Me and Rick

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This was written shortly after the author came out, it was the first story written…yet sat unpublished for four years.

*

“He’s perfect…and…he’s mine!” The last thing I thought of before falling asleep in his arms. You’d think I knew that already, but no…I take my time when things aren’t as black and white like I want them to be.

_____________

That’s how I had to approach my coming out. I knew I was gay (the black and white part) but I didn’t know anything else about me (the color!). My colors aren’t grey goddammit they’re blue and green! I bleed them, I feel them and for once I finally got it.

I feel blue when I don’t understand how I came to fall this low, I become green when I realize I can pick myself up; and, it was only a matter of time before I finally took the turkey by the gobbler so to speak. Even if I’d done it a few times before (my humor can be cheesy sometimes).

I thought I fell in love really early in life, what I realized later was that I fell in gay. I knew it wasn’t normal and I knew I felt at that time it was kinda right. Not that feeling that way wasn’t great, because it was an escape I could only dream for in those days… but because it was how it was supposed to go. My few firsts at that age were so miniscule compared to what I did after coming out that my life was restarted.

For once it was about my real happiness, not the façade you put on when adopting that smile you hope people don’t think twice about. The one that says you really are happy, not just in need or desperate to be liked.

Sometime during college it occurred to me that all I had to make me happy rested inside of me. The outside carried a lot of weight and baggage. I was overweight, underperforming and overly anxious about being closeted. I tried so hard to hide it I basically broadcasted it to everyone around me, I was the last person in the dark about it all.

I watched a movie one night, stoned as hell. I was depressed and sad about myself…nothing I hadn’t already observed of my own tendencies. But this was different. It dealt (the movie) with a young man finding himself, not what he thought about himself but what he wasn’t thinking about himself. He found his new life and his new love.

Well now I couldn’t stand for that, two men finding each other when I was so depressed and alone.

So it happened at that moment. I realized for the first time that “I” was the person doing the holding back. I had that moment you pay a shrink to help you find, you know…that inner certainty that comes crashing down during a realization moment.

So, I started to lose weight and dropped 70lbs in exactly twelve months to the day of my coming out.

It wasn’t that hard to tell you the truth. Being happy tends to do great things for you as a whole. I had no idea how important for your health your own happiness could be.

I thought I was happy, I mean I REALLY thought I was happy. Doing everything in a shell of happiness, that was me. I laughed, I cried, lied, ate, smoked, ate, drank, ate and was quasi merry.

But it all changed thankfully. I’m seventy pounds lighter and still losing, I’m at about 215 now, but at five foot eleven inches I carry it well yet the evidence of obesity hangs around me. I have to start weight training to get rid of the pudge that lingers on.

So from this point on we’re moving into the affairs that I hope will entertain you…or, “And now for something completely different, a man with a reason to be happy.”

__________________

He was waiting for me before I even knew he existed. He sat there, actually looking at me like he knew all about me. That’s saying something.

I realized that I was grimacing and immediately changed to a grin.

He introduced himself to me as Rick, I thought of my uncle Rick M.D.

“Hey I’m Rick. I think I’ve got your name because the prof told escort kartal me you we’re going to be late today. Jordan, right?”

“Yea”, I said. “I knew it was gonna be hard to get here in time today, so I told her last night through email. Did I keep you waiting?”

“Not at all, I just got here myself.” Then he smiled again. Well hells bells if I didn’t nearly go weak at the knees. I’m a sucker for a genuine smile. He had it, ohh man did he have it.

I think that was the day I fell in love with Rick. Probably the second I saw him, I think I could tell he really SAW me. Not for what I was, but for who I am.

“Sweet. So what do we have to do?” I asked because I figured he paid a little more attention than I did, I mean Music History is just so…so…it’s just so. “Well, we need to work on our essays. I have the criterion from Dr. Arnold, but I’m afraid I don’t know much about the topic.”

“No prob. I actually did the assigned reading this time and I think I can help you out. We needed to learn some of the backgrounds of the opera stars of the seventeenth and eighteenth century. Who wrote for them, where they performed, how it was received etc…”

He nodded in agreement and we set down to work. I’d swear, in an almost mechanical way I focused on him and then the work. It was like a clock inside chiming every quarter hour. I would stop writing and gaze over his left shoulder to study his features then with clocklike certainty write a few lines.

