Posts Tagged New Year’s Eve

The Next Chapter

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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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Welcome Back?

Sorry for the late post… Had a very busy morning at work…

 

Since that fateful night on December 31st, 2011, I’ve had my eye on a certain someone. He was also attending the party I went to on New Year’s Eve.

Throughout the night, I talked to him a fair amount. He seemed like a really nice guy. For a solid twenty minutes, he and I were the only ones in the living room until more guests arrived. We got to know each other fairly well. My original thought on him was he was too young, but the more I got to know him, the more I learned how mature he was. Obviously age had nothing to do with maturity. I learned that the hard way with Smiles. I wasn’t going to rule him out just because he was 22. It also helped he was very attractive. He had both the jock look and the intelligent look about him. It was very sexy.

I didn’t want to jump the gun however. I somewhat embarrassed myself that night, and I wasn’t sure if he took notice. I decided to wait until the dust settled, especially since he knew Smiles though a mutual connection, the party’s host. Before my trip to San Francisco, I laid the groundwork. I informed him of my breakup with Smiles on Facebook. He sent his condolences.

Now that I was home, I was ready to dive in and see if I could ask him out on a date. I sent him a Facebook message that Tuesday: “Hey dude. I know this kinda comes out of left field, but I thought you were a pretty down-to-earth guy when I talked to you on NYE. I was wondering if you’d be interested in grabbing a drink sometime…?” I don’t know why, but I felt very vulnerable doing this. It’s crazy. He’s five years younger than me. Why was I so intimidated? All I could do was wait for an answer.

That night, he finally responded: “I am flattered, but I am kinda seeing someone. Happened right after New Years actually. Doesn’t mean we can’t chill as friends.” My hopes were dashed. I’d been plotting and planning this whole thing out over time to find out I missed the boat. I was kicking myself, but there was nothing I could do. It is what it is.

I needed to graciously respond, and secretly hoped I could meet him as friends, and he would realize how much of a catch I am. Maybe he’d let things fizzle out with the other guy. The door wasn’t closed, even though it was beginning to shut. There was still a glimmer of light — A glimmer of hope.

“All the good ones are… haha… but yes.. Chill as friends works for me too. Always lookin’ for friends as well. Shoot me your #, and maybe we can find a time to hang/grab a drink…” I responded.

Sadly, I wouldn’t hear back from him again. Three weeks later, I tried to see if he would be interested in meeting up, but I got no response. If he was truly interested, he would have responded. I was learning to stop pursuing men who didn’t return an interest in me. It never worked out in my favor, and it just caused me greater frustration. If there were interested, they’d be as excited as I was to message/call/text. It wouldn’t matter about waiting two days before calling. If someone is interested, they won’t care about any of that. They’ll just be thrilled you connected at all.

I was beginning to feel very disappointed and lonely. I had no promising prospects on the horizon. As time goes on, this dating thing is getting harder and harder. Everyone thinks gay dating in New York City is a cinch but far from it. It is so incredibly hard to date in this city. The gay men here certainly don’t do anything to make it any easier.

Warning: The following may be too graphic for some. In the meantime, I was back on local Grindr. I found a guy who lived very close to my apartment who wanted to be dominated and wanted to muscle worship me. I hardly think I’m the muscle worship worthy type, but if that was what he wanted, why not give it to him. I went over to his apartment. He was a bit awkward, but I wasn’t there to find love. I was simply there to satisfy a primal need. I thought I would be able to play the part. I thought I could say all the things a dominant top would say, but in the end, I think I sounded ridiculous. It’s not who I am. It wasn’t awful, but I don’t think either of us were getting out of it what we thought we would. It took me a long time to finish with him, as usual, which didn’t exactly make for a smooth evening. When I did, it was worth his wait. However, because of the nature of my climaxes, he had to run to the kitchen and grab a bottle of Resolve and a paper towel to clean up a spot on the carpet when I overshot his chest.

