Posts Tagged supportive

The Move

Nothing really puts stress on a relationship quite like a move. One year had gone by for CK in The Big Apple. He moved to the city in a hurry, finding a nice apartment in a convenient neighborhood, but because of the rush, he ended up paying more than one would like living in New York City. There are plenty of things to see and do in the city that never sleeps, so spending all your money on rent is no fun!

He decided when his lease was up, it was time to find new living quarters. This was quite stressful, not only for him, but also for me. Selfishly, he lived two avenues and a few blocks from my office. I could easily walk there, and commuting to his place from mine in Hoboken was a snap. Chances are, it wasn’t going to get any easier.

When he told me he started looking on the Lower East Side, I was nonplussed. I knew it was going to be a bit of a hike to get to his place every time I came to see him. The Lower East Side is only convenient to get to from one place — The Lower East Side. But, in the end, this wasn’t my decision. I was there to be supportive while he went through the stress of trying to find a new place.

When the search expanded out to include Brooklyn, I nearly had a panic attack. Screw hike — Brooklyn was going to be a day’s journey to get to from Hoboken. I was petrified for our relationship. I wasn’t sure at the time if our relationship could survive the stress on a day-to-day basis.

Finally, after his mother flew to NYC to help him pack and find a new apartment, he landed in a sweet spot. I was thrilled with the final outcome. He managed to find a room in an apartment in a managed building in Hell’s Kitchen with two roommates. I had experience in Hell’s Kitchen. Broadway lived in Hell’s Kitchen, and I was able to walk to work from his apartment. It was also very convenient for me because Port Authority wasn’t far from his apartment, so I could use the bus system. It was the quickest way to travel when heading to or from that part of town. I felt very comfortable in HK as well. I’d taken more than a handful of dates to that neighborhood. The gay population was large enough that no one looked twice at two men holding hands or sharing a kiss.

When the time came to move, I wanted to run and hide. I’d dealt with CK’s attention span before, but nothing of this caliber. I thought it nearly impossible to keep him on task so this move would go as smoothly as possible. Even with the help of his mother, there was still a lot of work to be done. CK isn’t the best planner in the world either. While the idea of booking moving men a few weeks in advance or gathering boxes crossed his mind, the action and follow-through never occurred.

I was trying to be patient. He was going through a lot. I was going to help him, not out of obligation, but out of love. He needed me, and I was going to be there for him, however, it was going to take a lot of strength and biting my tongue to get through this.

I agreed to help him pack things up Thursday after work. I had limited time, however, because I had a volleyball game that evening. I left work as soon as I could and arrived with flat boxes for him from my mail department. We made a lot of progress, but it certainly wasn’t without a lot of comments. I do have to say, it went a lot better than I expected. It certainly could have been a lot worse. Luckily I had a built-in time limit, and the time came for me to head back to Jersey.

We both took the following day off from work. After many failed attempts to get a truck, borrow someone’s car, book movers, we decided to try to rent a Zipcar. This of course wasn’t going to work because there is an application period. Although we were able to walk over to one of their offices in New York City, we had to wait for him to be approved to rent a car. We wasted most of the rest of the afternoon trying to figure out what to do and lying around. After growing incredibly frustrated with the poor use of our time, I decided to stop worrying. I tried to keep my frustration to myself. While I was going to be there to offer my support, in the end this wasn’t going to be my problem. If he drug his feet long enough, this was either going to become his huge hassle or it would increase his financial burden.

There were rides in the back of a van with boxes and potholes. There were things packed at the bottom of a box only to be torn open again. There were enough dust bunnies to start a farm. The list goes on…

Of course, there were copious amounts of arguing. We rarely agreed on anything, but we did both make an effort not to rile the other up. When we finally got all his things in a rented U-Haul van, we had to wait outside in the cold/drizzle until his roommate came downstairs to let us into the elevator bank. His roommate still hadn’t given him the key, so we had yet one more person to rely on to be responsible.

After a little blood, a lot of sweat and almost some tears, we managed to get everything into his apartment. Beyond that, we managed to get all of his belongings into his bedroom. The only thing that saved us was the fact that he didn’t have a bed yet. He left his old bed behind in the previous apartment and hadn’t ordered a new one yet. Of course, it would take some time before things got unpacked. The lack of bed also meant we had to head back to Hoboken every night so we had somewhere to sleep.

