Posts Tagged progress

Things Heat Up

In the summer, my company offers half day Fridays. It’s an amazing perk, and I take full advantage.

GroceryShoppingI live for my weekends, so if there was anything I could do to make them better, I did. I utilized my free Friday afternoons to run my errands so Saturday and Sunday would be all mine. I tried to clean and do laundry, run to the grocery store, etc.

This Friday, I was very successful getting through my list. I stopped by my allergist for my weekly shot. Since I left work at 1:00, I decided to eat lunch at McDonalds (never a good decision). While sitting there, I noticed two men walking holding hands across the street. I was a bit surprised. I immediately thought, “We do that in Hoboken?!” In the six years I’d lived in Hoboken, only once before had I seen two men holding hands. I was thrilled to see the courage and the progress.

When I finished eating, I swung by the salon for a haircut and hit up the gym to lift and swim. After my swim, I called CK from the roof deck of the gym. Although we made tentative plans for Saturday night, we hadn’t discussed plans for that night. It was our anniversary. He automatically assumed I was spending the night in the city since he came to Hoboken the previous night. I was not under the same impression, so I explained I did not want to spend both Friday and Saturday night away from place. I told him to pick one. This of course turned into an argument. He complained about the trek to Hoboken, and I resented this. I’d made the trip back into the city to be with him many times after a long day at work, and I did it without complaint. He always made it seem like torture when he had to traverse the Hudson River. The argument grew more and more heated until he threatened not to come at all. I wasn’t having any more of this, so I hung up on him.

Rooftop Phone CallI was tired of this game we were playing. I didn’t want to argue anymore. In addition, my testosterone was already flowing after a solid workout, and my blood was beginning to boil with every complaint.

After I got home and a few minutes passed, he called back (He always was good at playing the role of peacemaker). He told me he’d come to Hoboken, but it wouldn’t be until later. We discussed the argument calmly, and both apologized for getting out of hand. He explained he had assumption I was coming there all day. The idea of him trekking out to Hoboken on a bus wasn’t all that thrilling to him after having those expectations all day. I explained how one of us would always have to make the trek to the other. There was nothing we could do about that, at least for now, so the more fair and balanced we could make it (and the less complaining), the less burdensome it would feel. He agreed.

Since I had a fair amount of time before his arrival, I continued with my to-do list and swung by Shop Rite and Target. When I finished and returned home, I was still a bit depressed from the bad news I’d received at work that week, so I plopped down on the couch and watched TV until CK arrived.

WatchingTVHours passed, and I heard nothing from him. I felt he was dragging his feet and as every minute passed, I grew more and more annoyed. He told me he had to shower before coming over. He obviously wasn’t still showering. I was sure he was just lounging about, which is fine. But I wanted him to be lounging about with me.

This wasn’t just any night after all. We were supposed to be “celebrating” our three-month anniversary. I finally got so annoyed I sent him a text: “Maybe tonight would be better spent apart. I’m in a really cranky mood now.” It was already past 10:00. At this point he was coming over to sleep and not much else. He called and told me he was already in a cab on the way to the PATH. I encouraged him not to doddle before saying goodbye. I needed to cool off before he arrived, or it was a guaranteed fight the moment he arrived. It seemed all the smallest things so easily got under my skin. I was all wound up. Work was stressing me out. Life was stressing me out…

Finally, at 11:00, he arrived, flowers in hand to make up for the botched night. Honestly, I would have preferred he came three hours prior, but the gesture was utterly sweet. And, I forgave/thanked him immediately. I tried to be cool with everything and have a nice time with him since it was a special night. There was no use being miserable.

It wasn’t really his fault either. Work made me a miserable son-of-a-b*tch. He asked me how my day was. I further explained my new predicament and fretted over the possibility of being unemployed in the near future. I was very pessimistic about the whole situation.

DepressedI certainly will hand it to him. He remained positive and tried to assure me everything would be fine. This is why I loved him so much. NO matter how much of a Debbie Downer I can be, he always picks me up and dusts me off. In spite of my pessimism, he was always optimistic.

We also learned to collaborate professionally. We were helping each other bolster up our positions in the social media realm of our jobs. He taught me things I didn’t know about, and through my recent vigorous research, I taught him a thing or two as well.

When I’d had enough talk of my job situation, we agreed to order Chinese food for dinner. I was too tired to cook. While we waited for the food to arrive, we smoked to relax.

He told me about his day at work and the stellar presentation he delivered to the powers that be. He was proposing a new initiative that was well received by the decision-makers. I was happy for him, but also jealous. Sure, I realize how horrible that is to say, but I’m nothing if I’m not honest.

The rest of the night was much better than the evening had begun. Eventually, I forgot all about our fight and my emotions were back in check. We ate our food while watching TV in each other’s arms on the couch.

