On meeting people
3 September I meet a guy at Republiq.
He is wearing a t-shirt that shows off his biceps, his chest, and his belly. He is also wearing a pair of glasses. I will find out several days later that the frame is red. For now, he is too far away for me to see. In between us there are the following. A man who tries to impress a girl with his dancing; he is not successful. Three trannies made up like women; one of them grabs my friend's butt. A Fil-american boy in a sweatshirt; he is very handsome; he is having a good time. A group of five lame kids with a forty year old chaperon; the older man is drinking a vodka and sprite. An RNB singer who I don't recognize until my friends tell me who he is; he is wearing two earrings with a chain. Across all of these people our eyes meet again and again and again. I put my hands on one of my companions' waist and grind with her and watch him watch me with an impassive face. This game, pretending to not be gay, this shit turns me on.
After a while my companions decide it's time to go. Before we leave I gesture for him to come over and then I ask for his number. He keys it into my cellphone and when that is done he presses my hand, "text me okay." Sure, I reply, and then I go.
4 September I meet G. at Greenbelt.
It has been a while since we last saw each other and he looks different. Younger. Maybe it is because he is clean-shaven. Most likely it is something that happened while he was away. We talk in a Burger King and then we talk in a coffee shop and then we talk some more. But in all that time he never tells me what happened while he was gone. Instead we talk about his new job and his new apartment and his new books and other things inconsequential or otherwise. And then we go home. I missed him and now I don't anymore.
I also text the guy from last night and I find out the following things: his name is C. and he is an architect. Later I tell Elaine that I wish he is as sweet as Ted.
10 September I meet C. at the Shangri-la Plaza.
We are supposed to watch a movie at 3pm but he is late and there are no more tickets. I should be annoyed but I'm not. Anyway they say watching a movie is a lame first date. We decide to have coffee instead. I used to like coffee but now I don't anymore, not really. Starbucks coffee just tastes like sugar but I go ahead and order a white chocolate mocha. The drink is not white and I can't taste the chocolate. I feel betrayed. We stay until 5pm and then go back to the cinema level to get tickets. Again, they are sold out. For a while, we wander the mall aimlessly. Now that there is no movie to look forward to, we do not know what to do next? Go home? Have dinner? No one wants to take the lead. Finally I point us towards the terrace and we take a table. Then we smoke some cigarettes and talk some more. C. invites me to a day trip he is planning with some people from the Internet (apparently, there is a forum where such things happen on a regular basis). The idea appeals to me, not least because I'll get to spend the day with him. I say yes.
11 September I meet M. at the Shangri-la Plaza.
Early in the morning M. texts me to ask if I would like to meet up that day. We have been planning to see each other for several weeks already but our plans always fall through. I shared this fact with Santiago and he said that maybe we don't really want to meet. I don't want this to be true so I text M. back that I will meet him later that afternoon. And then I go back to sleep.
I wake up again at noon and I lay in bed for a while pondering the state that my flat is in. The kitchen sink is clogged. The dishes are unwashed. Clothes are strewn all over the living room. Everything is a mess. I open my mouth as wide as I can and pretend to scream. Of course I am careful not to make a sound because everyone else is still asleep. I'm thoughtful like that. And then I get up, toast a pop tart, eat it, drink some water, and then decide to try out my plumbing skills. Skilled plumbers can make up to $75,000 a year in America. That's like twenty times what I make at the job I am starting to feel ambivalent about.
I survey the pipes underneath the sink and they're not all that complicated. In a few minutes I've disassembled the thing. I clean out the pipes hoping that will solve the problem. Of course it doesn't. The build up is in the pipes in the wall and for a long while I try all sorts of household things (a piece of wire hanger, a plastic spoon, etc) to reach inside but nothing works. And then it is 1pm and I haven't had lunch or a shower and I'm supposed to meet Neil in half an hour. Frustrated, I leave the disemboweled sink as it is. I reassure my sister that I will call a real plumber to fix it.
We watch Der Räuber for free courtesy of the Cine Europa film festival. It is a very good film about aimlessness. It is even more awesome because the protagonist is a marathoner and well, running makes a very good metaphor for my life. Afterwards we go out to the terrace and I text M. to meet us there. I don't think it's strange that just yesterday I was sitting at that very same table with C.
M. finally arrives and we are awkward for a bit but soon enough we settle into comfortable conversation. He is really nice, which is not surprising. He smells nice too.
12 September I meet C. at the Pacita Complex.
In short, I spend the whole day with C. and a bunch of other people, all of them really vivacious and curious and interesting. We drive around the South, go swimming in a lake, and then have afternoon snacks at Ugu Bigyan's house.
I feel like I really jive with these people, and with C., and the days ahead look bright. Everything's just awesome.
*Photo from Travelog Philippines