Last night I had a date... a real date. Not a play date, not a possible meeting in a bar. It was a real date in a restaurant, with dinner and conversation. Then we had a short walk, a stop for coffee and a nice kiss goodnight with a promise of a second date.
The best part is that the date was with someone who is atypical when compared to who I have dated in the past. He is professional, cultured, ambitious and shockingly enough attracted to me... LOL. He is also somewhat atypical in other ways too. He is a German/Scottish, non-citizen, boxer who manages a leading art gallery. Stayed tuned for future details. Oh and by the way, he is ruggedly handsome too ;-)
I had another one of those experiences this weekend that teaches you a lot about people and the community you live in. I will spare you the details (lucky you) other than to say that you should never judge a book by its cover. It's all just another brick in the wall.
Well, 2006 is coming to a merciful end. And it’s coming not a moment too soon. It was a long year. It was a disappointing year. It was a year of mistakes, misjudgments and missteps. And the end of the year was a culmination of all those bad things. Dear God let it be a culmination and not a continuation. I want 2007 to be different… very different.
I am tired. I am tired of feeling the same way. I am tired of being alone. I am tired of working so hard at making a life and not having anyone to share it with. I am tired of the disappointment. I am tired of the delusion.
I know what I want and I want someone who wants the same thing. OK, I lied. I don’t know what I want. I want someone who will know what I want for me. I want someone who will make me want what they want. I want someone the same as me, but different. I want someone who shares my interests, but who sparks new interests within me. I want someone who compliments who I am, but who changes me.
I want time spent together outdoors. I want walks in the parks. I want long walks in the park with someone. Better yet I want long walks in the park with someone and their dog(s). Even better, long walks in the park with someone and our dog(s). I want camping. I want paintball. I want white water rafting.
I want time spent together at home... my home, his home, our home. I want weekends at home sleeping late, watching TV and ordering in. I want to go to sleep in my California king with someone other than the pile of pillows next to me. I want to wake up and see someone’s face looking back at me. I want to wake in the middle of the night and hear, smell, feel, see someone there with me. I want a kiss to bookend my slumber. I want real kisses. I just want time spent together.
I want to cook again. I want to cook for someone again. I want someone to cook for me. I want weekends spent in intimate places. I want vacations spent together with memories built together. I want snapshots that remind us of vacations spent in intimate places together. When I am asked what I am doing this weekend, I want to be able to say “WE are spending our weekend… somewhere.”
I want honesty. I want respect. I want equality. I want conversation. I want compassion. I want companionship. I want commitment. No more lies. No more disrespect. No more cheating.
I don’t want to cry anymore at movies with otherwise happy endings because I am envious. I don’t want to cry when I hear songs on the radio that were obviously written with me in mind. But when I do cry, I want someone to know and understand why and tell me it is OK.
I am so bad at this dating thing. Here I am, 40 and alone in NYC. Who would have thought it? I don’t know how to date. I don’t know how to start something anymore. One wants more. One wants less. One want it slower. One wants it faster. Many want their cake and want to eat it too. If I am interested, they’re not. If they are interested, I’m not. They say all the right things, then do all the wrong things. Some do all the right things, but say nothing at all.
I want friends. I want my friends, his friends, our friends. I want dinner and socializing with couples… mature couples with ambitions, dreams, desires and interests.
I want sex. I want lots of sex. I want more than sex. I want passion and intimacy and I want it to be mutual.
OK, so maybe I do know what I want. And if I know what I want, why can’t I find it? It can’t always be them. It has to be me. What is wrong? And with each disappointment, comes an increase in velocity in my apparent downward spiral. I need to put the skids to that spiral this year. Maybe in 2007 I will get it right. It can’t get worse, so it has to get better. That’s something. Isn’t it?
I want so little. And I want it all. But I think I need therapy.
I didn't sleep well last night. Hell, I did not sleep at all. And I think that I might have trouble sleeping without the help of a sleep aid. As I was in bed trying to sleep, I started reflecting on my life and I had an epiphany... a horrible, terrible epiphany. I am approaching the 5th year anniversary of my coming out. Five years of being gay and four years of living in NYC. I started thinking about my five year plan that I set for myself when I decided to come out. In many ways it has been an abject failure. But in some ways, very disturbing ways, it is even worse than that. The low points are in relationships and friendships... friendships being the absolute worst.
But let's start with relationships. I came out after being in a 12 year monogamous straight relationship, including six plus years of marriage (the plus part is a long story) to my best friend and a wonderful companion who I loved dearly but because I was gay could never fall in love with. Since then I have gone through a series of failed gay relationships. The longest of these, two plus years, was with someone who didn't love me, didn't respect me, wasn't attracted to me and in the end probably didn't even like me that much. The second longest was also with someone who wasn't attracted to me but for almost the opposite reasons as the other. He wanted someone bigger, older and darker than me, which he found almost immediately after our relationship ended. The other two were just too far away to make work. I now honestly believe that I have little faith in men and in the chances for monogamy in NYC. I also seriously doubt my ability to be intimate and commit to a relationship going forward.
