Monday, December 14, 2009

for four more years

Krissy called. Said she’ll take half of the day for her medical check-up, or the rest of the day, depending on how she’ll fare with the queue of people availing of our health card services. Knowing her, the rest of the staff thinks her declaration of the possibility of her not showing up for work is just a ploy to catch the rest of us in our weakest and most vulnerable (not in our desks, at the other offices catching up with the latest juicy news bout Manny and Krista, or slipping out to a nearby mall to do a bit of Christmas shopping); but we know better than to fall for that. Earlier this morning, her assistant sent me an sms informing me he can’t go to work, and left me quite a long list of things to accomplish before the queen arrives (I’m to be assistant number two in the event assistant number one doesn’t show up—that’s her topmost instruction; break that commandment and you’ll see the red sea part for the second time). Checklist done. Now all I have to do is wait; wait and pray that I do everything to the letter; whatever she requests me to do, never showing an inch of sarcasm at her sometimes irrational, over-the-top orders, or a quizzical look that will make me look dumb in her eyes. In other words, be perfect for half of the day. Having just finished patching up a recent “episode” between us, the pressure’s all the more imminent. If not for the perks I get from this splendid address, I would have gone and packed my bags a long time. But as others in the office kept saying, one just has to endure her for four more years—four more years then we party all we want.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

sooper hikab ever

Inaantok pa din ako. Putchang plants vs. zombies kasi to, ilang araw na akong di pinapatulog. Have to kill all the zombies to get the shiny money reward that will help me buy stuff for my plants for them to grow strong and healthy. Even now na may tyangge dito sa thirdfloor ng office building namin at sobra kung makabuga ng music yung mga speaker sa harap ng library—naririnig pa rin kahit nakasara na yung pinto namin—e wa epek pa din sa akin. Para akong walking zombie dito. Or kung nakaupo man at nagbabasa ng journal articles na kelangan kong i-release this month, I can’t help but fall over the damn journals. Grabe talaga. Kakagaling ko pa naman sa mahabang bakasyon. Can’t risk of running the impression na petiks or tamad—although maraming ganyang case dito—malapit pa naman ang grading period. Hay. Ok. Sige. Have to concentrate reading, else baka ma-assign ko tong article na to sa ibang committee, paktay tayo jan!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

pigsty

Na late ako kaninang umaga. Kinailangan ko gumising earlier than usual to tidy up the unit which is starting to look like a pigsty. Hmmm.. our lovenest a pigsty? Well. Looks like one but doesn’t smell like one.. yet. Hehehe.

The other day, dee texted me that he’s gonna bring an officemate around, to see our unit, as there are available units for rent in the building according to our landlady. I hate cleaning up. Hate it, hate it. Why clean up if you could just toss your clothes on the bed, toss the hangers on the dining table, along with yesterday’s accumulation of receipts and other pieces of paper in your pocket? And why hang your clothes properly in the cabinet when you could just get it straight from the plastic bag your laundry lady gave you? So when dee told me of the impending doom which is the officemate visiting, I just hated the whole idea of scrubbing, sweeping and tidying in general. Ipinagpaliban ko ng ipinagpaliban last night, until my lazy conscience suggested that I just wake up earlier than usual to do the clearing operations. So ayun, early morning workout ang nangyari. Hehehe. At late ako.

Later this afternoon while at work, dee texted me na nangaling na sila ng bahay. And celeste, the officemate was so impressed with what she saw, that she paid the landlady for her own unit right away. Well, that is something alright.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

of stubbles, hair gel, and fiona

Today, I have shaved the beard I unintentionally grew over weeks of neglect. I’m getting psyched up over the upcoming Caramoan trip this weekend; looking intently at the mirror for pimples, big pores and fine lines that might show up in the pictures, and fretting over them in the process. Hehehe. With that, I think part of looking good for the picture requires me to get a clean-shaven look. Some men can get away with a rough patch of beard or even a goatee. But it doesn’t work out for me. Pie the commodity (when he was still strutting his stuff) has always been associated with the clean cut, blemish free faces of Botticelli figures--the kind that the master will paint in one of his frescoes, rising out of a shell from a foaming sea, sans the long hair. Hehehehe. Last night as I was alighting from the MRT, I saw a number of young men with styling gel on their hair. A thought came to me, if I should buy and use one for the trip. When I was younger, I experimented changing my hairstyle using a variety of styling gels. It suited me then—I am not that confident now. I have, as some would say, for years already, let my hair down. I’ve no need to attract attention for I already have all the attention in the world I could have, in the eyes of one person. So if ever just to break the monotony of a flat hair, I should buy a gel and use it for the trip, babagayan pa kaya ako? Or magmumukhang trying hard na lang na magpakabagets ang dating? Hehehe. Fiona has always sported a hairstyle aided by the magic of styling gel; we always see his colored hair standing up proudly in front of us rank and file employees during Monday flag raising ceremonies, and it never did look awkward. Magaling lang talaga magdala ang ate mo. Kanina nga pumasok ng nakashades ang lola. Hmmm. Tinted sunglasses in the morning? He never did this before… baka naman may karir kagavi at inabot ng madaling araw ang lola mo.. pang cover ng eyebags? hehehe.

Monday, October 19, 2009

the tides, part 8


Note : The following is an original story by the author. While he believes in the idea of intertextuality, he is also a firm believer of the concept of intellectual property, and will invoke his rights under the Copyright Law to the full extent, should his story be subjected to acts of plagiarism
___________________________________________
Theo found himself walking to the same spot he’d been yesterday. The sea is utterly still and silent this morning; no gulls flying overhead, making noises to break the soft monotonous thud of his feet crushing sand. Even the breeze seems to be at rest, apparently drained from the all the ruckus it made last night. He looked skyward to see the clouds finally parting. Light is streaming from the torn part of the sky, gently kissing the still waters of the sea. The sea, for all its outward calm, seems to take delight in that special attention being given by the sky. It is sublime. He only had to will his eyes closed, fearful the emotions welling up inside him would spill over the landscape and taint it black.

It was a match made in heaven. His friends and officemates think so. Even Reema, after countless arguments over the phone, seems to finally think so, too. Clem was, and remains to this day, his one and only love. After all those years spent in solitary confinement in his job, and whatever semblance to a social life he managed to put together by attending those monthly meet-ups of the different online groups he belonged to—wherein he wasn’t able to hold conversations longer than five minutes anyway—he finally met someone who laughed at his jokes no matter how corny or badly delivered he thought them to be. He fought for Clem’s acceptance even though it broke Reema’s heart. Reema being the older one felt answerable to their dead parents for her only brother turning out to be gay. For Theo’s part, it broke his heart to see her sister blaming herself for not guiding him to the “right path”; though he had to stop mid-air, arguing the rightness and wrongness of paths, when Reema mentioned the subject in passing over Christmas dinner—for she finally agreed to invite Clem over, after five long years of pretending her only brother was just plain choosy when it comes to the girls. Seeing Reema in after-dinner small talk with Clem last Christmas was probably the best gift he received in years from his sister. Whatever it meant, he knew things were turning out for the better.

And then it had to happen.

Or rather, Jed had to happen.

Jed is Clem’s officemate who joined work a few months ago, taking on the teaching load left by one of Clem’s co-trainers who resigned late last year. He has a straight-forward-go-get-em attitude that comes offhanded at times, but paired with a killer smile and rough-hewn, moreno look, comes off as a major swoon factor for most of Clem’s girl officemates; only, Jed has set his eyes on Clem early on in the race, and the ladies are left with no choice but to be spectators in the unfolding game of seduction. Clem knew this, in the lingering stares and the unsolicited smiles during coffee breaks, and in month-end departmental meetings that made him uncomfortable to the barest of his bones.

Jed is as talented as he is good-looking. He plays the saxophone after office hours in a local bar some two blocks off from work. In one instance when the group had one of its night-outs to watch him play for the first time, he went on to dedicate the first number in his act to Clem, much to the surprise of everyone. Clem blushed and remained pretty much stunned the rest of the evening.

The following day, they were pretty much an item in talks at appointed gossip corners in the office, with the girls giggling uncontrollably whenever either one of their subjects would pass them by. They knew of Clem and Theo being partners for years; with Theo coming by at times to pick up Clem for dinner—but just the same, a blossoming office romance is too good to be wasted. Jed was practically puppy-eyed, incessantly hounding Clem that day, and Clem was a picture of restlessness.

Restless as he is restless, now.

The calmness of the sea did little to ease Clem’s distress; after all, an overcast sky hanging above them betrayed the picture of serenity it desperately tried to paint. The boatman, whose voice struggled to rise over the din of his motorboat, told him of the sea’s anger last night, with towering waves threatening to engulf some of the makeshift bars situated at the foot of the cliffs. He nodded in the boatman’s direction, pretending to listen—but his mind is adrift, lost somewhere; on a boat cradled by the waves, amidst a different kind of storm—one where he has little hope of surviving, or coming out unscathed.

