Monday, May 28, 2012

The Every-Guy


My phone beeped and by the sound of it, I knew what it was. Another Facebook update. What will it be this time, I wondered? Another friend sharing for the thirty seven thousandth fucking time the latest American Idol video? Jesus.

But it wasn't. I was surprised when I saw it was from my California girl friend Jenny. And then I saw the ominous words: Jenny is engaged to ... Oh my God! I immediately wrote her.

So ... you finally succumbed to the pressure and agreed to marry some American boy???? (My voice rising higher and higher until it reached falsetto at the end.) By the Gods! Will I be the only single girl left in this world, Jenny???? *grins*

So little J, not so little anymore are we? I know you must feel like a thousand feet off the ground. Masaya ako para sa iyo (I am happy for you). I know how much this means for you.


She wrote me back.

"Kahit single girl, basta ikaw ang "It-Girl"! ;-) thanks K! (So what if you're single, as long as you're the "It-Girl")

Oh Jenny. If you only knew. Sigh.

Everyone wants to be an It-Girl.  Or, at least that's what these magazines, films, and TV shows teach us. Beautiful, desirable, and envied by many, these "It-Girls" seem to get all the fun in the world. From dating celebrities to landing on the covers of magazines to being the talk of the town, these girls embody everything we want to be. Popular, well-liked, well-loved.

Vogue U.S. has a regular "It-Girl" column where this month they featured Brazilian model Caroline Trentini and her wedding to photographer Fabio Bartelt.

Websites from Cosmopolitan to the New York Observer have articles on "How to be the Next It-Girl". There's even a Wiki-how on the same subject. Imagine that.

I'm not an "It-Boy". I think I used to be ... but that was then, when I was younger, more eager, more carefree. Nowadays, working ten hours a day saps my energy I can no longer go out and party after. Not like I used to. Slowly by slowly, as the years passed and as my youth faded, my invitations to birthdays, events, shows, orgies (I'm kidding!) dwindled and I find myself relying more and more on my friends to take me out.

"Honey labas naman tayo this weekend," I told Arlan. "It's been ages. I miss you."

"I know! Hay ... I want to but I can't."

"Why not?"

"I ... uhm ... I have a shoot the next day," A replied.

"A shoot? For what?"

"Ahhh ... for a commercial."

"OMG!!! Don't tell meeeeeee .... Are you going to be the new face of Chanel?" I said, teasing him.

"Gago. Hahaha. Wala ... Hahaha. It's for ... uhmmm ... a milk product."

"Milk? Oh. Not exactly what I had in mind but well ... I suppose we all have to start from somewhere," I said. "I'm kidding!!!"

"I wasn't finished.  I also will be in a four-part McDonald's commercial honey!!!" A said.

"Oh my God! You're going to be on TV! And wow, McDonald's? That's frackin' amazing!!" I said.

Later that day, I was telling Gino about A's commercial but I noticed he was only half listening while intently checking out something on the Internet.

"Ano ba. Ano bang tinitingnan mo (What are you looking at)?" I asked.

"I'm checking my stats sa PR," he replied. PR refers to PlanetRomeo, a popular website that caters to gay guys. "Number six na lang ako!!! (I'm now only sixth!)" he lamented.

"Huh? What you mean? Number six saan? (Sixth where?)" I said.

"Sixth most visited profile," Gino explained.

OMG!!! "You mean, you can check that? You mean you're the sixth most popular guy in the whole Manila?" I asked in disbelief.

"No K. In the whole Philippines," he said. "Nakakainis nga eh. Two days ago, I was number one! Hay naku!"

"What the fuck," I said to Carlo. "Akalain mo, our friend is a star and we didn't even know! Hahaha. I love."

"Imagine, one of the most popular guys among hundreds of thousands in the Philippines?" I continued.

"Eh ikaw? Pang-ilan ka? (And you? What's your rank?)" Carlo replied, teasing me

"Ay naku, huwag mo ng itanong. Baka mga below 50,000 ako!! (Let's not even ask. I probably rank something like below 50,000!)!," I replied laughing.

"Eh kasi naman, hot talaga si Gino with his abs and all," Carlo said.

"I know. Sigh. Sometimes, I wish I'm as hot as he is."

That night, as lay in bed, I got to thinking about my friends and their soaring popularity. I must admit I miss being the "It-Boy" ... sometimes. As they say, things come and then they go. But that's okay. As I grew older, I realized I'd really rather be more of the "Every-Guy". Instead of being beautiful, gorgeous and unobtainable, I'd rather be the guy everyone can relate to.

