Went on a first date last weekend with this guy I met on Tinder and had been talking to for a little while. Met for coffee (even though I don’t usually drink coffee, it’s just one of those things I suggest) and after an hour and a half of sitting there chatting, we decide to walk to an indoor market down the street.
When we get there, we’re looking around in the shops and there’s clearly physical chemistry in the body language, so as we’re walking around I’m doing the “gentle graze of the shoulder” and “light back touches” and he’s responding. Going very well.
We go to the elevator to go downstairs and there’s no one around and we’re leaning closer and giving quick glances at each other’s lips and yes, it’s time for the kiss. So we go in for the kiss and it’s amazing. He’s so fucking cute and you know how your eyes close when it’s right and their lips are really soft and perfect and it’s such an incredible kiss that time stops?
Time did not stop. We didn’t hear the elevator ding and as the doors open we hear “ooooOooOooOooh!” And we break apart laughing as this couple pushing a stroller comes out the elevator and we’re all laughing now. As we step in, I turned and said, “You just witnessed the first kiss.” And as the doors start to shut, I hear the woman say around the corner with a laugh, “That didn’t look like a first kiss.”
Anyway, it was an amazing first date and I’ve been stupid happy for the last week.
Feels Like Rain
It was overcast but warm that Friday afternoon on Magazine Street. I had just finished cataloging and was headed to do a sweep of the exhibits. I knew the museum had great archives and I needed the volunteer hours for an academic obligation. I called a few weeks prior, signed up for a ten day stint and drove down. I hadn’t been to New Orleans before either, so I thought it was about time.
We were supposed to close at 5:00 and with about forty-five minutes left I was strolling about lazily. The coffee had long petered out and I was thankful that the building was empty. I stood in front of an exhibit featuring different types of American Military uniforms with my arms crossed wondering how those men would see me in the dress code required khakis and polo shirt. I was still wearing my boots and though the curator didn’t like them, she turned a blind eye.
I checked my watch again but time had barely passed. I sighed heavily when I heard the unmistakable sound of boots on the marble. The exhibit was far from the ticketing desk and I was the only one working so it meant someone had snuck in. I started moving quickly, ready to bring down fire and fury on whomever it was. When I rounded the corner I stopped in my tracks. My frustration was immediately replaced with a sort of charmed bemusement when I saw him.
“Want some fudge?,” he said with a smile.
His face was flush under a forest of vacation scruff with glassy blue eyes. While his speech wasn’t slurred he swayed slightly and I could smell the rum from a few feet away. I knew he had had a few. It wasn’t uncommon. The closely cut red hair had been carefully faded upwards into a neat sort of faux hawk told me he was either a veteran or law enforcement. The black Oakley sunglasses hanging from his belt loop furthered the suspicion. He was carrying a white plastic bag.
“Want some fudge?” He asked again.
“I had a few and went wandering and I’m not sure how, but I ended up in this nice ladies house a few blocks that way. She told me all about her life and her daughter and she gave me two pounds of fudge. I can’t eat it all, and I don’t know if I can take it on the plane.”
I couldn’t help but laugh. He looked at me bashfully and raised the white bag as proof, hefting it to emphasize its weight.
He reached into the bag and broke off a piece to hand to me. The entire situation was so strange to me. Under any other circumstances I would have refused and kicked him out, but for some reason I just went with it. I took the fudge and took a bite.
“Not bad,” I said “can I show you around?”
He grinned and nodded before putting a small piece of the candy in his mouth.
I wouldn’t have offered so close to closing but I had a feeling and trusted it. I gave him the full tour with all the practiced speeches and information drops, stopping to allow questions. He never asked and just nodded along with the faintest grin. When we moved from exhibit to exhibit he followed closely and wore that same expression whenever I turned around. I could only grin back at him and quickly turn away.
We eventually came to a small theater room that played a video about Normandy on loop. It was dimly lit and filled with wooden backless benches in rows. The film was more than halfway through, but I sat down anyway. He sat down next to me, closer than I had anticipated and stared at the screen. He adjusted himself and leaned back, resting his palms on top of the bench. One of his hands rested just behind me and his arm grazed my own when he put it there. I didn’t flinch or draw any attention to it. Being so close to him the air took on the aroma of rum and the faintest trace of body odor, strange, but not wholly unpleasant. We stared in silence for a bit, but I could tell he wasn’t paying attention to the screen.
“You’re a cop, ain’t ya?” I asked.
“We prefer to be called troopers,” he corrected, “But yeah, Utah Highway Patrol.”
“I’m Rainey, by the way.” He said, continuing to watch the video.
