Waterloo

This episode aired soon after my grandfather died unexpectedly. Just 1 week before my 25th birthday and 2 weeks before my college graduation.

It was strangely significant because I remember listening to a song called “Waterloo” by Stonewall Jackson with my grandfather as he sang along in his white four door Ford F-250 on our way back from Lake Texoma where he and my grandmother would go on weekends.

When I first saw the closing scene of the episode with Bert Cooper performing “The Best Things in Life are Free,” I cried. I felt it was my grandfather saying goodbye to me. I also think it was a final message to me. He wanted to remind me (in a time in my life where the pursuit of money would seem like the most important thing) that the best things in life are free.

It still makes me cry.

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Recently

Recently, I haven’t been interested in anyone.

I’m not sure what the cause is, but something in my brain has switched off and I’m not sure it’s a bad thing. I still have sexual urges. I still double take when I see a guy I find attractive. I just don’t really want anything other than “fun”. The only trouble with that is trying to find someone who is willing to mess around without wanting me to bottom or top (read Virgin for more on that).

I come home to my empty apartment and I am at ease. It’s empowering in a way. After a year and a half of living in this apartment, I have finally started to decorate. I’m putting artwork on the walls, donating old artwork that has been sitting in the corner for over a year, and even editing artwork that isn’t completely to my liking but close.

Why has it taken me this long to decorate my own fucking apartment? Is it because I have, deep down, hoped I would find someone to move in with or share this apartment with? It must be because interior design is something that I am good at and enjoy. I always found it odd that I wasn’t motivated to decorate. I never knew the reason before now.

My two goals for next year are to get my body the way want it to be and not the way others think it should be. I’m also going to expand on my knack for interior design. Maybe get a job at Pottery Barn, West Elm or Crate & Barrel.

I will be sure to keep you posted on how things go.

 

 

Virgin

cherry_bucketI’m 27 and still a virgin.

That is hard for a lot of people to understand. Sometimes I find it hard to believe myself.

I stayed a virgin in high school because I was gay and couldn’t bring myself to have sex with any of the few girls that I dated because, well, I didn’t want to. I was in the closet so I couldn’t have sex with and of the few out gay guys at my school. Also, I wasn’t attracted to any of them.

I graduated high school in 2008 so, smart phones were not really a thing yet. The iPhone had just been released in 2007 and they were way to expensive for any high schooler to own. We all had Razrs or Slvrs (that’s what I had) and Grindr wasn’t compatible with those. I don’t even think Grindr had been invented yet, honestly.

After moving out of my parents house in rural Texas, I moved to Denton, Texas for college. My eyes were opened to all sorts of different people. Gay, straight, bisexual, transgender, non-binary, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Atheist, Wiccan, ect… You name it, you could find it in Denton. That’s why I loved Denton so much. No one gave a fuck what you were as long as you weren’t a dick.

A few months after I moved into my apartment, I downloaded Grindr on my iPad (I was the last person on the face of the earth to get a smartphone). I talked to a lot of guys. I got asked if I was looking more times than I can count. I even traded pictures with several different people. It’s actually scary to think of how many people may actually still have access to picture of my penis.

Usually, when people would ask if i was looking, I would tell them I wasn’t at the moment and come up with an excuse for not wanting to. I remember once being asked if I wanted to have sex by this particularly nice looking guy in my apartment complex. After I had told him I wasn’t interested in having sex with him, I tried to just chat with him. He quickly blocked me and I have never spoken to him again.

I managed to get all the way through college without penetration. It has been almost 3 years since college and I still haven’t managed to get it in (or have someone get it in me). It’s something that has embarrassed me but I have finally pin-pointed the reason.

I can get drunk and make out, jerk or suck a stranger and not think much of it. But, if I’m going to actually have sex with them, I NEED to trust them. I have to trust them because, if I am going to sleep with them, I will be giving them permission to do whatever they want to me (as long as it doesn’t involve cutting or shitting). I wont care wether I am topping or bottoming as long as the person I am doing it with is getting pleasure. Instead of getting pleasure from the act of sex itself, knowing my mate is enjoying himself will be the main thing that brings me pleasure.

Anyway, that’s what I recently realized about myself and why I am still a virgin. Sex is the way I am going to show that special guy how much I love him. Having sex with someone I don’t have feeling for just wouldn’t feel right.

I Don’t Know What I Want

I have absolutely no idea what I want. One minute I want a relationship and the next I just want to mess around. Other times I want to mess around so I get on Grindr to find someone to play with and then, midway through the conversation I decide I just want to talk.

