Peter the Cop continued to invite me over to his house on weeknights. We would watch TV, sometimes talked, but usually cuddled in bed. I still enjoyed holding his hard masculine body in my arms while he slept. In the gay community men usually seek partners that are as manly as them, if not more so. Hardly had I ever come across a guy like Peter who enjoyed sports and my company. It’s not that I’m disinterested in athletics but my attention is usually concerned with art and books.
“You have such beautiful skin.” He said to me one night. He was laying on my chest and kissing my hands. I humbly accepted the compliment. It’s one I get often but it means more when coming from an attractive guy. I kissed him, inviting some play time before sleep. We still didn’t have sex. In the morning while getting dressed he made another compliment about my skin. He expressed jealousy about the natural tan I had.
“Not like me. I’m a gringo.” He said. I paused from tying my shoe. I didn’t know what to say. Even though I’m Latino the terms like “gringo,” are very foreign to me. I grew up in a biracial household where my parents were Caucasian and my brother also Hispanic. The Spanish Language was minor in learning while growing up. Present day, whenever guys try to pick me up with words like “Papi” or “Chico”, I cringe. It feels uncomfortable in so many ways.
I ended up not saying anything in response to Peter’s lingo. We went for a drive. We talked about what Orlando had to offer the gay community. In truth it has a lot more than my hometown which was a single bar. Here there are clubs, cafes, baths, and art shows that all affiliate with GLBT. However, no matter how much bigger this community is every guy still knows one another’s business. A city doesn’t seem to have much to offer after repairing a couple of broken hearts.
Peter went on to tell me that a lot of places were haunted with memories of his previous relationship. My romantic feelings started then to dwindle. In that past I’ve dated a guy who was haunted by an ex (as long as four years). In the end I learned that I shouldn’t have gotten involved. You can’t help someone move on if they aren’t ready. Peter explained that their relationship hadn’t been a healthy one. The two men had gone back and forth with one another numerous times until finally Peter called it quits. I didn’t ask too many questions as I wanted to enjoy what was left of the ride. Eventually Peter said, “We still keep in touch though.”
Later that same day, I was back in my own bed thinking. Peter and I are spending time together but is he really there? As far as I could tell he wasn’t. My proof was that our time together was spent either sleeping or touching one another. Granted we never have sex but I don’t want to be some Latin-bed-warmer. I was angry and confused. I felt used but at the same time it wasn’t like I was protesting the situation. In fact, some of the times I invited myself over. I realized that I was being brash. It was inconsiderate of me to think such thoughts about a guy who respected my intimate boundaries. I guess that I was having trouble respecting his romantic ones.