Posts Tagged visit

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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Suspicions Raised

Let me first start off today’s post by apologizing for my extended absence. I’ve been quite busy as of late and have a lot going on in my life right now. I promise you I will make a more concerted effort to dedicate time to the blog. I am truly touched by those who reached out to me expressing both concern and unhappiness regarding the lack of posts. I will do my bet not to let you down. That being said, on with the show…

I’d been dating CK for 2.5 months. To some, that may seem like a long time. To others, it’s the lifespan of a fruit fly. For me, I didn’t see it as a definitive amount of time. I saw it as a period during which my relationship was growing and evolving. Over the course of that time, I was learning. I was learning a lot about CK and about myself. I was learning what it takes to be in a real relationship of substance. I was trying to do things the right way this time, however, there is no right way. You just make it work. I was struggling with trusting CK.

I was constantly aware of the medium in which we were introduced to each other, and I was relatively aware of CK’s past. They didn’t instill the greatest of confidence in me. On top of that, I was still carrying issues with me from the other men who hurt me. I’m sure, by now, you’re tired of hearing about that, but I can guarantee you weren’t as tired of carrying that around as I was.

I had a few suspicions. I chalked them up to my over-active imagination, and I managed to put them aside.

One thing CK and I differed on was gay friends. I didn’t really have too many of them in my posse. Sure, Boston always gave me sage advice, and one of my volleyball teammates I’d known since high school was gay, but it’s not even enough to field a full team. Since I didn’t have too many gay friends, I never did get some of the idiosyncrasies that came with them, such as calling my gay male friends gerrlll. It just wasn’t part of my vernacular. But, one slow day at work, I pulled out my headphones and watched The Adventures of Priscilla Queen of the Desert on HBOGo, and finally I got it. It made sense to me. I didn’t see myself throwing it around all the time, but I finally got the bond it signified.

Speaking of gay friends, one of the few I had was visiting New York that weekend. It’d been a long time since I last saw Boston. I was very excited anticipating his arrival. I hoped we could hang out while he was in town. We’d both gotten rather busy, and we found it hard to make sure we kept in touch. However, he wasn’t arriving until the weekend.

Friday morning, I woke up to the sound of CK’s alarm blasting while he laid sound asleep. I roused him to turn it off, and I was wide awake. I motivated us to get out of bed and toss around the medicine ball while watching TV and eating breakfast. When we finished, my blood was flowing, and I was feeling rather frisky. I attempted to seduce CK, and it worked. We had less than little time since we’d already leisurely worked out and ate, but I could tell he was also feeling frisky. I didn’t have to go to work because I had a random day off, but CK did. He conceded to having sex, but insisted I give him a ride to the PATH on my motorcycle before we continued. It was a deal.

With that, I pounced. There was little I enjoyed more than morning sex. I was almost always horny and raring to go first thing, but after working out, I certainly needed a release. We had GREAT sex that morning. It was passionate and rough and gentle in all the right ways. I couldn’t get enough, and I couldn’t keep my hands off him. As amazing as it was, the clock was ticking, and CK had a meeting to get to at work. We needed to stop. That certainly wasn’t an easy decision to make, but I knew it was the right thing to do. We hopped in the shower, and he finished getting ready for work.

When he was ready, I drove him to the PATH and kissed him goodbye. I sped home and finished myself off. It was all I could do to last that long. He really got me going, and like I said, I needed a release. After all the foreplay and sex with CK, the explosion was quite forceful and bountiful. It was a shame he wasn’t there to witness it.

CK texted me from work asking me if I wanted to see Magic Mike that night. I figured it’d be a really fun experience for us to go, so I was definitely in. What I wasn’t aware of was that he was planning to invite his old fling, Old News. I wasn’t thrilled with this idea, but I went with it because he was a friend. What I was thrilled with was Hip and Old News setting up a date, but when I learned that never really took off, I was disappointed. I didn’t really have anything against him. He was a nice guy, but he was a nice guy who happened to like my man. This was going to be part of growing for me. I needed to learn to trust him. But, it wasn’t really CK who I didn’t trust — It was Old News. In the few interactions I had with him, it was clear to me he wasn’t over CK yet. He wanted more, and I was clearly in the way of that. When CK opened up movie night to other friends, I did the same. I reached out to P to see if she wanted to join us, and I was thrilled to hear she would be joining us.

Before we went into the city to meet up with the other two, I prepped P. I asked her to do me a favor. I asked her to watch the interaction between CK and Old News. I wanted someone else’s perspective on the situation. I needed to know if it was just my imagination or something I needed to keep an eye on. She agreed to observe and report back.

