September 2007


It was 6pm when I went to see off my straight friend at port authority. I have known him for five years now and we worked together in my first job.  It was fun catching up on the old times etc., but once he was gone, instead of taking my bus back to Boston, i gave into the queer calling inside me.. I went ahead and reserved the ticket for 3pm bus and decided to hang out in new york.

I visit new york once in a while and I don’t actually live there, and every time I visit there is always something new to do and new people to meet. I wonder what people living in new york would have to say about this constant variety. Do they ever feel they have done it all? Do they want to settle for something when they can actually do different things?

Anyways, I called an old friend whom I met a few sholays ago. Old friend.. well not really. We have known each other for less than an year now, but in queer circle meeting the same guy for more than a couple of times brings out a different vibe. Three times is a charm,  certainly do its charm here.. Anyways, he was busy with someone and was surprised to hear that.. after all it is a saturday night. We planned to meet for dinner later that night.

While I waited, I decided to check out the book stores. The closest big one was borders and I do love their cinnamon latte.  Took a large one, picked up a few books and took the corner seat on the second floor facing Hotel Pennsylvania. The book was an easy read,  and I enjoyed flipping the pages. However I couldn’t stop but wonder, why hadn’t I thought of finding a geek gay guy in a book store. Would my radar still work in here? Of course there is a whole section on sexuality, but I hardly see anyone picking up books there, may be next time I should pick one of those and hang around that section..

“Excuse me, could you keep a watch for my books?”, she said and I looked up. I was aware she brought a pile of books and placed them next to me. “Sure”, I smiled. I glanced at her pile and saw she had a book on Boston tourism glaring at me. The other books din’t seem to interest me that much. Anyways she was back after a few minutes with a cup of coffee. “Thank you”, we smiled at each other and were engrossed in our reading.

I realized I was sitting next to ‘arts’ section, when an old couple called in for customer help. They were having tough time finding a book on Beethoven. I looked up involuntarily in the direction of the store guide, intrigued at the utterance of the name Beethoven, but then I kept looking in his direction as he walked down the aisle. An unmistakable wavering walk, with both hands swinging in the same direction as he approached. He was whining that books aren’t kept very organized and it is tough to find. As if he knew I was staring at him, he came towards me. I looked up towards the towering figure, he must be in his early twenties. He stretched his hand forward, twisting it and pointing his finger at the pile of books next to me left by someone before and said, “Are you still reading them?”

“No”, I said handing him the pile and he gave me that queeny look as if I was just lazing around without the remotest intention of buying any book. Well, he was right about that, I had no intention of buying a book today and I was there to pass time and enjoy having my coffee while I catchup with some pending reading. He walked away the way he came, wavering, holding the pile of books like a tray in his left hand.

“Can we do this?”, she asked.

“Of course, he is just being a little rude” and bitchy I thought  to myself.

“I saw you sitting here with the books so I got some myself. I am a tourist here”.

“I noticed. where are you from?”

“Beirut. I thought you were from here, but you don’t sound american.”

“I am from India”, and of course my accent gave it away.

“Nice. Btw Beirut is a nice place you know. Unlike how they show it on the news here”

“Really?”

…. and so it started. We soon finished our coffees talking about US, Beirut, India and had not flipped any pages in a while. That probably was the moment, if were straight I should have offered to buy another cup of coffee.

But instead, I waited and she waited. And we looked back at our unturned pages. The phone rang, as if my friend knew, he called me and said he was coming by the book store. And after a few more awkward moments with occasional glances at each other and smiles, she said “I am going to Boston next weekend, do you know of any places around?”.

“Not a lot, but I know a few places you could visit. I live in boston myself and am a tourist here today”. There was a glow in her face and she showed me the book on boston to me.

“I noticed”. I said.

As we talked about a few places around Boston, I couldn’t help but notice her curly hair, tanned features and the beautiful smile.  And thought to myself, ‘God, wish she was a guy?’

“Here you are”, my friend had made his way through. “What are you doing, hiding here?”. He sat next to me, giving that friendly hug and we were catching up as if we were long lost buddies.

I felt that she was packing up to  move on. She turned around and I looked up at her. She said “It was nice meeting you”. I shook her hand, “It was nice meeting you too.” And we  exchanged one long smile and I let her pass out of sight before looking at my friend.

“What was all that about?” – My friend asked.

“Never mind.” I smiled.

