I wasn’t into Q when I first met him at XL Lounge.

I’d only been in the city for five months: I was still living out my How-To-Marry-a-Millionaire-Marilyn-Monroe Fantasy. Q was attractive, certainly: skin tone a mix between Asian and Hispanic, facial piercings, an adorable smile. But, he wasn’t that much older than me. He was Tom Brookman, not J.D. Hanley!

The next week, Q threw a dinner party and invited me. Eligible gay bachelors, I thought excitedly. Of course I’ll go!

Q’s apartment was beautiful. I rolled up to his one-bedroom right off the Bedford Avenue L train stop – it was the week after Thanksgiving. The kitchen was so white and pristine, the living room so chic and well decorated, the food a culinary delight.

I felt inferior to everyone at the party. I thought I wanted to meet well-to-do professionals to date, but I was just intimidated. One 30-something droned on, “Well, I’m a lawyer, and my partner here is a doctor. When he got a job up here I had to leave my firm – I was so terrified, I thought I wouldn’t be able to get work. But I was scouted my first week here, and now I’m making double what I was making back in Chicago – isn’t that crazy?” I hated them. I hated them all, in their Brooks Brothers suits with Prada briefcases, sulking in the corner in my distressed Abercrombie jeans with a ten-dollar-an-hour retail job in Soho.

I didn’t talk much to Q, either – he was busy cooking, serving and answering the door whenever someone arrived. I drank too much wine (I was drinking it out of a coffee mug, no less) and decided to confront the lawyer.

“I don’t get you,” I said.

“Excuse me?”

“You. And your ‘life partner.’ The way you talk, the way you are – no one is that smiley and happy. It’s not real. It’s just…”

“You’re Ian-Michael, aren’t you?” I nodded.

“I thought you’d be… different, I guess.”

“How do you know me?” I spat.

“You know Q had this party for you, so he could get to know you. Don’t you?”

My face dropped. I was poor, I was an asshole and I was oblivious. Inferior.

The party settled down, and by midnight I was the only one left. “I can get you a cab home if you want,” Q offered, finally having time to talk to me.

“No. I’d like to see your bedroom first.” He smiled that adorable smile.

We had sex all night, and when I woke up the next morning, I decided I wanted to stay.