Crossing Paths

I saw Phillip walking towards me from across the courtyard. He wore a grey shirt with matching slacks that made me envious. The clean-cut style never suited my scrappy nature. Frayed jean shorts and midriff shirts mesh well with the hipster places I like to visit off campus.

“I like your outfit,” I said to him. He thanked me before inquiring about my day. I told him about the hours spent prepping for a presentation. He told me about a job interview that would take place the following day. We continued this banter until the subject of love popped up.

“I met someone,” He said. cc9e8c9cc85ef28eb6d06bd717a43e2as

“On Grindr,” I said and nodded.

“No, in real life. Not everyone meets on Grindr,” He said and laughed. I felt a hard lump in my throat. Of course people met in real life because only shut-ins, like myself, rely on technology for romance. This might sound sarcastic but I assure you that my love life depended on both OkCupid and Grindr in the past.

In fact, my first boyfriend and I met in a chatroom. We exchanged flirty texts before exchanging emails. The fifty-miles between us seemed the length of a shoelace with modern technology. I spoke to him every day until the breakup happened. Then I switched to Facebook and found someone new to write to.

Fast forward to present day and I still rely on text-message-introductions with men. Meanwhile, Phillip told me about meeting this guy in a club via eye contact. The idea of two people meeting because of an energy exchange confused me.

“He saw me and we started talking,” Phillip said. The simplicity of this sentence made me feel envious. I swallowed the lump and curled my fists. We soon parted but I carried the feeling with me to work later that same day.

I served couples their food with a firm hand. Glass plates clacked against the tape tops. Silverware pelted against the wall above the dishwasher. The shift ended with me slamming chairs on top of one another outside the restaurant.

“Excuse me, is this place any good?” a square faced man said to me. He stood a foot away with another man behind him. I nodded and continued stacking.

“Do you think my friend’s cute?” He said. The other man laughed and walked closer. His bubble butt and thick arms interested me.

“Come on, he’s not gay.” the friend said. I rolled my eyes. This comment might flatter some macho-homosexuals but I’m fully aware of my flamboyancy. My graceful walk and soft voice come at the expense of being “outed” everywhere I go.

“Yes, I’m gay.” I said and stacked another chair on top. flirting.jpg

“Would you go on a date with my friend? He’s a great guy but he always goes out with assholes.” the square faced man said. I smiled and told them to come back next week.

“Is something wrong?” the friend said. I wanted to tell them that they both seemed drunk.  They kept touching my face and elbow. Only drunk or insecure men think I’m incredibly sexy. Of the which I prefer the insecure because then at least they’re being sincere.

“Oh my BMW just pulled up,” the square faced man said and climbed inside with his friend. They rolled down the window and asked me my name. I told them. They told me theirs.

The night ended like any other with me coming home alone. I logged onto Grindr looking for a conversation. Profile picture after profile picture zoomed by. No one said hello. If maybe I could learn how to play the game outside of this app then I would find someone. Someone a little drunk. Someone a little too touchy. Someone a little bit more than no one.

Closet Case Part 2- Lover’s Wall

Welcome back reader! This is the second installment of my Closet Case series. I meant for this to be a posted a day earlier. After this there will be one more installment to the Closet Case series. Enjoy!

I lifted my leg as far up on the ledge as I could without losing balance. The trashcans beside me smelled dangerously like cat pee. One slip of my foot and I’d be the new kitty litter. This was the first time I ever snuck into someone else’s house, not to mention a boyfriend’s! However, it was kind of “romantic” that two lovers had to meet in secret by a window. I just hoped I didn’t ruin the experience by falling.

“Sit on the ledge. I’ll help you down.” He said. So I sat down with both legs dangling on opposite sides of the wall. He came to the window and held me by the waist. I chucked my other leg over but  with too much force. The two of us stumbled into the bedroom, over dirty laundry, beer cans, and books before tumbling onto the mattress. It smelled just like the trash outside. I shot up and brushed my body off as if a thousand ants were crawling over it.

