Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Often times I wonder just why it is that I'm perpetually cursed with the lack of ability to pick up.

It seems no matter where I am, what time of day or who I'm with, I never really get chatted up or any other forward motion. OK, I know that you're thinking, "Steve, you have a boyfriend, why are you even thinking about this?" But it's relevant to a story I'd like to share about my time in London.

The funny thing about it is that Aaron (my BF) and I both feel like we're in the same boat. As we were getting to know each other, he described many similar things to me, including the lack of attention he felt when out and about. Unless we're mistaken, neither of us has been truly 'picked up'. Aaron has told me stories about sitting alone at a bar after work, sipping a martini and trying to look busy, hoping all the while that someone would sit down beside him and strike up a conversation. It never happened.

I guess it goes without saying that both of us would be hesitant to do the picking up ourselves. Aaron is quite shy in his natural state, and not very forward when it comes to dating. I would say the same about myself, that I would rather a guy approach me than have to casually chat someone up.

Part of it, surely, is being unaware. I often wonder how people unlock that awareness within themselves, to see flirtations at their face value and to easily navigate the talk to a favourable outcome. Unfortunately, even though I'm now 23, I still feel like a very naive teenager when it comes to such things.

But one night in London I tried putting that all behind me and took a half-step towards the great pickup.

My friend Ash and I were out for dinner in Soho, but decided to poke around the neighbourhood before sitting down to eat. We grabbed a pint, then walked the 'seedy streets' of sex shops. I found one that looked particularly nice, and particularly gay, and we went in to check it out.

Inside was much the same as any sex-related store worldwide, and we immediately set out sizing the place up. We found some nice underwear on sale, and Ash bought her straight friend a birthday present of (quite sexy) briefs with some pink lining. Apparently he isn't one to wear pink, or briefs.

As we walked around, the guy behind the counted began talking to us. He was cute, late-20's, and seemed genuine and friendly. For some reason I got a good vibe from him, a natural pull that went beyond just simple surface attraction.

When we walked deeper into the shop and out of earshot, I told Ash just how cute the shopboy was. "There's something about him that's really got a pull," I said, feeling a little fluttery. "He's damn cute too!"

She agreed, and angled me towards the counter. Ash is no shrinking violet, and is about as outgoing as one can get. She forced us into a conversation about Canada and my visit and about the underwear I was planning on buying there. We chatted for a solid 10 minutes before finally making our purchases and walking out.

For his part, the shopboy seemed to be engaged in the conversation, but my hopes of him sporadically asking me out were dashed as we walked out the door. "Damn, and there was something about this guy…" I said, trailing off into my imagination.

"So, you'd go on a date with him, if he was free," Ash asked, giving me a burning look.

"Uh, sure," I said, "but he didn't seem all that interested, I mean, he never said anything…"

By now we'd sat at our restaurant table and ordered another beer. Ash sat looking at me quizzically for a moment, then leaned forward. "If you want, I'll go back and ask him out for you," she said.

I put on a bit of a 'oh please' show for her, but deep down I genuinely wanted to see what she could set up. I finally agreed, and she skipped out the door and back to the shopboy.

For the next few minutes I sat in stunned anticipation. This isn't something that I normally do, or have people push for me to do, but it was exciting and I let myself daydream about a possible date in my near future.

Ash returned and sat across from me again, her face impossible to read.

"Well, first he asked why you didn't come back yourself," she said, "but I explained you're a shy guy."

I nodded along.

"Second, he's actually married, and is 32."

I didn't really have a problem with the 32 bit, but the marriage thing certainly didn't work.

"Third, they're expecting an adopted child within the next couple months."

This information seemed a little overkill, since I already understood the answer was no.

"But he never said he wasn't interested?" I asked.

"That part he didn't say," Ash smiled. "Sorry, though."

We laughed at my perpetually bad luck, and ordered dinner.

Monday, October 12, 2009

An unwelcome return...

It's funny how familiar circumstances are sometimes of our own creation.

Sure, an incident may set the whole chain of events off, but how we deal with the initial incident is what makes for our own familiar circumstances. Such as myself, tonight, sitting down to write for the first time in months.

