Monday, October 15, 2007

Three years…and counting!

Above: Paul (left) and me as kids with our stuffed animals.

In 2004, I was living in the South End of Boston. For the first time in my adult life I was single. It was a refreshing feeling to be a 30-year-old single man living in the gay "mecca" of Boston. I was single for just about a year and it felt great! My first relationship was when I was sixteen years old, I was a stupid kid who came out at sixteen and wanted a relationship, or so I thought. What I really wanted was someone to give me attention and love me. I didn’t know that at the time, but looking back I was lacking both of those things in my childhood. I met a guy who was 27 years old, eleven years older than me, and we started dating. To make a long story short, we ended up together for 10 years!! The relationship was not healthy and it had many ups and downs. Obviously, this relationship had a huge impact on me and will for the rest of my life, it molded me into the person I am today and that “relationship” has been a double-edged sword for me in present day. It has had its pros and cons for me in my everyday life.

My second relationship was with someone that should have just stayed a friend. I was not ready for a relationship, I was still healing from my past relationship and it was a bad time for me to get involved with anyone. I was still trying to find out who I was, what I liked, where I wanted to go. I didn’t know any of these things and should have stayed single and figured out all of these things on my own rather than drag another person through that bullshit in my life. Needless to say, the relationship lasted two years and I can say I did learn things through this person, but as mean as this sounds, that person was really a stepping stone for me in learning what I wanted in a person and where I wanted to go in life.

Above: Me in 2004.

So back to 2004, I was 30 and I was more confident than I had ever been in life, I loved the person I was becoming and I saw direction and knew what I wanted and who I was for the first time. I was someone who had become very blunt, honest, friendly and straightforward. I would hold nothing back when meeting new people and I would completely put myself out there and pretty much had the attitude of “ what you see is what you get” and “if you don’t like it then I don’t want to know you.” This was the attitude and ideals I presented when I met Paul Johnson. When I met Paul we started talking online and we had a lengthy conversation online for a few hours before we started to talk about where each other lived. We both found out we lived in the South End of Boston, then we found out we lived on the same street and then we realized that we were next door neighbors!! It was quite freaky that the person I started talking to online could have been anyone in the world and it ended up being my next-door neighbor!!!
The icing on the cake was that I was actually stealing the Internet connection from Paul and his roomate Jon Jones! So thank you Jon for not putting a block on the Internet connection!:-) After we both came to the realization that we were neighbors we didn’t meet right away, I figured this was my “neighbor” that I would eventually see, hang out with and have a few drinks with. I had no intention of meeting anyone to date or pursue in that way. I wasn’t looking for a boyfriend and was content being single.

One day I was walking home from the gym with a pizza☺ and I noticed Paul exiting his apartment and walking towards me, we had exchanged photos so I knew what he looked like. I found him to be handsome and well built, but initially, I didn’t think he was 100% my type. We both said hello and briefly chatted, the first conversation we had DID include the Red Sox because they were in the World Series that year. So I knew he was a huge fan. And that was that. I figured he seemed like a nice guy.

Later that week, I had seen him again walking home from the gym and we talked about the Red Sox and how he was going to meet some friends at a local bar, I considered going but I was not really into sports that much at this point. So I just headed home…then the doorbell rang☺ There are moments in everyone’s life when you look back and you realize that if a certain “something” didn’t happen you wouldn’t be where you are in life right now. The mere fact that Paul decided to not go to the bar to watch the came (because the line was too long), and ring my doorbell to ask me if I wanted to go to his place and watch the Red Sox game, changed not only our lives, but everyone else that we know today.

Above: Paul and me at my 31st birthday party Feb. 2005.

I did go over to his place and we did just that, watched the Red Sox game and started to talk. After talking for about 4 hours there came a point in the conversation where I just knew that this was the person I was going to spend the rest of my life with. I cannot explain it, but a certain feeling came over me when we were talking where I just knew. I cannot speak for Paul but I do remember him saying later on that he was shocked and impressed at how open and honest I was about myself.

