Posts Tagged volunteer

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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The idea that I was in LA for work completely faded from my mind, as did the trysts I’d met since my arrival. After meeting The Navigator, I was on cloud 9 since we hung out on the beach. He was an amazing guy, and I knew if we lived in the same city, we’d be dating.

Before going to bed, we exchanged a few messages around 2:00am. “Hiya handsome. Sorry for texting you so late. Just wanted to say hello,” he texted. I texted back, “Miss you lots. Can’t wait to see you again!” I didn’t care if I was being a bit aggressive; I was being honest. I had nothing to lose here, and I needed to get back to being more honest with myself and the guys I date.

The next morning, I woke up to my early alarm alone in my bed and immediately missed his presence. I quickly looked to my phone to see if I had a message. I did! “The pix of you on the hike turned out great! You look so handsome!” The previous night, we became Facebook friends. This wasn’t the text I was looking for, but it still made me happy.

I had a plan to go for a run that morning, and should I still have the energy, I would take a dip in the pool. I’d gone to the weight room and the pool the night before from 10:30-11:30. Even with all the guys I was spending time with, I was finding time for myself. I needed to get myself in line on this trip as well. I’d been floundering for far too long.

When I finished my run, I checked my phone, and I still didn’t have a message from The Navigator. I decided to take a dip in the hot tub to relax my muscles and take my mind off the excitement I anticipated all day. Finally, my phone lit up: “Morning! We have a call out for the next shift, so if there are no volunteers we draw straws. Keep your fingers crossed for me pal!”

My heart sank. There was no possibility he wouldn’t be joining me on the PCH until now. Now, I had to prepare myself for the idea this drive would be solo. If you recall, I HATE being alone. I don’t do well alone. I get depressed. This was one of the fears I had booking this trip, but I wanted to force myself to get used to it if I had to. I quickly responded, “Tell your boy to take one for the team. You have a hot date 🙂 Fingers crossed.”

I hopped out of the hot tub and made my way back to my room to shower and get ready for my road trip. I tried not to think about an empty passenger seat until I got another text: “:( Looks like there may be a surgery… If the owner approves the estimate, then it’s no longer a choice. I’m [Dr.’s] surgery tech. Still a slim chance :(“

I was now facing the fact I would be driving alone. It was supposed to be a nice day, so I convinced myself I would be fine. It was going to be an exciting drive up the coast. I was going to go all the way up to Santa Barbara and check things out along the way. I still wanted to see him, so I asked, “What time would you be done ish?”

He didn’t answer me immediately. After I packed my bags, I got another text: “I’m gonna stop dragging my heels. Everyone is looking to me. UGH!!! It’s another full shift, but then I have the next day and a half off. So, I’ll be off at 5:30.” I could accept that, but I asked, “Can I see you then?” He immediately responded, “I’ll hurry home as soon as I can… yes!”

I told him I was packing up the car and about to hit the road. “I’ll aim to be back in the area around 5:30. Let me know closer to then what’s up… Maybe we’ll just meet somewhere since I don’t have to come back to the hotel. Sad I’m not spending the day with you, but I understand completely… Looking forward to this evening!” I added. With that, I hopped in the car and made my way to Porto’s Bakery for an amazing Cuban Medianoche sandwich that was incredibly difficult to eat in the car, a chocolate croissant and an iced mocha latte. If you even happen to be in Glendale, check this place out. It’s amazing!

I drove all the way up the coast taking in all the sights. At one point, Highway 1 cuts inland. I wasn’t paying attention, and I ended up in the middle of the orange groves and strawberry patches. I watched the motorcycle gangs as I passed them with envy. I would have killed to have my motorcycle out there. I get out of the care until I reached Santa Barbara. I pulled up to the beach and stood up for the first time in a few hours. I stretched out and broke out my camera to snap some pictures. It was a gorgeous area, and all I could think about was living there. I could move to LA, marry an amazing man, and we could retire to Santa Barbara. That’s when my thoughts jumped right back to The Navigator.

“Santa Barbara misses you,” I texted him. I was still disappointed he wasn’t with me, but I wasn’t going to let it ruin my drive. I had a sick convertible, no real timetable, and the freedom to do whatever I wanted. The ride up did allow me some clarity. I cleared my head of all the thoughts of the past. Everything was forward-looking.