It was a very stressful weekend, but in the end, I wouldn’t trade it for the world. Sure, it could have gone smoother, but in the end, everything worked out. I was happy to help my man, and I know he truly appreciated my help. And the fact that we survived something as stressful as this told me we could survive just about anything.

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Revisiting the Past

Relationships aren’t easy. No matter whether you’re friends or lovers, each relationship is accompanied by its own set of issues. When you introduce sex into these relationships, things get exponentially more complicated.

Tuesday, I engaged in unprotected sex with M.E. It happened in the middle of the night in the passion of a moment, however, there is never an excuse. People’s lives are at stake. I tell you about the poor decisions and the mistakes I’ve made because I hope you can learn from them.

From that morning on, I was on damage control. I’d already talked to him about what transpired between us, and we agreed to get tested and share our results to ensure we were safe going forward. I called a doctor’s office and made an appointment that Wednesday following work to have an STD test.

As I walked into the doctor’s office, I noticed a few other men sitting in the waiting room. I had never been to this facility before. I was curious if they were there for the same thing I was. I began to wonder what was going through their heads. Were they petrified? Were they already infected? etc. I myself began to worry a little. I wasn’t particularly worried until I walked into the waiting room. There was nothing I could do at that point, so I tried to calm my nerves. The only good part about this was it made me quite ready to fill a cup with my urine sample. They also drew blood and told me to call in three days for my results.

Now, it was the waiting game. I couldn’t do anything and would have to wonder for three days.

That night, I had plans with P to go see Silence, The Musical. After my tests, I walked all the way downtown to meet her for dinner near the theater. Dinner was very nice. I got her caught up on all the latest action in my life. She’s always incredibly supportive, even when I make poor life choices.

We went to the show, and about two minutes in, I noticed how attractive one of the male actor/dancers was. It was a small theater, and any time he was on stage, I couldn’t take my eyes off him. When they came out for curtain call, he caught my eye, and we made eye contact. There was a bit of an awkward moment, but I was crushing a bit.

I wasn’t intimidated because I’d already dated someone who worked on Broadway. This was Off-Broadway. I didn’t think twice about what I was about to do. That night, when I got home, I decided to do some research (and when I say research, I mean stalking). I pulled out the Playbill and looked to see if I could find him on Facebook. Much to my surprise, he was on there. I decided to message him. What the hell, why not? What did I have to lose?

I’m sure you’re wondering who this is, and I really hope this doesn’t come off incredibly creepy. I myself can’t believe I’m about to send you this. (And, something tells me I may not be the first).
First off, I came to see Silence tonight and thought you were incredibly cute and incredibly talented. Your mother must be so proud.
Second off, I have no idea if you’re single or even gay. But gay or straight, single or taken, I’d love to strike up a conversation with you. On the flip side, I fully understand if this makes you uncomfortable. 
Anyway, with nothing to lose but a little dignity, I thought I’d give it a shot. Hit me back if you’re interested in chatting some time. If not, enjoy the flattery…

Then, I noticed he was a friend of Broadway, the guy I dated for ten months. I pulled out my phone and texted him to see what their relationship was. His response was, “Who is that?” I explained who he was and how they were Facebook friends. “Oh yes. We audition together. HOT!! You dating?” I told him, “No. I just cold called him on Facebook after seeing his show… LOL. We’ll see what happens. Think I creeped him out?” He felt I did creep him out, but I explained how I had nothing to lose.

Sadly, I never heard back from him. It just wasn’t meant to be.

Much later that night, I received a text from the guy I had sex with when I cheated on N. We’d been texting a bit recently after noticing each other on Grindr. He asked if I was up. I replied, and he asked if he could come over. Apparently, I was getting a booty call. It was about 11:30, but I didn’t see the harm. After all, I did fantasize about the first time we had sex quite often. It was something my mind went back to many times. This isn’t because of the cheating. It was simply because the sex was that good.

He came over, and I could tell he’d been drinking a bit. He immediately commented on how crazy it was that my new apartment looked exactly like my last. He began taking his shoes off before hopping on the bed with me. He immediately began making out with me interspersed with conversation. He never got closure with how messed up things ended between him, N and myself.

