Posts Tagged tickets

Nearing the End of My Rope

Tensions were high between CK and I. Nearly every night, we’d find something to argue about. Although it didn’t always result in an explosive fight, there always seemed to be some kind of noise in the background. The honeymoon was officially over.

FightWhen we woke in the morning, CK apologized for the night before, as did I. As we got ready for work, we both agreed underwear was not something we should be fighting about. After making us breakfast, we ate, showered together, got dressed and made our way to the PATH.

A day prior, CK got tickets to see Hot Chip in Brooklyn from a coworker . He asked if I was interested in going. We had already planned to head to Brooklyn to visit Hip since he was recovering from his second hip replacement surgery, so I said, “Sure. Why not?”

StarbucksCaramelWhile we were at work, we nailed down plans via text and phone. Since I finished much earlier than he did, I hopped on the subway and made my way to his office. He wasn’t quite ready yet, so I asked for his coffee order and hit up Starbucks. I didn’t sleep very well the night before, so I needed something to keep me up and give me the energy to be a fun date.

While riding the subway out to Brooklyn, I asked CK if he requested the time off to join my family on vacation. He reacted to the question as if this was some big surprise. I’d only been asking him about it for a solid month. When he asked me to take time off and book a flight to Miami for his nephews birthdays, I did it without question. Now that I was asking him to take time off to be with me and my family, he didn’t think he could get the time off. I was p*ssed! I found it quite selfish. If he’d requested the time when I originally asked, we wouldn’t have gotten into the argument that ensued. As I said, we seemed to be fighting about everything.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAThe rest of the ride wasn’t pleasant. It grew to far higher proportions when we got off the subway. I wanted nothing more than to get right back on the subway and make my way home. I no longer had any interest in going to the concert, and I told him that. It takes two to fight, so I take half the responsibility, but he was being rude and treating me in a way I wasn’t willing to subject myself to. As a result, I skulked behind him as we walked through Prospect Park. As he yelled at me for not helping him navigate our way to the concert, I shouted back, “Fine. Just go without me! I don’t want to go anymore. I’m not going to have any fun.” I wanted nothing to do with him or Hot Chip.

I think he understood I was serious and responded by apologizing. “Can we just get past this tonight?” he asked. “Do we have to sacrifice our entire night over this fight?” I didn’t want to just put on a happy face and grin through it. I was angry, and to be honest, I wanted to go home out of spite. The concert was something he wanted to go to, and just as he didn’t put in the effort to come with me on vacation, I wasn’t going to come to the concert. I realized how unproductive this would be, so I agreed to go (not before numerous attempts to make my way back to Hoboken).

ConcertWhen we finally made it in to the concert, CK bought me a few beers, and we cut through the crowd to watch the concert already in progress. Surprisingly, I started to have a better time. Admittedly, I’d never heard of the band before we arrived, and I didn’t recognize any of their music. The fighting ended, and CK was being affectionate. We even made a few friends while moving from place to place among the crowd and managed to bum a smoke off some nice guys.

When the concert was over, it was far too late to visit Hip. I felt really bad considering he was the original plan and reason for the trip to Brooklyn. I wasn’t thrilled we sacrificed his visit for a concert, but in the end, it was CK’s decision.

On the walk to the subway, we found ourselves in a situation once again that birthed yet another argument. When we were a safe distance away from the situation, I began to calmly explain how p*ssed I was at him. Once again, he didn’t think it was a big deal and almost brushed it off as if I was overreacting. I didn’t care. To me, it was so much more. I told him explicitly how much I didn’t like these types of situations, and he completely disregarded those feelings. I don’t think he consciously acted in spite of my request — Quite the opposite. I don’t think he was thinking at all.

After arguing about the matter the rest of the way to the subway, I decided I wasn’t going to engage him in conversation any longer. Clearly I wasn’t getting through to him. We rode the subway with a large group CK decided to befriend. I wanted nothing to do with them. When he asked me questions or tried to introduce me, I simply ignored him. If he wasn’t going to take my feelings into consideration any longer, I wasn’t going to regard his either. I began to wonder if this was something we’d ever get passed. Maybe we were just inherently different. Maybe he would never be able to see things through my eyes. I began to think about what it would mean to end things. Obviously that would be my last resort, but I began to prepare myself for that possibility.

FriendsArgueI was also in a tough spot because I was spending the night at his place. By the time we resurfaced in midtown, CK finally realized I was ignoring him. He started to get irritated by this, and yet another fight broke out between us. This time, I didn’t care. I went nuts. I didn’t care who saw us fighting or what they heard as I laid into him. We argued back and forth about the severity of the incident at hand for some time. He didn’t realize it, but as each of these incidents came up, my tolerance for them dwindled more and more. Toward the end of the argument, I think CK finally got a clear idea of the zero tolerance I had left. I’m not the most bending person (and that’s an understatement), but this was one sticking point I wasn’t going to bend on. I didn’t care how small the infraction. He had a choice, and he needed to pick me.

