"Update" NYC

Reality Bites

I’ve been debating on whether or not to write about this past weekend. Mainly because the topic isn’t about receiving any sympathy but rather an experience I had. It’s certainly an experience that everyone has gone through. As an adult, I thought for sure that I’d be past this experience once high school was over with but alas, that is not the case. Turns out, that we will forever have these sorts of experiences for the rest of our lives. How we deal with them is an entirely different situation.

I freely admit that I’m not only a hopeless romantic but that I often live in a fantasy world. I’m not ashamed of it nor will I apologize for it. I like my life filled with color, love, kindness, compassion and only with a smidge of reality. I think I can speak for many out there that our current “reality” state of the world isn’t the greatest. Even before our world went to shit, I still lived in my fantasy world. Often times, I would ask myself, “Why can’t my life be like a movie?” Well, the reality is…it can be but sometimes these “movies” won’t always be romantic comedies but can be dramas or worse…nightmares.

About a month ago, a friend of mine that lives in San Francisco invited me to stay with him in Fire Island this past weekend. This “friend” of mine always boarded on flirtation and its’ been going on for over five years. We have never actually spent consecutive days together because usually when he swoops into town, he’s overbooked with trying to see everyone here (including seeing me). And like any storm, it comes in and leaves just as quickly.

However, when my friend invited me out to stay with him, I realized I hadn’t communicated with him in months prior to getting his message. His message came with a caveat that he recently ended his relationship and was back on the market. I wasn’t sure what that actually meant for me, but I wasted no time popping into my “fantasy” world and thinking that timing was everything. Here I am…about to turn forty and the guy I’ve had a crush on for several years is single and coming to New York? What were the odds?

I told him that I’d come out only for a day because I couldn’t really afford a week out on Fire Island plus I had no idea who his housemates were. What if they didn’t like me? What if I didn’t like them? I couldn’t risk spending all that money only for it to blow up in my face. Naturally, the minute I agreed to visit just for a day, that is when the city went into a massive heat wave and suddenly I was regretting not spending time by an ocean while the city began to melt.
For the past three weeks since the invite came through, I had been somewhat mentally preparing for my visit. I hadn’t seen him in years and since neither one of us are that active on social media, we rely on texting here and there. Plus, whenever he’s in a relationship, I back away because I don’t want to come between anyone’s relationship and let’s not forget that the man lives clear across the country.

With all my mental preparing, naturally, all my friends were curious as to whether we were going to sleep together or not. To be honest, the idea of sleeping with him never occurred to me. Not because I don’t find him attractive, he literally checks off almost every single box for me but because I like him. It might not make sense to most to not want to sleep with someone that you live. But I don’t really look at him as some object but rather someone that truly makes me laugh every single time we hangout and going from my “fantasy” world to my “reality” had me concerned about ruining our friendship.

By the time last Friday rolled around, it was starting to sink in that I’m seeing someone that I haven’t seen in a few years and I wasn’t sure how I was going to act. My reality was starting to override my fantasy. I was definitely over thinking things. This could turn out to be one of the greatest days of my life. Why was I going to let a few worrisome thoughts?

I left work on Friday early and was walking to the subway when I felt my phone vibrate. I looked at the screen and there his name was…Mr. D.!!!! I hadn’t text messaged or spoken to him in a year and a half. I pulled off the busy sidewalk and read the message. It was him telling me that it was his birthday. He was literally fishing for me to respond in order to get me back into his life. I know him very well and his games. However, I chose not to play anymore. I decided that awhile ago with him. I put the phone back in bag, walked down into the subway station and took a spin class hoping that it would exhaust me of all my busy thoughts that were spinning around in my head.

Saturday morning and I had to get up early to catch a train that would get me to Fire Island by noon in order to maximize my time. When I got there, my friend wasn’t there to pick me up like he said he would. Finally, after waiting for fifteen minutes, he said he over slept. I know that if you over slept and its past noon on Fire Island that means you didn’t go to bed from the night before.
Sure enough, the minute I saw him, he looked like hell. He hugged me, apologized for making me wait and began to show me the house. He kept saying to me, “Wow. It’s really nice to see you. You look good.” Whew. I was starting to think that I was going to be having a VERY nice day.

As he was showing me the house and introducing me to his housemates he told me the reason he overslept. He told me that he accidentally slept with one of his housemates already and it was only day one since he got to Fire Island. Thankfully I was wearing sunglasses for I knew that if he could see my eyes, he might see the slight disappointment that I was feeling. However, I put on the performance of a lifetime. I laughed, made a witty comment and quickly changed the subject. I had to get this derailed train back on track.

