La Dominicana

I ventured to the Dominican Republic a little over 3 weeks ago. It’s kind of an annual tradition for me and other friends that have birthdays around the same time and whoever out of our general group of friends and acquaintances wants to tag along. We have done it for several years now. It’s usually been around 10 to 12 people, with a mix of couples and singles, but this year, due to engagements and weddings and all that jazz, there were only 4 of us – myself, Carly, our friend Chico, and his girlfriend.

As previously touched on, due to my witching hour date with Adam I ended up not sleeping at all the Friday night before and thus by the time he dropped me off at the airport in the wee hours of Saturday morning for my 6:30 a.m. flight (the first of 2), I had been awake for almost 24 hours. So I was pretty exhausted, but the commencement of “vacation drinking” with Carly on the journey gave me an extra boost of energy and resolve. We had a brief layover in Florida but otherwise the flights were pretty painless.

We landed in the Dominican shortly after 1 p.m. to be shuttled off to our resort. Chico and the girlfriend were on a separate flight but we were all due to end up at the resort around the same time. We ended up connecting for a late afternoon lunch once everyone had gotten settled in. We had some tentative intentions on trying to get out that night but everyone had established that they were tired from traveling so it wasn’t looking too promising.

Carly and I went down for naps right after lunch and ended up not waking up until almost 10 p.m. By that time  we didn’t feel like freshening up or leaving the room. Nor did Chico or his girl. It was raining anyway so that made it feel like not too much of a waste. Carly and I opted to sip on some beers from the fridge and order room service.

The waiter who brought our food was a suave looking Dominican gentleman whom Carly took a liking to. Somehow, although he didn’t speak much English, some flirting between them went on that culminated in him coming back to our room for a late night visit to see her when he was done with work. My memory is fuzzy because I was tired and tipsy, but I don’t think much went on that night between them. At least not in my presence.

When we ordered room service again the next night – I think just for wine – it ended up being him again. And yet again somehow – I think they were using Google Translate – this resulted in yet another late night visit. But this time he brought an amigo for me. A person who appeared to be one of the cooks, as denoted by his uniform and accompanying hat. I was not into him whatsoever but I played the good wing woman inside while Carly and waiter guy (we never knew his name) went out on the balcony. This consisted of us sitting awkwardly beside each other passing my phone back and forth to speak through Google Translate, as he also did not speak English. While my basic Spanish isn’t too bad, conversational Spanish with a fluent speaker is not really my forte. It didn’t matter, as I was not feeling him at all, but I at least wanted to be polite. He did end up trying to solicit besos (kisses) from me but that definitely wasn’t happening. I was glad when they left.

The majority of the trip entailed our normal modus operandi: pool/sun/drinking with bouts of eating activities sprinkled in during the day, a resting period in the late afternoon, then getting dressed for the night and venturing out to one of the resort restaurants for dinner and the nightclub thereafter.

beach
Fun in the sun

For a lot of the time I had seen few people on the resort who piqued my interest in terms of being attractive while also not appearing to be in attendance with a significant other. However, it was at the nightclub on Wednesday night, while we were all kind of huddled around each other just drinking and primarily watching the dance floor, when I spotted a tall, blonde guy who looked particularly yummy. He was standing slightly behind us with a male friend. No females in sight.

There was an instance where I mistakenly backed into him (an actual accident…not to be confused with “mistakenly” where I might do it on purpose to get someone’s attention). I turned and apologized and that garnered a smile in response but not anything else. Drats. I kept my eye on him on the low and noted that he didn’t appear to be there with any women so I felt like that was a good sign and started trying to work up the courage to initiate a conversation.

It was around this time that Carly started being semi-annoying, as she was a little drunker than I was. She seemed to be halfway entertaining some Canadian guy but then would turn her attention back to me to babble and distract me while I was trying to scope out blonde guy. She eventually insisted I come outside with her while she smokes. This entailed exiting the club, walking through an open-air court area, and out into the open. I resisted at first, trying to hint to her that I was scoping out someone and didn’t want to lose sight of him, but she kept bugging me about it so I acquiesced. The club was only one way in, one way out, so I figured I’d at least know if he left.