He came back to the bed and we laid next to each other chatting a bit. I learned he knew the other awkward hookup I had in the same building. Apparently they were friends. I specifically asked him not to mention me, which of course spurred a whole new line of questions. I knew this was going to come back to bite me in the a$s. It was only a matter of time before the 40 year-old started messaging me again.

With that, I got dressed and made my way home on my walk of shame. Luckily it was cold out and it helped me clear my head. What was I doing? This isn’t me. This isn’t what I’m looking for. Why am I doing this? Yes, we all have needs, but I should be putting more energy into finding the right guy instead of Mr. Right Now.

I thought about all the other guys floating around out there on my roster. Was it even worth it to revisit with long-time online friend after our failed date? Maybe the southern boy I was chatting with would finally find the time to meet up. The guy who came back on the roster after almost a year was still a possibility. I needed to plan drinks with him. My Asian neighbor friend from Grindr was still asking me to grab dinner sometime, but he doesn’t drink, so I didn’t see us being very compatible. There was the very sexy, very compatible guy I found on Adam, but he wasn’t responding to any of my messages anymore. I needed to cut him from the list.

I needed to get back in shape and concentrate on building a better me. Ironically enough, I was hitting the gym regularly again. For so unknown reason, I was looking for N there every time I went. I don’t know why, but something inside me wanted to see him there, even though I wanted nothing to do with him. I needed not only to close that chapter, but also to toss the book to someone else and forget about it.

I was spinning my wheels. I was constantly Grindring, and it was getting me nowhere. I was still feeling a little angry for letting Smiles take advantage of me. I thought back to all my relationships and realized how each of them let me down. N, San Francisco, Smiles… I didn’t need any of them anymore. They brought nothing positive to my life. It was time to drop that baggage. The only one I wanted to keep around was Broadway. Since we’ve broken up, we’ve managed to remain friends. I turn to him for advice, and he is always there for me. He’s a good friend and I truly appreciate him. I can’t understand why they all couldn’t be that way. I’m thrilled we’re still friends and want that with all my exs, but if they weren’t going to make that possible, so be it.

I needed to get to a better place. I wasn’t in a dark place, but I was certainly stuck in this constant gray area. I was walking around in a cloud. I was wasting my life away searching for a guy in all the wrong places. If I wasn’t happy, I wasn’t going to find anyone. I just needed to figure out how to change things. It wasn’t going to be easy…

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Closure

Saturday finally arrived. Smiles so graciously found time in his busy schedule to meet with me to discuss “us.” I wasn’t in a combative mood, but I was resolved in the notion that I wouldn’t be a doormat for him anymore. I had a lot of things I wanted to say to him, but I didn’t rehearse them in my head. I wanted my emotions to speak for me.

I knew how I felt, and I knew how he let me down. I was so disappointed in him for simply trying to back away from our three-month relationship instead of just speaking to me like a man. I was embarrassed for him.

We decided to meet at Doma Coffee Shop. Ironically, it’s pretty much where our relationship started (after a failed date at Employees Only). I had a few places to go in the city that day, so I took the motorcycle in. It was a nice enough day I could get away with it with a few layers.

After I parked my bike and walked toward the shop, I noticed Smiles was just arriving. We shared an awkward hello. I think he may have been going in for a kiss, but I gently turned and just gave him a hug. I had no interest in giving him any more of my affections. I’d already given him enough.

We went inside, and he ordered his coffee and began to pay. I wasn’t expecting him to buy my coffee, but it was interesting he didn’t even offer. He found a table for us to sit at while I ordered my coffee.

I joined him at the table, and we awkwardly chatted about work for a bit. Surprise, surprise — Our conversation revolved around his job once again. I was trying not to enter this meeting bitter or with a superior attitude. After all, it was a week earlier I was kissing another man in front of him. I wasn’t above him in any respect.