We finished up our rough drafts and as it turned out, we pretty much guaranteed ourselves A’s. So with that we said our goodbye’s and went off to our respective enclaves. I went home to discuss my encounter with my friend Lindsay; she wasn’t surprised I’d responded so well.

She was in a few ensembles with him and indeed knew his smile.

She also let me in on a dirty little secret; she (with the best god-given gaydar of anyone I know) told me she was quite sure he played on my team.

Well needless to say I was practically humming a happy tune in a millisecond.

Rick is very nice looking. He’s taller than me, not so much a stretch but when you’re five eleven you tend to either look down or into people’s eyes. Well I could do with a slight head tilt to catch his eyes and that made it even better. Broad shouldered, green eyes and wonderful dark brown hair, he actually shared some of my own qualities…minus the height and broad shoulders. Olive skin and a face Hollywood would kill for.

Now I’ve got some body image issues, like everyone else I suppose. So my hopes of trying to get on his list were quite low.

***

I actually ran into the handsome bastard the next day. I was walking out of my last class towards the double doors that ran out to the street.

“Hey, Jordan!” “Jordan, chill a sec?”

“Yea man, what’s up?” I said.

“Did you finish your last class?”

“Yep, it was a real treat too. Especially since I had to get up and actually teach the class a song”.

“Nice” he said. “Well I was wondering if you wanted to get together again and work on that music history paper?” I had thought we were finished, but it turns out he had done a bit of extra research that added favorably to our papers. We finished and went for coffee afterwards.

I learned a lot of him that day. He came to the college of music to both get away and to expand his performing capabilities. He played the saxophone, something I guess I missed during my conversation with Lindsay. He also loved to cook, play tennis and watch British comedies.

“No shit?” I said when he mentioned the cooking, tennis and britcoms. All three are favorite activities of mine as well. He said he knew I played the clarinet because he went to a concert I performed in and saw me on stage. I was a little surprised he had known a bit about me, only I expect because I knew so little about him.

Again maltepe escort bayan we said goodbye. This time he said he hoped to run into me again for coffee, I’d said I like that.

***

A few days passed and I wondered what happened to my new found interest.

I went on with my classes and practicing and I can only assume he did as well. I mean you only do a few things if you’re a musician in training: eat, sleep very little and practice a lot with GREAT enthusiasm…

So it went on and I him saw for the third time in a week. He was coming out of our older building next to the parking lot when he and I made eye contact. He waved and came over to where I was waiting to either go to the library or walk back to my apartment. I’m glad I didn’t hesitate to wait!

“I wanted to ask you something.”

“Yea man, is it about our grades cause I don’t think she’s sent them out yet…” he cut me off.

“No not about that, I mean about you.”

I’ll admit I became a bit weary. I was scared to think he’d picked up on my desire to REALLY get to know him.

“I wanted to know if you had plans for next Saturday night?” “A few of my friends are having a barbecue at their place and I wanted to know if you’d join me…us because I know how much you like to cook and these guys are great at throwing a good cookout.”

“Totally, can I bring anything?” Now, given that I’m a college student and enjoy cooking you’d think I’d bring some half store half apartment made Chinese noodle dish. Hell to the no, I heard that little slip of joining ‘me’ before us… So I was determined to impress. Regardless of whether or not he meant anything by it I told him I’d bring a big dessert.

Saturday came and I left my apartment bound for Rick’s friend’s place. I was shocked when I got there; it was a nice house for some college students. Five of his friends shared this house with a pool and hot tub and they even built a half-size sand volleyball pit in it. They told me the owner of the house didn’t object as long as they made it nice enough to last after they moved out.

His friends were good people. They’re all musicians as well and two are grad students. So it made for a great party with a lot of great conversation.

I brought a big from scratch cake; I used one of my favorite recipes for a buttermilk cake. It went over very well I should say. It turned out I made the party because they were celebrating a birthday. Rick’s friend Emily was turning 23 and I as the perfect guest apparently brought the perfect dessert.

The evening ended and I said my goodbye’s and Rick followed me out to my car, he was leaving as well.

He took the next opportunity to do something I did not see coming.