He wanted to talk a lot about him. I would have been fine if N never even came up in conversation. I learned they got together once after I told him to take a hike. It was hysterical how much their accounts of this encounter were completely different. The only commonality was how much disdain they had for each other. At one point he mentioned how dirty N was. I asked him to clarify as in physically or as in naughty. He then went on to describe a particular body part that would only have been encountered during sex and how disgusting it was. He then went on to tell me they never had sex. He told me N just gave him a blowjob and he finished on his face. He pointed out his surprise I ever dated N. N’s account of the story was they met on the street. After seeing him, he couldn’t believe I would hook up with someone so ugly, let alone cheat on him with someone of that caliber. All I could do was laugh my a$$ off in my head. These two were ridiculous. I was so happy I cut things off with both when I did.

After the N conversation concluded, he really wanted to have sex with me. He mentioned how amazing it was the last time we hooked up, and he told me he hadn’t had sex with a man since the previous summer. I told him how hot it was last time we hooked up and how I referred back to it many times in my mind. With that, the clothes began to strip off.

Warning: The following may be too graphic for some. We were intertwined in each other’s embrace making out. I found myself lying on my stomach with him on top of me. I knew he would try to penetrate me, but I wasn’t game for that. The last time he did that, I sprang from the bed because he did it with no preparation and full force. I wasn’t about to let that happen again. He tried and tried, and I never relaxed to allow entry. I think he got embarrassed with his fumbling, and he made a comment. I complimented him and told him he was too large for me. We switched positions, much to his chagrin, and now I was the one on top. He was on his back, and I put his legs up on my shoulders.

He told me how much he enjoyed me inside him because I hit his prostrate just right. With that, I slipped inside him. It felt amazing. It was just as good as the last time I played over and over again in my mind’s eye. He loved it too. After a short while, he finished on his abdomen. Seconds later, I alerted him I was about to finish. He replied, “I want you to shoot inside me,” and I did. For me, this was a first, and it felt incredible.

I’m not sure why, but I had no problem finishing this time. It completely came naturally and without over thought. I felt amazing and incapacitated all in one. We lay there next to each other speechless for a minute before even moving or talking. We were in euphoria.

When that wore off, I became the topic of conversation. N told him about the blog when everything went down. He told me he read part of it and still didn’t understand why I wrote it. He also asked this story not make an appearance, but I find it too important to exclude. He pointed out I was looking for a boyfriend, and that was not what he was looking for at all. He pointed out how I was going about things all the wrong way if I wanted to find love. I explained to him all my trials and tribulations and what I was looking for in the end. He fully understood.

Then he made a comment about how stupid we were to not use a condom. I agreed. I’m sure he was far more worried about the situation than I was since I finished inside him. Apparently, with everything I’ve been through, I still didn’t learn my lesson. I wasn’t being responsible.

This was my wake-up call. I’d hit rock bottom. I’d gotten so reckless with my life. I needed to stop before I did something that could end my life. What was I doing? How could I be this stupid? This wasn’t how to find love — Having unprotected sex with the guy I cheated on my ex with. No more excuses. No more Grindr hookups. No more strangers. If I wasn’t finding love, I would be single and celibate for some time until I got myself under control. This was my turning point.

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Texts From the South

Smiles was halfway across the country and Christmas was rapidly approaching. There’s something about dating someone over the holidays that makes you really appreciate that person. There’s also something to be said about being single over the holidays that makes me utterly depressed. I was happy to be on the dating side of the fence this year, but I would certainly miss Smiles.

While he was home, he sent me periodic texts out of the blue. I got a few picture messages of him and his mother’s dog on the beach and some pictures from around town. They were sweet simple texts that showed me even though he was many states away, he was still thinking about me throughout his day.

This seemed a bit of a stark contrast to the conversation we had just before he left. He told me he couldn’t be in a serious relationship right now. If that was the case, why was he reaching out to me even when I wasn’t around. I started to wonder if maybe he didn’t know what he wanted.

As he was driving around, he called me to chat. It was a really sweet conversation. He was asking how I was doing and what I’d been up to since everyone left town ahead of me. He was telling me all about where he grew up and his old high school. We talked about his mother a fair amount and her business. He sent me a picture of some of the things she worked on.

I was getting access to mother information. You don’t share that with someone you don’t truly care about. I was getting more of him. It was exactly what I wanted. I wanted to know more about where he came from. I wanted him to open up. I wanted it all.