He talked about his business partner who was in the news at the time. Because I stay well-informed, I knew a lot of the story about the man’s current situation that Smiles did not. So when he was complaining about the man not getting back to him, I informed him of the news of the day and his new partner’s involvement in it. He was shocked to learn some of the details I knew. We were about to break up, and I was still keeping Smiles up-to-date on the goings on in the world at the time.

When that conversation got stale, Smiles kicked off the “us” conversation. He led with his thinking on the “situation.” He told me he recognized he wasn’t putting as much of himself into the relationship as he could have and how that wasn’t fair to me. He pointed out his priority of focusing on his career currently, and his schedule didn’t allow for a relationship. He acknowledged the possibility of his being partly responsible for my actions on New Year’s Eve. Over more conversation, I realized he thought I might have been acting out or doing it on a subconscious level.

I reiterated for him how little of the end of the night I remembered. I was on the verge of tears as I explained this to him. I told him I never would have done it had I been sober. I told him I didn’t initiate the kissing, but I also didn’t stop it immediately. I told him that I would like to think I stopped it relatively quickly, but I have no idea because I don’t remember a single moment of it. I think Smiles wanted to know the motivation for the make-out session. He half asked a question and then stopped when he again realized I didn’t recall any of the end of that night. I apologized emphatically and acknowledged how horrible what I did was. I choked up as I told him it was one of the worst things I’d ever done in my life. I could see that it did in fact bother him. The morning after, he told me he was okay with it, but now, I knew he wasn’t.

Sadly, it made me feel a little better knowing it upset him. It showed that maybe he, on some level, actually did care about me, even if just a little bit. At least I knew he felt something toward me.

I transitioned into more conversation of how we would move forward. I told him I was pretty much on the same page as him as far as ending our relationship. I told him I wasn’t getting enough of what I was looking for from him, and it was a direct result of his priorities.

I told him how hurt I was that he would just drop me after three months. I really stressed that point. I told him I felt so disrespected that he would just stop texting and calling like a switch, as if I wouldn’t notice or I would be okay with it. It really did hurt, because in my mind it nullified our relationship. It showed he didn’t respect it enough to give it the attention it needed, even if it was coming to a close. He told me it was because he needed time to think about what he really wanted and how he wanted to proceed. I told him he didn’t need to cut me off while he thought about it, and he acknowledged his fault.

In the end, we were fine. The whole conversation lasted roughly a half hour. He was on task and had things to do, so when the conversation was winding down, he stood and said, “Shall we go?”

We walked outside and began to part ways. I turned back and said goodbye. I also told him to call me to grab dinner sometime. Just because we weren’t dating didn’t mean we couldn’t be friends. He responded, “Sure thing sir.” I thought that was an odd response, but I’ll take it.

It was an amicable breakup. I’m not sure if I got the closure I needed. I still felt like he used me and doubted if he ever really cared for me. I never got an answer if my suspicions were true. I wondered if he’d been with other men while dating me. I wondered if he met someone else. All questions I would never get answers to. I think that is the hardest part about a breakup — The blow to the ego. We take fault and feel there is a flaw in ourselves, even if that’s not the case at all.

I would recover from this breakup relatively quickly, but I certainly would walk away with a few new scars and a few pieces of luggage to my baggage pile. I would try not to let it affect me too greatly, but then again, you can only control your emotions so much.

Hopefully, as one door was closing, another would soon be opening…

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Breakfast 2.0

I continued my walk of shame north on Seventh Avenue. I was still dressed for a night out from New Year’s Eve the night before. I didn’t care if anyone judged me. I was in my own world. No one else existed that morning. I was utterly alone in a city of millions.

I continued to try to reach Boston through text and by phone, but no dice. Since I was going to be near his apartment, I thought I would reach out to Broadway. At the very least, I could kill time with a visit until Boston finally decided to get back to me. I called him, and he picked up after a few rings. I asked him what he was up to and told him I wanted to swing by for a visit. He was still in bed and said he needed a few minutes, but he told me to come by. I told him I was walking from the 20s, so there was no rush for him to get out of bed.

