imagine your current friend group but dwayne the rock johnson is an unquestioned part of it
The bartenders at Schillers pour some of the best Manhattans around. They add a splash of Grand Marnier which gives a taste of citrus but somehow doesn’t make it overly sweet. I only drank about half of mine before my boyfriend showed up, and I quickly ordered him one as well. He had the day off from work, which meant that instead of his normal attire he was dressed in jeans, a black t-shirt and a black jacket, all of which made him look like a fucking rockstar.
A few minutes later my girlfriend and her husband arrived, and we moved to a table, ordered a few dozen oysters and another round of drinks. Our plan was to meet up early for a bite and good cocktails before heading over to the monthly Poly Happy Hour event on Delancey. We’ve been going on and off for about five or six years now, and it’s an event that brings in family members from across a wide range of scenes in New York. There are kinksters, swingers, unicorns, and radical-trans-queers who are into library science. There are bi-boys, leather daddies, non-leather daddies, and the simply curious.
We sat and laughed over our drinks, our oysters, and our sliders, as all four of us basked in the warm air blowing through the window. Spring has finally come to New York and it is perfect. A and I held hands beneath the table while her husband and J laughed and smiled, and I had one of those rare poly moments that have felt elusive for a long time. I felt loved, I felt happy, and I felt content. And maybe, most of all, I felt at ease with three dear friends who reveled in each other’s company.
Happy Hour was full of old friends, new friends, and joyful acquaintances, and we moved about easily, sliding from one to another as we talked, shared drinks, and kissed in the dark corners of the bar. When J and I held hands or kissed, A looked on with a smile, and when I wrapped my arms around her, he kissed my head and told us how pretty we were. There was more laughter than anything else, but as the evening wore on, I felt happier and happier by the minute.
Later that night, as I made my way home by myself, I paused long enough to be grateful. It isn’t always like this, and even when it is, I don’t always notice. Maybe it was spring, maybe the warm breeze, or maybe it was simply the full moon lending her bright reflection, but as I moved seamlessly between friends and lovers, I was reminded of what it feels like to experience complete and boundless joy.
It says something that I still find my own happiness to be a surprise, but through all the challenges and trials that come with an open life, it does often catch me unaware. But with their warm hands on mine, their lips against my cheek, and the smell of spring in the air, I am reminded once more that it’s possible.
And that makes everything else worthwhile.