Friday, December 28, 2007

Sunday, February 12, 2006: The Tenth Day I Knew Andrew

This is the text of an email message I sent to a friend, describing the tenth day I knew Andrew, Sunday, February 12, 2006.


I can remember half waking up every 45 minutes or so during the night Saturday night. I am sure this was because one or the other of us needed to shift during the night. Most of the time we each seemed to sleep on one or the other of our sides, but several times I remember lying sort of on my back, half resting on the back of the sofa and half resting on the seat of the sofa. Andrew was on his stomach, with more than half of his body on top of me each time that occurred. We seemed to sleep all right, despite the close quarters. It seemed to me that Andrew's legs and arms were always around me or over me or under me. I liked that.

Apparently we woke up first, because there were no sounds from anyone else in the apartment when we woke. Andrew is cleanshaven, but he has a heavy beard--I could feel the stubble against me as he rubbed his cheek and jaw against my own cheeks and against my neck. I loved that sensation. We stayed under the covers and nestled against each other until we heard sounds of someone rousing. Then Andrew jumped out of bed, and extended his hand to me for me to use to rouse myself. I think he jumped out of bed so quickly in order that his roommates not know that we shared the same sofa throughout the night. The first thing he did after getting up, Silvio, was put the bedding away. Only then did he take me into the kitchen and hug me and kiss me on the forehead and keep me close to him, with one arm always around me, while the coffee brewed.

Andrew made pancakes for breakfast, as I learned he does every Sunday. His roommates seemed to be pretty mellow Sunday morning, and no one really did much of anything all morning.

After lunch, we all went outside and played in the snow. We actually had a snowball fight, and Andrew actually laid down and rolled around in the snow like a kid! Then Andrew and I went over to Union Station for a while. We had coffee and talked about the party and the people I had met. We talked about J, who Andrew assured me I would grow to adore. I think I will hold that thought in abeyance for now.

I asked him about several things: why did he not tell me he was fluent in German and French (answer: the subject never came up); why did he not tell me that he played the piano (answer: the subject never came up); what did he think about his roommates blabbing to everyone at school about us (it probably was only Thomas, and not the other two, and that he did not really care since he did not believe that Thomas meant to be mean-spirited in any way--and I am not sure I am in agreement with that, Silvio); and, of course, I had to ask him the big one--did he mean it last night when he told me he loved me right before we went to sleep (answer: "I was never more serious in my life").

I told Andrew how much I loved sleeping with him, and I told him that I had never slept in the same bed with anyone since I was six or seven years old. I asked him whether he had ever slept in the same bed with anyone else, and he said "no, never, not even as a child".

I told him that I wished I could stay tonight, too, and he said "I thought you WERE going to stay tonight". I told him that I was not sure what he had meant when he had told me to bring clothes for a couple of days, and that somehow I had assumed that he was inviting me over only for Saturday night. "No, I was hoping you would stay tonight, too" he said, and I said that I would, happily.

Then we went back to Andrew's place, and he cooked, and I helped him. He cooked for hours. He cooked a ham, three chickens, a pot roast, and he prepared tons of different vegetables for steaming, putting them in plastic bags for use throughout the week. He made mashed potatoes, with real potatoes, and he prepared cod in a cream-pepper sauce as a starter course for the evening meal. I learned that he always prepares all sorts of extra stuff on Sunday evenings so that he and his housemates always have something available to eat if they need something between meals during the week. He is a very good cook.

After dinner, Andrew's father called him, and that was the phone call I briefly told you about. Andrew went into the kitchen to talk to his father and after a few minutes Andrew motioned for me to come into the kitchen and join him. He was still on the phone, and he and his dad (and his mom, too) talked for another 20 minutes or so. I sat on a chair, and Andrew sat on a stool right next to and above me, rubbing my neck and head and looking at me, while he talked on the phone. Several times he grimaced at me while he was listening to his dad.

When the call ended, Andrew looked at me and said "Bad Day At Blackrock". I asked him what was up. Andrew said his father never had the foggiest notion that he and I would ever become anything other than friends--friends, simply friends. The very idea that anything else might occur apparently never crossed his father's mind. His father, Andrew said, expressed satisfaction that Andrew now had a "reliable"--whatever that is--gay person to talk to. "It is just like having a cousin, a real member of the family, in the same town" according to Andrew's father.

Andrew said he was now glad he had not said anything to his dad about his personal feelings about me when they had talked on Friday night, and he asked me whether I had talked to my dad again. I said no, I had not, not since Friday night. "Well, you better not say anything to him, not just quite yet. I get the notion that neither of our dads ever contemplated that anything other than a friendship could result from our meeting. Cousin Josh."

"What should we do?" I asked Andrew. "I don't think we do anything, at least not right now" was Andrew's response. "The only thing I ask is that, if you DO tell your father, please let me know so that I can tell MY father before he hears about it from YOUR father. OK?"