So here I am. The Every-Guy. I'm the guy without abs and so I must always remember to refrain from taking my shirt off in public, no matter how drunk I get lest I embarrass myself. I don't have arms as huge as trees, no matter how hard I try to lift those weights. I'm the guy without a modeling contract. I don't have tens of thousands of men wanting to fuck with me. I'm not dating celebrities. Heck, I'm not even dating anyone.

What I have instead, are simply my stories. And perhaps, they will be enough.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Truth About Travis


Note: There is a tiny Filipino gay community which is active in Twitter composed mainly of bloggers and readers.

Early Monday morning, a bomb landed which left scores shocked, stupefied and in grief. Travis is dead, the message read.

Within minutes, people in Twitter were scrambling, panicking as the news spread. All over the city, phones were ringing. Everyone wanted to know: is it true?

I knew it could be true … but I also knew Travis, and this is exactly the kind of thing he is capable of. While the rest of the world went into mourning, I decided to do a little investigating. I wanted to find out the truth. 

Slowly, as the evidence trickled in, it became apparent that Travis may not have been entirely truthful. About many things. It is now impossible to know which ones were true, and not true. Who knows now if he is dead, or alive. One thing is certain: he is gone.

"Wow, he really was good," I told Carlo. "He really played us all."

Many people are not aware of the truth. Most believed Travis died, and many of his friends, lovers, former friends, former lovers, and enemies had sung praises to him in Twitter and in blog entries.

"How do you feel?" Carlo asked "Are you okay?"

"I … I am," I replied. The past two days were filled with alternating volatile emotions; I had been furious, outraged, sad, amazed, dazed, in awe, in disbelief, and sometimes all of those things all at once. It was … unbelievable. The kind of stuff that happens in the movies. And only in the movies, I thought.

He was that good. Travis was. He was a highly intelligent man who knew how to control and manipulate people. I often teased him that he was cold, callous, and calculating. He understood human nature, and he knew what to do and what to say to get what he wanted.

He always said his tricks never worked on me. You were wrong Travis. It did.

Early on, I told Travis that I had seen the "Writing on the Wall". In response, he wrote me a touching, brilliant letter. I was amazed, who knew he could surprise me like that.


I just woke up, logged on to twitter and read your direct message.  Ordinarily, I would be unfazed but being the paranoid and intensely emotional person that I have become in the light of recent events, I feel sad.  I am not really at my element so bear with me, please.

Do you really mean that? So what's going to happen now? Are you going to avoid me like the plague, too?

Let me be a bit academic here.  It's amusing, to say the least, that in high school I had to do a research paper on the Book of Daniel and defend it before a panel. It was a breeze because I found it to be one of the most fascinating books of the Old Testament after I had read it. If you have the time, I recommend that you read it if you haven't done so yet.  The first 6 chapters deals with faith.  The last 6 deals with eschatology.  It is also noteworthy to point out that the meaning of the name Daniel is "God is my judge."  I guess another part of my life has finally gone full circle. Here I am again, defending myself in the light of one of the more famous stories found in the book.

According to Chapter 5, the writing on the wall is this: "מנא ,מנא, תקל, ופרסין Mene, Mene, Tekel u-Pharsin." The literal interpretation is this:

"Mene, Mene
The word "mene" corresponds to "mina," a monetary unit  or a participle and could be interpreted as "numbered" and in Aramaic the repetition would lead one to interpret it as "thoroughly numbered."

This Aramaic word corresponds to "shekel" or the Hebrew monetary unit or a participle and could be interpreted as "weighed."

Upharsin is Aramaic for either a monetary unit, a "half-mina" or a "half-shekel" or a participle of the verb "paras" meaning "divide".  It could be interpreted as "and divided."

Daniel's explanation was pretty straightforward as we see from verses 26 - 28 "This is the interpretation of the message:  Mene - God has numbered your kingdom and put an end to it. Tekel - you have been weighed on the scales and found deficient. Upharsin - your kingdom has been divided and given over to the Medes and Persians."

This narrative became the source of the idiomatic expression "the writing on the wall" now generally accepted to mean as a warning that something bad will happen.  

What is the point of all of these?  

Indeed, there was a writing on the wall. And  yes, there was a warning given to Belshazzar that came true.  But who interpreted it? Certainly not the king nor his advisors.  It was only Daniel who gave the correct interpretation.