GeneralTsosI finished eating, but CK was still chowing down as he poured some of the General Tso’s sauce onto on his plate. After a few minutes, he started fretting. Apparently, he’d eaten something quite hot. After investigating, I realized he ate a whole chili pepper. Tears were streaming down his face as he rinsed his mouth over and over again in the sink. Next he tried a glass of milk and a few pieces of bread. That didn’t seem to be helping. He even took to wiping his tongue with a napkin. Nothing helped. It was all I could do to maintain my composure, but after a while I couldn’t hold back. His face wasn’t the only one wet from tears. I was hysterically laughing so hard I was crying.

After a good laugh, interspersed with failing advice, I consulted Google for a better solution. We’d tried everything in the book. When I told him someone suggested eating another one, he looked like he was going to throw me out the third-story window. I was still getting a chuckle out of all this but certainly at his expense. It was torture for him, but he had no idea the gift he was giving me. He delivered exactly what I needed that night — A good laugh.

Eventually the pain subsided, and he forgot all about the incident. As our eyelids grew heavier and heavier, we moved to my bedroom for the night. As tired as we were, our appetites weren’t quite satiated.

We were pinning each other down for the count before we counting sheep. As hot as things were for him during dinner, things in the bedroom were even hotter. We tired ourselves out between the sheets before he finally drifted off to slumber wrapped in my arms. That night taught me something very important. No matter how much we fought, this was the man I loved, and there was no changing that.

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Sunshine and Smiles

Before you jump into today’s post, I’d like to bring to your attention a story a reader shared with me last night. Being the hopeless romantic I am, I was so touched by their story. Check it out here.

Back to our regularly schedule program:

When CK and I got home after a long night out on the town, we argued about the timing of the following morning. I was insistent we would keep our plans, or I would leave him behind. I wasn’t going to flake on Boston because he wanted to stay out at the bar that night. I realized we weren’t making much progress, and we were only staying up longer by arguing, so I set my alarm and climbed into bed.

The next day, I woke up and started reaching out to Boston. Much to my chagrin, he wasn’t responding. I tried over and over and over again via text and phone, but still no response. I’d already managed to get CK up, and he was being incredibly cooperative considering how early it was and how little sleep we got. I wasn’t happy because I got in an argument with CK over this, and now Boston was flaking on me. I was trying so hard to salvage this so CK wouldn’t flip out on me when I told him Boston wasn’t responding. I hit up Hip to see if he’d be interested in the beach. It’d been some time since we hung out, and I thought it would make CK much happier to have one of his friends there. I asked D and his girlfriend if they wanted to join us at the beach, and surprisingly, they were in. They would just be joining us a little later. I also reached out to my sister, and I learned she was driving out to the beach. We were planning to take the train, but now that Boston was missing in action, I asked her if she would give us a ride. Now, I had to manage the logistics of getting someone from Brooklyn, CK and I in Hell’s Kitchen and my sister coming from Hoboken through midtown coordinated.

CK and I were making great time. We hopped in a cab, and it was looking like we would all get to our meeting point at the same time. I couldn’t have been happier and more stressed. My sister arrived a few minutes before us, and we all piled into her car and were off to the beach. This was the first time my sister met Hip. I had a feeling they would get along since Hip is such a mellow guy and easy to get along with, but in her usual fashion, she took a little warming up. Once she warmed up to him, they were really hitting it off.

As we drove, I texted Boston telling him we were on our way and invited him to join us out there when he and the girl he was staying with got moving for the day, but I had a strong feeling I wasn’t going to see him. About half way out there, he finally called and told me he was way too hungover to come out to the beach. He offered to meet up later that evening, so I told him I would hit him up on my way home.

We arrived at the beach and spread out, taking over a solid chunk of beach. D and his girlfriend were on their way and would be joining us shortly. This day was going so much more smoothly than I ever thought possible. The weather was gorgeous, and we were all having a blast. I was really enjoying being with such a great group. Everyone was relaxed and having fun. We took a picture together, and we all agreed it was the picture of the summer. Now that summer is over, I can testify it was, at least for me.

Later in the day, CK and I decided to go for a jog/walk. It was nice to separate from the group for a little and take a nice stroll. We talked about the night before, and he apologized. He also thanked me for such a great day. The biggest smile grew across my face. I know I was stressed that morning and annoyed how things were playing out, but it was all worth it to have such a fun and carefree day. I was so happy with him. I loved him, and I couldn’t see myself with any other man. He was the man I wanted to spend the rest of my life with.

We stopped to take pictures on the rocks of the jetty. This quickly turned into a typical CK photo shoot, which I’m not the most thrilled with. I’m not a fan of having my picture taken because 99% of the time, I hate the results. I don’t like being in the spotlight, but CK does. When I take the pictures of him, I know these pictures will be sorted through as fodder for his Instagram feed. This is yet another account of my attention not being enough. He still needed the attention of his adoring fans. I wasn’t crushed by this. I have thicker skin than that, but it didn’t exactly have a positive effect on my feelings. On top of that, I knew everyone was about ready to go home when we started our walk. I didn’t want to make them wait too long to leave. I tried to be a good sport and shot some pictures of him and even let him snap a few of me, but the time came for me to insist we return to the group.