P wasn’t the only one to whom I’d brought attention to my issue with Old News. CK knew I thought he still had a crush on him, but he was in denial. He didn’t agree with me. He pointed out the frank conversation they’d had in which CK explained to him extensively their friendship and nothing more. I wasn’t convinced, and that night, someone else would determine for me once and for all how to proceed with Old News.

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Absence Makes the Heart Grow Fonder

Saturday, I felt like there wasn’t a moment to relax. Whenever my parents come into town, it’s stressful. I am navigator, concierge, tour guide, etc. I love them, but I never really get to enjoy it. I’m always “on.”

My sister drove into the city, and we grabbed lunch across the street from Lincoln Center. This was followed by War Horse. It was pretty amazing seeing men puppeteer horses on the stage.

When the show ended, my parents and I made our way home to Hoboken on the bus after stopping at Crabtree and Evelyn so my mother could buy some product.

CK and I texted periodically throughout the day. He went back out to Brooklyn to his friend’s apartment for dinner. They were joined by the couple we’d gone on the Avengers double date with. He seemed to be enjoying a nice relaxing day with the boys.

Finally, they were gone. I could relax and go nuts. The last thing I wanted to worry about was what to make for dinner. My sister texted asking what I was doing, and I had the idea to order sushi. She was game, so she called in the order and came to my apartment to eat and pregame.

I began to text friends to round up a crew to hit up the bar. I realized it’d been some time since I had a wild night out. I wanted to get drunk! Sadly, the crew would be very small. People were either out of town or had other plans. I was only able to get my sister and P to go out.

CK was texting me. He told me about his day. He told me he mentioned our new status as an official couple to the guys. I learned one of his friends said we looked very happy together, and the other pointed out I was about to have my hands full. “That boy has no idea what he’s in for,” he said. He came back from Brooklyn, and I could tell he wanted to hang out. He kept hinting, but I wanted a night with friends. I needed a drunk night, and I didn’t think he’d be up for that. I also didn’t want him to get tired of me. We already had plans for the following day. I pretended not to notice his hints and explained my plans for the evening. I told him I’d hit him up when I came home if he was still up and said goodnight. I also reiterated to him how happy he made me.

After we finished our sushi, P joined us. We did some shots and drank some more before heading to my local haunt, McSwiggans. The manager was standing outside, so we said hi, and he escorted us past the line right in the door.

It was exceptionally crowded, being Cinqo de Mayo. I barely made it to the bar to say hi to one of my favorite bartenders. She asked where’d I’d been, and I told her she needs to start working Thursday nights if she wanted to see me more often.

We tried to stake claim to a spot on the “dance floor” but were constantly shuffled and pushed aside as others maneuvered the bar. It wasn’t long before a teammate of mine from college recognized me. When I saw him, I cut through the crowd to say hi and exchange a manly bear hug. It’d been a long time since I’d seen him. He was in Hoboken visiting friends. He pointed out the few others around the bar I knew from college, and I said hi to all.

Overall, the night was alright. I didn’t stay out too late. I was home by 1:30am. It’d been weeks since I went wild on the weekend. I needed that. I only hoped it would have been a bit bigger and involved more friends. I realized CK and I needed to find some time to get drunk and go dancing together. We were long overdue.

The next day, he’d be coming over for our local festival and staying for dinner. I was most excited he’d be spending the night as well.

When I got home, I texted him to see if he was still awake. I got no response. I decided to call anyway, but I got no answer. I was missing him and wanted to talk to him. That, however, was not possible. With that, I climbed into bed disappointed and realized how empty my bed felt without him…

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Rejected!

Monday morning I woke up. Since I wasn’t wasting so much time messaging guys on Grindr, I felt so much freer. I had no idea how much time I spent searching and complimenting guys on their torsos in hopes they’d see something they’d like and allow me to ask them out on a date.

I was also thrilled since I got to sleep in my own bed the night before. My parents came to visit for Easter weekend, and I gave them my bed. Sunday night, they offered to get themselves a hotel room so I could get a decent night’s sleep for work Monday. After I dropped them at their hotel with my sister, I came home and passed out. I love my parents, but I was happy to have my place back again. I’d spent the weekend playing tour guide. It was exhausting.

Even though I wasn’t sending out messages on Grindr didn’t mean I wasn’t checking them. I fired it up to see if my prince charming would ask me out on a date. I found quite the opposite. I blocked a fair amount of guys before I found an interesting message. I spent the weekend being celibate. One of the guys on Grindr seemed pretty normal and chill. We began to chat a bit before he offered to blow me. Like that, I was back in it. I had done such a good job of staying away from the simple Grindr stranger hookups, but I was horny after a weekend of being good. I made an exception of course and accepted his offer to blow me. What harm was there? I could enjoy myself before work and have a great day. “Sure,” I said in reply.

