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Eventually I headed back to Virginia in October. I had to see him. I had to feel that it was still there. That ANYTHING was still there. When I saw him waiting at the airport, there was no running. There was only a half-hearted exchange of smiles as we placed my bags in his BMW. We sat in silence until we got to Smokey Bones. He sat down next to me versus across from me. We ordered and exchanged a curt conversation about my flight and the goings on in his life. Before our food came his phone rang and it was his best friend. Their conversation was innocent but my patience at his refusal to address the white elephant at the table had reached its limit.
“Hey, I’ve got to go to the restroom,” I said as I was sitting on the inside. He looked at me with a blank look.
“Do you really have to go to the bathroom or are you just trying to get away from me?” he asked with no emotion. I stared. Every vindictive part of me wanted to affirm his question, but I knew tit-for-tat would solve nothing. I decided for a more tactful escape.
“No. I really have to pee. Can I go, please?” I asked masking my impatient anger as best I could. He sat for a few moments more before ceding. I whisked away to the lavatory to relieve myself and to splash water on my face and pray for both patience and understanding because both were running out. I returned to the table and he soon ended his conversation with his friend. We sat in silence for a while before;
“Are we ok?” he quizzed looking at me. This was a question that was repeated between us whenever there was an obvious problem that for whatever reason we had avoided talking about.
“What do you think?” came out before I could stop myself.
“I think we are, but I get this vibe from you…you’re more reserved,” he said sipping his drink. I stared.
“How could you think we are ok? A few weeks ago you told me that you don’t believe in us. That you don’t believe in what we are doing. That let’s me know you’re not vested. Do you have ANY idea how foolish I feel right now? Out here on this damn ledge pouring my heart out to you, telling you EVERYTHING and blindly trusting you with my fucking feelings and for what? For you to be giving me this guarded version of you? I get that we are just learning each other or whatever, but we’ve been JUST learning each other for 5 months. You don’t think it time to give me SOMETHING here? I mean why did you even ask me out if you didn’t believe it would work?” I spit. I had tried to be more reserved, but my emotions got the better of me. It’s a Cancer thing.
“I knew you felt some type of way about what I said…I knew I shouldn’t have said it the minute I said it,” he said.
“That’s NOT the point. The point is your disbelief in us!” I said exasperatedly.
“Do you still love me?” he asked looking directly at me. I searched my feelings for a moment and even though I was irate, my answer was “Yes…but I don’t think I trust you anymore,” I answered calmly.
“How can I? How can I trust you with my heart, my feelings, my everything if you aren’t ready to accept it? If you’re not ready to let me in why would I continue to stand out here on this ledge alone? I told you before that I wouldn’t go anywhere so long as we are both fighting for this…” I trailed off. I don’t know if it was because I wasn’t strong enough to tell him that I thought that he had abandoned that fight or a fear of being alone that stopped me. Either way I consented to continuing the fight, with reassurances that he would do better with communication. As the visit went on, I did my best to put it behind me.
I returned home to Clarksville and fell back into my normal routine. Morning workouts, work, and spending a few hours with Shianne before talking with Maurice before we both turned in. The conversations lacked the fire we once had. I felt myself drawing further and further away from him and as a consequence, I felt him do the same. Try as I might to force myself to see past that incident, I couldn’t. Knowing that he didn’t feel the way I did. Would he ever? This is a man who doesn’t even believe in marriage…could I date someone who didn’t? Do I even really believe in it?
To add fuel to these questions was the underlying drought of sexual activity in our relationships. November made it five months that we had been “getting to know” each other. Immediately after our first date (the Ball) I had made up in my mind that I wanted no one else but him in that way. Not that I’m an extremely…ah…thirsty person, but come on. A man has needs. The farthest we ever went was a little oral action here and there (of which you won’t hear me complain about…the man’s a linguist I’ll leave it at that). A month, yes I can see as too soon. Hell even two months I can deal with. By month three I’m raising a brow but still choosing to understand. Month five? Let’s just say that on the 13th of the month I was at wits end while on TDY in Missouri.