I’ve been chatting with this one guy over text for the past couple months. I think I like him and I know he likes me but I don’t know if I want anything to develop. What if I don’t end up liking him or worse, what if he ends up not liking me?

If I don’t like him, it makes me look like an asshole to all of his friends. His friends that I work with and like. If he doesn’t like me, it’ll make me feel like a loser. Like I somehow blew it and it’s my fault that he doesn’t like me.

Sex is another thing that really scares me. I haven’t ever had sex with a guy. Something I hate to admit because it makes me feel like a failure at life. I worry that if I go ahead and sleep with him (or anyone) I wont be good and they wont want to see me again.

There’s a lot of things I worry about but this is something that has been weighing heavily on me for a while now.

My First Gay Experience

I was 17 and a senior in high school. I had been texting an old friend back and forth for a couple months. The conversation was usually nothing out of the ordinary and then would unexpectedly take a sexual turn.

I honestly didn’t trust him very much. You see, I use the word “friend” lightly. He wasn’t the most trustworthy person. He was (and probably still is) what you call a “follower”. In middle school, he was only nice to me when it was beneficial for him. Now I find it funny because I have my own set of friends and am much more sure myself and what I stand for. But, then it was a struggle.

Anyway, one day I had just gotten home from Hawaii with my family, I got a text from you know who asking me to come over. I was pretty horny so I got in my truck and drove to his house. His mom was still at work and would be for the next hour or so.

When I arrived, we went to his room. He wasted no time taking off his pants. We jerked each other off for a few minutes but soon grew tired of it. We wanted to try something different. He wanted to try preforming oral on me but didn’t actually want to put his mouth on my bare penis. Neither of us had any condoms so he decided to get creative. He went to the kitchen and got a ziplock bag (I kid you not). He put the ziplock over my dick and tried to suck it. He didn’t get very far. It obviously didn’t feel very pleasurable so I never ended up… Uhm… finishing.

About 30 minutes into the disastrous encounter, his mother comes home. Thats right, his mother came home early. We scrambled to get our clothes back on. Luckily he had a door that led outside in his room. I quietly opened the door and stepped outside. I then had to walk a block to my truck because he didn’t want me to park his driveway. He didn’t want his mom to come home and see that he had company. Good thing he thought of that, I guess.

We hooked up a few times after that but I really began to question his sanity. He began to get really paranoid that I was telling people about our encounters. After a few heated phone conversations that consisted of him drunk and accusing me of telling his friends that I didn’t even know, I finally blocked him on all social media and also blocked his phone number. Since then, he has tried to add me on Facebook a few times (he keeps making new ones) but I block him every time.

Half-ass New Start

Things are constantly changing but not really the way I want them to. I recently transferred to another location for my job. Not anywhere far. I still live in the same apartment. I just work about 10 minutes farther away now. I transferred because corporate wanted me to and I thought it would be a good way to get a new start without having to start completely over. A half-ass new start, I guess.
It didn’t make anything better. There’s something about this location. The clientele is shit and the employees are flakey. I’ve never had to deal with so many call outs in my life.
I think my time with this company is coming to an end soon. Or, I hope it is. It makes me sad because this company has been so important to me for the past 4 years. I just need something I enjoy more. Something that pays more would be a bonus because, homeboy is broke as a joke.
There is a guy who contacted me about some positions for his suiting business in the area. I am going to get in touch with him and see if I would be a good fit for his company.
I’m a little hesitant to go to another retail job. I think they’re all going to be the same. I don’t want to take any job just to get out of the situation I am in here. I could end up in the same boat if I do that.

Relax, Take it Easy

It’s my day off and I am enjoying a mug of coffee and watching Tiny House Giant Journey on YouTube. Not really letting anything get me down today. I slept in because that is what I like to do on my days off. The only thing I have planned for today is going to the gym with my friend from work at 6 and possibly going to Gap and Old Navy to gather some socks for the people in Houston that lost their home to Hurricane Harvey.

I’ve been trying to take it a bit slower this past month. Instead of sweating the petty things, I pet the sweaty things ;P (my tip of the hat to mielmonster from Vine). But, it actually fits my situation quite nicely. Attempting not to get wrapped up in any guys that show up on Grindr. It’s working, I suppose. I always want to knock on wood when I think it’s working. It always seems that is the moment it will stop working. Kind of like when I am dating or “talking” to a guy, I don’t really like to tell my friends about him because I think that is the exact moment the “relationship” (if you will) will become jinxed and we will break it off. Then once we break it off, my friends will as, “hey, hows it going with you and so-n-so?” Then I will have to go into how we broke it off, that it was the best thing to do because it wasn’t going to work and how I’m totally fine with it even though (most of the time) I am not. I haven’t ever considered myself to be superstitious but, I think I really might be.

