"Kamusta? (How are you?)" James texted me about a month ago.
"Okay naman. Ikaw? (I'm good. You?)" I replied.
"Maayos naman bro. Pre-departure orientation ko na tomorrow. (I'm fine bro. It's my pre-departure orientation tomorrow.)"
"Ahh. Saan ka pupunta? (Where are you going?)"
"Saudi. Work ako doon para makatulong sa parents ko. (I'm working there to help my parents.)"
"Oh wow. You finally got an overseas job! Are you happy?" I asked him.
"Happy… and nervous."
"Hahaha. Change can be good =)."
"Mag meet tayo? Ma mi miss kita. (Can we meet? I'll miss you.)
James has been my fuck buddy for more than a year now. He's young. Okay, fine. He's really, really young. He's 21 years old and I'm a dinosaur compared to him.
I met him when he was still a student. He is cute but I wasn't really attracted to him. But because he is young, he can be very makulit (persistent) and sometimes he catches me at a time when I'm horny and just too lazy to look for sex, and I say to myself "WTF. A mouth is still a mouth".
He would often send me message after message asking to meet and hangout. Of course we all know what that means.
But curiously over time, we started to develop some sort of friendship. He started confiding in me and he would talk to me about what worries him; how difficult it is to find a job as a nurse nowadays in the country, how he finds it frustrating how he can barely help his family financially.
"Humina negosyo ng parents ko bro (My parents' business is failing)," James told me once.
"Oh. Money problems are always stressful, I know."
"I even borrowed money from my friends. I don't know why kulang pa rin (it's still not enough). Gusto ko uminom ng alak para ma release ko stress ko (I just want to drink so I can release the stress I'm feeling right now.)"
"I just showed my mother how brave I am. Pero (But) deep inside it hurts," James continued.
"Why does it hurt?"
"Because I should find ways to help my mom. But my salary is not enough."
"I hope luck will turn. You know, we all go through these things at some point in our lives. I guess we just have to be brave."
"I hope so."
Much later he texted again.
"Salamat ha. (Thank you.) You're really a good guy. You're different from anybody else I've met."
Rudeboy once told me this.
"You're at an interesting age. Young enough to still be beautiful, old enough to be wise. Savor it. When the time comes, the loss of youthful beauty may be replaced by something else. Grace, perhaps."
As I grow older, I think he is more and more right.
Young enough to fuck with, old enough to be wise. That's where I am right now. It's such a delicate line. Too little or too much of one or the other and it becomes a delicate lie.
I suddenly remember the older men I dated when I was younger. Did they look at me then the way I look at these boys now? Perhaps life does indeed come full circle. Once, you were a boy. Then, you become a man. And then ... an old man.
James leaves today. I found myself strangely saddened by his departure. I wish him well in his journey. Life goes on. Besides, with James gone the harem now lacks a member. Guess I'll have to find a replacement to cheer me up.
The New Working Class
5 hours ago