"Update" NYC

How Soon Is Now?

They say that timing is everything and when they say this; it’s usually in relation to when something bad happens in our lives. We say that timing is everything to lessen the pain. To make us feel better about a situation that didn’t quite pan out the way we had hoped. That can range from not getting that dream job to a relationship ending. Whatever the case might be, timing seems to play a rather important factor in our day to day lives. In matters of the search for that great love; I couldn’t help but ponder…how soon is now?

“How Soon Is Now?” is, of course, a famous Smith’s song from the 80’s but it’s still rather relevant. Two Sunday’s ago, after I came to terms with the fact that J.C. was never coming back. I sat on my couch and thought about the timing. The timing between us. Naturally, the longer I sat there, the angrier I got with the situation. Angry that someone who is in their 30’s can still do the disappearing act and think that there will be no repercussions. I didn’t bother to go down the path of, “Was it me?” It wasn’t me. Whether we were meant for each other isn’t the bottom line, the bottom line is that I could never be with someone that treats another human being like that.

I think everyone can relate to this next scenario when it comes to dating. Whenever a relationships ends or begins; suddenly the exes and attractive people come out of hiding. Where were these people when we needed them before? It’s as if we are animals that put out a scent and they are ready to hunt. Also, on that faithful Sunday on my couch, I started receiving messages from the past. I entertained the messages because, if I was being honest with myself, it was nice to have any kind of attention paid my way. After about an hour of the “small talk” I agreed to meet someone for a drink that Monday. I knew that I wasn’t over J.C. by any means but my sadness for him had now gone to anger, which told me I was on my way to forgetting all about the entire situation.

I was walking down Ninth Avenue on Monday at 7:25 to be exact, so that I wouldn’t be late for this “meeting.” I wasn’t calling it a “date” because I knew it would send my mind spinning. He was standing in front of, Bocca di Bacco, and he looked rather handsome. Tall, button down shirt, scruff on his face and those Buddy Holly glasses. He gave me a hug and a kiss and motioned me to walk in front of him as we entered the restaurant. It was a Monday at 7:30 and therefore, we pretty much had the place to ourselves. In my mind, I was thinking this was going to be a two drink date and I’d be back at my apartment in no time. Instead, he wanted to sit down at a table and have our drinks there.

As we ordered our cocktails, so began our conversation. I was surprised at how well of a conversationalist he was. He’s an investment banker, lives not too far away from me and actually seemed interested in what I had to say. He asked all about me, where I’m from, my spiritual beliefs and even what I wanted to do with my career. He actually was interested and asked questions about my life (something that J.C. never did). After we ordered our second cocktail, we also ordered some appetizers. Over the appetizers, he told me that he had some news. I wasn’t sure I even wanted to hear the news because nine out of ten times, when someone says that…it’s never good news. He told me that his job is sending him to Germany for five months on a project. When I asked him when he is leaving, he told me, “This upcoming Saturday.” Talk about soon. Talk about timing playing a huge factor on this “meeting.” He then confessed that he actually thought about canceling on me all together and that he went back and forth with seeing me because he was going to be away for so long.

Once the news broke, I decided to just be in the moment and enjoy the evening for what it was. He was generous enough to pay for the entire evening and after the check was cleared; I wasn’t sure what he wanted to do. Hell, I wasn’t even sure what I wanted to do. We walked outside and it was one of those perfect city nights where there wasn’t any humidity in the air and therefore, he suggested we walk along the water.

As we walked toward the West Side Highway, he held my hand. He would put his arm around me from time to time and he was still asking me a million questions. When we got to the water, we were amongst the other couples that were taking a romantic stroll. However, once we sat down and looked at the water, I also noticed that I was looking at New Jersey. I knew that just across the Hudson River was J.C. As I was sitting there with this great guy’s arm around me, I’m thinking about my ex who’s probably not thinking about me. Then, I knew what was going to happen next. This guy was going to kiss me. It’s a feeling that you get when the person is so close to you that you feel their breath on your neck. I got up and walked over the edge of the water and looked at the moon. He came up behind me, turned me around and kissed me. The kiss was too soon for me. It wasn’t that he was a bad kisser or had heinous breath. It was simply too soon for me. I acted my ass off and kept saying what a wonderful time I was having. Which wasn’t a lie. I was having a good time. I just couldn’t be that romantic yet. He told me that he wanted to see me one more time before he left and I did too. I wanted to send him off to Germany in style. I wanted him to not worry about what he was leaving behind but rather what he might look forward to when he comes back. Not me, per se, but rather the city itself. So, I offered to take him to dinner on Friday. He accepted my invitation and asked me to text him when I got home. Which I did and he thanked me for a wonderful evening.

The next day, after work and after the gym; I found myself heading to Chelsea. I was meeting an ex from about two years ago. He also reached out to me on that past Sunday. This guy and I had a few great first dates but we couldn’t be together because he doesn’t want children and I do. Since then, we’ve remained friendly toward each other. We went to the, Bocca di Bacco, on Seventh Avenue. He had his wine that he always gets and I had my proseco. He told me that he’d been on a few dates with other guys but none that has met his criteria. I told him about J.C. and even how recent the ending of that relationship was. So, it really was just a friendly catching-up, at least for me. After the drinks, we walked over to the village and ended up at, The Monster. There we had literally one drink and left. We ended the night at Julius’s. Over a beer and an order of French fries, he tried to kiss me. This time, I rejected the advances. I knew myself. I knew what state of mind I was in. He handled it well but as soon as the beer was gone, so was he. I never heard from him again for the rest of the week. I wasn’t sure if his feelings were hurt but I knew I did the right thing.