<to be continued>

photo credit - http://www.designcommunity.com/forums/gallery2/d/24969-1/office.jpg

chinky at the library

Chinky Mae came to the library last week, as i was talking with two other officemates at my table. He asked for my immediate supervisor, one whom he came to know through me when we were still friends. He didn’t look in my direction, smiling his sweet chinky smile, as he was asking them her whereabouts. In fact he didn’t look at me at all, like i wasn’t there in the first place. My officemates were quick to give him the information that my supervisor was currently out of the room, to which he politely said thank you, and left as quickly as he entered. After his exit, my officemates looked perplexed, and went on to ask each other his surname, and in which department he works, precisely. They’re probably thinking why a mild mannered gay man would approach them, as they were talking with an equally mild mannered officemate who hasn’t yet revealed publicly, through a prepared press statement, his sexual preference. As none of them apparently knew his surname or where he worked, exactly, i supplied the needed information with the word yata after each data. It’s almost two years now, since he started ignoring me. in my heart, i still longed for a return to our old glory days, meeting at the bat cave in the afternoons just to check on each other’s loves and lives. Now i know that moment is never coming back at all.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

codename fiona

I bumped into a jogging colleague who works in the nearby bureau last Thursday, at the corridor that was turned into a tiangge in line with our office’s founding anniversary. I’ve been running an errand for Krissy Mae, and was supposed to be researching at the bills and index division but since it’s the founding anniversary, i thought a little slacking off wouldn’t hurt much. So i chided him, saying that i saw him at the greenbelt cinemas during the last day of the Spanish film festival. I saw him and would have approached him but i was so veyklah that time, what with the purple sarong i borrowed from Dee to wrap around my shoulders on account of the coldness of the greenbelt aircon. And i don’t really feel like socializing that time, other than with my regular clique whom i’ve already come to treat as family—i was with Shattershards and Dee that time, when I saw jogging colleague talking to an elderly man during the intermission before the second screening, along with a woman in middle age. The man simply looked clean to me, with his white polo shirt and khaki pants; but Dee suspected otherwise and jokingly posited they’re an item themselves. My jogging colleague simply reeked of so much gay potential. Hes’ single, well into his 40’s, with so much fashion sense—he can easily put to shame any seventeen year old when it comes to wearing a jacket with style. Heheh. He asked me why i didn’t call his attention the night i saw him. I simply told him that i didn’t want to bother him, as he was in the middle of an animated conversation with his companions. My alibi somehow worked as he didn’t bother asking me anymore, and went on to discuss something that clearly bothered him, from the way he looked. he told me that he saw a high ranking officer in our office strut his stuff in the greenbelt cinemas sometime during the duration of the film festival. When he said the word high ranking, i immediately had an idea of who he had in mind, exactly. It’s already a common knowledge among old timers in the office, of Codename Fiona’s sexual preference. There had been a time when he had been notorious in the use of company vehicles to cruise for fresh meat; as an old-timer himself and ex-friend Chinky Mae told me, when we were still friends. Of course, if you are one hundred percent certified knowledgeable in the art of sniffing out the gay man’s stench, it’s really not a problem. When i said that jogging colleague reeked of gay potential, codename Fiona has already reached his fullest potential, and with flying colors, mind you. So all i had to say was Fiona’s true name, and jogging colleague’s eyes went gaga with the glitter of a sex scandal queen. I mean, it looked like he was truly horrified, as he went on to recount all the bloody details surrounding the circumstances of how Fiona “danced” upon meeting one of his friends at the cinema lobby. in this regard, i somehow have my reservations regarding jogging colleague’s sexuality. What if he’s really straight, and chose the path of single blessedness for some reason we cannot fathom? After all, he’s a member of a Christian group in our office, and attends a regular meeting somewhere in mandaluyong. But isn’t Piolo a member of a Christian group too? He then proceeded to ask how i knew of Fiona’s sexuality. I told him i just heard it from old timers who knew, like urban legend passed on by word of mouth. But in reality, i just cannot bring myself to say that i saw Fiona in the same dancefloor where i had been dancing about four years ago, along with hundreds of gay men gyrating and sizing each other up to the beat of a Madonna song. And what really mortified me was the fact that i had to say “good morning sir” the following morning, when he showed up at the library to ask Krissy Mae some stuff regarding our journal subscriptions.

Monday, September 28, 2009

hilom

I went to the Journal Office yesterday to check if the record of last week’s proceedings have already been approved for release. On my way there, I saw the ugly sick pig going my direction. Apparently he also had some business with the Journal people, and it was just my luck, finding myself in a head-on collision with him on a beautiful Monday morning. It was too late, when I was finally able to focus my eyes to see who could be the hulking guy walking to the direction of the doors, to where I was also headed. Had I known just a fraction of a second earlier, I would have made for the adjacent room, anywhere just to avoid a direct hit. But he was there already, and I was there, too. I looked directly into his eyes, consciously telling myself not to register any emotion of anger or disgust. From my view, it looks as though he also doing the same. A few steps more and both of us would be side by side, going for the door handles. I was preparing myself for the worst when suddenly, the strangest thing happened. I wasn’t mad anymore. A strange thing really, for just seconds ago, I felt an ounce of anger pump into my veins—and then no more. I let him pass first, and then I followed him inside. Curiously, eyes followed us, as though we were a spectacle to behold. When I got to Gigi’s table, and he has already turned in a corner somewhere, I felt suddenly light headed. Whew. Nonetheless, I was thankful for the whole experience; for I can safely say that I’ve officially moved on.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

the tides, part 7


Note : The following is an original story by the author. While he believes in the idea of intertextuality, he is also a firm believer of the concept of intellectual property, and will invoke his rights under the Copyright Law to the full extent, should his story be subjected to acts of plagiarism
_____________________

Theo was suddenly roused from sleep by a tingling wamth, luxuriating in his muscles. It felt like those rare times when he actually made use of his tub instead of the shower in their small city apartment, immersing himself in a warm bath; the water feels just right on the skin, engaging his senses. He opened his eyes to see that thin shafts of sunlight are passing through the dome, as he’s been calling that delicate overhead mesh of leaves and branches that enclose the shack in a perpetual rain of green; he saw it a year ago, with the person he’s now running away from. Running away from? He’s not chasing you, for chrissakes, Theo. Stop this nonsense at once. Fully awake by now, he realized that the sunlight reaching him is falling through an open window, impaling him at precise points in his body—his cheeks, his chest, his tummy—each part resplendent in their hue of light pink. How could that be? I closed every single one last night on account of the storm.

A clink of teaspoon touching porcelain. He turned around to see Manong Gerry with a fresh cup of coffee on hand, greeting him a good morning. Manong Gerry is a next door neighbor who lives in the clearing, about two hundred meters from the shack; he was one of the residents who took an immediate liking of Clem and Theo, enough to offer them this abandoned shack. It had already been a year ago, to this day when they wandered into the island, alongside some others sharing their boat.

They were tourists, lodged on a nearby island, and were hopping from one island to another as part of the day tour package they availed, when they spotted the island’s rugged cliffs and lush greens from afar, floating like a dream in the blue waters. Seeing the group’s excitement, the guide was quick to point out that it’s not an official stopover in their tour and would not be the one answering to his bosses should they be spotted by other tour boats wandering off into the island. The adventurous group insisted that they won’t take long; that they’d just take pictures in front of the rock formations once they land on the beach. Overruled, the tour guide steered them into the island’s direction.

Upon reaching the shore, the excited bunch got off immediately, finding spots to have their pictures taken. It didn’t take long, however, for them to notice that local children were playing some distance away; and that a handful of makeshift establishments made of wood and rusted corrugated iron were sprouting like mushrooms at the cliffsides, complete with improvised verandas to accommodate breathtaking views of the sea and the nearby islands. Mesmerized by the strange allure of these renegade coffee shops, drinking bars, and a quaint little marketplace not far away from the cluster selling the day’s fresh catch, half of the group asked the guide to just fetch them at the end of the day; adding that they’ll just pay him extra for the fuel and his efforts. Seeing that it’s a good bargain on his part, the guide finally agreed.

As the boat left to continue touring the remaining passengers aboard, the small group that remained explored to their heart’s content. The shack called to them from its perch. High atop the faded red and green awnings of the shops, sitting at the highest part of the cliff, Clem and Theo saw a shack flanked by big trees on all its sides except the one looking down at them, facing the sea. It looked rustic, and grand at the same time, recalling scenes conjured from childhood fantasies, of green-domed castles resting by the cliff, jutting out to sea. Like two explorers excited with their new find, they made a dash for the remaining slope to reach their prize.

Reaching the top, they found the shack to be abandoned and in a state of disrepair. A bunch of local children were playing at a nearby swing, its ropes tied to a branch of a mango tree. Soon, two adults were rushing into their direction, alongside some more children who obviously told them of the tourists’ arrival. The elderly man with the graying beard introduced himself as Manong Gerry, and his wife by his side, Manang Linda.

“It’s good that you came here,” Manong Gerry said, after a few niceties were exchanged. “In the past two years, more and more tourists are gradually discovering our island. It’s good for the local tourism”.

“You must excuse us for the lack of electricity, though. Electricity cables haven’t reached us yet. The shops below are only good for day trips from the nearby islands. We are horrible hosts at night,” quipped Manang Linda.

“So you don’t have inns around, should we decide to stay for the night?” Theo asked, smiling, thinking of nights lit by gas lamps.

“Sadly we don’t have those things yet. But should you and your friend would want to stay, you can stay here,” Manong Gerry said, pointing to the shack. “It’s been abandoned for years now. My neighbor Tomas relocated to the town proper when he struck luck with his seaman son’s good fortunes.”

“Will it be any trouble if we actually did?” asked Clem. “We were looking for an adventure when we came here, seems we really found what we're looking for”.

“Oh no, please, help yourselves. We’re actually going to have a fluvial parade tomorrow, for the Blessed Virgin. That should be a sight to see for city dwellers like yourselves,” Manang Linda said smilingly.

At the end of the day, when the boat came back for the group, Theo and Clem already had a ready line made for the tour guide, and asked to be picked up the next day instead; thankful that they haven’t checked-in yet at one of the fancy inns of the bigger island like most in their group did upon arriving in the morning. After sharing dinner with Manong Gerry’s family and exchanging a few laughs, they headed back to the shack where they made love under the light of the gas lamp.