I told Andrew I would not say anything to my dad without letting him know first, and I asked him whether he thought his father suspected anything was going on between us. "No, I don't think so" said Andrew. "However, if he starts calling on the house phone, instead of my cell phone, then that means he is fishing for information, including fishing for information from my roommates, if necessary. That will be the dead giveaway that he thinks something's up. However, my mom would let me know if he thought something was going on, and she would probably key me in first. If she starts calling me every day, and asking me all sorts of open-ended questions, including questions about you, then that will be a signal that something's up on the home front."

"Do you think our parents are going to be a problem now?" I asked.

"I can only speak about my parents, but no, I don't think so. However, they would need to be skillfully prepared to learn that what they thought was a mere friendship was something more. With some time and some thought, I could do that" said Andrew.

"The only problem with my parents is that I need them to pay for law school" I said. "Law school isn't exactly cheap."

"Would they hold that over your head?" asked Andrew. "No, I don't think so" I answered. "But I can't be 100% certain."

"Well, for now, I think it is all for the best that we leave them in ignorant bliss" said Andrew.

And that was it on that issue, Silvio.

I stayed the night with Andrew again, and we slept together on the same sofa again. Andrew asked me if I wanted him to put all of the sofa cushions on the floor and make a larger sleeping space so that we could have more room. "No" I said. "This will be all the room we need. In fact, it is more than ample room. I want us to sleep as close together as we possibly can."

"Then maybe we should just sleep on the ironing board" Andrew said, and I had to laugh.

On Sunday night, I only remember half-waking two or three times, so we're obviously accommodating ourselves to sleeping together. It was heaven.

The downside was leaving on Monday morning. It left me with a feeling of total and utter emptiness, like the death of a loved one.

In my first class Monday morning, I totaled up the number of consecutive hours Andrew and I had spent together from early Saturday morning until early Monday morning. The total was 49 hours. I was not out of his presence for more than a few minutes at a time during that entire period, and I don't think I was ever happier.


The following day, Monday, February 13, 2006, I nearly ruined everything.

I totally acted up, and in hindsight I am surprised that Andrew did not dump me that very day. That was the beginning of a terrible week for Andrew and me, one of three really, really bad weeks Andrew and I suffered through (and all three weeks were because of me and me alone, thankfully—and all three really bad weeks were never consecutive weeks, or any friendship between us would never have survived).

I could not even talk about Monday, February 13, 2006, until three days later, when I finally told a friend, in detail, what had happened. I was only able to provide him with a précis of what happened on Monday, and I was only able to do that in the wee, wee hours of Tuesday night/Wednesday morning.


Thank you, Silvio, for the good advice. I get over-eager, as you know. I guess it is premature to plan for the weeks of March 5 and 12, especially since I am not entirely confident that I will not have driven Andrew away permanently by Thursday of this week, which is only tomorrow now, isn't it?

As I told you, I worry that I drive Andrew nuts and that I go for too much too quickly, and that it is all just too much for him. I am ready to declare undying love and shout it from the rooftops; he is now comfortable touching me and kissing me and sleeping in the same bed with me as long as we don't take "the next, irrevocable step".

As I told you, I also fear that I am 'grasping" at him--or, as I said to you last week, that I have or will become "clingy" around him. I always want more and more from him until I get everything from him, and I do not think I will be satisfied until we are, figuratively, paired and living together and bound to each other for life.

But, Silvio, sometimes when I just "go for it", it works out, like when I took the initiative to kiss him for the first time. If I had waited for him to make the move, I would still be waiting. But once I kissed him, long and deep, he was happy to kiss me, and he is happy to kiss me now, and to hold me, with great strength and with great tenderness, and to kiss me, over and over, as much as I need it.

So, I am conflicted, as you see. And I do not understand, Silvio, why I should NEVER tell Andrew that I am only happy when I am with him. Since that is true, I think he should know that fact. Please explain to me why--above all other things and "whatever I do"--I should never tell him that. I don't understand. I think honesty and directness should always be the general policy, unless overridden by other, more critical factors.

Yesterday (Monday) was a total disaster--an utter train wreck of a day. I can hardly bear to think about it.

I took your advice, Silvio, and I told Andrew that I needed a day off from him. I told him as soon as I saw him, which was only minutes after I finished talking with you--and the only reason I did that, Silvio, was because you said he would appreciate the maturity that act demonstrated.

Unfortunately, I horribly misplayed my scene, and made a complete mess of it. Then I compounded my error throughout the remainder of the afternoon and evening, and totally destroyed the coming three-day weekend, for which Andrew had apparently been making tentative plans.