As we walked back, we passed two hot and I can only assume straight men walking the opposite direction. As we passed, CK not only made a comment regarding their aesthetic, but took the conversation one step further and asked if I would ever entertain the idea of fooling around with another couple (acknowledging a previous unprovoked sentiment I stated expressing my lack of interest in ever bringing another person into our relationship). I immediately started getting very anxious, and my heart sank a little. I was immediately taken back to the previous night with him looking around the bar to see who was looking at him. I was right back to worrying I would not be enough for him. My heart beat started pacing. I immediately and definitively expressed to him my feelings on this, and I think he recognized how worked up this was making me. I told him this was my worry when I finally came out. I didn’t know if I could ever find a man who would settle down with me and give me a “traditional” relationship. I realized that’s not for everyone, but that’s what I wanted. It’s not something I wanted to compromise on, nor do I think it’s something I should budge on. Now, I was worrying if CK was the right man for me.

“This isn’t something I want. I just wanted to know if you would be open to this,” he said. I responded, “If it’s not something you want or you’re interested in, then why did you bring it up? If this is coming up now when everything is fresh and fun, how’s it going to be ten years from now? Will I ever be enough for you?” He started backtracking immediately. He put his hands on my shoulders and said, “Babe, you are who I want. No one else. I was just asking the question, not proposing we do it.” I explained to him how worried I was that it was even brought up.  He managed to calm me down and acknowledged that knowing that was off the table does not make him want to stop dating me. He added, “You have nothing to worry about. I want to spend the rest of my life with you.” I was a bit more relaxed, but I was still questioning if I was enough for CK. It had been the theme of many of my past relationships, and I didn’t want to go through that again.

When we got back, we all packed up and headed home. On the ride home, I fell asleep in CK’s lap. Unbeknownst to me, Hip and my sister we’re now like two peas in a pod. They were having so much fun together blasting music and weaving through traffic. D and his girlfriend were following, so when traffic came to a halt, Hip climbed up through the sunroof and started making faces and flailing around at them.

When we got back to the city, my sister dropped the three of us off at CK’s. He needed to pack an overnight bag before we went back to Hoboken for the night. We hung out for a majority of the evening before finally taking the bus to the other side of the Hudson River. Not before getting ice cream, of course. In the end, I didn’t get to hang out with Boston before he left town. It just didn’t work out. Maybe I’d have to wait another year to finally see him.

All in all, it was a great day. I had so much fun hanging with my friend and CK’s friends. It was completely refreshing to see his friends getting along with my friends. It wasn’t all roses and sunshine, however. I was still worried I wasn’t the man CK was looking for. I worried I was looking for him to settle down with me, and he wasn’t quite ready for that. It’s not that I didn’t trust him to not cheat on me so much as worrying we didn’t have the same relationship goals and outlook. Only time would tell if our paths were heading in the same direction.

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Nothing to Fear But Fear Itself

It had arrived. Although this would be my third year “participating,” I was legitimately scared. I wasn’t sure why it was so scary, but honestly, I was petrified for so many reasons.

My first interaction with Pride Weekend was a mistake. I was making my way to Governor’s Island for a polo match with my family when we found ourselves “stuck” in the parade route. The following year was the first year I was out when the weekend came around. It wasn’t pleasant as I witnessed my relationship crumble before my eyes like an out-of-body experience. I missed the parade that year, but I got a sampling of the other aspects of the festivities.

My fear was grounded mainly in the unknown. While I am a gay man, I do not participate in the typical gay culture. I’ve never been a big fan of gay clubs and what goes on there. I come from a background of a traditional relationship. In the gay world, that is like finding a diamond in the rough. The clubs seem to be the antithesis of this. They are a hot-bed of drugs, promiscuity and raunchy behavior. I know all gay men who go to bars don’t fit into this stereotype, but this stereotype is founded in truth. While I’ve been to a handful of gay clubs, and my comfort level was rising, I still had no idea what to expect. Never before had I been to a circuit party. I was venturing into the abyss, and this caused me incredible anxiety.

While I have learned to let go of the men in my past, I still carry the scars of my relationship with them. They’ve all hurt or used me in some way, shape or form. My biggest fear in life is being alone, and this fear is fed by thoughts of cheating, which is birthed from my baggage. The idea of CK with another man broke my heart. I had clear definitions of cheating, but there were worse things floating through my imagination — Like cheating in a form I feel is unfaithful, but the offender does not.

