For those of you who are avid "Getting Fucked and Getting Fired" followers, you know that I always use nicknames to protect the guilty, unless you REALLY piss me off or it happens to be a famous person. Well, Dumpcelo's nickname came at a time when I was working in a restaurant the entire staff referred to as "The Dump" and we spent the majority of our shifts making up songs and replacing key words with the word dump. Our punny song writing was amplified when one afternoon Skeletor (a manager who's nickname came from the fact that he was effeminate and emaciated... like Skeletor) asked me to clean the outside step to the restaurant so I threw on the nearest doo-rag (can I say that? Does that make me racist?) and gave you my best Cinderella impression. Needless to say this spawned a whole new genre of songs including my own personal favorite "A Lovely Dump!" Not so shockingly enough, Skeletor ended up letting me go after I put in my two weeks notice. Can't imagine why he didn't like me... Anyway, with that all being said, you will soon learn why I'm not actually going to use his nickname as I tell you how and why I wasted just over half a year thinking that Marcelo actually cared about me the way he often told me he did...
It was a warm February night in the Bahamas when one of my favorite Spa girls was telling me that her gay Brazilian friend had just joined our ship that day. Naturally I immediately started planning our wedding in Rio in my head but that was quickly thwarted once she informed me that he had a boyfriend on another ship. Wah-wah. Later that night I was sitting in the crew bar with my girlfriend Josh when I saw him walking in with the Peruvian guy I had hooked up with on Christmas Eve cause my roommate was still sleeping in the Shop Manager's room every night (and not having sex with him... ugh, youth is wasted on the young). I immediately smacked Josh on the chest and said "Who the fuck is that?!?!" and eventually realized that it was the taken man I had previously been told about. We ended up chatting and flirting through most of the evening and when the time came to clear out the crew bar he showed me the promise ring given to him by his boyfriend of three and a half years. Later that night when Josh came back to the dancer hallway he found Marcelo pacing back and fourth looking lost and showed him how to get back to his cabin. As I found out months later... Marcelo left his room to email his boyfriend when his roommate (another gay South American I hooked up with once... I mean... you get the picture of what ship life is like by now) accused him of coming back to my room for a late night hook-up. Once the email was sent he thought "Fuck it, Daniel's hot and he's gonna tell everyone we're fucking anyway so I might as well do it." and then had no idea which room was mine. Wah-Wah number 2 of the evening.
A week or two later we had a big party for St. Patrick's Day on the 19th (like ya do...) and for one reason or another I was on a mission to get obliterated (probably something to do with my roommate who had recently moved out) but better yet was on a mission to get laid after finding out that Marcelo's roommate had told one of the girls that he was hungry for me (cause I got it like that bitches) and so a half bottle of tequila and several Jager shots later I found myself at a cabin party in their room already wearing my glasses and pjs ready for the impending sleep over. As soon as I was the last remaining party guest I went to make my move and was immediately shut-down and told "You should just go ahead and get in bed with Marcelo" which was apparently all of the convincing I needed because I did just that. Now, I can neither confirm nor deny what happened in his bed that night beyond kissing since we had all got so damn drunk... So drunk that it in fact eventually lead to one of our cast members getting fired (not me this time... I know you're all shocked!) and so I promised not to tell anyone about it since so many people on the ship knew his boyfriend. You know, I'm a nice person like that.
Not long after that there was a much less intoxicated night out with the boys that eventually dwindled down to just the two of us deciding to fill some glasses full of wine and head to the Officer's Bar (far more classy than the crew bar of course) for a night cap. Well as we started to pass the dancer hallway a security guard saw us coming so we ducked into my room to sit and wait for him to pass (drinks outside of your room or the bar is the easiest excuse for them to breathalyze you). My new roommate (a heterosexual Sports Supervisor from Trinidad who had thankfully done ships long enough to not be homophobic) was already asleep so we quietly sat on me bed... and made out like neither of us had ever kissed another man before. This obviously lead to some over-and-under-the-clothes hand action but nothing more because well, I'm a respectful roommate... mostly. After about two and a half hours of this (apparently we're both teenagers) we finally decided to part ways and meet up the next afternoon after my rehearsal to finish what we had started while his roommate was at work. Sadly rehearsal went longer than usual and I missed his call but right before my pre-show shit/shower/shave he gave me a ring to thank me for such a great night and that after not having jerked off for almost two months he came three times that day thinking of the night before... and my ass (that's right bitches... I got it like that! And I may have put on a small show for him in my shorty beach shorts one morning at breakfast the week before. I mean, can ya blame me?).
