Caught Between the Lines: My Date with a Closeted Lebanese Journalist

As the proverbial “Yankee in King Beirut’s court,” one enjoys some rather lush fringe benefits. Top of the list? The lavishly legendary Lebanese love for hosting. It’s as if I’ve become a party-going pied piper, charming invites out of everyone and their distant cousin. And who am I to spurn such sociable enthusiasm?

Every gathering becomes a who’s-who of the local VIP scene, and it’s almost a given that at least one closeted comrade would appear, as predictable as the sunset, and just as intriguing. Or maybe it’s just the local brand of bromance throwing me off? It’s an elaborate masquerade, my darlings, and it can be as perplexing as a chameleon in a bag of Skittles.

Journalistic Joust

How about that time I found myself playing love-cum-wrestling with a closeted journalist, Samuel? You know, I’ve dated quite the medley, but never thought I’d have a byline in my love life! We first met at a dinner party, a swanky one where people were showcasing their charm. Samuel was like a fresh headline amid the typical tabloid gossip.

Love, At First Smirk

At our first encounter at the bustling dinner party, it wasn’t so much ‘love at first sight’ as it was ‘smirk at first sight.’ His gaze had met mine from across the room, cutting through the clinking of glasses and the cacophony of laughter, creating a shared, silent moment that seemed to stand still in time. He had this magnetic pull to him, drawing me in like a moth to a neon lamp.

His walk towards me was a sight to behold, every step echoing confidence and an oddly comforting sense of familiarity. And then, we broke the silence. Introducing myself as a Tech CEO all the way from San Francisco, I felt a twinkle of intrigue flicker in his eyes. He revealed himself to be a Lebanese journalist, a tale-teller by profession with an unmistakable spark of curiosity about the world.

“Coincidently,” he was planning a trip to Uncle Sam’s home. He suggested that we meet up to discuss the ‘must-visit’ places in San Francisco, as if the promise of travel tips was his sole motivation. But the hint of mischief dancing in his eyes made me think that there was more to this charismatic journalist’s travel plans than met the eye.

On the Rocks and Back to Mine

Our first rendezvous blossomed at a busy bar in the pulsing heart of Hamra. There we were, two silhouettes cloaked in soft neon light and shadow, drowned in the low hum of indie music. Samuel, with his whiskey on the rocks, spun tales of journalistic intrigue as if he were on deadline, his obsidian eyes flickering with curiosity under the glow of the bar lights.

As midnight neared, a certain frisson emerged, a palpable undercurrent beneath our small talk and polite laughter. Every brush of hands sent volts of anticipation coursing between us. Yet, each time, he retreated, only to take a curious step forward once again.

Finally, he ventured to ask if he might see where I lived, to better “understand the Californian way of life,” he said. It was a flimsy pretext, but one that I gladly accepted. After all, our dance had just begun, and the night was far from over.

A Cloak and Swagger Affair

From the start, it was like dating Clark Kent, but in reverse. Instead of leaping buildings, he’d leap away whenever things were about to get steamy. There was something deeply enticing yet mystifying about him. It was as if he was proofreading his own life, unsure whether he was the subject or the predicate.

The Grammar of Desire

When he touched me, his hands were like misplaced commas — hesitant, not sure if they were following the correct syntax. And when our eyes met, it felt like we were stuck in an endless ellipsis… Never a full stop, always a pause.

Kissing Conundrum

Inch closer for a kiss, and he’d transform into a human thesaurus, quick with a detour of words. “Dickson, I can’t. I’m not gay, just… exploring,” he’d say, pulling away faster than a sports car dodging a speed bump.

The Pronoun Predicament

Samuel’s struggle with his identity was clear. He was as unsure about his sexuality as a kid at a candy store — wanting everything, but unsure of what to pick. In his world, labels seemed to carry more weight than emotions.

The Crossroads of Love and Frustration

This dance of ‘am I?’ or ‘am I not?’ began to strain our bond. It was like trying to read a book that was constantly rewriting itself. My heart was on the line, yet I felt like I was reading a draft, never the final copy.

A Cascade of Second Thoughts

There was a magnetic charm to Samuel that was undeniably potent. Each conversation was like diving into an ocean of wit, wisdom, and warmth. Our dates were vibrant tapestries of laughter and shared moments, threaded with delicious anticipation and a spoonful of ‘what if?’

But beneath all these memorable meetings brewed a tension as tangible as the humid summer air in Beirut. Like a high-stakes poker game, each glance, each touch, each lingering moment was met with an increasingly confusing mix of reciprocation and restraint. It was the classic push and pull dance, but with him leading and mis-stepping every second twirl.

His actions were like Morse code I couldn’t decipher. Each time we neared the edge of something deeper, his insecurities would flare up like a defensive pufferfish, pushing me back into the friendzone waters. A loving caress would be met with a stiffened shoulder. An intended kiss would be expertly deflected into a friendly peck on the cheek.

And as much as I found him irresistible, I also yearned, craved, for a man who was as ready to jump into the deep end of this pool of passion as I was. A man who didn’t reel back at the touch, didn’t flinch at the whisper of a deeper commitment.

So, like canceling an infuriatingly unpredictable subscription to a tantalizing but ultimately unsatisfying periodical, I made the decision. It was time to press ‘unsubscribe’ on my ‘Samuel Special’. It wasn’t easy, letting go never is. But it was necessary – a tough love letter to myself from myself, affirming that I deserved someone who wanted me just as much, without reservation or hesitation.

Finding the Byline of Self-Love

Sometimes, people are fighting battles we can’t see. Closeted or not, everyone deserves understanding and space to figure out their identity. But let’s not forget, so do you. Your feelings matter. Your desires are valid. If a relationship makes you question your worth, it’s okay to put down the newspaper and start penning your own love story.

And remember, darlings, before you try to punctuate someone else’s life, make sure your own sentences are complete. Love isn’t about editing someone into your ideal narrative, but about reading each other’s stories with an open heart and a loving understanding. You are not a rough draft waiting for approval; you are your own bestseller.

Stay fabulous, my friends!

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