We walked out and I kept her company while she smoked and talked about this Canadian guy that she claimed she couldn’t stand and wasn’t interested in but kept talking about so as to make it obvious that she was interested in him. Standard Carly.  Finally the cigarette was down to the filter and put out. Okay good…back to the club and blonde guy. But then one of the resort workers was riding by and apparently took a fancy to us because he slammed on his brakes and started conversing with us. We spoke back for 5 minutes or so to be nice and then scurried back inside.

I went in and did a scan. And of course as luck would have it, no blonde guy. REALLY?! I took a couple of trips around the perimeter just to make sure, and yep…gone. He sneaked past me somehow. I was blown and lamented to Carly how her high priority smoke break had cost me the only decent guy I had seen on the resort so far. Oh well, back to drinking.

Not long after, we decided the club wasn’t really hitting the spot so we decided to take a break from the deafening music and retreat to the bar outside in the court area. There were seats for people at the bar as well as tables a little ways off closer to the open entrance/exit. It was just me and Carly at this point – Chico and girlfriend had left to rest for an early-morning excursion.

We sauntered out to the court bar and who do I spy with my little eye sitting with a group of people at one of the tables off yonder? Blonde guy! He hadn’t gone after all, I just hadn’t noticed him on my way back into the club even though I had walked right past him. But now it was he and the male friend and several other people of mixed sex sitting around the table. There was a girl or two around his age, so my hopes were instantly shattered in thinking that perhaps one of them was his significant other. However, further observation kind of dispelled that hypothesis as he didn’t seem to be sitting particularly closely with anyone and there were no obvious signs of intimacy. It was hard to call it either way, but even if just family or friends, there was no way I was going to go hit on a guy within a group of people.

Carly had other drunken ideas though and kept intermittently looking over to try to make eye contact with him even though I implored her to forget about it. I wasn’t sure exactly what her plan was, but after turning way for a matter of seconds I turned back to find that just that quickly something had taken place. And it appeared to have failed miserably as she was suddenly motioning toward the club doorway for us to go back inside and exclaiming in a slightly amused, but slightly sheepish tone, “We have to go back in, NOW.” My eyes widened in surprise as I had no idea what had taken place in literally the 3 seconds I had my back turned, but the implication was that it had been something embarrassing, so I followed her back in the club at once.

When we were safely inside she explained that just as my back was turned, he looked over toward us and she made a welcoming arm motion to implore him to come over and join us. He only looked at her with a look that, by all description and imitation, seemed to be something like this:

nah

Yikes! Poor girl. But she took that hit for me…awwww! The things you do for friends. And yet, even as we were standing there talking about it, and just as I was making a mental note to chalk that one up under the “Definitely Not Interested” column, lo and behold, blonde guy walks into the club. Even before I could signal to Carly that he’s back inside so we could make a hasty escape out of his path and tuck our tails between our legs elsewhere, he spots us. And makes a beeline right over.

He comes up and smiles. I smile back and speak and Carly speaks as well but then takes right off and leaves me to it. And there I am, staring dreamily up into the blue eyes of blonde guy, who apparently turned out to be interested after all.

It turned out that he was German and spoke very little English. Thus his seeming distaste at Carly’s grand invitation earlier was apparently not that at all but maybe just genuine confusion and surprise. Maybe he didn’t know how to interpret it or whatever. In any case,  a limited bout of small talk ensued, sponsored by Google Translate. He was named Franck, 31, and from Thuringia, Germany. And he thought I was a “very nice girl.” We had a drink together and “talked” the best we could; eventually he asked if I wanted to come back to his room with him, which he was staying in alone. Sure…why not?

As we walk out through the court I see Carly sitting at a table with her Canadian beau du jour and one of his friends; I notify her that I’m going with Franck and tell her to have fun.

We got to his room and started making out pretty heavily, yet since no one had a condom handy, the possibility of intercourse fell off the table. We fooled around for a little while longer in light of that fact but then I realized I was tired and figured that since this wasn’t going any further for now, it’d be best for me to get back to my room. As I got up to start gathering my things together, he motioned for my phone to type. When he handed it back, the translation read: Will you stay with me?

Aw. I thought that was kind of sweet. Okay…fine. However, so as not to have any misunderstandings, I clarified that it was just for SLEEP. As in slumber. He concurred. And thus I settled back into bed with him and rolled into his arms. His hands roamed around a little bit but he didn’t protest when I eventually guided them back up to PG territory and we settled into slumber together.