A day or two after that I met up with him in the crew bar along with all of the usual suspects and this time he was the one on a mission to get Lohan style wasted. At the time I wasn't sure why but later I discovered that it was because he received an email from his boyfriend that day that he perceived as a break-up email (can't. imagine. why). So again we end up having a party in his cabin with myself, his new gay roommate, and one of the real girls who ended up getting drunker than any of us combined and puking all over the place. Lucky for Marcelo this provided an excellent distraction and he used the opportunity to turn the cabin party into a "gay club" where we all had to take off our shirts and do poppers... or as I call it: Saturday Night at the Eagle. Eventually we helped the poor girl back to her room, attempted to set her alarm so she didn't miss payday (she did) and headed back to his room for what would be the first of many nights of some of the most passionate sex I've ever had (he's Brazilian and we're both Scorpios... let's be honest, it's basically a recipe for passionate sex and complete disaster).
From that night until the day I left the ship I spent every single night in his bed. We could never be seen walking back together so my night became an endless string of waiting for him to call my room so I knew it was safe to come over. He eventually got a clarification email from his boyfriend informing him that he didn't actually break up with him so hiding from everyone (especially one cast member in particular who we both knew would be all to happy to go bean spilling all over the ship, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Grindr, and every gay bar on South Beach just to name a few) was our only option at that point. His roommate (obvious reasons) and Josh were the only two that knew about us but the roomie didn't mind our late night escapades mostly because he pretty much just slept through them but according to Marcelo he "kind of enjoys it I think." There were several evenings where the night was spent simply holding each other tight while he silently shed tears because he knew that his long term relationship was coming to an end but all of them included some kind of passionate kissing (and one of my particular favorites: a blowie in the boys dressing room) if not much, much more. It always freaked me out a little to see the promise ring on his hand while it was wrapped around my dick, but the connection we had (at the time) seemed to overrule any feelings of guilt that may have bubbled deep underneath the joy I was feeling now that for the first time in a long time this amazingly charming man, who was constantly telling me how beautiful and wonderful I was, was making me think that he cared about me. And let's face it... their relationship was clearly over.
Sadly I had to depart the ship and leave him behind (don't worry... that entry will come in time) but we kept in touch over the weeks via text, Facebook, and full-blown phone calls (seriously, who still talks on the phone??) including one while he was on his way to a picnic in the park with his friend that was visiting which I thought was cute but oddly romantic. So even though I was moving on and being far from celibate, we still kept a connection. Eventually his boyfriend came on board and broke up with him in person and I did the best I could to be a supportive friend from miles away all the while kicking myself for not being able to be there for him in person at a time when he really needed the support. One day I was woken up by one of his phone calls (which I always answered) to hear the amazing news that he had decided to plan a trip to New York. The first thing I did was ask him what he wanted to do when he got here and his response (verbatim) was "All I want to do in New York is spend time with you and see Wicked." So of course I took that entire week off from work, started checking prices of Wicked tickets, and was continually asking friends what were some fun non-touristy things to do with a visitor who'd only been here once before. Luckily I had somehow managed to swipe an extra free trapeze class voucher so I got a group of friends together who wanted to make a party out of it and turned it into a private class for us all. Right before I bought the Wicked tickets I made sure I double checked the date was OK in case he had anything else planned and he claimed he didn't but his "best friend on the ship" was gonna be in NYC the same week and really wanted to see the show with us so against my better judgment I pulled out Mr. Amex and bout three full-priced tickets to see Wicked, a show I vowed I would never pay full price for. But lucky for me I had slept with more than one of the cast members so organizing the private backstage tour was both free and easy. :-)
Two weeks before his arrival I got a phone call from Marcelo (again, with the phone calls!?!?) saying that he didn't think that it was a good idea to stay with me at my place while he was here because it had been so long since we'd seen each other and things might not be the same so he had decided to get himself a hotel room. I was completely flabbergasted and didn't understand why he wanted to spend a fortune on a New York City hotel when he could stay with me for free and if things got weird I could have stayed in one of the 3 extra beds we have in our apartment but he was very adamant about not staying with me so I let it go and left the conversation feeling confused and a bit sad. A little later I went to check my Facebook and saw a picture of a note he had written and was tagged in (the more you interact with someone on Facebook the more of their shit pops up in your news feed and we were messaging each other 3-5 times a week at this point) to his friend that was leaving the ship that day that read something to the tune of: "It was great having you onboard these past few weeks, you're an amazing guy, and I can't wait to see you in NYC." Well, when I Facebook stalked (which I'm really good at y'all) this "friend" I couldn't help but notice that he was the spitting image of Marcelo's ex-boyfriend and their pictures ranged from double tubes at the water park at the Atlantis resort, to blowing kisses on the beach, to a romantic picnic in the park (full circle!!!), or as I saw it: everything I wanted to do with him but was limited to just getting some quick internet at the Starbucks in Nassau because no one could know we were together. Now the feelings of confusion and sadness are escalating with a mix of anger and vulnerability, two things I'm not a fan of, especially when put together...
