Featuring content from the hottest gay and gay-friendly spots in New York, each (free!) issue of Get Out! highlights the bars, nightclubs, restaurants, spas and other businesses throughout NYC’s metropolitan area that the city’s gay population is interested in.
BY IAN-MICHAEL BERGERON @ianmichaelinwonderland PART TWO THE NON-DATE Flash forward: one year later. One night, I decided to Facebook stalk C. I gathered that he was still single, was a chef at a new restaurant and moved to Hell’s Kitchen. I thought about our date, how I never called him afterward or gave him any explanation. I wondered if he wanted closure; I wondered if I wanted closure. So I sent him a message that we should get a drink at Vodka Soda. “Sounds suspiciously like a date,” he responded, trying to figure out if I was still dating AJ—which I was. “A non-date,” I responded. He said yes, and I, per usual, showed up late. I drank slowly, building up my confidence to tell him what a total asshole I’d been, while he drank quickly, probably trying to figure out why the fuck I’d asked him out. After I was good and tipsy, and he was good and drunk, I weaseled my way into the conversation. “I’m sorry, by the way—that I never called you after our date.” “Yeah.” He got quiet, even put his half-empty glass down on the bar. “I wanted to explain that.” “I felt so shitty after that,” C shrugged. “I thought we had a really good time. Then you completely disappeared.” “I know. But that had nothing to do with you—I’d already met my boyfriend AJ when we had our date. I didn’t want to cancel our date, especially because AJ was being standoffish—and then he text me that he wanted me to come meet him. And that’s why I left so abruptly. And then we started officially dating, exclusively, so I… Well, I never called you back. And I felt shitty about it, so I never explained it to you. But that’s not fair, and I don’t want you to think it was you.” “’It’s not you, it’s me,’” he sighed, picking up the drink again. “I did have a good time on our date.” “So, if you weren’t seeing AJ… would you have gone out with me again?” The $4 drinks hit me harder than I thought they would, and without thinking I said “Absolutely.” It was then that I realized I asked him out to a bar a few blocks away from his apartment, and that I was definitely leading him on. “Are you and AJ open?” “No,” I said firmly. “That’s never really been my style.” He shrugged again. “Yeah, me neither honestly.” He paid our tab, which I only allowed because the drinks were $4, and we walked into the brisk winter night. “Are you sure you don’t want to come over?” he asked. For a moment, standing there, a year into my relationship with AJ… I thought about it. I felt a spark between us. I could get away with it. Or I could put out the flame with my own hand. “I’m sure,” I said, finally. Then, I added, “I want us to be friends.” “I want that, too,” he smiled. And the fire burned on. PHOTO BY STEVE BRENNAN
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