Posts Tagged South Beach
Just want to start today’s post by reminding everyone it is the International Day Against Homophobia, held on May 17 every year. Keep it in your thoughts today, and every day.
On with the show…
After Florida, it’s pretty clear I was no longer committed to a relationship. I needed to end it. It crushed me to think such thoughts, but my heart was no longer in it.
When I got back, I texted Broadway asking if we could talk. After a short exchange, I wasn’t sure if he could see what was coming. I agonized over how to break the news.
That night, I met him after his show; no overnight bag on my shoulder. We awkwardly hugged and exchanged a peck on the lips. He asked me if I was ok. I said, “Yes,” with a shrug. He asked me what I wanted to talk to him about. This was the moment of truth.
“I feel like we’ve been drifting apart over the past few weeks,” I said.
He responded, “That’s it?”
I said, “No. I just want to hear your thoughts.” After that, I elaborated. I explained my feelings about how he acted during his trip to Barcelona and the previous weeks in general. He silently walked beside me taking it all in. I was so proud of myself for saying how I truly felt. I didn’t sugar coat it.
When I finished, he took his turn. He told me all my points were fair and valid, but I could never be prepared for what came next. He said, “You’re just not a priority in my life right now. I have school and work…”
I felt like someone punched me in the gut. I turned to him and said, “I have to say, that was very hard to hear.” I began to get a little choked up. Until then, I was strong and resolved in breaking up, but that statement tainted out entire relationship together. I wasn’t prepared to hear anything so harsh.
He acknowledged his emotional issues and his inability to call me his boyfriend. He also took the opportunity to unload a lot of issues he’d been holding back for some time. He pointed out my issues with the gay scene. I have never felt comfortable in gay clubs, and he knew this. He went on to tell me how uncomfortable and threatened he felt going to my favorite straight bar in Hobobken.
This was news to me. I defended myself. While not comfortable with the flamboyant gay scene, he never asked me to go. With the right crowd and understanding, I’m sure I could find comfort. I was uncomfortable because it was not familiar to me. He never gave me a chance.
This went back-n-forth. It never turned into a fight. We never fought through the 10 months we were in a relationship. We weren’t about to start now. It was a discussion about our differences. We came to an agreement. Although we were very compatible, we were not meant to be dating.
The conversation turned casual. He showed me pictures on his phone from Barcelona and asked about Florida. The he asked me how drinks with Boston went. After blatantly lying about its innocence, he said, “Well I had to ask. You know how it could look from my perspective.”
I immediately rebuked with, “Well, you have to know how it looks when you buy 2 bottles of lube the day you go away.”
He explained. He bought it for us to use. It was just cheaper than usual. And then added, “But, touché. I could see ho that looks shady.”
After walking around the city talking for an hour, I dropped him at his apt. We kissed and embraced. Finally, I pulled back and said, “Just because we’re not dating doesn’t mean we can’t hang out.”
As I walked to Port Authority, I felt power. Before this night, I don’t know if I would have had the confidence to be a person who set in motion the actions that would end a relationship. I was a new man who was about to fully exercise his new found freedom.
If you’re just joining us, read Friday’s post before continuing…
The next morning, after only 3 hours of sleep, I woke and ran a few miles with D. I gave him the full debrief of what happened after he went to bed. He was very happy I was enjoying the new freedom I was allowing myself.
We got back and relaxed by the pool a bit. I texted Boston asking his plans for the day. He was heading to the beach after grabbing breakfast. Since the girls ate while D and I ran, we joined Boston and his friend for breakfast at The Hotel Breakwater. It was very casual and not awkward, however, I was fighting the beginning of a nasty hangover. Still I soldiered on. We discussed dinner the night before and all the stories that were swapped. Boston’s friend gave us all a new term to use referring to gays. “Pickle.” It was already part of my vernacular and fully utilized during my morning run and the remainder of my Florida trip.
We strolled down to the beach and met up with the girls. I hoped to get a minute to talk to Boston. I felt we should discuss the night before because I didn’t want things to get awkward. I was very attracted to him but also valued his friendship. We never got to chat exclusively. We did, however, have a very candid group conversation with D and his girlfriend about sexual encounters, oral sex, semen, etc. I haven’t laughed that hard in a long time. I love how comfortable and open my friends are — like a breath of fresh air.
When we had to get on the road down to The Keys, we decided to take Boston and his friend to La Sandwicherie on our way out of town. His friend loved us. She asked, “Ok guys. Where’s our next vacation gonna be?”
Finally, the time came to say goodbye. We dropped them off near the hotel, and the best I got was a handshake reaching from the front seat to the back. I wanted at least a hug, but it would have been a full spectacle to get out of the car and do so.
I spent the next three and a half hours in a car with nothing to look at but wide open water. Of course, I texted with Boston the whole time. I was trying to be flirtatious without being overt. It seemed to be working… to an extent. I was having the conversation I wanted to have in person over text. Probably not the best solution.
