The food was delicious. Mostly desserts. Which I’m not at all opposed to. I wish I had known so that I could have made something to bring. You know how I love baking. A good homemade cake would have rounded out the spread nicely. We talked to Amber’s parents and grandparents and aunts and uncles for a little bit, but then we “young’ins” split off to the side on our own to chat.
Except for Pete and I, all of Amber’s friends were from home in Queens, though most of them lived in Manhattan or Brooklyn now. It was funny hearing them reminisce over their high school stories. I only met Amber when we were in college, so hearing about what she was like back in the day was hysterical. I can only imagine what my friends would think of sixteen-year-old me. “Straight.” Shaggy hair. Wiry glasses. Baggy pants. Ugh. It’s not a pretty picture.
I had met Pete several times before and Amber’s other gay friend David a couple of times. But not since I’d been single. It’s very different meeting gays when you’re single versus in a relationship. When you’re single, things are just more up in the air. Like you don’t know what you’re getting into.
I’ve always had a hard time making new gay friends. And this might be just in my warped mind, but I always feel on edge when I meet another gay guy. Either I want to sleep with him or he wants to sleep with me. There isn’t like a mutual desire to be “just friends.” At least not initially. Like, if I start talking to someone that I think is nice but am not attracted to at all, I feel like I’m leading them on. And vice versa, if I start talking to someone I do find attractive, they usually don’t give me the time of day unless they’re also into me. It’s shitty, but it’s kind of the way it goes. But maybe I’m just really bad at making new friends and this isn’t the case at all out in the gay community.
However, having a boyfriend shores all of that up. I’m officially off the market when I meet new guys at bars or through friends. It sets up boundaries and I don’t feel that pressure of having to figure out what the other guy is thinking or wants from me because they and I know that I’m off-limits.
This afternoon, as I was talking to Pete and David, I realized that I was thinking about them differently than I had before. I was thinking about whether or not I was attracted to them. It was weird, realizing that I was sizing them up in my head, deciding whether or not I was attracted to them. And also weird because I found myself attracted to David. He has these bright blue eyes that just shine from his face and the right amount of scruff shading his cheeks so as to be rough but not too scratchy.
I hadn’t thought about another guy in that way since you broke up with me. (I haven’t even masturbated in the past month! That’s how non-sexual I’ve felt. How lethargic and sad I’ve been while missing you.) I mean, I’m not going to do anything with it. There’s no pursuit forthcoming. But it was nice to feel that thrill again, that little tingle in my stomach that signals excitement and lust.
Today I realized that I can move on from you. I glimpsed that far off oasis of not loving you anymore. I can see it just out of grasp. Could it be a mirage? Or is this pain and loneliness I feel really going to go away soon? I want to be there celebrating the harvest, moving on with my life.
But as for now, I’m still trapped in the desert of getting over you. Maybe I’ll throw my own personal Sukkot when that day finally comes where I’m not in love with you anymore. I’ll make all the deserts and just get fat, camping out on a roof somewhere in my hut, staring up at New York City’s skyscrapers shining against a starless sky.