I gave him my address, and he drove over to my place on his way to work. I quickly hopped in the shower. He buzzed, and I called him up to my apartment. I quickly dried off and got dressed. When he got to the door, I brought him right into my room. I was wearing gym shorts and a tank. We made our way to my bed, and I sat down. Just then, he looked at me and said, “Sorry bud. I’m just gonna go.” With that, he turned around, sped out my door and left without another word.

I felt so rejected. What was it about me that scared him off. He made it all the way to my bedroom before darting. Was I that repulsive? Why the sudden change of heart!? I felt so dejected! My self-esteem shot down to an all-time low. This had never happened to me, and I suppose it was karma for all my Grindr trysts. It was bound to happen at some pont. I thought about all the times I wanted to do what he did and didn’t. I’d always regretted not standing up and walking out, but suddenly I no longer regretted it. I would have put those guys in a tailspin like I was going through. I did have to respect him honesty however. It was a catch 22.

I was horny from the thought of getting off before work, so I quickly finished myself off and got ready for work. I was disgusted with myself for bending my new rule, especially since I didn’t get anything out of it. Served me right!

That night I had a date scheduled with a guy I’d been chatting with for over a year. We met through Grindr and tried to grab drinks before I met N, but when I started dating him, things fizzled out. We chatted periodically on AIM, but nothing ever materialized. I even contemplated making a career shift to event planning, which this guy did, but we were never able to get together to talk about it. We simply kept it to a digital relationship. When things with Smiles ended, I began to look back at the guys I’d been chatting with. I hit him up and asked him out.

We made plans to meet at Ariba Ariba after work for margaritas and a bite. During the day, I stalked him a bit on Facebook. I noticed he was a camera whore. He took so many pictures in so many gay bars. He was totally a part of the scene. He was a fixture. I worried this would be a roadblock, but I was still optimistic. Maybe I could learn to love it.

I arrived ahead of him and waited on the corner. When I saw him arriving, I noticed how attractive his smile was, followed by how short he was and how “fun” he dressed. He was very cute. We awkwardly said hi and made our way inside. He asked if I was hungry, and I told him I hadn’t eaten, so we agreed to grab dinner on top of drinks. We were seated at a tight table and settled in.

We mainly began talking about work. It was very awkward. Considering we’d chatted so often online, you think we’d have been able to jump right in — Not the case. There were so many awkward pauses. I was struggling to find topics to talk about with him. He wasn’t exactly spurring the conversation on.

We started to talk about TV and what we watch. I thought that would be a safe topic and would spur further conversation. That only led to learning we had very different entertainment tastes. He watched a lot of Bravo TV like Housewives of… and other shows of the same ilk. I was more into the mainstream network TV. I wanted to have more in common with him, and I could tell he did too based on comments, but it was a bit of a struggle. I asked so many more mundane questions followed by mundane answers.

We ate our meals while we talked, but it was far from a great dinner. It was pleasant. The food was good, but there was no flow to the date. I was ready for it to be over. I was a bit disappointed since I thought we’d get along swimmingly. We just didn’t have good chemistry.

When we finished, we paid the bill and made our way out. We began walking through Hell’s Kitchen south together. He lived that way, and I was headed to the bus. When we got to a shop along the way, Tagg, he needed to run in and grab something for a friend’s birthday. I went in with him since I had nowhere to be. We had some fun chatting about random things in the shop. He made his purchase, and we continued south. When we got to his intersection, we exchanged a kiss goodbye, and he made a comment about hanging out again sometime. I agreed, but in my mind it would be under a friendly premises.

We texted afterwards, but was pleasantries and formalities. We exchanged that we each had a nice time, but that would pretty much be the end of us.

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What Doesn’t Kill You Makes You Stronger

Sunday afternoon, I tried to see if Smiles would want to do something fun the following day since I didn’t have to go to work. Sadly, he had work to do. He was trying to build up a company from scratch, and it is a lot of hard work, so I understood. What I didn’t expect was he would be busy he wouldn’t be able to find the time to pick up the phone and call or text.

Monday passed with me planted on the couch watching TV all day while surfing adam4adam.com and reactivating my Grindr account. I was just seeing what was out there, but as the afternoon progressed, I started to think toward the future while examining the past.

I realized I wasn’t happy. I equated my relationship to the struggle of Sisyphus, a king punished by being compelled to roll an immense boulder up a hill, only to watch it roll back down, and to repeat this throughout eternity. I was constantly putting work into the relationship only to find I wasn’t receiving much benefit from it.

