He was online, idly, on his smart phone. He wasn't much of a techie but during these slow times, these phones surely come in handy. Times like these have become more frequent. Times when there is nothing much to do. Because your partner prefers a quiet, domestic life. And after three years, well, you'd think that you'd be used to it. But sometimes, he misses the more 'active life'.
Anyway, Grindr's on, the app of a hundred torsos. They mights as well draw faces with mouths on those headless torsos so at least there is a semblance of a person you are chatting with. But who was he to complain? He's just downloaded the app, being so late in the game. And he was just curious about the 'quality' of guys there. Well, if you're into bodies, and more bodies, you'd get quite a treat.
Joby flicked through the pages. Some bodies are really works of iron, impressive. From time to time, he'd see some faces, some pretty, some pretty common. He took a chance on one of those faces. He'd rather chat with a pretty face than a hairless chest. He just hopes this is not an ogre in disguise.
The exchange with @doc2b was clean, surprisingly for the app. He seemed intelligent, the responses were in complete sentences. A med student, he turned out to be. Joby wasn't in any flirty mood so they kept it that way. But the conversation was interesting, amusing, witty. More than just a pretty face, he thought.
That night, Will arrived quite early and prepared dinner. A simple chicken adobo with some salad on the side. Joby, fresh from gym, was pleasantly surprised.
"Wow! I get dinner this time. Perfect after that spin class!" and gives Will a peck on the cheek.
"Who was teaching? Dennis the whore?" joked Will.
"You are so mean! Dennis is not a whore. He doesn't get paid. Hahaha"
"My apologies. Dennis the slut. Hahaha. Well, is he still making the moves on you?"
Joby suddenly recalled the encounters with Dennis, the attentiveness at the spin class at first. And finally, a very aggressive crotch grab at the steam room. Of course he never mentioned that part to Will. "Nah, he was just being nice."
"Dude, I've seen 'nice' and that wasn't being 'nice'. He was laying a line on you." His voice was starting to have that pitch of annoyance. Good vibes dissipating.
"Well, I don't notice. And I don't care. I'm great where I am right now." He snuggles up to Will from behind and whispers the last sentence in his ear.
NR. No response. Will finished the dinner setting and pried away from him. When did it start to become like this, Joby asked himself. But that thought he quickly vanquished to oblivion and chose to use this time to change to lounge clothes.
The after-dinner routine was ... routinary. He'd do the dishes as Will prepares for bed by doing his 'night stuff": a long sequence of age-defying rituals. Those things started appearing in the 3rd month of living together. And he has gone from amusement to annoyance to apathy throughout the years. Thankfully, Will wasn't the type to have facial creams or mud packs while sleeping. That would have been a total turn-off! Meanwhile, he'd be on his side of the bed flipping through channels.
He'd stay on ESPN and that would drive Will crazy. He couldn't understand why a self-respecting gay guy would be interested in sports as much as he was. So sometimes, he gets kicked out of the bed. And he ends up on the couch.
This was another night like that. He totally didn't mind, this time. Because as he was skimmin through the channels, he was also checking his Grindr app. Checking for his 'friend' to become active.
Past 11pm, @doc2be was already online. And that chat started, picking up where they left off. The conversation turned to personal relationships. And Joby declared right off his marital status. And that he was just in this for the friendship. That felt good, being able to declare it that way. No guilt of leading anybody on. The line that must not be crossed was drawn early on.
That chat ended after three hours. It was amazing what they were able to cover. And in between the getting-to-knows, there would be this witty banter. Amazing for a young guy to be so witty and smart. Totally different from the stories of profiles he had heard about Grindr.
He started to look forward to the next time they could chat.
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