The housemates were so sweet and inviting toward me. I couldn’t have asked for a nice bunch of fellas to spend the day with. We drank and ate by the pool, laughed and then all decided to walk along the beach. As my friend and I walked along the beach alone for a bit. He began to tell me about the reasons why his last relationship had ended. He said that he cheated, that his next relationship should be an “open” relationship. It was there that I truly realized that my friend didn’t know me at all. He was saying everything that I’m not looking for. After the walk, it was time to get ready for a party that was just a few houses away. I wasn’t properly packed for a party but thankfully on Fire Island, all you need is shorts, sunglasses and a smile.

We got to the party, my friend was paying close attention to me and it was like the party where all the giants decided to hangout. Everyone was so tall, so good looking and don’t get me wrong, I loved what I was looking at. However, the reality was, I didn’t look like these guys. Suddenly, I felt like I was back in junior high where I was the odd man out. However, I was an adult now and I wasn’t going to let a bunch of giants make me feel small. However, the situation was different because my friend and I started to make out (fantasy was becoming a reality) and then this man who was literally six feet seven inches came into the party and it was like the record stopped. Everyone wanted a to be near him and it turns out he was near me. I made the clever comment of asking him, “How’s the air up there?” He laughed and said to me, “I’m staying in your house tonight.” Turns out this giant was friend of another housemate in the house and brought him in from the city.

My friend, (who is also super tall), me in the middle and the giant on the other side trying to dance at a packed party. It was as if both of them picked me up off the ground and moved me to the side because they instantly had a connection. It was more the, “I had too much vodka connection” but hey…a connection is a connection. I had to leave my fantasy world and get back to reality. The reality being that this wasn’t going to be the best day of my life but rather my wake-up call to send me back.

Once again, I put on a smiling face and you wouldn’t even know that I felt slightly cast aside. I didn’t let that stop me though. In my vodka haze, I found a nice gentleman to talk to and before I knew it, I was being tapped on my shoulder that it was time to leave and head back to the house.

The day was slipping quickly between my fingers and I had to start thinking about which ferry I was going to take in order to get back to Manhattan. As I was looking up the ferry schedule, that is when both giants told me that they want me to stay the night. I agreed. Made a drink and got ready for the tea dance.

At tea, I saw familiar faces from the city and did my best to act like nothing was bothering me. I did a great job not dealing with my reality because here I was, on a beach that I love very much surrounded by nice people. These were champagne problems and I decided to snap out of it. Who knows where the night could take me.

The night took me to more drinking, more dancing and more realizing that this fantasy of mine wasn’t going to become a reality. It was now getting late into the night and I realized that both my friend and the other giant went off to my friends’ room. So, there I was lying on a couch, in a house I didn’t really know and did my best not to let any emotions override me and forced myself to fall asleep. I also put together that my friend that I was visiting had slept with two different housemates in less than forty-eight hours. Before I tried to force myself to sleep, I knew that my fantasy of my friend was forever ruined.

I woke up on Sunday morning so early that I wasn’t even sure I had actually slept. I just knew that I didn’t want to face my reality. I was done. Knowing that in a few hours, I would be seeing everyone emerge from their rooms, giving a play by play of their evening while sipping on coffee. I couldn’t do it. I didn’t want to do it and I didn’t deserve to be put through that.

So, I grabbed my bag that only had a pair of underwear, sunscreen and my Wonder Woman beach towel and quietly snuck out of the house and waited patiently at the dock for the ferry to come and take me back to the city. When the ferry finally came, I had no idea when the train would be arriving to take me back to the city. When I got on dry land, I asked a stranger when the next train would be coming. He told me that it wouldn’t be coming for another hour and a half!!! That means I would be waiting on a train platform for all that time. No cell phone (my phone had died), no book (I finished the book I was reading on the way out to the island) and no friend to bitch about all that had transpired in less than twenty-four hours.

As luck would have it, the guy I asked about the train schedule, suggested we get a few other guys and share an Uber. Which is exactly what we did. We all took an Uber back to the city and while the ride was odd (just a bunch of strangers in a car, driving back to the city). I didn’t even bother looking at the time at all until my phone was charged once I got back home. Turns out, I was home by 10:30 a.m. which means I must’ve gotten up around 7 a.m. to get back around that time.

It wasn’t till afternoon that my friend contacted me and asked why I left without saying goodbye. I deflected, thanked him for having me out and how nice his friends were. The rest of the day, I starred at my television while it was on but never really processing what I was watching. I was tired, and I was accepting my reality.

Our reality can be ugly at times. Getting old, bills, break-ups, breakdowns, etc.

Then there are times when the world we live in can seem like a fantasy. Growing old with someone, paying off your debt, marriage, kids, etc.

Sometimes our fantasies are just that…fantasies. They can cheer us up when the world seems dark. They can provide a sense of hope when you feel like giving up. However, we must never forget that when our reality bites that there will come a day when we will live out all of our fantasies.

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