My relationship with CK was building a great foundation, however, the cement was still wet. We were only dating two months and ten days — Very young for any relationship. In the first month, I had strong suspicions I wasn’t the only man entering his bed. Things didn’t always line up and some of the clear indications were there, however, our relationship was still just forming. I knew there would be a transition period. While he told me he was only interested in me, and I was the only man entering his bed, I was aware how we met. I was also aware of his intentions before we even met through his first major slip-up on Grindr. I couldn’t expect monogamy from the first night — That wasn’t realistic.

While I was fairly understanding and looked the other way early on, I was not going to tolerate infidelity as our relationship progressed and strengthened. For starters, my heart wouldn’t be able to handle the pain, and lastly, it wasn’t safe for my health. I needed to trust him to be faithful. Outside the heartbreak, frankly, we were having unprotected sex. We’d been tested, but there are no guarantees. I trusted him with my life, literally, and if he was sleeping with other men, he was treating my life carelessly.

I sincerely had a feeling his intentions had evolved, but I couldn’t be sure how he would react when faced with temptation. I hoped I was the only man for him. As a result, I was petrified for the life of our relationship. I’d watched my relationship with N publicly combust the previous year, and I didn’t want a repeat.

I’m sure many of you reading think I am overreacting. It’s just a party… It’s just a parade… It’s just a weekend… Well, not to me. To me, it was a litmus test for the strength of my love for CK. I didn’t want that love to be tested, and I didn’t want to have to make a decision that could end my relationship with CK. He was my Superman. He was my world. If I lost him, my world would come crumbling down.

We had plans to go to a huge party at XL Friday night, Matinée circuit party Saturday, and the parade Sunday afternoon. I was venturing into this unknown abyss with faith and hope I could persevere. The thought of CK dropping X and losing control of his inhibitions with some other guy caused me great pain and panic attacks. The idea of another man’s hand groping his package caused me panic attacks. Picturing him dancing shirtless against another shirtless man caused me panic attacks. Every time these scenarios and many others entered my brain, my heart rate would increase drastically, I would start to sweat, and I would get light-headed.

All this added up to me being petrified and frustrated. When I asked CK what clothes I should pack to bring to his apartment for the weekend, and I didn’t get any cooperation or help. It all became overwhelming. To begin with, this wasn’t something I was looking forward to, and his lack of cooperation made me lose my sh*t. “Okay Babe. I’ll talk to you in the morning. Have fun tonight!” I said on the verge of tears as I hung up the phone on him.

I think that was the wake-up call CK needed. I don’t think he fully understood how much anxiety this all created for me. I voiced my frustrations for weeks leading up to Pride Weekend. I told him I was going out of my comfort zone, but I was willing to do it as long as I got some hand-holding. I needed help to get over this. It was just another fun weekend for him, but it was a big deal to me.

After a few minutes, he called me back. We discussed things a little more rationally, and CK’s tone changed. He finally realized I was struggling and tossed out the life-preserver. Now that I knew I had him in my corner, I was a little more relaxed, however, I still wasn’t completely comfortable. It was going to be a long, stressful and exhausting weekend both physically and emotionally. I bit down then and there, and braced for impact as I packed my bag and walked out the door.

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Keeping Momma Happy

All weekend long, Clark Kent and his mother were packing up his apartment. He still needed to live there for about two more weeks, but they put a big dent in what needed to be packed up. I was thrilled. While there was no doubt I would help him move, no one enjoys moving. No one enjoys packing and unpacking. I’d done it enough times myself.

I did try to do my part. Before I left on Sunday night, I offered to grab some boxes from work and deliver them to his apartment so his mother could continue packing while he was at work. His place was right by my gym, and I planned to take my lunch break at the gym. I grabbed as many boxes as I could from the supply room and took them over to his place.

I’d gotten his mother’s cell phone number the night before. I texted her to let her know I was on my way. She responded with many thanks.

When I arrived, she answered the door and gave me a big hug. She was very grateful and detailed for me all the progress she’d made. She was at a bit of an impasse because CK would have to make some decisions before she could pack any more.

I needed to be on my way, so I said a final goodbye to her since this was the last I’d be seeing of her on this trip. She was headed to the airport the following morning. She gave me another big hug and said, “Thank you.” I promised to keep CK in line and urge him to call home more often. She commented that he’d be in good hands with me. I was flattered and touched.

All day long, CK and I had been texting each other. We’d seen each other only a few short hours earlier, but it wasn’t enough. I missed him, and he missed me. On top of that, we hadn’t slept together since Friday night. It was shocking how quickly we’d grown so fondly attached. I was really gaga for this guy. Things were going great!

That night, I went home alone. I watched TV and wanted to call CK, but I didn’t want to interrupt his last night with his mother. I stalked him on FourSquare a bit until I learned they went to Dos Caminos for a late-night dinner.