After I had my fill of Santa Barbara, I made my way inland to Ojai. I’d always wanted to check it out since I seen Brothers and Sisters. The family business was there and it always looked gorgeous on-screen. I climbed up one side of winding mountains and down the other. I pulled off the side of the road a few times to take in the beauty of it all and snap some pictures for posterity.

When I arrived down into Ojai proper, I was shocked by how small town it was. I was out in rural farmland. It didn’t quite feel like home because the geography was very different from home, but it was very nice to see this side of the West Coast. I called my parents to tell them I was searching for Nora (a character on Brothers and Sisters), and they both laughed at me. They’d forgotten I was out there for work/vacation, and they expressed their jealousy. I thought about my new friend as well, texting, “Ojai misses you too.” Finally, he responded. I knew he was busy working, so I was surprised to get a response. “What’s Ojai? Pic?” he asked. When I told him, he added, “I miss you :)” I was swooning a little bit.

I told him I was on my way back to LA and asked where he worked. He told me the name of the street, and I added, “Maybe I should meet you there. Then I’m not venturing that far from the airport.” He’d forgotten I had to catch a flight. I told him it would just mean more time we would get to spend together.

As I passed through Santa Monica, I reached out to him once again: “What’s the plan Stan? At Venice Beach. Was gonna drive down to Marina Del Ray… Could come out there and let me take you out to dinner.” I waited a long time to hear from him again. I even stopped at a Starbucks so I could park the car and walk around a bit. I ordered a coffee and walked out onto the pier in Venice Beach to take some pictures of the ocean. I still had a lot of time to kill, so I sat in the Starbucks charging my laptop while I wrote a blog entry.

Then I got a text from him I wish I’d never read: “Hey pal. I think I’m gonna have to skip hanging out. I’m exhausted. I just want to sleep. I hate to do that to you. I know you’ve been waiting. I’m not even gonna drive home. Gonna sleep at a coworkers place a couple blocks away. Didn’t really get to sleep before the shifts started. I had an amazing time with you and would love it if we stayed in touch. Hope you have a safe flight home and maybe I can come visit you in Jersey (hint hint) Muah handsome… Thanks for everything :)” I was heartbroken. All I could think to respond was, “Wish I at least got to say goodbye.” He quickly shot back, “I know. Me too… I’m just very tired.”

This wasn’t good enough for me. “Let me know if I can at least come and say goodbye. If not, it’s cool…” I sent in an attempt to strike and emotional chord. When I got no response, I called him – No answer.

He texted back, “Still at work. Can text, but not talk. I’ll call you at 5:30 handsome.” I would have to be patient. I know my usual aggressive style, so I tried to curb that bad habit. When the clock reached 5:45, I called him again — No answer. I texted him again, “I have the time to kill. I could come and say bye and you go to sleep. I get it if you’re too tired to hang.” More time passed, and I still didn’t hear from him. I was emotionally beginning to panic. I knew the time to say goodbye was going to come, and I tried to prepare myself for it. But, to not have that at all rocked me a little.

Now, I was grasping at straws. I changed course and sped back to downtown LA. I called him over and over again while I weaved in and out of cars. Maybe if I wasn’t so locked in on one thing, I would have realized I could actually deal with LA traffic with the skills I was exercising.

In a last stitch effort, I texted, “In the middle of LA hoping I can come say goodbye before I go to the airport. Please call.” Silence. He’d gone dark on me. I was so disappointed in him. I thought we shared something special. I wanted him as a friend, and he was abandoning me. I was being very selfish, but so was he. I admitted defeat and gave up:

“Heading to airport. Sorry. I wasn’t trying to make a big deal about it. Just wanted to give a proper goodbye, even if just for two minutes.  Get some rest. Def stay in touch. Hope I made a good friend on this trip! You’re a great guy! You have a place to stay any time you want to visit New Jersey/New York! Would love it if you called tomorrow when you wake up! 🙂 Stay sexy!”

He never called. When I got home, he never Facebook messaged me either. I was very disappointed. I wasn’t giving in that easily though. I texted him days later to see if he’d truly cut me off completely: “Hey stud. How’s it going? Just wanted to say hi.” I was happy to see a response some time later: “Hey 🙂 Sorry I didn’t say goodbye. I’m not very good at that type of thing. I know it wasn’t very nice. I had a wonderful time with you though. How is everything?”

