DO NOT READ ANY FURTHER IF YOU DON’T WANT TO BE SHOCKED.
SERIOUSLY. I DON’T WANT TO HEAR IT.
Signs. Leaving apartment while wearing my coat, the coat gets caught on a closet door. Earlier while on the phone with Juan
(new bff), I had to water Julio’s plants. There was no water. I thought he might have turned off the water while he was going to be in Denmark. So I used the bottled water. Turns out the building’s water was off. But I wasn’t sure whether or not I turned off the tap. So after freeing myself from the closet door, I listened at Julio’s door.
The tap was on. I had to go back up to my apartment to get his keys. Thinking will I never get started on this ‘mission’, I returned and turned off the tap and threw the keys in my bag. Finally made it out to the street where it was warmer than expected and I was overdressed. Fine. Deal with it.
Walk up to Washington Street and was going to walk to the Path when I saw the bus approaching. Walked over to the stop where a nun and a swishy queen were waiting. I deferred to the nun, the queen was all attitude. I hoped I wouldn’t run into her later. Sat down 2 rows behind some guy who was a reasonable facsimile of Bill. Omen? When Bill and I separated a few months ago, I noticed one afternoon in NYC that there were many balding men of color with goatees were in the street.
So much so I had to call Rand to confirm that there are so many guys like that. Rand said there were and that I wasn’t losing my mind in my heartsickness over Bill. I only had eyes for Bill for such a while that no one else existed. Even if they looked like carbon copies.
The bus was taking forever due to a crap fare box. Damn machine was rather picky on what dollars it would accept and how the dollars were placed in it. The bus driver knew and didn’t care that he was taking 5 minutes or more at every stop. Not his fault, blame NJ Transit.
I start to think these were omens to warn me on my adventure. Karmic roadblocks, fueled by paranoia, and a nervous hyper awareness. After what seemed to be forever we got to the Tunnel. I walked off the bus like I was walking into a new land. With trepidation, I text message Bill telling him I’m 100 yards from where he works. I was hoping for a hug of encouragement and support.
Then I called him. Turns out he’s 100 yards from where I work, shopping at the Sony store. We made plans to meet on Madison as I was walking up and he was walking south. He knew how nervous I was when we met and gave me a great big hug and kiss. Then I got clocked (checked out) by some cute little office worker.
That’s the funny thing. When I started to embark on this adventure, I started resorting to my old tricks of seeing almost everyman as a potential partner. I lived my life like that quite a bit. It had gotten tiresome for me and the quality of men had fallen off as well. Then I eventually hooked up with Bill and stopped looking around, not totally, but much less obsessively as it had gotten. Now it seems to be starting up again.
Right before I met Bill on Madison Avenue I walked by a woman who was talking into her cell phone about what a big slut she is. Another omen.
Bill headed back to work and I headed over to 2nd Avenue. I knew a drink might calm my nerves and I went into a pub and ordered a pint. Ah, Guinness. As Bill called it, ‘Liquid Courage’. The pint was so familiar that I could’ve easily stayed in the pub all afternoon. I downed it in 10 minutes. I ambled up 2nd Ave and headed up to 56th street. The jukebox was playing Howard Jones ‘Things Can Only Get Better’ as I left. That song I equate with my sordid past by the piers in their last days of casual sex.
I get to the building where the East Side Club is. I walk to the elevator and see that it is out of order. Another omen.
I turned around and was going to call Bill when I saw a staircase and a service elevator. I didn’t know what the protocol for the service elevator was so I took the stairs up six flights. So I climb.
At the third floor was a Global Vision company. Not what I was looking for. By the fourth floor I was wondering if any other guys would’ve climbed so far. Of course they would. Men will try to overcome any obstacle if they know there is sex at the end. Or in the end.
At the fifth floor I was ready to give up. I wasn’t storming up the stairs, but my nervous energy was waning fast. That nervous energy got me from the Port Authority at 42nd street and Eighth Avenue to 56th Street and 2nd Avenue. I was out of breath and too exhausted to be nervous when I got to the sixth floor. My destination.
I walked up and got behind one guy on line. He went in and then it was my turn. I asked for a temporary membership and a room. Showed ID, signed various bits of paper, paid 31 dollars and was allowed entry.
An attendant walked me to my room, more like a cubicle with a hard bed in it. Tipped him a buck and then walked in closed the door and got dressed like everyone else.
In a towel.
It wasn’t Dante’s Inferno, nor was it everyone running around shoving their cocks in your face or ass. It was a bunch of guys in towels looking to get off. Over a hundred rooms, quite a few guys, some with doors open, showing themselves off, some lying on their bellies. And guys like me wandering around looking in.
There were some lookers, some old timers aka trolls. I hooked up, all safe. Somethings I hadn’t done in ages. I had a good time. My fears were bullshit. I will probably go again sometime. After about 90 minutes I had my fill, or actually I was spent.
Got the clothes back on and headed south to meet King Jesse, a Rasta pal. New Years Eve weekend, got to get supplies early.
Came home, changed my clothes and headed into the city to meet Bill for dinner and Brokeback Mountain. We had dinner at the Film Center Café. We talked about my escapade. He was happy it went well. We discussed us, our love for one another. Obviously the love is there. But he needs more than one sexual partner, or someone who is different than me, and after my trip this afternoon I need someone different from him sometimes.
I wish it were some other way, but this is how it is and how we have to deal with it. Both parties happy, at least sexually. Every other angle we’re happy and the sex between us has been phenomenal lately.
We sat in the theatre watching a tragic love story holding hands, glad that we both have each other. It’s a great movie worth catching.
I do want to grow old with Bill very much and I know he feels the same. I never get tired of saying ‘I love you’ to him and he doesn’t get tired of saying ‘I love you’ to me.
An interesting turn of events, I think.