December 2008


The angel was still around when we got back in, and the place was still crowded..

I couldn’t help but notice that some feathers from angel’s wing had fallen.. and he seemed a little tired.. and there was an thin layer of dried sweat.. it was very tempting to go and feel him.. and may be pluck a feather or two..

He found some guy he met before and so we were going towards that guy. That guy was very cute.. wore a tight t-shirt that showed off his well built muscles and the v-neck giving an glimpse of the trimmed chest.. he had a nice smile.. and that sexy stubble.. That v-neck guy was with another guy who was relatively quite.. and kept to himself..

I was stealing some looks of ‘v-neck’.. and it seemed like he was returning them.. we were flirting with our eyes.. my fantasy for good looking guys with beard was taking me over….

I knew I wouldn’t be able to make any reasonable conversation with them.. without making my interest obvious.. so I ended up taking the only way out of those two very interesting choices, abandon both of them and look around..

1am.. It is that time of the night where some people indulge in hunting..

I relaxed myself by putting my back to the bar resting my elbows on the bar table where they serve drinks. After 1am.. not many people come to take drinks and it is a cool place to hangout..

I started wandering around the room with my eyes.. At the left corner of the dance floor Drag Queen was leaning towards the DJ… it was kind of dark in there.. the bright TV screen above grabbed by attention..

It was displaying messages sent to some number via mobiles…

User 819> Ron needs it badly
User 820> Can you please play something of P!nk?
User 821> The guy in the straw hat is very sexy..
……

After a quick scan.. I wandered my sight towards the guys on the dance floor and like always that guy in white shoes, skin tight jeans, funky shirt and his ears pierced was in the front.. dancing and looking around the room to see who was watching him.. These days I almost look for him as soon as I enter, as if he is part of club cafe..

The new waiter at club cafe.. the tall one who goes around with a tray of glasses.. was now performing an sleezy number on a pole in the right corner of the dance floor.. There was drunk guy trying to touch his arse, while the waiter was trying to avoid it..

Some guys and girls sitting in the chairs cheering them up…

There was a bunch next to them.. who were just standing and involved in a very serious conversation…. laughing every now and then..

Next.. one guy in late fourties.. short.. and chinese.. looking at no one in particular.. and everyone..

Then that tall guy with a bag hanging around his shoulder, he is another guy I have seen so many time and he is always with that bag even outside the club..

The black guy and his white friend.. the guys who I have noticed together since the time I entered.. the white one seemed to follow the black one.. all around.. and i could not tell if the black guy cared so much… what struck was that the white guy had followed the black one to the rest room and there was some kind of a murmur…

Then a guy in a black athletic jacket, folded hands.. no drinks..

My wandering stopped.

He was looking at me and I hadn’t realized that I was staring at him and I had a smile on my face.. He was still looking at me.. I moved my eyes away from him..

After giving a decent gap of two seconds, moved them back in his direction..

He was still looking in my direction.. he wasn’t smiling.. it was just a stare.. a cold stare…

I made a quick turn to see if i could indulge myself with the company that I already had.. The v-neck was looking at me.. he had that smile.. “i know what you are upto” kinds.. and he looked in the direction of the guy i was looking.. Damn! he knew i was looking at him. I gave him an “Oh well!” smile… We were communicating with out words.. and it did not feel strange..

I turned around to take another quick glance at the black jacket guy..

He was standing next to me on my left.. I looked at him with slightly enlarged eyes.. and the next moment when I regained myself.. I said “Hi”.. or probably i just bowed my head..

No reaction.. he was staring into my eyes.. He was looking much hotter from near.. a well exercised body, clean shaven face.. soft blond hair.. the jacket fit him so well…… just like a mannequin… I was starting to blush a little..

“Hi”.. he said. it was so sudden and quick that i would have missed it if I wasn’t staring back at him.

“Aryan”.. I extended my hand.

“Tom”.. he returned…

“Having fun?” I asked

“Ah”.. he shrugged… Was he or was he not? Well. may be he wasn’t. after a few more seconds of blank stare I introduced him to the guys on my Right..