OK, that is sad, but the friendship front is even sadder. For whatever reason, be it my change of lifestyle but more likely distance, I have become estranged from all my friends from my straight days. So what about the friends I have now you ask? Well, there is the part that is going to require self medication for me to deal with after coming to grips with reality. After four years of living in NYC, I have been completely unable to develop or sustain one single friendship that even resembles the caliber of friendships I used to have in my straight days. Oh, I have lots of acquaintances in NYC, but I would be hard pressed to define them as true friendships. Lets look at it realistically. I have one and only one "friend" to whose home I have been to three or more times... in four years. And I have never been to the homes of the vast majority of my "friends". Only one "friend" has been to my home three or more times, and ironically he is not the "friend" to whose home I have been to three or more times. In fact he is one of the "friends" to whose home I have never been. And the vast majority of my "friends" have never been to my home. I have more intimate and consistent relationships with some of my tricks and fuck-buddies than I do with my "friends".
If you discount rugby practices, rugby matches and rugby drink-ups it is months (that's plural) between social interactions with my "friends". No dinners, no movies, no concerts, no bar hopping, no parties, no nothing. Its not that they don't do these things. I hear about or read about them all the time. I am just not invited. Recently there was a weekend where two guys from the rugby team had birthday parties on the same night, and I managed not to get invited to either.
If pressed, I am sure I could pick a best "friend". It's actually pretty easy. He is the one and only person who came to visit me when I was in the hospital for three and half days last year. He is also the one person who does call me to occaisionally see a movie or grab a bite to eat. However, even with him, we can go a month without seeing each other. Sayinng he is my best friend is a little like when this Scottish rugby referee in our Union (the only Scottish ref in our Union) once told me when I said he was the fittest ref in the Union. He said that it was like saying he was the best Scottish ref in the Union. But the one thing I can tell you for certain, in fact I would go as far as to bet all of my worldly possessions on this fact, is that if you surveyed every last living person on the planet, that there is not one single, solitary person on God's green Earth who would list me as their best friend.
That's sad. But the saddest realization in all of this is that given the universalness of all of this that it is most clearly me that is the problem and not them. Now I just got to figure out what it is. I think I am a nice person, a caring person. I think I am loyal and friendly and fun. I try to call, IM, email and text message my "friends" and get responses. But it seems they are mostly initiated by me, not completely, but for the most part. I wonder what would happen if I stopped initiating them? But that is like a self fulfilling prophecy then.
What is it about me or who I have become that has left me feeling so alone? Am I annoying to be around? Am I embarrassing to be around? I used to think my ex felt that way about me. What am I talking about, he did feel that way. When he tells you that his friends can't get you on a guest list for a party that it turns out he was the one putting his friends on the guest list for, its because he is embarrassed to take you to hang out with his friends and colleagues. Now where did I put those Tylenol PMs? Maybe I should stop blogging again. Two days of introspection have left me feeling kind of shitty again.
"We call that person who has lost his father, an orphan; and a widower that man who has lost his wife. But that man who has known the immense unhappiness of losing a friend, by what name do we call him? Here every language is silent and holds its peace in impotence." ~ Joseph Roux
On Saturday, after crashing and recovering from my red-eye flight back from the West Coast, I picked Nicky up at the bus station. We stopped by Randall's Island on the way back to the Bronx to check out a rugby tournament that was being held there. There was lots of yummy eye candy to look at.
When we got back to the Bronx, Nicky started making a lasagna. While he was cooking the phone rang. On the other end of the phone was my sister. She asked what I was doing and I said making dinner. It had completely slipped my mind that my parents, after spending the week on vacation in Fort Lauderdale were getting picked up at LaGuardia by my sister and her boyfriend. They were calling to find out if I wanted to meet them for dinner. After some wrangling, we decided that they would stop by my apartment for dinner and drinks. History was about to be made.
My sister and my mom had both met my last boyfriend, but my dad was not ready to do that. But here was dad coming to my apartment where my boyfriend was making dinner. I and Nicky were both a bit nervous. Nicky was nervous to meet almost my entire family without notice. I was nervous about how my dad would react. But it all went down rather smoothly. Nicky, being a bartender (soon to be a former bartender), made frozen Margaritas for my mom and sister, Long Island Iced Teas for my sister's boyfriend and my dad sampled several varieties of the beer we had in the refrigerator.
Then we all had a very enjoyable lasagna dinner and had some of the wine that I just brought back from California. Throughout the evening my dad gave Nicky a few good ole' boy pats on the back. Mom talked to Nicky about Ireland. My sister fawned over Nicky's accent. There was lots of talking, laughing and joking. My parents even talked about a few surprising family issues freely in front of Nicky. When they were about to hit the road to head back to Pennsyltucky, there were handshakes, hugs and kisses goodbye and the evening ended with Nicky being invited by both my parents to come visit them in Shamokin... WOW. I was shocked. It was really surprising. So another hurdle has been overcome in my parents coming to grips completely with my homosexuality. It will also make future holidays and family functions easier to deal with, knowing that I won't have to decide between spending time with my family or with my boyfriend.