By the time Wednesday rolled around, I was exhausted. As each day went by, I was forgetting about J.C. and becoming more at peace with him. I received a message from one of my dearest friends about taking a walk in the evening. It was exactly what I needed to do after the gym. I picked him up, we had a quick cocktail and walked toward the water. However, instead of walking along the water, we just decided to have a beer at, The Frying Pan. There we sat on the boat, overlooking New Jersey and this time, as I looked at Jersey City…I felt fine. Maybe it was the company I was keeping at the time, maybe it was salt in the air but whatever it was; it was working. I was feeling like my old self again.

Friday and I could not wait another minute for the weekend to start. Between work and the personal life, it had been a rough couple of weeks. I was ready to let my hair down. I met the guy for our farewell dinner at exactly 7:30 on the corner of his apartment. Once again, he looked handsome and he gave me a kiss and hug. He pulled away and said, “You always smell amazing. Now let’s get a cab.” He got us a cab and I told the driver to take us downtown. I was taking him to one of my favorite restaurants, Rosemary’s.

I could tell he was so stressed with all that he needed to get done before his trip. His flight was the next day at 8 p.m. and he still needed to buy luggage and even pack. In order to make him not feel so stressed, I just kept the conversation to anything but the pending trip. It seemed to work, for over dinner, he just leaned over and kissed me. This time, I was ok with the kiss. In fact, it was rather romantic. He isn’t a big drinker and so therefore, I did most of the drinking while he did most of the eating. After I paid for dinner, we began to leave the restaurant when he got stopped by some of his friends that he hadn’t had a chance to see or say goodbye to. I felt bad that he was on a date with me when he should’ve been seeing his friends. We talked with them for a bit before we let them enjoy their meal in peace.

I wasn’t sure if the end of dinner was going to the end the date but he didn’t seem to want it to end. We stopped at this coffee shop to have coffee and there he confessed a lot to me. He told me all about his past relationships, how he does want a serious relationship and that timing seems to be putting a damper on his plans for that. Seems like “too soon” “not enough time” and “timing is everything” was the theme for not just myself but for everyone around me.

After the coffee, we walked and talked. We walked all the way back to his apartment where along the walk his mind became scattered. He wanted me to come back to his place but wasn’t sure if it was a good idea. He wanted to see his friends since it was still early but also didn’t want our evening to end. He kept making these list of things he needed to get done but then also kept saying how much he didn’t want to leave. The man was stressed and I couldn’t blame him. I told him that I actually needed to pee and so we went back to his place. When I got out of his bathroom, he was lying on his couch with no shirt on and cooling off because he was sweaty. I wasn’t sure what to do but he insisted that I cuddle with him. I laid my head on his chest but knew that this was going to lead to something and he could sense that. He got up and said, “Let’s go and meet that couple you just met at the restaurant for a drink.” I didn’t want to do something where we’d both end up with mixed emotions. We got in another cab and headed to, Boxers, in Chelsea. We get there and literally have two drinks before his friends say they are tired and want to go home. So, now my date and I sit there and have one more drink after they leave. It was at the point in the night where I could’ve met my friends somewhere or just gone home. He didn’t want me to go and so therefore, we got in yet another cab and he told the driver his cross streets.

When we got back inside his apartment, we were back on the couch. This time there were less clothes involved. It was apparent that I was staying the night. I wasn’t ready to do anything other than to comfort him and I think that is what he was looking for as well. He got up from the couch and said, “Come to bed.” I followed him and we went to sleep that night. No sex. No confusion. Just friendly human beings lying next to each other.

The next morning, his alarm went off and I could actually feel his tension about not wanting to leave. He kept tossing and turning. Bringing me in to cuddle and then getting lost in his thoughts. It was like this for about an hour and a half. Kissing then stopping to make a list. He was all over the place and I could that he wanted to be intimate but that his mind was blocking him from doing so. It was around the fourth time that he hit the snooze button that we both knew it was now or never. If anything was going to happen between us, it needed to be now. The sooner the better because it was turning into the sooner or the never. Suffice to say, the job was done and he had a smile on his face. I could tell by his body language that he was much more relaxed. We stayed in bed for a few more minutes and then he got up to shower. He told me to sit and wait because I was preparing myself to do the walk of shame.

He thanked me a million times for everything. From our first date to me staying the night. He asked me if I wanted to go shopping with him for his luggage, etc. However, I knew myself. The longer we would hang out, the more difficult it would be to send him off. I told him no and that I needed to go to yoga. He walked me to the street, gave me a hug and said he’d message me later on before his flight. Which he did and I’m happy to say that he made is safely to Germany.

In the evening, I was meeting eight of my friends for dinner and drinks at Arriba Arriba. Where the margaritas are toxic and you walk out losing some brain cells. True to form, that is exactly how I felt when I exited the restaurant after dinner. Once dinner was done, we went back to a friends’ apartment where him and his husband hosted us for a few drinks before we decided to go to the bar, Industry. After all that drinking and laughing, it was around 3:30 a.m. and my friend dragged me to Empanda Mama where we stood outside for a few minutes while his order was being placed. I stumbled home and passed out on top of my bed.

Yesterday was a rather intense hangover. Not just for me but for everyone. As I got the text messages from everyone saying how much they were hurting, I couldn’t help but laugh out loud. Why do we do this to ourselves? No real answer other than its fun and it’s always a good time when you are with the ones you love.

How soon is now? It’s a tricky question to answer. Maybe there is no real answer when it comes to timing and the outcome that we get when something good happens to us. Instead of relying on timing to determine our paths, we should simply believe in the lyrics from the song:

“I go about things the wrong way. I am human and I need to be loved just like everybody else does.”

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