“These are my friends”.. I said. All of whom I had met a few hours ago…

He moved a little towards them.. and said “Tom” to them.. looking at the extreme right guy.. That guy said “Alex”.. he turned to v-neck.. “Alex” and then he turned towards Him.

He did not say the name. black-jacket waited..for a couple of seconds and was getting impatient… “What is your name?”. he demanded.

“Why do you want to know?”  was His response and after a long pause said.. “What is the point in knowing my name? This will be last time we will see each other..”

It was true, if he went back to India this will be the last time.. but there was certain coldness and certainty in that tone that startled me..

Is he always this blunt? I remembered the way he responded to Willy.. when asked about “type”.

He did not tell his name.. and black-jacket wasn’t pressing it any further..

black-jacket moved back and stood in front of me. And we were back to blank stares…he was starting to annoy me…but his hot fit body was very attractive.. even though he did not have a beard…

why today? May be I could have taken his number and sent him away or I could have probably just excused myself to another room.. but i didn’t.

I was clearly interested in three people to different degrees at the same time.. What a mess!

“Do you wanna dance?” I asked to cut through the awkwardness..

He moved backward, away from the bar.. signing me to move towards him…so I guess that was an “Yes”.

I moved closer to him, away from Him.. Them..

DJ was playing… “I .. just a little bossy… ” or something like that.. I didn’t care much for the music anyway.. But black-jacket was mouthing them.. and he was pretty good in his steps. I was moving along, making random movements..

at some point.. he held my hand.. lifted it up..  gave me a slight push to and turned me around.. and as soon as i turned back towards him.. he started to turn around.. and when he came around to face me.. i lost my balance and pulled him down…

he held me and pulled me back from falling.. that was the first time i saw him show some expression.. he was smiling.. doesn’t matter if that was the expense of an clumsy feet..

i knew that move.. and this time with prior notice.. it was more elegant.. and as if i was to be rewarded he hugged me..

he body was still moving to the music… mine was moving along with his rhythm.. not necessarily in tune with the music playing in the background..

we swayed anyway….

we were of same height… and i could feel my lips trembling with tension.. i couldn’t see his.. and i did not want to.. i was exploring his greenish eyes..

he kissed.. and instantly pulled back his head..

“Sorry”.. he said. still holding me..

“What!”.. I asked…. distancing myself a little from torso and tightening the hold a little..

He shook his head side ways..

After a couple of moments, he looked back into my eyes.. and kissed again.. and this time it was longer.. and his tongue was trying to break in.. and it did not face any resistance from mine.. it was welcomed with a wet tongue..

He did it again.. He pulled back and said “Sorry!”..

I waited… and it repeated again.. and this time when he started pulling out.. i pulled him back in. We weren’t dancing anymore… our hands were feeling each other and the tounges exploring the deepest held secrets..

When we finally parted…. I waited..  He did not say sorry this time.

“Why did you say sorry earlier?” I asked.

“Because I kissed you….” he replied.

“It was good”.. I said. and we kissed again. It didn’t matter that I did not know anything about him.. He was a good kisser. He was mumbling in between the kisses something to the effect that “you are a good kisser”.. “you kiss good”.. “you are beautiful”… and I was shutting him up with a kiss… and sometimes mumbling the same words back at him..

“Do you live in boston?” he asked.. a brand new sentence.. “No”.. I said and it struck me. I was the prey! He hunted me down… and I let him.

I realized I was still in Club Cafe.. It was too late now.. It did not matter if I was being watched….

We kissed again.. and again.. till the lights went on…

We walked towards our company.. I noticed that v-neck was giving his cell number to another cute guy..

The v-neck gave me that “you are mischievous” look.  I returned it with “you too”…

I looked at Him, he gave an very casual indifferent smile…

The club closed…

We said good bye to v-neck and his friend..

