Belong.

by theappliedprocess

“Let me see who you are, don’t try to hide the world that you belong. Let me see who you are, you’re better off where you started from.”

I self medicate. Yes, my go-to cure to my daily anxiety episodes is alcohol. I don’t expect to be understood, we all have our poisons. I do, however, expect not to be judged, because I rarely do so in return.

Tuesday I woke up sober. I was still a bit off from the mental state I was in the prior night. As usual, I felt embarrassed, confused, and stupid. A kiss or ten from my boyfriend helped it go away momentarily. I started to feel better and after going through my usual morning routine, I decided to bike to work.

I jumped on Bat Wing, the nickname ‘Nickle’ has donned for my bicycle, set google music on my phone, and started my morning commute. The weather was perfect. Not too hot, not too cold. An appropriate breeze kept my body temperature at a comfortable point where I wasn’t sweating nor was I cold. I took on the Williamsburg bridge head first and just as I started to feel the burn of the incline on my thighs, Madonna’s “I Love New York” started serenading my eardrums. I went on a state of trance that was only augmented by the fact that the Manhattan skyline looked as beautiful as it’s ever looked under the early November sunlight. “What lactic acid!?” I thought as I kept pedaling. I reached the top of the bridge in a record time and the cruised downhill enjoying some other Madonna hymn until I arrived at my destination.

The day was slow, as it usually is on a Tuesday. I took the time to call my dad and talk to him about my medication and the side effects I’ve been experiencing. Being one who does not believe in over-prescribing or excessively invasive antidotes, he suggested I stop and continue with the rest of the less sever treatment. To be honest, I didn’t know what to do. A part of me wanted to run to the nearest bar and have a cocktail, but another part was glad to be going through such a challenging experience and somewhat succeeding, despite being a mental wreck. I also wanted to continue having ‘Nickle’s’ support because I knew that in the end it would be good for him too.

That night, we had plans to go to Solas for some bar tending event. My boyfriend, however, suggested we skip it since I wasn’t suppose to drink, and instead we go for a quite night. Again, despite craving the sweet numbness alcohol brings, I concluded that if I’d already been a week without drinking (as heavily as I normally do), I could do it one more day. After work, we met at the bottom of the Williamsburg bridge, and biked back together.

Right before getting home, we made a pit stop at a small grocery shop and purchased the necessary ingredients for a home cooked meal. The menu: spinach farfalle with a potpourri of mushrooms and some olive oil, and a salad with a pre-bought balsamic vinaigrette.  No wine. Dinner was followed by Paris is Burning, a documentary about a group of African American and Latino gay men who are part of the late 80’s ball culture in New York City. It was entertaining, inspirational, and educational. I made it through the whole movie without my customary mini doze off and we went to bed promptly after, completely sober.

Wednesday morning I woke up sober, again, but for the last time in a while. I rushed to work because I had a long day ahead. My new boss, ‘BoGo’, who replaced ‘The Cock of the North’, emailed me early morning saying she was running a bit late because she was moving out of her old office and bringing some stuff we “needed” over. I honestly didn’t care, she’s not much help anyway.

**Disclaimer: When I first started this blog I said I wasn’t going to talk shit about people and I was just going to be honest. Brutally honest, that is. I feel like I’ve grown soft. This morning, I’ve been in a very odd mood. I had a very severe and long anxiety moment last night and I am not feeling like I’ve been recently. The old, more caustic me has resurfaced and I’m happy to let him parade around for a second. That being said, I will be brash and unapologetic, and let myself write as I see things trying to remove the filters I’ve been developing lately.**

Back to the topic. I was at work planning for the night’s event with still a very long list of to-do’s. I started early, and started hard. I emailed ‘The Cock of the North’ the night before asking for some guidance in this, my first event completely without his presence. He, of course, came to my aid thoroughly. I was ready for war and I had my armor and my small battalion of three interns (the good, the bad, and the useless) with me. The list of chores was slowly but surely getting accomplished. My dear ‘BoGo’ showed up an hour and a half before the event was to start with a few unnecessary items she deemed important enough to go get from her old office earlier that day instead of helping out. To be honest, I truly believe she is not as competent as she presented herself to be before getting the job, and thus chooses “flight” over “fight” when overwhelmed. More examples to support my allegations will follow in this and the next entries.