I set my phone alarm for 6 a.m. so I could wake up and skedaddle back to my room before the resort started waking up and my walk of shame became too obvious. When it went off and I got up to get dressed, he got up too. He told me he wanted to walk me back to my room. Aw, again. What a gentleman.

I must say though, it’s maybe a little awkward to walk with someone for 15 minutes with no ability to make casual conversation. It would’ve been too cumbersome to try passing a phone back and forth while walking coupled with me simultaneously trying to remember how to get back to my room (he was staying in a different tier of the resort). But mostly it was peaceful. And trading smiles and glances back and forth said enough, I guess. We even both caught the humor in crossing paths with an extremely loud stray cat. That thing was mewing loud enough to wake the dead.

I lost my bearings a bit trying to find my way back from his side of the resort, but eventually some landmarks started looking familiar and I knew I was close. Thank goodness. I was yearning for a little more sleep and then some breakfast. When we got to my building he walked me up the stairs to our second-level door and then we kissed goodbye. He managed to reiterate the word “pool” in English to remind me of his previous mention of being there around 11 a.m. I told him I’d see him there and then went in.

But alas, I never saw him again that day. I kind of forgot the fact that his pool was different from mine and I wasn’t going to make the trouble of going over to his to find him. Then for that night Chico and his girlfriend were pressed to go to the Hard Rock Punta Cana, so we ventured off the resort by cab and got a one-night pass there. It was underwhelming. From the way they were so pressed to go, I thought it would have 24K gold floors and actual angels from Heaven as bartenders. But no…just pretty much a normal Americanized nightclub with a glitzy atmosphere whose patrons maybe had a little more money, as it costs an arm and a leg to stay there, but weren’t anything special otherwise. We were there for under 2 hours before we decided we wanted to go back to our resort. To which we went back and walked in to a completely dead nightclub. Like, we walked in and there was literally NO ONE in there but the workers. It was only around 1 a.m.

But there were still some scattered people at the court bar so we hung out there for a little bit. Two Argentinian guys starting talking to us and we ended up walking over to the late-night buffet with them to get food where I fended off the advances of one of them. He proclaimed that we were destined for a love as great as that of “La Diairo de Una Pasion.” That would be the Spanish title of “The Notebook.”  No thanks. He was cute but kind of corny and I was in no way interested in “making love” as he had suggested at some point (maybe playfully, maybe not). I was all too happy to have eventually convinced Carly that we should get back to our room for our “Big Last Day” before she found it in herself to hook up with the other one and thus invited them back to the room or something so that I had to entertain that fool any longer. I was NOT going to have another awkward chef incident.

kitty
My stray kitty friend

I never did see Franck again.On Friday it rained from sunrise until the mid-afternoon. A hard, steady, monsoon-like rain that precluded any breakfast or pool activities for that period. I was up around 8 o’clock doing some light packing in preparation for leaving the next day when there was knock at the door. I froze, thinking perhaps it was room service guy for Carly. We kind of made it a joke that we wanted to avoid him; he had called the room at certain points for Carly but she didn’t want to hang out with him again. Thinking it might be him, I didn’t move. When the knock came a second time, I said, What the hell and decided I’d just answer and tell him straight up. I was to the door within maybe 10 seconds of the second knock, but when I opened it there was no one there. I stepped outside and scanned to see if anyone was walking away or anything like that but I didn’t see anyone whatsoever, which was mildly unsettling. It was a pretty open area…not sure where someone would’ve gotten off to that quick.

When I thought about it later, it occurred to me that waiter guy had never come during the day, only at night. So then I got to wondering if it could’ve been Franck looking for me. That night I got dressed and to out with Carly for a little bit even though I was beat at that point and looking forward to getting back home. At dinner, which was an open-air buffet situation, I ran across the same cat that me and Franck had seen together. He or she was running among the tables obviously looking for food. I ended up calling it over and feeding it some scraps for a little while. It ate right out of my hand – my own ignorant cat doesn’t even do that.

I tapped out after an hour or two and left Carly on her on so I could go back to the room and rest. Chico and girlfriend didn’t come out at all. I had asked Carly to let me know if she saw Franck at the nightclub. She messaged me close to 1 a.m. telling me he was there. I kind of did want to go out to see him one last time just to say goodbye, but ultimately I was just not at all able to muster up the energy to do so. I wish I had gotten his last name or Facebook ID or something at least. He was a nice guy. And a tiny part of me feels bad thinking that maybe he thinks I ditched him purposely or something and maybe it really was him on Friday coming to see where I was.