“About tomorrow.. Salem.. I will call you…”, he said before taking the cab..

black-jacket and I walked towards my car…

Will he call me? does this change our plans?  of Salem… Photographing Boston skyline… May be I should have not kissed…

Wait.. why am I even thinking about Him and what he thinks about me? Why am I not thinking about the black-jacket….

Was that a wrong turn?

And I was still going the wrong way.. I have to turn around.. at some point…

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I looked at the clock.. the two dots were blinking…. but the digits remained the same…. The station was still playing stuff from the Valley.. it has been only few minutes since i left him at the bus stop.. but it seemed very distant in time..

there was something cold and permanent about the way we said good bye.. a simple hand shake with only a momentary lock of eyes….. no hugs.. no exchange of smiles…. no turning around for that last look as I walked out of the exit….

It did not feel right.. By now, I was supposed to see some sign of inter state 89.. I noticed the signs, several of them.. one every sixth of a mile.. while I was going up to white river junction..

He was going to catch a Bus from there…. The bus that we missed earlier that afternoon and the bus we have been trying to catch up with, the bus which was supposed to be at white river by 5pm.  It was 6pm when we reached the junction, the bus was delayed just like our car….

May be I should have stayed back till the bus arrived.. May be not..

It was easier to leave the place while he was still there.. If not, I probably would have just sat there.. looking at the invisible impression that he would have made only visible in the space of my mind..

I hate saying good-byes…

May be the sign boards are only in one direction.. but that doesn’t make sense, nothing makes sense anymore..

There was no sign in the next minute or two.. or five….

I do not have GPS.. everyone has it these days.. I wish I did.. It has become like a mobile.. people are walking with GPS these days… may be I will just wait for GPS to be integrated into phone.. Google Phone probably has it.. What am I thinking… Why am I even thinking of GPS….. One of the things I am proud of is my driving is my sense of direction, I always get out of the unknown places after exploring them by accident..

Right now.. I had no sense.. whatsoever.. and that included the sense of direction..

I was so occupied by him or the lack of him….

i just wanted to be on the road..

just drive…without thinking..

after few miles and several minutes, i saw Christmas lights through the thick of the leafless trees..  I was certain now..I am going in the wrong direction.. If we had come this way.. i would have remembered..

I would have remembered the twinkle of his eyes from the sight of decorated lights…

I shared a few moments like this in the past few days with him.. the first time I observed that was when he first looked at the Boston skyline from the Mass Ave Bridge….. We were on our way to Club Cafe from Cambridge…

We were still yapping in that front bar, when Willy(william) and Andy(anand) decided it was time to go.  They were going to campaign for Obama the next day in New Hamshire..

“Do you want to come with me for a drive to drop them?” I asked Him.. and quickly added “I am coming back here after..” as if to clarify that I was not interested in taking him to my place.. It was only a casual request…

He took the seat next to me in the car.. We were driving down the New Bury street.. when Andy asked about our Weekend plans.

I had nothing planned….

He was planning on going to Salem…

“Salem! isn’t that where they executed witches?” I remembered reading about it in travel book.. 1000 places you must visit in US.  It had secured an place in my list of places to visit, but I wasn’t very particular about going there this year. But if he is going, why not…

“Yes, do you want to go?” he asked me.

And the plan was made. I broke the obvious rule.. “Never meet a guy two days in a row”.

They were now talking about the clubs in Boston and as if in a morbid way, the conversation turns into comparison..  They were comparing the clubs in Boston with those in New York.. And New York is decidedly more fun.. and who ever says otherwise is kind of looked as uncool.

The club conversation now took its logical turn.. what is your favorite club..

His was Stone Wall Inn.. I had never been there..though I had passed it several times from outside.. I have gone to Monster (Big B.. crossed my mind) which is right across from Stone Wall Inn.. and at the very instance, we were passing by Paradise in Cambridge..

“Thats my bar around here”, I said..

Willy let out a sigh! I think I heard Andy say “it is sleezy”.. and the Willy added.. “oh.. the older men”.. and conveniently added .. “Guy likes older men.”