In a way, the timing and the fact that it was a surprise was probably good. I think I would have been reluctant to try to take that step this time around. I am still a little bummed that I made that step in my last relationship (introducing my boyfriend to my mom) when it turned out my relationship was actually a bit of a charade. While I thought I was really introducing my mom to the man that I planned to spend a long time with, the man I was introducing to her had already known that he was just biding his time in our relationship. So it ended up just being another thing that made the break-up even more difficult for me. So, the surprise factor probably made it happen a lot sooner than it would have otherwise... for good or bad. We will see how things work out both on the boyfriend and family fronts with this one.
Alcohol has an amazing influence on people. Under the influence of booze, it is shocking what people will say and what you can learn. A few shots and they just open up, willing to share information about themselves and about others. If you happen to be sober enough to remember what they told you, you can come away from a night out drinking with a plethora of information about a whole bunch of people you know. Some of this information can be hysterical while some can actually be shocking, even disturbing. But then again, I guess it ends up being more disturbing than shocking.
I had an awesome day yesterday. Nicky and I went to shop for some furniture for my apartment. We actually started with a tasty lunch at a local diner. Then, we checked out both the local Seaman's and Levitz. Levitz definitely had the nicer furniture. I ended up buying what I think is a nice coffee table and end table, that unfortunately won't be delivered until 3/11.
(Click on picture to see larger image)
I also think I found a living room suite that I want. It is a bit ornate but both Nicky and I both love it and it fits with the style of my apartment now and can easily fit it just about anywhere should I decide to move. Plus, it is super comfy. What do you think? It will require some further re-arranging of the living room to get it to fit, but that is part of the fun.
(Click on picture to see larger image)
We also stopped off at JC Penny's and Linens 'n Things to pick up some stuff for the kitchen and bathroom. After wrapping up our shopping we grabbed some KFC and headed for home to get out of the snow. We had dinner and then Nicky fixed us each a Cosmopolitan (how very gay) and we settled in to watch the news.
On the news, they showed The Gates in the snow. I commented at how pretty the looked and that I wish I could have seen them in the snow. So Nicky says "I will go with you if you want to see them." And I said, "When? Now?" And he replied "Yeah, why not?" So at 11:30 PM last night we were all bundled up and on the 4 train on the way to Central Park. Call it crazy. Call it romantic. Maybe it is a little of both, but I liked it.
Well, I know a lot of people don't like the gates... like him. However, I do like them. I like the fact that in spite of being very man-made, they seem so very natural. And last night it was amazing to see them in the snow and to see (and hear) how they interact with the elements.
We took a lot of pictures. They are not the greatest pics, mind you, but not bad for being taken in the dark, in a driving snow storm, with numb fingers and after midnight.
Buster the Bear has gone home and I miss him (and his owner) already.
Buster's owner (aka Nicky) and I have spent all or part of 17 of the last 22 days together and touch wood (there was a lot of that going on... hehehe) as things look good. Both Buster and Nicky are incredibly snuggable and awfully cute. I am still getting used to how it feels to really feel wanted and desired. I have got to stop trying to read into it and accept it for what it is. It is just something, that while I know I always wanted, for one reason or another gave up on a while ago. All I know is the intimate touching, the snuggling and the cuddling seems so natural. I can fall asleep with him in my arms or me in his without having to push him back to his space, which is a pleasant change.
We are in that strange transitional period where we are trying to figure out where we are going and how fast we want to get there. I think, given my recent history, that I am more apt to go slow and remain cautious. But I also don't want to miss out on something good either. I just know I have to protect myself this time. One good thing is that we have had a lot of honest and open communication about things... things like feelings, emotions, ambitions, fears, desires... things that couples should talk about. So I remain cautiously optimistic.
On a related front, I really think I am making huge strides in getting over the pain of my last relationship and subsequent break-up. I realized that a lot of what happened happened because I enabled it to happen. In some recent meetings with my ex, I saw that he was truly happy in his new relationship. I even surprised myself when I found myself being happy to see him so happy. This is leaps and bounds from the days when I wished his dick would shrivel up and fall off... LOL. I know how amazing it is to feel true love for another person and hope he can finally experience that. I also know how horrible it is to not have that love returned and hope he doesn't have to endure that.
Let me ask if you ever had this experience. Have you ever regularly made a dish, say a pasta sauce or something, but were missing an ingredient or two? You ended up missing it because you either didn't know the ingredient should be in the dish or because you just didn't have the ingredient and decided to make due without it? You make this dish so regularly that you actually enjoy it and sort of find it to be satisfying? Then one day you have the dish made the proper way with all the necessary ingredients and you realize just how much better the dish is when it has all of the ingredients in it? After having all the ingredients, having the dish without all the ingredients in it will never again be satisfying and you think about what you had been missing all along and wished you had made it the right way before?