I had given Smiles more than his fair share of chances to finally woo me, and he failed. I enjoyed his company, and he was a very nice, successful, good-looking man, but the time had come to move on. It just seemed he wasn’t that into me, and I realized I deserve better. Since I had been on the journey to this conclusion for quite some time, I wasn’t that broken up about it. I’ve had varied reactions to the end of relationships in the past. I moved on with closure after my mutual breakup with Broadway. I had slight some minor cardiac scarring after I ended things with San Francisco. I was a wreck when things went south with N — Losing ten pounds in a week (Not proud of that).

This epiphany wasn’t all that earth-shattering for me. Things had been on the decline for some time. This certainly didn’t come out of the blue, so the blow was lessened.

I actually started to get slightly angry about things. I felt used. I recalled asking Smiles on our first date why he was on Grindr, and he had mentioned he was lonely. I realized I was someone to pass the time for him. I was someone he could go to dinner with so he didn’t have to eat alone. I was someone he could have the occasional romp in the sheets when he was in the mood. I was a seat warmer. He never had any plans to forge a relationship with me, and this made me really feel used.

I wanted more. I deserved more. And I was going to find more. I started searching once again on a4a and Grindr. These are clearly not the best place to find Mr. Right, but it couldn’t hurt to try. Once again, it was just going to be a lot of work.

On top of it all, our sex-life was minimal. As a result, I was horny. I was hungry for some good sex. Over the summer when I was having my wild time, I felt I started to really hone my craft. I had numerous guys constantly hitting me up for seconds, thirds, and more. It was great for my ego, and I craved a really good romp in the sack.

That’s when I turned my efforts toward Grindr. I wanted to find a local guy with a hot body. I knew it wouldn’t be easy from past experience, but maybe some new hotties moved into the area in the three months I’d been away. I started talking to one guy for quite some time. We even started to Skype with each other while I watched TV. He lived very close and had a really nice body. He was Asian, which doesn’t quite get my engine roaring so there he wasn’t a relationship prospect, but we could at least start on a friendship. We face-time chatted most of the evening. I gave him full disclosure on the situation. We even discussed him coming over to hook up, but in the end I decided to be good.

Afterall, I still hadn’t officially ended things with Smiles yet. It wouldn’t be right. I’d already betrayed that relationship once, I didn’t need to do it again, not matter how resolved I was about its end.

I got an offer from a man I’d had a tryst with in the past. He begged me to come to his apartment, but it was cold outside, and it was getting late. I had work the next day, and I needed to go to bed. I told him I’d take a rain check.

My new friend went to bed, and I continued to figure out a way to satiate my libido. I figured I would hit up some old friends in my Skype contact list. One of the sexiest men happened to be online. He lived in South America on an island, and I wanted to do bad things to his body. It was amazing. I loved camming with him. The only issue was he had a big thing for me. He always begged me to be his boyfriend, no matter how many times I told him it couldn’t happen because we are so far away. He begged me to come visit, but I told him I couldn’t afford the flight. I wasn’t about to fly to South America for a booty call. But if he lived anywhere close, I would have been over there in a second!

I convinced him to have a little fun on camera until I finished. As usual, it sapped all the energy from my body, and I jumped into bed and dozed off without a thought left in my head.

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Breakfast 2.0

I continued my walk of shame north on Seventh Avenue. I was still dressed for a night out from New Year’s Eve the night before. I didn’t care if anyone judged me. I was in my own world. No one else existed that morning. I was utterly alone in a city of millions.

I continued to try to reach Boston through text and by phone, but no dice. Since I was going to be near his apartment, I thought I would reach out to Broadway. At the very least, I could kill time with a visit until Boston finally decided to get back to me. I called him, and he picked up after a few rings. I asked him what he was up to and told him I wanted to swing by for a visit. He was still in bed and said he needed a few minutes, but he told me to come by. I told him I was walking from the 20s, so there was no rush for him to get out of bed.

When I arrived, I walked right up to his apartment. It was like old times — A blast from the past. It’d been months since I’d been there, but it felt like yesterday. I knocked on the door, and he greeted me. I came in and sat while he finished getting ready for the day. We sat on the couch, and he asked how my New Years was. “Tell me stories. You always have good stories to tell me,” he added. I told him what I did the night before. I gave him the cliff notes because I didn’t want to belabor the point. The wound was still fresh and bleeding. He shrugged it off and suggested we go to the diner for breakfast. I kinda loved that about him. He knew how I felt about it, so he did his best to brush it under the rug.

