, not Christmas. This would also be the first Christmas without both my grandparents. It was a little more solemn for me. The only attendees were my aunt, uncle, and three cousins.

I waited until a convenient time to sneak away so I could call Smiles. I wanted to make sure I wasn’t interrupting his Christmas plans. I went upstairs to my parents’ room to call him around 5:30. I got no answer. I’m not out to my extended family, so I then began to worry he would call back, and his caller id name would splash across  the television screen, as does everyone’s name who calls. I worried my extended family would see a man was calling me on Christmas. I’m not sure why I worried. I’m not ready to tell them just yet, and I suppose I didn’t want them to jump to their own conclusions before I had a chance to properly tell them.

Smiles did call back, but not until 10:00 after everyone had left. I took the phone up to my room and talked to him for quite some time. Our phone conversations never lasted long, so it was nice that he didn’t cut it short. He told me about everything he’d been doing with his family. It was nice to hear he finally relaxed around them and realized they loved him no matter what state his career was in. It was a nice Christmas present to get to chat with him and feel closer to him even though we were miles apart.

I had an agenda as well. There was a question I needed to ask before it was too late. I was very nervous to ask this question. I’d failed to ask it once already on the way to the airport. I was afraid of the disappointing answer I expected. In the middle of our conversation, I asked him, “Can we spend New Year’s together?” In a shocking reply without thought, Smiles said, “Sure. I was going to [my friend’s] for a party. I’ll just tell him I’m bringing a plus one.

We chatted a bit more before ending the conversation. It was quite a nice Christmas gift to know I had New Year’s plans. I was beginning to worry I would spend New Years on my couch alone. All my friends had plans that didn’t involve me. I was already picturing myself in bed at 7:00pm. Knowing I had plans was great, but knowing I would spend the night with Smiles made my night. I walked around the rest of the night with a smile from ear to ear.

I’m not sure why, but the man-made me happy. I was happy to know it was his lips I’d be locking when the ball dropped on 2011.

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Birthday Smiles

I’m not gonna lie. I was nervous. I don’t get nervous very often, but I wasn’t quite sure the situation I was walking into.

Smiles had his birthday at The Jimmy, a rooftop bar at the James Hotel in lower New York City. As nervous as I was, I set no expectations going in. I didn’t want to concoct all these crazy scenarios in my head, only to not see them play out.

The morning of his birthday party, I put A LOT of thought into what I was going to wear. I care about what I look like on a daily basis, but there was so much more going on here. I was nine years his junior, which meant many of his friends would also be a fair amount older than I am. I wanted to make sure I didn’t look like “who brought the child.” I tried on numerous permutations of clothing until I finally settled on one I felt comfortable with. I even consulted with my female roommate who works in the fashion industry. I wanted to look mature and smart, but I also didn’t want to look like I was trying too hard. (I’d like anyone to argue against me that I don’t over-think things too much).

I finished work that day at 5:00. Smiles and I had tentative plans to grab dinner before his party if I got out of work at a decent hour. When that time came, he was unable to keep those plans. He had a lot of things he still needed to do before the party, so he told me we would grab dinner with one or two others following the birthday gathering. I found something to snack on, and when the time came, I leisurely walked downtown to the hotel.

I had never been to there before. When I arrived I had no idea where I was going, which only heightened my anxiety. Finally I reached the rooftop bar and was able to find Smiles standing out on the deck by the pool. I walked up to him and was welcomed by an embrace, no kiss. Still early in our “relationship,” and not fully knowing the situation I was walking into, I didn’t initiate a kiss myself.

After a minute of small talk, I walked to the bar to grab an adult beverage for myself and a soda water for Smiles. I learned the night before he was not going to be able to participate in the libations due to the cleanse he was going through for his Ayawaska ceremony.

When I returned, he had a glass of champagne, which he felt obligated to sip since someone purchased it for him. I held on to his soda water for him until he needed it. He began introducing me to the friends he was speaking to at the time. He simply introduced me by my name, or a few times, “This is my friend,” and then my name. I had no expectations, but I was curious how I would be introduced. Certainly not boyfriend, but maybe as the guy he’s been seeing? No dice.

