My last day in New York City. Thank God. Once again, a simple trip to the Big Apple had proven itself to be a complete disaster. I left feeling worse about myself than when I arrived. What kind of vacation is that? I have nobody to blame but myself, I guess.
Last night, while watching Leah Remini and her badger claws denounce the goons of Scientology, I began chatting with a variety of guys online. A couple of them wanted me to come over, which obviously didn’t happen. I was definitely not in the mood to get down and dirty with a stranger after everything that had happened with Aaron. A Grindr hook up would’ve only been another bad decision on top of my mountain of regret.
While sifting through the standard mix of horned up middle-aged men and unsolicited genitalia, there was one profile that actually managed to pique my interest. A guy named Levi. We talked for quite a while, actually. Levi was handsome, seemed smart, lived on the Upper West Side, and worked from home. That last tidbit was revealed when I lied, and said that I was in his area yesterday morning. Long story short, Levi invited me over to his place. We arranged a potential meet-and-greet for today around noon.
I woke up still feeling sick about the Aaron situation. That feeling lasted the majority of the day, until I closed my eyes in bed back home in Toronto. It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, but I felt so awful about everything. I was a horrible friend to Aaron. I made a complete fool out of myself, and have potentially ruined a newlywed couple’s future in their new home. I am a fucking disaster. After a year of fuck-ups, this was both inevitable, yet completely unexpected. I had been working so hard to clean up my act. I guess I wasn’t trying hard enough.
Hoisting myself off the futon in Brooklyn, I said goodbye to Greg as he left for work and thanked him for everything. I really wish I could have spent more time with Greg this trip, but I think my visit ended up being very bad timing for him. Understandable. The madness of the holidays and final work stuff meant Greg didn’t have much time – or money – to spare. That was fine, though. To be honest, some of the best parts of my trip were simply hanging out with Greg and Michelle in their living room. It’s so rare for me to find people who genuinely make me laugh. When I can have those moments, I’ll trade everything for them.
Anyway, I continued to distract myself from the Aaron situation by packing my bags and eventually hitting the town. Of course, I made my stops at every H&M in the fucking city in a last effort to find that damn fur coat. No luck. Running ahead of schedule, it was 11:30 a.m. and I was ready to fool around. I texted the man of the hour – Levi.
Following a long series of messages – including a very detailed description of how I was supposed to gain entrance into what I assumed was Fort Knox – I made it to Levi’s building, past the front desk, up the elevator, and to his apartment door. I knocked. Levi answered. Considering this was the literal definition of a booty call, I entered the apartment awkwardly and began my awful attempt at breaking the ice. In other words, I essentially turned into Barbara Walters and asked Levi every single question I could think of. It wasn’t hard. Levi’s apartment was extremely over-stimulating.
First of all, the space looked like an episode of TLC’s Hoarders – but for smart people. Maybe that’s what fancy people call a library? I don’t know. Regardless, I could tell this guy was an academic as soon as I walked through his door. As quickly as I had turned into Barbara, I began picking up clues around the apartment even faster.
A Menorah. Okay, so Levi’s circumcised.
Classical music playing. Okay, that’s going to have to change.
Two beds. Roommate? Narcolepsy? Or does Levi simply prefer to lounge?
I had so many questions. Fortunately, Levi offered me a fresh cup of coffee and I had a moment to ask everything I wanted.
As for the academia, Levi told me that he had recently finished a degree at Yale, and was now working on his PhD in French History at Princeton. That explained all of the books. Although I asked a few questions about his education, I’ll be honest. At a certain point during Levi’s explanation of an ancient novel, I zoned out after noticing a lot of hair popping out from underneath his collar. The back of his collar. This would be a first.
The 20/20 special continued. Levi was most definitely Jewish, and the two beds were a long story he didn’t get into. Basically, the guy lived alone and got the apartment from a family member. When Levi started talking about co-ops and apartment boards, I shut down the conversation. I was at Levi’s place to take my mind off Aaron and his apartment – not to be reminded of my public indecency.
Levi asked me a few questions about myself as well. What’s weird for me now, is that I am sort of adopting this whole, “I’m a writer,” thing. A large part of me feels like a big fat phony for saying it. I’ve been paid for one article. Other than that, I write personal journals all day. Technically, I wasn’t lying. Calling myself a “writer” just felt odd.
With introductions out of the way, I needed to use the bathroom. For obvious reasons, I escaped for a minute and did my thing. Better to make sure everything was in working order before I jumped into bed, right? Soon after I had finished splashing some water on my ass, we got down to business.
Levi was very nice, very proper, very smart, and very, very particular. At this point, I’d known the guy for about 20 minutes, and could already tell he was a complete OCD freak. Given the fact that his apartment looked like it had just been ransacked by the robbers from Home Alone, I found this behavior quite odd. Contradictory, even. My first OCD clue was when I collapsed on the bed.
“Can you sit up?” Levi asked, pulling away the bed’s duvet and flat sheet. “I’d rather us not touch the linens.”
