I have been friends with this guy for a few years. We have been going out and getting drunk lately. I feel like we are getting closer but we never kissed or did anything sexual. But I think I want to. And I don’t know what to do? I have been having these feelings about him. When I’m not with him, I miss him. Has this happened to you? What should I do?
—Falling For My Friend
Dear Falling For My Friend,
When two souls connect, they intersect on the corner of good and plenty. In the land after gods and monsters, a milieu of pimps and prostitutes, I’m susceptible to good and evil. We have a physical connection as palpable as a politician on the payroll. How can two people be so in-sync while inebriated, yet so disconnected in various states of sobriety?
Neo and I met up Friday night after work for a happy hour at Gym bar. Cheap drinks combined with buy-one-get-one-free chips made this hour happier. We clowned around downtown until we decided to go dancing, which had us walking from Chelsea to Hell’s Kitchen. It seemed like a good idea at the time. We made it seven blocks, leading us to Secrets instead.
Just on the way, there was a man with a dog, who pushed me aside. Neo went ballistic.
“Apologize to him,” he said. “Don’t ever disrespect my friend. How would you like if I did that to you”
Never a damsel in distressed. It felt good, to have someone defend you. Although he was belligerent, I melted. Unfortunately, that was one of two altercations that occurred that night. Good deeds come in pairs like shoes.
While at Secrets, Neo found himself in yet another debacle. This time with a promoter friend, Sean. Before I could avoid the drama, I was drawn in.
“Honey, you have to pay to get in because you didn’t call me beforehand,” he said. I needed to make a reservation upon entry like it was a five-star restaurant.
Neo and Sean started to get rilled up and security approached us, threatening to remove Neo from the club.
“Don’t talk to us like that. I’m not interested in coming to your club,” Neo said. “Forget this gay shit. We can settle this like men.” I pulled Neo off security and we walked down the street, laughing while his arm was around me.
We took a taxi to the Bronx to relax and freshen up at his place. It was cluttered but cozy.
From The Bronx to Brooklyn, in a New York minute, partly because we were in a New York taxi. We arrived at Langston’s where the line was around the corner. My red wine lacquered lips, puckered up while face to face on the dance floor like a clown.
Buzzed off of Trade Joe’s red wine and Long Islands, I spent half the night in a horizontal position, losing myself to dance.
We never danced in the dark while ensconced in the moonlight. A sexy silhouette could soothe my soliloquy. However, our souls never connected between the sheets, just in the streets after a couple of beats.
A lack of a sexual relationship spawned an argumentative one. If only we could release the tension that was embedded so deep. We go out, get drunk, and walk the streets at night holding hands, yet ending up alone in our respective homes. Could it be that we establish the line too soon, and even blurred lines are still finely drawn between us?
I laid on his lap in his cluttered apartment, sipping a glass of wine on the living room floor. And I never felt more comfortable.
I was afraid to tell hi, that I was falling for him, I was frozen in the fantasy. It was like I was trapped in the grey area. Not knowing where would stood, always craving more and never satisfied.
We met a week later after work on a Friday, which became a weekly ritual. At Die
Declaring undying love in a drunken stupor was not a confession make. Yet I said those things while blitzed in a bathroom stall after downing a bottle Ciroc with Neo. It was a good idea at the time. Could the road to gay marriage be paved through intense intoxication?
Searching for truth in a bottle of vodka was like searching for seating on a crowded subway. Yet some would argue that alcohol was the ultimate truth serum. If the truth set you free, then alcohol was the gateway to freedom. This message in a bottle was individually sized like cigarettes.
But, I preferred my freedom with a chaser, to chase away my demons. Declarations of love to a friend put both of us in a precarious position. Coping through alcohol to get through the hours, schedules, and obligations made it worst. It brought more questions than answers. Questions like do I really love him? Or where do we go from here?
We argued that night culminating to a slap that could be heard from East Harlem to the West Village. I’m not sure who slap who and why because I blacked out.
He held my phone hostage for a week.
During that time, he engaged in an instant relationship with some stranger he met when we were fighting. The relationship had the shelf life of seafood. He blamed me for their break up.
I considered us together — dining and dancing downtown — long walks at night while holding hands. I could have loved him, moved in and raised a family. But life didn’t work that way. I was much too cynical to think we were headed for City Hall.
Fairy tales weren’t happening in the Financial District.
It felt empty in the empire city. My search for love sacrificed a friendship.