Hang With Me

by theappliedprocess

“And if you do me right, I’m gonna do right by you. And if you keep it tight, I’m gonna confide in you. I know what’s on your mind there will be time for that too if you hang with me hang with me.”

I woke up Monday morning next to a very naked ‘Nickle’. ‘Fixie’ was sleeping in the living room but he left around 11 am to go to work. We ventured from the bedroom to the living room in our birthday suits and hung out smoking cigarettes and figuring out the plans for the day. I needed to stay at home and clean/write/hang out with ‘Toto’ but I also wanted to go to the movies. ‘Nickle’ had plans of meeting his best friend for one last meal before he left, but wanted to hang out with me too so we decided to go see Contagion first, and then meet up with his friend for brunch. The movie was good but almost too real. It felt more like watching CNN than an actual feature film which I suppose is nice, but not for 2 hours.

We left the theatre and headed to the west village where we picked up his friend and a slice of greasy pizza. Then we walked to Washington Square where we sat on the lawn and enjoyed the spectacle that were the south east corner natives: plenty of bums, one who got arrested for barking at people, another one who decided to jump in the fountain in his boxers, and one who delighted the park with tunes coming out of a radio recorded tape and a boom box. I was mildly tired so I rested on ‘Nickle’s’ lap for most of the evening. I was texting a friend of mine, ‘Arrogant A’, who was in town with her new beau, and making plans to meet later for dinner and/or drinks. ‘Jose Maria’ stopped by after a few hours because he wanted to meet ‘Nickle’. He kept giving me his snarky grin the whole time. I casually smiled back.

At around 6 pm we decided to go grab some dinner. I wasn’t meeting ‘Arrogant A’ till 9 pm so we stayed in the West/East Village and asked for a table at Ippudo. We left to a bar around the corner to meet some of ‘Nickle’s’ friends as we waited for our table to be ready. A beer later we rushed back to devour some of the most amazing noodles I’ve ever had. Sadly, ‘Nickle’ and ‘Jose Maria’s’ taste buds were not working that night because they didn’t seem to agree with me.

We hurried back to my place to wait for my visiting friends. They were a bit late but not too bad. ‘Arrogant A’s’ new man was stunning, and a really nice guy at first impression. As expected, she kept making infantile comments about how this guy is hotter than her ex, and other similar statements so she could feel validated. We enjoyed a couple glasses of wine at my places before heading out to The Abbey where we dropped off ‘Nickle’ but not before having a drink with him and his friends. Then I took my guests to Hotel Delmano for another round, and last but not least we went to Union Pool. She kept having verbal diarrhea and I was getting tired of finding subtle ways to disagree without making her feel stupid because to be honest, it doesn’t matter. She wouldn’t be able to understand that she sounds so immature bad mouthing others. I suggested to ‘Jose Maria’ we fake tiredness (although it wasn’t that hard as I was actually really tired) and pretend to leave so they would go home and I could go with him to Metro for some alone friends time which hadn’t happened for a while as of that moment. Luckily, they asked to leave because they too were a bit tired. I was glad to oblige. My tour of Billyburg was done for them.

Me and ‘Jose Maria’ did as planed. A drink at Metropolitan followed by another drink at The Abbey and then we went home.

Tuesday I went to a much needed session of Bikram. I got back home, took a nap, and ran some of the many errands I had to run. I am still not caught up after my California trip. I’d made plans with some friends to go to trivia night in the Upper East Side. I invited quite a few people, but in the end it was me, ‘Jose Maria’, ‘Arrogant A’ and her man, and three other friends of friends. The night was going great until we came in fourth place. Being the competitive beasts we all are, we were not satisfied… but like the host of the night said: “it’s only trivia people”. We left the restaurant defeated but with plans for a rematch the following week.

I took ‘Jose Maria’, ‘Arrogant A’, and her boyfriend to the ACE for some pre-Le Bain cocktails. Again, she continued being herself which I don’t understand. I feel like when I met her, 8 years ago, I could somewhat relate as I had just moved out, had just come to terms with my sexuality, and was way more green. Unlike her, I’ve grown a lot as a person and I really don’t think I would be friends with her if I was to meet her today. It seems like she’s stuck in the past and it’s sad because although she’s nothing but nice to me, she isn’t to others, and that’s not something that I look for or appreciate in friends. Regardless, I decided to give her a treat and take her to The Standard where, being who she is, she would feel exalted at the fact that she was going to what she’d consider a very hip, exclusive club, and she would get to bypass the line (via me of course). As soon as we crossed the door she made her customary comment: “Did you see that fat guy begging to get in? how pathetic.”