Finally, very late that night, he called me. He’d gone up to the roof to smoke and call me. He told me he missed me and couldn’t wait for us to be together again the following night.

He detailed to me how much his mother liked me and told me how happy he was about the whole thing. I was really head over heels for this guy. Never had I felt so loved by another man. I could tell this guy was genuine. He really made me feel like a prince.

He also detailed for me how tired of his mother he was. They had spent a lot of tense time together. He was ready for a break. It’s understandable how they’d butt heads over a lot of things. I told him to stop being so mean to his mother. I pointed out to him it was Mother’s Day and she traveled all the way up north to help him. He realized what she was doing for him, and he truly appreciated it, however, her leaving would mean me arriving. We made plans for the following night and said goodnight.

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Lazy Morning

Today is another Fast Forward Friday!!!  

Hope you are enjoying these. It will help bring the blog a little closer to real time. If you’re keeping up with the stories chronologically, please skip down to this morning’s post first, then read this one. I think it’s a good one! Enjoy!

Back to your special edition of One Gay At A Time…


Smiles and I had a very special night together sharing dinner in my apartment. We went to be happily in each other’s arms after being away from each other for some time. I’m not entirely sure why, but I felt he’d finally come around to me.

The next morning, we woke up late. I knew I had a very light workload that day, so I was in no rush to wake up. I was also feeling frisky. I tried to seduce Smiles with a back rub. I instructed him to roll on his stomach as I lifted his shirt and began massaging his back. He commented on how my hands can completely cover his back from end to end. This was one thing my big hands specialized in, so I was content putting them to good use. I began to reach my hands under him grasping his pecs in a sensual manner.

The massage didn’t last long and the seduction failed to the grumbles of Smiles’ stomach. I should have remembered that was his first priority in the morning.

We went into the kitchen and brewed coffee while I made us steak and eggs (some of the left over beef from the night before). He continuously hugged my while I cooked. Cooking at the stove for a sexy man while he wrapped his arms around me — What more could I want?

We sat at the kitchen counter and ate while we chatted a bit about what we had to do the rest of the day. I also caught Smiles up on some of the events going on around the world since he didn’t have cable and wasn’t the best at staying informed.

After breakfast, we returned to my room. I needed to get ready for the office, and Smiles needed to get dressed to head home to begin his workday. We started to make out a bit until I pulled him towards the bed. “Do you want to have sex?” he asked. I giggled with a big grin and replied, “Of course. Why do you think I was trying to seduce you before? I always want sex.” That was also my subtle way of letting him know I wanted to have more sex.

During the summer of 2010, after my breakup with N, I was having a lot more sex. I decided to be more economical with my condom purchases and bought a forty pack. I kept them in my nightstand drawer next to the bottle of lube I purchased. Smiles had been in the drawer before, and I’m sure he’d noticed the quantity. But, he never said anything about it until now. He made a comment on how many I had. “Does it intimidate you?” I asked. He simply replied with a “No.” I then gave a not so subtle comment hinting about how I’d like to have more sex. “Well, we could just use them all, and then there won’t be so many,” I exclaimed. Apparently, our conversation about the state of our relationship gave me the confidence to speak my mind when it came to our relationship going forward.

Warning: The following may be too graphic for some. I was already on my back with him on top of me, so I could only assume he wanted to top this time around. I topped the last time, so I only thought it fair to receive this time. I slipped the condom on him as he made a comment questioning whether I was doing it right. “[Smiles]. This isn’t my first condom, obviously,” I quipped.

I lubricated myself and laid back. I hadn’t thought much about my inability to finish with Smiles in quite some time, but I was going to try a new technique this time around. I was going to completely relax and try to enjoy every minute of it. I usually derive no pleasure from bottoming, but for some reason, this time it was working. He felt great, and I could tell he was enjoying himself as well.

I was getting very close as I pleasured myself while he penetrated me. Just as I was about to climax, he said, “I going to cum.” I quickly responded, “Me too.” And with that, as close as I was, I was a mile away from finishing. In that split second of him distracting me, I lost it. I could feel my muscles quivering just before he said anything, but it was gone. Now, it was top of mind, and I knew it wasn’t going to happen.

Smiles would have been so happy. He’d wanted to make me finish for so long, and he would have been the first to do so from topping me. Alas, it wasn’t meant to be. When it didn’t, I could see him looking into my eyes with compassion. The sex was great. There was no pain or awkwardness. I wanted to show him how much I enjoyed it, but I couldn’t. My mental block got in the way once again.

After we relaxed and kissed a bit, he suggested we clean up in the shower. He was getting ready to hop in, and I told him I was coming in with him. My shower has two shower heads and a seat. Everyone that has seen my shower has made sexual comments about it, and I was going to finally get some use out of them.