We continued to text each other periodically over time. He even called me one day, but I missed his call. I hope I have a true friend in him. He really is a great guy, and if I can’t have him as my own, I’ll take him as a friend. I look forward to the day I can see him again. Maybe work will send me out there again. Maybe he’ll come to New Jersey for a visit. Maybe I’ll make a true pleasure trip out there and see him on my own. Who knows???

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Testing Boundaries

Once again, today is another double post to make up for lost time. If you are just visiting for the first time today, scroll down to the previous story to keep up with the timeline. Enjoy!

It had been a long work trip. I didn’t have any spare time for anything fun other than work. The one hour I had free, I spent on the treadmill trying to get back in shape for the rapidly approaching warm weather.

After my meeting, I sped to the airport. I wanted to get home so I could start my weekend off right. I began texting everyone back home to see what they were up to so I could be efficient with my time when I landed. I sent out a flurry of texts and received a few responses before taking off. I knew at least a few people were up for drinks at the bar. I also decided to take care of my pre-game at 30,000 feet. I ordered two scotch on the rocks to help get me started.

When I landed, I got more responses to my texts. Some people were too lazy to go out. They received harassing phone calls from me urging them to sack up and join the able-bodied and willing. It was no use. I also texted my Grindr friend who recently moved to Hoboken from the city — Much closer to me. I asked him if he wanted to check out the Hoboken scene. I warned him it would be all straight bars, but he was down.

I picked up some food at the airport I could eat in the car on the way home. When I arrived, I quickly showered and got dressed. My friend took a little longer to get ready, so I had to wait for him a bit. I was getting messages from my sister and friend who were at the bar waiting for my arrival. I told them to keep their pants on… I was en route.

I met my friend on the corner and walked with him to my local watering hole, McSwiggans. I told him about the bar as we walked. He asked how my trip was, and we continued the small talk.

I hadn’t told anyone I was bringing a guy with me. They were a bit surprised. But, I wasn’t bringing him as a love interest. I was bringing him as a new neighbor and friend. He didn’t know Hoboken, so I thought I could show him around a bit. I also knew he was normal enough he would fit in. I introduced him to everyone, and we got beers. I spent a lot of the night chatting with him, but mixed in with my friends/sister as well. As the night progressed, my sister grew more and more intoxicated. She started rubbing her a$s on me like she does with people when she’s drunk. It took a lot to get her to stop.

After some time, I got a text from one of my teammates from college. He was in town at another bar, so I gathered everyone up, and we made our way to Black Bear. He was there with his new girlfriend and her friends. When we arrived, I needed to relieve myself immediately. He came down the stairs and joined me standing in line to hit up the bathroom. After we all finished using the facilities, we made our way upstairs. My group grabbed a table, and my friend dragged me over to meet his group. He introduced me while my Grindr friend followed me. His girlfriend was already three sheets to the wind and shouted into my ear, “Is this your boyfriend?” I explained he was just a friend, and we all continued chatting. When I realized I was neglecting my other friends, we made our way back to the other table.

By then my sister was wasted, and she needed to go home. Luckily, one of the guys in the group who is utterly chivalrous, volunteered to escort her home since they both lived uptown. I said goodbye to both and was left with P and my Grindr friend. When my Grindr friend went to the bathroom, I explained my predicament to her. Until this point, we were just friends, but I wasn’t sure if maybe we could be more. I asked her if I should make a move.

“Why not!? What do you have to lose?” she asked. I told her I liked having him as a friend, and if I crossed that line, I wouldn’t have a friend anymore. I wasn’t sure which I would rather have. A new friend or a new guy to date. She still suggested I go for it. I decided I would make a game time decision later.

I felt like it was mine for the taking. He always seemed interested but who could really tell? I was purposely putting out the friend vibe, but I think if I escalated things, he would be interested.

The night was dragging on, and I was tired. We closed our tab and made our way for the door. P lived in the opposite direction of my new neighbor and I. Furthermore, we decided to stop at Cluck U and get a late night snack before heading home. When he asked if we were eating there or somewhere else, I volunteered to go back to my place.

When we walked into my apartment, we sat at the counter eating and talking. When we finished, he needed to use the bathroom. I moved over to the couch in hopes he would as well when he came back into the room. He didn’t get the hint. He sat back down at the counter until I suggested he join me in the living room. When he did, he sat in the chair next to the couch. This was going to take some work.