I was feeling particularly flirty on Jack’d. Yes I know, but the fact that I had the site still hadn’t crossed my mind as a red flag until this day. I sent a guy whose name I struggle now to even remember a picture. A rather risqué picture. Immediately after sending. I told Maurice. The guilt and shame and anger were too much for me not to. Suffice it to say we didn’t talk about it in detail until the next day.
“First a picture, then what next?” Maurice sent via text.
“I know it was wrong babe but can you blame me? My boyfriend isn’t fucking me. Hasn’t even though about it in 5 months!” I responded emotionally.
“Five MONTHS! Not five days! You don’t see your fault in that? Like I said it was wrong but what am I supposed to do when I’m getting nothing here?”
“I haven’t thought about it? Ok.” he answered shortly.
“You know what. Fine. I’ll take the blame for this. It’s my damn fault. I should be 100% fine with the complete lack of SEX in my RELATIONSHIP. You’re right. Silly me,” I retorted losing all sense of what little tact I was trying for.
“Go get some dick. Do you! I’m sorry I’m not pleasing you,” he responded. I had to take a breath. I couldn’t believe how much apathy I was getting. Instead of listening to what the problem was he was shutting me out. The message within that message was that he thought clearly I was a lust laden homo. It was like a slap in the face; I felt utterly disrespected. Consequently that’s when my efforts at reconciliation ceased.
By the next day I asked the question we both knew we needed to ask. What now? Do we go on in this fashion where I stay frustrated but otherwise faithful and continue to progress slowly? Or do we end it.
“I just really feel like you’re over it. So let’ call it quits.
I cried for a week.
It had to be done. We weren’t ready for what our relationship required. As much as I’d like to bash him, insult him, demean him…I know that none of what I would say if I took that route would be true. Truth is, there’s no handy distance tracker that shows if you’re 0.00 miles or 44.8 miles from a person’s heart. Every person is meant to be a secret to the next and the thrill comes when two people decide to sit down and unravel those mysteries hidden within the other. The thrill comes from deciding weather or not those discoveries commingle with your own eccentricities.
I loved him.
I loved him against reason.
I loved him against hope and all discouragement that could be.
It hurt like hell, but there was nothing to be done.
For those with a thirst to celebrate, Red Bull Unlocked is the key. In city after city, the most exciting bars, clubs, mixologists, performing artists, and more take over a local landmark building to showcase their signature ambiance while also collaborating for a must-see mashup. And now it's Music City’s turn to seize the spotlight, as the event brings 10 bars together in East Nashville’s Five Points neighborhood.
Fueled by the best of Nashville’s thriving music scene, Red Bull Unlocked has curated an eclectic night of show-stopping entertainment performances including a pop-up Whiskey Jam show, DJ sets, musicians, and more. The full lineup is here:
- Whiskey Jam (feat. Dozzi, Willie Shaw, and Johnny Hayes)
- A.B. Eastwood
- Daisha / Rap Girl
- Boom Bap (DJ Collective feat. DJ-Rate, Case Bloom)
- Whiskey Disco (DJ Collective feat. Coach, Jim O'Shea)
- Old Crow Medicine Show’s Jerry Pentercost (DJ Set)
- DJ Stretch
- DJ Griffin Green
- The Play Mates (Drag Show feat. Sasha, Vanity, Deception, Aura Mayari, Corlis Todd, and Carmin Triple C)
Counting down to the epic celebration, Daisha shares, “I never thought I’d have the opportunity to perform in so many of Nashville’s top spots all in the same night. Fans can expect a lot of bops and high energy. I want people to dance and have a good time.”
Ward Guenther, Whiskey Jam Founder, adds, “Red Bull has been enjoyed at Whiskey Jam since the very first night, so it's only fitting Whiskey Jam is enjoyed at Nashville's first Red Bull Unlocked. Looking forward to this!”
