Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Blame It on Me


The Games We Play (I)
Beauty and the Feast

It begun in August. Gino had just broken up, and was lonely for friends. He barely kept in touch with people during the time he had a relationship and as a result, most of his friends abandoned him. We had known each other for a couple of years, he would call me once in a while to catch up but we were never really particularly close.

"Sama ka, my friends and I are going out," I invited him once. The party was fun and when it was time to go home, I offered to let him sleep at my place.We chatted late into the night and I listened as he spoke of his jealous boyfriend who would never let him out of his sight, who gave him everything else but took away his freedom.

He had an excited quiet way about him, as if he had a secret which he longed to tell. He asked me why I don't have a boyfriend and I gave him my usual excuse. There's nobody to love, I said. Besides, isn't it more fun to be single? I gaily answered.

When we slept, he hugged me and ... I let him. It was not that I meant to - I don't want to give that impression. It was just that he was so kind and available. And when we cuddled in bed, he was so warm and despite my clouded eyes, I knew how to accept a gift.

We started hanging out every weekend. We would go to the gym, eat out, shop, travel, meet guys, go clubbing. He would accompany me on my errands, my chores. He was my de facto "date" during company events, birthday parties.

My friends started noticing we spent a lot of time together and people would often ask if we were dating.

"Tell me, K, who is Gino to you?" E asked me once. I thought carefully before answering.

"He is like a fake boyfriend."

"OMG!!! Ppppuurrrrfeeeeeeeeeeeeccctttttt! I'm so proud of you, I'm actually crying right now."

I laughed. "Gaga ka talaga. But in a way, he is. He takes care of me, I take care of him, we spend time together, but without all the commitment drama. We can have fun with other guys."

"He's the perfect boylet K. I'm so happy for you."

"So, did I get an A?"

"A+!!! Sheeeetttt. I love it. But I'm worried about you."

"What do you mean?" I asked.

"K, you're the marrying type. (Yes, for now, you're a slut.) And you have the tendency to fall for him, I know you."

I shook my head, to tell him I disagree. I can't possibly fall for someone like Gino. He was just so not my type. He was merely a companion, a friend whose company I enjoy.

"Whatever he does for you, suklian mo. But don't go over the top. Because if you go over the top, it means, you want something else," E explained. "To maintain a fake boyfriend relationship and friends in the future, everything must be equal. If you go on other dates, you let him know, and always ask 'Do u want to meet after? Or how was your day?'"

"Wow, you are such an expert."

"You have the tendency to go over the top, K so the equal-equal part is important for you to remember," E admonished. "Cuddling is ok, but do not over do. And always remember, it's a fake relationship."

His words rang in my head.

Tall, dark, and decisively handsome, it was easy for Gino to attract people. He would sometimes lament that people think he's just a sex machine. As I listened to him rant, I thought to myself, he's probably the only guy complaining about his good looks.

It's not so bad right, to have people want you, desire you? On the outside, it may seem he's a confident young man, but as I got to know him better, I realize Gino was but a kid.

He delights in theme parks and dragged me once to take a ride. He easily gets scared of ghosts and scary stories. He likes to cuddle by putting his head on your chest. It was strange; that inside his hulking frame hides a sweet boy.

And he is sweet. He would surprise me by bringing me a sandwich and fried chicken, some slices of cheese at times. He would cut the food we were eating into smaller pieces so it would be easier for me to eat them, he would take care of me when I'm drunk, to make sure my things won't get lost.

Gino introduced me to Anton once, a tall handsome guy he was dating. From the look in Anton's eyes, I could tell two things: he knew he was handsome, and that like so many other gay men in the club, he was hopelessly in love with my friend.

Seeing my friend Gino's awkward grin, I knew something else: that Gino would never love him back.

Something changed as the months passed. As E correctly predicted, I begun to get attached to Gino. It was not that I meant to - I don't want to give that impression. It was just that he was so kind and available.

I shouldn't care too much, I reminded myself. It was only a matter of time, wasn't it? One of us will find someone else, a real boyfriend. It was a race and the stake was high.

One night, we were dining at our favorite restaurant. I was picking at the grilled chicken and steamed fish, I was morose. I saw his eyes shift over to me and I realized he wasn't as cold to my moods as I thought. Some song started to play in the background, an old song called "Lovefool".

"Love me, love me ... say that you love me,
Fool me, fool me, go on and fool me."

I swallowed and said, "I think we need to stop …"

But all of a sudden he was telling a story, a funny anecdote about his aunt who he met in Davao. It was hilarious, and our laughter washed over my faltering words, over my doubt. He was louder than doubt, eyes grinning, his laughing face half hidden in the candlelight.

The moment passed. And all I could think of was my surprise. That he could tell a joke so well. That he could be so charming, so engaging.

Who expects these things in friends, in quiet lovers. He was looking at me, laughing at his story. I saw how beautiful he was. And it seemed to me that he was saying "Let it be for now."

For we both know it would end so soon, and whom else did we have? Those random guys in the clubs, or in Grindr? I knew how that would be.

