Posts Tagged support

Thanksgiving

Today I am thankful for many things.

I am thankful I am a gay man who is comfortable in his own skin.

I am thankful to have a man in my life – The love of my life, even if it isn’t always smooth sailing.

I am thankful for all my readers, especially the dedicated ones who offer support and comments.
I truly love these! Keep em’ comin’!

I am thankful for all my friends and family and the support they give me on a daily basis.
I’d be nowhere without them.

I am thankful to be alive. Thankful every day when my eyes open and breath life in for one more day.

And lastly, I am thankful for Thanksgiving cards like these!!

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Creating Distance

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…

No matter how far apart we were or how busy we were, Smiles and I managed to find time to communicate or at the very least, send a text. It was something that always reminded me he was thinking about me when I wasn’t with him.

Silence. From Sunday afternoon through Tuesday evening — Crickets. Our last contact was Sunday afternoon when I asked him if we could spend the day together Monday. He told me he had to work, but that never stopped him from taking five minutes to pick up the phone and dial me or send me a text. He also told me he would call later Sunday night when I said goodbye to him after brunch, but as you know, that didn’t happen.

When Tuesday passed by, and I didn’t hear from him, I decided to give him a call. After-all, I’m the one who royally f*cked up, not him. Sure, he was distant throughout our relationship, but he never did anything quite as heartless as what I did.

The phone rang and rang and rang — No answer. I didn’t want to leave a voicemail because I wanted to say what I had to say live. I wanted to hear his reaction. I decided to wait.

After an hour, I decided to send him a text message: “How was the first day in the office?” You can see how patient a person I really am. Five minutes later, I received a response: “Lot happened today…” The text continued on to completely cover my entire phone screen and then some. Instead of picking up the phone and telling me all this, he sent a massive book of a text. I could tell he was very excited as things were really taking off for him, but all I could think about was how hurt I was. He completely dropped me like a bad habit. His career was really beginning to take off, and he had no use for me anymore. I had been there to support him through the rough stages, and when he began to have success, he forgot all about me. At this point, I didn’t give a sh*t about his new job. I barely even feigned interest. My responses were, “Gotcha,” “Sounds awesome!” and “Congrats.” I wanted to be happy for him, but I couldn’t. He treated me like trash.

He made sure to add things like, “Say that again at the end of March when I have free time again.” This was his way of not just nudging me away but giving me a big ol’ shove. I didn’t feel the least bit of guilt for “shopping” on a4a and Grindr the nights prior.

Just when I didn’t think the knife could cut any deeper, he said, “Ok. 9pm. Bedtime! Hope your first day back was more exciting than your last week there. Night!” I simply replied, “Night.”

If he was getting ready for bed, why didn’t he pick up the phone and call. I assumed he was at dinner or something. I was trying to justify him writing out a massive text versus calling me.

That’s when I realized how much of a coward he was. He was just going to put down the gun and slowly back away instead of just ripping the band-aid off. It was clear he wasn’t interested in pursuing a relationship with me any further. He should have been a man and said do. I thought I was done with all the petty childish games when I started dating a thirty-six year-old, but I was sorely mistaken. I was going to have to be the man in this relationship, or lack thereof.

That night was neither the time nor the place. I was going to do this in person. He wasn’t going to get the satisfaction of an easy fizzle. If we weren’t moving forward anymore, we weren’t going to be moving at all. I was going to end things. The time had come. No more second chances. No more opportunities to drag me along. For me, it was over.

Before he pulled this stunt, I was okay with the relationship coming to a close. I had already resolved myself to the fact it wasn’t what I was looking for, and it didn’t satisfy my needs. The only thing I lacked was closure. Now, I was mad as hell. After spending three months with him and dedicating a lot of myself to him, this was how he was going to treat me. Instead of looking back on our time together with fondness, I now began to look back with bitterness and doubt. I wondered if he ever really cared about me. I wondered if I was the only one in his life. Sure, we spent a lot of time together, but we also spent a lot of time apart. It’s not physically possible for him to be carrying on a relationship outside ours, but it doesn’t rule out any extra curricular activities.

I decided that night, Smiles was going to hear it. Everything I kept inside while we dated was going to finally come out. I just needed to pick the time and the place…

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“Friend”

Monday would pass by and I would not see Smiles. As was typical with Mondays, he had to work an event, so we wouldn’t spend the night together.

Monday I reached out to him to ask if he wanted to see the newest Twilight movie after watching the third together. I also have free passes to the movies in Hoboken because my friend lets me use his discount card on free movie Tuesdays. He was interested, so we made plans to see the movie.

When Tuesday arrived, he asked me if I minded putting the movie off until later and seeing it in the city. His friend was doing a gallery showing in Brooklyn, and he wanted to go out and support him. I was fine with this. The only thing it meant was the movie wouldn’t be free anymore.

When I finished work, I made my way down to his apartment. As I walked to his place from the subway, I called him to see if I could get him anything at the Starbucks a block from his apartment. He told me he would just meet me there. I placed my order and played on Twitter while I waited for him to arrive and get his coffee.