I politely acknowledged her presence, but did not take the time to make her feel like I was glad she was there. One of the things I adored about working for ‘The Cock of the North’ was that he had no qualms with doing whatever was necessary to get the job done, from sweeping the floors, to more complex tasks, he did it all, and I respect that. Furthermore, today I rediscovered how hard it is to work for someone you don’t respect.

The event ended up being a success. A lot of familiar faces turned up. Sadly, ‘Nickle’ was stuck in traffic and could not make it, but a few of his friends did, and they congratulated me on my very first soiree sans ‘The Cock of the North’. I felt like all my blood and sweat were worth it.

We left the event a bit after close and I walked with ‘Jose Maria’, ‘The Lady of Derbishire’, ‘Occhio’, and ‘Martha’ (one of ‘Nickle’s’ friends) to Tartinery on Spring and Mulberry. I was texting with my lover about him meeting us there after he dropped off the keys to my place at The Abbey so that my dear friend ‘Geordie-Mo’, who was arriving in to town from London, could pick them up, drop his bags, and meet us all out and about. I am not quite certain when or where things took a turn, but ‘Nickle’ ended up not coming to dinner. Instead, he said he’d meet us after for drinks.

After dinner, we opted to walk to Phoenix because the plan was to meet ‘Geordie-Mo’ at “The Church” once he freshened up at mine. ‘Occhio’ and ‘The Lady of Derbishire’ went home, the rest of us did the fifteen minute trek up to the East Village. Once there, I texted ‘Nickle’ to see his ETA. He called me back right away and said he wasn’t feeling like meeting me and he was in a strange mood. I spent about ten minutes carefully trying to see if I should convince him to come out or not. I wanted to see him, I’ve been in his situation, I wasn’t sure what he wanted me to do. I insisted he join us and he did. He showed up a bit drunk and emotional. We had a chat about us and about how he feels like he’s loosing himself. About how he’s scared of where he’s going. All familiar subjects for both of us. Having reached compromise, he went home (or so I thought, apparently he had a few more rounds at Nowhere) and I went to “The Church” with ‘Jose Maria’ to meet up with ‘Geordie-Mo’.

It was nice to be back. I hadn’t been to my old stomping grounds in a while now and I was happy to say hi to the Wednesday night gays. The highlight of the evening, tho, was seeing ‘Geordie-Mo’, who’d just been through a break up and had planned a New York trip to get away from all the things that come when you end a relationship.

That night, I drank more than expected. I got back to my handsome asleep on my full size bed. I kissed him goodnight and dozed off next to him.

Thursday morning was a brand new day. I had told work I was coming in late because “I was going to wait for my friend to get back from the airport” but really I didn’t want to deal with the post-event clean up. ‘Nickle’ went to work, and I went to brunch at The Crosby with ‘Geordie-Mo’ and ‘Jose Maria’. Since I was now allowed to drink again, I ordered a bloody mary to go with my fall vegetable soup. We all started drinking. David Gahan from Depeche Mode sat on the table next to us. We ordered more drinks. I concluded that since I wasn’t going to have much time to spend with my British friend, I should probably take the day off and hang out with him right then and there. I called work and said my friend’s flight was delayed.

We scheduled the rest of our day: The Daphne Guiness exhibit at FIT and more daytime drinking. We finished our meal and skedaddled down spring street to the ACE train and up to 23rd street. Prior to entering the museum, we had an impromptu photo shoot with the autumnal foliage on the streets of New York and acted stupid, but not too stupid. Even though I was glad to be out of work and having fun, I was still in business mode answering emails and phone calls.