I wanted to have some more sensual time together, and when I hopped in, Smiles began to wash me. I was very turned on by this. When he finished, I tried to do the same for him, but he wasn’t interested. He rinsed off and hopped out of the shower to dry off. I watched him as he toweled off, and immediately got extremely aroused. He put lotion on his face with his towel on the floor while I pleasured myself in the shower at the sight. When he left my bathroom, I beckoned him to come back in the shower and help me finish. I wanted him to be a part of it. He climbed in and I pressed myself against his back while I tried to finish. Once again, failure.

When we ran out of hot water, we hopped out. He finished applying lotion and brushing his teeth while I masturbated on my bed. I needed to finish somehow or work was going to be hell for me! He came and joined me in the crook of one my arms while I pleasured myself. FINALLY, it came. I thought of him dropping the towel in the bathroom, and it set me off. I was disappointed it wasn’t a direct reaction to something Smiles did, but I was relieved he was there to witness that it was possible and that my climax was something pretty special 😉 .

We quickly finished getting ready and walked to the PATH with my roommate chatting the whole way. The conversation wasn’t as free-flowing between us as much as when it was just the two of us. I wondered if Smiles had issues with PDA and public discussion. It just felt a little awkward.

When we got to his stop, I gave him a peck on the lips to say goodbye. I thought about that morning all day. I was happy to finally finish with him in the room, but I wished it came at Smiles’ hand. I think it would have been an ego boost for him and a big step forward for the two of us. However, it was progress — Baby steps. This something I was going to conquer, hopefully with Smiles’ assistance.

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Waking up with the feeling of dread is never a good thing. Upon opening my eyes, I immediately knew something was wrong. It all came crashing back. I remember the conversation I had with Smiles the night before in my bed. It didn’t go as well as I would have liked it.

I needed to reassess the situation and make a decision before proceeding. One thing was for sure; I was going to proceed with caution. No longer was I going to invest so much of myself into a one-sided relationship. Smiles was still interested, and I had optimism the relationship could still progress towards something good. However, I could no longer devote so much of myself to someone who wasn’t doing the same for me.

I had that day off, but I had to wake very early. I needed to get my friend’s car keys before he went to work so I could take Smiles to the airport. When I volunteered to take the day off from work, I thought it would be a perfect way to see him off. I wanted to be both helpful and selfish. I wasn’t going to get to see him for a week, let alone on Christmas. The next best thing I could get was sending him off at the airport.

I climbed out of bed, put on clothes and rode my motorcycle over to my friend’s place. I swapped the bike for his car and drove back to my apartment. When I got back to my room, there were a few minutes left before Smiles was supposed to wake to get ready for his flight. I undressed and climbed back into bed.

Since we went to see the stage-show the night before, and he was working through the day before, he wasn’t able to pack yet. When my alarm went off, we woke and got ready to make our way into the city so he could pack.

I drove him through the Holland Tunnel and stopped in front of his apartment. There were no legal spots available, so I had to sit in the car while he got ready. When he got out of the car, Smiles checked out another street and texted me from his apartment: “If you wait another five minutes, you can park on the other street at the meters.” It was nice of him to check that out so I wouldn’t have to sit in the car alone the whole time.

I joined him upstairs and tried my best to assist. When he was ready, we got back into the car and set off for the airport.

My question from the night before was still in the back of my head. The car ride was rather quiet. It was as if we were both searching for something to talk about. I had yet another question burning a hole in the back of my mind. I had no New Year’s Eve plans, and all my friends did. I didn’t want to spend it alone, but Smiles hadn’t mentioned it to me. I had no idea what his plans were, but I wanted to spend it with him. The conversation from the night before didn’t change that. I was about to ask him if we could spend it together, but as we neared the airport, things got hectic because he wasn’t sure which terminal he was flying out of. That question would have to wait until later.

Once we had that settled, I found a space at curbside and helped him unload. We exchanged a very quick hug and kiss as he set off for home for the holidays. It was very unceremonious. I don’t know if he was self-conscious because we were in public or if it was because he still felt awkward, but I was very disappointed. That was not the way I wanted to be kissed by the man I was dating but not seeing on Christmas. That was not a proper goodbye.

As he walked away, he turned back and said, “I’ll call you later tonight.”

Since I had my friend’s car and the rest of the day off, I decided to run an errand I’d been neglecting. I took a route home that allowed me to stop by Michael’s to pick up a large panoramic photo I had framed. All that alone time is NOT good for me. It’s a sure to produce over-thinking and slight depression. I really didn’t know how to proceed. There was a fork in the road, and I wasn’t sure which road to take.

I decided to make a stronger effort to engulf myself with my friends. I wasn’t going to give so much of myself to Smiles, and in turn, I would fill that void with friendship. After I ran my errand, I went home and watched TV on the couch. I needed to distract myself with some form of entertainment, but it wasn’t working. I was still thinking about what I was going to do. I hopped on Facebook while watching TV and got a message from N: “I miss you buddy.” I hadn’t hung out with him since we broke up with the exception of my holiday party. Maybe it was time to give friendship with him another chance. I hit him up to see what he was up to. He was going out that night and told me he would keep me in the loop regarding his plans so we could hang out.

