Screwing to the Beat of His Own Drum
A month or so had passed since my “office booty” and I was adjusting to my new found success; a great new job, a group of close friends and an apartment of my own. It was the eve of my birthday and I was spending it with my married, older sister, Lisa. Even though it was my birthday, we ended up going to Rush Street, an area of Chicago known for its strict heterosexuality and overabundance of testosterone. Lucky me.
As we sat sipping our Cosmos and swapped stories, I realized mine were just about sex – not romance or love – like hers. I found myself jealous. I wanted that one person to rant and gush about. I felt solemn. Alone for another birthday.
I arrived home that night to see my answering machine flashing. Assuming it was just my mother wishing me the standard “happy birthday,” I pressed play, while I undressed. Sure enough, it was. But then, as I was about to head into the bathroom to wash up, I heard a familiar voice.
It was a voice from my past; Cliff, the first person I was ever in love with, and whom I hadn’t heard from in years. We’d had a whirlwind romance that ended abruptly. The last thing I remember was him saying, “I’m sorry. I’m not ready,” and “I’m moving tomorrow,” all in a “Dear John”-style voicemail. His message said he needed to talk to me.
The next day after work, with much trepidation, I called him. Moreso because I wanted to know what he had to say for himself. With his first “hello,” I felt a rush of old emotions. He went on to talk about reconnecting since he’d recently moved back into town and hoping to build a friendship. I knew that’s not what he really meant but I figured it couldn’t hurt to make an attempt. I wanted him in my life but I wasn’t sure I could forget the past. Cliff asked me to meet him for a drink the next night.
As I walked into the bar, I felt…self-assured and emotionally ready to be friends. As the crowd cleared my path, I saw him. He looked amazing; beautiful as always. A hint of nervousness revealed itself. We greeted each other with an awkward hug before finding a place to sit. We chatted about what we’d been doing for the past few years; relationships and current statuses. Both single. As the night progressed, that initial awkwardness wore off. It could’ve been thanks to the five Long Islands I had consumed but nonetheless.
We decided to head over to a hot gay nightspot to do some dancing. It was truly fun and I was beginning to see him as a new friend. After a few songs, I decided to take a smoke break. I was sitting on a chaise and taking a sip from my cocktail when Cliff plopped down next to me a little buzzed. He put his hand on my thigh and began talking about “us.” I was semi-stunned. I didn’t know what to say because just 20 minutes earlier, he just wanted to be my friend. I nervously rambled on about anything but “us,” however he remembered exactly what to do to shut me up and he kissed me.
I felt a rush I hadn’t felt with anyone else since Cliff and my first kiss, years ago. I was also scared and acted on that fear.
“I hate you,” I blurted out.
“That wasn’t the reaction I was hoping for,” he joked.
“Why’d you do that?” I asked, still coming off the high from his kiss.
I began to overanalyze the situation, one of my flaws. I explained my hesitancy. After the Jim saga, I had vowed never to date someone who had already rejected me once. He pressed his index finger against my lips, silencing me and kissed me again.
At the end of the night, I decided to write the kiss off as an alcohol related incident, bitter/jaded man that I am. I didn’t want to get pulled in again since I barely made it out with my dignity the last time. I figured I wouldn’t hear from Cliff again for awhile, knowing how men react when things move too fast, too soon or happen not as planned. So, you can imagine my surprise when he called me late the next night to ask me out to dinner.
We ended up going to some greasy spoon, late night diner because it was the only thing open. Good, a place without alcohol. No distractions. As we ate and the conversation consisted of everything but the previous night, I became antsy. I needed clarification. He placed his hand on mine. I looked down at our intertwined hands and then at his face. I guess it was up to me.
“Ok,” I began. Pause for dramatic effect. “I think I want you back. I feel very certain that there’s still something here.”
His hand gripped mine and he smiled. Always a good sign.
“How close do you live?”
We headed back to my apartment. As I opened the front door, he pushed me against the wall and began kissing me ardently. We worked our way to the bedroom. I was actually nervous. Cliff and I were going to make love for the first time and it was going to be special… And it sure was…like the first time.
Meaning, he had no idea what he was doing and I pretended not to notice.
While he was on top of me, thrusting like a banshee, my head pounded against the headboard. Before I got a migraine, I figured I better take the initiative, so I flipped him on his back and began riding him. My scheme seemed to be working, until he decided to start thrusting in an attempt to match my rhythm. I’m not sure what rhythm he was following, but it wasn’t to any melody I’d ever heard of. I felt like I was on a mechanical bull at Hogs and Hunnies. I was bouncing all over the place. At points, I thought I was going to get bucked off.
This is the man I love, though. Maybe I shouldn’t throw in the towel so soon – maybe just a lasso.
I wondered, ‘Is sex really that important?’ Here it was, the exact thing I’d been pining for; a relationship based on an emotional connection. How could I complain?