We talked some more before I finally moved to the chair and said, “I hope this isn’t out of line, but…” and I laid a big kiss on him. He totally kissed me back. It was great. Taking the risk paid off. When I pulled back, I asked him, “Did I surprise you?” “Well… YEAH! Of course I was surprised. I just thought we were going to be friends,” he replied. “I know. I was putting out that vibe on purpose. I wasn’t sure what would come between us,” I told him. He just smiled, and we kissed again…

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It’s About Time

Today is a Fast Forward Monday!!!  

My apologies to those who have come to expect Fast Forward Fridays. I have been traveling for work/pleasure, and I got caught up in things. I haven’t had a chance to write the second post, so I’m making up for it today. Hope you are enjoying these. It will help bring the blog a little closer to real-time. If you’re keeping up with the stories chronologically, please skip down to this morning’s post first, then read this one. I think it’s a good one! Enjoy!

Back to your special edition of One Gay At A Time…

After missing the opportunity to finally meet my online friend after almost a years time chasing each other around, the day finally arrived when I was scheduled to finally meet him in the flesh. This was well overdue, and I was quite excited. I wasn’t about to get ahead of myself, but the suspense had been building up for quite some time.

We discussed where we would go for drinks or dinner and finally settled on Charritos, a Mexican restaurant I’ve been to on numerous occasions. In fact, this wasn’t the first date I took there. We planned to meet at 7:30. I knew the place didn’t take reservations, but it was a Monday night on a holiday weekend. I figured everyone was home getting ready for the coming workweek. It also wasn’t the nicest night, as snow was in the forecast, so I thought we’d be alright.

When I arrived, I was immediately proved wrong. I stood in front waiting for him to arrive noticing every table (all 8 of them) filled with diners. Finally, he arrived, and we attempted to go inside out of the cold. Even this proved difficult since there was nowhere to go once we were in there. While we waited for a table to clear, we awkwardly chatted.

This was surprisingly difficult. He seemed so incredibly flirty online and charismatic, and the man standing in front of me was a very shy reserved individual. I couldn’t get over it. Where was the guy I’d been chatting about my body and sexual interests in detail? Where was the flirt?

We talked about work and the weather. It was a struggle to find a topic to discuss. Everything felt forced. It wasn’t awful, but it certainly wasn’t what I expected.

Finally we got a table and sat. After we ordered, we started to chat a bit more. I asked most of the questions. He always responded in detail, but he never asked a question in turn. That may have helped the conversation flow much more freely, but it wasn’t there. I had to volunteer all my information. I feel awkward talking about myself when I wasn’t asked to. It was as if I was interviewing him for a job.

One topic we got on was siblings. I don’t know why, but that topic has been coming up more and more frequently on my dates. I’ve actually noticed it and tried curbing it. I learned about his siblings as well. It was nice to hear he came from such a similar family dynamic.

We talked about his job as well. I was very intrigued by it. He told me all about his schooling, his specialty in the field relevant to the gay community, his boss, the clinical work he does… This was really shaping up to be quite the catch of a man. He was very sweet and thoughtful. However, our chemistry was not mixing AT ALL! It was so disappointing. On paper he looked so good. Online, he seemed a sexual match for my libido. In person, he was a mouse. Night and day from my expectations.

After quite a while, the waiter basically asked us to leave. There were people waiting for a table, so they kicked us out. I was more than a little p*ssed, because I thought it was very unprofessional and rude, however, it was time for the date to conclude.

We’d already talked about him coming over to my apartment before the date. I was still very sexually attracted to him. I wondered if he’d relax when he was out of the public eye. As we walked outside, I asked him where he parked and told him I’d walk him to his car. I was hoping for a signal along the way to show his interest. I thought he’d drive me to my apartment and come up.

When we got to the car, it was the complete opposite. I hope you can understand my explanation without a diagram:

I thought we’d at least say a proper goodbye. I was hoping for a kiss considering all I could think about during the meal was how good his lips would feel. When we got to the car, I stood on the sidewalk, and he walked to the front passengers panel in front of the rearview mirror. That would have been fine. I may have even used the car as a backboard for a strong kiss, BUT there was also a chopped off parking meter between him and myself. Yes. A metal pole about four feet tall was between the two of us. I don’t think he could have strategically showed his lack of interest any more other than to simply get in the car and drive away.

