Let It Take You
We are told that in order to achieve our successes in life that we must take control of our destiny. Everywhere we look, we are faced with the word “control”. Without control, our lives that we all strive to build higher and higher can all come tumbling down. Control is needed for traffic for without it, it can cause accidents. Control is needed in the classroom or else the children will run wild. Control is needed on the streets or there will be corruption. However, it got me thinking about control and relationships. When it comes to matters or the heart…do you control your emotions or do you just let it take you?
A good chunk of my friends were all gone this past weekend on a skiing trip which left me to take care of much needed errands and prepare my apartment for the new roommate that I will be getting later this week. This weekend was all about control for me. It was going to be a weekend filled with no hangovers, no spending money that I didn’t have and no man drama. It was all about me…or so I thought.
Friday was a stressful day at the office and I actually couldn’t wait to at least have a drink or two before diving into the long weekend. A friend of mine and his partner recently moved from the Upper East Side to the Bronx and wanted me to see their apartment for months now and we finally agreed that this past Friday I would go and see their new apartment. I did, however, have certain rules. They would pick me up from the subway station in their car and would drive me back because I was not walking the Bronx by myself at night. I went to their home and it’s amazing how much more space you get when you live 45 minutes outside the city. We had a nice meal at a Mexican restaurant close by and we followed that up with some bourbon at their local pub. By the time we went back to their place, my friend was too tipsy to drive and I was feeling too buzzed to ride the subway that long by myself. So, I ended up staying the night. Bright and early the next morning, my friend drove me to the subway and I went home.
My Saturday is where things took a change and things began to slowly get out of control. I had been messaging with this guy from Scruff. Really nice guy, tons in common and he actually made me laugh. We originally had plans to meet two Sunday’s ago, however, he canceled and I left it at that. Last week, we started messaging again and agreed to meet this past Saturday. I had a ton to do on Saturday. I went to Brooklyn to get my taxes done, gym and was doing my best to get my apartment. I had messaged with this guy earlier because I know that money was tight for him (hell…money was tight for me as well) but I gave him the following suggestion. I told him that seeing that we are both strapped for cash this month that if he could host (since I don’t like strange men in my apartment); I’d be willing to go over there, have a few drinks and see if there is a connection. If not, then I would just go about my merry way. He loved the idea and was greatly appreciative given the situation.
That night, I was nervous for all the right reasons. I was nervous because I was finally getting to meet him, I was nervous because I wanted to meet this person and also nervous because I was going to some strange man’s apartment for the first time. I gave his address to a few friends of mine just in case I ended up missing the next day.
He lives on the Upper West Side, actually across the street from The Natural History Museum. I rang his apartment number and up the seven flights I went. When I got off the elevator he was already standing in his doorway waiting for me. Standing he did. He stands at a staggering 6’4 and is a big muscle guy. Suffice to say, he is the exact opposite of myself. I was greeted with a big hug and kiss from him on top of a friendly kiss from his dog. Before I had left my apartment (which I was thirty minutes late for meeting him). I had asked him what he liked to drink and he said he loves a certain IPA beer or something like that. I had no idea what the hell he was talking about. So, I sent a text message to a friend that is a beer fanatic and he sent me several suggestions of the best IPA’s. I bought a six pack and a bottle of wine for me.
We sat in his bedroom, clinked our beer and wine glass and thus began our conversation. I arrived at 8:30 and the next time I even bothered to look at the clock; I realized it was 3:30 a.m.!!! Over the seven hours we managed to cover a lot of topics. From the innocent topics to the not so innocent and we made out like high school kids. I hadn’t laughed like the way he was making me laugh with another guy in years. I somehow managed to let my control issues go and just let it take me. There was a small discussion of me staying the night given the time it was but we had already done more than I usually do on a first date and so he walked me down to the street, told me to text him when I got home and he hailed me a cab. I sent my text messaged, as he requested, and he responded with telling me what a great time he had with me.
The next day, I woke up and hit the ground running. I did the laundry, the gym and began working on my apartment. Around noon, I got a text message from the guy and in that message was a picture of him in bed with his dog. It was adorable. His message said, “I could sure use a cuddle buddy.” I played coy and asked him what exactly he meant by that and whether or not he meant for me to come over. He knew how much I had to get done and also that I had be at my friend’s apartment later that night. All his next messaged said was, “Yes. Please.” An hour later, I was once again, ringing his apartment buzzer and getting off on the seventh floor.
We cuddled for awhile until he suggested we go out and grab some pizza. As we walked onto Amsterdam Avenue, it felt like I was playing hooky; hooky from my friends, hooky from my work and hooky from all my responsibilities that I had to get done. I did my best to tell my mind to shut the hell up and just enjoy the moment. He bought us our pizza and we sat down and just talked. After the pizza, he suggested that we walk around and wanted to show me a farmer’s market. Anyone that knows me knows that I’m not a farmer’s market kinda guy. However, being with this guy I didn’t care about the crazy looking rugs that were trying to be sold or the tacky costume jewelry that was being pushed. I was having a fucking blast. There was no other way to put it. After the market; he really needed to walk his dog and asked if I would walk with him and man’s best friend. I shook my head yes.
As someone that doesn’t walk dogs, walking around the Natural History Museum, with him and his dog, something that felt so unnatural for me was starting to feel…natural. His dog enjoyed me, I enjoyed the dog and I think in return that made the guy enjoy me a little more. When we got back to his apartment, we began to be intimate and it just was intense, passionate and there was a real connection. Most people would kill for this. I, on the other hand, couldn’t handle it. In my neurotic mind, I allowed my inner thoughts to out shine the wonderful moment and I stopped things. Given that it was our second date, second day in a row no less, I just needed to breathe. He understood and suggested we go take a walk and get some coffee.