Well, it took a week to pull it out of him but he finally admitted that this "friend" of his was actually a dancer from the ship he was on when he had first got together with his ex (of course he was another dancer... that's how my life works) and that he had only invited this "friend" to come visit him in an effort to make his ex jealous after the breakup and while he was visiting they ended up getting involved. I explained to him that I refused to be some kind of contestant on a fucked up gay version of The Bachelorette and he assured me that that was not the case and that he was simply coming to the city to visit both of us (as well as other friends) as just friends and had no intention of taking us both out on romantic excursions one by one and then picking which one he liked best in the end. "He was half the reason I decided to come to the city, you were the other half. And besides, he's not even coming back in to the city until the 8th so I'll be spending all of that time with you." Against ALL of the advice I was given, I went along with this scenerio and decided that I just had to spend my time with him as best as I could (subconsciously: win him back goddamnit!!!) and if we reconnected while he was here then so be it.
The day he arrived in the city I unfortunately had to work brunch at The Dump but made it off just in time to head home, change, and go pick him up from the airport like he requested (cause you know, people in NYC pick each other up from the airport... that's a thing) and when I saw him walking into the baggage claim I was actually so happy to see him that I almost shed a tiny tear... almost. I helped him to his friend's place in Queens where he was staying while she was in rehearsals for another ship and then we headed into the city for some dinner and a chat. After bailing on a tragic drag show we ended up talking more about the situation that was upon us where he once again assured me that this wasn't some kind of contest and although he had feelings for the both of us that they were very different and he didn't think either one was any more special than the other. "I just want to spend this time with you and then whenever he gets here, if he's even coming while I'm here, I'll spend some time with him too." That's interesting... I distinctly remember him telling me that his "friend" came back in to town on the 8th. Oh well, let's make-out. So we did for about a half an hour and then went back to my place and cuddled after he slept on my shoulder just about the entire train ride home.
The night of the 7th was the night we planned to see Wicked (minus his "best friend on the ship." I guess that was $120 worth of lesson learned the hard way) but we ended up spending the entire day together flirting just enough to make a cynic puke every step of the way. After the personal backstage tour (where he was basically shitting his pants. He was a bigger Wicked fan than I had previously realized) and stopping by at my friends birthday party I decided it was time for a shitty drag show so we headed for Barracuda to finish out the night and one of his other friends met us there. After shot number who-knows of the evening, I couldn't help but notice that he was texting a picture I had taken of him backstage to his "friend" after he had promised to spend our time together not talking to him. His excuse was "He knew I was really excited to see the show and I wanted to let him know I enjoyed it." To which I replied "Well then maybe he shouldn't brought you to see it instead" This erupted in a huge fight in front of both of our friends where he once again reminded me that we weren't dating and he can do whatever he wants and that he's probably not even gonna see this "friend" while he's in New York anyway because he still didn't know if or when he was coming. He ended up storming out which caused me to burst out in tears which for some ungodly reason prompted his friend to lean in to me and say "It's OK, I know how you feel. I'm in love with Marcelo too." You're kidding, right? How is everyone in love with him?!?! Well that was the official end of my night so I got the fuck out of there and got in a cab home only to wake up the next morning to three voicemails every hour on the hour begging me to call him so he knows I made it home safe and he hated seeing me so upset and that's why he had to leave.
