After the shopping spree I was aware that I was kicking it up a notch. My intentions were to figure out how to become comfortable with myself now that I knew what direction I was headed. I was very good at looking and acting how others expected and I wanted a fresh start with anyone new that I met.
On Saturday I was nervous to say the least. I was used to meeting one person, but not a group of people, and much less a bunch of very young guys. At that time I didn't know any gay men and I wanted very much to at least have a conversation with someone. By this time in the year I was craving community, I actually needed it to assure myself that I wasn't alone in this scary new world.
The plan was for me to meet up with Mary at a bar around six in the evening. She wanted to get to know me before we met up with anyone. I was fine with this, very excited to go out to an actual gay bar. At this point, I had only been in one gay establishment and it was a meeting over lunch with the twin of Gretch's current girlfriend at the time. Yeah, that happened, I recognized the situation through pictures that Gretch showed me later when we were dating, but Gretch doesn't even know about this, and currently, while I have been with Gretch, I have only run into the sister one other time, but I am pretty sure I looked dramatically different and she didn't recognize me as we only had the one lunch. The community turned out to be a little to small for comfort.
I arrived at six and entered the extremely quiet bar. Mary was the only person in the place and she was talking to the bartender about what the place would be like later on in the evening. I could see the place was sectioned off into a regular bar and a dance area in another room with a double deck bar in the back. I had no idea at that point how incredibly packed the place would be in a couple hours. At the moment It felt very awkward talking to each other in front of the bartender who seemed rather amused at the fact that she was watching a first date type situation.
Mary turned out to be a very nice person. She was not attractive to me and we really didn't have a thing in common, but because neither of us new the area, or had been to the bars in the city, we basically talked about what the evening might be like and we had a good time laughing. Another woman came into the bar and asked me to look at the jukebox with her. She asked me if her selections were alright and I complimented her picks. I thought it was kind of strange that she pulled me away from a conversation, but all was good, I was there to experience the night and I went with the flow.
After about a half an hour, Mary told me rather hesitantly that the plans for the evening had changed a little. Her nephew Shawn wanted to cook dinner for us before we went out that night and she was hoping I was ok with going to his apartment.
I wasn't really ok with going to someones apartment that I didn't know, but I figured I needed to relax and just try to have fun. It made me feel more comfortable that she told me she had a conversation with her nine year old son about being careful tonight because I was a stranger. We agreed that we trusted each other not to be some kind of a crazy person and would drive together in her car. I do know that if she had been a guy this wouldn't have happened.
I guess there is going ot have to be a part three to this. I am really tired tonight because I was up half of last night with raging allergies. I took some Claritin and if it doesn't make my heart race I should be alright. It's always something. I don't know if I will get back to this tomorrow as it is a work night. I am still not sure how I am going to do this night job in the winter. I can already see myself winding down as soon as it gets dark and it will be dark at five soon. We shall see.