I don’t know how to describe the rest of my encounter with Levi. Just know that the entire thing felt very – juvenile. For many reasons, actually.
Alright. Let’s break this down.
Standing in the apartment’s living room, we began to make out. After Levi led me over to the bigger of his two beds, that’s when he cleared the sheets away. Then, he stopped me again.
“There’s something we need to talk about,” Levi said.
Oh, boy. Here we go.
“When was the last time you were tested?” he continued. “Do you know your HIV status?”
I wish I could convey the exact way Levi phrased his questions. It was very Type A. Clinical. To be fair, it’s a shame that those “STD talks” are as shocking as they are. I mean, I’m not aghast that Levi asked me those questions. I actually told him that I appreciated the concern. I liked that he asked. Levi covered all of his bases with the questions. I returned the favor. Although I was a bit taken aback by at first, I was ultimately impressed.
Moving on from the inquisition, clothes started to come off, hands began to slip beneath underwear, and that’s when I heard a beat in my head. It was Shania Twain singing, “That don’t impress me much.” Levi was small. Levi was fucking small! It was such a letdown for me. Not to include this much shock in one paragraph, but Levi was also 5’4”. I know! Shame me later. I should have fucking known, but there have been moments when I’ve been pleasantly surprised with shorter guys in the sack. Although Levi was small – both in stature, and south of the border – I just hoped that he knew how to work it well.
Spoiler alert: he didn’t.
Levi worked on me for a while. Only after he came up for air, did I realize that I never reciprocated the favor. Favor? Probably not the best word choice. Anyway, it was clear that I had come to Levi’s apartment for penetration. As a result, things were moving very quickly. I mean, we had been in bed for maybe 15 minutes at this point.
While straddling Levi with my signature move, it was obvious that I was ready for the next level. I really like to make things clear for the guy, you know? Apparently, I also know what I’m doing.
“I bet this would feel really good inside of you,” Levi said, looking up at me from his pillow with a smirk.
Within seconds, we both knew there would be a grand slam moment. Levi rolled over, grabbed what I thought was a bag of tea – it was a condom – and asked if I want him to use it. Umm, yes? That was so odd to me. Barely ten minutes ago, Levi was asking for my complete medical history. Now, he had barebacking on his mind? Jesus. If I wasn’t ready to leave New York City before, I was sure as hell ready after that.
“Yes,” I said. “Definitely.”
“Oh, this is a weird one,” Levi said, struggling to put the condom on. “I can’t tell which way it rolls.”
Eventually, Levi figured it out, lubed up, and then we spent the next five minutes trying to make things fit. This wasn’t much of a surprise. I’m usually pretty tight. Levi’s half-chub of a cocktail weenie didn’t exactly help, though. With little foreplay having taken place, Levi was basically dealing with Gringott’s Bank.
Overall, this afternoon’s encounter was just plain odd. Like I said before, it felt juvenile. The entire time, I could tell that Levi wasn’t comfortable. It was as if he knew what he wanted, but didn’t know how to communicate it. For example, when Levi wanted me to move into a different position, he wouldn’t talk. Out of nowhere, he would just start moving the two of us at the same time. That might work if you’ve had sex with a person more than once, but I just fucking met this guy. I didn’t even know Levi’s last name, let alone where he wanted me to put my goddamn leg. Another thing that made the escapade feel juvenile – I hate that word, and promise not to use it again after tonight – was me lying beside Levi in bed, and coming to the harsh realization that my body was literally twice the size of his – in both length, and width. I felt like Shrek. It was so jarring. Seriously.
Eventually, we returned to the classic position of me on my back with Levi coming at me from the front. I don’t know what the position is actually called, but it’s my favorite. I just get to lay there. It’s so nice. It usually means I’m close to climaxing, too. Sure enough, when I told Levi that I was getting close, he moved the bed linens further out of the way. We came within seconds of one another. Those final few minutes were the best part. Levi finally let loose and started going at me full force. It was great.
Reaching for the roll of paper towels that Levi had taken out during his first bed sheet move, I wiped off before continuing my clean up in the bathroom. I didn’t want to risk getting anything on Levi’s sheets. I valued my life. Afterwards, we both lay naked in bed for a few minutes before Levi eventually said that he had to continue with his day. I’d had enough of feeling like a fucking ogre, so we got up and put our clothes on. I downed the coffee Levi had served me earlier, and kissed him goodbye.
At this point, it was probably around 1:30 p.m. I was absolutely starving. After hanging out in Levi’s downstairs lobby to make a game plan, I settled on a grilled cheese joint in the lower end of the city and had a fantastic lunch.
This whole time, I still felt horrible about Aaron. It was now 2 p.m., and I hadn’t heard anything from him since 4:30 p.m. yesterday. I was worried. The radio silence meant that Aaron either didn’t have a response yet, or that he did have one and it wasn’t good news. Why would Aaron hide information from me like that, though? All I wanted was for this situation to be over, yet it felt like things were being dragged out as long as possible. I decided that it would be best to message Aaron tomorrow.
