"Update" NYC

I Got My Pride

There was this song that was released awhile back by this singer called, Pepper Mashay. She sang a song entitled, “I Got My Pride,” and as New York City just celebrated its Gay Pride this past Sunday. It got me thinking about the chorus of the song, that goes, “This is my life, gonna hold my head high. Gonna live it with pride,’till the day that I die.”

Pride is something that is earned and not given and even when it is given, you never really appreciate as much, unless you actually worked for this pride. As most of us celebrated Pride by drinking with our loved ones and watching float after float going down Fifth Avenue with music blaring and people cheering, it is easy to get caught up in spirit of it all and forget that so many before us, never even got a chance to have a parade to celebrate “who they are.” At one point yesterday during all the hoopla, I took a mental moment and told myself how prideful I am for my friends, the support and for Manhattan, of course, then I did a shot of tequila, but still, I was very glad to be a part of it all.

This past week was full of momentum that was leading up to the weekend. I was so excited for it all. By the time Friday rolled around, I could barely sit still at my desk. Work had been a challenging one, with highlights being that I had two more articles from Yahoo! being published. As 5:30 approached on Friday, I just had to leave and so I did. I rushed home, to get showered and ready for Mr. Architect’s arrival. He showed up and we hadn’t seen each other since we said our goodbye’s on Monday from our weekend in Fire Island. So, I was more than ready to see him and spend the weekend together.

That night, we were set to go to Williamsburg, Brooklyn for one of my best friends’ birthday parties. It was scheduled to be on a rooftop, but Mother Nature was not cooperating and the rooftop party ended up being rained out and instead when we arrived to the apartment building. The party was happening in the apartment buildings recreational section. This would mark the first time that Mr. Architect would be meeting a different set of my friends and while I wasn’t worried about what they were going to think of him, I was rather concerned on what he would think of them, since they are a different set of people.

Turns out, I had nothing to worry about whatsoever. He managed to get set-up with a friend of mine that holds nothing back when it comes to questions. So, she began right away with the, “what do you do, “where are you from, “how did you two meet,” etc. I stood there while he got grilled from my friend but then she asked the question to Mr. Architect that went, “Are you guys together?” We haven’t had that conversation yet and since the question wasn’t directed at me, I was curious and also slightly worried on how he was going to answer her. To my surprise, he handled it well and said, “We are seeing each other.” That sentence did not make me feel uneasy at all, in fact, it made me content.

The rest of the party continued on without a hitch. Everyone was laughing, I made my way around the entire party saying hello to anyone and everyone, while Mr. Architect stuck to my friend and all her questions. It was very refreshing to be with someone where I didn’t have to hold his hand the entire time. At one point, my best friend asked me to come with her outside for a second and she said something that she has never said in the ten years that I have known her and that was, “I really like him. Stamp of approval and I have never said that about anyone that you have brought to the table.” The truth is, she has never really liked anyone that I have dated before, so for her to say this was major. I hugged her, thanked her and told her that I think he is pretty fantastic. Two minutes later, she was pouring us a shot of tequila. As the party was winding down and I began to say my goodbye’s to everyone. Every person that I hugged, whispered things in my ear about Mr. Architect, like, “he’s great,” or “he’s a keeper.” As we rode in a cab from Brooklyn back to the city, I thanked him for coming with me to my friend’s party and also thanked him for being so kind to my friends. That evening, while I was drunk, I slept like a baby.

Saturday, I woke up early for some reason. I think I was excited to be having a weekend in the city, after not having one for several weeks. I told Mr. Architect to sleep in while I got ready to do some laundry, a favorite past time for me. I got all my laundry crap together and even decided to wash some of his clothes he had lying around. It was actually nice washing another man’s clothes. While he continued to sleep in, I thought it might be a nice idea to cook breakfast for him, which for me doesn’t actually involve cooking. So I went to Starbucks and got him his coffee and lemon square that he loves so much. I brought it back to him and he was much appreciative of my cooking efforts.

After I folded and put our laundry away, it was time to get ready to start our day. As I was taking my normal long process of getting ready, he was watching TV. When I got out of the shower, he was watching the most unusual show; he was actually watching a program about improving bathrooms on the Home and Garden channel. In all the years that I have lived in that apartment, it is safe to say, that the TV has never been on that channel before. He confessed that he loves those kinds of shows and his classic favorite is a show called, “This Old House.” Again, never heard of this, so the minute he got in the shower, I changed the channel.

As soon as we were both ready, we walked from my apartment down to the West Village, where we would be meeting a few friends of mine to layout on the Christopher Street pier. Our group tends to do that when we are not on Fire Island or basking in Central Park. So, we all had our lunches and just had wonderful conversation the entire afternoon. After the laying out, we all walked to meet some more friends of ours at the bar, XES. We mainly went to this bar, for we knew it would not be crowded. We had a few drinks there and next thing I know, we are at my friend’s apartment in Chelsea listening to music and figuring out what to do next. We all agreed that we were hungry and went to this Thai place called, MThai. Drinks, dinner and another friend joined us and we were all having a wonderful time.

After dinner, we went back to my friend’s apartment to freshen up and go out. We decided to hit up the bar, Industry, as we saw the long line we all decided that we would go in and have a drink. We ordered our beers and there was no air conditioning whatsoever. You couldn’t breathe, it was packed and the vibe was all wrong. So we left after one drink. We said our goodbyes and Mr. Architect and I went back to my apartment. As we were in bed, we were talking and then there was a brief silent moment. I asked him what was wrong and he said, “Nothing is wrong. I am just happy and I am going to miss you this week.” Fade to black…it was the perfect words to match a perfect Saturday.

The next morning, the alarm went off at 6:45 a.m. not the best time to wake up on Sunday morning given the fact that we went to bed late and it was Sunday for goodness sake. However, Mr. Architect needed to get up early in order to catch at train to D. C. for he will be spending this week with his parents till next Saturday. As he got ready, I did my best to fall back asleep but I just couldn’t. In fact, I didn’t even have the best rest that night. I wasn’t sure why and I still can’t put my finger on it. After he was done getting ready, he came into my bedroom to say goodbye to me. He looked over me and said he had a great time this past weekend and that he would stay in touch while he would be gone. He kissed me on the lips and forehead and left.

I woke up a few hours later and got ready for Pride. I picked up a friend of mine in Chelsea and off to our normal spot where we always watch the parade (right in front of Mesa Grill) and began our festivities. Everyone came together, celebration, laughter and of course drinking. As usual on Pride, we bounced from bar to bar and house to house. By the time we arrived at the last house party, you can look in everyone’s eyes that we were done for the day. It had been a long weekend of no rest, only play and now our bodies were telling us to go the hell home. I said my goodbyes to the crew on the corner of 22nd and 9th Avenue and thought about jumping on the subway but decided to walk home since it was such a gorgeous night.

On my walk home, I got to thinking about pride again. I knew I had pride that day and for most days…I do have my pride. As New Yorkers, when someone asks you how long you have lived here, it is with great pride that you can say to someone that you have lived here for more than ten years. Usually the response is, “Wow, you have lived in New York City a long time. I bet you have seen a lot.” The truth is. Yes. Most people that have lived here over a decade have seen a lot. Shitty apartments, crazy dating experiences, jobs that you can barely remember you even worked at. I, for one, am filled with pride to say to someone that I have seen and experienced so much by living here. This also makes me extremely grateful to my present day. I have a job, my health, my friends, my family, my apartment and well..I have my pride. And I’m going to live my life with pride until the day that I die!

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