I agreed to go to breakfast, but I told him I’d already eaten. I would keep him company, and we could catch up. It’d been since the summer since I’d seen him.

Breakfast was nice. He told me about the party he went to the night before and all the guys he was pursuing. As usual, he was very passive about it. “I dunno if I really want to see him again…” he’d say. He’d find something completely superficial to judge the guy about so he wouldn’t have to put in the effort.

Since Smiles’ birthday gathering, we gained a mutual friend. We learned this from Facebook. The guy who I palled around for the night had been at the party Broadway went to the night before. They interacted, but it wasn’t a positive interaction. Broadway was remotely interested in this guy, but apparently he gave him the cold shoulder. This really turned him off, but I assured him my birthday buddy was a really great guy. If I’d been single that night, I probably would have asked him for his number. Broadway wasn’t sold.

Ironically enough, Smiles and I were almost at this party. It wasn’t until Smiles learned of the over-priced charge to enter that he decided we were just going to the house party. It was crazy to realize Broadway, Smiles and I were all swimming in the same circles in New York City. Apparently the gay community was pretty tight, even in a big city. It put it all into perspective. It also made me realize the picture of myself I painted when I let a stranger suck on my neck and face in front of the guy I was dating.

I wasn’t feeling very talkative, so I did a lot of question asking and listening. When Broadway finished his breakfast, he asked for the check. He wasn’t feeling well, so he wanted to go back to bed. I checked my phone, and Boston still hadn’t gotten back to me. I guess I wouldn’t see him before he left the city.

I walked Broadway back to his apartment and said goodbye. Something I learned from him was it is okay to kiss an ex on the lips when you see them. When I first came out, I was fascinated by how often gay men kissed each other. This was completely foreign to me and not something I was comfortable with. Even if I travel in a big gay pack, I don’t think I would be kissing my gay male friends. But, I felt comfortable kissing a man who I had kissed over a hundred times. So we exchanged a kiss and a hearty hug before I made my way to Port Authority to snag a bus back to Hoboken.

While I walked to the bus, I texted Smiles: “Since I have the day off tomorrow, can we do something fun?” I was hoping I could do some damage control and get us back on a happy track.

It wasn’t long before I received a simple text in response: “I have to work tomorrow.” I was already picturing a Monday afternoon with me sinking deep into the couch by myself in front of the TV. I was very disappointed, but it’s not like I had anything to say. I was the one who royally messed up here. I was going to have to deal with the consequences.

Later that evening, I talked to Boston on Facebook. I told him what I did and how things played out. We didn’t talk long, but promised to come back to the topic when he had more time.

I had time all day to assess the situation. Why wasn’t Smiles mad? I realized I wasn’t happy about this. It hurt even more. It showed me quite clearly how little I meant to him. I didn’t see any way to recover from this. I was pretty sure our relationship was over. And, since I’m pretty much a high schooler in the gay dating world, I hopped back on adam4adam.com and Grindr that night to see what was out there. I wasn’t throwing my line into the sea, but I could at least swim around and see what kind of fish were out there…

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Breaking Through

Saturday night, we had a special celebration planned. Every year, to commemorate another year of my father being on the planet, my parents come visit, and we go out to dinner in New York City. Afterwards, we take in all the Christmas sights around town.

Even though I recently moved and invited my parents into town to help me move in, this year would be no different.

With a closet built and an entire chest of drawers assembled, we prepared to go out for dinner. My parents wanted to have dinner in Hoboken, so I decided to take them to my favorite restaurant I go to every year for my birthday, Piri Piri. I coordinated with my sister to meet her there to celebrate my father’s birthday.

We sat down for dinner and placed our appetizer orders. Somewhere along the way, we started to talk about me and the guy I was dating. For the first time, they didn’t change the subject to who my sister was dating at the time. I was shocked when my mother brought it up. I think they got the hint this was more than just a fling when I went into the city to spend the night. They were finally taking an interest in my dating life, and I loved it. They asked questions about what he did for a living and where he grew up. It was great. I was happy to talk about him.

Both my father and my mother were showing a vested interest. I wonder if my sister spoke to them about my unhappiness. It seems like a night-and-day shift from past history. I don’t care how the change came about. I’m just happy it happened. My dating life is a LARGE part of who I am, and for them to not share that with me was painful (However, I don’t share everything. I don’t quite know how to tell them I write a blog).

Our food arrived, and we had a very pleasant meal. My sister wasn’t feeling well, so when we were ready to make our way into the city, she went home instead to rest.