“I opened the windows to let some sunshine in,” Manong Gerry’s voice pulled Theo away from his reverie. He was beside an open window, holding his cup of coffee. “You came back at a terrible time, we’re being assaulted by heavy rains for almost two weeks already. It’s good to see the sun finally shining again though, in time for the procession later. I was surprised to see you yesterday. I haven’t really thought you’d remember the date of our fiesta. Your friend really should have come, the procession will be extra special this year”.

Theo smiled. He didn’t mean to come at such a precise a time. He just needed refuge; some solitude to thinks things through. But now he feels his past is closing in on him, more than ever.

In a wooden jetty at the end of a dirt road somewhere, Clem contracts a boatman to take him to the island.

<to be continued>
image source http://southofthegnatline.blogspot.com/2007/06/youre-never-too-old.html

Friday, September 25, 2009

the tides, part 6


Note : The following is an original story by the author. While he believes in the idea of intertextuality, he is also a firm believer of the concept of intellectual property, and will invoke his rights under the Copyright Law to the full extent, should his story be subjected to acts of plagiarism.
________________

In the end, the light from their bedside lamp could not compete. It grew paler with each passing moment, and eventually fizzled out as the warm glow of knotted hearts and tangled limbs slowly lit up the room, throwing frenzied shadows along the walls. The old airconditioner nearly broke down with the heat, and the green curtains turned yellow with envy. In the aftermath of shallow breaths and whispered i-love-yous, their once-pristine sheets lay crumpled at the foot of the bed, drenched in sweat.

Clem’s head remained buried, deep in Theo’s chest; his ears still throbbed in unison with Theo’s heartbeats, when he heard him ask—

“Why did you say hi?”

“Huh?”

Clem looked up, struggling to see Theo’s face through sweaty eyebrows; but as his eyes still stung from the sweat, he just closed them to listen to Theo’s voice as it went on—

“At the party, when we first met. Why did you say hi?”

Clem knew at once. It wasn’t a question that demanded answers. It was a question asked in dreamy tones, in a voice that only Theo can deliver, in a perfect mix of amazement and thankfulness. They have played at it for as long as he could remember, and this would be the time when they would lie side by side, facing each other, to look into each other’s eyes—

“Oh, that question again?” A teasing look would erupt in Clem’s eyes, a cascade of dazzling fireworks in a cloudless night sky.

“I just needed to be sure”.

“To be sure of what?”

“That you did not confuse me with someone else, hehe”, Theo would grin, planting a wet glob of kiss at the tip of Clem’s nose. Clem would almost always feign disgust, only to retaliate by hitting on Theo’s tickle spots, at the side of his ribs, and at the base of his neck, touching the shoulders. Only after when Clem had his fill of Theo’s laughter-induced tears would they snuggle, with Clem behind, kissing Theo at the nape.

“Why would I take you for somebody else? Did I look like I confused you with somebody else that night?”

“No, I just...”

“Shh... no need to talk, then.”

Theo’s eyes would close, feeling Clem’s broad shoulders and arms around him bring him to his most secret place on earth.

“But you’re a matinee idol and I’m just one of the regular guys”.

“Who says you’re regular? You’re the most special person in my life”.

<to be continued>
image source : www.jacklail.com

Sunday, September 20, 2009

the tides, part 5

Note : The following is an original story by the author. While he believes in the idea of intertextuality, he is also a firm believer of the concept of intellectual property, and will invoke his rights under the Copyright Law to the full extent, should his story be subjected to acts of plagiarism.
__________________
The sun was up early this morning. It rose golden and majestic over the distant hills to the east; its rays melting away those delicate curtains of mist that hung like spider lace over the fields and the meadows, and the little brooks they passed by along the way. They have been travelling by bus, a rickety one, for almost two hours now; and each bump along the road is reminding Clem how hard it is, getting to the island.

He hasn’t had a decent sleep yet since setting out by himself at dawn, nor is he complaining about it. He has endured two transfers already: from an airconditioned bus, he took a ferry ride taking him to the main island; getting off from the main port, he had to fight a multitude of other passengers just to get in one of those old buses with open steel frames for windows and creaking wooden slats for floor, plying the route from the port to the far end of the island. He was lucky to get aboard one, and has been enjoying the ride since, despite a few patches of rough road they’ve been encountering, from time to time.

After the sudden flood of memories at the bar last night, he had to do something. He had to act. And this is it, the ultimate road trip. It didn’t surprise him at all to see himself going this length to get to Theo. He loved the guy for seven years, loves him still to this very day. Arriving at his apartment, feverish from the terrible rains, he tried for his cellular phone a number of times. No answer. Not the one to easily give up, he sent several short messages to friends, to no avail—within an hour, they all sent their answers in the negative—no, they haven’t seen Theo for awhile, and no, they do not know his whereabouts. Even Reema was vague in her answer—her brother didn’t exactly say where he was going, except to a retreat, a few days away from the city.

“Tis great, noh? That we found this island by accident, or that it found us. It’s like the perfect hideaway, when you’re hiding from the world and you don’t want to be found; or when you’re soul searching, or whatever. Imagine, there’s no electricity yet! How do people here survive?! Know what...we could set up a party here sometime...call all your friends in Manila, what do you think? We’ll have a gas lamp luau by the beach. Haha!”

He only had to close his eyes to see Theo’s face that day they set foot on the island: pure bliss. And there had been a religious procession too, a fluvial parade going the length of the rocky shore. It passed by the abandoned little shack they took shelter in, which the residents were kind enough to offer for the duration of their stay. Colorful, triangular pieces of paper shimmered in the water, adorning the boat that carried the image of the Blessed Virgin. Little girls clad in white dresses were throwing red and white confetti to the throng of believers that gathered along the shoreline, singing Ave Maria. Exhilarated from their vantage point at the edge of the cliff, Theo shouted, “Hah! The perfect retreat!”

It was the only clue Clem could follow; the only clue he’s desperately clinging to.

The bus stopped on a dirt road to unload its final set of passengers. Clem got out, stretching himself from the cramped way he’d been sitting for a good two hours. All of a sudden, a light breeze blew in from the south; he can smell the sea.

<to be continued>
image from www.giantbomb.com

the tides, part 4

Note : The following is an original story by the author. While he believes in the idea of intertextuality, he is also a firm believer of the concept of intellectual property, and will invoke his rights under the Copyright Law to the full extent, should his story be subjected to acts of plagiarism.
___________________

Thunder claps. This is going to be a long night.

Even with the thick bricks lining the walls of the joint, he could still hear the grumblings—muffled and distant, like some memories he’s already resolved to drown with a bottle of brandy. Two, in fact. For tonight, as the streets of the metro will be flooded by merciless rains, so too, will the avenues of his heart be, with a rush of sweet brandy.

He had come here drenched, soaked to his socks. His only saving grace was the black leather jacket he was wearing, that repelled the assault of the stinging rains much like an armor of a knight to a volley of poison arrows. Yet this knight is not of the shining ilk, and it was this realization that made him walk two blocks from his office, amidst torrential rains and buffeting winds. From the streets, he passed a sea of perplexed and odd stares from pedestrians and transport passengers alike, wondering why he’d brave a storm of such magnitude without so much of a raingear. Let them stare. I don’t care. Let them stare.

He needed to forget. He needed to make them stop. The memories, so powerful they end up in his dreams, invading his waking hours, so much so he sees him in every face, every dealing, smells him in his pillow before going to bed. Theo.

It wasn’t long before he’s back in familiar ground. This bar is the only place those bloody memories dare not enter—this place that stank of wine and mindless chatter, wreathed in smoke. It has offered him sanctuary for the last two months or so, and has never denied him of forgetfulness whenever he comes rushing to its doorsteps. He will not be denied one now. Moments later, dried up and already settled in his favorite corner, he lounged in the strange comfort of his seventh glass and the smoke-filled dim. A kind of languor has already descended on him when a light tap on his shoulder woke him from his trance.

“Clem!”

“Oh, hi. I didn’t know it’s gonna be you tonight”.

“Why, would you have gone somewhere else had you known earlier? Stay after my number, ok? I’ll wipe that glum off your face”.

“Like you could,” a smirk contorted his beautiful face.

“Haha! Trust Jed to do it. Later, ok?”

Clem didn’t answer. And it seemed Jed wouldn’t take no for an answer, either—as soon as he’s uttered his invitation, he went onstage holding his saxophone to weave his magic before an audience already in rapt attention. Jed was just one of the many boys that chased after Clem like a pack of hungry wolves; chased and still chasing. All of them fall for him sooner or later. He has known this certainty all his life, and has ran from it ever since he could remember. It’s a curse he can never totally be free from, like an anchor bearing down on his soul.

As the first of the notes to My Funny Valentine sauntered, silky in the air, a night scene from a small room some years back unfolded like it’s just happening now; and the smoke and the wine, the semi-darkness and the mindless chatter—all of them melted to the tune of his humming. Theo likes to hum. Theo hums a lot, actually. In the car, on the way to some dinner they’d attend; after the movies when he’d sort of float in the sidewalk, humming the theme song—humming like he is humming now. They’ve just finished dinner, and they were watching some old black and white movie on TV. Out of whim, when My Funny Valentine played, he rose to his feet, took Clem by the hand and started on a slow waltz. They say Clem has a drowning stare, but nobody has ever looked upon Theo’s eyes for long to see those deep pools of longing call to you. Nobody but Clem, and he is shrinking—the high and mighty sun god Apollo—shrinking to a kind of girlishness now, as he puts his head onto Theo’s broad shoulders, looking still through his eyes.