Everyday, we encounter numerous "writings on the wall"  in various forms from a myriad of sources. What may hold true for one person may not necessarily apply to another.  We must be careful in interpreting each sign because each one is unique in the sense that there will only be one interpreter who can truly see what it means.


"So he lied about everything? About his real name, the photos, about his wife, his kids, about being in the U.S.?" Carlo said.

"That's the difficult thing. The web he created was so intricate we don't know anymore where the truth ended and the lies began," I replied.

"But this much I know: he couldn't fake everything. You could lie about how you look like, or where you live, or what you do. But some things you couldn't, no matter how much you try."

Some things were real, that much I know. His impeccable grammar and use of the English language, the choice of words; those things indicate he was someone who was well-educated and intelligent. His knowledge on economics, business, theology, history; those things cannot be faked. That was him.

His wicked humor and his infamous temper, that was him too. 

Once, I was joking with him and I told him than when he dies, I would speak at his funeral. I would begin my speech by quoting Andrew Sean Greer's first line in his book The Story of a Marriage.

"We think we know the ones we love."

And so now ... he is gone. For better or worse, who knows. Today, I stopped being angry. I just feel sad. Sad at how it ended, sad it had to end this way. We could have been friends. I offered him genuine friendship and I was true to him. Honesty was the only thing I asked of him from the very start, it turns out that perhaps that was the hardest thing to give.

I miss him. I miss Travis my friend, not Travis the guy who was flirting with me and the rest of the world. But Travis, the guy who listened to me. The guy I could talk to. The guy who understood Spinoza, who knew who Jeffrey Sachs and Amando Tetangco were, who appreciated poetry and listened as I read him my favorites stories. That's the guy I miss.

Today I received news my company was sending me to Bangkok to cover the World Economic Forum next week. He was the first one on my mind, the first person I wanted to share the news with. He would have understood what it meant for me, he would have been happy and proud.

But he is gone.

Travis, I once wrote you this. It was a poem; written from your point of view. You posted it on your blog. I remember you were caught by surprise.

They say when you get to know someone, sometimes you hear their words, even before they are said.

Marry me Kane, marry my secrets
Marry Therese, Ethan and Reese
And I'll marry you 
I do, you did, we'll do.

This one is for you. Fare you well.

Goodbye Travis, goodbye to all your secrets 
Goodbye Therese, Ethan and Reese 
And I'll forget you 
You did, I do, we'll do.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Gossip Girl: The End of the Affair

Look, my young friend and brother
Do you see the young man with the grave
      manner who is destined to you?
See how he leans his left as if seeking
      your hand on his shoulder, see the dream of
      mystery and desire that hovers around his beautiful
      and melancholy face; that dream is yours.

Look and you will know what it is to love.
But it will be too late.

---Paritus The One-Eyed, Letter to the Lost Disciple

Previously on Gossip Girl:

"Do you think you'll make it?" E asked.

"Honestly, I don't know. The odds are not in our favor," I answered. I was quiet for awhile, remembering Jeremy. "But I'd like to hope we will. I mean, isn't that what the great love stories are all about? Beating all the odds?" 

The laws of physics dictate that what goes up must come down. Even when it feels as if our feet are a million miles off the ground.

"Can we talk tomorrow night?" Jeremy texted after two weeks of not speaking to each other. I was startled. This is it, I braced myself. The day I knew would come.

I was worried. I had a feeling, a hunch that things weren't going to go well. But if things were going to end, I wanted it to end with dignity. I didn't want to argue, to fight. Fighting and shouting, that wasn't how I wanted to remember us.

"So J and I are finally going to talk," I texted Fran. "I think he's leaving me. Wish me luck?"

"Okay hun. Good luck. Talk like you've never talked before. May the odds be ever in your favor," Fran said. "You know I'm here."

The moment I heard his voice, I realized I missed him. We chatted for awhile about other things; work, his family. I told him how I met one of my big bosses in Asia the previous week who flew into town for the Asian Development Bank's annual meeting.

"Grabe Jeremy! Ang tagal ng dinner namin! (We had such a long dinner!)" I said. 

"Three and a half hours. Can you believe it? Kunti na lang sex life ko na ang magiging topic namin (Just a little bit more and we would be talking about my sex life already)!!" I said laughing. "Work dinners are not supposed to last that long. My God!"

"How was it?" he asked excitedly.

"It was good. It's really different when you speak to someone who's well-traveled. He just knows so many things," I said, referring to my boss. "He was talking about how half of home mortgages in Hungary are denominated in Swiss francs, the progress in Myanmar's opening up to the world, his recent trip to Luang Prabang."

