Ring Them Bells

This year for New Years Mark (one of my best friends) and I decided to go away. Since his day job is that of an event planner, I usually take over all of the entertainment planning. My initial plan was to go to Playa del Carmen, Mexico. Mostly because I wanted to go to Chitzen Itza (to feel like Esteban in the Mysterious Cities of Gold – Look it up). But alas, I realized that trekking through ancient ruins doesn’t appeal to everyone, so we agreed upon Puerto Vallarta. After leaving the snowy streets of New York, Mexico seemed like paradise. I was completely surprised at the vast number of gays that flocked to the PV. Who knew it was a gay Mecca. Mark and I gladly took our place on the beach to worship the sun, the view and the bodies. We ate incredibly well, destroyed our livers, and zip lined with porn stars, you know the average vacation.

New Years Eve was quite magical. The entire city turned into one huge block party. Dancing and drinking, it was magical. I felt like I was in that scene from Romancing the Stone when Kathleen Turner finally showers, puts on that white dress and dances her way through the street fair with Michael Douglas. (Joan Wilder? THE Joan Wilder?) We made our way through the crowded streets to the beach to watch the fireworks. Now, I have never really understood the thrill of fireworks. Everyone is just standing there looking up to see the exact same thing as they saw last year. We decided to stand a bit away from the crowds to relish the moment. I did not realize that we were standing feet away from where the fireworks were being launched. BOOM! Not only the sound scare the shit out of me, I could actually feel it in my chest. BOOM! We weren’t just watching the fireworks, we were actually apart of them. Now that was Thrilling (Ok, I did scream like a little girl andit was thrilling!).

Now to dance our asses off. We directly went to Club Mañana, PV’s biggest dance club. As we walked up to the door, I again was very pleased with my event planning skills. I purchased tickets online before we even left so we were able to bypass the two block line and went straight to pass go (alas, there wasn’t two hundred dollars to collect). Walking into that club can be a bit intimidating. It is huge. HUGE! As soon as you enter you are in the main dance section. Half of it is an outside bar complete with a pool in the center. The other half was the dance floor filled to the brim with shirtless, tweaked out muscly men. There was a roof top bar above and also two other smaller bars throughout the complex. We promptly got ourselves a drink and tried to push our way through the sea of shirtless torsos to find a place where we could shake it.

Out of the corner of my eye I noticed this guy in black shirt dancing close to us. He was by himself and before I knew what was happening he was right next me. He was very adorable. Completely not my type (my type = fair skin, light hair, light eyes, the all American boy next door). He had dark hair and eyes, tall and skinny. Gay gasp. They played one of our favorite songs Katy Perry’s “Firework” (don’t judge). We danced like there was no tomorrow. Even bigger gay gasp. Directly after “Firework” they played “Only Girl in the World” (I said don’t judge). We were in gay heaven. After our two favorite songs concluded Mark needed to get another drink and left me with tall skinny dark hair boy, PJ. Mark told me and PJ not to move, he would be right back. PJ turns to me and says, I need some water and grabs me by the hand. We navigated through the rocky terrain of cruising men. He lead me upstairs to get his water on ther roof top bar. This made it easier to keep one eye on the crowd below to search for Mark. PJ and I start to chat. He tells me he is from New York. I am then reminded of that old Kander and Ebb song “Ring them Bells.” Do I really have to go all the way to Mexico to meet someone from NYC? I am still hanging over the edge trying to keep one eye on out for Mark. Gasp, his favorite song comes on and he starts singing. It was over. Don’t get me wrong, he cannot sing but he was so adorable trying, it tugged my heart strings. He then kissed me. Typically I am totally against PDA. I don’t know what came over me but when he kissed me, we became those people at the bar. You know, those tacky people who you just want to scream at “Get a room!” He then asked me if I wanted to go. I was still shaken from the kiss, so all I could do was shake head yes.

Leaving Mark behind we hopped in cab to his villa. Yes, his villa. It was just outside the main part of town. Stunning. He took me to his room and we lay there and made out for a while. We chatted and then made out some more. He was witty, charming, smart and adorable. Could this be more than a New Years Eve hook up? The moment of truth has come: “Before we go any further I need to tell you something…I am positive.” True to form, there is a bit of quiet and I can feel his body withdraw ever so slightly. “Well that’s ok.” Ok? ok…that went better that I thought. Even though he said it was “ok” the mood definitely shifted. Within twenty minutes he said to me “I guess I do have an issue with your status, but I do like you and would still like you to spend the night.” There it is again, that kick to the stomach. I don’t know whether it was because he was so honest and charming or whether I was so desperate for a connection with someone that I acquiesced.

I got up the next morning, early (the product of being a morning person) and did the walk of shame. Wow, I had no idea where I was. We were out of the city limits and there were no sidewalks. So I walked. I walked home wearing my clothes from the evening and it looked it. I decided to stop in a little mart to pick up a coffee, so if anyone saw me walking home they would just assume that I wasn’t doing the walk of shame, I just wanted some coffee. Who the hell did I think I was kidding.

The days pass and I didn’t see PJ again. I knew he was leaving before I was and I thought I would never see him again. I sat on the beach feeling sorry for myself. Feeling like an outcast in my own community. I then got even more upset for not remembering his last name so I could properly cyber-stalk him. When Mark and I had enough of the sun for the day and we gathered up our things to go back to the hotel for our afternoon siesta. As we walked along the beach I told Mark how it I kind of like PJ and it was a shame things didn’t go differently. Then all of a sudden he appeared. I was a completely dumbfounded by this. He pulled me aside and he told me that he was leaving shortly and he made his friends come to the beach in hopes of finding me. He wanted to apologize for the way he treated me and that his biggest regret was not getting my information. What was going on, I felt like I was in some bad (but oh so good) cheesy romantic comedy. I explained to him that there was nothing for him to apologize for, he was being honest about how he felt. Nice about it and honest. Nothing to apologize for. He smiled and we exchanged numbers. Off he went back to the big city and I went off skipping back to my hotel room. I kept saying to myself “He was looking for me. He was looking for me? He was looking for me!”

And so she went to Dubrovnik the very first day
She met a guy on the beach who took her reason away
Yes, it was love at first sight and quite a beautiful scene
She said, “My name is Shirl Devore”, he said, “I’m Norm Saperstein”
She said, “Are you from New York”, he said, “That can’t be denied
I’ve got a swell junior three at number five, Riverside”
“Five? Five Riverside Drive in New York, that’s where you live?”
“That’s, that’s where I live, Five? Are you sure?”
As if that wasn’t enough for Shirley thought she’d gone deaf
When he told her his apartment there was 29 F
Yes, She was ‘E’, he was ‘F’ and they had not even met
Until she traveled the world to Yugoslavia yet
He’d always been right next door and she would never have known
If she hadn’t tried Dubrovnik, she might still be alone
Well there’s a moral to learn from little Shirley Devore,
Who had to borrow a thou’ to find a lover next door.
You girls who live in apartments, don’t just stare at the wall,
Open up the door and hurry out in the hall.
Oh Ring them bells, come on, ring them bells.
Make ’em sing, you’d better ring them bells.
It’s such a happy thing to hear ’em ting-a-ling.

You gotta swing them, ring them, swing them, ring them bells!



Filed under AIDS, Dating, Gay, HIV, HIV/AIDS, PJ

2 responses to “Ring Them Bells

  1. I love your writing and now I get to enjoy your escapades too! I would like to go to gay heaven with you.

  2. Ed

    Very cute story. Brought a tear to my eye and made me smile. It’s been a while since I’ve had the first date jitters…..

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