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Anniversary of Eight
I suppose you're wondering why I put a human heart in the picture instead of a symbolic heart. Well a human heart looks more interesting, and it's a weird picture to use for a story about love. That fine, however since we're a weird couple anyway.
It’s been eight years since I first met my cohort, who shall only be referred to as “M”, and we started our fabulous journey together. However, we’re a gay couple so if I do my math right that’s about forty in gay years, due to stereotypes surrounding gay men and their notoriously short relationships. When we hit our one year mark our friend David told us “Oh, that’s like five in gay years,” and so it stuck.
It all started eight years ago on a night much like tonight...but if it’s daytime where you’re at just pretend it’s night. It was a Friday, Black Friday to be exact. For those of you that do not know what “Black Friday” is it’s the day after the American holiday Thanksgiving. Black Friday signals the start of the Christmas holiday shopping season. I got out of work early and looked up at the sky. The full moon was smiling down at me. For some possibly lunar-inspired reason I decided to throw all common sense I had out the window and headed to Valley View Center, which was a slowly-dying mall on Lyndon B. Johnson Freeway and Preston Road.
Valley View Center may have been on a slow road to death, but it was still at least somewhat vibrant in 2004. They installed a 20-screen movie theater there earlier that year to try to slow the inevitable demise, but Valley View cannot escape its destiny.
I wandered into the opening at the end of one of the mall’s branched-out arms, a portal to potentially deadly consumerism in the spirit of the holiday season. I stumbled around, avoiding the wave upon wave of mindless crowds, and found myself in the warming embrace of a Bath & Body Works. I started playing with the scented lotions and smelling their wonderfully fruity essences, because that’s what you do at one of those places. Some pleasantly-normal middle-aged women joined in my smelling adventures and we proceeded to sniff each other in what must’ve looked like a very strange series of events to outsiders.
Suddenly a thought occurred, and I wondered what sort of scents M likes. Since we already had a date planned for that Sunday I had his phone number programmed into my phone.
“Hey, I was wondering what kind of scents you like,” I asked, sounding ridiculous. “Do you like orangey-mango stuff?”
“Orangey-mango sounds good,” M said.
“Ok, I’m at Bath & Body Works in Valley View Mall and I was looking at lotions.”
“I’m in Valley View Mall too,” he said as his voice perked up a little. “I’m in the food court.”
“What are you wearing?” I asked as I headed toward the grand open space in the middle of the mall.
“I have long brown hair, and I’m wearing a black leather trench coat,” he said.
“I love you already,” I replied. I have a thing for black trench coats. “Are you the one pacing back and forth at the base of the escalator?” I asked.
“Yes. Where are you?”
I stepped on the escalator, and began to descend. “Right behind you.”
Despite the wretched atmosphere of a run-down Dallas mall in the chaotic season of Christmas shopping there was a bit of magic in the air. We only met briefly before returning to our own interests. He was there for a movie, and I was there to get some lotion and get the hell out!
Fast forward two days to Sunday afternoon. The meeting place for our first date was The Londoner, a reputable British pub in Addison, Texas. The place was a little difficult to find since it only had a tiny partially-lit sign hidden behind some trees. The pub itself was decked out with many British knickknacks and other accoutrements. Years upon years of spilled beer had thoroughly soaked into the old hardwood floor, giving it that feeling of a well-soused drunk-house. There wasn’t much memorable about this actual part of the date beyond just sitting down and getting to know each other. Sure the food was great, M was quite a charmer, and I got to try Strongbow hard cider for the first time, but that was about it.
About 90 minutes later, after the meal was eaten and our glasses empty, we decided to head out. I turned to M and asked in a rather pitiful voice “That’s not all we’re doing tonight, right?”
No, of course not!
We had a smashing idea and decided to adjourn to my apartment for some light entertainment. My roommate left for a few hours so we had the place pretty much to ourselves. I popped in my DVD of Invader Zim season one, and we watched it with geeky delight.
For those not in the know in gay relationships if you don’t have sex on the first date then something’s wrong. I know I’m generalizing on this point, but it’s certainly a standard I have no intention of breaking. After an hour or so of quality cartoon watching, or whenever “A Room With a Moose” was on, M turned to me and said “I have an urge to kiss you.” and before we knew it we were in my bedroom. In an effort to preserve the PG rating of this article I’m not going to divulge what went on in that room. And that’s fine, since what happened next is more entertaining.
After about an hour or so my roommate got home. I’m guessing she saw my closed door and decided not to disturb us. She was trying to be as quiet as possible, and like a ninja with a bottlecap kimono she banged up a storm in her stealthy journey around the apartment. That’s alright. M and I weren’t really sleeping anyway.
My roommate must’ve been hungry, because I heard her putting biscuits in the oven. The kitchen was right next to my bedroom, so I could pretty much tell what was going on in there. All in all biscuits are a fine quiet snack to nosh on late at night just as long as...
“BEEP*BEEP*BEEP*BEEP*BEEP!!” .... and there goes the smoke alarm.
My roommate scampered to the kitchen as stealthily as she could and tried to silence the terrible electronic nuisance. Failing that she quietly uttered a rather loud and mournful “Nooooooooooooooo....”
We couldn’t hold our laughter in for any longer and started giggling like mad.
Altogether that was a really good day.