We walked to the subway while we talked about our days since we last saw each other. Luckily, the subway ride out to Brooklyn wasn’t too long because the train was packed. We spent most of the ride not even standing next to each other.

When we got above ground, he told me he needed to make a phone call for work and asked if I could find our way to the place. I pulled up the map on my phone and pulled him around while he talked to someone else. I wasn’t exactly thrilled with this, but I dealt with it. A few blocks before the place, he finally hung up and explained what it was all about.

When we arrived, we made our way to the back of the bar where his friend was showing his photographs. He gave his friend a big hug. Then, as he turned to me, words that felt like daggers came out of his mouth: “This is my friend, [OneGay AtaTime].” I wonder if my expression gave away my pain.

We’d been seeing each other for two and a half months at this point. He’d referred to me as the guy he was dating previously. Why now was I just a friend? I would have been happy without the descriptor. He could have just used my name. From then on, I was a little turned off. I began to analyze our relationship a bit. I looked back at a lot of our interactions with a fine tooth comb.

I was shying away from the boyfriend term because I’d had bad pervious history with it, but it was a term I wanted to use. It seemed he was avoiding using even the phrase dating. Was I getting ahead of myself, or was he way behind?

He bought me a drink at the bar, and we walked around with the photographer as he described his process. I was still distracted by my own thoughts.

When we sat down for a bit, and man approached and asked how we knew the photographer. Smiles described how he is an old friend from work projects and how he took pictures at his birthday gathering. The man explained his relation and told us what he did for a living. Smiles and he got into a long discussion about production. I sat quietly by, nodding my head. I didn’t have much to contribute to the conversation.

When Smiles tired of the man, he used me as an excuse. “I’ve gotta get this guy some food, or he’s gonna kill me,” he said. He told his friend we were heading out to get dinner, and I said goodbye.

As we walked back to the subway, Smiles b*tched about the conversation he had with the man. It was getting into a bit of a p*ssing contest towards the end. Then, he realized he needed to call someone else about the work project, so he was on the phone the entire walk back to the train once again.

I was feeling pretty unappreciated to begin with, but this was really getting to me. Why was I with him? He should have just canceled on me. I was still analyzing our relationship over the past two and a half months as I always do, and I wasn’t thrilled with the results.

We made our way back into the city and debated whether we would grab quick dinner and still try to catch the movie or just go for dinner. We wouldn’t decide until we were above ground and checking out showtimes for the movie…

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Playing it Cool

The conversation and actions the night before helped me gain perspective of my relationship. I was beginning to get to a better place. I knew exactly where I stood. N was enjoying the time he spent with me, but I wasn’t a priority in his life. With that, I was no longer going to make N my top priority. For the sake of my own emotional state (and apparently the state of my digestive system), I needed to manufacture some distance between us.

I also needed distractions. If N was leaving the door open for other men to walk through, so would I. That day at work, I fired up Grindr and began once again to cast out the nets. I found a few good looking men to occupy my time. I started messaging them and receiving responses.

One man in particular showed exceptional interest in me. He had an attractive body and seemed to have a level head on his shoulders. We talked about our common interests and occupations. Once I felt comfortable with this man, I proposed we meet. He agreed. We were both slated to finish work around 5:30, so we planned to meet at quarter to 6:00. Work ran slightly late for me, so I didn’t meet up with him until about 6:00. We met at a coffee shop near his apartment. We grabbed a bench outside the shop and introduced ourselves after I apologized for running late. After a few minutes, we both went inside and ordered iced teas. Being the gentleman I am, I paid for us both.

We returned back to the bench outside and had a very nice discussion about where we came from and what we did for fun. He mentioned something about work, and I asked him to elaborate about his job. What he was doing sounded very interesting. Not something you hear every day, and he seemed to be enjoying it. In the middle of our conversation, we were interrupted by a text message on his phone.

Earlier that day, he explained he was planning to meet his workout buddy after we met. This is who texted him. I don’t know if he ever explained he was on a “date,” but in any case, he told me his buddy was getting impatient. He was already at the gym just 2 blocks away. He apologized, but he needed to go. He asked if we could meet up again sometime soon, and I obliged. He was attractive and seemed nice enough, but I certainly wasn’t overly thrilled with the over package. He also prioritized his gym buddy over making a formidable first impression on me, which is never a good sign. Whether we would meet again or not would be decided by the fates. If it seemed to work out, I wouldn’t fight it.

That night I went home and met up with friends on the pier to watch Breakfast at Tiffany’s on the outdoor screen. I informed them about my situation with N and the date I went on earlier. They offered their full support and told me I was doing the right thing. On another positive note, my appetite was slowly returning, so I was able to pick at some of the snacks we all brought.

When I finally got back to my apartment, I showered and climbed into my bed. I didn’t talk to N that night, and he was not coming over. This time when I climbed into bed, my outlook was different. I didn’t have to work that hard to find men who were interested in me and found me attractive. So, no longer did my bed feel big and empty. It felt the perfect size for me to sprawl out and get a good night’s rest.

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