We said goodbye, and I told him it was nice meeting him. He said, “Likewise.” That’s when I grew some balls and took what I wanted. I moved forward, reached my long arm over the pole, hooked it under his arm around his back, and pulled him in for a kiss. It wasn’t a long kiss or a makeout session, but I certainly wasn’t going to be satisfied with a peck.

And with that, I turned and walked home in the flurries falling from the sky. I was still a little blown away by the lack of spark during the date. I wasn’t even ready to go home. I decided to stop by my friends’ place on the way home and say hi.

I came in and we caught up on what’s going on with each other before I told he and his wife about my awkward date. He was a little baffled by it as well. He couldn’t understand what was going on. He really loved the parking meter pole story as well. I was so nonplussed.

I sulked home after saying goodnight to my friends. When I got home, I was curious to see if he was back on a4a. Surprise! I was right. I wasn’t going to get past this immediately. I needed to ask him about what happened.

“Surprise, surprise. Look who’s on here,” I messaged him. We chatted a bit awkwardly about the date. He messaged me back: “I was waiting for you to ask me to come back.” He wanted to come back to my apartment. He even brought his c*ck ring and poppers with him. I was so confused, and I made that clear to him. He wasn’t aware of his mixed signals, nor was he aware of the pole. He just thought I wasn’t interested since I walked him to his car. It was all a big misunderstanding. “I had a good time. I thought the conversation was nice,” he added. That doesn’t make up for the awkward date however. That just cleared up the mixed signals at its close.

Just to satiate my curiosity, I told him we would have to try to fix what went wrong when I got back from my work trip to San Francisco. He agreed, so we kept in touch over the next week.

I decided to see what was going on with the southern guy. He texted me to see how my weekend was, so I picked up the phone and called him. Again, we talked for almost an hour while I packed. This completely made up for my awkward date. I was really looking forward to getting back so I could finally meet him. Hopefully this one wouldn’t be as big a disappointment.

In the morning, I had a message from my new southern gentleman caller. He was asking for a picture of my “morning excitement” we’d discussed previously. I denied his request and told him he’d have to wait to see the real thing. This was my way of getting him on the ball about meeting up with me.

I also got a text message from my friend and recent neighbor. It was very sweet of him to do so. I needed to make it a priority to hang out with him when I got back to New York.

All that would have to wait on the backburner… The following day, I was headed to San Francisco for the week for work. Waiting for me were two men. One I attempted a long distance relationship with whom I would meet for a cocktail. The other, a great confident and online friend whom I was extremely excited to meet in person, especially in the bedroom…

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Waking up with the feeling of dread is never a good thing. Upon opening my eyes, I immediately knew something was wrong. It all came crashing back. I remember the conversation I had with Smiles the night before in my bed. It didn’t go as well as I would have liked it.

I needed to reassess the situation and make a decision before proceeding. One thing was for sure; I was going to proceed with caution. No longer was I going to invest so much of myself into a one-sided relationship. Smiles was still interested, and I had optimism the relationship could still progress towards something good. However, I could no longer devote so much of myself to someone who wasn’t doing the same for me.

I had that day off, but I had to wake very early. I needed to get my friend’s car keys before he went to work so I could take Smiles to the airport. When I volunteered to take the day off from work, I thought it would be a perfect way to see him off. I wanted to be both helpful and selfish. I wasn’t going to get to see him for a week, let alone on Christmas. The next best thing I could get was sending him off at the airport.

I climbed out of bed, put on clothes and rode my motorcycle over to my friend’s place. I swapped the bike for his car and drove back to my apartment. When I got back to my room, there were a few minutes left before Smiles was supposed to wake to get ready for his flight. I undressed and climbed back into bed.

Since we went to see the stage-show the night before, and he was working through the day before, he wasn’t able to pack yet. When my alarm went off, we woke and got ready to make our way into the city so he could pack.

I drove him through the Holland Tunnel and stopped in front of his apartment. There were no legal spots available, so I had to sit in the car while he got ready. When he got out of the car, Smiles checked out another street and texted me from his apartment: “If you wait another five minutes, you can park on the other street at the meters.” It was nice of him to check that out so I wouldn’t have to sit in the car alone the whole time.

I joined him upstairs and tried my best to assist. When he was ready, we got back into the car and set off for the airport.