When I arrived, I walked right up to his apartment. It was like old times — A blast from the past. It’d been months since I’d been there, but it felt like yesterday. I knocked on the door, and he greeted me. I came in and sat while he finished getting ready for the day. We sat on the couch, and he asked how my New Years was. “Tell me stories. You always have good stories to tell me,” he added. I told him what I did the night before. I gave him the cliff notes because I didn’t want to belabor the point. The wound was still fresh and bleeding. He shrugged it off and suggested we go to the diner for breakfast. I kinda loved that about him. He knew how I felt about it, so he did his best to brush it under the rug.

I agreed to go to breakfast, but I told him I’d already eaten. I would keep him company, and we could catch up. It’d been since the summer since I’d seen him.

Breakfast was nice. He told me about the party he went to the night before and all the guys he was pursuing. As usual, he was very passive about it. “I dunno if I really want to see him again…” he’d say. He’d find something completely superficial to judge the guy about so he wouldn’t have to put in the effort.

Since Smiles’ birthday gathering, we gained a mutual friend. We learned this from Facebook. The guy who I palled around for the night had been at the party Broadway went to the night before. They interacted, but it wasn’t a positive interaction. Broadway was remotely interested in this guy, but apparently he gave him the cold shoulder. This really turned him off, but I assured him my birthday buddy was a really great guy. If I’d been single that night, I probably would have asked him for his number. Broadway wasn’t sold.

Ironically enough, Smiles and I were almost at this party. It wasn’t until Smiles learned of the over-priced charge to enter that he decided we were just going to the house party. It was crazy to realize Broadway, Smiles and I were all swimming in the same circles in New York City. Apparently the gay community was pretty tight, even in a big city. It put it all into perspective. It also made me realize the picture of myself I painted when I let a stranger suck on my neck and face in front of the guy I was dating.

I wasn’t feeling very talkative, so I did a lot of question asking and listening. When Broadway finished his breakfast, he asked for the check. He wasn’t feeling well, so he wanted to go back to bed. I checked my phone, and Boston still hadn’t gotten back to me. I guess I wouldn’t see him before he left the city.

I walked Broadway back to his apartment and said goodbye. Something I learned from him was it is okay to kiss an ex on the lips when you see them. When I first came out, I was fascinated by how often gay men kissed each other. This was completely foreign to me and not something I was comfortable with. Even if I travel in a big gay pack, I don’t think I would be kissing my gay male friends. But, I felt comfortable kissing a man who I had kissed over a hundred times. So we exchanged a kiss and a hearty hug before I made my way to Port Authority to snag a bus back to Hoboken.

While I walked to the bus, I texted Smiles: “Since I have the day off tomorrow, can we do something fun?” I was hoping I could do some damage control and get us back on a happy track.

It wasn’t long before I received a simple text in response: “I have to work tomorrow.” I was already picturing a Monday afternoon with me sinking deep into the couch by myself in front of the TV. I was very disappointed, but it’s not like I had anything to say. I was the one who royally messed up here. I was going to have to deal with the consequences.

Later that evening, I talked to Boston on Facebook. I told him what I did and how things played out. We didn’t talk long, but promised to come back to the topic when he had more time.

I had time all day to assess the situation. Why wasn’t Smiles mad? I realized I wasn’t happy about this. It hurt even more. It showed me quite clearly how little I meant to him. I didn’t see any way to recover from this. I was pretty sure our relationship was over. And, since I’m pretty much a high schooler in the gay dating world, I hopped back on adam4adam.com and Grindr that night to see what was out there. I wasn’t throwing my line into the sea, but I could at least swim around and see what kind of fish were out there…

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The Fog Lifts

New Year’s Day, Smiles woke me in the morning. I was in a complete fog. I immediately began wracking my brain to remember how the night ended. I knew we had sex, and once again, I could only remember a tiny flash of the intimate moment we shared the night before but no more than a flash. I could remember being p*ssed at Smiles on the walk home for walking five paces in front of me. And, I could remember smoking on the balcony.

