Fire Down Below: Beginnings
Over the past four years Fire Down Below existed, I’ve had to reflect upon relationships, dating and men from my past. Where did it all begin? I guess I’d have to think back to when I first started dating in my hometown of Chicago.
It was 7am as I did my walk of shame home from A.D.D.(Another Dating Disaster). You know, the times when you have to slink your disheveled self out of their apartment at the crack of dawn, as to not be seen by another living soul before you’ve had your coffee, a Marlboro, and a shower.
Welcome to Chicago, the city of big shoulders and even bigger attitudes; home of 2.8 million people, a third of which are single. A city where you can date without sex, screw without dating and in the end keep your sex partners as friends long after the screwing is over. Where what really defines a relationship is another relationship.
I was just ending a night with one of those (or as they’re more well known, “rebound”) relationships with a guy I had met while shopping on Michigan Avenue, during one of my post break-up rituals; a shopping spree.
Erik Fact: until emotionally stable, it’s best to enter no stores. But hey the way I see it, forget the smoky bars & go catch him unawares in his natural habitat—-retail. It’s the perfect opportunity. Where else can you meet a guy & find an outfit to go out in at the same time? Now that’s a bargain! By the way, you may see a recurring phrase in my stories, “Erik Fact.” These are facts found by me on Google or something I read in Cosmo or heard from a friend. Don’t ever assume I know what I’m talking about…ever!
Back to the story. Retail Boy helped me while I tried on clothes, then later I returned the favor by helping him take his off. But, what started out as a fun and steamy sexcapade, quickly turned foul when I let a thought of my ex slip in. What was worse, I hadn’t even had any cocktails that night!
Luckily, I was able to redeem my bad night when a gay couple, friends of mine, had their annual Halloween bash. I was wearing an authentic World War II sailor costume. My theory; anything that consists of a uniform will assure that you won’t be going home alone. Sure enough, after being there for only enough time to have had one cocktail, I had spotted my goal. Joe was dressed as “Angel,” the t.v. character portrayed by David Boreanaz. The truth was, he was my goal since I had met him a few months prior when he was dating a friend of mine. But I kept my respective distance until I heard they had recently broken up…and of course, until I had consumed enough alcohol to give me the confidence to do anything about it.
What began as innocent flirting on his part turned into a heavy make-out session in one of the bedrooms, which then led to us heading over to his place when we learned his ex was on his way to the party. That night, we had mind blowing sex…Twice…And once the next morning. After, we went for a walk to grab some breakfast. I attempted to actually get to know the man behind the physical and sexual attributes that I adored. It turned out that we really had nothing in common. I wondered, is “mind blowing” sex just that? Does it obliterate any chance of a deeper connection? After breakfast, I headed for the train, not feeling any closer to him, knowing we’d never have the same relationship we used to, nor would it progress into anything more. And that was okay, I thought to myself, lighting a Marlboro & glancing around at the vast city view, because I had already found the “perfect relationship;” cigarettes and my city…