I conjectured that this meant that he would be present. I felt like the stakes had risen quite considerably. I braced myself for the prospect of seeing him, knowing that I talk about him a lot to friends and family. Also, I recalled that he said something about feeling too intimidated to attend the Meetup and me having offered to meet him beforehand and go together.
[12:01, 31/05/2021] HZ: I was a bit intimidated, esp when I didn't know anyone who attends them anymore
OK, I would not have been able to do that this time as I had a gig beforehand and was arriving late.
However, he might have seen that my name was on the guest list.
Although, I checked this morning and his name was not on the guest list. So he might have simply turned up from hearing about it in the WhatsApp group.
Maybe he accepted my offer with "yes" and "thanks" out of politeness? Not that he actually intended to take me up on the offer?
Anyway, as soon as I arrived at the picnic, I made a beeline for Faye and the girls. I feel more comfortable and safe among the lesbians than I do with the gays in "queer" spaces. And I have known Faye for the longest. Just so happened that HZ was sat right behind Faye in the other group with his back turned (so he did not see me immediately). Faye knows about my crush. I motioned towards him so that she was aware. Of course I was not going to go up and talk to him. I felt too shy. I let him come to me. He did. His eyes widened in surprise when he saw me. He came over and we talked.
We had a good conversation. He made some comment about me looking like I had lost weight or been working out. I joked "hello bicep" and rolled up my sleeve. He seemed to be genuinely interested in how I was doing. He asked me 2x how everything is going, quite sincerely. I told him about my gig this morning and some of the artists / genres played. I played him 2 versions of Despacito on my phone. He seemed to appreciate music a lot (even though he is not a musician himself. He told 1 possibly 2 other people that the Meetup he first attended was the Meetup group that I organised. And that I had played saxophone. He was extremely complimentary about my sax playing.
We talked about Meetup. When I told him about the Kennington Cock Tavern Meetup, he mentioned that he is transferring to St George's Hospital (Tooting). I mentioned that my cousins' girlfriend works there. Maybe I could put him in touch with her. Not subtle at all. He mentioned that he was looking for a room. I said "funny you should mention that as the room right opposite my bedroom has been available for several weeks, I could put you in touch with my landlady, we could be roommates!" I said it in the joking way and added "but that might be taking it too fast". He said that he has only been to 2 gay bars in his life (GAY Late and Quebec last weekend). He reminded me that he only came out last year shortly before we first met. That is why he was texting me asking if it was the Meetup. I knew that he had come out of a relationship but I did not realise that he was coming out. Maybe this is why he comes across as innocent and naive. Again, he showered me with flattery asking who I knew and telling others that "everyone knows Rory". He seemed to think that I am in every LGBTQ group (which I am not) or that I have a hand in their organisation (which I do not). It is difficult to tell. Maybe he is simply a natural charm with everyone and I take it personally.
We talked about Tinder. He asked me if I am involved with anyone. I briefly alluded to my dating disaster this week but did not elaborate on it. I asked him the same question back in return. His response was somewhat vague and indistinguishable but I am pretty sure that he said no. I asked him what he was looking for on Tinder. Again, his response was somewhat ambiguous (maybe it is a language barrier, English in not his first language). But he expressed that he was looking for a relationship. Not a random hookup where you have sex and never see one another again. He is not into those apps like Grindr where you feel horny and call someone up straight away. I said something about preferring to meet people in real life at a Meetup rather than on a dating app. Another strong hint. I stopped short of asking him why he is on Tinder to begin with when I am sat right here. I was tempted to say "I wish I could find you on Tinder" or "I went on Tinder in the hope that we might match!"
We had a nice conversation, which lasted several minutes. He got up and smoked his vape apologetically not wanting other people to inhale his smoke. I encouraged him to sit back down, saying that I did not mind his smoke, but he would not. He acted too much of a gentleman. I am quite good at playing it cool while maintaining and conversation with a crush. Without crumpling up in shyness. The problem occurs when I do or say things that I regret or blame myself for afterwards.
Despite his expressed interest in maintaining a conversation (maybe that was endearment again and not something personal to do with me), HZ grew bored and went over to talk with another group. Some people started playing frisbee and I joined in. I was wearing my nice new Gheri shorts and I believed that I looked hot. I enjoy getting tipsy and skipping about on the grass bare-footed. I was flexing in the hope that he might notice me.
[20:13, 26/06/2021] +44: The crime scene after our frizbee flew into a pigeon mid-air and it combusted into a ball of feathers as it flew off
I spent some more time hanging out with the lesbians. I played Sam's messages to a few people (including Faye). The general feedback that I received was that I "dodged a bullet". If I was not laughing so much about it, I might feel bad for Sam. I might want to help him in some way. He is struggling with issues. Possibly similar to the issues that I have been struggling with. If I were given the choice of whether or not to take him back, I probably would. But the first things that I would say to him would be:
The people to whom I showed the messages thought that he was aggressive.