He was jolted from his reverie by the cheering crowd. It was a standing ovation and Jed was looking directly at him. In the darkness, he suddenly felt his cheeks were wet. Has he been crying? He rose immediately and stumbled through the crowd. He must get out. Out of this place.

He needs to think.

<to be continued>
photo credit - rob melnychuk
www.delish.com

Saturday, September 19, 2009

the tides, part 3

Note : The following is an original story by the author. While he believes in the idea of intertextuality, he is also a firm believer of the concept of intellectual property, and will invoke his rights under the Copyright Law to the full extent, should his story be subjected to acts of plagiarism.
___________________
He woke with a start.

Winds were howling in Theo’s ears like they never howled before; taking him from some wine-colored dream--one that’s pulled faster and faster away from him, receding in the dark as he reluctantly waded into wakefulness.

Before his eyes opened, he heard the shack. Little creaks from the wicker and the timber, and the ceaseless flapping of the windows against the battering winds. Shivering from the cold, he rose and went immediately to the nearest window, taking hold of the wooden handle to shut it close. He took a quick glance at the moon’s direction to see that it had taken cover behind the train of passing clouds. Below him, the land lay under a blanket of darkness, lulled to sleep by this unnatural wailing that seem to come from some unfathomable depth. He gave each handle a hard tug, and pulled the latches in place, as he locked the windows one by one, from the inside. Despite this, the wailing winds persisted with their dirge, and Theo, now completely awake, have no choice but to listen.

It’s like being in a cavern; with voices rising and falling like waves, bouncing off each other’s lament, as they follow an unseen conductor bent on orchestrating a grand performance. It didn’t help that the cold have already settled in his bone marrow, and no amount of blanket can help keep him warm. A moment later he heard another layer to these tangled “voices”—the sound of rain; gentle at first, then slowly gaining momentum with every drop, and later on, pouring like truckloads of gravel onto the tin roof above his head. Theo sat on his bed, suddenly realizing he’s in the front row seat to a rousing performance of loneliness and despair.

Light the gas lamp, Theo.

No, its better this way.

Afraid to see your loneliness?


Theo didn’t answer. You’ll get tired of it, eventually.

He lied down, feeling the soft brush of the pillow against his cheeks, and turned to face left. He always liked facing left, especially when Clem has already followed him to bed. Clem would always lie from behind him to give him a hug, placing his right arm across, snuggling him until they both fell asleep. He now reached across, feeling for those arms, waiting for Clem’s soft, warm breathing to start caressing his nape. For the longest time, Theo lay awake.

Only the tears and the endless rain came that night, merciless with their lashings; and the sea below their shack roiled and coiled to the sound of Theo’s silent whimpers, grumbling with the wind.

<to be continued>

Friday, September 18, 2009

the tides, part 2

Note : The following is an original story by the author. While he believes in the idea of intertextuality, he is also a firm believer of the concept of intellectual property, and will invoke his rights under the Copyright Law to the full extent, should his story be subjected to acts of plagiarism
_________________

He came like a gust of fresh air in Theo’s life. The man-child with the warm, infectious smile and the drowning stare. He can leave a room breathless just by the flick of his eyes, fiery and incandescent; all lights leave the room the moment he enters, for they get magically drawn right into his irises, and stay there when he wills them to. Men and women fall into his sway as easily as the ocean is pulled by the moon’s rising at night. And when he has finally set his eyes on you, you fall powerless against a desire, a longing so great to know him, and be among his peers that forever bathe under the gleam of his arresting presence. Clem the beloved, Theo’s sweet Clem.

“Hi”.

He came, holding his glass of wine.

Theo froze right where he was sitting. Up til now, he had been a wallflower at this event, quite content to ogle at the boys from a safe distance, unsure why he had signed up for this gathering in the first place. It was a grand eyeball, a meeting of sorts among gay men who kept online profiles in the internet. In the days leading to the event, the organizers had been pious in sending email updates to the members for information, and to drum it up as well. Reading through them, he felt it wouldn’t hurt to try this one out—might be the one thing that will spell the difference between singlehood and meeting the man of his dreams. Being the reluctant optimist that he was, he signed up for it anyway, and hoped that lady luck will look his way when the right time comes.

Lucky Theo. Tonight, it seems all her attention is on him.

“Uhm, hello”.

Theo’s heart skipped a beat, as he put down the book he’d been absent-mindedly reading before the angel came, bearing good news.

What is this heavenly creature doing by the poolside, talking to me?

The pallid light from the pool was not enough to mask the guy’s splendor : a charming face that can easily land him a spot in the avenue of billboards that is EDSA, and an athletic body to boot—just the right amount of muscles in all the right places—

You shouldn’t be here. You should be there, inside, in the light—among your fellow boy-toys and muscle marys. What are you doing here?

“Can i help you?"

Darn, what were you thinking, asking that, Theo? This is a party, of course he can go anywhere he wants to.

“Uhm, I just came out for a breath of fresh air. The air’s too stifling inside, I can barely hear my thoughts. I guess that’s what you get when you put together a bunch of gay men inside a room...after a few minutes they start working each other”.

“Haha. You’re funny. I’m Theo, by the way. What’s your name?”

“Clem," and as he said it, a gentle wind that seem to come from nowhere, blew a few wisps of hair out his lovely forehead. "So, you’re reading a book, i see. You brought that all the way here to the party?”

“Nah, i just casually picked it up from the shelves. Our host has quite the collection. You’re not gonna report me, are you? I’m not gonna take this out of the building, i promise”.

“Haha. No, sir. They won't hear a word from me. Uh-uh. So, you came all the way to this party, intending to ignore us upstanding, fine young men, just so you can read a book,” a half-smile was slowly breaking out from his tender lips.

“Oh, no. Not just to read, but to drink fine wine too,” Theo raised his glass, starting to enjoy himself, and this unexpected little banter he’s suddenly having with a beautiful stranger. “Books and wine you see, they go well together”.

“Know what, Theo, you are one weird guy. I sure am pleased, meeting you.” Clem smiled, and raised his wine glass as well.

And just like that, Theo was smitten.


<to be continued>
googled image

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

the tides, part 1

Note : The following is an original story by the author. While he believes in the idea of intertextuality, he is also a firm believer of the concept of intellectual property, and will invoke his rights under the Copyright Law to the full extent, should his story be subjected to acts of plagiarism.
____________________

The faint glimmer of the early evening stars just come out to play by the horizon, threw specks of dull starlight at Theo; instantly fading on skin contact, as the entire place, now reflecting the muted colors of a twilight sky, slowly succumbs to the enveloping dark.

He has been absent-mindedly sitting on the sands by the beach for what seemed an eternity, watching the billow of soft waves curl gently at his feet, soaking them and the underside of his trousers wet. The shrieking gulls that have glided over the immense blue of the sea that afternoon as he was walking along the rugged shoreline, have now fallen silent and gathered themselves like some priests in congregation, huddled at the rocks some short distance away from the shack—now barely a shadow against the swirling blue and black evening sky.

As his mind continued to swim with the somber images of the gathering dusk, Theo slowly made his way up the steep terrain leading to the shack; little by little it emerged from the shadows, luminous in his vision, for the moon had already risen from the sea like some magnificent dream, bathing the landscape in sparkling silver.

He had just arrived that afternoon by small boat from the main island with a couple of other tourists, who, like himself, have chosen an obscure hideaway as their adventurer’s paradise to pass the weekend by.

The island’s share of tourists these days are trifling, dwindling figures compared to the past seasons; leaving some of the shop owners and inn-keepers with no choice but to temporarily close shop amidst the heat, and the dust, and the flies whirring incessantly over rotten mangoes and carabao dungs lying in the dirt. Children—who use to approach tourists drinking in makeshift bars during the peak seasons, to sell them necklaces strung from shells and pebbles—are regular children once more, marching in packs towards their respective houses and shouting inaudible, exhausted goodbyes to their comrades after a day's worth of climbing trees and soaking in the surf. He trailed this ragtag band’s ascent, sluggishly walking a few steps behind, until he reached his own address : this rundown, wind-battered shack, just a few meters above the sea smacking at the cliffs.

With a lingering glance and a wry smile at the little gang slowly breaking up for the night, he proceeded to close the door, shutting himself in darkness as palpable as his sorrow.


<to be continued>
the image source http://www.redbubble.com/

Friday, September 11, 2009

hava heir moment numbah one

arnel lasik ha. tandaan mo. pag nagawi kayo sa masbate, ipagtanung mo lang ako. madali lang hanapin ang place ko, sabihin mo sa traysikel, dun sa may gym. i own that place. iisa lang naman ang gym dun.. alang hilig ang mga tao dun sa pagpapalaki ng katawan. magsama ka ng friends mo, okey lang. masaya pag pyesta dun. arnel lasik ha.

thus, the mild mannered gay man in his mid-fifties alighted from the bus along with his other companions. their stop was the dau terminal in pampanga, as arnel lasik claimed their small group was to attend a friend's wake, somewhere in angeles. when they boarded the bus an hour and a half ago somewhere in quezon city, i had no idea that the proceedings would turn out into such a mess, a mess where i barely emerged unscathed from, barely breathing and barely alive hehehe.

when riding the bus be it in short distances in the metro or when province-bound, i always like taking the window seat. when arnel took the seat next to me, i had no idea he was gay. he had companions, and the bunch looked like a family going out for a few days vacation in the countryside. being that the bus was almost full, they have no choice but to have separate seating (as it turns out, his taking the seat next to me was no coincidence at all); add to the details already mentioned, that he had this rough-hewn aura around him, almost like a father's--pot belly, the works--which probably accounted for my gaydar's obvious malfunction.