Having sat there for a while watching the ship disappear, it was the caffeine call that finally led my way towards the city. While wandering through the financial district and downtown, and I started craving for apple flitter with a grande cappuccino. So made my way through to the star bucks, the place we first met at the corner of the boston commons.

Took the apple flitter to go and sipping the cappuccino, i walked across commons towards public gardens. The warmth of the morning sun had a soothing feeling and i settled for a bench next to the japanese lantern on the rock near the lake.

The juliet and juliet, the infamous lesbian swans of boston were being fed by kids along with pigeons and  ducks. The bench across the pond, where we sat that night holding hands together was now occupied by three men in their late forties, quite engrossed in a discussion.. wonder what..

It was getting quite busy with kids running around and parents catching up with them,  elderly couple enjoying the morning stroll and an occasional jogger in tights circling the track. As I looked around, I saw a squirrel standing on his two legs, staring at me. After the moments pleasure of seeing it, it occurred to me that it is the apple flitter that it was interested in. I threw a bite towards him. He immediately jumped for it, sniffed it and walked away from it, searching for his type of food.

How was it so sure what it wanted to have? It all took less than a few seconds and I was still staring at that left behind bite. It obviously will get picked up by some one else either a duck or a crow of eventually by ants.

The questioning, started when a close friend of mine suddenly called him my boy friend. I wanted to still call him a date, but my argument didn’t stand up to the facts that we have been seeing each other exclusively since we met about four months ago.  He rested his  case by saying -‘ for the rest of the word that is being boy friend’. What is freaking me out about this whole concept of turning a date into a boy friend. Am I having the famous ‘commitment issues’ here?

I had always thought, ‘commitment issue’ was an easy way of getting out of a complex situation without having to explain the need for break up. That seemed to do the trick in the past, when I had no intention of continuing with a certain someone. But this is the guy whom I like and who stood by me when I needed someone. Of course there are differences and the lessons from the veterans in relationships resound profoundly – ‘no one is perfect, relationships are hard’.

Just then, with half the flitter still in my hand, I watched an european tourist with a back pack occupy the lantern rock. He placed the pack next to him, and was going through his tour guide. I was enjoying the sight of his features under the sun and then he pulled out his cigarette. A quick turn off for me and I turned my face towards the bridge, now watching a dad wearing shorts, blabbering something to his four year old. I for one didn’t care what he was saying and I doubt the kid did either…What mattered to me was he was decently hot for a straight dad in late thirties and that turned me on. Or should the fact that he was a dad matter to me?

It was the fun of cruising, finding and checking the guys I have fallen in love with. I had places to go, enjoy exploring and experiencing. Calling someone my boy friend suddenly seemed to take that all away and bind me down to one place one person. May be this is where open relationships come into picture, but right now that whole idea does not interest me either.

Well, there are times when I feel like being with one guy, but thats just for a certain time and obviously today was not one of those days. Is there anything called emotional hookup like a sexual hookup? Can you hookup with someone when you desire to be with someone emotionally and then part ways when the need is met? I guess not, at least not in the fairly tales.. boy meets boy, boy falls in love, boy and boy live forever..

The forever is what sends a chill.. calling someone a boy friend means there is an implicit assumption that it is going to last forever, and when it is turning otherwise there is an episode of break-up. The pain that causes the one that doesn’t want to break-up and the one that wants to break….

Does happily ever after ever happen? If relationships are hard and they need to be constantly worked and re-worked, why make believe that happily ever after exists. Why don’t the fairy tales just preach living in the moment?

The warmth of summer day was turning into the cold from the east winds. Sitting there, watching that bright sun turn orange, the white clouds taking shades of dark colors, those soundless beautiful white ripples mysteriously rising and transforming into furious waves hitting the shore as hard and fast they can, and there.. at the end of the ocean the skies meeting the earth..

‘no thats just an illusion’, snapped the logic..

Nature’s transformations beautiful and contrasting, were being mercilessly reasoned and ripped, transforming the serene watcher into the turbulent thinker. ‘That white foam always has a sound, you are just not able to hear it, there is no color in the clouds wait till the sun sets down, that orange sun is nothing more than an fire ball and has not changed its color in ages, you are at the mercy of the gravity..

A sudden jolt passed through me. The jolt must have been very strong, and must have startled him. He pulled me closer and tightened his arms around me. A slight sweet moan escaped his lips, and a little later I could hear him regain his breathing rhythm.