“Jordan, I want to ask you something.” I was a little startled, it occurred to me that we really hadn’t known each other very long and I thought he was being a bit serious. I guess I paused too long because he just kept going, “I wanted to know if you’d like to get to know each other a little better?”

I was stunned! If I had thought about running away I would have, but I was just truly stunned!

I mumbled something like ‘what do you mean’ I think…maybe it wasn’t even a real thought.

“Well, to be honest I purposefully ran into you the last time so I could ask you to this party. I wanted my friends to meet you because I was a little nervous about how to proceed. I think you’re really nice and I wanted to know if you’d go to dinner with me sometime?”

I think I remember giving him a look of sheer happiness because the next thing I knew he kissed me.

It wasn’t particularly long; it was just long enough to wake up something I never knew was sleeping inside me. I had this long jolt that ran up and down my back like lightning, rooting my legs two thousand feet into the ground.

We didn’t need to know whether or not the other pendik escort bayan was interested, it just wasn’t necessary after that kiss. He obviously was and he learned in a heartbeat I was too.

Again looking back I suppose I was broadcasting how I felt about him every time I saw him. During our date Rick told me he was certain I liked him by the way I grinned at him the first time we met. I told him he was basically correct, he had already decided he liked.

“I feel really nervous Rick, I’m not going to lie.”

“Why on earth do you feel nervous? I think we’re having a great time.”

“Oh no we are, I mean I am…I mean yes this is great! But I have to be honest, this is a little uncharted for me. I don’t consider myself very attractive, I mean I’ve got some jiggly bits that I’m not proud of and I…”

He stopped me again mid-sentence, “I asked you to come with me to the party, I asked you on a date and we kissed…what you are missing here is that I LIKE you, a lot.”

“I know, it’s just that my overactive brain fears faster than I can handle sometimes.” He just looked at me and smiled.

“I think you are beautiful.”

And in the middle of the restaurant where people were enjoying themselves I found myself truly enjoying the sight before me. He was not only interested in me but he thought I was beautiful!

“I think you’re beautiful too. Your smile, your eyes, everything about you is wonderful Rick.” It was hard for me to say, just because I had never said anything like that to another living soul in my life.

All he did was smile. This time I leaned across the table and for the first time ever kissed a man who I truly believed could love me.

We finished our dinner in a haze of happy discussion about many things we had in common. About how much we enjoyed music, how deeply personal we found playing our instruments. The fact that we both understood what it was like to be involved in something that calls for creation and perfection and sometimes a lot of grief was indescribable.

When we left the restaurant (He drove of course) we headed to a nearby park to take a walk. When we got out of the car we headed for the entrance to the walking path and he did something nobody has ever done, took my hand in his.

And we walked.

We walked holding hands and didn’t say a thing for two miles.

As we reached the little two mile wooden signpost he finally spoke, “I’ve never met anyone who I could just touch and feel like I’ve known forever. Never in my life could I imagine I could feel this happy after knowing someone for a few weeks. Jordan, I love you.”

“I love you too Rick.”

Then we kissed, we kissed like our souls were meant to be intertwined. I couldn’t believe the feelings I had for him, I really had no idea how strongly or how deeply I knew what I felt.

Then he stepped forward and hugged me, his tall lean body wrapping me up like a warm blanket. A blanket with a heartbeat that seemed to be singing to me, calling to me in a way I could never have imagined.

I began to cry a bit, it was all too overwhelming and I couldn’t handle the feelings any longer. I was used to depression, sadness and a loss of self awareness and identity. Yet, I was wrapped in the arms of someone who wanted me to know that he was there for ME and ME only. He knew I had felt trapped and alone, and he loved me even more to make-up for it he said.

He wiped my tears away with his thumb; it was a soft caress that would have melted an iceberg. I fell into his hug again this time I actually laughed a bit and looked up to see him smiling. He knew that I wasn’t going to be alright just because I’d told him how insecure I had been, and still felt. But he chose that moment to again tell me he loved me and that his patience for those he loved was fast, strong and steadfast.

Again we kissed, this time I did a little exploring on my own and he was only eager to let me. I realized that my feelings for him were real; I had truly bared everything I kept in my heart. The worry, the undeserving feelings…he just let me have him. He was my cure, my balm and my magic.

He is my Rick.

(I of II)

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