"We really had fun," I said. "But I got so stressed when he asked me what do I do during weekends?"

"Hahaha. So what did you say?" J said.

"I wanted to say I'm a party girl!! But I don't think he would take it so well," I answered laughing. "So I just fudged it a bit. I go out with my friends?"

"Hahahaha. Puede na."

God, I can really talk to him, I realized. J was one of the few people with whom I can fully express myself. I was suddenly saddened at the thought I may lose him.

Memory is a curious thing. It comes unbidden at the strangest times. While chatting with Jeremy, one particular conversation sprung into my mind.

"Wow. You really are serious," I  told Jeremy once.

"Sabi ko naman sa iyo K. Wala ng atrasan ito (I told you K. There's no turning back)," he replied. "I know what I want. Ikaw lang naman ang may ayaw. Ayaw mo kasing maniwala na ito na yun eh. Ano pa bang hahanapin mo? (You're the one who refuses to believe that this is it. What else are you looking for?)"

"Grabe ka naman (Come on). You make it sound like we are each other's last chance at happiness," I said.

"We are. Eto na yun K (This is it K)," he answered. "Eto na yun. (This is it.)"

After awhile, I finally had the courage to ask him the question. "So … iiwan mo na ba ako (are you leaving me)?" I asked him lightly. My voice was steady, calm, half teasing.

"K, huwag kang magagalit ha (please don't be angry)," he slowly said.

"Hindi. Hindi ako galit (No no. I'm not)," I replied calmly.

"Hindi ko kaya (I can't do it) K." 


"It's okay," I told him. "I understand."

J went on and on, we're too different, he says. Our brains are wired differently; we give each other so much stress.

"I mean, if we just stress each other out, eh bakit pa natin ituloy ito? (Why should we continue this?)" he argued.

I simply nodded. I didn't want to be dramatic. No tears, no sorrow. There would be time for that later.

"This is what's best," he said.

Of course, of course, I said. But I knew I didn't believe that.

"So … I guess this is it," I said.

Spotted: Lonely Boy going from Prince of Hearts to Prince of Heartaches. In the pitter patter of a heartbeat. 

So that was it. After days and weeks and months of hoping ...  it was over. 

But don't worry K. Because as everyone knows, for girls like you, when one door closes, a thousand ones open.

My phone beeped. It was from Jeffrey, a guy from Grindr.

"Hey Kane. Kamusta? I was just wondering if you're free to meet tomorrow. Lagi ka na lang hindi puede (You're always not available). I really want to see you."

I thought of the weekend and how empty it feels. What should I say? I kept on rejecting Jeffrey before, but there is no more reason now to say no, is there?

"You're in luck," I said. "My schedule just freed up. Pick me up tomorrow?"

They say summer love is fleeting, that every road comes to an end. Sometimes it's the ending you saw coming a mile away, and yet somehow still takes you by surprise. 

But don't worry, my Upper Eastsider friends. Kane's story isn't ending. We're just at the start of a brand new chapter.


Paritus appeared first in Elie Wiesel's 1985 novel, The Fifth Son. One-eyed, he sees only half of the world's truths.

I think sometimes, human beings are like that. We see only what we want to see; we see the truth we want to believe in. Perhaps the truth we need.

Wednesday, May 09, 2012

Neon Yellow on Grey Hair


"These things age a man, when he starts to understand the joys and sorrows of life. To find love and lose it. To meet death in its many forms. And happiness with its many faces."

I remember the day I turned thirty. I was actually thirty years, three months, and nine days old and it was when my best friend Vackie looked at what I was wearing to a party and he said, "Isn't it a little too young?"

WTF? I thought. "What do you mean?"

"The color. I mean, isn't a little too …  uhmmm, loud? I mean, honey, you are already of a certain age."

Gasp! "What? Are you saying that I'm old?" I  thundered.

"Of course not! Hahaha. But ... really, you're going to wear that?" he asked.

I looked at myself in the mirror and saw the neon yellow shirt I was wearing and realized that well, perhaps he was right. It did seem a little, uhmmm … too young. 

I have always loved dressing up. I like how it can accentuate or change the way you look; make you cuter or more fuckable. Wear glasses and be the intellectual geek or a romantic poet, a jersey transforms you into the hot, sporty guy, eyeliner makes you a rockstar. You can be mysterious or sweet. You can be anything you want to be ... or so I thought.

The kinds of clothes I bought when I was in my 20s have remained the kind of clothes I love. They are no longer generally the kind of clothes I wear, but when I see something of that nature on someone else or in a shop, I am drawn to it.