I know Smiles was settling in the with family, and I wouldn’t expect him to call. But, it would be nice if he called, even if just to let me know he landed safely. That night, I never heard from Smiles…

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How to Get Out of My Own Head

Rules are meant to be broken. Apparently, in my mind this is true. I said I wasn’t going to reach out to Smiles after our awkward night and breakfast the following morning, but that didn’t last long.

Wednesday afternoon, I got an email including two free tickets to a screening of a movie in the city. It was Friday afternoon at 12:30. I had absolutely nothing going on at work as we were leading into the holidays. I shot Smiles a text Thursday afternoon asking him if he wanted to come with me after I left him.

He told me he wouldn’t be able to join me because he had to be on site for a project he was working on. I didn’t get my hopes up, so I wasn’t all that disappointed. I knew I wouldn’t be seeing much of him that weekend, so it was an effort to mend that but a failed attempt at that.

In the middle of the day, he called to see how my day was going. I was a pleasant surprise. He’d done this in the past, but it was out of the blue. He told me about his project moving forward and the progress he was making. I told him how useless my day was turning out to be. Maybe he did care about me. Maybe he just wasn’t good and showing emotions or talking about them. I still had some figuring out to do.

I finished my workday early. When I got home, I called my other friends who were attending the birthday party that night. I coordinated with them, and made my way to my D’s apartment.

During the taxi ride with D and his girlfriend, she asked me when she was going to get to meet Smiles. She missed him at the holiday party. I couldn’t think of a scenario in which she was going to meet him. I realized he never really hung out with me and my friends in general. I never really hung out with his. I was repeating my relationship with Broadway all over again. The only difference was, Smiles had a better schedule than Broadway. In the back of my head, I knew things between us weren’t perfect. I told her I had no idea when she’d meet him. I then explained to her why he was absent from my side.

I had fun at the party. I was running into a lot of people I hadn’t seen in a long time — Some even years. I sat and talked with one of my old college teammates, and he asked him the dating life was going for me. I told him all about Smiles, and he was very happy for me. In the back of my mind, all I could think about was, “Am I truly happy with how things are shaping up?”

Out of nowhere, Smiles called. He was between parties in a cab. I guess he had time to kill so he thought he’d call me. I stepped away from the party and walked out onto the promenade overlooking the city. I appreciated the call. It was nice to have him call out of nowhere twice in one day. It showed he really was thinking about me. I was a little bitter though. He was telling me about all these parties in detail, and all I was hearing was stories of parties I wasn’t invited to. I kept the conversation on the shorter side of things. It was cold outside, and I wanted to get back to my friends. If I wasn’t good enough to be by his side, he wasn’t good enough to steal me away from the party. We said goodbye for the night since I knew that’d be the last time hearing from him for the night.

On the way home that night, I discussed brunch with D and his girlfriend. They expressed their desire to do it in the city. I agreed and mentioned maybe inviting Smiles to join us. I knew he had things going on, but maybe he’d be able to meet us for a little while.

I texted him at 3:00am to see if he would be onboard for brunch. I told him I didn’t have all the details, but I would get them to him in the morning. He told me he would try to make it. He was making an effort. I was expecting to be immediately brushed off for other plans, but it was nice to see him entertaining the idea at the very least. Maybe things were improving.

In the morning, D and his girlfriend were too tired to head into the city. I told Smiles brunch was off. He told me he wouldn’t have been able to make it anyway. He had to work. We texted a little bit the rest of the morning. That morning, there was a fire on my block that day that engulfed an entire building. I sent Smiles picture messages, and he expressed concern for my well-being.

That night, we spoke on the phone. We talked about our day, and he told me about the party he attended. Again, I was a little bitter considering I wasn’t invited. I asked him if he was available for dinner Monday night since I wasn’t getting to see him at all over the weekend. He told me he’d have to get back to me. As the conversation was coming to a close, I asked him if we were going to exchange Christmas presents.

I’d actually been thinking about it since Thursday, but hadn’t remembered to ask him. I was a little afraid too. I didn’t know how to pose it. This is so unlike me. I should have just said what I wanted to say. I didn’t have the chance to ask him where we stood yet, so I didn’t feel comfortable asking him about exchanging Christmas presents.

The day before this conversation, I bought him two cashmere hats he’d expressed interest in. I bought them from one of my favorite online stores, Bonobos (They have really amazing stuff by the way. I highly recommend them, especially for proper fitting pants!). It would work out well because they offer free shipping both ways, so if we weren’t doing presents, I could return them.

So, I said to him, “Do you want to do Christmas presents?” He paused a second and responded, “Let’s not over-think things. I don’t think we’re there yet.”