Oh well.

 

 

Motion in the Ocean

The weekend before this past one I met Carly down at the beach. She and her mom had rented a condo for the week and she mentioned a little while ago that I could come down if I wanted, so I did. She and her mom rented the condo for Saturday to Saturday; I ended up going down a day early since my Friday was free and staying with them until Tuesday night.

Friday night was tricky because trying to find last-minute lodging for just the one night in an area that already demonstrates an impressive penchant for price-gouging  was not fiscally optimal. I was not keen on spending $200.00 for what would essentially amount to dropping my bag off, going out for the evening, coming back home drunk to crash and then leaving the next morning to meet Carly and her mom.

And thus, this was my first adventure with Airbnb. I had signed up to explore my options once in the past, but I had never actually patronized it before. It didn’t take me long to find a satisfactorily priced room a mere 20 minutes from town which was fine for my purposes. Just a quick Uber ride away to the bars. The room was $85.00 plus a $10.00 fee which put me at under $100.00, so that worked. Even with the cost of Ubering, it was still cheaper than a hotel overall.

The host was a single girl and her invalid dog (recent ACL surgery) who was very communicative in the days beforehand to welcome me and to make sure I found it okay. And I did. It was an older house, but well-kept and clean and suitable for my needs. The host was friendly and inviting. The room worked well for its purpose and there were no issues, but it did feel a bit uncomfortable being a guest in a stranger’s house while they are there. I interacted with her for a total of less than 10 minutes overall – when I got there, when I was headed out for the night, and then in the morning – and she was definitely nice, but it was just the slightest bit awkward. I’m generally a pretty fastidious person when it comes to neatness and cleanliness, but I felt an extra bit of obligation and pressure to leave as little mess and to make my presence as unnoticeable as possible. But all-in-all, it was good in a pinch. It’s probably better when you’re renting a spot that the owner doesn’t occupy. And what’s even better than all of that is not being the person who rents his/her space out to strangers – there’s no way in hell I could ever do that.

In any case, I went out to a couple of seaside bars for the night, got inebriated, and came home and slept until the mid-morning as planned. I explored the downtown area of the host’s town for a little while and then made my way to Carly’s condo.

As it happened, Scout was in town as well. He and his family had come down to a nearby city the day before to visit a son at college, and then on Saturday he would be sending his family home and staying over to hang out with some military buddies. We were in sporadic contact throughout the day and then once Carly, her mom, and I headed out for the evening, I told him where we were and he eventually came and met us with one of his buddies, Jake.

A glorious night of drinking and general camaraderie ensued. I’d met Carly’s mom before but had never drank with her – she’s pretty young-spirited and fun to hang out with. She got her drink on like the rest of us and really meshed with Scout and Jake. Carly had only hung out with Scout with me once, and that was WAAAAY back in 2014 when he and I first met, so it was great for us to all be able to interact together. At one point Scout asked me to ask Carly if she was feeling Jake or not. She said she wasn’t and I told Scout so but something changed at some point because when it started getting late we put her mom in a cab back to the condo and we went to chill with Jake and Scout in their hotel room.

Sooner or later Carly passed out with Jake in his bed, and thus Scout and I took the opportunity to have college-style sex (you know…the kind when other people are in the room) and then we followed suit with the sleep. We all woke up pretty early the next morning and spent a couple of hours fluctuating between conversations, sleep, and more sex (at least on Scout and I’s part). Before we left, Jake and Carly exchanged numbers and I hugged and kissed Scout goodbye thinking that he would be on his way back home after he spent some of the day with his son. Commence the Uber of shame.

Carly and I spent most of the day lying out by the pool during which she got several texts from Jake indicating that he wanted to hang out that night (even though he had to commute back home at some point to work the next morning). I would eventually discover through their conversation and then my own inquiries of Scout that Scout actually wasn’t leaving that day, but staying over until Monday. I hadn’t realized that before…I thought he was leaving after he spent the day with his son. I was happy to hear it though, because that meant another night with him.

