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Two weeks out from my most recent breakup, I went out for a work meeting at Mexicue, making sure my co-worker knew I had to be at dinner by 7. Three margaritas and two hours later, it was 8:00.

I ran down to Art Bar, where my best friend Southern Belle C and his boyfriend were signing their check. “I’m so sorry I’m late,” I breathed, sliding into the booth next to him.

“We already ate,” Southern Belle C spat, pursing his lips. “You smell like a barnyard.”

“I had a margarita.”

“Are you smoking again?”

“Just one, on the way here?”

Some witty banter later, he calmed down, and we made our way over to Flannery’s bar. A rum and coke later, very drunk indeed, I watched the only other gay guy in the bar put Shania Twain’s “Man, I Feel Like a Woman” on the jukebox and dance like there was no tomorrow.

“I’ll get you your next drink if you get his number,” Southern Belle C taunted. Without pause, I walked over to him and his friends at the bar.

He was with four girls, and all five of them had shots in front of them. “Ooh, are we doing shots?!” I said, a little too enthusiastically. They stared at me, blankly, wanting me to leave. “Bartender—can I get a shot of tequila?” Annoyed, but nice enough, they waited and took their shots with me.
“So listen,” I said to the Only Other Gay Guy, “my friend said he’d buy me a drink if I got your number.” Only Other Gay Guy, now that I was up close, was incredibly handsome, and also about 6’2”.

“That sounds like fun.” He gave me his number, I ordered another drink, and some fuzzy moments later I was in a cab, heading back to his place.

Now, without going into details, I hadn’t had sex in a very, very long time. Drunk Ian-Michael was ready to get down and dirty. But when we arrived at his apartment, after I stripped down to my underwear, he paused. “I haven’t had sex in a while,” he said, quietly. “I’m kind of taking a break, I guess.”

“Then why did you ask me over?” I wondered, but instead turned my libido off—which is when I realized just how drunk I was. I sat back, shut my eyes—and fell fast asleep.

In the morning, we jerked each other off, and I walked him to the subway on his way to work. He was sweet; I might see him again, since I have his number.

Walking home, I realized it was the closest thing to a Walk of Shame I’d done in two years. I wondered how I’d feel if we did have sex: Am I ready to move on? Would I feel liberated, would I feel relieved or would I just feel empty?

I got McDonald’s on the way home to cure my hangover. Some voids can be filled easily.

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Ian-Michael Bergeron
Iowa-born writer Ian-Michael Bergeron has written his weekly column in Get Out! Magazine since 2015, as well as editorials and interviews. He lives in New York City in a one-bedroom with two cats, Alexander and Thomas, and spends most of his income on shoes.

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