And with that, we said goodbye.

Not there yet? Okay. Then where are we? How do you feel about me. We’d been together three months at this point. I didn’t see why we couldn’t exchange some nice Christmas presents. I wasn’t buying him a Rolex.

This just further motivated my desire to have the relationship conversation…

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Great Story, No Climax

Things weren’t exactly progressing smoothly in my mind between Smiles and I. In fact, things weren’t progressing at all when I come to think of it.

Instead of abandoning my relationship with him, I decided to put forth greater effort to ensuring its success. I’m not one to quit without a fight, so when Smiles texted me to ask how my day was going, I was quite elated. I told him it was going well and was anxious for work to be over. We made plans to go to dinner that evening after work. I was looking forward to it and was ready to make sure it wasn’t a repeat of our last date.

In turn, I asked him about his day, and he responded with an explanation. I explained I wouldn’t be done work until a little later, and I wasn’t sure exactly what time that would be. One of my coworkers was dragging his feet, and my day was beginning to drag on. It was a Friday, and I wanted nothing more than to see Smiles after a long day.

Smiles was running errands in my neighborhood and called when he was finished. I had a feeling I would be done shortly, but there really was no telling when I’d finish. Smiles occupied himself for some time. When he called again to check in on me, I was able to tell him I was about to be walking out the door. He was about to hit up Barracuda to have a drink with his bartender friends, but instead, we picked a place to meet.

I snuck up on him on the street and startled him with a big hug. We exchanged a kiss and started to walk towards Chelsea. We quickly found a spot to grab dinner. Smiles wasn’t drinking, but I certainly needed a drink. I ordered a glass of wine and took a big swig. I’d been talking up a storm from the time we kissed on the street. I was going to make sure the conversation flowed like a waterfall. He was well engaged all throughout dinner at Bar Baresco. I really felt very comfortable with him and was appreciating his company greater. It was night and day difference from the last date we had. I was realizing why I fell for him in the first place. No awkward pauses. No blank stares.

During my workday, I began drafting plans to build my new closet since I was moving. Smiles had much experience in this sort of thing, so I asked him for advice and to look over my plans. He gave his suggestions, and I appreciated his advice.

When we finished dinner, we hit up Barracuda. Smiles suggested it because he figured we’d say hi to his friends. When we arrived there, we found they weren’t working. Smiles ordered us two drinks. After relieving myself, we found a quiet corner to tuck ourselves in to sit and chat.

We discussed age and the ability to hang. He talked about how he used to be able to go out all the time all night long. We talked about growing older and looking forward to staying in and sitting on the couch on a Friday night.

We were growing even closer. As time progressed, I realized he was growing weary. I asked if he would like to get out of there, and he gladly obliged, but not before we played around with his scarf in about 20 different permutations around his neck and head.

As we walked outside, I proposed coming back to his place with him. He agreed. I thought I was sending a pretty clear signal of my intentions. We walked over to Seventh Avenue to hail a cab to no avail. I was not properly dressed for the weather. I was freezing. The Smiles did one of the sweetest things. He came up behind me and wrapped his arms around me to keep me warm. I reached up and grabbed his arms and brought him in closer. It was extremely romantic, and I wasn’t about to let this moment run away from me. It took a long time to get a cab, but I was relishing every second.

When we finally hailed one, we hopped in. He extended his hand beckoning for mine. He was winning me over big time! It was a complete 180. I was thrilled with his new-found affections. It painted a clearer picture of his true feelings for me. He was still interested in me. I was thrilled.

When we arrived at his place, he started cleaning. I kept yelling at him to stop. I didn’t care about the condition of his apartment. I would have liked to think of myself no longer as company, and more as companion. He sat on the couch, and I sat on his computer chair facing him while we chatted. After a while, I realized how ridiculous this setup was. I aimed to remedy it. I got up, walked over to the couch, moved the pile of papers from it, and sat next to him. He looked slightly uncomfortable by this, and I couldn’t fathom why.

He suggested we move to the bed. My goal was being accomplished. I was all too happy to move things to the bedroom. We climbed onto his bed. We talked and then began hugging each other. This morphed into spooning.

I was happy and hoping this would progress to sex, but I was sorely mistaken. After spooning for about ten seconds, he had his fill. He was ready to go to bed, and apparently I wasn’t part of that scenario. He went to brush his teeth, and was giving me all the signals it was time for me to go.

We said goodnight and exchanged a kiss at the door. Yet another night without sex. It was an enigma to me. I couldn’t figure him out. He spent the earlier portion of the night being utterly sweet and affectionate, but when it came time to end the night, the sparks were quickly doused.

I wished the night ended on a more positive note. I would have liked to go home a happy satisfied man, but yet again, I was debating in my head Smiles’ attraction to me…

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Happy to See Him Happy

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

On with the story…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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