He finally understood my stance and apologized for everything. He didn’t think this fell under my umbrella of discomfort. He finally understood that nothing in this realm would be acceptable to me. We were able to civilly walk the rest of the way back to his place, but the conversation was certainly nonexistent.

When we got back to his bedroom, I brushed my teeth, stripped down to my boxer briefs and climbed right into bed. CK finished what he needed to do before bed and climbed into the opposite side of the bed. That night, we didn’t go to bed fighting, but there wasn’t a lot of love in the bed either.

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Cooler Heads Prevail

Preparing to get ready for the Scissor Sisters concert was a sh*t show and a half. This was twice now CK and I fought before going to an event. I was beginning to wonder if we would ever be able to go to these kinds of events without it turning into a fight. I had finally grown more comfortable with the crowds at these events, but I was growing uncomfortable with the idea of going with CK to them. Living up to what I thought were CK’s expectations was a lot of pressure to deal with.

CK and Hip were ready, but the tickets were nowhere to be found. After quite some time, Hip managed to find the tickets behind the couch. It seemed like he happened to know where they were in a moment of clarity. At this point, we quickly made our way out of the apartment to see if we could salvage what was left of the concert. Like the flip of a switch, CK began apologizing to me and asked me to come along and be happy. His main concern was getting to the concert, not whether or not we were okay. It was incredibly selfish, and it hurt a lot. We quickly hustled the ten blocks to the venue, but I skulked behind a few paces every turn we made. I was really hurting deep inside. Things weren’t going very well between us the way it was, but this took things to a new level. I wasn’t saying anything. I was in shock about what had transpired. To be honest, I wasn’t quite sure what I was still doing there.

I’m not good at putting on a smile and bearing down. I may have been present physically, but mentally, I was in a whole other world.

When we got to the doors at Terminal 5, a large mass of people were walking out the door. CK cut through the crowds heading in the exit only to find the concert had ended. Everyone was leaving. I stood on the street with my arms crossed because I knew there was no hope. I also wasn’t about to chase CK through a mass of people. When CK finally realized all hope was lost, his anger returned. Hip continued to apologize over and over again, but CK wanted none of it. I wasn’t upset in the slightest because I was in no mood to go to a concert. The three of us managed to find each other, and we all agreed we were starving.

I was pretty wasted, and we stumbled back towards his apartment searching for somewhere to grab food. We didn’t pass anything along the way, and CK mentioned getting take-out delivered. When we got back to his place, I hopped into bed immediately. I was hungry, but more importantly, I was drunk and upset. I wanted to go to bed to escape what was going on around me. I fell asleep in CK’s bed still fully clothed.

I woke the next morning to the sound of Hip knocking on CK’s door. Originally, we planned to go to the cloisters in north Manhattan, but those plans would never come to fruition. For some ungodly reason, Hip was wide awake with lots of energy. I, on the other hand, was incredibly hung over. Everything was too bright, too loud and too real. I just wanted to go back to bed and sleep off my hangover. Hip sat on the foot of the bed talking about the night before and asking a lot of questions. Apparently, he had even more to drink than I did. He kept asking if we actually ever made it to the concert, and this was really the last thing CK wanted to hear. Every time he brought up the previous night, it made CK grow more and more frustrated.

At one point, Hip excused himself to use the restroom. CK and I took the opportunity to chat while he was absent. I was still quite upset, but I wasn’t going to make a scene. This was the perfect opportunity to talk. I brought up everything from the night before and explained how none of it was okay. I point blank asked him what Hip handed him the night before. He responded, “I have no clue what you’re even talking about.” When I pushed the issue, he denied any recollection of it emphatically. After my suspicions and insinuations, he detailed how the only substances he partook in the previous night was alcohol. Based on his reaction and emphatic response, I believed him. I was not okay with how he acted or how he treated my, but I did believe him. I put my worries aside and took his word for it. I had no reason not to believe him. After our previous conversations on the subject, I wondered if maybe I had finally gotten through to him.

I told him if he ever lays a hand on me like that again, we’re done. He didn’t hurt me physically, and I did loved him. But, this was not something I would tolerate. The next time, I was actually walking out the door, and I was never coming back. I made sure he understood how serious I was about this. I wasn’t afraid for my own safety. I was more afraid for both of us. I didn’t know what would happen if things escalated out of control because we both had short tempers. I stressed this point numerous times. Again, he apologized emphatically. I could see his apology was genuine, and I accepted it. He loved me, and I could see it pained him to know how much he hurt me. He apologized for everything and I forgave him for everything. “Forgiven, but not forgotten. We will not go through this again,” I added.