Carly and I ventured out sans-mom in the early evening, not really sure when Jake and Scout would be showing up. We ended up hanging out with a nice group of guys who never let us pay for a sole drink the whole night no matter how much we tried. We actually left with them briefly to go to another bar, but we came back to the original one once one of their friends, who was a total dick, got kicked out of the second one somehow literally within 2 minutes of us getting there.

My memory starts fading as to exactly when Jake and Scout showed back up (this was vacation drinking we’re talking about, after all…not the run-of-the-mill sort). Per my texts, it was apparently close to 10:30 p.m., but I don’t really remember much about interacting with them at the bar. I vaguely remember us going our separate ways at some point – Jake and Carly back to the condo, me and Scout back to his hotel – and imploring Scout to order me a pizza, which I may or may not have eaten any of before passing out. The next thing I knew, it was 4 in the morning and I woke up in bed alone. I looked to the other bed, which had previously been Jake’s, and saw a figure there that I assumed to be him. But where was Scout? WTF! I found my phone and scribbled out a text: Where are you? Then I remembered the pizza and walked to the far side of the room to take a bite of a slice. When I was coming back over toward my bed, I looked to the shadowy figure in the other one and realized that it was, in fact, Scout. Oh. When I crawled into bed with him and asked why he slept apart from me, he said it was because I had passed out in the other bed diagonally with my limbs all askew, leaving him no room to get in. My bad.

We snuggled for the rest of the night, woke up the next morning and got some quick sex in, and then I texted Carly with my ETA and told her to prepare some sandwiches and liquor so that we could go to the beach. I helped Scout pack (or really, just oversaw it so that he was sure he didn’t leave anything behind), and then he drove me back to Carly’s and we hugged and kissed goodbye for real.

Carly and I did the beach thing for a little while, during which I had a visit from my old friend, Stallion, who works over that way now. I walked a little bit off the beach to meet him at his car on his way to a meeting. I hadn’t seen him in years. I’ve changed quite a bit physically since we last saw each other,which was obviously to his pleasant surprise. He didn’t look so bad himself. We had tentative plans to meet for lunch the next day, but that never came to fruition. If I had to take a gander, I’d say that was because he started sending me texts later that Monday night about how he was “thinking about me” and just generally flirty sentiments that made it obvious that he was hoping we’d hook up and I was so not even remotely into that with him. Ew.

Back to Monday: I noticed via Facebook that some acquaintances of ours were down at the beach too, so I got in contact with them and Carly and mom and I met them later in the evening for a grand drunken extravaganza. Carly ended up falling on the dance floor. I felt bad for laughing (then and still now when I think about it), but it was hilarious. And also our cue to exit. Poor thing…I keep telling that girl to stop with those high heels if she knows she’s going to get tipsy (she also fell Saturday night too in front of Jake and Scout).

We had a low-key Tuesday, as I had to hit the road at some point, which ended up being later rather than sooner. I didn’t make it home until after 10 p.m. but it was worth it. I feel bad because my aunt lives not far from the beach, on the way back to my house, and I told her I’d stop by to see her on my way back but I left too late to do that and didn’t call or anything. Ugh.

Not much to report for the rest of last week. I haven’t heard from or talked to anyone substantial. Friday night I was invited out to happy hour by a coworker. I hadn’t planned on going out but I decided to go for it since I knew I was staying in for most of the weekend. I went and saw some old friends and had a good time. Elliot ending up coming out and being quite friendly. Definitely not the way he is over text. But later as he got drunker he started talking about how in love he is with his girlfriend. *Vomit* Not that I care as I’m not hugely into him like that as it stands. Okay…I care a little. But not, like, significantly. Whatever.

The majority of my Saturday consisted of vodka and season 2 of Narcos on Netflix, which was another Grand Slam.

On Sunday, my friend Hannah and I met at the mall and I spent about $500.00 on clothes that I didn’t need and can barely fit in my closet. But it was retail therapy for Hannah’s benefit because she’s going through a tough situation concerning her husband and his evil ex-wife. So, I think that’s excusable although I really don’t need to buy any more clothes for the rest of the year.

Hannah is going with a group of girls back to the beach next weekend to HER condo, and I’ve been invited along. I wasn’t sure how in the mood I was for it, but she sounded disappointed when she sensed my hesitation about it, so I told her I would come. So first thing Friday after work, I’m heading down again. Just until Sunday this time. I’m sure more drunken antics will ensure.