when province bound, i almost always have stuff to take home; i always like bringing pasalubong so the household would have something to busy themselves with/ nibble on, in the days i'm at home. i dunno if he took it as a signal, my rummaging around my little plastic bag placed on the floor of the bus (i probably brushed on his exposed legs by mistake--he was wearing shorts), but i guess that was it; coz that was the time he started talking. he sortof suggested to the lady sitting in front of me to adjust the reclining seat for me to have more room to sort out my stuff. harmless enough, don't you think? i thought so too.

when the lady gave in to the request of this fatherly figure seated beside me, and i finally straightened out in my seat, arnel began to work his magic. he started out by making a comment on the greenery we were passing by, which he probably noticed i take interest in, given that i stared at what's outside the window almost all the time as we were traveling. not knowing what to say, i just smiled my demure smile. he then asked me how long it would take them to get to dau terminal, to which i courteously replied "mga isang oras at kalahati, depende sa bilis ng patakbo ng drayber at sa dami po ng sasakyan sa expressway". to which he replied, "mukhang sanay ka nang magbyahe ah. so palagi kang nauuwi pag weekend?"

before i knew it, the conversation was turning out to be some sort of a question and answer portion in a beauty pageant--with arnel being always the first one to ask questions, and me answering them. the questions were actually designed for small talk and i didn't feel as if my life was being pried open for the whole of the bus to devour, so i answered. but at the back of my mind, i was already beginning to feel a little discomfort; my gaydar was slowly coming to life with all the little beeps it was steadily giving off. when i finally turned to face him, it was too late, arnel's fatherly demeanor has already transformed into something predatory, like the big bad wolf to my little red riding hood. but all of that was probably in my mind; for he was his mild mannered self, all throughout the journey.

when the bus finally stopped to unload passengers at the dau terminal, a rush of relief passed through my being. throughout the conversation i conducted myself properly; i didn't humiliate, and i didn't snub. i was cordial, as he was cordial. and when he asked for my name, i gave the real one. i wouldn't trample on an aging gay man's dignity and self worth by giving a false name. after all he gave his name too, many times, in fact, so that when time came that i get the chance to visit masbate i can look him up.

arnel lasik, ha. yung may ari ng gym. isama mo ang friends mo.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

tsismax

wendy's, 9:10 am.

i just finished ordering meatloaf sandwich from the counter, and settled at my favorite place beside the store's glass enclosure-walls. i am near the bulky, overhead (and ancient) airconditioner, but did not sit directly under it for fear that dust and soot, accumulated through years of neglect, might fall off and land on my sandwich, which the counter-lady promised to deliver in five minutes.

to pass my five minutes, i went on to check my celfone for messages, sent a couple of short ones to friends, and, having nothing left to do except wait, i surveyed the place for cute guys. (yes, i am allowed to do that, under the dadee terms of agreement, hehehe).

a couple of tables away, in front of me, i was distracted by a somewhat loud voice coming from a guy who seemed to be lecturing his guy friend on the nature of love and relationships. i passed them both, on the way to my seat a couple of minutes ago, and i can see that the one being lectured on had the more feminine, sleek, gay urbanite/ metrosexual look that translates to hairgel, muscle shirts, and make-up foundation. the lecturer is in sharp contrast with his friend, for he seemed not to care at all, what with band-aid splat right on his chin--a razor cut, i reckon--loose-fitting shirt, shorts, and flip-flops make for a very home-boy look. homeboy was rubbing knees with ate gurl, (its not my fault i can see it from where i was sitting, noh?) as he continued his very animated discussion of the gay man's take on relationships. here are a few excerpts that managed to stick :

and so what if inabot kayo ng ilang taon?

from this, i reckon ate gurl is nursing a broken heart; but i still can't see the reason for kuya's knee, sliding deliciously into ate gurl's thigh.

what's important is the years shared together. problema ba yon? e di magdagdag pa ng ilang taon.

this part is quite hazy, but i'm just putting it here as conversation marker, to stress my observation that they are not an item, kuya band-aid and ate gurl (but i'm still terribly bothered by the knee action, mind you). kuya band-aid's voice is becoming quite loud, as his monologue is starting to reach me in steady frequency. at this point, i'm already beginning to wonder if the other customers are already getting the drift of their conversation, too. kuya band-aid kept saying "sa mundo natin", and from the way he said this, i get an impression that he's so much comfortable with his sexuality already, that he doesn't really give a damn if others are eavesdropping (ouch, hehe).

at this point, my sandwich has arrived, and kuya band-aid continued, with ate gurl (and myself) in rapt attention:

it's different kasi eh. in boy-girl relationships, the relationships tend to evolve into something sacred; the boy, being the agressive one, tend to get domesticated over the years, arrested somehow by the allure of domesticity offered by the woman. whereas in boy-boy relationships, both are fueled with competitiveness, with raging hormones. its easy to fall prey to the lure of collecting boyfriends. in straight conversations among men we usually hear that, di ba? may girlfriend kung saan-saan? imagine how much more sa atin, na parehong lalaki. before you know, it easily becomes habit; so we collect and collect hoping eventually that it will equal-out to that of the happiness in being in a monogamous, lasting relationship, sa dami ng nakolekta naten along the way.


from where i was sitting, kuya band-aid actually made sense. at this point, i got my celfone out and texted a very important person in my life; the word "sacred" glowing all the more in my mind.

before i got up, the lyrics to one of rufus wainright's song, "i don't know what it is", rang clear in my head. i heard this a couple of weeks ago, and not hearing rufus wainright steadily for days (as i usually did, during my rufus phase years ago) it kinda floated eeriely, and here, now, it resurfaced:

so i knock on the door, take a step that is new
never been here before, is there anyone else who's too in love with beauty?
playing all of the games, who thinks three's a company?
is there anyone else who has slightly mysterious bruises?


thank God somebody answered.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

hottie alert no. 3



lovely bruno di angelis

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

malate musings

Mention malate among one’s friendly gay circles and one is bound to get an image of steamy dancefloors gyrating to Madonna, kylie or gaga music (whichever is the toast of the season), streets turned fashion ramps for the night to cater to the cruising, vamped up (hair gel, lipgloss, foundation, please) and psyched up (move over, Gloria Diaz, ako na ang pinakamagandang hayup sa balat ng lupa) gay man out and ready to spew his venom to willing, writhing victims.

If ever jean grey, professor x, or madam auring happens to cruise the streets as well, they are bound to get the same vibrations from the sea of gay men who flood the gay mecca this side of the metro : Nobody’s more beautiful than i am. I am the goddess of beauty incarnate. Watch my hips sway, my eyelash curl... and tremble.

It seems that the gay experience is not complete for the gay urbanite without one ever having set one’s foot in this seething, see-and-be-seen hub of gay activity even for once. And some say that once the clubbing bug has bitten you, there’s no turning back.

Not for me.

I’ve been to malate only twice, before having met my better half of four years. the first time i was there, was to drown out my sorrow-laden heart with the noise of the dance floor. I just suffered from my first serious heartbreak, and the dance floor became a convenient place to just loose myself and not think of anything else that will make me remember. The second time, were months after said heartbreak, and the place wasn’t the same sorrow-vanquishing place anymore. Instead, it transformed into some ferocious monster that makes one feel a bit lacking, a bit empty, as one made swooping surveys of the men bathing in the eerie light of the dancefloor lights, making out behind pillars and dancing on the ledges.

The only time malate became fun for me was when the volleybelle group that my partner belongs to (a group of gay men having the passion for volleyball), held annual street costume parades during Halloween. It just felt right, roving the streets of malate with someone you feel right with. For three years, we cheered the fabulous gay men in their group whip it out, clad in exquisite costumes they themselves made. Now that was fun. Hehe.

Last june we found ourselves amidst the rainy environs of malate, taking part of the white party celebration--our first together. Yes, the usual throng of self absorbed men was there, parading themselves while looking for potential victims to prey on. Nothing seems to thrill me anymore. I was kinda hoping it would turn out like the Halloween nights with the volleybelles, but nope, it just seemed like one boring fashion show after another.

That night, I found myself thinking : Getting old? Hmmm.. maybe. Pass by, young men with ego the height and scale of mount everest. i have love with me and beside me, and i haven’t met him in malate.

Monday, August 10, 2009

saint krissy?

Whats with her?

Krissy the hag I’ve so much fallen in love with (eewww) in the past entries of the dreaming attic, is acting so unhagly these days.

In fact, in the past few months—2 months, if my calculations are correct—she’s been extremely nice; if you make a comparative analysis of her saintly demeanor nowadays, with her past sins, er, actions, she’s like a totally different, reformed person. I never thought the mental hospital staff these days could ever rise up to the government’s challenge and be at par with medical staff all over the world, in dealing with mental disturbances. Hehehe.

And it’s not just me noticing it. a fellow officemate shared the same observation. Krissy is far from getting the nicest girl in town award, but her progress can’t be overlooked, either. why, she makes an effort to say good morning when you greet her, and strives for little chit-chats with the other low-lifes in the office. isn't that suspicious? My, my. What is the world coming to?

Ano nga kayang nangyari?

Sana magtuloy-tuloy hanggang pasko.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

queen bee

I was in the sauna room, winding down after having a massage. It was a rather small room, one that can barely accommodate five guys in one sitting; if you are the sixth one to enter, you’ll likely to be the one standing up. I was the sixth one to enter that room.

As I’m feeling kinda petite that night (hehehe), I insisted on squeezing myself in between two guys who still had a considerable amount of space between them. As it happened, I found myself unknowingly in the midst of a game of seduction, as just barely seconds upon sitting, I noticed the guy to my left kept sending signals to the one to my right. He sat in a forward manner, his back not touching the wooden back rest of the communal seat, so that I could see his expression if I look at his side. He was intently eyeing kuya to the left., while his right hand, whenever he leans back, kept pinching his nipples in a sort of “rawr, I’m too hot for my nipples” kind of fashion. I know this, coz he hit on me too, long before the sauna filled to the brim. What did I do? I just sat in a timid, innocent sort of way, never seeking eye contact; coz once you seek eye contact, that’s usually the predator’s clue that you want IT too.