I had now realized I completely wiped my phone, so anyone who texted the night before would certainly not be receiving a response from me.

Smiles was up and about walking around the apartment. I searched the room for my briefs, but couldn’t locate them. He came in the room and retrieved them for me from deep within the sheets. I had a massive headache, so he gave me some pain killers and water. It was sweet of him to take care of me in my still inebriated/hungover state. I asked Smiles about leaving the party, and he recounted the details for me. It was clear he wasn’t thrilled about it, but he also wasn’t holding it against me. The he uttered, “And I haven’t even gotten to the fun part yet!” he added.

He was going to leave it at that. I told him he couldn’t do that to me. He had to tell me what else I did. He asked if I really wanted to know, and I insisted. This is the “fun” part:

Apparently, the advances made by the guy on the balcony didn’t end there. Clearly he was persistent, and clearly I was vulnerable and well intoxicated. Smiles recounted a scene for me that drained all the blood from my face. “[The guy who sang my praises to Smiles] came up to me and asked me if you were okay. When I told him you were fine, he replied, ‘Are you sure? Because he’s making out with someone else on the couch.” I nearly passed out. I couldn’t believe it. Was I really capable of that? Could I really do that to another person after witnessing N do that to me? Was I that heartless?

I racked my brain trying to remember any bit of a make-out session on the couch. A vague image came to mind of this man kissing all over my neck. I remember asking him to stop, but also couldn’t remember putting up a strong fight. I’m not sure if my mind was making this up or if it was reality. Either way, my actions were deplorable.

I froze. I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know what to say. I couldn’t believe he was still speaking to me. I couldn’t believe he still had sex with me that night after that. I was mortified. What was going on? My head was spinning!

“What did you do? Did you come over and stop it?” I asked. He shook his head no.

“[Smiles], I don’t know how to apologize for that. I can’t believe I did that! I can’t believe your still speaking to me right now. I can’t believe you didn’t leave me there. I don’t have words for how sorry I am. I don’t remember any of that. At all!” I plead.

“It’s okay. You were drunk. It was New Year’s Eve. Don’t worry about it,” he said.

Don’t worry about it!? I made out with another guy in front of you, and you tell me don’t worry about it?! Should I be happy you’re not that upset about it, or should I be even more hurt that you’re not phased by it. “I still don’t know what to say. I can’t believe I did that,” I added. He just looked back at me with a face that said, “Yeah. You did that.” I wanted to slither away into darkness and forget the world.

We continued to get ready for brunch and walked out the door. As we walked, all I could think about was how disrespectful I was to the man I’d grown so fondly of. Sure we had our moments where I questioned our relationship, but what I did was unforgivable. I would not have been able to forgive myself for what I did. When N did it to me, it signaled the end of our relationship.

I did this in front of his friends — Many of which I told I was dating Smiles. I made myself look like a complete whore, and I made Smiles look like a fool. The man who was singing my praises was the man who witnessed my greatest downfall. This was one of the worst things I’ve ever done in my life, and there was no making up for it and no undoing it.

I continued to tell Smiles how bad I felt about the whole thing. He was trying to make conversation and ignore the subject, but it was all my mind could fixate on. “It’s fine. Stop worrying about it,” he kept saying. We ate breakfast and talked about a few things I can’t recall because my mind was completely elsewhere. I was crushed. I almost had to leave the restaurant, Extra Virgin — His favorite restaurant, so I could go outside and cry.

It was a gorgeous day, and Smiles told me he wanted to go for a bike ride. He asked what I had planned for the day. I couldn’t think. I had no plans. I was hoping to spend the day with Smiles, but clearly that wasn’t an option. I decided I was going to try to meet Boston before he left the city, even if it was at the bus stop. I had to tell him what I did. I knew he wouldn’t look favorably on me, but I also knew he wouldn’t judge me. I left Smiles with a kiss as he walked south, and I turned and walked north. I decided to walk off my disgrace.