We literally kissed and made up, but things didn’t stop there. He was very sweet in his remorse. Apparently, he was feeling a bit frisky. Warning: The following may be too graphic for some. We started to make out, and when I pointed out Hip just on the other side of the bathroom door, he didn’t stop. As per usual, I woke in the morning raring to go, and CK took advantage of this. We were making out and my hands were exploring his entire body under the comforter. He was straddling me, and he reached down with his hand and sat on top of me. It was incredibly hot, but I was still a little self-conscious about the whole thing.

Just as I predicted, Hip emerged from the bathroom with CK still straddling me. I didn’t know what to do, but we didn’t immediately separate either. We both turned our gazes to meet his with a guilty look upon our faces. He knew exactly what was happening, but he went about his business accordingly. We all laughed at the situation as I slowly removed myself from CK. It was necessary to break the tension in the room.

We continued to lay around for a majority of the morning chatting and relaxing. Before Hip got back into the previous night, CK pleaded, “Can we talk about anything other than last night please?” After some time, we were finally able to motivate ourselves to get out of bed and face the day…

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Matinee Street Team

CK and I arrived home, and after a night of shirtless dancing together, we were both ready to get down and dirty. Our night out with Old News was a little disappointing and frustrating for me, but I put it all in perspective for myself. CK loved me, and he came home with me. He no longer lived in the same building as Old News, and I hoped they saw very little of each other when I wasn’t around. I had no reason not to trust CK with him. After all, it was he who told me about their failed plan to move in together when Old News professed his feelings for him. We’d only been on a handful of dates at the time, but he felt comfortable telling me about their brief history.

Anyway, back to the good stuff. Warning: The following may be too graphic for some. We were barely in the door before CK started pillaging my body. He was stripping my clothes from my body as we both moved toward the bed. I got him down to his briefs before he shoved me backward onto the bed. He pounced like a jungle cat, and we began to roll around on the bed furiously. We couldn’t keep our hands off each other. They were exploring every inch of the other’s body.

At first he was on top, and then I was on top. Our positions changed by the minute. Things were incredibly passionate, and what ensued was the best sex we’d had to date. It was raw and sexy, passionate and dirty. We were both enjoying ourselves immensely, climaxing in turn.

We laid next to each other as beads of sweat ran across our bodies. The sex was HOT! We were both exhausted since it was late, and we had a long night at the club. We passed out like rocks until the morning.

When we woke in the morning, we had a busy day ahead of ourselves. We got up, showered and made our way out the door. I was starving. While CK was on his cleanse, drinking a shake, I needed real food. Since I was watching what I ate, we stopped at Subway on the way to his friends’ apartment. I wasn’t exactly looking forward to this after the way his friend treated me, however, I was going to be the better man. I would kill him with kindness.

When we arrived, I got a tepid welcome from his friend. Hip, however, was thrilled to see me and gave me a big hug. We sat and chatted a bit about our plans for the rest of the day. Although his friend bought he and his boyfriend tickets to Matinee that evening, he decided not to go. Everyone else tried to convince him to come, to no avail. He wasn’t budging. Hip, on the other hand, wasn’t planning to go since it wasn’t that long ago he had hip replacement surgery. With some gentle prodding, we convinced him to join us. I was utterly thrilled. I needed a bit of a security blanket for this event. I was freaking out a little inside, and having another friend there would be key to my sanity. It also worked out for Hip and I because we were able to buy the unused tickets, but that’s another story for another time.

CK and I were on a schedule. Unbeknownst to me, CK had volunteered us to be a part of some street team for Matinee. I had no idea what he’d gotten us into. I already wasn’t entirely comfortable with the weekend ahead, and he wasn’t making it easier by surprising me with activities.

We made our way to Columbus Circle to meet up with a friend of a friend of someone he chatted with on Twitter. I still had no idea what we were doing, and CK wasn’t even waiting for me to cross the street. I stood on one side of the street watching him walk away completely oblivious to my lack of presence as he ran in front of cars talking on his phone. I was really starting to get annoyed. He wasn’t taking my feelings into consideration at all.

About 30 yards later, he realized I wasn’t there and finally turned around to look for me. By then, I was approaching him after the light changed. I don’t think my faced could have shown more apathy than it did in that moment. I asked him what we were doing and who we were looking for, and finally I got some answers, vague as they were. “We’re looking for a bunch of hot boys handing out flyers. We’re going to help hand out flyers or something,” he said. We searched all over Columbus Circle for these guys, even venturing underground to Equinox.

Finally, we managed to meet up with them. There was an adorably mismatched couple, a black diva and a Brooklyn hipster. While we waited for them to get their act in gear, I stood analyzing the couple. I was a little fascinated by them. They obviously both worked out a lot, but one was an energetic, tiny guy, and the other a soft-spoken, burly bear. I was very curious who was the top and who was the bottom, but I dared not ask.