Yes, It is sleezy.. I was thinking, but it is also true that crowd in Paradise is more diverse and friendlier.. And as far as my liking towards older men.. “Really?”

I probably did say I liked older men to Willy while playing that club game “who is your type?”.  I am amazed at how people can define their type, my type can’t be expressed completely in terms of physical attributes.. May be I was pointing at people who looked like Paul.. older than me.. confident demeanor.. that slight beard…

(Are older men my Type? or was I looking for Paul in other men…)

I looked at him.. He is nothing like Paul in his looks.. He is twenty something.. Has boyish looks.. not really the hunky-dorky-next-door types.. but more of an homely-innocent boyish looks with a pinch of subtle wickedness..

He is not my type….

“What is your type?” Willy was asking him that..

“I don’t really have a type”.. he said..

“What do you mean? what kind of guys do you date?”.. Willy wasn’t going to let it go. He can be very persistent..

“I don’t date”. It was clearly an well rehearsed response.. He was pretty sincere and he meant it. There was no emotion in it.. It came out as a matter of fact. That put Willy to silence for some time..

It was Andy’s turn, he asked him about his job.. He was working for an insurance company and was on an assignment for an year in US. He had spent the good part of it traveling and he had three more months before he was returning to India.

“Are you planning to come back?” Willy asked..

“No…..I guess…… I don’t know……… may be I will come later for another assignment.. I don’t know…”.. he was spacing out..

Did he want to come back and his Job wouldn’t let him? or if there was something else he wasn’t sure about. May be he has a boy friend in India. May be thats why he doesn’t date.. may be thats why he doesn’t want to come back.. I was making up some theories of my own..

We dropped Willy first and after a few blocks.. Andy.. and took the turn back to Club cafe.. and I poped it out….

“What did you mean.. when you said you don’t date?”..

He looked towards me.. “It is a long story…..”

I waited for a few minutes.. but he did offer anything..

“Tell me.. ” I pushed like old friends..

“Later.. ” he said..

I looked at him… to understand what that “Later” meant..

I saw .. a twinkle in his dark black eyes.. a slight curve on his lips.. almost a very subtle smile..an yearning for something….

I followed his eyes towards the left of  my window and there it was…

that mesmerizing sight.. I have spent many a summer evenings savoring…

Random and predictable glitter from Boston sky scrappers.. The stretched square of prudential with a square sandwich on top, with a thin elongated blue tower… the oval spiked crown of copley.. the dark tall flimsy hancock tower reflecting the lights around it.. the golden tomb of the state house..

the dim light at the esplande.. the distant stretch from the financial district.. the hanging bridge with violet illuminated  string.. white and red lights of the speeding vehicles through the storrow drive..

the reflection of it all  in the charles..

He was seeing it now.. just like the way I have been seeing it..

“I would like to photograph this view”.. he said.

“Can you?” I asked…

“I have an SLR, you can’t take with a normal digital”, he understood what I meant without having to say it. I have tried several times before but the lights always blur while I take the photograph..

The passion for an art has a way of bringing out the best in the person and at that moment, he was the most beautiful person for me. He was going on about photography, cameras and his interest of taking up a masters course in photography.. how he likes to travel.. how he prefers photographing objects than people..

his yearning… “I wish I had it with me right now.”

“We could come back here tomorrow night” I told him.. At that moment a private thoughts crossed my mind.. I wish he had more time in US.. I wish I had met him earlier.. It was just a wish!

So we agreed.. the next day we go to Salem and come back to boston for shooting the skyline…..

We headed back to Club cafe and we had about an hour to spend before the doors closed…..

Finally!! there was the sign.. I was driving on 91 instead of 89.. but I had no motivation to correct the course..

I did not want to stop…

I did not want to change…

I was going away from home……

The drive was going to be longer….

It was a long drive home… It is two states away from where I live, more than eight quarter miles..