Once we settled in at The Bahama House in Key West, D and his girlfriend went to the rehearsal dinner of a friend’s wedding. K and I were on our own for dinner. Halfway through, she scolded me to stop texting Boston. I obliged, but was in the middle of expressing to him my relationship with Broadway was over: It was just inconvenient timing to end it before my trip. He was worried that he was the catalyst. I reassured him I was having problems well before I met him, and he knew that.
We met up with the wedding party following dinner. Apparently I wasn’t the only ‘mo associated with this wedding. Everyone told me I needed to meet this great guy. Word to the wise. Not all gay men are compatible just because they are attracted men. While everyone told me we needed to meet, no one actually took the time to introduce us. This is partly my fault because I insisted I get more lubricated before I speak to him, but once I was relatively tipsy, no one made the effort.
The next night D and his girlfriend went to the wedding. K and I found a spot for dinner. At this point I curbed my texting to Boston. D’s girlfriend started texting me about the ‘mo at the wedding. She told me he was anxious to meet and we should meet them when it was over and all go out. When we arrived, he and I were finally introduced. It couldn’t have been more awkward. After a few minutes, he excused himself to go chat with friends. I have to admit, while not interested, my ego was a little bruised.
When the time came to head home, I was trying to coordinate with Boston if we would be traveling along the same route at any point. We were flying out of the same airport and his connection took him through Newark, where I would be landing. I called him to get details and tried to work it out for me to swing by their gate at the airport. Timing never allowed for it.
Days later, Boston and I were skyping. That day, I was psyching myself up to ask him out on a date. I knew it was a dumb idea since we lived in different cities, but I also didn’t see why I shouldn’t give it a shot. After chatting for a bit, he was ready to sign off. My window of opportunity was closing. I asked him if I could take him to dinner sometime. He responded, “Yea. Let me just hop on my private jet.” To which I responded, “There’s no reason why I couldn’t visit Boston some time.”
This was followed by a looonnngggg pause. I could see how uncomfortable the proposition made him. However, he graciously responded, “Sure. I’d be down for that.”
The potential of this was exciting, but certainly more one-sided than I had hoped. After talking with him more, I realized a relationship was never going to happen. At that point, I was able to step back from the situation and realize he was a much better fit for the “friend zone.” I stopped my advances and started talking to him like a true friend, and that’s when I started getting more positive feedback.
When a business trip would land me in Boston, I had the opportunity to make good on my proposition for dinner, but that’s another post for another day.
The whole time I was dating Broadway, I was still cruising Manroulette. Many consider this cheating, but I don’t. We all have needs and urges. I was simply taking care of that. Call it cheating. Call it selfish. Call it what you will. But it worked for me. I was always present in the moment when I was with Broadway, but there were also many nights spent alone while he worked late.
I wasn’t going on there purely to get off either. I had one gay friend at this point. He was in a serious relationship, living with his boyfriend after coming out just two years before. I didn’t think we could relate on a lot of my issues/questions.
One October night on there, I came across a guy, Boston, who had a great smile. I immediately stopped “nexting” and tried very hard to engage him so he wouldn’t “next” me. We started off exchanging stats and location, but then dove deep into conversation.
It was very refreshing to have an intelligent conversation with someone on Manroulette. We never shared anything sexual/vulgar. We just talked about dating, coming out, jobs, school, etc. We really hit it off, and when the time came for me to go to bed, I asked how we could keep the conversation going. We exchanged email addresses since he didn’t have a Skype account at the time.
We kept in touch loosely over email before we moved the conversation to AIM. Shortly thereafter, we lost touch. Not sure what happened, but we didn’t really talk for about 3 months. Until I got a surprise email:
“Hey brah, how ya been? Just randomly checked my email and realized I haven’t talked to you in a while so just checkin’ in. Hit me up. I have a Skype now!”
We would video chat on Skype, telling him all my happy stories and all my sad stories. Although he is five years younger than me, he was already much wiser than me in the “gay arts.” He came out a few years earlier and helped me understand what I was going through. He is a excellent listener and gives very sound advice. He listened to me complain about my parents not opening up to my homosexuality and just told me to be patient. He went through the same thing just a few years earlier.
When things started to get a bit rocky for Broadway and I, he was really there for me. I was always willing to give Broadway the benefit of the doubt, but Boston told me when he thought I was being foolish. He pointed out when I should stop ignoring the signs. All this time, he never told me what to do, much like a therapist. He just helped me find the conclusions myself.
At some point we started talking about spring travel. Both of us were headed to South Beach, Miami, and our trips overlapped.
At this point, I said, “I hope I’m not being too forward, but would you want to grab a drink while we’re down there?” To which he replied, “Of course. Sure!”
We exchanged numbers, and when the trip was upon us, I suggested we figure out now where we could meet before we got down there. I gave him the address of my hotel.
Turned out we were staying at the same hotel, so it couldn’t have been easier. The rest of the trip is another story…