I know the rules. Been there, done that.

But I’m happily “married” for four years now, and I’m just really going for the heat that’s soothing to the muscles so the hell I care for them horny boys who litter the place like its fuckin F.

Sensing that he’s not getting anything, for all his nipple-pinching act, kuya-in-heat rose to get his shower. When the door closed, there was immediate laughter from one of the men seating to the left of kuya seductee (uhm, tama ba ang term ko? hehehe), as followed up by chatter from among the other men inside the room. it was a sharp contrast from the deafening silence when kuya-in-heat was still with us. as it turned out, they all knew each other and turned out to be a group of pamhintas out to have their regular massage. They were apparently laughing at kuya’s gimmick.

When the door opened again, another macho-looking guy entered. He was immediately welcomed by the group, with the more flamboyant among them saying “Tuloy po kayo sa F, Ginoong Rodriguez”. I was quite startled, hearing the name of that place uttered in this legitimate establishment. But seeing that the room was practically gay, the surprised feeling immediately vanished. Ginoong Rodriguez, as it turned out from the ensuing conversation, is a newly married guy. Flamboyant Ate remarked on Ginoong Rodriguez' sneaking out to get a massage: “sana nagpaalam ka sa misis mo. Just say may uupuan ka lang kliyente”. And the group erupted into laughter once more.

Throughout all of this, I remained the timid, silent one, observing the close bond of friendship among this group of gay men.

if they only knew. Silent, timid me was once F’s queen bee. But that was four years ago.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

hottie alert no. 2

this quentin elias picture is dedicated to my dear friend, scheez. :)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

i remember the boy series | jeremy part two

I have already resigned myself to this fate : that i would stay forever on the sidelines. As long as i’m part of your world, i’m gonna be ok. I’m gonna be fine, somehow; just as long as i see you smile. Those chinky eyes; those unbelievably spiky hair (oh, my). They never fail to make me swoon. You continue to exist outside my world, day-in, day-out—attending classes in the university, not knowing of my feelings for you.

In my perfect world though, we’re boyfriends already—and we’re already taking things to the next level by talking about introducing you to my parents. We’ve gone on countless dates, under the moonlight, by the sunken garden.. and the grasses there have already familiarized themselves with our bodies’ warmth.

Then one day, there’s this sudden wild talk in the corridors and in the classrooms that you have started courting Janice, one of our classmates in a number of classes we attended that semester. Janice. The regular looking girl. The classroom bestfriend. By her looks, she’s never one to arouse my interest, had i been a bonafide member of the straight male society. So plain. And kinda low on the IQ side, too. How dare you. choosing her over me.

Soon enough, the news that you have been steadily going out with her eventually reached me; and in the coming days, there was a noticeable change of how i related to poor Janice. Where i had been accommodating to her, when she’s asking for help in assignments or projects before, now that i know she’s my biggest competitor, i simply cannot bring myself to be the helpful Pie oh Pah that i’ve once been to her.

Remember the time when we were a group, walking along the acad oval one afternoon? All the others were happily teasing the two of you, on your new-found happiness as a couple. I stood ahead of the pack, walking by myself as fast as i can, eager to be away from the maddening atmosphere of sweet love and its supporters. You probably saw it as just one of my many quirks; i’ve never registered any hint of normalcy back then, had i? To you i might just seem like an overblown kid full of himself and those heavy, heavy stuff contained in books. But now reading this, you already know, this boy had in fact been normal.

He felt.

And bled for you.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

hottie alert

i was googling the word delicious the other day.



this picture came out instead.

researching further, i came to know his name is vinicius. hehehe. ah, kaya naman pala. sounds like. hehehe.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

i remember the boy series | jeremy

Jeremy.

Hes the first boy who broke my heart. Well he doesn’t really know about any of the things that has gone on in my teeny bopper heart, really, as I kept our love affair so private; very private in fact, that I even kept everything hidden from him.

Suffer in silence, pie. for even though those terribly boyish smiles, naughty grins and good ole promdi charms send your testicles wobbling inside their sacs, you do not stand a chance of him loving you back. He’s a stunner—though he may deny such declarations coming from other people, but the fact remains that he is—and you’re too much of a butterball for him to even notice.

Oh, yeah. He notices alright, but only in the grades department. In exams you wield thor’s hammer—each strike is sure to crush any and all opponents to smithereens. But you don’t see him as one, do you? Everytime he approaches you regarding an assignment or for help with a project, you melt like a popsicle left in the heat of direct sunlight. Your hands become clammy, your mouth dries up and you turn your head in all directions except for to meet his eyes. That would be terrible. That would be too much. What if he saw you blush? Could you have come up with an explanation to cover for an over-the-top girlishness that seem to descend on you like the holy spirit whenever he’s around?

No. so you stand back, and you observe him from afar, nurturing your love for him in your heart; Watering it religiously like some plant, with glimpses of him from behind the bookshelves, the pc monitors in the computer lab, or from across your chair, in the classroom when you’re sure nobody’s on the look-out. Ahh. Sweet times, sweet times.

To be continued

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

mader nabubuhay ang mga patay! part 3

Bernie and I will meet later tonight--same place, at the shangrila.

Sya ang patay na nabuhay at nangahas makipagkaibigan.

Out of whim (but now i'm beginning to doubt this), as we were chatting some days ago, i told him that i blogged of us finding each other again on chat after six years of no communication. he read parts one and two of this blog and urged me to go on with writing part three. i told him there will be no part three for this; i said i could never, and would not, knowing that he knows of this blog's existence already, continue rambling on this piece of my life; but deep within me, something is crying out for closure.

and so i write this.

tonight there will be one.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

mader, nabubuhay ang mga patay! part 2

"Hello there! Bernie here, care to chat?" :)

He popped up unexpectedly, it was a username i haven’t seen in years. Pie pauses for a while. Dejavu. Same old intro, same online “warmth”, should there be one. It was this “warmth” that got me talking to him til the wee hours of the morning when i was still “discovering” myself in the chatrooms, a good six years ago. He had a style all unto himself; confident, but not arrogant, as most chatters i’ve met back then were. He had the “mature” stuff, going all over his online “aura”, that got me giddy, like a teenage girl who just held hands with her boy for the first time. that was the feeling—a princess meeting prince charming for the first time. Bernie was quick to burst my bubble though. he told me that as much as he was enjoying our little chats, that he was prowling the site, like most guys present there are doing—for easy sex; he was quick to add, as a brotherly advice that i shouldn’t go looking for love in chatrooms for i will surely be disappointed; I saw his point, but still proceeded chatting with him, anyway.

I was 22, i was just coming to terms with a sexuality that i fought and struggled with, for so long. Yes, he “read” me right when he gave me that unsolicited advice; that i was looking for my prince, eyebags growing by the minute, in that chatroom where one’s face is his YM handle ; his identity. if one is good with words, ugly will become beautiful, hideous will be gorgeous. And in that chatroom, almost everyone held doctorate degrees in creative writing. A minute of delightful conversation passed.. and then ten. Thirty was easy if you’re in cloud nine. i told him i was tying to hit two birds with one stone—that if love blossoms in the process, then it’d be the added bonus; i was there looking for easy fun, too. I know, foolish, stupid reasoning; but i was secretly hoping he’ll have a change of heart in the process, that after the eye-popping sex, he’ll realize he’s looking at his prince charming’s eyes all along, too. At 22, I was that desperate. We set up a date and time to meet, at shangrila mall, in EDSA.

“oh yes, i remember you”, i said, as my mind trailed off to that place beside kalentong market. We just got off the taxi he hailed from shangrila mall, and proceeded a bit further, on foot, passing the street filled with illegal vendors, to reach that small room. That small room, with the incandescent light bulbs and that small bed, waiting for us; waiting for me.

"Huh?"

"Yeah."

to be continued...

Friday, May 22, 2009

mader, nabubuhay ang mga patay!

I was online using Yahoo’s chat / messaging service the other day when out of the blue, a familiar username popped up. It said hi and proceeded to engage me in a manner that was very familiar to me; for not too long ago, i have been a regular fixture in chatrooms that if such lines go unnoticed, such an occurrence would surely signal that my then [unparalleled] ability of sniffing out pick-up lines have greatly diminished in my years of hibernation. A tentative smile began to form in my lips, for suddenly i didn’t know how to react.

If this has been just an old contact i flirted with, i would have easily dismissed him and went on with my life; but the moment i said hi to him and told him that i remembered him, memories of a six year old sunlight falling through the wide windows of shangrila plaza mall in the late afternoon came flooding my senses. Rains have lashed out on the streets of the metro during those months of July and August, and that particular day was no different. Work was prematurely suspended because of the heavy rains; and i came to the designated meeting place mere minutes before he came into view wearing a light yellow polo shirt and cargo shorts slightly wet from the splashings outside the mall. We ate spaghetti in one of the restaurants at the mall’s fifth level. We chatted some more, and later on decided to look for some place more private to continue with the chat.

He paid for the taxi and that small room somewhere in Kalentong, that sunny-rainy afternoon of June.

to be continued...

Monday, May 11, 2009

of blind dates and other tear-inducing thoughts

This morning i got this comment from the other blog that got tears welling in my eyes in an instant:

narito pa rin naman si ate... thats me....
just in case di mo narinig early morning greeting ko nung bday mo...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY BABY BROTHER!!!

