The next evening we went to a bar in our shared neighborhood where we asked each other about work and family and hometowns and hobbies, and he kissed me with full soft lips on my mouth and neck. The next day I left New York to return home for the holidays.A few hours into my day, I received a text from him. I was undeniably pleased yet something was unsettled in me at the same time.
I ignored the remark and instead responded with a filler question, trying gently to redirect the conversation.
This became a pattern over the next week during our physical separation. Considering our short history together, my uneasiness was amplified with each “I miss you,” but I continued to bypass his declarations in attempt to continue at the pace that I felt comfortable with.
I was excited to get to know him more and see just how well our chemistry could hold up and evolve, but at a reasonable pace, not in a way that felt forced.
I was happily committed to the idea of returning to New York after the holidays to pick up where we left off, and in the meantime, continuing to talk to one another about daily happenings, if we felt like it.
Stuart "Ashens" Ashen cobbled together a series of animations for his BBC web show "Ashen's Tech Dump", as black humor parodies of ZX Spectrum games.
The most popular of which was Vinnie Vole's Existential Nightmare, an unwinnable game where the title rodent goes mad and kills himself no matter what the player's actions are.
All versions of the game are presented as if they were actual ZX Spectrum releases, by a fictional company known as "Soren Micros".
It began as a fun flitting in my chest, smile and daydream-inducing, goofily saccharine the way most beginnings of good things are. A combination of polite questions, witty banter, and explicit flirtation (enhanced with images) kept us both delightfully entertained and engaged.
After a couple weeks of messaging, we mutually expressed interest to meet in person. I had never met anyone online before, or even been on so much as a blind date.
So I prepared myself with some liquid courage and dropped in for a drink at the bar where he worked (per his invitation, of course). I only felt mildly awkward – that giddy kind of awkward I think you’re supposed to feel when you care about connecting with someone new.
It turned out wonderfully, exceeding my expectations. We shared a very fun make out session – all hands and tongue – on a picturesque New York City street. We didn’t sleep together, but we were intimate, and we both enjoyed it.