A prolonged, thrilling seduction. Some weeks of passion. Then ... nothing. How could I do better than this? This funny story, this lonely boy, who was the only one in the world who could make me laugh.

How could I let this go, for a winter dream?

Weeks later, Gino and I bumped into Anton again in a club. After a polite exchange of talk, I made my way to the bar to get a drink. I looked over to where Gino was and saw he was being accosted by a couple of guys. He was thoroughly enjoying himself, basking in the attention. He smiled and waved at me, and I nodded back.

I turned around and caught Anton watching me with a faint smile on his lips. It seemed to be mocking me. Stupid boy, he'll never love you either.

I looked back at Gino and suddenly, I saw all too well how it would be from here. Gino would one day leave me, just like he left the others. And a leaving without the need for explanation, for a goodbye. For we really don't owe each other anything. We are friends, not lovers, something I'd almost forgotten. My heart was pounding.

How did it happen, I wondered? What safer arrangement was there and how did it go wrong? Did love creep in, tiny like a seed, only to grow larger and blossom with each shared meal, every night spent together? And the mystery of it all, why it would grow on one, and not on the other. Suddenly, I realize there was only one thing left to do.

I had to leave him first.

Blame it on me
I forgot the rules of the dance
We tip and we toe
We swirl and we turn
And then we dance with someone new
Always, there's someone new.


rudeboy said...

But why jump the gun, Kane ?

If you both already know that this thing will not last, why not simply let it be, and relish what you have, however undefined, however impermanent?

A trip to the moon on gossamer wings
Just one of those things.

E said...

Its hard to comment since I know Gino as well...Do what you think is whats best for you K :-) and This coming Saturday, I'm bringing in new guys and we're going to a different location--HINDI COMFORT ZONE TO A! LOLZ!

It will not make things better but hopefully it will divert some of the uhhh sadness of your situation with G.

December is our busiest month K, chin up, flash that close-up smile and ON TO THE NEXT!!! May next season pa!

eon said...

how raw this is, how painful, how endearing, how perfectly told.

no room for advice, i've been in situations like this, but i never learn

Nate said...

i'd like to agree with Eon on this.. the post could pass as a script for a soap.. :) -- "how raw this is, how painful, how endearing, how perfectly told."

i'm sure there's one out there for yah, Kane.. :)

joelmcvie said...

I commend you Kane, for the story and the telling. *slow clap*

@RUDEBOY: You can call it jumping the gun. But it's really self-preservation. Kane knows best at what point he should leave lest he drags it longer and more hurtful (for himself) than necessary.

For some (like me), I've already said "no more" to drama long before Mary J. Blige wrote her song.

imsonotconio said...


V1nC3 said...

Well, at least you won't be another Kim Chiu and say "shinota mo ang bestfriend mo!!".. Sorry, ang bigat ng post na to but I salute you for knowing which battle is yours and not! Cheer up soon. =)

bien said...

This Gino guy reads your blog right?
So this is some sort of a goodbye love letter to him? A late confession maybe.

nyldgreat said...

you always sing this to me

boys do fall in love
they make time
makin' love on a saturday night.
And he said
hearts will be as they dance in the street to a radio -
boys fall in love.

it's for the best Kane

Anonymous said...

i think the best warriors know which battles not to fight...

-the geek

Kiks said...

unless you want to be the pathetic character that a semi-pathetic but somehow strangely beautiful Filipina girl played in a recent almost-good movie, stop yourself and leave.

there is no such thing as enjoying it while it lasts. simply, enjoy it.

but if you know it will last and it's going down, might as well cut the rope and let him fall into the abyss.

lest you ask. or are you just afraid to?

(thing with pinoy kids today - they let their emotions run their brains or everything is simply predictable now? not that i am particularly talking about you, K.)

R. Burnett Baker said...

I would say that anyone who hasn't experienced this kind of pairing, hasn't truly looked that deeply into their own soul. Or into anyone else's, for that matter. It's pregnant with possibilities, yet so ultimately pointless.

Or is it?

Anyway, this story hits my nerve!

Hey, thanks for the comment on my poem today. I don't know what triggered those words, but I suspect that it's a reaction to my outwardly youthful approach to life and living against the backdrop of individuals and society that expects certain "age appropriate" behavior/attitudes. I never want to "BE" old, or even be viewed as such. But...(?)

And yes, I am fine, Kane!! :) Thanks for asking!!

ıǝɹɯɐı said...

I agree with the geek. :)

citybuoy said...

This smarts like anything. Is there anything sadder than a love you'd wish away if you could?

Yas Jayson said...

To Kane, for love and life he divides in the hope that one day, he will meet his match.


john stan said...

he's engaging, yeah. i blame grindr.

Anonymous said...


Spiral Prince said...

Love is such a madness. And we revel in it. Hugs.

♥N said...

I always leave first, too. But I let them believe that they left me first. It's easier that way. The coward way out, I know. But I cannot stand confrontation. It's easier to let them believe that they left me, even though in reality I left a long time ago.

itsMePeriod said...

i decided to really 'delay' my comment. kane, we're just human. at least we tried.