... your family would always look at you like that... our baby... kahit pa we are sometimes preoccupied with our own problems...

...narito lang kami lagi para sa iyo...

... i'm really praying for you to find real happiness, peace and joy...

...o naku! dami nga pala audience dito... baka sabihin nila...emo rin sis mo.

...ah basta... luv you always :)


I wrote about the impermanence of people.. not so much of their love for you, but of their fragile bodies contacting diseases, being hospitalized and going to the place you cannot follow yet. I wrote how, going to our ancestral house that afternoon of my birthday to deliver some of the spaghetti I cooked, all I saw was despair and sorrow in the eyes of my otherwise cheerful aunts and cousins; one of my aunts was hospitalized because of diabetes, and it was evident that no matter how cheerful they acted, greeting me on my special day, the sorrow was there. Sigh. If I could only turn back time, when everything was happy and carefree. I tend to be theatrical, when I get down to write of the things that concern me; things get blown out of proportion, and It must be an overwhelming despair of something that is written in a cryptic kind of way, that got my sister to making such comment. I just hope that when I go home this weekend for my dad’s fifth year death anniversary, she won’t confront me, going back to our never-ending argument of being true to oneself; and "curing" me of this "disease".

In a related happening, a cousin texted me this morning if I’m open to the idea of going on a blind date. I was tentative to answer at first, as i go for blind dates if I’m currently seeking; but as it is, I’m in a very much blissful state and I don’t see the need for it now; and chances are, it’s a girl she will be arranging for me to meet and that will only scare the shit outa me. Hehehe. after a long pause, I managed to key-in the following reply in my celfone… “hehe. Scary”. With that, he understood that blind dates are not my thing and proceeded to leave me in peace.

I just wish this isn’t an all-out coordinated effort from my dear beloved sister.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

two sides of the coin | a birthday post

I made this entry yesterday and posted it on my fresh and fruity themed blog. Since all my thoughts cannot be reflected in toto using just that blog, which i deem too wholesome for the real me, i present now the unedited version, with the insertions i made spelled out in italics. Enjoy. And oh, happy birthday to me. hehehe.

What a tiring day. I am writing this, at the eve of my 28th year, and 2 days of uncontrolled eating. I started my day, waking up with no definite goal in mind other than updating my music library, removing extinct links and streamlining my music to the stuff i currently enjoy; and retaining those that still work for me. Those that come from another era of taste—not necessarily that of a genre, i’m talking bout those things i previously enjoyed and now seems to hail from another time; a child’s taste in music—will definitely have to go. I am happy to report that nothing got accomplished of such grandiose a plan. I spent my day floating in a limbo of sorts. And no exercise, too. I just ate. And ate. And ate. And ate. Well, tomorrow’s gonna be my birthday ain’t it?

It all started Thursday night, when i went to my cousins’ house at ilang-ilang street, in commonwealth avenue in quezon city. The cousin i wrote of recently in my other blog, died from the aneurysm attack she suffered. It was a sorta “wake” that i went to, except there was no corpse, no coffin to see physically. It was an online viewing for relatives, as she was in the U.S., working as a nurse when it happened. The desktop was turned on for the rest of the night going well into dawn, up until the time that i left for the province at around 10 in the morning, the following day.

The whole affair was the most un-wake-like wake (if ever there is such a word) i ever attended, thus far. instead of biscuits and coffee, we gorged on one of my cousin’s home cooked lomi noodles. Then one of my nephews, who is just about my age ordered roasted chicken and “crispy ulo” from nearby a lechon kiosk. We ate it alongside sips of san mig light and a Johnny walker black label that one of the nephews brought from his recent stint as a seaman abroad. We also had potato chips flowing in abundance to supplement the roasting. By the time one of the nephews took a picture to document the get-together (as everyone i know from that particular branch of the family was present that night) we were all so tipsy and smiling that the picture didn’t look like it was taken from a supposed funeral wake, at all. We did manage to say our prayers, though; and shed tears when gracie finally gave out her last words for her mom.

Some older cousins who did not see me for nearly a year, almost didn’t recognize me from all the hair that’s been covering my beautiful face. Hehehe. two outrightly blurted out that i looked like ely buendia in my current incarnation. Everything was light and cheerful until one cousin, who seemed too confident with his sexuality that he almost always gets away with on-the-spot gay impersonations, told me in jest that “its ok as long as you don’t do a bebe”; in most probability referring to rustom padilla the actor who after months of hiatus in the US suddenly turned up in a woman’s garb proclaiming to the world that rustom is dead, and long live bebe. Coming from him who i consider to be the most blunt (in a good way) and direct individual i’ve known all my life, its actually a good sign that he said those words with an honest smile on his face; good intentions tucked in. Had they all noticed/ known of the fact, in the years i’ve lived with them? Why, i never had in my five years of staying with them, ever brought home a man in the middle of the night to sleep with me. hehehe. oh shucks, it must be the beauty pageant smile then, and the dainty fingers handling the spoon and fork during dinners; that must be it, huh? Hehehe.

On Saturday afternoon, sis reminded me of going to church to attend mass in remembrance of tatay’s 5th year death anniversary. She had scheduled a nine-day novena with the parochial office of our local parish so that every day, tatay’s name will be mentioned as part of intentions/ prayer offerings prior to the start of the mass. As geloy my nephew is almost always with us when attending these types of masses (i rarely go to church except on special occasions, for issues stated earlier in my first ever blog entry), seeing ate coming from behind me to attend mass (she came from the office) in place of geloy who went to attend a review for the UPCAT held in Dagupan, made my heart beat a little faster. Is she planning to close in on me, whisper to my ear during the homily, to repent and turn away from loving men, and be saved? I’m so dreading another day of confrontation with her; she is really bent on curing me, my sis. When i came out to her, she told me she loves me with all her heart (thank God, i said), and that she will help me out of it (NOOOO!!!). so just imagine her shock when i told her that she already met my partner—dee regularly goes home with me during the time i haven’t made the big outing yet, disguised as a close friend—she surely must have suffered the way i suffered when i haven’t told her all this yet. There is no question that we love each other dearly. Our parents saw to it, tatay specifically, that we watch each other’s back; for this is a cruel, cruel world; and no one will pick you up when your down except your sibling. But we are two sides of the coin in this great debate of being true to one’s nature. Sigh. I bet she’s still calculating her moves and decided it wasn’t a good time yet. Instead of disagreeing, we agreed to head over to chowking after the mass
to have an early night merienda at six pm, of congee and tokwa’t baboy.

Arriving home, i made sure nanay had company (meaning, i ate ulit... hehehe) while eating the siopao we took out for her and cj. Then i proceeded to make the fruit salad in time for tomorrow’s celebration, but that which already got a severe “tasting”, from the time i was whipping it, to the time we finished dinner at around 9:30 this evening. May natira pa naman for tomorrow. Haaayy.. haayyy talaga.

At bukas pa ang birthday ko ha. Ayaw ko na kumain!!! Please!!

Friday, May 8, 2009

its a krissy world

Oops, she did it again.

Two days have passed, yet the office is still tense with negative energies.

Yes, you know who I’m talking about. Krissy. The office’ very own bitchuwelas case. The one and the only. The supreme diva herself.

Only this time the casualty is not sweet and creamy Pie oh Pah, but the kids and their parent-officemates who brought them for the summer art camp/ classes, officially endorsed by our department as part of our HR office’s extension service to employees with children.

“Why didn’t you bring your kids to our Christmas party? You know how I love kids”, her declaration two Christmases ago went ringing in my ears as some sort of a flashback device to nicely counter what has transpired just recently.

“may pasok pa po kasi sila” the parent employees uniformly and politely answered. Though within the group’s secret conversations (secret to Krissy, that is) what the parents really wanted to say was “e kasi halata naman pong ayaw nyong may bata dito”.

That was two Christmases ago. Last year we didn’t have any Christmas celebration at all because Krissy found another way to trump plans of holding one, the details of which are blurry in my mind right now; what only comes to mind so far is her Oscar-winning monologue, “ …e kung ganyan din lang naman e di wag na tayong mag-party”. The staff positively responded by holding our own party outside the office, devoid of her fugly presence.

Christmas came and went, fast-forward to here and now. I was stationed at the monitoring desk, away from the scene of the crime, but I was keen enough to sense that something changed in the air. There was an immediate silence. Yes the library is supposed to be silent but the silence this time was deafening, and only one incensed voice is filling the air. From the tone, and the inflection, I can easily point it to krissy without having the need to even take a look. From my vantage point, I can see my officemates with startled looks on their faces.

Minutes earlier, the kids who were present for the summer art classes came busting through the doors running, and laughing. Nobody paid much attention, not even the researchers present because everyone knows kids are like that. Our assistant boss even made a gesture of shushing action with his fingers, but since the action all happened in a blur, the effort fell on deaf ears.

Harnessing my cognitive skills to full use, I immediately made the connection that Krissy’s sparkling scene has something to do with the kids’ running. I only needed to confirm my speculation with a full-detailed account which, knowing my officemates’ insatiable thirst for current information (translation : tsismis), confirmation wouldn’t be hard to come by. Surely enough, officemate A came to my post infuriated and giggling at the same time. She recounted the event as if laying down a report for an evening newscast ala Bente Kwatro Oras (this, I must say is just one of her talents, hehehe). She quoted Krissy as saying :

“ano ba naman [state name of assistant boss here], para yan lang. iyan lang, hindi mo pa madisiplina. Hindi nyo na nirespeto ang opisina ko!” and then the grand diva faded to an even grander exit to the office pantry, to take her usual lunch at 2:00-3:30 in the afternoon. What a charmed existence huh? Darating ng 10 AM to take her breakfast, maglalunch ng 2 PM. but this post is not dedicated to tracing her eating patterns so forget bout me ever saying that, hehehe.