I gave him my own name and we started to talk. He was visiting on a type of work vacation. He came with a friend in town for a conference and had nothing better to do with his time off, so he tagged along. So far he had already been to the French Quarter, took a cemetery tour, and held a baby alligator on an airboat ride and confessed he had been pretty buzzed since he checked into his hotel a few days ago. Earlier that day a teetotaler couple gave him their drink tickets and he decided to use them on a tour of the open bars. Together we watched the film play about half a dozen times, he asked questions about the war, and I answered them, he made jokes and I laughed, all the while he wouldn’t quite look at me. I caught the time by accident when looking at his watch and realized it was far past closing time and the doors were still unlocked. I apologized and told him it was time to go. He nodded and stood up. We quietly made for the door, him still following me closely.
“Thanks for letting me hang out,” he said when we arrived at the door.
It seemed like he wanted to say more, but I didn’t press it and instead offered a hand shake. He took it firmly and let his hand linger a moment before squeezing my hand once more and letting go. I locked the door behind him as he left and set about shutting the place down. It finally started to rain.
It had been a long week and I needed to get back to my hosts house to pack up before leaving the following morning. My volunteer time had come to an end and I waited for the curator to e-mail me the certification letter. Back at the house I sat down for a drink with the host, an older woman named Wilma. She owned the historical home and ran it as a bed and breakfast, but reserved a few rooms for traveling students. We talked for a good while and she asked about my time in the city. I told her I had been pretty busy and hadn’t done much. She was almost disgusted at my answer and reached for her purse. She handed me a few twenty dollar bills which I tried to refuse.
“I ain’t hearing it. You’re a good boy, go have some fun. I’ll let the doorman know you’ll be late. Have some drinks and get into trouble.”
She spoke with such conviction and authority with a long cigarette in one hand and a whiskey glass in the other. In the moment she transformed from a kindly philanthropic benefactor into a mischievous grandmother. I took the money and went up stairs to shower and change.
There was a Punk and Hardcore club down on Toulouse called The Dungeon I had heard about so made my way to check it out. A poster on the window had a flyer for Emo Night so I paid my ten bucks and went in. The bands weren’t set to play until much later so I took a seat at the bar and ordered a rum and coke to start. Behind the bar was a record player on top of a shelf of vinyl that the bar tender picked from. I was impressed by sound system and started to space out and enjoy the music.
My trance was broken by the sound of a glass sliding in front of me. It clinked into my empty glass and I looked down, another rum and coke with a lime garnish.
“I asked that gal what you were drinking and had her make it a double.”
I recognized the voice and felt the surprise wash over me when I saw him. He had changed into a nicer shirt and shaved, but the jeans, boots, Oakleys and ginger hair were all the same. I couldn’t help but smile and wonder how a cop ended up in a punk bar.
“I clocked you when you walked in. Frankly, I was pretty dumb struck to see you mosey on in here. I don’t usually believe in fate or destiny or none of that, but it’s a bit hard to ignore and I have been screwing up the courage to come over here for almost an hour. I don’t wanna rush you, but you should finish that drink.” he said breathlessly.
“Why is that?,” I asked.
“Because I wanna slip out of here and find a place to make out with my future husband.”
I could only assume he had been practicing for awhile. I shook my head with a smile and drained the glass.
Gay Roller Coaster Ride
I was gonna write "Gay-waiian roller coaster ride" but there's no Hawaiian guy involved so it really didn't make sense. However, I am listening to Hawaiian Roller Coaster Ride from lilo and stitch as I write so that's where the inspo is from lol.
Anyways, so in today's blog about gayting (gay dating) why don't we learn to trust each other more? Remember the guy I was talking about last time? well, he's loving that we switched chatting to a different app lol. And I am able to send him selfies (he has an android... I know, red flag), BUT he's so fine. He's chatting me up and I actually feel a lot less dramatic about the whole situation.
If you'd ask me a year ago how I feel about gayting, I might have given you a dismal picture of the scene. I think some cities are definitely better than others (said every travel gay ever) but fr, like let's learn to trust ourselves and each other more. I feel a lot more relaxed in these situationships, partly because that's what is available in my life right now and partly because I trust myself to navigate it. I am not gonna chase love or someone just because I could see us together or like them. I am enjoying the present and comfortable with my boundaries. That seems to be the best way to approach any type of intimate relationship :) Make it what you want it to be and if it's not serving you, delete him and block him lmaoooo.
LOVE YOU GUYS as always. And if please share and consider leaving a tip if you enjoy these gayting blogs. MUAH :*