Bright colors used to adorn my cabinet: scarlet red, chartreuse, magenta, lime, and vermillion. I remember when the 80s made a comeback and people in Manila started wearing these hues, and the world seemed like a rainbow. My friends and I would wear layers of shirts and polos, bright colored Chucks and bandanas and it was one big delightful explosion of colors.

Colorful and bright; that is still the core of my personal vision of myself, as opposed to the version that people see, the way I actually dress and look nowadays.

Navigating the tricky path between the two is what dressing has been like in the past two years. If I feel anything about being in my 30s, it is that I look back on the last decade with fondness and nostalgia while looking ahead at the future with a certain degree of apprehension combined with a determination to enjoy it as much as I enjoyed my 20s.

This has been a crucial factor in choosing how I look. I don't want to pick a constant battle against the forces of time.You cannot win, and I am someone who picks my battles very carefully.  I choose not to compete in an area where I don't feel certain I will come out on top --- the arena of looking young and beautiful. Instead, I choose to channel  my energy into other areas of my life --- work, sex, friendship, and love.

Most people's looks do not improve as we age, and fear of the loss of physical beauty comes hand in hand with each additional year. The wrinkles start to appear, the hair turns grey, our bellies become bigger, our girth wider.  Wherein once you could lure a thousand men, you may find yourself being passed over more and more for younger, prettier things. A relic from an ancient era

Occasionally I catch myself in the mirror and see somebody I don't recognize. Especially on those days when you're tired, or lacked sleep, or well ... hung over. It is on those days time wrecks havoc with a terrifying power.

Though sometimes I wish I can regain all my youth back, I  have become quite content with how I look. Made peace with the lines in my face, the dark circles under my eyes. No longer am I afraid to tell people my real age.

But with clothes it is quite different. There are times I still want to wear what I want; but the question of what you can wear becomes more charged and complex as you age. And who is making that decision anyway? The fear of dressing inappropriately and landing on the pages of the worst-dressed list lurks like some ghastly specter around your closet. You ask yourself:  Do I really need another accessory? Can I still wear shorts? Can I still wear red jeans? Can I still pull it off? Is it ... too much?

I know that the vintage floral shirts I used to love now make me look like one of my least favorite English teacher when I was in school, rather than boyishly fun and appealing. Sugary pastels are definitely a no-no. More on more, I find myself choosing clothes of a darker shade. I head for block colors and checkered patterns.

Whereas once, you might have looked cute and adorable, you now try to be sophisticated and elegant. Well ... try at least, though you may not always succeed.

Still, once in a while, I indulge myself. Dress up the way I want ... just because I want to. After all, clothes should be all about fun, right? At some point, we all think we lose the person we were when we were younger and become somebody old. But we don't ... not really. And the pleasure we take from life, including clothes, reflects that.

So if one day you encounter a grumbling, grey-haired old man wearing a bright neon yellow shirt, well ... you probably know who it will be.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Gossip Girl: Reversals of Fortune


It's said that we're all strapped to Fortune's wheel. Nowhere is this truer than in the ever-changing landscape of love. As one couple enjoys an upswing ...

"K!!! Oh my God! I missed you!!!" E said, giving me a tight hug when we saw each other. He had been busy settling in his new apartment, a new job and it has been awhile since we had gone out.

"So ... kamusta ka? (How are you?") I asked. I had missed my friend terribly and I had been wondering at his silence the past weeks. 

"Okay naman. Eto ... Naiinis ako. It's been two months na since nagstart ako mag work (since I started working.) Hindi ko pa rin masakto. (I still can't get my life back on track.) I had an accident, a burn recently kaya nag absent ako sa work (I was forced to be absent from work)." 

"Oh my God. Are you okay?" 

"Yeah. Pero minsan, parang nakakawalang gana. (But sometimes, it just feels shitty.) Parang I'm trying to start over pero ang daming malas pa rin," he said. 

"I'm sorry to hear that," I said squeezing his hand. "Arcee helping you?" 

"He is. As in. He's been amazing," E replied, nodding. "I don't know how I could do this without him. Grabe K, ang suwerte ko sa kanya. (I feel so lucky I have him.)" 

E and his lover Arcee have been together for a couple of years now. I've seen their love deepen and blossom and they've weathered the storms that hungrily come to seek havoc on relationships. But, they persevered. I suddenly envied them. 

"You are," I said, giving him a hug. "Masuwerte kayong dalawa sa bawat isa. (You both are lucky to have each other.)" 