Apparently, I was going to fully embrace the essence of pride. The plan was for us to canvas Hell’s Kitchen, handing out flyers to passersby while we made a ruckus to draw attention. We were outfitted with t-shirts, buttons, hats, large signs, water guns, flyers and more. I took a t-shirt and followed everyone else’s lead, customizing my shirt by ripping and tearing it. I felt very self-conscious, but I tried to embrace it. There was no getting out of this, so I needed to make the best of it. I took a large stack of flyers and started handing them out to every guy we passed and placed them on every surface I could.

Along the way, we made a few stops at stores and made some new friends. I was actually starting to have fun with my new street brigade. The burly bear still fascinated me. This wasn’t because I had a crush on him or anything. I’m just a people watcher, and I was noticing how shy this big beefy dude was. I also learned his boyfriend was one of the dancers on the stage the night before at XL. We stopped at Tagg to say hi to some guys selling apparel on the sidewalk in front of the store. They told us they had a free open bar and invited us to take advantage. I wasn’t ready to drink yet, but I thought maybe it might loosen me up.

We continued down Ninth Avenue, handing out flyers and stopping in more stores. While in Universal Gear, CK fell in love with a pair of booty shorts. The rest of the crew was ready to keep on keeping on, but in true fashion, CK was stopping to try them on. He decided he “absolutely NEEDED” to wear them to Matinee that night. Naturally. I went outside to hang with the rest of the crew while he stood in line to pay, telling them they could move on, and we’d catch up.

Eventually, CK emerged elated, and we were on our way. Hip joined us for the last leg of our journey. We had fun together, messing around until we reached our final stop.

I am delighted to say, I actually had a good time promoting. Normally, that sort of thing is my biggest nightmare. But, by embracing the experience fully, I was able to let go and have fun; I simply stopped caring!

When we finished our promotion journey, we made our way back to CK’s apartment to get ready. Little did I know what exactly that would entail, but I knew the night was only going to get crazier and more stressful from there.

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After much planning with CK‘s friend, Operation Diversion and Surprise was well under way. I successfully threw CK off the scent, even though that meant making him feel like none of his friends love him. I really did feel bad about that. CK truly cherishes the close friends he has. To feel that none of your closest friends care enough about you to spend the evening with you is a bit heartbreaking.

After ensuring CK would be surprised, I went back to work. I needed to get everyone in gear to ensure I would be able to leave in time to pull this surprise off.

As the end of the day was approaching, I was looking good on time. The man I loved was going to get the surprise he deserved.  When my day was ending, I contacted CK to tell him I was finishing up. I told him to come up to Chelsea Market in a cab, and I would hop in before riding up to his apartment.

As I was finishing up at work, I realized I didn’t get CK a card. I’d already bought him a birthday present. A week and a half earlier, I bought us tickets to see Once on Broadway for his birthday. We really enjoyed it, however, in the cab on the way home, we got into a big argument. It severely tainted the night. We were having a great night out, but it turned sour very fast. After some raised voices and a little pushing and shoving, I was ready to head home for the night, but better judgment kicked in. I wanted this night to be special. I wanted this to make up for ruining his “birthday” night out with me.

I quickly ran across the street to Chelsea Market to find a shop to buy a card. Luckily, I quickly found the perfect card for him. As we got more comfortable with each other, we began breaking wind in each other’s presence. It started off innocently enough, but it quickly escalated in days to the point of no inhibition at all. You can obviously see how appropriate the card was.

Just as I was coming back outside, CK pulled up in a cab. I was texting CK’s friend to talk timing, and it was working out well for everyone involved that we were running a few minutes behind. Apparently, all his friends were banking on us running late. They truly know us all too well. This was a big relief. I didn’t know how I would convince CK to hurry up and get ready if just the two of us were going out to dinner. I told him I had a reservation, but I didn’t want to raise suspicion.

We got back to his apartment, and got ready. CK wasn’t the only one getting a surprise that night. I was shocked when he got ready in record time. As we walked out the door, he commented, “Baby, we’re doing really well on time!” I agreed with a big smile and gave him a big kiss.

We walked a few blocks, and I still wouldn’t tell him where we were headed. When we got to Q2, I walked up to the door and opened it for him. He was very pleasantly surprised. “Baby! You picked this because we ate here when I moved in, didn’t you!? You’re so sweet!” I simply replied, “Yup,” as I motioned for him walk in ahead of me to discover his friends. Only problem was, he didn’t notice them. He began talking to the hostess to get us a table for two. That is, until I tapped him on the shoulder and pointed to the big table of all his friends.

I can honestly say, until that moment, I’d never seen CK so happy. He was purely ecstatic! Everyone stood and gave him a big hug. “I can’t believe it! You guys really pulled it off! No one has ever surprised me before,” he said as he was handed flowers. CK’s friend and I shared a sideways glance that simply showed how proud of ourselves we were.