I took my parents to a cute shop in Hoboken, Michaelangela’s. They had the store decked out wall-to-wall with Christmas decorations and ornaments. We continued to the PATH as I asked them what they’d like to see. We have all grown tired of the standard Macy’s windows and the Rockefeller Christmas Tree. One of our favorite displays, the Sak’s snowflake window show, was discontinued. I proposed a new set of sights. We’d never done the Union Square shops, so I proposed we start there.

When we got off the PATH, we walked to Union Square. It wasn’t too cold out, so the walk wasn’t too bad. When we arrived, all the shops were closed for the night. I apologized, and we hopped into a cab to head uptown to Bloomingdale’s. This was another part of the city we never usually visited. The cab ride was cramped, and he was a very bad driver. I’ve never gotten so many red lights in the city in my life!

Bloomingdale’s was less than thrilling, so I suggested we head over towards Fifth Avenue. My mom kept commenting on how impressed she was. She couldn’t believe how quickly I could learn to navigate the city coming from a the farm life out in the country. I explained how easy it was. As I was showing them new landmarks they’d never visited before, my mother commented on how many she’d seen on her Sex in the City tour of New York City. (I found it ironic that subject came up. Even though I’ve only seen the show twice, I aspire to maintain my blog in the Sex in the City fashion).

She was finally piecing parts of the city she’d been to before together on a map in her mind. It was all starting to make sense to her. Who knew Sex in the City could teach you geography. We window shopped as we walked because many stores were closed. I took them to The Plaza Hotel. They were happy to see the inside since they’ve never been.

Afterwards, we walked past the Bergdorf Goodman window displays. These are some of my favorites since they are not childish and are often done tastefully. My parents took pictures in front of them and of each and every window. They really enjoyed them. I was happy to be sharing the joy with my parents after they spent the weekend substantially helping me settle in to my new apartment.

A small part of me wished Smiles joined us on our little adventure. It would have been nice for him to meet my parents and spend a little time with them, but we weren’t there yet. I also wanted him there because I love spending Christmas in the city with someone I care about. Last year, Broadway and I made a point to take in the Christmas sights. He even treated me The Plaza Hotel to my first drink ever bought for me by another man at. I wanted to share such happy times with someone else I cared about. However, this wasn’t possible or realistic. We weren’t at the meet the parents stage yet, and Smiles was home in bed recovering.

We continued to stroll down Fifth Avenue, but by this time, we were searching for some kind of dessert. We were striking out because it was around 11:00 at night. Most things had closed for the night. On top of that, I was walking around the city on a freshly sprained ankle — Probably not the best idea. My parents were starting to grow weary as well, so I suggested we head towards my office for a pit stop before hopping on the PATH home.

I realized we’d be passing McDonald’s, so I suggested we get hot fudge sundaes, cookies, and fries for dessert. My parents agreed. It would also eliminate the stop at my office because I could use the restrooms there.

I checked the PATH schedule. The next train was leaving in eight minutes, and the following one was another fifteen minutes after that. I urged them to hurry and bring our dessert with us. We hustled to the train, making it there with a little time to spare.

Luckily, we all got seats and relaxed on our ride home. I was really happy to do something nice for my parents in return for what they do for me. It was nice spending some quality time with them as well. I was also still on a high from their newfound interest in my love-life. It removed a big roadblock in our relationship. I could go to bed a happy man.

It was a long day, and we were all tuckered out. We would all surely sleep well the minute our heads touched the pillow.

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Mom & Dad Turn a Deaf Ear

Mother’s Day crept up on me this year so quickly I didn’t get a chance to buy Mom a present. It should be easy. It’s always my birthday weekend. I decided quickly, I would take her out to dinner in New York City. I also thought ahead to Father’s Day and suggested they both come stay with me for a weekend. I would take them both out to dinner for Mather’s Day whenever they could find the time to visit. They always look forward to visiting my sister and I in Hoboken and venturing into the city, so I thought it was a perfect gift. I told them to check their calendar and get back to me.

That never really came to fruition. Weeks passed , and they never picked a day. That was the case, until they were coming into the city on a bus trip my aunt was running to see Rent. Every time they come to visit for a show, they go to Carmine’s. I always get an invite to join for dinner or lunch even though I’m not going to the show. This time, my parents wanted nothing to do with Carmine’s. They have a lot of complaints about how my aunt orders a lot of family style pasta dishes. “If we’re coming into New York City, I want something better than pasta, especially at that price,” my mother exclaimed over the phone. I didn’t blame her. The city had a plethora of great restaurants to offer. No one should be going back to the same place every time they visit, no matter how convenient.