Needless to say, she loved it. We hung out on the rooftop for an hour enjoying some cocktails in the pleasant windy fall breeze that’s been grazing New York lately. After two drinks and with a bladder full of alcohol, we all went to the bathroom and I left them to go to the Boom Boom Room for a brief minute. Like I’ve said before, I’m getting too old for the crowd at Le Bain, and I certainly don’t mind paying the extra two dollars per drink for some nicer, quieter, more civilized company.

After finishing my drink I left the Boom Boom Room to go meet the others. Not to sound like an asshole, but I will get ‘Arrogant A’ into Le Bain but not into Boom Boom. She should stay with her kind. Briefly after I returned she mentioned she was ready to leave, and so was I, I had plans to meet ‘Nickle’ for a night cap. ‘Jose Maria’ stayed behind to play his games.

We shared a cab back to Brooklyn. I got off somewhat close to my place, handed them 6 dollars and left them on their way. I arrived at The Abbey to a charmingly drunk (as usual) ‘Nickle’. I was feeling a bit honest that night so I decided to come clean about DJ. He took it surprisingly well. I mentioned I wasn’t fucking around but I also wasn’t looking to rush into a relationship which he found commendable of me. He offered to take this whole thing as slowly as I needed it to go which I found commendable of him. All my raw honesty inspired him to come clean as well. His secret? Something I can’t divulge but let’s just say that, although I’m not surprised because I kind of knew, it complicates things. It is a health issue and I am a hypochondriac. No, it’s not HIV.

That night we decided to sleep in our respective beds. According to both of us, it wasn’t because of the truths we had just revealed, but because of logistics. He worked early and I needed to catch up on some sleep. I think a very small part of us was somewhat influenced by the revelations… Not necessarily because they were life changing, but because they sobered us up a bit.

Wednesday: work. The new intern was in for his second day. We spent most of the time setting up for an event we had on Thursday but also trekking around the city doing pick ups and deliveries. I got off earlier at around 6 pm and took one of the most retarded cab rides from the Upper East Side to Chelsea to meet ‘The Lady of Derbishire’ for yet another art opening at Gagosian. This time: Richard Serra.

‘Nickle’ had been wanting to see me which kind of went against the whole idea of taking things slowly. I told him I had plans because, although I do enjoy his company, I wanted to have my usual Wednesday and end up at “church” for one last one on one “confession” with DJ before he left for Greece for two weeks.

Coincidentally, after the opening I went to Momofuku for my friend’s birthday and ‘Nickle’ was at a bar around the corner. I was tempted to invite him but opted not to because that went against my original plan and I like sticking to my guns.

After a disappointing dinner, not because of the company but because of the food, me, ‘Jose Maria’, and birthday girl ‘Sassy G’ went for birthday drinks at 10 Degrees where she’d told the rest of her friends to meet for the celebrations. I wasn’t in the best of moods as I’ve been lately due to all these boys I’m juggling. I tried and mingled but eventually just retracted to a lonely stool by the counter away from the party where I reverted to a comfortable spot: talking to strangers.

I counted the minutes till a time I deemed appropriate to excuse myself and go to “church” and after finishing my last drink there I did as planned. I’d paid my dues.

There was something in the air that night because “church” didn’t feel as holy… maybe I was too drunk. Part of the birthday crew joined shortly. I can’t remember specifics but I’m quite sure the night was similar to every other Wednesday night.

I left with DJ at close time a few minutes after ‘Jose Maria’ had left alone (surprisingly). DJ was in the mood for some sexy time but I was too drunk to perform and managed to pass out before I embarrassed myself.

The next morning I rushed home because I’d promised ‘Nickle’ I’d bike to work so we could bike back together. I texted DJ apologising for my antics to which he replied it was fine and he wouldn’t have had it any other way. Sometimes the man is a sweetheart.

Work was long and stressful. As I mentioned, we had an event that night. Out of all my guests only ‘John G’ and ‘Nickle’ showed up. I left with ‘Nickle’ at around 8:30 pm to go meet a friend and see Peter, Bjorn & John perform at the Music Hall in Williamsburg. Despite the weather we biked back over the devilish bridge and into my neighbourhood. The show was better than I expected but a bit too long. I wanted it to end so I could go celebrate my heritage with a burrito and a margarita and cheer to my country’s independence. Before midnight I got one of the two.

A few minutes after midnight the encore was done and I had ‘Nickle’ following my stubborn ass all over billyburg looking for a damn burrito. After a few unsuccessful attempts we ended up at LA Burrito for a subpar experience but enough to temporarily tame my pregnant cravings. We biked back to my place and ‘Nickle’ spent the night (again!).

I was ready (again!) for a weekend without boys.

“Just don’t fall recklessly, headlessly in love with me ’cause it’s gonna be all heartbreak, wistfully painful and insanity. If we agree, oh, you can hang with me.”