The exhibit was everything that I expected from her and more. It didn’t hurt that it was free, but I would’ve payed a pretty penny to be a part of one of my favorite and most inspiring persons in the world’s experience. It was short, it was concise, and again, it was educational.

We left FIT and walked over to Madison Square Park to kill some time. We then walked to Boxers for happy hour but were shit out of luck as the place didn’t open for about another hour. We walked back east to GYM, downed a couple of unejoyably watered down beers, played some pornographic photo hunt, and left to go back to Boxers. This time the bar was open. We weren’t planning on drinking as much but, being early enough for happy hour, every place was two for one. Two Jack and Gingers ensued.

We left at around 7 pm to go back to my place and get some food from The Meatball Shop with ‘Nickle’, his friend, ‘Viquers’ and ‘Fixie’, before going to The Abbey for a nightcap. I wanted my friends to meet my friend with an accent. The bar was alright. To my knowledge, we all had a good time, and to my surprise, both ‘Jose Maria’ and ‘Fixie’ showed significant interest in ‘Geordie-Mo’. The surprise did not come from me questioning my dear Briton’s appeal, but from how funny I found their little crush to be. I believe we all left at a reasonable hour and went to our respective after hours. In my case, bed with the babe.

Friday I did show up to work, despite wanting to take another day off. It’s funny how much I used to love going to work, and ever since these new changes have happened I haven’t been as eager. Regardless, I did my full 7 hours exuding my best effort and with a grin on (I try not to smile much).

After work, I met ‘Nickle’ with two of his friends at Solas. We were supposed to meet for dinner but plans changed, as usual, so we had a couple of beers and a few rounds of shots and ended up having a slice instead. We then walked towards Ludlow in the Lower East Side for more drinks with another one of his bartender friends. I wasn’t complaining, I was actually having a really good time. My baby’s friends kept mentioning how changed he seems and how in love he seems to be with me. They pointed out they haven’t seen him like this in the 5+ years they’ve known him, and I started to feel like I was either extremely lucky, or in some sort of Truman Show. I took another shot and just went with it.

We left sometime between 9 and 10 to go back to ‘Nickle’s’ apartment and make a bag for our big weekend trip. He filled his green duffle bag with a few items of clothing (most of his favorite stuff is already permanently stored at my place), and we walked over to my apartment to drop off said bag. We then texted ‘Geordie-Mo’ who had been out and about with his 718 beau so we could confirm the plans we’d made to meet. Eleven-o-clock at Metropolitan.

On our way there, ‘Nickle’ had a severe craving for a cigarette that actually scared me in terms of whether or not I was going to be able to help him resist. Somehow we did, and instead we ended up at Yola’s Cafe for some unnecessary burrito, but I guess it’s better to be fat than cancerous. Again, he thanked me for standing my ground, and I felt reassured for doing so. Sometimes I fear he’s going to resent me one day.

We left the fast food joint and ran into ‘Geordie-Mo’ and company who were also running late. We all walked in to Metro and ordered more drinks. By this point I was so drunk that I stupidly forgot my mission at hand: 718 beau reconnaissance. We finished our beer and left the single boys to their own demise. We walked back home and cleverly thought to stop by The Abbey for the second night cap of the night.

A beer and a shot of whiskey and I was drunk and horny. We didn’t stay long. We had another round of beer and shots and shared a much watered down brew before heading home to sleep but not before having some a-bit-kinkier-than-average time, the details of which shall remain a secret, but do let your imagination run.

The past few days were emotional in a different level. It was the second time that I didn’t feel alone because ‘Nickle’ was actually having some readjusting issues. It is strange how vulnerability makes him sexy. Is it the change of power that excites us? I guess for the moment I am not able to tell… but I will say this: that night I felt closer to my babe than I had felt till that moment.

“I know it’s where you want to go this time, I see you where you are. Don’t fight, you’re about to figure out it’s fine.”

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