Well, the next day, which also happened to be the 8th, was the day we had our group trapeze class which he still planned on going to even after the events of the night before. Once we saw each other again everything seemed fine, mostly because we were in front of some of my closest friends, but things took a turn once he handed me his phone and asked me to take a video of him swinging. I knew it would take him a hot minute to get up the ladder and take off so in an extreme moment of weakness on my part I decided to check his messages to see what all he had actually been texting his "friend" the night before only to find mostly incredibly sexual things sent during the few days we had been together and the most recent text: "can't wait to feel your kisses again, see you in a couple of hours!" Naturally my heart dropped to me feet and I did everything I could to keep my hands from shaking while I filmed him swinging back and forth on an apparatus I had come to love over the years and calmly decided to try and catch him in his own lie by making plans for the evening. To my shock, he actually went along with my plans and not only that, he pulled me into his lap, wrapped his arms around my waist, and started kissing me on the back of the head which at this point was the most affectionate thing he had ever done with me in public. Suddenly my shock grew to confusion and complete disbelief.. until he finally called me out on reading his texts which he had seen me do while climbing the ladder. I asked him if he wanted to continue with our plans for the evening and to my surprise he said yes. We ended up back at my place that night where he claimed he didn't want to stay the night because he knew my roommates hated him (I mean like, hated him! But were super duper nice to him when he was there mind you... We're performers, we put on a good show.) but I'm smart enough to know that he really just wanted to be with his "friend." I asked him to please stay with me anyway because I thought this would be my last chance to get to hold him in my arms while we slept and after what seemed like an hour of "thinking" and a bathroom conversation with the "friend" that I didn't hear he agreed to stay at my place. The next morning on the train he asked me which Wicked song I liked the best and I replied "I'm Not That Girl... Seems to be hitting pretty close to home these days." A pretty witty response on my part (and sadly true). He then told me "Well Daniel, if you remember, she's the one who ends up with the prince in the end." Corniest. Line. Ever.
Luckily I had another friend in town that weekend to distract me from Marcelo not being around considering I knew who he was with and what he was doing. But after a slew of some drunk bitchy texts I was quite surprised to get a call from him one afternoon asking if I'd like to come see the 9/11 memorial with him because he'd really like to share that experience with me. We ended up having a really lovely time together and after we left the memorial we walked down to the seaport and over to the Brooklyn Bridge all the while having a really great conversation about the weeks events and even going into detail about his breakup. I was even more surprised when once we started walking across the Brooklyn Bridge he put his arm lovingly around my waist, especially after he told me how much he hated public displays of affection just 4 nights before when I kept trying to grab his hand in Times Square. During the train ride back to my place I decided to smack the elephant on the train in the ass and asked him if he had slept with his "friend" over the weekend and after he replied "yes." I kind of appreciated his honesty at the time. After that, he went on to tell me that if this trip had been an episode of The Bachelorette that I would be the one to get the rose because his "friend" was not the same person he had remembered from the ship and when they're together they have nothing to talk about. Marcelo claimed that I was way more fun than him and that if he were to date one of the two of us it would definitely be me but he can't right now because he's still not over his ex. That night while we were sleeping in each others' arms, I woke up and noticed he was awake too so I starting kissing him. He then looked me in the eyes and said softly "Can I have you now?" to which I replied "Of course you can" and we then proceeded to have sex for the first time on his trip, over a week after he had arrived in NYC.
The night before he left we had a small going away dinner in Midtown where he gave me a thank you note and a rose (which I still can't decide if that was funny or douchey) and once again reminded me that I'm by far the guy he'd chose to be with but until he was no longer in love with his ex that could never be. We had a brief goodbye in the subway (I wanted to go back to his place and help him get to the airport in the morning but he claimed that he didn't want his friend's roommate telling his friend who was letting him stay in her apartment that he was sleeping with a bunch of different guys... even though he was) and as I turned and watched him walk away I stopped and shed a small tear thinking of everything we had been through over those brief two weeks. I never thought it was possible for me to feel such a whirlwind of emotions over a guy I was never even technically dating at any time, let alone care for him as deeply as I did after all that had happened and I knew that even though we weren't sure when we were going to see each other again that we would always hold a special place in the other's heart. He left the next morning for France where he was staying with a friend's family and studying French (cause that's what you do) after a short stop over in London to visit our Spa friend I mentioned way back when and before his flight had even landed in Niece, I received that first of many postcards (they're kind of his thing).