My question from the night before was still in the back of my head. The car ride was rather quiet. It was as if we were both searching for something to talk about. I had yet another question burning a hole in the back of my mind. I had no New Year’s Eve plans, and all my friends did. I didn’t want to spend it alone, but Smiles hadn’t mentioned it to me. I had no idea what his plans were, but I wanted to spend it with him. The conversation from the night before didn’t change that. I was about to ask him if we could spend it together, but as we neared the airport, things got hectic because he wasn’t sure which terminal he was flying out of. That question would have to wait until later.

Once we had that settled, I found a space at curbside and helped him unload. We exchanged a very quick hug and kiss as he set off for home for the holidays. It was very unceremonious. I don’t know if he was self-conscious because we were in public or if it was because he still felt awkward, but I was very disappointed. That was not the way I wanted to be kissed by the man I was dating but not seeing on Christmas. That was not a proper goodbye.

As he walked away, he turned back and said, “I’ll call you later tonight.”

Since I had my friend’s car and the rest of the day off, I decided to run an errand I’d been neglecting. I took a route home that allowed me to stop by Michael’s to pick up a large panoramic photo I had framed. All that alone time is NOT good for me. It’s a sure to produce over-thinking and slight depression. I really didn’t know how to proceed. There was a fork in the road, and I wasn’t sure which road to take.

I decided to make a stronger effort to engulf myself with my friends. I wasn’t going to give so much of myself to Smiles, and in turn, I would fill that void with friendship. After I ran my errand, I went home and watched TV on the couch. I needed to distract myself with some form of entertainment, but it wasn’t working. I was still thinking about what I was going to do. I hopped on Facebook while watching TV and got a message from N: “I miss you buddy.” I hadn’t hung out with him since we broke up with the exception of my holiday party. Maybe it was time to give friendship with him another chance. I hit him up to see what he was up to. He was going out that night and told me he would keep me in the loop regarding his plans so we could hang out.

I know Smiles was settling in the with family, and I wouldn’t expect him to call. But, it would be nice if he called, even if just to let me know he landed safely. That night, I never heard from Smiles…

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My Very Own Cheerleader

Tuesday came and went quite uneventful in my relationship world. Smiles called and we talked for five minutes about our days.

When Wednesday arrived, I was starting to seriously worry Smiles wasn’t going to be attending my holiday party. I’d already asked a few times, and I didn’t want to be pushy, but the time had come to get a straight answer.

I texted him in the middle of the afternoon: “You still haven’t confirmed your attendance Saturday… You are coming right?” I quickly received a very succinct response: “Yes.”

What a relief. I was worried he’d made other plans and didn’t know how to tell me. I’m not sure how I would have taken it had he said no. You may have been reading about a new slew of guys I was pursuing from a myriad of online dating venues. I wanted him by my side for the party, and I wanted him to meet my friends. Many had not met him yet, and if you read my blog, you know how important to me they are.

Apparently, I’d opened up the dialogue for the day. Smiles followed his last text with a picture message. “The final bowl.” I was laughing. “Haha. You made it! You didn’t have to eat it all if you were tired of it… Don’t forget about the sausages!” I know I made a lot, but he didn’t need to feel obligated to eat it all. “All good. It’s what I’m supposed to be on. I just laugh because it’s like a salad at the Cheesecake Factory — Much larger than it looks!”

I took the Thursday before my holiday party off. I need to do a lot to prepare and to finally settle into my new apartment. 40 people were expecting a party that lives up to my usual standards. I couldn’t disappoint.

I started in my room with probably the lowest priority, but the most fun project. I was detailing a tree on my bedroom wall. I was shocked it only took me two hours to make the tree decal out of black contact paper. “2 hours later, the tree is up…” I texted to Smiles. He immediately responded with support: “Cool. I forgot about that project!” He told me he’d slept-in quite late, but he was getting a lot of work done.  And, since he’d finished season two of Vampire Diaries, he had nothing to distract him. “Nice. I’m cooking up a storm. Still no cable guy,” I replied. He didn’t realize I took Thursday off from work as well as Friday.

His next response could have knocked me over with a feather. “Wow. Lot of prep for Saturday! Want me to come over tonight and help?” This was the first time Smiles took such an interest in my life. It kind of came out of left field, but there were no complaints here! I made my feelings quite clear in my response: “I would love if you came over tonight! I need a consultant :)” I needed some design advice. I still had to hang pictures and light fixtures and the like. I could handle most of the cooking myself, but his design skills and good taste were going to get put to good use. “Still can’t lift anything, but happy to help with other stuff,” he added.