The night was a blast. We all sat and had a lovely meal together. Everyone was happy and smiling and having fun. CK’s friend’s mother even called to sing him happy birthday over the phone. When we finished eating, we all made our way back to CK’s apartment a few blocks away to get ready to go out for the night.

After getting changed, we made our way to Therapy and Industry. We stayed out dancing until the lights came on and the bar shut down.  CK looked like he was having the time of his life all night long. We snapped a lot of pictures that night, and looking back, everyone was having a great time.

I think I successfully made up for the botched birthday present. Not only that, I accomplished one of my life’s goals of throwing someone a surprise present. I couldn’t think of a more worthy man than CK to receive that surprise. We all had a truly exciting night out together. I felt a little guilty for making CK feel so low that afternoon, but in the end, I think we gave CK, the man I love with all my heart,  a night he’ll never forget.

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The Game of Phones

Early in my relationship with CK, I was introduced to two of his friends in line at the movies. They were dating each other, and had been CK’s friends for some time. He had a small ensemble of friends compared to my rather sizable pack, so I knew each of them was precious to him. I was nervous to meet them the first time, and following that night, I didn’t quite feel I’d made the cut. I’d seen them twice since then — on the day we took CK’s mother out for mother’s day, but we were in a large group. I couldn’t quite gauge how they felt about me. The other time was to see Battleship, and I had very limited contact with them that night.

When CK asked me if I wanted to go see Prometheus with this pair, I politely obliged. Prometheus wasn’t something I felt necessary to go to the theater to see, as I didn’t go to the movies all that often, but it was something CK was excited to see. To say his friend was excited to see it would be an understatement. To him, this was “the movie of the summer.”

As you know, I’m a Groupon/Living Social fiend. When CK asked if I wanted to go, I asked him to tell his friend to hold off on buying our tickets because I had a Fandango gift certificate I purchased through Living Social. It was commonplace for his friend to purchase our tickets as well as his own, and while this gesture is very nice and greatly appreciated, it offered the two of us little advantage. Once, we had to search the theater to find out who had them at “will call.” Another night, we were at dinner and had to ask for our entrees to be packaged up so we could make the movie in time. Had the tickets not been pre-purchased, we could have simply apologized for our lack of planning and told the happy couple to enjoy the movie without us.

I attempted to use the gift certificate, but it expired. I wasn’t about to ask his friend to purchase our tickets at this point after already telling him not to. I took care of it myself. All of this transpired over text, and when the purchase was finalized, I told CK I got our tickets.

The day of the movie, we arrived at his friends’ apartment slightly behind schedule. It’s rare CK and I can get anywhere on time. I learned early on, as I was told by CK’s friends, “There is normal time, there is Cuban Standard Time and there is [CK] Standard Time.” As a result, CK’s friend was already in a less than chipper mood. We quickly flagged down a cab to the theater to try to get there in time to get decent seats. As soon as we entered the theater, I made a beeline to the ticket kiosk. I swiped my card and the machine dispensed two tickets. At this point, CK’s friend spoke up and said, “Wait. You didn’t get our tickets?!” I explained to him how I told CK to tell him to hold off on purchasing our tickets, not all the tickets. He was fuming. I told him to see if it was sold out, and indeed it was. I was mortified. I know I did nothing wrong, and it was a miscommunication, however, I felt horrible. I immediately told his friend to take our tickets. We would go see something else. He wanted none of it. He got into a tizzy and said they wouldn’t get good seats at this point anyway because we were so late. I insisted he take out tickets, and he said no and stormed off.

At that point, my guilt was lifted. As I said, I did nothing wrong, but for him to respond to me in that way after an honest mistake on all our parts was totally uncalled for. At this point, it was safe to say his opinion of me was no longer in limbo; it was in the sh*tter. As a result, I was p*ssed! Why was he holding this against me? CK was the one who told him to hold off. After speaking to CK, he didn’t expect me to have all four tickets. He was under the same assumption I was about our two tickets. I was already walking on egg shells around this friend, but now I didn’t know how to act around him. We both agreed, from then on out, we would always take care of our own tickets and no one else’s.

CK and I found two seats and watched the movie with ample time to get popcorn and soda from good seats. We both enjoyed the movie, but I left with a bad taste in my mouth from the whole experience. I didn’t understand why all the hostility was being directed at me. Yes, I was a part of it, but I certainly wasn’t the entire problem. With that, I let it go. There was no use in me harping on it. It happened, I apologized, and it was time to move on.

After the movie, we went back to CK’s apartment. I was still a little stressed and still feeling a little fat, so I asked CK if he minded if I went for a quick run. He was cool with it, so off I went for fifteen minutes. When I returned, we showered and attempted to find a place for dinner.