I agreed to take them out for dinner following the show and asked them to pick a place. Once again, this was a whole ordeal. I helped them out by picking a few great restaurants in the area to choose from. Even that was like pulling teeth. Finally, they left the decision up to me, so I chose City Lobster and Steak. In the days leading up to the visit, I learned my sister would also be joining us.

I met my sister in Hoboken and rode the bus into the city together. We met my parents at the restaurant and got a nice table by the window. It had been some time since I caught up with my parents, even though I call several times a week just to chat when I’m bored and walking somewhere.

We talked a bit about the show before the topic of conversation shifted elsewhere. At one point, my mother asked me what I’d done over the weekend. I explained my successful date with Smiles and discussed how I finally had a successful third date. “What does that mean?” she replied. I said, “I have had a lot of unsuccessful first dates, but I finally found a guy I liked. In reply, she said, “Oh,” and smiled.

After the ten seconds we spent talking about my love life, she immediately turned to my sister and asked if she was still dating the doctor she had been seeing. I was a little infuriated. This was at least the fourth time she’d done this to me. Every time I brought up a guy I was “dating,” she changed the subject to the guy my sister was dating. She still wasn’t comfortable talking about my dating men. I don’t know why this is. She has gay friends. She’s very accepting of them. Why isn’t she comfortable with mine? I know these things take time. Trust me, I’m not taking that for granted. However, I came out to my parents over a year ago, and they still weren’t quite okay with it. I know I’ve concentrated on my mother’s reaction to this and not my father’s. He didn’t really react much at all. Just head nods. I only single out my mother because this is something I would talk to her about and rarely my father, even if I was dating a woman. I wanted to be able to talk about it with them. It is an exciting part of my life at times. Maybe I need to change that. Maybe I’m not giving him a fair shot. Maybe he could become an ally to bring my mother to terms with my sexuality. Only time will tell.

I discussed this exact exchange with my sister on the bus on the ride into the city. I predicted this would happen when I told her I was going to mention how things were going with Smiles. She suggested I not cause a commotion for dinner considering it was a gift. I explained I wasn’t going to attack them or anything, but I wasn’t going to shy away from the issue anymore. I was going to bring it up, whether they liked it or not.

After dinner, my sister and I went to the bar to meet some of her friends. As we walked, I told her how p*ssed I was. She conveyed I was probably hurt, but I corrected her in that I was p*ssed. She understood. She tried to keep the conversation going when I was talking about Smiles, accentuating the fact that I had gone on so many unsuccessful first dates, and this was a big deal. But, it didn’t exactly work. I asked her to go to bat for me a little. I asked her to tell my parents how disappointed and p*ssed I was about the issue and to ask them why it was happening. It wasn’t an easy conversation to have with them, but I was hoping they’d be a little more forthcoming with my sister, since it wasn’t her feelings they’d be hurting.

Those test results have yet to come back from the lab. In the end, I understand they’re going to have a hard time with it. I would have a hard time if my son came to me and told me he was gay. My heart would go out to him because it’s not an easy lifestyle to live. However, I know it’s not a choice one makes, and I would accept my son completely as the person he is. I would be thrilled he found the confidence to be himself, and I would fully support him and the man he chooses to stand by. I’m not looking for miracles. I just want them to take an interest in my love life. Growing up, they always pressured me to find someone. In a twist of irony, when I finally did, they want nothing to do with it. Only time will tell how this plays out, but when the time comes when I want to bring someone home for a holiday, it’s going to be like ripping off a band-aid, when it could have been an evolving process…

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Skype with Massachusetts Mainlander

Since I left the island of Martha’s Vineyard, not a day went by I didn’t talk to the Massachusetts Mainlander.

Every day, we either texted or talked on the phone. One of us would text the other to say good morning, and throughout the day, we’d call each other to talk on the phone.

I liked chatting with him. I wasn’t sure where things would go between us. We live six hours apart. I tried the long-distance relationship thing with San Francisco, and we could have made it work — He just wasn’t completely compatible with me. I always have my doubts about long-distance relationships, especially with me, but I was willing to give this a shot if nothing else was coming my way. I’m the kind of guy who needs someone present. I like coming home to a man or going to a movie or laying together on the couch. Distance is not something I welcome with open arms.

I never met The Principal, so that threw in a whole other element. Face-time was important to me. If I couldn’t be with him physically, I needed the next best thing – Skype.

It wasn’t easy to convince him to come on Skype. It took a lot of arm twisting. When we started, I could tell he was very self-conscious. He was constantly adjusting and fixing himself. He wouldn’t even speak on Skype. He insisted on typing and blamed it on his roommate being home. I kept telling him to relax. “It’s just me,” I told him. Afterall, we developed quite a bond over the phone over the past couple weeks.