Red Bull Unlocked Istanbul
Photo courtesy of Red Bull
Local favorites including Pearl Diver, Tin Roof, Lipstick Lounge, White Limozeen, and more will join forces for one epic night. Full list of bars and partners below:
- The Dive Motel
- Lipstick Lounge
- Pearl Diver
- Play Dance Bar
- Rosemary & Beauty Queen
- The Stage
- Tin Roof
- Whiskey Jam
- White Limozeen
- Woolworth Theatre – Opening Fall 2022!
- Eleven Eleven - Opening 2023!
Date: August 21, 2022
Time: 6 PM – 11PM CT
Location: 1102 Forrest Ave, Nashville, TN 37206
Entrance: Ticked event
Rumble Boxing, the boxing-inspired group fitness studio, opened its doors for the first time in Nashville on June 20 at 609 Overton St, Nashville, TN. The hottest workout on the block is hosting its official grand opening from August 4th-7th with daily classes, membership specials, and prizes from local vendors. The new Rumble Boxing studio is currently offering a buy one class, get one free promotion for the Nashville community.
Rumble Boxing delivers 45-minute, 10-round, strength and conditioning group workouts, crafted around teardrop-style aqua boxing bags and high-intensity strength training circuits. This brings all fitness levels together to experience what Rumble is known for: combining the sweet science of boxing with high energy and positive vibes.
Rumble Boxing Fitness Studio
Photo courtesy of Rumble Boxing Gulch Nashville
This boutique fitness brand offers serious benefits like increased stamina and strength, with cardio that’s actually fun. The seasoned trainers at the new studio are thrilled to serve their local community while offering this fun, new modern approach to boxing and welcome members of all fitness levels to the Rumble family.
The new Rumble Boxing studio is owned and operated by Blake Baskin and Antonio Compton. With their background in the fitness industry, this dynamic duo is excited to bring their passion for boxing and group fitness to Nashville. As business and life partners, Blake and Antonio aim to create a strong community within their new Rumble Boxing studio and share their message of non-apologetic inclusivity.
Black and Gay-Owned Business
Rumble Boxing Store with Dolly Parton Mural
Photo courtesy of Rumble Boxing Gulch Nashville
“We own who we are, and this brand aligns with that perfectly,” said Antonio. “This is what we want to create and bring to this community: a fitness class that is designed for anyone and a place for people to be who they are. As a Black and gay-owned business, we want to help lower the division we see in the world right now. Our goal is to bring people together through Rumble, set everything aside, and have fun.”
To echo their message of acceptance and inclusion, Blake and Antonio commissioned a local Nashville artist to paint an 11 X 6-ft. mural of Nashville icon and philanthropist, Dolly Parton. The massive portrait features the country star in Rumble Boxing gear in the lobby of the studio.
The excitement and buzz around Rumble allowed Blake and Antonio to recruit top-tier trainers to head up the new studio, including Head Trainer Oronde Jones, a well-known celebrity trainer in the Nashville market.
Rumble Boxing Fitness Studio
Photo courtesy of Rumble Boxing Gulch Nashville
“Compared to other fitness classes, Rumble is a class you can truly get lost in for 45 minutes. With the dark room, you don’t have to worry if anyone is paying attention to you. The music is awesome and inspiring, and the beat drops right when you need it the most. Also, with boxing being a sport you can never truly master, you’re always improving and crafting your skill. On the floor, you’re consistently doing something new, which prevents you from ever hitting a plateau.” Said Oronde Jones about his favorite part of Rumble.
Rumble has massive brand loyalty and widespread appeal, partly thanks to attracting top names like Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez, Kendall Jenner, Hailey Baldwin, Jason Derulo, David Beckham, and Kevin Hart to its studios.