In the meantime, I’m 5 pounds down at least.

Southern Scouting Adventures

This past Saturday I found myself waking up to a 3 a.m. alarm, showering, throwing some things into an overnight bag, and driving an hour to an airport to catch a 7 a.m. flight to Atlanta for an impromptu (as in finalized on Wednesday) overnight rendezvous with Scout.

Several weeks ago when he came to see me and we went out for a few drinks, he mentioned he was going to Atlanta in several weeks to see one of his childhood buddies – Al – and said that I should come. Given that he had been drinking and I didn’t hear anything about it for a while, I couldn’t be sure how serious he was or wasn’t about it so I didn’t press the issue.

He was away the week before last on a family cruise during which time Tyra hit me up to ask if I could pass her number along to him for a work-related matter of discussion. I told her he was away but that I’d be sure to touch base with him once he was back. (Admittedly, I wasn’t really 100% comfortable with offline interactions between them taking place, but I eventually bit the bullet and did as she asked – it was a legitimate work matter, after all. He was warned though, “playfully,” that no shenanigans had better take place behind my back.)

Then that Friday afternoon shortly before I left work, Tyra hit me up again to see if I wanted to get drinks after. I did. We met up and were out half the night. I made sure to capture a picture of us to tease Scout with once he was back, of course. I’ve seen her in passing and we’ve texted here and there, but I  hadn’t hung out with her  since the night of the threesome, so I knew he’d get a kick out of that.

When Scout made contact last Monday, freshly back from his cruise, I regaled him with the picture of me and Tyra during our outing. He was sorry he missed out, of course, but not long after brought up Atlanta again by suggesting that we both meet him there  on Saturday night. Tyra couldn’t make it (not that I really wanted her to – but I did ask for the sake of carrying it honestly), but I said I’d be down for it.

The only problem was that Scout could only fit me in for one night. Given the last minute nature of it, the flights weren’t running cheap so I would rather have stayed two nights to get my money’s worth. However, he and Al had obligations with other people that would not so much have been cool with Scout’s “hot girlfriend” (as he put it), so he was only able to clear the way for me for one night, so c’est la vie.  The flight was the only cost I needed to incur at least, as we were going to be staying at Al’s place and Scout promised that I wouldn’t have to spend a penny once I got down there.

So there I was at 7 a.m. Saturday morning on a flight to Atlanta to spend the day/night with my married lover and one of his best friends. That’s…different.

Scout and I had only spent one night together before this. That was back in September – a week before I went to Japan, coincidentally. He went to the beach for the weekend with some military buddies, and while he was originally supposed to head home Sunday night, he said he’d keep the hotel for another night if I’d make the drive to see him. So I did. Sex, football, food, and more sex ensued. As well as my first bout with the morning after pill. Fun times. In any case, I learned from that experience that Scout and I could stand the company of one another other for at least 16 hours, so I figured adding on another 8 wouldn’t be so bad. It was only the unknown factor of Al being thrown into the mix that made me somewhat nervous.

I landed in Atlanta a little before 9 a.m. Scout was there to pick me up not long after, his 6’2″, 220-pound frame squeezed into Al’s tiny 2-door Toyota Yaris, which was quite the spectacle. I hadn’t ingested anything yet but a 0-calorie Monster energy drink on the way to the airport so breakfast was the most immediate priority. Scout considerately asked if I would rather it be just us or if I wanted Al to tag along, but I was having none of that alone business…I would have to meet Al eventually and I didn’t want Scout to feel like he couldn’t include Al in our activities, or for Al himself to feel left out, so he stopped back at Al’s to pick him up and we made our way to a diner not far from his place.

They really are kind of opposites, which adds a unique dynamic to the friendship, I suppose. Scout is a muscular, salt-and-pepper crew-cut sporting, gun-toting Republican ex-Marine, while Al, whom Scout lovingly described as his “hippie, liberal friend,” is a soft-bodied, black shaggy-haired glasses-wearing Chess geek.  And I liked him immediately. We warmed up to each other pretty quickly over breakfast which assuaged my nervousness a lot.