Once he got to France our relationship got kinda weird. We talked and texted every day but he was very hot and cold with me. One day it was all about how he missed me and hoped he got to see me again soon or how we were going to ravage each other on the one day our ships port together to make up for lost time and then the next day it was "I don't owe you any emotions, we're not dating." I almost booked a flight to Brazil to see him thinking that seeing each other again would help us which he fully supported but the lack of time and money flushed that idea down the toilet. He even got mad at me for tagging him in the picture to your right because he didn't want his father to see it (I later realized that his father wasn't the one he was worried about). Needless to say the ups were really nice but a drunk straight guy friend helped me realize that he cared more about the attention I gave him than he did about me (something that I guess is pretty common in the heterosexual world) so I sent him a very well-worded message explaining that I needed some time away from him to figure out what I wanted for myself and he agreed that that was a good idea but not until he Facetimed me to tell me that his mother thinks my Facebook pictures are way too gay (cause that was appropriate timing), all the while continually telling me that he cared about me deeply and didn't want me to get hurt. A week later I sent a check-up message to let him know that I was feeling better about myself and things in general and he was completely dismissive with me. He explained that he had met with his ex in France and that it had just reminded him that he was still in love which is why we're not together right now (yeah... that's the only reason why...). I said that was fine and take your time and a couple of other generic supportive phrases and went about my business as usual.
It wasn't until he left France and went completely Facebook silent (he usually posts at least 3 to 10 times a day) that I thought things were a little strange. Then I saw a post from a mutual friend asking when he was going to be in New York again. I sent him a message asking him if he was really coming to New York and why he had mentioned anything to me about it before... No reply. The next day I sent another message saying that I couldn't believe he wouldn't reply to me and that he's not the person I thought he was. Three days later I checked my Facebook after getting to sleep in a little and the first thing I see is Marcelo checking in to the JFK airport and a status that said "finally flying home to Brazil!" I clicked on his page to find an entire album of pictures had just been uploaded of him and his "friend" galavanting around New York for the previous 2 weeks going to bars and places that I easily could've ran into him had I not been dancing in a workshop that entire time. Turns out, the trip back to New York after his stay in France had been planned from the beginning and he purposefully hid it from me for his own selfish reasons. And that "friend" who I was assured was not the guy for him and completely out of the picture was the one and only reason for the entire trip. So not only was he not posting on Facebook so that I wouldn't know he was here, but he was going to let me spend my hard-earned money on a trip to Brazil for no other reason than to see him and still not tell me he was coming. I was speechless for a moment (something that doesn't often happen with me) and then I took a deep breath and continued eating my Cookie Crisp while trying to hold in the rage, disgust, shame, sorrow, inadequacy, and betrayal. Damn, that Cookie Crisp had it's work cut out for it.
Naturally I sent him several messages with a slue of choice words. The very first one said "you lying sack of shit" and then sort of continued on from there. He was checking these messages on his phone while sitting at JFK and not replying to a single one of them obviously because he's a coward... which I also called him. The final message read: "whatever, fuck off... i am so much of a better person than you'll ever be and i deserve more than you'll ever be capable of giving. have a nice life you cheating lying sack of shit. i hope i never see you again." I guess you can call that my Waiting to Exhale moment. A couple of days later I finally got a reply... a Facebook "thumbs up" emoticon, and nothing else. What. A. Dick.
Once I realized that the second trip was premeditated (which I concluded after rereading his thank you card and caught on to the line "See you around, maybe sooner than you think!") I had an instant feeling of: I could've had him and I fucked it all up. But once rationality and some helpful text messages from friends came through I realized that it was in fact the opposite. Now, I'm no angel by any means, and yes I did cheat on one of my boyfriends when I was younger and dumber as a means of getting out of the relationship, but I've never manipulated someone into thinking that I cared about them for my own selfishness and for that, I do believe that I am a better person than him and that his "friend" did me a favor by taking him out of my life. He's still taking screenshots of my Snapchats (which I'm only sending him to see if he'll take a screenshot... always does) so he still feels something for me... God only knows what that could possibly be, but I guess it's something.
There are a lot of things I chose to leave out of this story of not-quite-love and loss (if you can believe that) but I hope this has given you some kind of enlightenment to both how my own insecurities ultimately made me end up feeling worse about myself in the end and hopefully take what you've read here and help prevent it from happening to yourself or someone you care about. It's not easy to know when a monster is disguised as a prince, but my advice to you is that immediately after seeing that first piece of writing on the wall: Get. The fuck. OUT!!!