Still not completely sure what to think of Grindr. It has it’s place but it’s definitely not something one should take too seriously. People on there are just flighty in general. Something that used to really get me down until I recently realized, with this “shot” at Grindr, I am the exact same way. I lose interest in people and I don’t really have a reason and I don’t really need a reason. I re-downloaded the app because I went to the Grand Canyon and Vegas and was kind of hoping to have a hookup while I was there. Something that didn’t end up happening but that is okay. I never deleted it after I returned from vacation.

Right now, I am using it strictly as a way to meet other gay men for both hookups or dates. NOT for finding a husband like I’ve used it for in the past. Whatever I am feeling at the time. I don’t even have my “looking for” section filled out because it would be a total waste because my mind changes several times a week. It’s working (for the most part). If it starts to bother me or cause any problems in the future, I will delete it again.

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (and the Grand Canyon)

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I went to the Grand Canyon and Las Vegas with my grandmother, sister and her boyfriend for a long weekend vacation. What an adventure. My sister basically planned the entire vacation. She organized all of the hotel and restaurant reservations as well as flights and rental car. She had a whole itinerary rough drafted and we just made small tweeks as the vacation progressed.

We had one major set back that ended up working itself out quite nicely. My sister had booked a room for one night at a hotel located on the North Rim. We reached the Grand Canyon by rental car around 5 o’clock pacific time after landing in Las Vegas at noon. After having trouble finding the cabin we were supposed to stay in, my sister called the lobby and asked the guy to give us directions to the cabin from where we were.

The conversation went as follows:

Lauren: “Hi, we have a reservation for one of your cabins and we are having trouble finding it. Can you give us directions?”

Hotel Clerk: “Sure, what do you see around you?”

Lauren: “We are in front of the Bright Angel Hotel right now but our GPS keeps taking us in circles.”

Hotel Clerk: “I think you are on the South Rim and not the North Rim.”

Lauren: “No, we are on the North Rim. We put the address in our GPS. I have the map the Park Ranger gave us at the entrance… Oh, well, they accidentally gave us a South Rim park map but, we are definitely on the North Rim.”

Hotel Clerk: “We are the only hotel that is located on the North Rim. If you see other hotels, you are not on the North Rim.”

Lauren: “Okay, thank you. We are going to have to figure something out.”

We had driven 5.5 hours to the Grand Canyon only to realize we were on the wrong side of the Grand Canyon. Which is a huge predicament because it’s 10 miles across the grand canyon from the North Rim to the South Rim and there is no bridge to cross so you have to drive 4.5-5 hours around the Canyon to reach the other side. Something we weren’t willing to do because we were only scheduled to stay at the Grand Canyon for one day and one night.

My sister said she felt like that Mr.Krabs meme where his eyes are wide and his back ground is swirling around him.

We parked the car and went to the nearest hotel in hopes that they had a room open. We gave them our sob story and, lucky for us, the lady in the lobby took pity on us and gave us the only room that was available for the night, which was the Presidential Suite at the El Tovar hotel at a discounted price.

The room was even more beautiful than we could have imagined. We had a massive deck that overlooked the South Rim. My grandmother, who had never seen the Grand Canyon, actually cried when she walked out on the balcony. We really could not have gotten a better view of the Grand Canyon and it was from our hotel suite.

My sister and I had been to the North Rim before but we can see now why the South Rim is more popular with tourists. The view was like nothing I had ever seen. No photograph could ever do it justice.

The only thing we missed out on was the reservation my sister had made for us at a restaurant that overlooked the North Rim. But, with the view from our suite, it was a really nice trade off.

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After the Grand Canyon, we made our way back to Vegas where we enjoyed the rest of our weekend.

We got to visit with a family friend that lives in Henderson. She and her wife recently had a baby girl so we got to meet that cute little chunk! Her home was stunning. It was very modern with a lot of clean lines.

We stayed at Bally’s Las Vegas. A very nice hotel for the price. Plenty of room for all four of us and we didn’t even have to share beds which was a nice surprise.

There was a lot to do in Vegas and we didn’t even gamble. We attended one of Mat Franco’s magic shows, viewed the Titanic artifacts exhibit at the Luxor, dined at Gordon Ramsay Steak in the Paris and rode the High Roller at the Linq.