After breakfast (complete with a couple of mimosas for me), we went back to Al’s place where I continued my day drinking with a beer and Scout looked up the particulars of a waxing place he wanted to take me to. The day before I had a horrific experience with my regular place at home which kind of bummed me out because now I need to make some other arrangements to keep myself groomed on the regular.

Long story short:  I was 10 minutes late for my appointment due to rush hour (I normally go on weekends but wanted to be freshly groomed for Atlanta) and they told me they couldn’t see me that day once I arrived. I was not a happy camper with this “policy” that seemed to spring up out of nowhere, plus the fact that the 20 minutes left in my appointment block would have been MORE THAN ENOUGH time to get me in and out. My girl was more than happy to accommodate me, as I’ve been a faithful customer of hers (and hence, the establishment) for a year and a half now, but the owner and the receptionist were such bitches about it that it turned me off and I walked out.And that was that.

Which is just as well since I’ve been considering getting a consultation for laser hair removal for a while now after pondering the pointlessness of waxing. I pay 50-ish dollars a pop every 5 weeks to rip hair off my bikini area that only ends up growing back. It’d definitely be more fiscally intelligent to invest in a permanent solution instead of throwing away money waxing endlessly. So here is my opportunity.

Anyway, I had briefly touched on that experience to Scout the night before, and he later asked out of the blue  if I had ever tried brazilian “sugaring.” I’d heard of it, but never tried it, and he said that he had an activity in mind for me the next day. So back at Al’s we were able to get a 3 p.m. appointment.

During this initial time at Al’s place, I noted that Scout put his hand affectionately on my thigh while he was sitting next to me on the couch. I found that gesture remarkable firstly because this is the rare chance that he has been able to let his guard down with me when there are other people around. Otherwise he has never really had the opportunity to express physical affection with me outside of touching me when we are engaged in either pre- or post-coital activity. As such, I never really had a real chance to assess whether he is an affectionate person or not. That simple gesture answered my question.

Secondly, I was a little nervous about how the vibe would be with Al around. As it happens, Al is actually dating the best friend of Scout’s wife, and obviously seriously so because he’s in the process of moving out of state to move in with her. So him not only having knowledge of, but even being complicit with Scout’s infidelity necessitates a certain level of secrecy and deceit within his own relationship so as not to cause problems for Scout. So I’m not only Scout’s secret at this point, I’ve become Al’s secret as well, as this excursion would definitely be something he has to keep from his own girlfriend.

So even though Scout made it clear that he trusted Al wholeheartedly, I was nervous about that whole dynamic. Would Al feel uncomfortable around me/us? Would Scout keep me at arm’s length around Al just like he does when we’re around other people we know? Would there be any awkwardness?

No, no, and no. The fact that Scout felt comfortable being affectionate with me around Al spoke volumes about the level of trust and comfort he feels within their friendship, and that realization helped to set me even more at ease. We were safe there. We could be ourselves.

Eventually Al started rattling off suggestions for things we could do before it was time for my appointment. We all decided that the High Museum of Art sounded like a safe bet, so off we went. I’ve only been to Atlanta once, when I was 5 or so. I barely remember anything about it from then so it was nice to take in the sights and energy of new surroundings. Scout was gracious enough to let me sit in the front seat while Al drove so I could easily observe the passing scenery as we went. Atlanta is a really beautiful, green, city in some parts.

The museum was interesting. I can’t remember the last time I’ve been to one, but I guess, given the nature of my visit, something “different” was definitely in order. Not that I don’t like them or am generally opposed, because I love art and culture, but it’s just not something I’d ordinarily take it upon myself to do on my own.

One particular favorite..a painting I thought was a photograph at first with the exquisite detail:

EstesSupremeHardware1974
Richard Estes – Supreme Hardware, 1974

After the museum we journeyed to the waxing salon. With the events of the day before at my home salon still fresh in my head, I was glad to be 20 minutes early. Accompanying male figures weren’t welcome to linger around the waiting area, so Al and Scout dropped me off and went on to find some other way to amuse themselves, but not before Scout handed me a $100.00 bill and told me he was treating me. I kind of figured he was going to do that since it was his idea in the first place, but it was still a nice half-surprise.

I’d never done the sugaring thing. It’s supposed to be slightly less painful and less irritating to the skin than wax, but to me, at least in feeling/pain level, there was no big difference between that and regular waxing. I can’t really tell if my skin is less irritated or not after the one occasion. Either way, it got the job done. And it was Scout’s gift to me, so if he likes it, I love it.