As I pounded the pavement from 11th street to 43rd, I tried reaching Boston. He wasn’t answering the nearly twenty-five calls I made to him. I needed him. I needed someone to talk to. I decided to hit up my roommate and see what she was doing. Maybe we could curl up on the couch and watch a movie to help make the day pass by. I talked to her for a bit, but she had plans. I couldn’t bring myself to tell here what I did. I was too ashamed. I would tell her later.

I decided to call Smiles during my walk. I wanted to make sure he knew how broken up I was about it if we were to survive this. I reiterated how bad I felt and how wrong I was as I tried to choke back tears and a vocal quiver. “Listen. It’s okay. It’s in the past. It was New Year’s Eve. You were drunk. That was 2011. This is 2012. Don’t worry about it. It’s alright,” he assured me. I think he realized how upset this made me, and that was all I could do. My fate was in his hands…

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To Kiss or Be Kissed

Goodbye 2011 and all the hardship that came with it. 2011 was a tough year, and I was ready to kiss it bon voyage.

New Year’s Eve had arrived, and so did Boston. He came to New York City to celebrate with some friends. They were staying at a hotel in Hell’s Kitchen and going to a bar to ring in the new year. We’d been in close contact about meeting up while he was visiting for some time.

We made plans to meet that night before I met Smiles for dinner, however these plans would be broken. As the night’s close grew nearer, Boston realized he wouldn’t have time, so we agreed to try to meet on New Year’s Day.

Instead, I killed time spying on my neighbors across the street with my roommate before venturing into the city for the night. It appeared we’d discovered two ‘mos living over there after some close examination. However, their blinds have been drawn now for quite some time, hindering further “study.”

Smiles and I had been texting about our plan for the evening. We were going to grab dinner somewhere along the way to the party on the Lower East Side, but when he tried to make a reservation for the restaurant downstairs, he realized the difficulty that may pose. Instead he proposed to make beef stroganoff for the two of us at his apartment. I wasn’t thrilled with the idea because I was looking forward to a romantic dinner for two, but it would have to suffice. (Now you can begin to see why I hate New Years).

After we finished eating, we took a cab to the apartment. Smiles spent a good portion of it on the phone with his mother. I’d already made all my new year’s calls on the walk to Smiles’ apartment from the PATH. I didn’t want to be on my phone the rest of the night trying to call people so I got it out of the way before starting our night together. I thought what he was doing was rude. When he hung up, you could cut the tension in the cab with a knife. Neither of us had anything to talk about. The night was not off to a good start.

We arrived at the party and were greeted by a very nice gentleman who was not the host. He was one of the guys Smiles had gone to Six Flags months earlier (whom he didn’t remember without a reminder). A trip I wasn’t invited on and still bitter about. When the host emerged from the shower, Smiles volunteered to run to the corner store to get necessary supplies. Apparently he wasn’t the best of hosts (or so said Smiles). He asked if I wanted to join him or stay and made sure I was okay with staying.

I took the opportunity to get to know the guy who greeted us while I waited for Smiles to return and more guests to arrive. More people joined us in waves, and it was a pleasure to meet them all. I sat on the couch talking to one in particular for some time. He seemed like a really great guy. Later in the night, I would learn from Smiles that this guy told him how great I was after learning we were together. “He had nothing but glowing praises for you,” Smiles divulged.

A majority of the night, Smiles wasn’t paying attention to me. He was far more concerned with standing in as host. He made sure everyone had a full drink at all times, including me. I had to tell him to cool it because I was getting too drunk too fast. I don’t think he realized I was also filling my own drinks besides what he brought me. I was making plenty of conversation with a lot of the other guys at the party in the meantime. Ironically enough, we were talking about dating. I was giving some of the younger guys my “fatherly advice” from my experiences, which is absurd considering I’m out less than two years. I did all this without mentioning my blog once, no matter how much I wanted to direct them to it. Smiles was still unaware I was writing OneGayAtATime.

