Sunday, June 29, 2008

road to rendition, part 1

i can never write about a lover unless it’s over.

it’s as if i need the emotional distance from the person to finally see him and what we shared. for who he is and what is was. and even then, i’m not always confident of the picture or the storyline the conflicted messages my unapologetic selective memory collects.

riding in a car with friends through nlex at a break of dawn, i summon the memories of a former lover who i am about to visit in jail. friends talk on a long drive and there are kids inside the car, making the memory of a secret sexual, albeit extended relationship that happened almost a decade ago elusive.

we stopped for coffee at 5 am in a gas station in the middle of the highway. starbucks was still closed so we had to settle for chowking coffee. the horror! mental note for future reference: bad coffee does nothing to stimulate reminiscences of lost love.

as we left nlex and entered the rougher roads of north luzon, things started to quiet down in the car. everybody except the driver slowly dozed off. i was thinking that the melancholic voices and guitars of tuck and patti was perfect foil for my forced remembering in wakeful semi-solitude. instead, i joined the rest in sleep.

i woke up when we stopped for breakfast. the place was pretty. looked like it can be busy at night. there was a sign on the door that says ‘wanted: waitress. apply inside’. i wondered if they would settle for a waiter and what it would be like to live in a small town where nobody knows me. tempting.

inside, there were small pieces of found objects slightly-aged that looked like they were supposed to be antiques. kitsch but cool in a small town way. there was a bust of bearded man in wood and a woman with a fin-like crown instead of hair in ivory. as i studied their faces, i tried to remember his face but my mind was drawing a blank. if he wasn’t in jail and i bumped into him on the street, would i have recognised him?

the next few hours of the trip after breakfast was rough but uneventful. until we were stopped due to road works that rendered part of the mountainous highway only partially working. after some time, vendors started to flock the line of cars. they were selling peanuts, quail eggs, cigarettes, juice and bottled water, all sorts of goodies to pass the time.

the man-boy selling bottled water caught my attention. it hit me suddenly that this vendor reminds me of him. not that he looked exactly like him. maybe it was his build. or the way he moved. or the way he talked. or a combination of any or all of those.

or maybe it was the way he was holding the bottled water.

i suddenly remembered his cock. i looked nervously at the rest of the passengers in a way only a guilty person thinks others can read his mind. mercifully, they seem just wanting to get on, impatiently trying to see what is happening ahead of us.

i spent hours to catch a significant recollection and all i came up with is something i felt embarrassed to remember.

there must be more than the offending appendage that i have managed to commit to memory. as i silently chastised myself, we started to move.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

restless in a hotel room

i’m in a middle of something i cannot finish.

you see, i got this deadline looming to submit a report by friday. it’s my first time to get a short term consultancy after arriving home. my worry grows in direct opposite proportion to my progress in completing the job.

outside, several demolition trucks pound the pavement and produce irritating cacophonic sounds that burst their way through my hotel room window. not to be outdone, a number of cars are hooting long and loud, drivers crazed over the unavoidable traffic.
i sit and try to continue working. i’m failing miserably.

i feel restless. and i can’t put my finger on it.

rewind to this morning.

i found out when i checked my emails i didn’t get the one job i applied for. a job i’m not even convinced i wanted in the first place. still, rejection sucks.

after hearing about it via txt message (how did we communicate be4 txt msgs?), friends offer a plethora of platitudes over the disappointing news. you’re over-qualified. they don’t know what they missed. something better will come along. they all mean well but how do you cheer up somebody who’s not feeling down?

just restless.

like many gay men before me i seek to soothe my restlessness with a pilgrimage to the mall and a healthy dose of retail therapy. a new pair of shoes (red sneakers from diesel), graphic novel (300), a couple of dvd’s (enchanted and apocalypto) and a further dent in my bank account later, i wait for the rush acquiring new stuff for my collection brings. it wasn’t forthcoming.

i remain restless.

back in the hotel room, i watched enchanted but my real life twist is that even disney’s happy ending cannot distract me from my restlessness.

back to the now.

i open my mac and start fiddling with the keys. instead of ending procrastination i find myself opening my g4m account, my ym and there were the usual headless half-naked masculine demigods in the gay sites. i toyed on the idea of batting for an SEB. maybe jp (my partner) will fancy a 3-way when he comes back from his business meeting. i pondered the odds (30 and 40-something couple in a sea of 20-somethings, leo de caprio on his profile turning out to be harvey keitel in real life) and the gay sexual politics (no chubs, no effem, no pics, trip lang, discreet, etc. etc.) of the prospect and ditched the idea. but i kept on looking at profiles telling myself window shopping is not the same as buying.

i was more restless than ever.

a high-school friend of mine interrupted my eye candy surfing when she ym’d me. she just moved to sydney from london. she’s saying i should move there, too. i said i need to figure out what i want to do. she said i should teach or go for another post in one of the do-gooder organisations. she didn’t understand why i don’t have a job yet after resigning from an overseas post months ago. she said i was smart and asked why i am not using my considerable contacts. i said i think it’s not the problem of finding a job, it’s finding a job i like.

her lines lost the familiar smileys. she asked what i was looking for. she said as a nurse, she washes wrinkled butts and empty bedpans.

suddenly, my internet connection was cut. smart broadband is not so smart after all. i tried to reconnect but ym won’t work.

my restlessness turned to feeling bad.

i wanted to tell my friend i was a jack ass. that i don’t know if i can find any job. that hers was an enviable position because it has inspired sharon, nora, vilma, claudine, piolo and aga (to name a few filipino movie greats) to thespian feats that break millions of hearts. and that’s just the local movie industry.

as a charity bunny i only get angelina. and despite the big lips and unrealistic haute couture in a backdrop of exotic places where men who speak in foreign tounges kill each other, that movie flopped.

its past midnight and the trucks stopped pounding outside.
i gave up pretending i will work tonight. i went to bed and wondered if any of the worlds poor and disadvantaged cared if i ditch my lofty aspirations, got off my non-profit high horse and become a caregiver.

i thought of wrinkly butts and found the image not particularly distasteful. i started to mentally audition a-list filipino actors who will (yet again) gather critical and box-office success when they re-enact my (future) travails for the big screen.

no longer restless, i started to drift off to sleep.

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