I asked him if 10:00 would work. I had volleyball, so that was the time I would be home. I didn’t want to give up a night with him just because of my game. The following made me about as giddy as a schoolgirl! “Oh yeah. It’s Thursday 😦 Was thinking I was coming over at 6:00ish. Yeah. I can do that. 10:00. But, maybe I could come watch volleyball?”

WHAT!? He wanted to come watch me play volleyball?! I’d mentioned it to both N and Broadway when I was dating them, but they never showed much interest in it. For him to volunteer without me ever even mentioning coming was amazing! “Yea! Sure! Come at 6,” I exclaimed.

We ironed out the logistics, and he made his way to Hoboken around 7:00. Every week I get a ride from my teammate I’ve known since high school. He also happens to be gay, so he was excited to finally meet Smiles. This would also be the first time my sister met Smiles as she gets a ride as well.

The two of us hopped in the backseat, and I introduced Smiles to my high school friend. When we picked up my sister, I introduced him again.

When we arrived at the gym, Smiles made himself comfortable and pulled out his iPhone. I knew this wasn’t going to be the most thrilling night of Smiles’ life, but it meant the world to me he wanted to come watch. I would look past the fact that he spent a lot of the time playing with his phone. I knew he was actually watching because between every game, I went over to sit with him, and he made comments on some of the plays I was involved in. The ironic part is, many of my teammates didn’t know I was gay. That night, I didn’t give them a definitive answer, but I’m sure they could have deduced the situation.

After the game, we went home, and Smiles helped me with a few things I needed to ask him about before I showered and we had a late dinner. While we ate our dinner on the couch, we watched TV until we grew tired. We made our way to my bedroom and dozed off for the night.

The next morning, we woke without an alarm and had breakfast. I thought Smiles would stay for a bit of the afternoon. My friend, P, was coming over to help me make food for the party. I informed her she’d be meeting Smiles, and she was thrilled and very excited. Instead, Smiles had to make his way home because he had work to do. Around noon, I said goodbye with a kiss and went back to preparing for the party. P arrived disappointed to find Smiles had gone, but we didn’t let that get us down. We spent the afternoon cooking up a storm. She was invaluable. I don’t think I could have done it without her.

I was in good spirits. I had an answer about Smiles’ attendance. He came to support me in one of my recreations. He helped me make decisions on decorating. All was good in my world. Now I just needed to find the time to finish cleaning and cooking for 40…

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Boyfriend Duties

Sunday morning I was awoken as Smiles got up to use the restroom. I’d spent the entire weekend with him so far, so I certainly woke up on the right side of the bed.

He volunteered to make us coffee and breakfast. Smiles has never been much of a cook, so I was enjoying sitting back and watching him do it. It’s not that he can’t cook. It’s simply that he doesn’t do it very often. I came in the kitchen to kiss on the back of his neck and wrapped my long arms all the way around his body holding him tight. There’s something about hugging someone in that way that really warms me at the core.

I borrowed his computer and checked my emails/Facebook while he finished making me an amazing omelet. He brought it to me with coffee made just the way I like it. I’m sure my pleasure was written across my face as I thanked him. This was another great morning waking up with Smiles.

When he finished making his breakfast, he came into the living room and joined me. I told him how impressed I was with his omelet. It really was great — Better than I make myself.

When we finished eating, he told me his plan for the day to move all the boxes out of his apartment into storage. He’d finally moved everything into one storage center, and he was finally able to box everything up in his apartment he no longer needed on a daily basis. Now he just needed to transport them over to his storage unit. I volunteered to help, so he gave me a t-shirt, and we were on our way.

He reserved a Zipcar to do the job, so I gave him a ride to the garage to pick it up. I sat on the motorcycle outside the garage waiting for him to pass by and honk to follow him back to his apartment. A long time passed, but I just assumed it was taking a while to get his car. Little did I know, he was already on his way back to his apartment. He called me asking where I was, and I couldn’t figure out how he managed to pass me by without noticing I was still there or me seeing him drive by.

I stepped on it and sped back to his apartment. We packed the car to the gills and took a lot of things over to the storage center. In the meantime, Smiles was experiencing the onset of one of his chronic migraines. I felt so bad for him, but there was nothing I could do for him. We returned the Zipcar back to the garage and walked back to his apartment trying to find as much shade as possible on such a gorgeous November Sunday.