I would have never imagined myself being there on the last night.. the last night of a long weekend and the last night of a short romance… It is, the only four day weekend, I have in the year. Thanksgiving. It is a tradition to spend time with family and friends.. and I choose to spend it with friends and Him.

I broke the first rule. “Never offer yourself for a guy who is out of town”. Oh, and when one rule is broken.. there is no point in maintaining other rules.. and so I found out, however painful it may be.. I can’t have rules! at least not when it comes to gravitating towards a Guy!

the drive was slow.. ten miles per hour on an seventy five mph inter-state highway, there was slush all over from the first snow of the season.. and the cars were following each other very religiously. they were following the tracks laid down by the vehicles in front of them.. and in turn reinforcing the track they just followed.. a slight diversion from the track, which was now marked clearly by the layer of snow and ice that was untouched by the brutal black tires.. will send the car off the road and possibly into the valley.. or will just make the car turn around and block the entire traffic following it…

on one side of the road was a mountain, the rocks frosted with ice and snow. On the other side.. the snow capped hazy blueish pines glowing in the misty moonless night.. i would have enjoyed the peace and gloominess of the sight.. but tonight, it was very painful…

painful to have an empty seat next to me.. i turned on the radio.. and quickly tuned it to a different channel.. i could not bear to hear the same songs that i heard with him moments ago…

I looked towards the empty seat…. as I reluctantly followed the tracks..

It all started a month ago..

He was sitting on a tall legged bar chair, right across the entrance of the dance room in Club Cafe..long slender legs.. one stretched out, surely touching the floor and the other folded in.. one hand on the round table and the other holding a glass. dressed in full sleeved, round neck blue sweater.. tight jeans..  white and yellow stripped shoe..

he stood out in the crowd… an east-indian face amidst caucasians, blacks, asian and hispanic…that was the first time I saw him..

It was boys night out.. we moved to friday instead of our usual saturday to watch the Halloween Costumes.. another colorful night, that brings out the creative best..

There was an angel with only feathers, an underwear, more like a thong and of course a fine chiseled body. I don’t remember how long we stood around him.. but when we finally made to the corner which was the only place with some space.. the extreme corner where there is a tiny dance floor..

There was something unusual about Club Cafe that night, it was as if Club cafe had put on new costume, it had shed its typical snobbish self.. there were exchange of pats.. flirts.. smiles.. and numbers..

we saw a guy dressed as Nurse, two guys in bath robes, navy men, police officer, a greek noble with a golden crown. and there was a monkey, an corrupt politician. and the best of all Ellen DeGeneres.. she was so Good she could fill in for the real Ellen.. (later I was told she got the best costume for the night…. )

I saw Him again.. he was going for another drink.. he wasn’t smiling.. neither was he not smiling.. there was a certain indifference in his presence..  it was as if he was there and also not there..

One of the boys.. decided to go into the front room and the rest of us followed.. we stood there watching people walk in.. I was still intrigued by the look on his face.. was he new to Boston? does he have friends? Should I go talk to him?

It started to itch..

So I set out to scratch it… back into the dance room.. squeezing my way through the crowded room.. I am sure I must have stopped to see the angel, but I don’t remember anymore….

He was sitting alone in the chair with his drink.. and I walked straight to him.. he looked up at me..

“Hi, I am Aryan”… I said…

“I know”.. he surprised me.

Surely, I don’t forget people.. I sat next to him, waiting to hear more..

“G Aryan.. I have seen you on my friends list on Facebook.”.. he offered as a way to bring me out of puzzlement.

“Which friend?” …. and so we got to talking…

The next thing I remember.. he was hanging out with me and the boys in the front bar room…. It would have been hard to tell that we all had just met him..  He still intrigued me, but he didn’t seem like a stranger or a like new face..

He felt like someone I have known for a while..

Have you ever met a guy for the first time and have felt that you have known him from a long time?

I can only blame that familiarity on the trust that gets attached to a person who gets introduced through a friend. OK.. he wasn’t literally introduced, but he and I had a common friend.. a friend that I trust….