Maybe my conversation sparked something inside him. Maybe he realized he wasn’t appreciating me as much as he should, but there certainly was a stark difference between the time we spent together before the conversation and the time following.

As the rest of the family was arriving into town, Smiles started getting anxious. This is something he did regularly — Got worked-up over small things. He was texting me about solutions to the problem, such as drinking. I encouraged him to do whatever made him comfortable. There was no reason he couldn’t have a few cocktails to take off the edge if it would make him more relaxed. He was anxious about talking about his career. He was still working hard to get it off the ground, and I think he was ashamed about that. I told him he needed to be proud for being so brave for starting something from the ground floor. Not many people can do that. They just go work for someone who has already done all the heavy lifting. He has very low self-esteem when it comes to his job, and he has no reason to. No one finds overnight success, and I have strived to convey this to him constantly while being very supportive of all his ventures.

I think my pep-talk worked because his texts became more light-hearted and relaxed. Either that, or he took my advice with the cocktails to a much higher level.

The morning my sister and I were driving home to Pennsylvania, he texted just to see how my day was going. Again, I love these sweet gestures that show he’s thinking about me. I was much happier over the past few days than I was immediately following our conversation.

When I got home, I had no cell phone service. It makes it a little more difficult to talk without a little more effort. I made sure he had my parents’ landline number, but I knew he wouldn’t call it. He probably didn’t want to have to talk to anyone if he called and they picked up.

I had his number, but now I was settling in with the family. I wasn’t home for long, so I wanted to make sure the time I was there, I was present. I didn’t want to be running off constantly making phone calls.

It was Christmas Eve, and I was off to mass with my family. I texted him on the way to say hi and let him know I was thinking about him.

When I came back out of mass, I had a response. He told me he dodged the church bullet. I told him I wasn’t so lucky. My parents’ priest is one of the most boring people I have ever encountered. Going to church is penance in itself.

I wished him a Merry Christmas Eve just before driving out of cellphone service. We were on our way home to take our annual family Christmas photo before relaxing for the rest of the night in front of the TV…

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Busy, Busy, Busy

I was having one hell of a busy week. I was running errands all over New Jersey. I was cooking. I was cleaning. I was unpacking boxes… The list goes on…

The party was one day away. I was making good progress. Now, I’m not trumping up how much I had to do with gay drama either. The list was really a mountain to conquer.

I’ve had my holiday party four years now, and the fifth was not about to fall short of the other four. I strive to make each year better than the last, and I think I’ve been quite successful.

I had my day quite planned out, but plans changed. Smiles volunteered to help me out with the party planning. He spent the night, but come late morning, he was ready to go home. I didn’t say anything to him about staying, but I was a little disappointed. It wasn’t that I needed the help. My friend P was arriving shortly. I wanted to spend the day with him. I had the day off from work and there was no reason in my mind we couldn’t be together.

I also told P he would be there, and I was excited for her to meet him. Not many of my friends had met him before, and I knew that would be a familiar face for him come the night of the party if he met her ahead of time — Not to be the case.

P and I had a fun work-filled day. We watched TV while we prepared fried hot wing dip balls. When those were done, we moved onto rolling the bacon and onion cream cheese crescent rolls. Next, we were on to preparing the mini PBJs, cheesecake filled strawberries, crab rangoons, Swedish meatballs, pierogies, popcorn turkey bites, cheddar garlic biscuits… The list goes on (As you can see I don’t mess around).

The sun was setting, so we broke to grab dinner. I bought us take-out since we were both tired of cooking. After we ate, I decided we should call it a night on the cooking. I thanked P graciously for all her help. She really saved my ass, and she made the day go by much faster.

I tried to tackle some of the cleaning that night before crashing on the couch. I couldn’t do too much because I’d prob get it dirty again the next day. When I felt I’d made enough progress, I called it a night.

Smiles had been texting me throughout the evening to see how things were going. I decided to call him to see how his day was. We had a very nice chat on the phone, and he was very supportive of my party preparations. It was nice to see him in this role, as usually the roles were the reverse. I was usually there supporting him.

We finished our pleasant phone conversation, and I went to bed. I had a lot of work to do before the forty guests arrived the following evening.

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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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