The sucky thing is I’m pretty sure I’m in love
By: Alex in Pennsylvania
“Hey bud, what’s shaking?” Wanna hang out at your place tonight and catch the game?” he asked as we stood on the corner.
FYI: That would become his code speak for wanting to hook up. But I’ll tell you more about that in a bit.
I met Ricky* months earlier during a morning dog walk. He’s got a black lab named Cash and I’ve got a Shepard mix named Thomas. The two monsters became fast friends after sniffing each other out.
In fact, they still go crazy when they see each other to this day.
If you have a pooch, you already know that dog walks present an opportunity to socialize and get to know other people in the neighborhood.
And that’s how we met. Not that unusual, huh?
I guess now would be a good time to describe Ricky to you. He’s 30 years old, around 5’11 and seriously built. There’s no pretense with him either. No attitude. No bullshit.
Certainly not what you would expect from a guy that channels the looks of a certain center fielder for the Tampa Rays. In my experience, most hot looking guys reek of arrogance. But that’s just not him.
What else can I tell you?
He’s your typical blue collar guy that wears jeans and t-shirts, sometimes with boots -sometimes with high-tops.
I say “blue collar” because that’s what Ricky is. He put himself through trade school and became a sheet metal worker. After graduating from his apprenticeship program, he landed a job in town with a well-known company.
Related: I’m in love with my straight cousin
So after we got to know one another – vis-a-vis our dogs, I discovered we shared several similarities. He works out regularly and so do I. His dad is an iron worker and so is mine. And the both of us are big Steelers fans.
I assumed Ricky was straight simply because he just didn’t give off a gay vibe. Not that I’m being stereotypical or anything but as an out man, I think I’ve got a pretty good sense of gaydar.
That’s why on that first visit to my place, I was surprised we messed around.
It was innocent enough. We were drinking beer, watching the game and making small talk. One thing led to another and before I knew it, we were giving each other “bro jobs”. We weren’t drunk either. Maybe 2 beers at best?
And it’s not like I tried to play it straight or pretend to be something I’m not. Right from day one, I told him I liked guys.
“It’s cool man. No worries. I didn’t know for sure but figured since you never talked about women, you might be – well – you know.”
But the funny thing is, he never identified what he was. I knew he wasn’t “straight”. No man really is if he’s messing around with you.
I assumed he was bi or maybe bi-curious.
“Sometimes you gotta just roll with it bud,” was all he said when I tried to prompt an answer.
So as time has gone by, Ricky has stopped by more and more. Sometimes we just talk. Other times it’s a card game. And yes, here and there, we mess around.
What’s frustrating to me is that I’ve allowed myself to get sucked in. You see, I’ve started to develop feelings for him. Sucks huh? Because you know this is an impossible relationship.
I’ve always had a thing for the “Ricky” type. No, not “straight” guys but instead, the “bad boys”.
You know what I’m talking about, right?
Bad boys are guys who have a kind of double life. They’re usually ridiculously good looking, prone to trouble and live life dangerously.
Not that he’s reckless – unless you count the occasional 420 he brings to my place. Or the fact that I know he likes to party with cola sometimes.
What hooked me on him was the one time we kissed. If you’ve ever been with a closeted guy or experimented with a man who is “straight but curious”, you know that when it comes to making out, they need to be in control.
Our arrangement had morphed into a competition. If the Steelers were ahead by halftime, I would “help him out”. If they were behind, it was his turn.
But on one halftime occasion, when the Steelers were behind, I went to pay up. But right in the middle of servicing him, he pulled me near his face and we kissed. And I’m not talking about a lame ass hookup kiss either.
This was a real f*king kiss with passion. They don’t happen often but when they do, you recognize the difference right away.
I can still taste the beer and bubble gum mix from his mouth as I write this.
Two weeks ago I was out walking the dog. My Shepard spotted Ricky’s lab a block away and took off after him like a lightning bolt, dragging me like a ragdoll from behind.
But as we got closer, he started barking loudly. I couldn’t figure out what was wrong.
“What’s troubling you boy? Why are you so upset?” I asked as he continued to yank and bark, sometimes letting out a high pitched wince.
Then everything became instantly clear.
It was Ricky’s dog alright – but it wasn’t him doing the walking. Instead, it was a woman – and a really pretty one at that.
Once we arrived where they were standing, I instantly knew it was his girlfriend. Call it a sixth sense. And apparently, my dog knew it too.
“Oh, this must be Thomas. Ricky told me I might run into you guys,” she said as the dogs united. “I’m Rita – good to meet you.”
As we chit-chatted on the sidewalk, she explained that she was taking out Cash for a walk while Ricky showered.
“We’ve been dating for a few months now. Last night was my first sleepover at his place. Usually, he spends the night at mine.”
My heart just plunged into my stomach when she said this. I wasn’t upset that he had met someone. And it didn’t bother me that it was a woman. Like I said, I didn’t think he was gay but certainly not straight.
But man – it tore me apart that he never told me about her.
Am I his little secret? The person he shags here and there but doesn’t admit exists to others? Maybe his invisible f-buddy?
I guess I had built it up in my mind that we had something going on – if that makes sense. I mean between the occasional hook ups and that kiss, how could I not?
Ricky’s not my boyfriend. He doesn’t even think of me that way. In his mind, I’m probably just the guy up the street that he occasionally runs into – and “catches games with”.
It’s not like we were texting each other either. We’re not even Facebook friends. The whole thing has been pretty casual. You know?
So why do I feel such a sense of betrayal? And WTF am I going to do the next time he wants to hang out. I don’t want to mess around with him if he’s seriously dating someone.
Worse, I’m fearful of being drawn farther in. You know? The whole situation is completely messed up.
What sucks now is that I think I’m in love. In fact, I know I am.
Photo Credit: Flikr with permission (Not actually Ricky)
*Name changed per author’s request.
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