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Boston Therapy

My relationship with Smiles had come to a close. We met. We discussed. I guess you could say we had closure.

I’d already moved on to other men and began rebuilding my roster. It’d been a while since I was in the game, and I was a little intimidated. Over the three months I dated Smiles I lost my edge. It was my sister who pointed out to me, “I didn’t like you with him. You weren’t yourself. You were much more reserved around him.” I didn’t like the sound of that. I pride myself on being open and myself all the time. Apparently, I lost that somewhere along the way. I needed to find it again.

I would do so with the help of my therapist, Boston. I really lucked out in my timing. Boston was on a break from his final year of school, which meant his services were available. I was going to take full advantage. He was a good friend, and I missed him. I was really disappointed we didn’t get to meet up when he came to visit New York for New Years. It really made me look forward to the day when he graduates, and I convince he to come to New York or Hoboken so I can have him around more often.

Monday night when I got home from work, I called Boston. I wanted to give him an update on how everything with Smiles went since we’d been chatting about it a bit. I told him how everything ended and how I was moving on.

Ironically enough, Boston had a few tales of his own. Apparently, a little of me was rubbing off on him. I was very happy to hear this news. Sometimes I think he puts his love life on the back burner too much. I think he loses hope at times and engulfs himself in other ventures. I want to see him happy. He’s a great guy and he deserves this.

So, when he told me about a straight friend of a friend coming to visit and the sub sequential hookup that ensued, I was downright proud. He managed to attract a “straight” man enough that this man took the opportunity to make out in the bathroom of a club.

I was so happy to have my friend back. I loved swapping stories with him!

I also took the time to explain to him how LES wouldn’t talk to me. For the life of me, I couldn’t figure out what I could have done to him to make him stop talking to me all of a sudden. We were building a strong friendship. I had the feeling he developed feelings for me, especially since he asked me, “So what’s the deal with [Smiles]?” He invited me to his birthday, and I missed it. I apologized, and he told me it was okay. I invited him to my holiday party, but he dropped off the face of the earth and never showed. Following, I attempted to reach out to him on numerous occasions. Okay, so maybe I’m under exaggerating. I tried to text or call almost every day for a while there. I thought I was being funny, but now looking back, I could easily see my actions being misconstrued. Maybe he thought I had stalker tendancies.

In the end, things got very suspicious. He would never respond to my Facebook messages, and he never showed up as online. However, he never unfriended me. As long as that didn’t happen, I didn’t think he was all the annoyed by me. I sent him another long apologetic message on Facebook asking him to please reach out to me. When I finished writing it, I thought I’d give him a call to see if I could get through. It’d been about a month since I last texted or called. When I did, I was shocked to find out the number was no longer in service. He either blocked my number or changed his.

I couldn’t believe it. Had I really taken it that far. Maybe he wasn’t mad at me. Maybe he was afraid of me. I hung up the phone and immediately sent another Facebook message: “I’m sorry if I’ve been bothering you. Don’t worry. It won’t happen anymore.” I was mortified. Did he really think I was that insane, or was he really that mad at me. I was really hurt that someone would ever be that mad or upset with me that they’d simply cut me off. My ego was seriously bruised.I also happened to be perusing my old messages on OKCupid, and it told me LES deleted his account. When I made a new OKCupid account shedding an identity I’d used since college, I came to realize he was still on there and had an updated and active account. He’d blocked me on there as well. He really wanted nothing to do with me, and there was nothing I could do about it.

“You can be a bit aggressive,” Boston told me. That really resonated with me. I did tend to be agressive. I’m a tenacious man. When I see something I want, I don’t give up until I attain it — This goes for everything.

The interesting part was that I simply wanted a good friend back. He was a really fun guy to be around, and I wanted to introduce him to Boston. I thought they’d make a GREAT pair. I would have loved to see the two of them together. But, I don’t think that will ever happen. New York is a big city, and I don’t know that we’ll ever cross paths again.

Boston and I talked more over the course of the week. We almost had a nightly check in for a while there. We’d chat on the phone for about an hour about our dating lives and the mistakes I made with Smiles. He told me more stories about another guy he was helping to introduce to the gay world. I hope I’m not blowing up Boston’s spot, but once again I was proud of him. He was facing new challenges and having new experiences. I was happy to see my friend experiencing more of life these days. I understood how busy school made him, but at least he was taking advantage of his time off.

I was building my roster and had a friend to gossip about all the new things going on in my life. Things were getting better, but I still wasn’t happy to be back out in the dating pool. I was anxious to land another man, but this time around, I wasn’t going to just settle for a guy who was willing to date me. I needed to “find a man who will worship you like you worship him,” as my friend A so eloquently put it. I needed a real man, not another little boy. A man who could express himself verbally, emotionally and physically. I was going to find a triple threat, and once again I had one of my closest friends in my corner.

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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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