We were sitting at my home in the living room having a nightcap. In the olden days, a nightcap was another name for a booty call after a date. And we’d just returned from a date.
We went to dinner at a rooftop restaurant that overlooked the skyline of Baltimore, Maryland. After that, we went to a piano bar and listened to jazz music. I had such a nice time with him.
I’ve known Curtis for a little over a year. We met on Facebook and started texting each other back and forth. We found out that we had a lot in common. He’s an animated graphic artist. And since I’m an author, Curtis offered to be my graphic artist–amongst other things. We also enjoy old-school music and line dancing.
Soon after the pandemic struck, Curtis and I could no longer get together in person. Social distancing became the norm for the world; so, we started “Zoom Dating.”
We’d have dinners, watch movies and tv shows together. and even fall asleep together…all on Zoom. It certainly was the new way of dating during COVID-19.
Since the virus restrictions had eased, we decided to resume our physical dating. Finally.
As we laid eyes on each other, Curtis looked even better in person: 6 foot 2, 220 pounds of pure muscle, with a bald head and a cute little mustache. I’m sure that my 5 foot 11 inches, 185-pound frame of slimness looked–and felt good against him.
I was in awe.
So, we were right next to each other, discussing the awesome date we just had.
And as we sat there, I became more and more attracted to him.
We ended up on my couch gazing at the fire blazing in the fireplace, sipping wine, and listening to old R&B music on one of the Quiet Storm radio stations. Ahh…Babyface was crooning, “Every Time I Close My Eyes.”
I thought about the many times that I’d laid in my bed, eyes closed thinking about him. But I also remembered the times when I would hear the song “Silly” by Deniece Williams. I always thought it was silly of me to think that one day he would be“My Guy” because we hadn’t physically seen each other in a year. Sometimes, I believed this entire thing was just my imagination playing tricks on me.
I had anticipated this date for so long! As we sat there, Curtis held my hand and looked ever so deeply into my eyes. Without saying a word, we both pulled down our masks! Then slowly, he leaned towards me.
But as he drew closer and closer, we unexpectedly pulled back from each other! It was as if we suddenly thought that each of us had the plague.
You see, these days COVID-19 is a serious thing! People are dying every day; therefore, we must be “better safe than sorry.” You can’t determine who has the virus simply by looking at them.
I remember back in the day during the height of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. You never knew who was infected; but to be safe, you had to assume that everyone carried the virus.
Remember when we noticed when someone lost weight and appeared sickly? The first thing we thought was, “Oh. He has AIDS.” And if we had a date (booty call), the first thing we worried about was “I wonder if he has AIDS.”
Today, if anyone sneezes or coughs, we immediately think they have COVID. We forget that it could be something as simple as a cold or the flu, which brings with it a cough and sneeze.
Back in the day, we got tested for AIDS so that we would know our status. And before engaging in sexual activity, the number one question to ask our partner was, “Do you have AIDS or HIV?”
It became an awkward question before having sex. Some people disclosed that their (true) status voluntarily. Others did not answer that question; they simply stripped and did the “nasty.”
And today, there’s COVID-19. A disease that has no obvious signs. You don’t know who has it and who doesn’t. So, everyone must be cautious, wash their hands, wear a mask, and practice social distancing.
Fortunately, the vaccine is now available. People are flocking to vaccine centers in record numbers. Because of it, the vaccination numbers are rising as the death rate is falling.
After getting vaccinated, I received a card that stated that fact. So, I was beside this man with whom I could fall in love—and was about to kiss.
Immediately though, the reality of the situation fell on both of us. We needed to ask each other “Did you get the vaccine?
He pulled out his card and I did the same. The document states your first and second dose–depending on which vaccine you received.
You could say that it was our ticket for physical contact.
We both smiled as we realized that we were both members of that elite club: “Club Vaccination.”
We pulled our masks down once again and slowly leaned closer to each other. For one quick second, we peered into each other’s eyes. As our lips lightly touched, we closed them.
As our arms encircled, we squeezed each other tightly as the passion of love suddenly radiated through us! After a year of no physical contact, this felt like the best kiss and show of love and affection that I’d ever had.
Afterward, we lounged in each other’s arms as the music changed to “Reasons” by Earth, Wind & Fire.
I knew the reason I was there with Curtis.
Do you have YOUR membership card?
R. L. Normanis a writer, podcaster, performer, and author of the popular series of novels entitled, “Honey Let Me Tell You.” The fifth installment “Honey, Hush Don’t Ask And I Won’t Tell ” was a sizzling sequel to the series. Now his sixth and seventh books, “Honey, I Can’t Stand The Rain” and “Honey, Love is a Rollercoaster,” both debut in 2021. As well, R. L.’s “Norman’s One Night Stand,” a one-man show he conceived, performed, and wrote, showcasing the main character of his series, returns next year. And catch his podcast, “Honey Let Me Tell You Something Else” also returning soon to Itunes. All of these endeavors are part of his production company, Honey Let Me Tell You. You may reach R. L. at his online home, https://rlnorman1.wixsite.com/honeyletmetellyou; by email at firstname.lastname@example.org; on Facebook at RL NORMAN; on Twitter, @rl_norman; and on Instagram: rlnorman1.
Mr. Evans has reported and written for print and on line media outlets including the HuffingtonPost, The Washington Post, The Advocate, Bilerico, BaltimoreOUTloud, Washington Post, Baltimore Gay Life and the Washington Blade. His series of articles on issues such as Intimate Partner Violence and Abuse (IPV/A), Relationships, Depression, and Racism strongly resonate with the LGBTQ Community and its Allies.
To read his work for HUFF PO, visit: https://huffingtonpost.com/wyatt-obrian-evans/
Mr. Evans has written an in-depth, multi-part and award-winning series on racism within the LGBTQ Community for Bilerico..
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