I put him to bed and went on my way about the rest of my day. I went back through the Holland Tunnel to may apartment. I had the better portion of the day ahead of me, so I decided to be productive while doing something relaxing. I finished all my grocery shopping for the week and began to cook food for dinner and lunch through the coming week.

Later that evening, he went out to grab dinner. On his walk home, he called just to chat. I expressed my concern for him and his headache, and he told me it was feeling slightly better slowly but surely. He told me he slept most of the day to try to relieve the pain, but there were still some lasting visual effects. He also told me he called to see how the rest of my day was. It was a sweet gesture considering I left him only a few hours earlier. The gesture proved to me he cared about me enough to call with no purpose.

Looking back over the weekend, I began to think about how much our relationship grew. It was a pretty special weekend overall. We spent about 45 hours straight together, and he was still not sick of me — So much so that he called. I would never say it out loud to him, but I started to wonder if I had managed to land a boyfriend along the way there somewhere…

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Waking Up Drunk

When I woke up in the morning, I had little recollection of the night before, even leaving the bar. I could only remember a flash of about ten seconds of sex, and I actually remembered enjoying it. It was a scary feeling.

As the morning progressed, I didn’t let on that I blacked out the night before. I was hoping Smiles would divulge enough details for me to start piecing things together. I had so much to drink, I was still drunk when I woke that morning.

He hopped out of bed and went into the bathroom. I took the opportunity to lean off the bed to retrieve my boxers and put them on.

I went to the bathroom and cleaned myself up as best I could. I tried to fix my hair, but it was no use. I made a comment to Smiles about this, and he noted it was because I showered the night before. I showered the night before? I did not remember that AT ALL!

I wanted nothing more than to brush my teeth. Of course, Smiles didn’t have an extra toothbrush. I squirted toothpaste on my finger and brushed my teeth Survivor style. This was turning out to be a pretty sh*tty morning. I asked Smiles if I could borrow a t-shirt instead of my button-down from the night before.

Smiles detailed what he wanted to do with his day. He had a lot of boxes in his apartment he wanted to get into storage. He was able to procure a storage unit across the street from his apartment. It was necessary to transport his belongings from a storage unit in Harlem. I volunteered to help him since I had no plans for the day and was looking forward to spending more time with him. I had no idea how big a mistake that would be.

We began our journey at Starbucks. He ordered his favorite “salty pretzel drink,” and I ordered a coffee, a brownie, and pound cake. I was starving. We quickly snagged a cab to stay on schedule and sped up the FDR Drive. The cab wasn’t able to drive all the way to the storage facility because the New York City Marathon route was between us and the facility. We arrived at the storage unit just before his appointment only to find that the storage shuttle he booked was unable to make it to the facility. The trek uptown was for not.

We walked to the nearest subway stop downtown, and hopped aboard. At this point, my hangover was kicking in hardcore. I was feeling very sick. With every subway stop, I climbed deeper and deeper into the misery hole. Smiles was trying to talk to me, and I was giving him “um hm’s.” When we were about three stops from getting off, I started to feel extremely nauseous. I was not going to vomit in front of Smiles and in front of everyone else on the subway. I was going to make it, even if I had to run to a trash can on the street. I used all my being to keep it down and not give it up. Smiles could see I was not doing well, and suggested we hit up a bodega for a bottle of water. The minute I entered the fresh air, I felt infinitely better, but I still wasn’t 100%. I downed a bottle of water and soldiered on.

We walked around a bit and did some window shopping before stopping to grab lunch at Lucky Strike. I ordered a sandwich, but I wasn’t able to eat it. Smiles was very sweet all day long trying to take care of me. He gave many suggestions for ailments, but many of them involved liquor. No matter how small the amount, the mere thought was triggering my gag reflex. I asked the bartender to box up my lunch so I could eat it later in the day when I was feeling better. He provided me with some relief by offering peppermint essential oil to rub on my temples and under my nose. Surprisingly, it worked quite well.

We walked back to Smiles’ apartment so I could gather my things to head home. It was clear I was no longer a human being. I was a mere shell of a man. I kissed Smiles goodbye and walked north to the Christopher Street PATH station.

I went home and curled up on the couch and watched TV while I contemplated my recent life choices. After about an hour I was able to eat my croque-monsieur, and it was delicious. Hopefully my day would end better than it started.

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