I am breaking my rule on writing; which is to write like no one is reading.
For the very first time, I am writing to someone. I am writing to YOU, my fellow blogger, reader. (I dislike the word follower; makes you feel like you're some kind of Messiah, doesn't it?)
I started writing as a way to make sense of my break-up last year. I didn't write to make new friends, I didn't write because I wanted to be heard. I wrote for me.
Writing helped me create some sort of structure; a way to step back and look at things from a different perspective. The experience was cathartic and I learned many things about myself in the process.
Over time, I met other Filipino bloggers and made friends with a few. But I have always considered myself mostly unknown in the blogger world.
Recently, I noticed more and more people are reading my blog. It is not as many as the thousands of people who read other writers but I was surprised that there were at least 160 people who read what I wrote yesterday.
I probably know around 20 of those people so I am wondering who the rest are. Who are you?
And since this is a year of crossing boundaries, I am celebrating my birthday this July and I would love for you to come. Yes, you.
I am informing you early so you can prepare a mask for the ball. You can wear whatever you want; shorts, sando, t-shirt, it doesn't matter.
The important thing is you MUST wear a mask.
Yes, it will be outrageous. No, it won't be uptight. Yes, it will be exciting as you get to meet all of my friends, the boys and girls of the Upper Eastside. No, it won't be scary, well, maybe a little.
It would be an honor to meet you, especially those who have shared their thoughts on some of my stories. You know who you are.
If you say yes to a fun, crazy night, to new friendships: please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org so I can inform you the details of the event.
Go on... Be brave... Take that step and open the door...
"Here it comes. She's calling now," Ron said. "My girl friend's looking for me already."
I nodded and he motioned for me to keep quiet.
Ron was visiting Manila for a vacation. He's been based in Singapore for two years now and we decided to meet while he's town.
"So, do you love her?" I asked him.
"Well, I do. But I guess I'm not fully committed. I mean, would I be here with you if I am?" Ron said.
"So why are you with her then?" I asked
"It's lonely there," he answered quietly. "A little love can't hurt, right?"
I looked at him and I saw a look in his eyes that seemed to say "You do understand, don't you?"
Sometimes, I think everything we do in life is all geared to making ourselves just a little less lonely. And somewhere along the way, lines can get blurred. Who can blame a man for taking love when he needed it? -
Gabriel and I were lying on my bed last night, listening to Icelandic band Sigur Rós and talking about his latest sexual encounter.
"He wasn't handsome or cute," Gabriel said as he lit a cigarette. "He wasn't handsome at all."
I looked at him as he continued smoking. Gabriel was easily the more attractive one between us. Men were drawn to his boyish face and his eager smile. He could easily hook up with anyone but strangely he was drawn to ugly men.
"I let him fuck me from behind. I could hear him panting, I could feel his sweaty palms. His big fat belly kept slamming into my back, he was so heavy and it was very uncomfortable. But I liked it," he said.
Gabriel is fascinated with unsightly men. He said it reminded him of his fantasies when he was younger: ugly men fucking him and then paying for it afterward. Sweaty, balding, aging men whose loneliness he would somehow heal.
Gabriel, the archangel, whose name means "The Strength of God", bringing light and hope to the lonely.
He pictured them running their big, fat fingers across his face, whispering: "Baby, you were worth it."
"How did you feel afterwards?" I asked him.
"Afterwards? Nothing," Gabriel said. "He said he wanted to see me again but I told him I can't."
"Do you ever feel anything?" I said.
He shook his head.
"Are you happy?" I asked him.
"Are you?" he said, throwing the question back at me.
I wanted to say yes, I am. But I knew that wasn't what he wanted to hear. I didn't answer.
"Sometimes, it's hard to tell, isn't it?" Gabriel said.
"Nostalgia - it's delicate, but potent. Teddy told me that in Greek, "nostalgia" literally means "the pain from an old wound." It's a twinge in your heart far more powerful than memory alone. This device isn't a spaceship, it's a time machine. It goes backwards, and forwards... it takes us to a place where we ache to go again. It's not called the wheel, it's called the carousel. It let's us travel the way a child travels - around and around, and back home again, to a place where we know are loved."
---Don Draper, "Mad Men"
Once upon a time, there was a magical land called Malate. People from all over would travel to the enchanted kingdom to witness its wonders: stunning beautiful boys, men with rock hard bodies, dancing boys on the ledge.
It was captivating, magical, and ethereal. And lording over it all, standing on top of the mountain was Bed.
Bed celebrated its seventh year last weekend. Seven years… has it been that long?
I spotted FMV at the club.
"Hey FMV, how are you?," I said to him and hugged him. "I can't believe it. It's been seven years. Wait, I met you here seven years ago."
"Yeah. Imagine, I was only 18 then," he said.
"OMG! You were 18? You were just a kid," I replied.
"Well, I'm no longer that kid you used to know," he said, laughing.
I suddenly felt nostalgic. I stood at the dance floor and I remembered my friends; the ones no longer there.
I remembered the men I met at the club through the years, all those boys I kissed, dated, slept with. I thought of old friends and acquaintances who have disappeared and returned.
My friends and I may enjoy going to other clubs every now and then, we may stop going out for months, but I realize this is where we will always come back.
People can be snobbish, the drinks may be expensive, but it is the memories we have made here, the hearts broken, the hopes rekindled that will forever tie us to this place. It is our Studio 54, our CopaCabana.
And though things will never be the same again, it can still be as magical and as amazing as that first night you clicked your shoes three times, and saw fairyland for the very first time.
"We were both young when I first saw you
I close my eyes and the flashback starts
I'm standing there"
---Taylor Swift, "Love Story"
I like stories. Whether they're of random strangers or close friends, people's stories hold me spellbound.
Every story leads us to an insight: Who are we? Why do we do the things we do? Why are we here, and not there?
Email me: email@example.com
Hypocrite in a Pouffy White Dress Susan Jane Gilman
In her memoir, Susan Jane talked about growing up uncool as a white kid in a tough Puerto Rican neighborhood, dreaming to be a ballerina, chasing after rock stars, having sex for the very first time.
She brings us back to the best (and the worst) parts of our childhood and our youth, helping us realize things are never as good (or as bad) as we remember them to be.
For Emma, Forever Ago Bon Hiver
Justin Veron, also known as Bon Iver, spent four months alone in a log cabin in the mountains of Wisconsin after the break-up of his band, DeYarmond Edison in 2006.
"The name refers to someone in my past, and it's not her real name," Veron said in an interview about the title of his album. "The dedication is not just to her, it's about the end of an entire era. The entire context of my life at that time was tied to this person, and this record is a way for me to flee from this thing."
For Emma captures the sound of broken and quiet isolation, wraps it in a beautiful package, and delivers it to your door with a beating, bruised heart.