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Pop Op: Up in the Air

A co-worker of mine admitted to me that he just met someone who lives in New York and asked me how I was making my long distance relationship work…

After going on and on about the importance of communication and trust I really got to thinking about the miles that separate us. The old saying goes “Distance makes the heart grow fonder” but in the age of Skype, Friends and Family calling plans and Facebook, are we doing more than just racking up the frequent flyer miles? When it comes down to it, I am left wondering… is my relationship really up in the air?

All by myself
It seems like I have always been the odd man out in my circle of friends. More specifically, when we go out I am the single guy surrounded by couples. Most of the time it’s not bad, unless we’re out dancing and everyone is pairing off and I am left to dance alone. On a recent trip to San Diego to celebrate my friends Steve and Cole’s birthdays, I found myself flying solo in a sea of couples enjoying dinner at Cucina Urbana in Bankers Hill. Sitting there with all of the couples, all I could think about was how much fun it would be if Nick was there with me.

“You guys are really good together,” my friend Brian said taking note of how I was feeling. “It’s a shame you live in different cities and can’t make it work.”

Jumping to conclusions I quickly replied, “You do want me to die alone don’t you?”

On the road again
Once a week or so, my coworkers (and friends) Steve and Haven venture out into the streets of Century City to brave lunch at the food court in the CAA building. It’s more affectionately known as the “Death Star” and it’s the agency of choice for Hollywood’s A List. Fortunately for us we have an inside man at the Death Star whom we will affectionately call Hunter...to protect his rep as an agent’s assistant… among other things.

“I totally got road head last night,” Hunter said as we were sitting down to eat at Cuvee. It’s not that we’d never heard of such a thing, but normally that’s the kind of revelation you expect after a couple of drinks and not before a lunchtime salad. “What? We were going to hookup but he needed a ride home… two birds, one stone!”

“What if you ran out of gas?” Haven asked.

“Oh my God, I would total cause an accident,” Steve added.

“Talk about going out like Princess Diana!” I agreed looking at Steve.

First class all the way
You can imagine my surprise when I was going to catch my flight to the windy city only to find out that I knew one of the flight attendants. As a matter of fact I met him when I was going to San Francisco for Folsom… where I met Nick.

They talk about six degrees of separation in the real world but in the gay world it feels more like six inches (and yes, that will be a column for another time).

The in flight movie was Up and while I was flying in Economy Premier, my treatment was first class all the way including free food, drinks and a hand delivered bottle of wine from the first class cabin.

The lady in the seat next to me who was watching a movie on her iPod touch noticed the treatment I was getting and just had to ask, “Are you actually going to drink that bottle before we land?”

“It’s to celebrate with my boyfriend when I get to Chicago,” I smiled. “It pays to know a gay flight attendant!”

Things are heating up
I am one of those people who likes to have the home field advantage and when it comes to long distance dating, I definitely feel like I am out of my league when I am in a city I don’t know. The thing is, from the moment I arrived at Nick’s house I felt… at home… which is saying something for a native Californian experiencing his first winter in Chicago. The good news is I like to cuddle up on those cold winter nights. The bad news is I tend to be a bit of a furnace in bed.

Over drinks at Sidetracks (the most popular bar in Chicago) for Showtunes Sunday, I made a point of apologizing to Nick for heating things up between the sheets, “I’m sorry I’m a little hard to sleep with at night. You know my temperature just tends to run high when I am all bundled up at night.”

“It’s okay, I know you’re hot,” Nick said with a coy little smile that had nothing to do with body temperature.

“Only for you,” I noted as I gave Nick a kiss on the cheek.

Going the distance
I guess we are all willing to go the distance whether it’s love or lust. Sometimes it’s a drive across town for a quickie but when you are willing to travel half way across the country you know that it’s something more. The thing is, I really do want to make this work with Nick and there is no doubt that while I might be up in the air every few weeks our relationship is on solid ground… and if my last trip to Chicago is any indicator, things are definitely heating up.

Travis D. Bone is a Los Angeles based writer and a graduate of the University of California at San Diego. After spending 13 years in San Diego where his journalism efforts earned him a San Diego Press Club award he took his chances on moving to Los Angeles to become a television writer. Now he’s working in finance for a studio, so that didn’t turn out quite the way he expected. On the upside he’s still writing, still single and still living it up splitting time between Los Angeles and San Diego. In short he’s got a lot of stories to tell.