Delving into the nitty-gritty of the scene, the outside observer is led to the following conclusion:

1. She should seek treatment soon. Small incidents shouldn’t lead to outbursts like that. a coherent, fully-functioning individual, a boss for that matter, should seek healthy avenues of communication. There’s always a nice way of saying things. If it’s ever an offense to her high standards of silence in the library, she could always call the concerned parents and tell them nicely, one on one; and not exploding into a scene that has been witnessed even by the regular researchers. Kahiya!

2. She should seek treatment soon. as an office of the government, bosses and employees alike get their salaries from taxpayers. It seems she’s under the delusion that she owns the office and we are but underlings ran astray from the paths of traditional shushing librarianship and that she has the responsibility to exorcise us of our demons. Heller, this is the twenty-first century, mother superior! At di mo kami pinapasweldo para magdiva-divahan ng ganyan, pwede ba!

3. She should seek treatment soon.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

whore, i say

whore, i say--
cheeks slightly ruddy
from the sweltering heat--
you look from left to right,
right to left;
gasping a little
in admiration
of the pristine construction--
a true bourgeois beauty;
deserving nothing
but a well-poised pout
and slightly raised eyebrows
before blowing em a kiss

whore, i say
as you hold on to your waist,
and to your breath;
you shift your gaze down
and curl those lips--
the way those wet locks curl
as they sizzle, drying in open air—
oh, those deliciously devious lips,
devoid of mercy when aimed
at paralyzing targets
within that unforgiving
ten mile radius;
now that gaze seems to say,
Bitch, You still have it
Whore, you still got what it takes

to make that mirror steam
and break and sin;
lusting for your attention

Whore, i say;
You woke up today
Gasping for air,
as if just come
from a long-winding dream;
and you realize
the mirror doesn’t seem
so friendly anymore,
so flattering, so sparkling--
now that you’re 28;
and you realize
it’s just a slow downhill trek
long and winding
from here on

Monday, April 27, 2009

wolves in my garden part three

The corridors are slowly turning into a blur; the coldness of the floor, and the shadows at play in the dark corners of the passageway meld with my thumping heart; making the flight to my room an intense, one way-ticket to a heart attack.

he told me to touch it. he asked me, nakahawak ka na ba ng titi? and that I’m welcome to touch it. pulled in as if in a dream, I felt my saliva thickening; in my chest, a slow drum beat could be heard; faint at first, then slowly building in rhythm. Soon, the walls of my heart started reverberating with the beat.

I am not experiencing this.

You will not touch, pie.

No matter how hard he tempts you.

You musn’t.

I saw his hand slowly reaching for mine. My muscles felt weak, unable to resist, despite my mind clearly processing all of this. His hand led mine right to the spot. Dead center. It traversed the garters of his walking shorts, past the seams of his underwear, hugging his hips snugly. I felt him massive, pulsating; his length tangled with down and mixed with sweat.

It was steaming-hot inside that little space where my hand found itself, reluctant to leave. And in that room, too, heat was rising in the air. 'Tis my first time.

This is all wrong.

This is conspiracy, pie.

They’ve planned this well, and you’re falling into a trap.

With all the strength I could muster, I broke loose of Lino’s spell and ran for the door. And just like a watchful sentinel, Tupas was there, outside their room, standing by the door; keeping guard of the proceedings. His startle was evident in his eyes when I pushed him, running in confusion, towards my room.

And toward sanity.

Its been ten years now; but the wolves in my garden keep on prowling. In the dead of the night, they watch, and they grin. Prowling, prowling, prowling.

the end

Thursday, April 23, 2009

waking up

i only know what i know...
the passing years will show
you've kept my love
so young, so new...

and time after time
you'll hear me say
that i'm so lucky
to be loving you...


woke up today, with chet baker's song time after time immediately playing in my head. ewan ko ba. basta lam ko lang the song jived with my mood. i immediately followed it up by accessing my itunes library for the real thing; and up went chet's languid voice filling my morning.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

wolves in my garden part two

It was my first time to touch a hard cock. It felt warm in my hand. Big beyond my imaginings, and pulsating. I swallowed hard, just holding it. I felt excited.

I felt confused too. That Lino, of all people would do this to me. summon me from my room through his roommate Tupas and bring me here, in a room identical to mine but a lot denser. The density in the air apparently comes from the ill intents of the occupants.

i first came to know of them from when we were starting out at the other dormitory reserved for green horns in the university. They were already roommates then—Lino striking me as the studious one, the shy and good mannered boy from down south; while Tupas had the air of a Young Robin Padilla; pilyo but not in any way unmanageable. I meet them on the way to the mess hall, the showers, passing by the corridor going to my room. I exchange smiles, little chit-chats with them during our regular corridor meetings. They were like the rest, a friendly bunch, my family away from home.

In all that time, until that fateful day, i was a really chubby kid. I already had gay leanings but kept it to myself fearing rejection and embarrassment should i decide to act on my feelings. Of the two, it was with Tupas i had a slight crush on; something i learned very early on to just keep to myself, and not do anything about. Like so many crushes that come and go, i easily got over him. A year after Kalayaan, i can meet him in the eye and not feel a single twitch in that muscle in the nether regions.

On the other hand, I never did have the slightest malice in dealing with Lino. He was always nice to me, as with everyone else. Being the brainiac that he was (he was one of our batch’s oblation scholar) i always felt an affinity with him when it came to intellectual pursuits. So when Tupas went to my room that day and asked me to go with him to see Lino for some important matter, i didn’t have the slightest hesitation nor apprehension of going with the roommate.

Besides, who will hit on a chubby gay teener that could easily give Ryan Yllana a run for his money?

to be continued

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

wolves in my garden

“Pie, halika sa room may sasabihin daw sa yo si Lino”.

“Ha? E bat kelangan pa ng messenger? Pwede naman sya pumunta dito”.

“Basta. Di sya makaalis dun e”.


I remember that day vividly in my mind, right now. The walk down the darkened corridors; shadows alternating now and then with the light, spilling from the open central courtyard of the dilapidated dormitory I have lived in for three years; crossing that same courtyard overgrown with tall grasses and clothes, hung to dry in makeshift clotheslines tied at the steel rods of two basketball rings; all the fairy-tale details in place, down to the motes hanging suspended in the air of that room; dancing, it seems with the golden sunlight falling through the windows with the rusted iron grills.

Those windows. That room. My mute witnesses to later proceedings that no doubt, have marred my tender psyche. For a moment it seems I’m in that room again, ten years ago; negotiating through a mess I have not imagined myself falling into.

Eto naman ako, si tanga, sumama.

to be continued

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

in the tenderlight, in the blistering heat

para sa aking kabiyak, tsup.

You once wrote, in ink and paper
that i am your missing piece;
that i make the puzzle—
your puzzle, complete;
in bold, curling, romantic strokes
your heart bled those words

for me, for me

for you i won’t write, in ink and paper—
for you we’ll have lovely dinners;
lovely walks, lovely talks;
in the tender light of the moon,
in the blistering heat of the sun;
i’ll hold your hand

i’ll hold your hand

and together, we’ll have alchemy;
we’ll write on our very own—
skin, flesh and bones—
the lone word we tried, forming
with our minds; curling with our lips--
at the outset of this journey:

lovely

just lovely

Monday, April 6, 2009

horny room mate no. 2 | kid kati

10:00PM

“kuya, asan ka?”

“Pauwi na. Kumain lang dito sa philcoa after ko mag-jog. Bakit?”

“ah, kasama ko kasi girlfriend ko e, pauwi pa din lang kami hehehe. pwede mag-ikot ikot ka lang muna dyan, please kuya? :)”

"Sige, pero isakay mo na din sya kaagad pagkatapos ng kung ano mang gagawin nyo dyan. Maaga pa pasok ko bukas."

"Tenks."

After one hour

“o, pwede na ba ako umuwi?”

“kuya sandali na lang”

“ihatid mo na yan sa sakayan at baka mapano pa sya sa daan.”

“e kuya ayaw na nyang umalis”.

“ha? E anong gagawin ko? Hindi ako tatabi sa inyo para maging iskorer."

"Pwede ka naman dun sa taas [ng dobol deck] kuya, sige na, ngayong gabi lang."

"Sira iyon. Masakit sa likod. Sige, one hour pa, pero kelangan na nyang umalis pagkatapos."

After one hour

“pauwi na ako”

“kuya ayaw na nya talagang umalis pano ba yan... sa taas ka na lang muna ngayon please”.

"O sige, ako na lang ang aalis. Parating na ako. Kunin ko lang yung bag ko dyan."

In a hurry i made a dash for my bag without even looking at the girl and the boy lounging in the dim light of our little room.

That was the night i passed by several callboys stationed at their respective posts as i walked aimlessly along the sidewalk of the elliptical road encircling the QC circle; the night i nearly spent in its entirety at mcdo araneta center after realizing i don’t have enough cash with me to cover for a 4-hour check-in at the eurotel near gateway mall. That was the night of endless waiting, as the atms in the vicinity seemed to conspire against me—every single machine i went to withdraw cash from was offline. Good thing i still have 50 pesos; good enough to buy me an apple pie that will legitimize my stay. “Wait an hour more, pie. An hour more, then try one of the atms again.”

I was able to check in around 3:30 in the morning or thereabouts. In two hours time of drifting like a lost soul in my sleep, my alarm clock rang the shit out of me, propelling me ahead of the pack of MRT commuters that swamped the cubao platforms, all geared for work. That was a real shitty day that followed a real shitty night.