Early in the night, Smiles introduced me to one of his friends. This guy was younger than the majority of the crowd, and I made him buddy for the night. We hit it off and shared similar senses of humor. I knew Smiles would be preoccupied all night with his guests, so I prepared myself to be more social than I normally am. I didn’t want to be a wallflower or that creepy guy that lurks around and talks to no one. I was happy to have found someone to pal around with for the night.

Then the question I was dreading all night came up. My buddy asked me, “So how do you know [Smiles]?” I simply replied, “Recent friends.” We both smiled big, and he looked at me with a perplexed look. “That’s all I’m going to get?” he asked. I took a second, cocked my head to the side as I thought about it, and simply replied, “Yup.”

I then turned the question on him. Apparently they met on Fire Island and were just casual friends now. I wasn’t sure of the timing of this, but my instincts told me they hooked up at one point. To any normal guy, these things don’t pop in their head, but Smiles and I did meet on Grindr.

As more friends of the younger sect (all probably about five years older than me still) started showing up, my buddy and I began chatting with them. The question came up many more times asking how I knew Smiles. When others answered, there were a few “mutual friends,” but there was also a, “the old school way — Craigslist.” My brain was in motion. In my mind, my stock plummeted right then and there. Obviously he was still close with these guys if they were coming to his birthday party. Was he still seeing any of them. We were by no means exclusive. But, seeing these guys in person made me uncomfortable. However, I soldiered on.

It had been a while since I saw Smiles, so I circled back to him. He was starving. I offered to grab him something to eat just as he was simultaneously asking me to (keeping in mind his special dietary needs on top of the new ones for the cleanse). He pointed out “his” waitress for the night. He handed me his credit card, and I ordered him some tuna tartar tacos. When they arrived, he scarfed them down as to not miss a minute of his party. I was happy I was the one to which he turned to take care of him. He enjoyed them so much, he went back for seconds.

When I returned to my conversation circle, my buddy had departed. I was very disappointed because I wasn’t thrilled with anyone that was left. However, I continued to make small talk for the remainder of the night.

The time came to grab dinner. Smiles gathered a small group of about seven of us. We walked across the street to Cafe Noir and grabbed a table. Smiles sat at the head of the table, and I made sure I snagged the chair to his right.

The whole time at the restaurant, Smiles felt a little distant. I began to read far too much into that. I wondered if he was doing that because someone else would be offended if they saw him being affectionate towards me. Was there another “me” at the table? I was shocked I got an invite to his birthday gathering so early on. Who’s to say there wasn’t someone else in the exact same position?

I had my hand casually under the table and was rubbing his knee periodically. I wanted to see how he’d react. Nothing. I was a little hurt and confused.

I wanted to make a good impression on his friends in front of him. I was able to contribute greatly to the conversation over dinner. I attentively watch the news and stay up on current events, so I was actually the local authority on the topic of conversation. I wanted to prove to him I could hold my own.

When dinner ended, we walked outside in a large group. Many of his friends were going to smoke and invited him to join. He declined (the cleanse) and said he was going home. They also specifically asked me if I would come, but I too declined. I was hoping I was going home with Smiles. We split from the group and walked towards his place.

We weren’t a block away before he said, “Do you mind if I throw you in a cab instead of walking you up to the PATH since I don’t have a jacket and I’m freezing?” Apparently I would not be going home with him that night. I assumed he would invite me back to his place considering it was 1:30am. I even brought a spare shirt to work that morning for the following day should I be spending the night in the city. That wasn’t going to be the case.

At that point, I said goodbye to him on the street and began my trek up to the PATH. I was dreading my commute home since everything runs on a sparse schedule at that hour of the morning.

It also turned into a very long solemn walk because I was very disappointed with how the night played out. I felt so far away from him. A few nights prior, I thought I made so much excellent headway with him when I got an invite, but after the event, I had a very different picture in my head.

I tried not to let it get to me, but I can’t lie. It ate away at me for the rest of the night and into the next few days. I’m sure the fact that I had about six Johnnie Walkers didn’t help. At dinner the night before, he casually mentioned taking me to the opera that Saturday, so it was planned I’d see him again, and soon. But, it was mentioned so flippantly, I wasn’t sure I was officially invited. So many crazy ideas were floating through my head.

I was trying to follow friends’ advice to make myself a little less available to him. I was told I should make him seek me out, instead of the usual me seeking him out.

With that, I attempted to go about the rest of my week without driving myself insane, but that wasn’t going to be easy…

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