0001159b_medium

“Settle down dude! My parents will hear you.” He said quietly. I looked up to see him closing the door and locking it with a bolt. The bolt was there because the knob was missing! After stuffing it with a sock my boyfriend came over to give me a kiss. One peck on the lips before I put up my hands in protest. There was underwear piled around the room like maybe he organized them according to their cartoon character, but after collecting them he decided to do something else. Like drinking. Bottles and cans were the common knick-knack on bookshelves, nightstands, and windowsills.

“What’s the matter?” He said. A goofy smile was spread across his lips. It was the normal expression he had but now I wondered if maybe it was because of the alcohol.

“Oh. Umm….nothing.” I said. I clenched my gut and sat down on the bed. He came down with me. I wanted to kiss him but there my thoughts were stopping me. Was he drunk every time we met? Could he not express affection without being intoxicated? He touched the inside of my leg with his fingers. I watched them try to nuzzle their way in like a bee crawling into a flower. If he was tipsy then I didn’t know what this meant.

northern_brewer_amber_glass_beer_bottles_22_oz_amber_bottles

“There’s this movie I want you to watch.” He said. “It’s an old Sci-Fi set in the dystopian future where the robots rule over the humans.” He got up and walked over to an old VCR. Inside there was a tape all ready to play. I looked around the room a second time. Underneath the dust in a corner of the room was an entire layer of cassette tapes. Some of them I recognized from copies in my living room while others I had never heard of. I suddenly remembered why I liked this guy so much. While the rest of the world had moved onto using downloads and DVDS this guy was vintage.

He came and sat down next to me but this time I had no apprehension about opening myself up to him. I snug my head under his arm and watched the movie, at least for the next five minutes. I needed him to be closer. I tired pulling him on top of me but before I could he shut off all the lights. Afterwards he mounted me, slid his legs back so that we were chest against chest, mouth against mouth. There was indeed alcohol on his breath. I still let him kiss me though. I didn’t care what it took for him to get past some of his fears because somehow he took me away from mine. I was the boy that snuck out of his parents house at night, to an abandoned pool, to a lover’s window.

 

 

 

The Chemical Whip

To my fellow readers, I want to apologize for not posting anything this past week. The truth is that I took the time instead to do some self-reflecting. I really want to grow this blog into something more because I believe it has the potential. I see it as an form of self-expression for both my past and future. So I’ve been collecting some new material that I think will broaden the experiences for both you and me. Until I feel it is the time to unveil such material I will still write my adventures in romance, as well as continuing my Stepping Out series. To tie you over until then here is the rest of my Cop story…


 

The weeks passed with Peter and I following the same routine. It would be me sleeping over and in the morning going home. Communication between us was still strictly physical. He was the man I imagined wanting but somehow the fantasy seemed boring. I wanted chemistry that had words, ideas, and sexuality. These things are very important to me in a relationship. The word “relationship” though was still the the furthest thing from Peter’s mind.

“I’m just looking for someone with no drama.” Peter told me one day when discussing his ex-boyfriend (again). I understood what he meant. The gay community isn’t exactly a drama-free zone as it’s partly known for having Divas & Drag Queens. Apparently his ex-boyfriend was one of the two. Knowing this I felt like I had a chance, because I am anything but drama.

Later that same day I found myself in Peter’s bed again. We were in our underwear kissing. Rolling our bodies from one side of the bed to the other. Beneath my fingers the muscle of his back rippled and inside I felt sexy. Sexy because this was a man that wanted to be held. Our chemistry was in kisses. They weren’t sporadic but instead like an electric whip. The charge would begin from the back of his head and then pulse into the back of mine.

Image

My head was pounding so I rolled us over to where I was on top. He asked me if I wanted to have sex. I didn’t say anything. There wasn’t enough of myself to give that I knew would be returned. That was when I knew there was a question rising out of me.

“I do, but I want to know something first. I know it’s bad timing and I’m really sorry. I need to know though. Do you like me?” I asked. I felt his belly sigh and knew what was coming.

“Well yes I like you but…” He said. That was all I needed to know that there was nothing more to give.

“It’s okay. I know it’s bad timing. It’s just… whenever I come over this is all we seem to do.” I said. He agreed and apologized if things seemed that way. We were just two people caught in the moment. Like a needle my question popped the bubble. I climbed off him so he could hold me. We fell asleep and in the morning I said goodbye.

The Touch of Romance

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.

Image

“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.