Apart from that, occasional lusting over HZ. I am absolutely smitten with him. What is my problem? HZ decided to go home. He came over to me to say goodbye. I asked him if I could kiss him. He said no. I tried to cover up my social faux pas with a friendly shoulder thump and fist bump.
After it happened and HZ walked away (he walked away with a friend), I wept and cursed myself. I could not hold myself back. Faye was there for me and supported me. I also told a couple of other girls what had happened. No point bottling it up. I got drunk. I have been in this situation so many times and never came out of it strong. Without hurting myself in or self-subjugating in some way. And it has built up over the years. From having been in this situation so many times, I knew that I would have to pay the mental and emotional consequences (both of the asking and the perceived "rejection"). I guess that I was delaying the inevitable.
I sent up a red flag to my MH Champion. In case there is any collateral. If this fallout is going to happen (and I know that I am projecting here, but I cannot help it), I may as well track my thought process so that I can a) understand what it is that I am struggling with and b) how I might manage myself better next time.
[21:15, 26/06/2021] Rory Duffy: I’m at a meet-up just asked my 1-year crush if he would kiss me he said no, he’s left now, I know that I might have to deal with the consequences of that now, I just couldn’t hold back, I’m trying to let it go, but I know that I’m going to beat myself up and criticise myself over asking that 😖x
Faye & I left the dwindling gathering at about 10pm. It was dark and we were both a little drunk. She said that I could message her whenever I wanted to. Even if I felt bad and needed someone to listen to.
On the way home, I bumped into Freddie at the THT. We had a little chat outside. SE11 Sessions was in full swing inside, rip-roaring through "Route 66". I cannot remember what was said between myself & Freddie. Other than that when I was self-isolating last weekend and I bumped into him, all I had done was been on a run. I did not want him to think that I might have been breaking the rules. I told him about my gig this morning. I expressed that it was a wonderful family. But I was closely monitoring my words in case I said anything that might be misconstrued as something else. Finally, I wished him to say hi to a couple of the musicians inside who I had not spoken to in a long time. In 2016, I had a hiatus from SE11 Sessions because of what happened with Roger. It was complicated on a personal and a professional level. I was so afraid of distancing myself and becoming alienated from the SE11 Sessions scene that this is precisely what happened. Between 2016-19, I did not set foot in that place. And now, the irony was that the jam was happening inside and I was standing on the outside. Having come back from Green Park and working through the stuff that I have been struggling with for so many years.
I sat down at my computer and decided that there were 2 things that I needed to do to make me feel better.
When I went to bed, I experienced intrusive thoughts (which is what so often happens after I have been coming drinking with social media). I convinced myself that the whole WhatsApp group somehow knew about this little escapade and that I had posted a selfie / send messages to the WhatsApp group that I meant to send privately to someone else. I also felt disgusted with myself for having spent so much money ordering goods off Shein while drunk.
True, it may not have been. But it is a shame that he said no. Was it a "no" or just a "not right now"?
I do not know. I was a bit tipsy. And I tend to feel a bit closer to people when I am in that state. Ah man, I just spent £70 on Shein, I feel so shit. I needed to do something to make me feel better. It is OK. We all do things like that sometimes. We need to perk ourselves up. I had a gig today so that will pay for it 👌
In detail: he came up to me. Saying something like he was going. I said "are you feeling cold"? He said "yes". I said "can I kiss you right now?" he backed away, I said "on the cheek", he said "no", I said "OK" (I think that I said something like sorry for being so forward), then I said "you are ok", I gave him a big pat on the shoulder, and a fist bump and that was it.
I was only telling him that I liked him. Not many people can be that open.
I think that he has known for a while, but it was really difficult to tell whether or not he likes me (I have been posting on Instagram, 50% of the reason was targeted at him, he has been liking my posts). He is so gentlemanly and shy that it is really difficult to tell whether he is acting polite.
Yes, Tom understands. But I did not know. I was finding out. I did not just launch in and kiss. I asked. It is fine. I was telling him that I liked him. Surely, he was flattered. He might not have been expecting it.
Yes, I guess. I am worried that either a) I might start self-subjugating and beating myself up about it or b) that things might be awkward between us.
Tom can understand. Maybe he might need time to process it and then will be fine around me.
Yes, I hope so. The important thing is that I am fine around myself 👌 about it. I did not think that it would be a surprise though. I thought that I had acted obvious around him.
Some people are unaware of these things though, even if we think that we are making it crystal clear! We must have compassion for ourselves. All we are doing is being authentic and honest with our feelings.
Yes, true. Tom is wise.
Rory spent the first few years of his life in an ice cave, carving out his palace of wonder. He's a bit of a love doll, but he who melts the ice shall have his reward.
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I have been recommended to acknowledge and process all that I have been though, where it all started from how it has affected me.