Back at Greg’s empty place in Brooklyn, I ended up taking a quick nap before leaving the apartment on schedule. After years of watching movies about Christmas in New York City, I should have known better than to schedule the minimum amount of time necessary to get to Newark Liberty International Airport tonight. My commute was fucking madness. People running everywhere, yelling, pushing, and trains being delayed left and right – including mine.
After a bout of anxiety and pushing my way onto the only train going to New Jersey, I made it to the airport with barely an hour before my flight. I had the check-in desk give me sass, waited over 30 minutes in the security line, and got to my gate shortly before boarding commenced. All I wanted was to go home. Jesus Lordt. Please, get me home.
But, no. That wasn’t enough. RX messaged me from the airport lounge. Why are you testing me, God! This is so ridiculous. How does this cycle never stop? Just when you think things are done, RX pops back up like the critter you just can’t catch in a game of Whack-A-Mole. The problem is that I find these exchanges with RX to be quite comforting. Our conversations provide me with a weird mix of nostalgia and friendship that is hard for me to find. Obviously, that kind of connection is a result of the time we spent together. Although I’m convinced that the old RX has actually left his body and this planet behind – á la Scientology’s L. Ron Hubbard – and someone else now occupies that vessel, the guy still knows a lot about me. Stuff that nobody else knows. When I talk to RX, I can’t help but think about that. We know each other intimately. That is a special relationship to have with a person.
Of course, I knew exactly why RX was messaging me. As suspected, he was on a Greyhound bus going home for Christmas. What else was there for him to do but talk to his ex-boyfriend? It’s pessimistic of me, but I have to maintain that mentality to avoid getting sucked in emotionally again. RX doesn’t want to be with me. Do not forget that. RX wished me a safe flight. Soon enough, I was pon de sky.
I landed, grabbed my bags, Dad picked me up, and we drove to the family’s hotel in Markham. Naturally, both Mom and Dad asked me a thousand questions about my trip. I gave them the full rundown – barring any mention about what happened at Aaron and Sonny’s place. I feel as though I’m carrying around this big secret about my trip – mainly, because I am. Nobody can know about the “Terrible Awful.” Mom and Dad can’t know. They’ll never let me take another trip again. None of my peers can know. That kind of behavior looks so horrible on me as a friend – especially to the ones who know Aaron. This is a fucking mess. A terrible, awful mess. I just want to forget the whole thing ever happened.
With my lack of sleep and a day of stressful travel, it didn’t take long before I started getting snippy with Mom and Dad. In that moment, I knew I had to escape to my own hotel room. I grabbed a vile of weed from their fridge, and scurried down the hall. I smoked soon after getting to my suite. The night got really weird from there.
Listening to Christmas music through my phone, I smoked in the bathroom before jumping in the shower. The bathtub was directly across from the vanity, sink, and mirror. At that exact moment, I realized how stoned I was. I looked at myself in the mirror. Everything just started hitting me. Tonight was an evening of many realizations.
I fucked a gay Hobbit today. I literally fucked a hairy, Jewish Hobbit in New York City during the middle of the day. As if that weren’t cringeworthy enough, the guy was more concerned about not getting jizz on his sheets than he was with how to deal with his shrimp dick.
Looking at my naked body in the bathroom mirror – another issue altogether – I also came to the realization of my drinking problem, but from the perspective of other people. I imagined what it must look like to other people when a 6’2” blonde guy – I grew an inch this year – is fucked-up on my level. I mean, I think about some of the bigger guys I know. It’s kind of embarrassing when I see them completely incapacitated. Yet, here I am, drinking in excess almost every other week – and almost always to a greater degree. I felt so ashamed. I try not to get caught up in what other people think of me, but it was very disenchanting to realize that the majority of your social circle has seen you in a blacked-out state of mind. It was upsetting.
Once I washed the New York City grime off my body, I jumped into bed. While I continued talking with a way out of my league airline pilot on Grindr, I ended up settling into an episode of Chelsea on Netflix. I was still quite baked, so naturally, the powers above thought it would be a good idea to fuck with me some more.
During the episode, there was a short segment that featured one of Chelsea’s production assistants – a girl that Chelsea described as a complete mess. “She drinks way too much and gets completely fucked up, but outside of the party scene, she seems to have it together,” Chelsea explained. It was like listening to someone who actually knows me describe my life. Often, people only see one side of me. Very few see both the fucked-up and responsible sides.
Of course, tonight wouldn’t have been complete without one final panic attack. This one occurred just as I was winding down to fall asleep. I thought about the Aaron and Sonny situation. Despite smoking a ton of weed to block it all out, everything came rushing back even stronger. I freaked out about what I might have done to my friends’ future home. It was horrible. I ended up sitting on the edge of my bed, stress eating every last crumb of food in my hotel room.
After successfully clearing out every bag of chips, box of chocolate, and candy wrapper, I turned off the lights. Finally. This day was over. New York City, I will not be seeing you for a long, long time. We need a break.