It was a few more moments before I could open my heavy eyes…. 7.53 am. Trying not to wake him up, I slipped myself from his grip, which was now lighter. The cold air from the conditioner did not wait to send the chill through my naked body as soon as I got out of the sheets. Before I could take that first step away from the bed, he let another moan escape him.

Around him, nothing seems to go unnoticed. I turned around and I could see that cunning smile forming on his lips. His hand now trying to pull me back into that familiar embrace. I knew, it would be harder to resist once I let myself in.. I leaned, kissed on his check and said ‘It is time..’. With another sweet moan, he let me go.

The summer is almost coming to an end, and another long bitter winter awaits, or may be not with the global warming showing its sign everywhere. Anyways, to make the most of whatever is left, we decided to spend the weekend in province town. Staying at his friends log cabin, close to the ocean.. and above all in a place where there is harmony for the different colors of the queer community, bears to circuit guys, straight, gay, lesbian or trans. I am yet to meet a guy from Boston who has never been to ptown, as they call it. And this was going to be my first time..

Still can’t believe I decided to go. The conversation I had with my best friend a couple of years ago was coming back to me.. The endless argument we had about what makes visiting a certain place special. He felt strongly that places like province town, nayagra,  yellow stone must be visited with special someone. It is not just the place but how you experience it and with whom, he emphasized is what makes the moment special. I argued that he was biased since he prefers to do it that way, doesn’t mean a single guy can’t enjoy it. He did not buy it.

Here I was, having totally given into his side of the argument. But wondering if this was the same person I wanted to share this experience. Am I living the story of Micheal and David, rushing into things, only to find out later that it was never meant to be.

But doesn’t the signs show up from the beginning? Oscillating between professing aloud ‘Oh I love when you do it’ and suppressing ‘Hmm, he does that! Wonder if I can over look that..’. Then there is always — ‘Live in the moment’. And of course I hear my friends saying – ‘Relationships are hard, you have to make them work’. ‘Not everyone is perfect’.

Duh, I know that. ‘Do I want to live a life, just because…..’

It must have been a while, lost in the thoughts under the warm shower. I hadn’t noticed when he got into the shower. He was hugging me planting a kiss on my neck, getting me out of my thoughts. I let my head rest on his shoulder, still feeling the flow of the warm water. He was obviously aware of my thoughts, my spacing out between moments of tender togetherness can not go unnoticed by him. He knew I knew he knew, is it this unspoken communication that makes the relationships work? Saying everything without having to say anything. That song, ‘You say it best, when you say nothing et all’, was playing in my mind..

I slipped out of the shower, he did not stop me. He knew all too well, I would still slip out.

I got our back packs, the snacks and the water. It was a short train ride in the Blue line and then a Ferry from the Boston Long Wharf. Minutes later, we were walking to the train station. As we got closer to the station, our pace increased, there was no point in missing the train in a matter of few seconds, if we could walk faster. We both never discussed it, but there was some kind of unspoken synchronization between us, in little things like this or sometime even on broader aspects like paintings and politics. Of course we don’t agree much on music, and who ever likes the country music like me.

But I am starting to wonder if that synchronization is just because we think alike in many ways. Will I feel the same way about any other person who would think like me? Then how and why is he ‘the one’. And how am I his ‘one’.

We got into the train, we sat close to the doors. There was no point in walking inside since we were to get off in a few minutes. We sat next to each other. He picked up a paper lying next to him, skimming through the pictures and letters. I was watching him, which was unusual, considering any other day we would share the pages of the new papers or just go about our reading separately, sharing glances every once in a while. When there was something go share and sometimes when there wasn’t anything.

It was just a couple of stops from the Bowdoin to Aquarium station. The ferry would leave at 9am. We already had our tickets. Once we were out of subway, the five minute walk on the Long Wharf seemed like a very long walk and I was hoping it was a much longer…

We stood in the queue what wasn’t very long. There were a few couples both straight and queer, some with children. And of course there were tourists. After a few seconds of standing there, I walked out of the queue and stood beside him taking his hand into mine. Looking into his eyes, which were looking back at me.

He stepped forward, gave me a hug which I returned. He moved ahead in the queue and I stood there watching him board the ferry. Waited till it left, he was standing there on the deck, he was going through a similar pain I was going through.

As the ferry left the harbor, I walked back towards the subway. Instead of taking it, I took a left on the old atlantic avenue, took a right at he E. India row, walking towards the wooden pier behind the concrete structure..

To sit there..
Watch the Ferry disapper…

Wage the war of Logic against Love.