The Titanic exhibit was very informative. Before we entered, we were given cards with a passenger’s name and class. At the end of the exhibit, we got to see if the person survived or not. My passenger (Major Archibald Willingham Butt) did not.

I had the beef wellington atGordon Ramsay Steak. It was delicious but it was $110 (“Y tho”). I love me a rare steak but I don’t really know why we had to pay that kind of money for it. Our waitress did remind me of Trudy Campbell from Mad Men which was nice. Alison Brie amuses me.

I loved my stay at Vegas but I don’t think I could have taken a lot more of it. The city never sleeps and had we not been on the 20 something floor of Bally’s, we probably wouldn’t have slept either with all the commotion that was going on down below. It would have been nice to stay one more day because I would have really like to have seen Fremont Street and the Neon Museum.

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Date Night

Okay,

So I went on a date last Saturday.

He was tall, slim and slightly toned. He lives in a town nearby.

We went to a restaurant near his house called Lava Cantina. I wasn’t a fan. Hopefully we can find a better place to go next time. Maybe I can take him to the town I work in currently or the town I worked in previously.

He enjoys being outside. That’s a nice quality to have because I enjoy spending time outside. Especially when it’t not too hot (which is hardly ever here in Texas).

We did hook up. Something one of my co-workers told me not to do unless I never wanted to see him again.

I like him but I am not 100% sure he is what I am looking for. I know he likes to get drunk a lot. That’s fine but I’m not a big drinker. I don’t want to feel like I need to get drunk every weekend if I’m with him. I know that won’t work out well because I can’t keep up with people who drink a whole lot.

We will have to see how the next date goes. I’m kind of hoping we don’t end up hooking up again. I’d like to get to know him a little better. I have’t told him that I am a virgin. I think he is probably a top but I didn’t ask him.

He is a vegetarian and does’t eat bread. I find that weird because bread is my all time favorite thing to eat.

He told me he could tell I go to the gym because I have a nice ass. That is the best thing he could have possibly said to me because that is the part of my body I work on most when I’m at the gym (which is hardly ever).

Norway

My sister and I took a trip to Trondheim, Norway last month. Truly a beautiful country.

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I enjoyed seeing all the snow. Something I don’t get to see very ofter living in Texas. Everything was white. There was always a nip in the air. I appreciated that. It seemed to keep me more awake and alert. I’m always tired here in Texas.

We stayed with a friend of my sister’s at their apartment in Trondheim. Her friend had been a foreign exchange student at my sisters high school (My high school too but, I had long since graduated). Her and my sister had kept in touch and my sister finally got the courage to travel across the world to visit. Luckily, she asked me to join her.

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We visited a small town called Røros. A quaint little town. A town one would imagine a town in Norway to look. The houses were all connected but painted different bright colors. They lined a narrow, winding road that was covered in a layer of snow. They all had the most interesting doors too. There were even post cards that featured some of the doors. I wish I had thought to take a few pictures of some of the doors.

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While staying in Røros, we stayed with a family that raised sledding dogs. You know, like the ones in the movie Balto. They even took us out sledding.

After sledding, the couple invited us over to their home for homemade rolls and coffee. We stayed for four hours talking with them about Texas, Norway and the election in the USA. After talking to them about the election, I have come to the conclusion that most Europeans are not fans of Trump. Can’t say I blame them.

I was surprised at how welcoming they were to perfect strangers. i do know that I am definately sending them a Texas postcard though. Preferably one with bluebonnetts on it.

dog-sledding

When we arrived back in Trondheim, we got to try cross country skiing. I’m glad I got to experience cross country skiing but, I think I will stick to down hill skiing. It’s much less exhausting.

On our last night in Trondheim, we went to a restaurant inside of a tower that spun so we could see the whole town. The view was beautiful but the food… I’ve had better.

It was really hard to leave. Not only because I wanted to stay and live in Norway but it was also hard to wake up the morning we had to fly out. We had to wake up at 3:30 am so we could be at the bus stop at 4:30 am so we could make our 6 am flight out.

The journey home was the longest journey of my entire life. We had horrible seats on our flight from Amsterdam to Minneapolis. Then we had to wait an extra 3 hours in Minneapolis because our flight back to Texas was canceled. By the tie we finally arrived back in Texas, we had been either on a plane or in an airport for over 24 hours.

Now that I have a passport, I hope to visit a lot more countries as well as make another trip to Norway during the summer. My sister’s friend said Norway was much different in the summer.