I was hooked and I couldn’t believe it happened like that. I wasn’t looking for anyone and here was a person who just falls out of the apartment next door and BAM, that’s it! Funny how things work out that way. As I got to know Paul more I was impressed and shocked that he was a father of young child. Zachary was about to turn one year old. This was not something that turned me off but really intrigued me, I never thought in a million years I would have a child in my life and I still didn’t think I would. I never knew how serious it would become. I met Zach right before his first birthday and he was just a baby just barely walking, not talking and I was taken by him. Geez! TWO “guys” had my heart! Seriously, if you think about it I was getting into a “relationship” with two people at the same time and I was scared as shit! I mean could I really open my heart again after two past breakups and knowing how bad it hurts to have my heart broken? There was a wave of, “Neil, just walk away,” but I thankfully didn’t.

Above: Me and Zach in 2005.

This all started three years ago toady and I have to say I am the luckiest person. I have meet an amazing group of new and old friends with and through Paul that I love and miss so much (I cannot name all of you bitches but you know who you are!), I have met two amazing families, The Johnson’s and The Ardito’s, I have met an amazing person that I have so much admiration and respect for and that’s Zach’s mother, Carrie, and I have met two amazing ‘guys’ Paul and Zach who I love both more than my own life. Zach you taught me so much about who I am and your only 3 ½ years old, you made me realize all I missed out on as a child and I want to be able to give back to you what I never had and that is attention, admiration, affection and love. Paul I am not the easiest person to be in a relationship with but we have a very special bond. Thank you for an amazing past three years and I look forward to many more years with ☺ Last night at dinner was great to reminisce on the past and talk about the future. I love you.

Above: Paul and me during the summer of 2006.

What is asked by many people we know is “how do you make it work” the key is to be best friends with the person your in a relationship with. Paul is my best friend and we talk about everything, we also share interests. I never thought in a million years that I would not only watch sports and enjoy it but also actually PLAY softball and football an LOVE it. I was never exposed to it in my life and even though I was reluctant to try sports, I knew that if I was going to be with Paul I had to open myself up and at least try new things and be interested in what he likes… and it worked☺ Paul did the same thing, I bet he never though he would have watched 25 Joan Crawford movies in his lifetime! LOL

Above: Paul and me when we first came to San Fran almost a year ago.

Below is a current song that just came out that couldn’t be more appropriate to how I am feeling right now in life:

I just want you close
Where you can stay forever
You can be sure
That it will only get better
You and me together
Through the days and nights
I don’t worry cuz
Everythings gonna be alright
People keep talking
They can say what they like
But all I know is everything’s gonna be alright

No one no one no one
Can get in the way of what I’m feeling
No one no one no one
Can get in the way of what I feel for you
You you
Can get in the way of what I feel for you

When the rain is pouring down
And my heart is hurting
You will always be around
This I know for certain

You and me together
Through the days and nights

I don’t worry cuz
Everythings gonna be alright
People keep talking
They can say what they like
But all I know is everything’s gonna be alright

No one no one no one
Can get in the way of what I’m feeling
No one no one no one
Can get in the way of what I feel for you
You you
Can get in the way of what I feel for you

I know some people search the world
To find something like what we have
I know people will try
Try to divide
Something so real
So till the end of time
I’m telling you that

No one no one no one
Can get in the way of what I’m feeling
No one no one no one
Can get in the way of what I feel for you
oh oh oh …

-Alicia Keys

6 comments:

PJ said...

Wow. Thanks so much for such an amazing post :-) Needless to say, that past three years have been a great time in my life as well and I am constantly impressed by your honesty and strength.

It really is crazy to think about things like:
1. What if Jon Jones and I decided to block our wireless Internet access? We probably never would have chatted online in the first place!
2. What if I didn't ring your doorbell that night (see... it's a good thing that I am so inpatient and I won't wait in lines!).
3. You forgot to mention that we also played video games (Nintendo?!) for hours that night as well.
4. Not 100% your type, huh? We'll have to talk more about that one.
5. Anyway, you also neglected to mention that I rang your doorbell twice and I actually started to walk away... But the lady with one leg (who was walking her dog with a missing leg - c'mon could I make this sh*t up?) called after me once you answered the door.

Anyway, a lot of the stars aligned for us to meet each other. I'm very thankful every day that they did :-)

Menky said...

LOL! I forgot about the lady with one leg AND her dog that had a missing leg as well!!! LOL Hilarious!!

I SAID, I didn't THINK you were my type, obvioulsy that's not the case Mister! :-)

Patrick Lentz Photography said...

Happy Anniversary you two! I love you both!

Dulcette. said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Frank said...

Congradulations!

What a wonderful family you two have created!

Miss ya,

Frank

Menky said...

Miss ya too Frank!!!