Our conversation was pretty standard (abridged of course), but would need to build to grow into a full relationship:

P: I’m all warm and horny now. LOL
Me: Haha. Oh really?
P: Def. LOL  It’s this really cute guy in front of me.
Me: You look so snuggly right now. Like I could nestle in the armpit and watch TV with you. The real thing would be so much better, but this will do for now 😉
P: Pizza with roomie coming soon.
Me: I’m making pizza tonight from scratch. 
P: When you cooking for me?
Me: As soon as you come stay with me for a weekend 🙂
P: All weekend?
Me: Yes. You come straight from work Friday and leave Sunday afternoon, so you can get home and relax before work on Monday. We can snuggle all weekend. Maybe I’ll show you New York for 5 min, and then, we’ll come right back here.
P: LOL  You’ll hate me after that weekend.
Me: Why do you say that? You know it’s not true!
P: Too much of me. LOL
Me: No such thing! What… You’d come down for the day!? THAT’S DEF NOT ENOUGH TIME TO SPEND WITH YOU!

We were both laying it on pretty thick. Maybe I was getting a little carried away, but I really did like him. He seemed like a great guy. Had he lived in the same state, I’m sure we’d have been on many dates by then.

Me: See my room?
P: I dont konw what to do with you!
Me: My big bed…
P: It looks really comfortable.
Me: There’s a whole side with your name on it. 

P: You are so awesome!
Me: You are too!!
P: Think about you alot… Potential of where to take this…. Never thought it would come to this level you know?
Me: I know. You’re quite the skeptic.
P: Well, I mean it was Grindr.
Me: Grindr is just the medium. The vessel.
P: I know but… Just mesh with you.
Me: You get out of it what you put into it. Doesn’t matter where you meet someone. Still think you should have hopped on the ferry and had dinner and drinks with me.
P: That time is done though.
Me: I know. I konw. So, now you should hop in the car. and have dinner with me. 🙂
P: That’s a long drive for dinner. LOL
Me: Dinner doesn’t end at the restaurant.

I also really enjoyed flirting with him. He responded very well to it, and I could tell he was very attracted to me. I was curious if he talked to anyone else about me. I didn’t broadcast to my friends I was talking to someone in upstate Massachusettes, but I did discuss it with my roommate.

Me: Have you mentioned me to ur roommate at all? Told my roommate about you. She comes home from work… “How’s Steve?”
P: I haven’t talked to anyone about you. 

P: Def. takes it to another level — Seeing you and conversation. I want to feel close to you, smell you, nuzzle… I’ve only been with 3-4 guys (full intercourse), and I def def want to be connected with you bad.
Me: I love the way you describe it — Makes it romantic, sensual, passionate. I want to toss you down on my bed and treat you right!
P: I want to be tossed. 😉

The pillow talk died down a bit, and we talked more about relationship desires.

P: I want to rub you.
Me: A shoulder rub from my sexy man when I get home from work, and he tells me all about his day.
P: And, the back of your head.

Then the conversation took a turn I wasn’t thrilled with.

P: You need a great guy close to you.
Me: First, we figure out us.
P: You’re incredible.
Me: Then, we figure out the distance. Can’t let that be an obstacle.
P: Not what I meant.
Me: I need you close to me.
P: You should be dating someone close to you.
Me: STOP TRYING TO PUSH ME AWAY!
P: I want you to be happy.
Me: I really dont like when you do this!
P: K. I’ll stop.
Me: Good.

After that short detour, we got back on track:

P: Obviously I want you for me. I’ve been wrecked by you. Not even into talking to guys right now. You fulfill so much already. OMG — You are killing me. We touch base all day every day…
Me: I want you to be my man!
P: Care about you… This.
Me: You’re adorable. I just want to hug you all night.
P: Def could get lost in those arms.
Me: This could all be yours!!! For the low low price of a car ride 😛  I don’t want to pressure you though.
P: It would be the prize of the century.
P: I just feel really good with you.
Me: And, I with you.
P: And, the sexual is like beyond crazy.  LOL   I can’t imagine the chemistry.
Me: We can do this again soon. Now that you enjoy it.
P: K… I really like you! 😉 Bye.

The Principal was a really great guy. I really liked him. He didn’t know it, but he was also providing me an invaluable service. He was distracting me from Smiles. I have a tendency to dive in full force, even when I barely know a guy. The Principal was giving me an outlet for this so I didn’t scare off Smiles. I wasn’t exactly using him. I did enjoy conversing with him, and I really did think he was a great guy. But, only time would tell if this relationship had two legs to stand on…

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