We managed to find a place very close to his apartment. We’d eyed Taboon every time we passed, so we decided to finally give it a shot. The food was excellent, the service was superb, and the company was impeccable. It was the perfect way to end a weekend. I couldn’t think of a better place to finish my Sunday night than a romantic dinner with my man close to “home.” We shared a great meal and great conversation throughout dinner, and when it was over, we walked back to his apartment.

As our lives were blending, I was still finding pitfalls, however, I feel I was navigating them pretty damn well. The movie incident could have gone much smoother, but mistakes happen and life goes on. In the end, it was a movie, but as I would learn later, it was so much more…

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No Day at the Beach

Before going to bed Friday night, CK and I made plans to go to the beach the following day. The weather was supposed to be gorgeous, and I hadn’t made it to the beach yet this year. I was very excited to go, but I also knew it would be a bit up an uphill struggle to get CK and his friends coordinated for a train ride to the beach in a timely manner.

We spent the night at his place thinking it would cut down on commute time in the morning. I was already packed and ready to go the night before because I had to bring all my things into the city in anticipation of going. My plan was to wake up, shower and go. That plan would not come to fruition. It was very difficult not only getting CK out of bed, but also getting him to move once I got him up. We ended up leaving his apartment late and came to the realization we would not make the train we originally planned. It also didn’t help that I told his two friends to meet us on the wrong corner, but when we tried to reach both of them, neither picked up their phones.

When we finally all gathered, we realized we’d have to take the next train in 45 min. I felt bad because I knew how much of a stickler for time one of CK’s friends was. I bought our tickets, and we decided to find a nearby spot to grab breakfast. One of his friends offered to pay for mine since I bought the tickets. I found it ironic because he was normally he was also a stickler for numbers when it came to payments, and I didn’t see how he would be buying me $30 worth of breakfast. However, I didn’t say anything because I didn’t want to make it a thing.

We finished our breakfast and made our way to the train. The four of us found seats and relaxed for the ride out there. It was then I noticed, only by contrast, how affectionate CK and I were.

When we got to Long Beach, we made a pit stop at Starbucks and a drugstore to buy beach tickets before heading to the sand. We met up with my sister and one of my previous female roommates. I introduced everyone and we laid out in the sun. CK and one of his friends had square-cut suits on, and his other friend and I had on short board shorts. Because of this, I wonder if my sister was slightly uncomfortable. This wasn’t something she was used to. Periodically, I would wear my square-cut bathing suit from my days of college swimming, but I didn’t walk around in it. I only laid out in the sun in it, and this still brought comments from her. I bring this up because she basically didn’t talk to the four of us the entire day. She’s a little antisocial by nature, but never quite to this extent.

We had a nice relaxing day, taking pictures and making videos in the sun. When CK and I got bored, I decided to try to teach him paddle ball. I always liked playing because I get beach ADD. While we were playing, dark clouds started to roll in. We weren’t at the beach three hours when the other two guys were ready to go home. I don’t think they liked the scene because it wasn’t “gay enough” for them. On top of this, my sister wasn’t exactly chatting them up while CK and I played. We were summoned back to the blanket so we could pack up and head home. I felt it was a bit of a waste of a day, but I these were CK’s friends. I didn’t want to make a bad impression by disagreeing with their plans.

We found a bar so some of the group could use the facilities. While we waited, I ordered myself, CK and one of his friends a drink. When we finished, we made our way back to the train station. When we got back to the city, we split ways. I felt there was a bit of tension in the air, but I couldn’t put my finger on it. So, when the time came to split, it felt like a bit of relief. Had I done something wrong? Did his friend simply not like me? Who knew?

On the walk back to CK’s apartment, we stopped in the comic book store. Just then, the sky opened up and started pouring. At least we were indoors, so we poked around the comic book store until the storm lifted. We grabbed a slice of pizza to share to hold us over for dinner, we showered, and we had sex.

After laying in his bed most of the evening, the time came for us to head back to Hoboken to grab dinner. I had a Groupon I planned to use up. This was our new economical way of going out to dinner on a budget. It was around 10:30, so I called the place to make sure they were still serving dinner. We made our way back to the train to Hoboken to spend the rest of the night…

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Planning for a Future

Thursday morning, I woke up to a kiss from CK. I loved waking up this way. It was so much better than an alarm clock. The night before, we had a deliciously fun night involving lobsters.

I warned him that morning I most likely wouldn’t be seeing him that night. I had a pitch the following day, and I was expecting to be at work a little later to prepare.

We made our way to the PATH to go to work — Late, of course, from fooling around. I’m always horniest in the morning. I simply can’t keep my hands off him.

We texted back and forth all afternoon, talking about how much we missed each other already. We were that sickening couple who are so incredibly happy together you want to hurl, but then you recognize the love, and it makes you all warm inside.

