Casualties

Bitter Sweet Symphony by The Verve is one of my favorite songs. “’Cause it’s a bitter sweet symphony this life” is the lyrical line that draws me in every time I hear the song. Back in 1999, the sixth grade or so, I had no clue that line was a lesson I would come to process as a continuing life lesson.  I had no idea then that on my twenty-fourth birthday I would get the lyrics tattooed on my left forearm under a trumpet – my musical weapon and tool – or that I would have to apply this lesson to people I considered quality friends.

Something happens when you enter a serious relationship, particularly with friends within your circle. There’s the process of getting friends warmed up to the new boyfriend – or girlfriend – the amount of time passing in which people in your life realize this new person is going to stick around, and the overall blending of two lives into one.  Most are happy for their friends when love is found, but there are also darker, more sinister feelings felt by some. If you’re lucky you will never encounter this problem, and I use the word “lucky” because the death of a friendship is sad and unfortunate.

If someone isn’t genuinely happy for you and your relationship, there is no reason why that poisonous energy should stick around. People that are jealous and unhappy within their relationship do not have the right to take out their internal struggle on those that have supported them through the ups and downs of their turbulent relationship. S and I are only twenty-eight years old, and have only had to lose one friend over similar nonsense.  Despite the individual’s lies and blatant cries for attention, we and most of our mutual friends – once shared with the ex-friend – remain close and stronger than ever.

I mention our ages because we are only at the rear end of our twenties, and a lot of bullshit goes down with friendships during that time. When you’re younger, the number of friends you have is the most important thing in the world, and as you mature you realize it’s not about the quantity of friends, but the handful of quality friends that strengthen your foundation.   Do people actually mature over time? Or is it similar to when people tell you that all the drama ends after high school… I just do my best to keep the good ones around.

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Workout for What?

When one is single, working out and staying in shape is important for the wrong reasons. Most will say that it’s for their health and wellness, and mask the fact that they’re sweating it out to better their chances of hooking up come time to play the field.  I recognize that there are people who take their health and fitness seriously, but during the partying years?..  Let’s be real, everyone has ass on the mind.  If not for health and wellness, does the reason for exercise change when you land that special someone?

Something happens when you become one with another; at least it did for me. Before S, I was a heavier guy, and legitimately began working out and dieting to add years to my life. Now that I’m married, I find myself working harder than I had before on my health and overall fitness.  My reason for working out, in addition to general health, is to maintain my attractiveness for my husband. I get off knowing that I look good, and even more so when I know it’s for him and our relationship. Hey now, I work out for me too! I love working out in the morning, and gain so much energy going into my day. I even workout on weekends to keep my energy on the up and up.

I’ve come a long way from refusing to run in gym class back in high school, to doing cardio, yoga, and strength training five to six times a week. S has gone through his own fitness transformation as well, but doesn’t possess the cocky confidence that I do. Even when I was a bigger guy – pushing three hundred pounds – I could work with what I had and still pursued guys without hesitation.  I love when I catch guys eyeing my husband, and how he doesn’t even notice. What I love more is when other, thirsty, guys realize what they have to get through before they can get to S.

I find it entertaining that even after you’ve entered a serious relationship, you still have to maintain what you had once worked so hard to obtain, to keep your prize. By no means am I saying that you need to be in shape to keep a partner. We share numerous cheat days and battle the scale together now – after falling off our low carb wagon here and there – and gain great pleasure when we notice changes in each other physically.  Earlier I said that working out, as a single partier type, was done for the wrong reasons. When it comes down to it, maybe working out (then) for the approval and validation of others is just practice… We say we do it for ourselves, to make ourselves feel better, but eventually all that nonsense, worry, and stress turns into the very elixir that provides us the power to keep a comfortable grip on what we’ve achieved.

These Sexhiled Walls

It’s my birthday weekend and S has come to Bloomington for the occasion. After dinner at La Charreada – a glorious Mexican restaurant with delicious fish bowl margaritas – I and a small group of friends enjoyed some drinks back at my apartment.  As the night started to wind down, my roommate pulls me aside and explains that he would be staying the night at a friend’s place because he didn’t want to hear any late night noises.  By that point in the night I had already consumed enough alcohol to not give a shit about where he was going to sleep that night, or why, so I let the exchange slide not fully processing what had just occurred.  At the time I lived with a female and a male, both of whom slept together if the other wasn’t tangling sheets with some other warm body, and the sounds that came from that room definitely never went unnoticed.

From the start of our lease, I was aware my male roommate had never lived with a gay guy before,  so who knows what the sounds coming from my room did to his masculinity the one time a week my boyfriend was in town.  I never brought up what was said to me that night, and continued to live as an out gay man; never pressing my sexuality onto any individual. In the past I had lived with straight couples, and never thought once that I should tell my roommates “hey, I’m going to go so I don’t hear you having sex.” My personality is one that doesn’t regard how a person feels, especially if I sense the feeling could be a result of common ignorance.

A couple months had passed since my birthday, and my roommates were now an item.  He asked me one day if I could be absent for a night so he could do something special for her birthday. I got the hint, respected his wishes, and told him to clean anything their bare asses touched.  When he first asked I was a little resistant because I understood that his goal was to fuck like a rabbit without having to worry about who was in the next room. I returned home at the end of the weekend to find his bed mattress in the middle of the living room floor, complete with balloons, and empty champagne bottles.  Seeing the mattress in the living room was enough for me to know what took place while I was away, but I sat on the couch and joined the end of the birthday celebration anyway.

Three weeks had gone by and the mattress was still in the living room.  I really didn’t mind where they slept, but coming home to condom packets sitting in the living room, or receiving text messages asking “when are you gonna be home tonight” was enough to make the blood boil.  Reaching a breaking point, I eventually said something and we discussed the situation.  Knowing how he felt about “gay things,” I had to put him in my shoes; the gay being sexhiled by his straight, coupled roommates. “If S and I were sitting on a mattress in this living room with condoms sitting out, you would have a problem with it; knowing we had just fucked in your living room.” This was enough to get my point across.

Any opportunity to enlighten an unfamiliar – with my version of what it is to be a gay male in today’s world – is welcomed. Very rarely do you hear gay men shunning straight sex, or running away from it; the gays just want everyone to get some ass on a regular basis so people can be happy and leave us alone.  At the end of the day we are all human. We live, we make mistakes, we learn, and we have sex.

And for the record, S and I were never as loud as my roommates. If the future-sex-love-sounds of two humans in hot, stoned, heat can be heard through a fully turned up iPod, and through a wall… Yep, you win.