There we sat at a Starbucks, on the Upper West Side, like something out of a Nora Ephron movie, we talked or shall I say… he talked. He is such a fun storyteller that I just sat there, listened, laughed and every now and again, I would chime in. I was also afraid to say anything more because I was worried that it would go back to what had just happened. After the coffee, it was still early that he wanted to take a walk. We walked from the Upper West Side to Hell’s Kitchen or more specifically…to the corner of where I live.
We stopped on the corner of the street and he remembered my cross streets and said, “I know you have this rule about men in your apartment but two things…1.) I really need to pee and 2.) I can take a look at your couch and see what tools you need in order to bring it down to the street.” I told him, “Sure. You can come up to use the restroom but the couch thing is not necessary.”
As he was using the restroom, I felt very uncomfortable. Here was a man that I liked, inside my apartment. I was getting almost claustrophobic in my own home. He came out of the restroom, I gave him a quick tour of the apartment and then he looked at my couch. He told me that the couch was all one piece and that since it was from IKEA, it only weighed five pounds. He just looked at me and said, “I can take this down for you right now if you want.” I said, “No. Not necessary. I have friends coming on Wednesday and that if they can’t do it, I can do it myself.” This went back and forth with me getting defensive and him offering. Before I knew it, he was asking me hold the door open for him and he took the entire couch down all by himself. I didn’t know what to do, what to say and by the time he came back up to my apartment, I was in full anxiety mode. I thanked him a million times, I offered to pay him, to buy him a beer and he just said, “What kind of guys do you date that they wouldn’t do this for you?” I didn’t want to tell him that no guy I had ever dated has ever helped me move. Instead, I went back to offering him forms of payment for helping me with the couch. As he stood above me, he just said, “Give me one of those.” He kissed me and it should have made me weak in the knees instead I felt light headed. I told him that we need to get out of this apartment for I couldn’t really breathe. He grabbed my shoulders and said in the nicest way, “You are neurotic and need to be easy-breezy.” I told him that I am not built for “easy-breezy.” He’s from California originally and I am just not that laid back and it felt so insane to have a man in my apartment doing these things for me. After I calmed down, we walked to my corner again and there he said, “If you’re not busy tomorrow, would you like to go to the MOMA with me?” With the city moving quickly behind me, the cold air filling my lungs and me finally calming the fuck down, I looked up at him and said, “Yes. Yes. I would love to go.” He gave me a kiss goodbye and I walked downtown and he walked back to his apartment.
I spent that evening with friends, drinking, telling them about my crazy 48 hours and they were so happy for me. I went home early that evening and did my best to shut the noise off.
Yesterday, I tried my best to get my damn apartment in order for the new roommate and began moving boxes and was doing so well until I almost fell off my ladder and on top of it; I cut the top of my finger and was bleeding. I guess there are times when you must swallow your pride and allow for others to help. I just wasn’t ready to ask for help from this guy. Instead, I pushed through and almost finished moving my closet. When I looked at the clock, I realized I only had a little less than an hour to get ready before he was picking me up to go to the museum. He showed up and once again, he was in my apartment. This time, I did much better with having him there. Mainly because I knew it was only for a few seconds. We got to the museum and even though it was crowded, I felt like we were the only two people observing the art. He was impressed that I knew most artists and every now and again we would sneak a kiss or hold hands. I didn’t want anything to end or to change and to my delight and surprise…they didn’t.
After the museum, it was still early in the afternoon and he was hungry. He mentioned the money situation being low and I stopped him and explained to him that money has never and will never matter to me. What matters is how you treat someone and how he has treated me in the past two days was a lot more than any dates I have been on in years. As we walked, I offered to treat him to his favorite Chinese restaurant in the city. The walk to the restaurant from the museum is where we opened up more about our past relationships. His wasn’t as tragic as mine (no shock there) but it was nice to be able to speak so freely about the past. We sat at the restaurant and talked for hours, after the meal, he asked me to come back to his apartment to walk the dog and relax. I was happy to accept his offer.
After the dog walk, after a deli run and we were back at his apartment. We talked about philosophy, the meaning of life and it was just those deep conversations that I thrive on. Things became intimate again and once again…I freaked out. I was embarrassed, never felt more vulnerable and I had no idea what to do. I really wanted to grab my things and leave but he wouldn’t let me. Instead, he did his best to calm me down and we lied in his bed and I asked him to tell me stories. His stories helped a great deal and when I noticed it was almost midnight; I told him that I needed to go. He hugged and kissed me goodbye and reassured me that everything was going to be alright. The entire cab ride to my apartment, I knew for certain that I fucked everything up. I sent him the text that I had gotten home ok and I got nothing back.
This morning, waking up to a city that feels like being in snow globe, with the wind blowing in every direction, snow covering every crevice and the last thing I’m sure anyone wants to do is be out and about. I somehow, managed to get my act together and not worry about my potential fuck up. I’m happy to say that everything is fine. I got a text from him this morning and things are swell, the weather outside might be terrible but things are starting to feel good inside.
Trust. Honesty. Vulnerability. All these words are usually not associated with “control”. Control is not letting any of those characteristics in because that would imply a sense of weakness. Learning to allow these characteristics into your life can potentially allow for greater things to happen. While it might be a simple thing to write and read, it isn’t always an easy thing to practice, mainly because of a fear of failure, weakness or even a broken heart. Sometimes in life, as much as we all want to control our present and future; there are times when you should just…Let it take you.
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