Just as I suspected, I had to work late. I wouldn’t make it to volleyball that night, but I still held out hope I could swing by his place before heading home when I finished work, if even just to give him a kiss.

When I had a break in the evening, I stepped away to call him. I thought I’d be done at a fairly reasonable hour to swing by, but as time progressed, that seemed like less and less of a good idea. I felt bad because I felt like I was letting him down.

I finally finished around midnight. I called him on my way home to say goodnight. He asked me about my day, and while I was explaining it to him, he fell asleep on me. I couldn’t be mad about that. He didn’t do it on purpose. He was tired. I found it cute and funny actually.

I did really need him though. It was a very stressful day at work, and all I wanted was his warm embrace to make it all melt away. I wasn’t going to get that though. It made no sense for him to come out to my place that night because I had to head to the pitch out in Jersey early in the morning. I would have to be patient and wait until Friday evening to see him again.

I finally made it to bed around two am. I had to get up at six am. I am not a morning person, so clearly I wasn’t a happy camper. All I wanted to do was stay in bed with my babe. I hopped in the car service and made my way out to the offices of the company we were pitching.

As I was setting up the room for the meeting, I noticed a text from CK wishing me luck. It was incredibly cute and sweet. My heart melted a little, and I couldn’t wait to see him and thank him for his words of encouragement. They meant the world to me. He was considerate enough to remember what I was doing and wish me luck.

When my meeting ended, I called CK on my ride home. I didn’t need to go back to the office, so I had some time to myself. He told me his two friends, who were dating each other, wanted to go see another movie with us. They wanted to see Battleship. I wasn’t entirely thrilled to go see this, but I had no better plans or idea, so I agreed. I didn’t care what we were seeing. As long as I was sitting next to CK, I was happy.

We decided to grab dinner before the movie. We went to a cute Greek restaurant not far from his apartment, Ethos. We were seated and ordered our appetizers. The food was great, and the company was even better. Our conversation flowed like the wine over our lips. We were so entranced with each other, we didn’t realize what time it was. We had very little time before the movie was about to start. We flagged down our waitress and asked her to pack up our entrées to-go. We would drop them off at his apartment on the way to the theater and have them later. We quickly paid and flagged down a cab.

He stopped in front of CK’s place while he ran upstairs to put the food in the fridge. The movie was starting in two minutes. I sat in the cab waiting and waiting. I knew he wasn’t just putting the food in the fridge. That’s when I realized he was smoking. I texted him and told him to stop smoking and get his a$$ back down to the cab. He came down, and we continued on to the theater. Boy, did I have him pegged already. We picked up our tickets quickly and made our way upstairs to the theater. I told him I needed to use the facilities before heading in, and he gave me an annoyed look. I wasn’t going to feel one ounce of guilt for that considering what was part of the reason we were late.

We got into the theater just as the last preview was playing. Luckily we didn’t miss anything. I enjoyed holding CK’s hand throughout the movie, but the movie itself left a lot to be desired. I jokingly equated everything in the film to Top Gun while he responded with jokes of his own. I was dozing off about half way through. I only had four hours of sleep the night before, and a boring movie was not going to keep my attention. I went out to the snack stand to get a Coke to keep me awake.

Although the movie was bad, I still had fun with him. It was a good time. When the movie ended, we said goodbye to the other couple and made our way back to his apartment. Surprisingly, I wasn’t hungry, so I elected to save my dinner for breakfast the following morning.

I was so tired, I also elected to forgo dessert — Sex. We cuddled in bed for a little while CK watched TV on his iPad. We talked a little, and he mentioned how his friend had mentioned the idea of the two of us living together. He responded to his friend, “Things are going great right now. I’m not about to ruin things right now. We’re not ready to live together. Not yet.” I agreed it was too soon, but I admitted to him I had entertained the idea. I wasn’t the happiest with my living situation, but we weren’t at that place yet. We chatted about living together down the road. He was surprised to learn that was something I’d be interested in. He thought he’d drive me nuts. There was nothing to date to make me think I couldn’t  handle living with him. We’d spent a lot of time sleeping over at each other’s places. I looked forward to living with him one day.

He continued watching TV. I was exhausted, so I laid down and fell asleep within minutes.

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Boyfriend Material

From early on, I learned of CK’s affinity for comic books. When I started seeing more and more trailers for the new Avengers movie, I knew it would be a big event for him. I was curious to see if he’d want to go with a group of his friends or would this be something special he’d want to share with me.

I’m pleased to say it was the latter. He asked me if I was interested in seeing it, so we made plans for Friday’s premier. I was also pleased to learn I would be meeting two of his close friends who would be joining us. We bought our tickets early in the morning, as they were already beginning to sell out.