Then, in the middle of the night last night, I called Andrew and I begged him to come to me because I could not sleep. I couldn't sleep because of everything that had happened yesterday, and I couldn't sleep because the previous two nights I had slept with Andrew and I could not bear to sleep alone last night.

All in all, yesterday was a complete debacle, in all possible ways. Not that it could make matters any worse, but I did not even handle the Valentine's Day thing right. Yesterday was just a total meltdown all the way around. I will tell you about it when I can achieve some distance from it.

I fear that yesterday (Monday) was the beginning of the end. And I am not confident that the damage was repaired today (Tuesday).

To make matters worse, I am sitting here, in the middle of the night, trying very hard not to call Andrew again and repeat the events of last night.


  1. Looking forward to the 11th, 12th, 13th, 14th, 15th (and beyond) days of your charming early time together. What a page-turner!

    Imagine if I were a filmmaker: I'd make your first two weeks together into a movie! It will be Truffau-esque in style, yet Fellini-esque in scope and imagination.

    It is guaranteed to be a blockbuster, since I believe the story of your early time with Andrew appeals to today's demographic of hopeless romantics.

    I shall secure the rights to the story immediately.


  2. Hey, J.R.

    I hope you are enjoying your weekend.

    Our last semester in school was a terrible time. Andrew was finishing up seven years of schooling on the East Coast and preparing to return home. I was finishing up my undergraduate degree and preparing to go to law school. When we met, both of us knew we were leaving Washington in May.

    That put pressure on us to decide what we were going to do, and I was not good at handling that pressure. Always in the back of my mind was that things were destined to end in May, and that we would go our separate ways, never to see each other again.

    It’s a long, long story, and sometime I’ll pick up the thread again. We are going through some of these same issues right now, because I have to decide soon where I am going to go to law school: here, or back on the East Coast. That is our current main topic of discussion.

    Get ready for the New Year!


  3. Well, I'm really glad Andrew and you came out of that commotion unscathed and that you ended up together.

    I think it may have been written in the stars many years ago, perhaps way before Andrew and you were born, that your paths would one day cross. Perhaps your fates decreed it.

    Do you believe in destiny? If you do, let it guide you to the right path, Joshua.

    2008! Make this the most stupendous year ever!


  4. I don't know, J.R., whether I believe in destiny or not. However, I believe that Andrew and I are right and natural for each other. I think we are perfectly matched.

    I had an inkling, when I met Andrew, that we would be together. I don't want to make too much of that, however.

    I do believe in love at first sight, and I loved Andrew the first time I laid eyes on him.

    Once I asked Andrew's sister-in-law, the psychiatrist, whether she believed in love at first sight.

    Her answer was both "yes" and "no".

    She told me that the first time she saw Andrew's oldest brother, she knew she wanted to marry "that big lug", as she calls him (he is 6'3").

    However, she also said that, if she found him not to possess admirable qualities once she got to know him, she would have given him short shrift and dumped him in a minute.

  5. And thank you for your kind wishes, J.R.

    I hope your 2008 is filled with happiness and wonder.

    Happy New Year!


  6. Fate. Destiny. Big questions. Complicated questions.

    I do not believe in reincarnation, and neither does Andrew.

    However, when we were in Hamburg in 2006, Andrew and I were seeing everything in Hamburg for the first time in our lives, and yet Andrew was spooked because he said EVERYTHING that was old in Hamburg was familiar to him. He said, if he did not know better, that he would swear that he had seen everything before, except for the new buildings.

    It was almost frightening. Andrew knew his way around town, easily guiding us through warrens of old, narrow streets without a map. Without him, we would have become hopelessly lost several times, and yet Andrew always knew where we were and what was just around the next corner. It was totally spooky.

    Once, Andrew said there was a large and beautiful brick church with a unique steeple down one particular street, and we walked down that street. Andrew kept saying "It will be on our right, in the next block or two" but we never came upon the church.

    Suddenly, we came across a bronze plaque, with an engraving of a large church with a unique steeple. The plaque stated that a church had formerly occupied the site, but that it had been destroyed in World War II and never rebuilt. It looked exactly as he had described it.

  7. Really spooky!

    I don't believe in reincarnation either. But I'm very superstitious.


  8. And:

    Of course, I'm not a psychiatrist, not even a good guidance counselor but, I think, this "J." girl was in love and, at the very least, infatuated with Andrew.


  9. Judy adores Andrew. They remain best friends, even though they have not seen each other since law school.

    Until Andrew met me, he and Judy would go to concerts and recitals together, as well as to theater, opera and ballet events. Judy lost her running pal when Andrew met me.

    Judy lives in Los Angeles now, and we have not visited her, and she has not visited us.

    We will have to go see her sometime.

  10. Well, I guess, I'm glad I didn't pursue a degree in psychiatry!

    I'm way off!


  11. No, J.R., you are not way off. You hit it spot on. Judy does love Andrew.