They obviously hadn’t ventured far because they were back to retrieve me within minutes of me texting Scout t0 let him know I was done (and in 20 minutes, so SCREW YOU to my former salon) and we went back to Al’s where he laid out a spread of cheese (first time having manchego – yum), crackers, salami, chips, and salsa, and we chilled out for a little while. I partook in more beer and this time around Scout joined in as well. Al has to refrain from drinking for the most part  due to health ailments, so he stuck to water. We sat around talking for a bit. Al and I bonded over our mutual love and ownership of cats (his was already stationed in his new home, thank goodness, because Scout is allergic) and we contemplated what we wanted to do with the evening and night.

When I talked to Scout the night before, he said they were at a bar playing some golf arcade game that they make a point of playing every year during his visit. It sounded entertaining, so I said I definitely wanted to try that out and then afterward the general plan was to grab dinner and then find a chill bar to close out the night. They both showered, I refreshed my makeup, and we went to hit the town.

I got my ass kicked by both of them in the golf game, but it was fun. From there we went to a place called Murphy’s for a fabulous dinner, and then right around the way to a cool little bar that the Murphy’s waitress had suggested. This is where I was able to pry some more stories out of Al about a young Scout, who sounded like a bit of a hell-raiser with some of his adolescent antics. It was interesting to observe their interactions and conversations then and over the course of the day – there is obviously a strong bond there forged through over 30 years of  history and friendship, though the odd couple they may be.

As it was nearing 11 p.m. my energy started to wane. I’d been up for 20 straight hours at that point, and even the little bit of sleep I did get Friday night was only about 3 hours’ worth. I started dozing somewhat at the table, so we decided to call it a night and retire back to Al’s place to drink there. But I didn’t get more than half a beer in before dozing off some more on Al’s couch and spilling some of it on myself, so at that point I decided it was time for bed. But not before Scout took my fresh brazilian for a spin. Only this time there was no time limit – he didn’t have to jump up and shower and leave by 2 a.m. and I got to sleep in his arms.

The next morning I was back at the airport at 8 a.m. kissing him goodbye and headed back for home. Quickest vacation ever, but it was worth it. It was an occasion of positive firsts: Our first time engaging in daytime activities together. Our first time hanging out with one of his friends. Our first time having a sit-down dinner together (bar food doesn’t count).

And I guess I consider it flattering, and maybe even kind of validating of my importance to him, that he would have me meet one of his best friends. As I said previously, I was a little afraid the experience might be awkward with me being the secret mistress and/or Al possibly feeling like a third wheel, but it wasn’t at all. As Al is leaving Atlanta to move in with Scout’s wife’s bff, it was actually their “last hurrah” of sorts, and I got to be apart of it. Al is really nice guy and I enjoyed the chance to meet him and to interact with such a pertinent part of Scout’s life, history, and development. Through getting to know Al, I feel like I got to know Scout a little better. The kinds of friends people choose are very telling.

Most importantly, I found out Scout’s biggest secret of all: He’s actually a big sweetheart. Not that I ever had reason to think he’s not…he’s never been a dick to me and we’ve always gotten along well…but our situation has always been on the one-dimensional side, given the inherent limitations. He comes over in the later hours of the night, we may or may not chill for a little while before we have sex, we cuddle for a while after, then he has to shower and leave. On occasion I’ll see him out at events for colleagues or we will sneak out to a bar together, and we had the beach rendezvous that time, but other than that we typically have to shy away from the public eye…we can’t really “date” freely. So being away from out native land together where we CAN interact and express ourselves freely in public without being wary of who’s watching or might see gave us the opportunity to behave more like a normal couple. And he treated me like a princess. It was wonderful.

He even seemed to get somewhat wistful at points, expressing surprise at how long we’ve been involved now – a year and a half – and asking if I ever imagined when we first met that we’d be one day sitting where we are – in his best friend’s place in Atlanta. That it would get this…deep, basically.

And I didn’t. I never imagined it would last this long or that he would become such a steadfast factor in my life. He’s one of my best friends. I trust him. He obviously trusts me. I love him. He more than likely loves me. But we’ve never said anything like that to each other and it’s probably best that we don’t because those kind of sentiments would only be dangerous. But I hope he knows.