"Hay ... tama ng drama. (Let's cut the drama.) Enough about me," E said laughing while disentangling himself. "So...  how are you and this guy of yours?" 

"Ahhh ... well ... uhmm ... " I said. 

... another is plunged downwards ...

"Well ... we've been fighting a lot," I confessed. "And I think it may be over before it really began."

I was having a quiet lunch alone, engrossed reading the book Fasting, Feasting by Anita Desai when Jeremy dropped the bomb.

"I need time to think about stuff in light of what has happened," he texted. "I'll keep in touch okay? You have a great week."

"Oh ... okay." I was shocked. "Sobrang na stress ako sa sinabi mo.(I'm so stressed by what you said.) I mean, we are going to fix things right? Or are you considering ending it?" I asked.

"Apparently, stress is all I give to you," he replied. "Anyways, you should take the time to think about stuff yourself," he replied with a smile at the end of the message. Like this. :)

"I hope you answer my question Jeremy. Because whatever our problems are, I don't think of ending things as an option. Now, if you are considering it, at least warn me."

"I cannot answer that question right now," he replied. "But you seem to be okay naman so that is a good sign."

I'm not okay. I wanted to say that it was unfair, that he was unfair. I wanted to shout and scream at him ... but I did not. I'm supposed to be a mature man who can handle his emotions well; isn't that what being an adult means? He needs his space, what can I do but respect his wish? My throat constricted and I suddenly teared up. Get a grip on yourself, I said.

""I'm not okay," I said to Jeremy. "I was hoping we can fix our issues. But ... I respect your wish. I'll wait, I'll be here." 

I have had four lovers and each of them left me at some point in time. Lahat sila iniwanan ako. I know ... I know ... it sounds dramatic and tragic, the kind of stuff characters in Philippine telenovelas would say, but it's true. I've always been the kind of guy who fights for love. Sometimes I wonder how careless people can be. They say "I love you" but what does that really mean? Tell me. What does that mean? 

Because of my past, my greatest fear in a relationship is being abandoned, that my supposed to be life partner will give up, just like all the others before. Hearing this from Jeremy brought back all the fears I have, that once again, he may be giving up. Perhaps as Graham Greene once wrote, our love had turned into a love affair ... with a beginning and an end. Or maybe it was an affair all along and I was just too blind to see it.

Intense. That is how best to describe Jeremy and I. 

"Sobrang hirap E," I said. "We're so intense and therefore when we're happy; we're intensely happy. But when we fight, it also becomes quite intense."

It has been almost two months now since we met and I suppose the glitter and fascination are wearing off. Jeremy and I have entered the phase where you suddenly start seeing the things you dislike about the other person. We argue and bicker constantly about traits, values; the things that matter when you look for a lifelong partner.

"I've been yearning for a relationship for so long I forgot the unpleasant side of it. Hindi ba puedeng happy lagi?" I said trying to make light of the issues. 

"It's work Kane, you know that. A lot of work," E said trying to console me. 

"I know but sometimes it feels like there are so many things going against us. He can be so difficult," I said. "Not to mention I'm still struggling with the fact that he is married and has kids. It can be too much to take sometimes. I don't want to be a mistress forever. And what he did ... it hurt me. He hurt me. That he can give up so easily? We're just scratching the surface of what real problems really are."

"And I know ... I know. He probably feels hurt too. That I hurt him," I said.

"You know, I know it's not easy," E said. "But what you have is passion Kane. Very few couples have that. Most of us settle for safe, which is what you want. What I have. And that's a good thing."

"But if I have a chance at something as intense as what you feel, I'd hold on to it for as long as I can," E slowly said. "And I mean, Ikaw yan eh. That mind-blowing, blood-curling, orgasmic shit I'm-on-top-of-the-world kind of love."

"And if, at the end, it still doesn't work out?" I asked.

"Then it will make for one beautiful memory."

"Well ... it seems it's already not working out," I said, sighing. "Hay E. Ang hirap. I miss him."

"Alam ko Kane. Alam ko."

"Do you think you'll make it?" he asked.

"Honestly, I don't know. The odds are not in our favor," I answered. I was quiet for awhile, remembering Jeremy. "But I'd like to hope we will. I mean, isn't that what the great love stories are all about? Beating all the odds?" 

They say love makes the world go round and round. But sometimes it only feels like you're a fool on a merry-go-round. But top ... or bottom, don't get too comfortable kids. Because the only thing you can rely on is that the wheel will keep on turning.