When the ball was about to drop, the whole crowd gathered around the TV in the host’s bedroom. Smiles asked if I wanted to pile in, but I told him my lack of interest in watching the ball drop. We huddled by the door as Smiles snapped pictures of the group from the doorway. When 2012 arrived, he turned to me and laid a nice kiss on me. When he pulled back, he went in a second time. It was one of his better kisses and it was sweet, but I’m not sure it could make up for the lack of attention I received all night. It was like we were at the same party, but we certainly weren’t together.

As I talked to the other guys, I felt like I was revealing a big secret that Smiles and I were dating. No one knew, and it was as if I was letting the cat out of the bag. I felt uncomfortable about that.

The music came up and the furniture was pushed aside. The living room was now a dance floor. Smiles and I have never gone out dancing together, so I was relishing the opportunity to have a little fun with him. I started dancing with him, and he started laughing at me. It wasn’t completely insulting, but it was also a slightly belittling. I think I was making him uncomfortable (and I am not a bad dancer by any means!).

When I went to refill my drink, Smiles was in the middle of the group dancing up a storm just as I’d seen him bust a move in Central Park. I was hurt. He didn’t want to dance with me, but he did want to dance with everyone else. When I looked down, my cup had only ice in it. So I made the conscious decision to drink away my sorrows. Johnny Walker Black and I huddled in the kitchen and had a good time together.

When someone asked if I wanted to go smoke on the balcony, I jumped at the opportunity. When I got out there, there was a small group including the guy who told Smiles how great I was.

This is where the night gets foggy. There was a guy who was late to the party who was fawning all over me from that point on. He told me I was gorgeous and paid me more compliments than I can remember. I vaguely remember pointing out to him that I was dating Smiles, but that didn’t stop him. He kept laying it on thick.

From that night, the next thing I remember was walking home behind him p*ssed because I was chasing after him. We weren’t walking together. I was walking about ten paces behind him.

Smiles woke me in the morning. I was naked, so I knew we had sex, and I had an uncomfortable moist feeling between my cheeks, so I knew I was the bottom. I thought back and could remember flashes of sex from the night before, but I couldn’t remember anything about leaving the party.

After I searched for my underwear and my dignity, neither of which I could find without assistance, I picked up my phone to check messages. Apparently in my drunken stupor, I wiped out my phone trying to get into it too many times with a failed password. It was back to factory settings.

I told Smiles, and he recounted the walk home. It involved me arguing profusely that we were headed in the wrong direction (Isn’t that ironic). It involved me tapping a French woman on the shoulder and welcoming her to the country. And it involved Smiles being annoyed by my antics.

“And I haven’t even gotten to the fun part yet!” he added.

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Not Every Day is Eventful

After I learned my lesson with cheap haircuts and learned how much more I can spend on top of the original cost to have them fixed, I decided to pay more attention to who was cutting my hair.

The opportunity arose for me to purchase a Living Social for the New York Shaving Company for a haircut, a shave and free shaving cream for $36. I jumped at it because I was about due for a cut. My hair had grown in considerably since Smiles and I had the barber fix it in Brooklyn. The location of this establishment was also an added bonus — Not far from Smiles’ apartment.

I decided to get a new cut before New Year’s Eve, so I made an appointment for Wednesday night following work. I figured I would get cleaned up and then visit Smiles before heading home for the night. We’d texted during the day and I told him of my plan to get a cut and shave and told him I would try to swing by after since I was in the neighborhood.

I have to say, I was really impressed with the place and they did a great job. I was quite uneasy with the cut immediately following because it was so short. It was shorter than the last time, which was a bit of a change for me to get used to. Now I was going even further. It also made me realize the chill outside since I was far less insulated from the bitter cold that night.

As I walked through the streets of SoHo carrying a side table in a large box I’d ordered and shipped to work, I pulled out my cellphone and called Smiles to see if he was home. My hand and face froze in the bitter cold as we I waited for the phone to ring, but I got no answer. After two short rings, it went to voicemail. I knew he’d “sidebarred” me.

