In the Age of “Going Green,” Some Men Are Better Left as Trash

Recycling Your Water Bottle Can Aid the Environment, but No One Benefits from Recycling a Rejected Lover


Published: October 2, 2008

Disclaimer: The events in this story are true, however, names have been changed to protect the guilty.

Although it’s the law to recycle in New York City, I never do. In this age of “going green,” my reluctance to reuse is an egregious crime against the environment, but thanks to my monthly donation to Environmental Action, I can avoid feeling too guilty. Perhaps, when oil production begins to steadily decrease and our global economy built on petroleum begins to crumble, I’ll look back and wish I had recycled my plastic Vitamin Water bottle. This train of thought also extends itself to my dating life. I have learned the hard way that, eventually, every relationship comes full circle.

A few weeks ago at a lounge appropriately named Therapy, it became apparent that New York City’s recycling policy even includes men. My friend Erik, the ever-diligent power networker, had invited an acquaintance along that he had met briefly at the bar a few weeks earlier. It turns out that this “acquaintance” was Mike Burke. I had dated Mike earlier this year for a few weeks. In fact, I had even mentioned him in one of my previous articles. Erik had met Mike once and remarked on how cute he was, even though I had never agreed, which is one of the reasons I tossed him.

At first Mike seemed like a good enough guy, but after making me go dutch on three dinners, I was ready to say “next.” Despite my gut feeling, I kept on dating Mike because he was worldly and well-spoken. There is, however, a time and place to be well spoken, and hooking up is not one of those times. After the first and last time we slept together, he looked at me and with all the proper etiquette one would expect at the dinner table, he said, “Well, I must say, that was quite good.”

Erik and I were both in disbelief over our predicament after I recanted my horror story with Mr. That Was Quite Good. Mike finally arrived and the plan was that Erik would meet him at the bar and I would show up pretending to be surprised that it’s a small gay world after all. Apparently, every queer seems to be “going green.” Of all the men in the city, Erik had to connect with Mr. Personality.

As I approached, I quickly prayed, “Ms. Audrey Hepburn, please help me be as dignified and sophisticated as you in these moments of disgrace. Amen.” I walked over to Erik and started to talk to him as though we had just met up. I dismissively said, “Hey” to Mike. He recognized me and with a stutter managed to ask, “Josh…? It’s Mike. Remember me? We dated.” I raised an eyebrow and, trying my hardest to act surprised, I said, “Oh, wow Mike, I didn’t even recognize you. Well isn’t this a crazy coincidence?”

Two hours later, he threw me up against the metal grates of a bodega and kissed me. After a few good feels, I pushed him away, looked at my watch and said, “I should go home. It’s really late. Let’s hang out some time soon. You have my number.” He responded typically with, “Yes, it is late, but I must say you are a rather skillful kisser.” As I walked up Ninth Avenue looking down at the time on my cell phone, I thought, “Well that is most certainly one phone call I won’t be picking up.”

There are instances when a good man is thrown away and can come back into your life. Mike Burke is not one of those men. Like waste, he can’t be recycled. In the end, at least for me, there are always reasons why we toss guys to the side. Whatever the reason, just like an empty water bottle, I don’t feel guilty about it because I have realized men are a renewable resource.