So I went out with this dude. We agreed to go to a potluck thrown by some friends of mine Saturday before last. He came over to my place first, and we walked up to the Bourgeois Pig, which was thankfully pretty empty at the time. We just sat and talked and got to know each other, and I pulled out my "Table of Honesty." It's this thing I have going on where I make an atmosphere where the truth and only the truth is laid out, no matter how uncomfortable or heinous or self-deprecating. I really felt this need to tell him where I stood as far as relationships go and why I don't truly trust him… mainly because there are eerie similarities between him and my ex… up to and including that not only do they know each other, but they even have same first name.
I tell him that I'm not going to punish him for the sins of his doppelganger, but I would be a fool not to notice the similarities. He kept saying, "Don't judge me based on the other guy. I know you had some bad experiences with him, but I'm really feeling you, man. I hope you give me a chance." So I took a needle, and I made the tiniest little hole in my heart, just big enough for him to slowly seep into but small enough to close if this whole thing turns out to be shit.
We talk for a couple of hours about life and our plans, and what we want to do. From what I gathered, he, unfortunately, is not of the "passion" clan, whereas he is motivated by an intense passion or fervor. He's a nurse. He's been a nurse for 18 years; that's what he knows how to do, it pays the bills, and he doesn't see himself doing anything else… period. I tell him about being true to yourself… particularly when you're in a relationship. It's really easy to lose yourself in somebody, particularly when you're in love with them, but you should never lose yourself, never lose your consistency. If you love dancing and eating almonds, don't stop dancing and eating almonds if you meet somebody that you dig. They dig you because of who you are, and if you stop dancing and eating almonds, you're not being yourself; you're going away from what they found attractive in the first place. And if they are worth their weight in salt… they would never ask you to not be who you are. You always have to remain who you are. You can comprise. Relationships are all about compromise. But you need to know who you are and what you need in order for you to know what to give away so you can keep what you want. He was quiet for a couple of seconds, then said, "Damn man, you are fucking deep." I didn't really mean to go so far off in that direction… but in retrospect, I think I was talking to myself as well as to him, reminding myself, "Don't do this shit again, dude. You can like him all you want, you can even love him, but don't you dare give yourself up to him… I can feel that you want to."
We kissed. We kissed a couple of times. Right there, in public, in the Bourgeois Pig. Luckily it wasn't too crowded, and I doubt anybody paid attention aside from the chick behind the counter, who I was pretty ambivalent about because she charged me $8 for two bottles of water and a glass of ice. But we kissed and held hands and just talked about life, and it felt really, really good, and it was the first time I ever went out with somebody and felt like they could take my heart away from my ex. My ex has always been that bar, that friendship/relationship I have always wanted. This dude is the first person I ever went out with whom I believed I could get the intimacy, companionship, and conversation that I like… and it could possibly… supersede what I had with my ex… this dude kissed me in public and held my hand. That was major to me. Major.
We get to the potluck and have a ball. We agreed to leave at 6:00 p.m. because he had stuff to do, but I had such a good time I decided to stay. I walked him to his car, made out with him again, and told him that I was really digging him, and he said he was digging me too. Sent him on his way, then went back inside and got completely toasted.
Now according to my friends (a.k.a. black gay database), this dude is a player. Once he gets what he wants, he'll stop calling altogether, most of the time, he'll get a new number completely, but he never stays around for long… ever. That's his M.O., love 'em and leave 'em; he's been doing it for years.
When I mention him to my friends, I consistently keep saying that we are just talking, not really dating, not really seeing each other, just talking… which is the truth. No one tends to believe it for whatever reason. And I do have a track record for attaching myself quickly and vigorously, but I tell them as I tell myself… we're just talking, and I have no intention of moving in with him. Although, a week into it… I was smiling, thinking of him.
We agreed to hang out this past Friday. My friends were meeting at the beach to have a barbeque, have a few drinks, and watch the sunset, and I invited him to come along.
I take the bus from Long Beach to Playa Del Rey, and on the way, I call him and leave him a message telling him that I'll be at the beach and I hope I see him there but to call me in either case just to let me know he's ok.
I get to the beach, and I eventually meet with my crew. The sun goes down, the moon pops up, and we laugh and talk and listen to 70's soul and funk on the radio. My mind could not get off of him.
I call him again and text him.
It was that damn moon. At one point, my ex calls me out of the blue, and I try to convince him to come out to the beach with me, but he is extremely tired and a little under the weather; he's going to take a Vicodin and get some sleep.
So I sat there with those people and made the sweetest lemonade out of the sourest of lemons… I was so fucking lonely and so fucking disappointed. It was that damn moon. Just looking at it, I so just wanted to walk a couple of feet away from our campsite and have that dude tell me something sweet, and I kiss him on his neck and tell him, "I give up; let's do this, man." With the way I was feeling, I would have said the same thing to my ex if he had shown up. Then I was thinking about how I could lose both of them. Then I thought, hell, technically, I already did; my ex has a boyfriend, and unless this dude is unconscious, in jail, or trapped under a big ass rock… he's gone. The moment that the black gay database talked about came… just like that. And truthfully speaking, it hurt a little bit. I was trying to pretend that it wouldn't or that I wasn't invested since it was only a little over a week. But you know… it was nice to dream. I guess that's how it feels like… just… waking up from a really good dream. It's not devastating… but it's definitely irritating… and a little sad. For whatever it's worth, I really did like him.
That night, chilling with my friends and that moon... I kept hearing that little speech I gave to him about keeping yourself, being true to yourself, and not giving yourself up completely to somebody. Even if I had never met that dude, I would have gone to that beach party anyway. He was just accompanying me… he wasn't the inspiration. And that was what got me through that night… that I was supposed to be there to have a good time, with or without him. And my original concerns and assumptions were absolutely true… you got to keep yourself, dude. When the person you're digging leaves… all you're going to have is yourself. And if you're really lucky… you'll have friends around who you can share the moon with instead.