However, I was upset for not, because a minute later, he called me back. He apologized for hitting the wrong button when picking up the phone. He was trying to run around to get ready because he was meeting a friend for drinks. I tried to see if he’d be home for another five minutes, even if all I got to do was say hi and give him a kiss, but alas, he was already running late. I was disappointed I wouldn’t get to see him. He did promise to call me later that night before going to bed.

I course corrected for the PATH and made my way back to Hoboken, but not before texting a few other friends to see if they’d meet me for dinner at the Village Pourhouse in Hoboken. I had a Groupon I needed to use up, and it was late. I didn’t want to go home and cook dinner. I also didn’t want to be alone. After not getting to see Smiles, I felt a little lonely.

I quickly stopped home and dropped off the table. I said hello and goodbye to my roommates and made my way to the Pourhouse. D and K decided to come meet me for dinner. It was nice to see them and catch up. I hadn’t seen them in some time.

After dinner, I went home and watched TV. The time came for me to go to bed, but it would be without a phone call from Smiles.

I went to work the next day and learned Smiles was attending the opera that morning from his Facebook status. Considering he took me to the opera a few weeks earlier, I was curious who he was there with. I started to become suspicious, but I had no grounds.

Then I felt quite guilty when he called me during intermission to see if I was available to step away from “work” to grab lunch. I was thrilled. He never did this sort of unplanned thing. I told him it wouldn’t be an issue at all, and we picked a place to meet. It looked like my prayers of him finally asking me on a date were answered.

I decided to take him to Kyo Chon. I’d gone there before on a friendly lunch with a guy I’d met on Grindr and rather enjoyed it. It wasn’t that great this time around. I could tell Smiles wasn’t all that happy with it either. His wings were a little hotter than he could handle. He started sweating in front of me.

After we finished out lunch, Smiles was on the lookout for ice cream. He pulled out his phone to search for it. We walked to a Baskin Robins, but he wasn’t thrilled with the idea. I told him about the Ben & Jerry’s in Macy’s Herald Square, and he was much more content with the idea of that as long as time allowed for me to continue to be away from work.

I took him on a mini tour of Macy’s after we got ice cream to scope out some of the areas. I’d always liked the 1½ floor there. It’s the “designer” floor, and the people there have always taken great care of me, acting almost as a personal shopper. He was turning his nose up at the commercialism of it as if they weren’t “real” designers. I don’t buy all my clothes there, but to me, all I needed was the Ralph Lauren section to keep me happy.

Smiles was talking about his need to revisit his energy specialist, but he was debating whether to go home and go later because he needed a nap. He called to see the hours and learned he’d have to kill an hour somewhere or come back up to midtown later. I invited him to come up to my office to kill time. I wanted to show him our penthouse in the shadow of the Empire State Building, but he had decided on the nap.

I said goodbye to him and he hopped on the subway south.

That night I went out with friends. I thought about Smiles while at the bar and decided to text him, but got no response. I was being a good wingman to a friend that night, so I concentrated my efforts on that.

He texted me back in the am to tell me he stayed in for the night studying. He planned to go shopping for the day, and I didn’t hear from him for the rest of the day. I called him because I wanted to discuss our plans for New Years, but I got no answer. We messaged each other on Facebook briefly that night to tell me he was going out with a friend. I still didn’t know quite what we were going to be doing to close 2011. I didn’t need to know for any reason, but I was curious what was in the plans.

This was another night he’d be going out with his friends and I mine. I started to think about that. He’d never invited me out for his boys’ night out. He never asked about my nights out in Hoboken with my friends. If we were in a relationship, we’d be meeting each other’s friends at this point, but that wasn’t the case. It seems we weren’t in a relationship at all. All the pieces were coming together, but I wouldn’t get the final piece until New Year’s Eve. That would be my gauge on how to proceed. It appeared my timeline had a new distinct end. Or would it be a beginning?

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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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