After work, I went home and packed an overnight bag to take with me back into the city. I met CK at his apartment an hour before the movie. We cuddled and chatted a bit before making our way to the theater. As we got into the elevator, I noticed a sprig of hair dangling in front of his face. He really looked like Superman, and I loved it. This is where the Superman nickname came from. Just as I was noticing this, he ran his hands through his hair, messing up the sprig. That’s when he called me out for not commenting on his haircut. He had it cut after work that evening and was legitimately mad I didn’t comment on it, and he let me know it. I told him how I noticed the sprig of hair, but apparently that wasn’t enough. I needed to verbalize. I apologized profusely. I felt really bad. He eventually forgave me, but he was still a little putout.

I thought we had plenty of time, but he seemed worried about timing. He was trying to flag down a cab to cut across town, but none were available. When he spotted a pedi-cab, we hopped in and shot across town. He was like a little kid in a candy store. He was shouting at passersby and snapping pictures left and right. He took a lot of pictures of us kissing each other, in which I always look AWFUL!

We met his friends in line for the movie. CK introduced me, and I tried to make small talk. They weren’t the friendliest of characters, but they were far from cold. CK was still hyper.

CK and I split off to grab drinks for all of us at Dunkin Donuts. We grabbed donuts as well. While putting a straw in one of the large iced teas, I spilled it everywhere on the counter. The whole store came to a halt for about 5 minutes while the cleaned it up.

When we got back to the line, his mother called. While talking to her, he mentioned how the day of her arrival is my birthday. He also mentioned wanting for the three of us to try to do dinner.

Finally, we got into the theater. We got great seats, and I peeled off to get popcorn, candy and soda. But first I needed to relieve myself. I didn’t want to have to go in the middle of the show. One of CK’s friends came out to concessions with me. After using the restrooms, we stood next to each other not speaking more than ten words. It was a bit awkward.

I thoroughly enjoyed the movie. It was awesome, and I really enjoyed seeing CK so excited. The cuddling the accompanied the movie was also a nice addition.

As we were leaving the theater, CK ran toward the mini arcade. He wanted to play the two-person Terminator game. We put in our money and began shooting. It wasn’t long before one of his friends mentioned their desire to go. CK shouted at them encouraging them to play a game. He wasn’t having any of it. “I think we’re just gonna go,” he responded. CK convinced them to wait until the game was over. We left with them and said goodbye at the curb. They were tired and ready to go home. CK and I hadn’t eaten yet, so we were trying to figure out dinner.

As we walked to grab food, CK pulled my arm around him over his shoulder. People were commenting left and right. I was surprised. This wasn’t my first sign of gay PDA in NYC. I never experienced this before. Some of the comments were negative or simply mocking. Others were actually positive. Hell. We’re two good-looking guys. Why not?

We stopped at Charley’s Grilled Subs for cheesesteaks before heading back to his place to eat them in front of his iPad (aka, TV). When we got back to his place, we smoked a little, stuffed our faces, and watched the first episode of Smash. I’d seen it already, but I wanted to share it with him since I knew he’d like it. I fell asleep about three quarters through the show. Eventually, he too fell asleep. When he woke, he turned off the lights, and we pulled up the covers and dozed off.

Sadly, I couldn’t sleep in. My parents were coming into town to see War Horse and grab lunch. I needed to leave his apartment at 10:00am. I still needed to get them a parking pass in Hoboken. We woke to my alarm. I set it early to allow for ample cuddling.

While we were lying there, he said to me, “I know this is completely unnecessary and not something I need, but I’m going to ask you anyway. I want to know if I could be your boyfriend?”

I have no idea the look that must have been on my face. I was shocked. I did not see that coming, but I immediately said yes through an enormous grin. “Bet you didn’t see that coming!” he added. “No. No I did not,” I responded. I told him how utterly happy he makes me. I told him I thought it was a great idea!

I really don’t think he realizes how happy he makes me. I was beaming for the rest of the morning. He asked if he should order us breakfast, but I told him he didn’t need to do that. I told him I’d rather spend the time cuddling than eating since I didn’t have much time before I needed to leave. We began to fool around, which led to grinding. When he turned around and asked if I wanted to f*ck him, I told him I want nothing more, but I couldn’t. I needed to walk out the door in fifteen minutes. I could tell he was disappointed, but so was I. We cuddled some more before I had to say goodbye.

As I walked to the PATH, I had a smile from ear-to-ear. He made me so happy. I started texting friends to inform them of my new status.

I began to wonder a little if it bothered him my parents were coming into town and I wasn’t introducing them to him since he was so keen to introduce me to his mother. His mother lived much further away, so it somewhat made sense, even if it was early in the relationship. My parents would be back by at least June. I could introduce him then. I just hoped he wasn’t hurt I never mentioned it.

Either way, I wasn’t going to worry about that. I was too happy to car. For the first time in my life, I had a boyfriend!

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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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