"Update" NYC

Rear View Window

In my quest to close out this year with a clean slate, no strings attached to anything or anyone and wanting to leave 2011 with being grateful for all I received. I decided to meet up with a very infamous ex.

This ex of mine…where do I even begin? He is wrong for me. Period. So wrong for me that it was one of the many reasons I left 6 years ago. So wrong that nobody supported me ever seeing him again. So wrong that I just had to see one last time, for myself if I was making the right decision to stay away from him. And lastly, so wrong that this last Friday night when usually it is spent with my friends going to some bar or a movie, I was adventuring to a land that I have only been to twice in my 15 years here in the city…I was going to Queens.  I didn’t even tell my friends where I was going, except a vague “attending a party in Queens” when they asked what I was doing that night.

At first, this “meeting” was to be just the two of us. It was a meeting to chat, catch up and mainly for me to see if I still got that stomach flip you get when you are just so head over heels about someone. Earlier last week, I get a text message from him saying that he would still like to meet up but it turns out it is his friends birthday party and he that it would be great if I cam to meet him and his friends at this beer garden.

I agreed to attend this mystery person’s birthday party for as long as there was some sort of booze to get me through it, I was going to be fine. During the day on Friday, the day of our “meeting” that I am so unsure of, the ex contacts me and confirms that we are still meeting, gives me the directions (for I get lost easy) and what time I am to meet him.

After work that day, I rush over to the gym; get a power workout in and than proceeded to get ready. For some reason, I was no longer nervous, there was no stomach flip, it was as if the power had shifted somewhere between the workday and my workout.  As I left the apartment, gave myself that once over look before hitting the pavement, I took a deep breath and told myself that whatever happens tonight it will be for the best. No matter what the outcome is.

Q train bound I am, music is blaring in my ears and I am prepping myself to get off on the 36th Avenue stop. Final destination has arrived and as I make my way down the platform…there he is, waiting for me, just like he promised. Usually something as simple as waiting for me when I arrive is normally something that sweeps me off my feet but this time he was with a friend and so I was forced to put on my game face and proceed to the beer garden.

The name of the place was, Studio Square, it was probably one of the biggest beer gardens I had ever been too and what really impressed me was how clean it was. The birthday girl was already there with a beer in her hand that was bigger than my kitchen. As I made the rounds of introducing myself to everyone, they all were really nice and welcoming me to their party. First beer down and the ex and I are catching each other up on jobs, holidays, family, friends, etc. Finally the question we all hate to ask when you meet up with an ex and that is “are they romantically involved with anyone at the moment.” For both of us, the answer was no. I knew why he was still single and that is cause he put in no effort into putting himself out there and hid behind the booze rather than going out and meeting new people.  As the beers continued to flow it was time to leave the beer garden and go to their local hangout.

The next stop was where my light finally went off. As I saw history continue to repeat itself, the heavy drinking, the slurring of words and the lack of self-awareness it dawned on me that not only was I over him but that I had out grown him. There was a point and time when I thought he might be “The One” but as I took a step back and observed what my life would become had I stayed with him; I realized that I was exactly where I needed to be in my life and that was ok.

Thinking I can make the perfect exit by excusing myself, saying goodbye and hailing that cab that comes right when you lift your arm out…my exit was not properly planned, for in Queens, there are no cabs that go up and down the street but you have to call a car service. So now I was forced to go back inside and ask the ex to help me get home for I had no idea just how to do that. I could tell that he saw my mood shift and that this will be the last time he actually sees me face to face. He kindly called the car service and told me that since he dragged me out here that he would be paying for my car service home…I didn’t argue with that but graciously too the forty dollars and put it in my pocket for safe keeping.

Finally the car arrived, but before I got in the car, he grabbed me and looked me in the eyes and said how much fun he had and that he missed me. As I looked back into his eyes, eyes that were blurred with the drunken haze that he was in, I knew I was 100% over him and our situation. One last hug and I crawled into back seat. He closed my door, I told the driver my cross streets and off back to the city I went.

As the holiday music played from the car radio, I did a little reflecting on my ride home and there, clear as day, I saw the review mirror of the car and it read “Objects In Rear View Mirror May Appear Larger Than They Are”.  It finally hit me, that after all these years I was projecting this notion that this “relationship” was larger than it really was.  It was then, that I made up my first rule of 2012 and that will be to see any relationship for the size that it actually is and to stop using my own rear view mirror to think that it might be bigger than it really is.

As for my ex, I only wish him the best in whatever he does and hope that he not only finds himself but someone that is able to give him something that I actually never wanted to give in the end. Once I got home, did my evening rituals and laid down, I felt a sense of weight lifted and it left me feeling free, free to explore and free of him.

It didn’t take me long to confess my Friday night to my friends, in fact it was the very next night. One particular friend was pissed that I even went to meet him and felt like I was asking for punishment but I could tell once I explained to him that I felt free that he didn’t ride me so hard and was happy that I was able to be close this chapter, once and for all.

Saturday night and the city felt alive. I attended not one, not two but three holiday parties, it was one of those nights where a cab was your best friend for it was freezing and our parties were in different parts of the city. First stop was a friendly ex and his boyfriends holiday party where it was nice to be able to wish them a Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year ahead. After that, I made my way to the old gay bar, The Monster, luckily my friend got there as soon as I ordered my drink. I gave him the download and after we raised our glasses, the festivities officially began.

Next stop was a friend’s birthday party at another old gay bar, The Stonewall, after a few cocktails there with more wonderful friends; we were off to our third party. Onto Hells Kitchen we went, the party was still in full swing at this apartment and as soon as we put our coats down, off top the bar we went, made our cocktails and began the old song and dance of doing the air kisses, the hugs and catching up with people you only see every once in awhile.

At this party, I was told by one of the hosts that he has always had a crush on me and that he often sees me at the gym being anti-social. I am one of those people that don’t see the need to talk at the gym but rather to workout. Time and place for everything is how I see it. Plus I had no idea how this guy actually felt about me. A this point of the night, I am three sheets to the wind and feeling great and as the party was winding down we decided it would be best to leave on a high note. So we all grab our coats and begin our goodbye process.  As we are in the hallway of the apartment building, the guy that confessed his crush on me pulls me aside to this hallway and proceeded to give me a drunken kiss on the lips along with his business card.

I SHOULD have left my friends to go home for the evening was late; actually already past 3am. But alas, I gave into peer pressure and now we are all in cab headed to the East Village to meet up with some other friends of ours at the bar, Urge. As I predicted, the minute we get there, my friends are by the go-go dancers, beers in hand and fawning over the sweaty dancers.  I tend to stay away from the dancers; they make me on the nervous side for I am never quite sure what they are going to do next. As I sipped my beer, I decided it was time to close the evening. It was quickly approaching 4am and before I know it, that damn sun would be coming up and I knew I would be facing a nasty hangover once I would wake up.  I did an Irish goodbye and got a cab right away outside the bar. On the ride home, I was faced again, focusing on the rear view window and the message it said, the only difference this time was I thinking of the amazing support from my friends. And this object is definitely BIGGER than it appears.



1 Comment

  1. Rodney Clara

    I loved your story and describing that sometimes gut wrenching question “if they are seeing someone” and know almost with intuition one what you one had is really over.

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