About Rumble Boxing
Founded in New York City in 2017, Rumble is a group fitness concept delivering a mix (or combination) of boxing-inspired circuits and the transformative power of resistance training. Pro and amateur fighters glove up together, no matter their fitness level or skill, to reveal their inner fighter. The experience is a 45-minute, 10-round, full-body cardio and strength workout crafted around specially designed water-filled, teardrop-style boxing bags. Rumble was founded by Noah Neiman (former Barry’s Bootcamp Master Trainer, and cast member of Bravo’s Work Out New York), Eugene Remm (Co-Founder of Catch Hospitality Group (Catch Restaurants, CATCH STEAK, Lexington Brass), Andy Stenzler (Co-Founder Cosí, Kidville), and Anthony DiMarco (13-time IRONMAN, former Managing Director, Google).
Who would have thought that we would have to get through a pandemic in order to appreciate the small things we have, such as the ability to simply pack our bags and hit the road?
For two years, there’s been nothing left for us travel junkies to do but sit at home and try to find new destinations that we will conquer once we defeat what appears to be the biggest villain of the 21st century. But once that happens, hold your bags tight because we will be up for some of the most interesting travel experiences. Take a look at some ideas for your post-COVID traveling plans:
A Gay Cruise
One of the best options to have in mind when all of this passes is a good, nice and long (pun intended) gay cruise. Or cruise in general, for that matter. Bear in mind, social distancing will still be a thing in the post-COVID world. But COVID-19 likely doesn’t mean that cruises will cease to exist. On the contrary, though cruise ships will probably keep the number of passengers smaller than before, it is believed that they will become an even bigger hit in the following period, especially because they are all going to go a lot more environmentally-friendly. On the bright side, is there any better way of celebrating the end of the pandemic than by cruising around some magnificent seas, stopping by at great cities and having romantic dinner nights at nice restaurants?
A getaway in nature
On the other hand, there is always the option of stepping away from the hustle and bustle of large cities, and spending some time in a place that’s not only healthy, but also beautiful. Some of the destinations that plenty of people will look for are the ones that can cater for both peace of mind and amazing things to see or do. One such destination is New Zealand, one of the greenest countries on Earth right now. Not only will you be visiting the magnificent country that gave us the beautiful Shire from Lord of the Rings; this is also a destination that’s excellent for everyone who prefers relaxing to partying. If you’re up for some partying, you will be able to hit Auckland, while if you’re for something calmer, there’s plenty of amazing places that you can see and visit.
Dancing Around at Pride
Pride parades are also events that you want to have in mind for the post-COVID world. Such events have always been quite important, but it seems that they are now more important than ever. The virus has canceled more than 75 Pride parades all around the world, which is one of the reasons why we must support the ones that will see the light of day once the pandemic stops. Truth be told, the upcoming Prides will perhaps be the best Prides ever organized. Give the gays a couple of weeks of quarantine, then let them outside and see what kind of party they are able to throw!
A road trip
If you’re, as well, waiting for the day to wake up and say “long gone are the days when we were not allowed to go wherever we wanted?”, and if staying at one place gave you a lot to think about, then your first post-COVID travel experience should definitely be a nice road trip. You can practically choose which country you want to tour, and you can either take your own car (you have probably missed it so much), or rent one at your destination. Australia is an amazing country for this, though, as it offers the possibility of seeing the Great Ocean Road, which is an amazing thing to see and experience. On the other hand, if you do not want or cannot leave your country, you can also choose to go on a domestic road trip – there are amazing things to see in your vicinity as well.
Holiday for a single guy
If you’re single, or you’re traveling someplace with another single friend, then you should definitely organize a nice vacation for yourself or for you and your single friend, and hit one of the best European cities. Europe has been greatly affected by the virus, which means that now it’s time to pay it back and get it back on its feet by traveling there and seeing all the amazing things it offers. Any city you choose in Europe – you will not make a mistake. Apart from being able to see great landmarks, you will also have the chance to have a drink at great gay clubs and pubs, and join unforgettable gay parties. And if the gay scenery is not your forte, worry not, as Europe indeed has to offer so many different and magnificent things.