Tonight I'm sitting in my bedroom. It's one of the first very cold evenings of the year, and I've closed my window. It reminds me of winter, like the last time I'd posted anything to Frozen Underwear.

Around my room I have a few tealight candles burning, adding to the soft glow of my lone lamp. Usually I prefer to keep the room a bit more…ambient…in the evening. On my dresser, a stick of incense burns softly, adding a mysterious aroma to the room.

These are all things that I've done hundreds of evenings before this one. And the mixture of sights, smells and my mood have all brought me to the realization that I accidentally recreated the exact circumstances of my many nights spent pondering and pining. Which is exactly what I am doing this very evening.

Many things have happened in the life of Steve over the past several months. I did indeed travel to London, returning safely two weeks after my last post. The trip was wonderful; England was exactly how I imagined, meaning that I was happy beyond belief.

Life did not cease to amaze when I returned from my adventure. Little do any of you know, but I had been dating a boy since the start of the new year, someone very special. From our first date, we have not spent more than a few nights apart save my vacation. I didn't want to admit it before I left, mostly because I hadn't realized it, but I found myself in love for the very first time. I told him the night that I got back and we were happily cuddled in each others arms.

Since then, I have been taken on a journey that I have been waiting for since my first posts here. I've been happy, sad, up, down, angry, ecstatic, and everything in between, which I'm told is fairly normal for those in love.

We've shared many moments together, each being what has been hoped to be the first of many. We've counted the days we've been together, marked our anniversaries as they ticked by, and both reveled in the happiness that we had finally found that special person.

In our good moments, we're quite good. We compliment each other, share a common desire and wants for a lifestyle. But like everything, there have been bad moments, some very fresh and sour.

I guess in many ways, we're an average young couple, scavenging for work, scraping together funds, and generally trying to navigate life. Even though it feels like the whole world has gotten bogged down in a depressed rut, including my dear boyfriend, nothing feels as remarkable and happy as waking up with his body pressed into mine.

As I said, there have been bad moments, and for the past month things have not been as they should. I'm still deciding how much of him I should share online, but for the moment I'll say that he has some personal issues that he's trying to work out, and I've been here the whole time trying to be supportive and loving.

It gets a bit difficult when I look back and see just how much of myself I've given in the hopes that we can make everything work out, both for him and between us. There have been some wounds made that will take a very long time to heal. Frustrations often rear their head, especially recently; I can give as much of myself as I want, but a man that doesn't want to work for change most likely will not.

It's not all doom and gloom, I assure you…but sitting here tonight certainly feels gloomy. You see, I just got back from a long weekend away with my family. Each day since Friday we spoke, twice a day. I came home mid-afternoon fully expecting him to be waiting here for me; I've really missed him and can think of nothing but curling up together on the couch.

But when I swung the door open, he was nowhere to be found. With no note left, no cellphone to reach him on, no e-mail waiting for me, I've been left quite alone and uninformed. Last we spoke, he said he might visit a friend until I got home, but that he wanted to be there when I did. Here I sit, six hours later, and still no sign of my dear.

I'm sure to you reading this, I must sound pretty sad. What about all of the above has put me in such a bad mood? I guess it's just my major source of frustration with him, his disappearing act that can last for days. It's beyond frustrating (and a huge let down) to have spoken every day on the phone, yet arrive home to an empty house.

And so tonight I've gone about my routine from the past, lighting candles and burning incense, sitting in the calm dark of my room. Realizing that I feel pretty lonely right now, that I'm still that uneducated boy who first started this blog. Reflecting on how far I've come with some things, yet how little ground I've covered on others.

I sit here tonight alone, feeling as if another of my relationships is blurring into that grey territory between lifeless and alive. It's a weird and sad feeling to be here wondering just where this boyfriend of mine is, why he didn't make it home in time to be with me, and what it all means in the big picture. I have to say, I'm getting a little tired of feeling like the only one that cares.

So here I am, in all to familiar circumstances, writing out my thoughts. I'll post, finish my dinner, and check to see if anyone is online. When nobody is, I'll turn on the TV and stare, fidgeting, never really getting quite relaxed or comfortable. I'll start to realize that, after abandoning the old me months ago, I'm not impressed with it all popping back up again.

Welcome back to Frozen Underwear.