Wednesday, May 23, 2012

The Truth About Travis

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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.

 
K,

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."

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

"u-Pharsin"
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.

Travis



"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.
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18 comments:

Mac Callister said...

oh kane, this is a great entry about travis :-)

you are right. madaming sikreto, malihim siya, but he's a good friend, kahit masungit, maasahan siya:-)

sana nga ito ay isa lang kasinungalingan lahat, about his death...that he just want to escape or something, maiintindihan ko siya :=)

Mugen said...

So our little secret is out huh? As I said, So many people got the text message (myself not included) but not one of them got to talk to the wife.

The Travis we know is gone. But the person behind the nick is just somewhere, in the other side. :)

Spiral Prince said...

Who is the boy? Who is the wolf?

Guyrony said...

An act worthy of an applause, a standing ovation, and a kudos to a brilliant mastermind.

Bravo!

The magnificence of the plot is unfathomable.

Remember what I told you, he seeks attention...he will return.

In a new persona.

XOXO

rudeboy said...

I never knew your Travis, Kane, but I've known guys just like this before. Reading your glowing descriptions of him, I just had to smile as ghosts of con-men past flashed in front of my eyes.

Let's just say charm and intelligence seem to be a sociopath's natural gifts - the anglerfish's deadly light, the pitcher plant's fatal nectar.

One gathers more flies with honey than vinegar, and all that.

Still...well, let's save it for when we drink.

Khao San Road? Nah, methinks Siam Square is more your style, Gossip Girl.

shenanigans said...

shocker!

RoNRoNTuRoN said...

Travis.... as I used to call him... DDK. DoomsDayKiller. Farewell. :D

eon said...

we would on occasion leave comments on each other's blogs, but that is the extent of our conversations.

sad if he is gone or away, or that he had to invent all these.

bien said...

Bravo! See you in July? I wanna hear more stories like this.

MkSurf8 said...

amazing at best, scary at worst

Anonymous said...

wEw...if it is indeed true that everything is-was a lie? then i agree with rudeboy... -E

Anonymous said...

In the name of the father, and of the son, and of the holy ghost.

Yas

Little Nikki said...

oh boy, oh boy, oh boy. somewhere in this universe, he must be laughing.

may he rest in peace.

Mr. Chan said...

I knew it. I somehow sensed his inconsistencies. He's the typical "Alam ko to, alam ko yan, may say ako diyan."

:)

Despite of the doubts, I seriously prayed for the soul of this guy.

Thanks for clarifying.

Anonymous said...

psychos can really outwit normal people. travis cant die; hes the grimreaper. he rips heads of innocent people with his fucking giant scathe.he's not dead,but he's already rotten inside. suck sick cocks in hell,travis.whoever the fuck u are.

Anonymous said...

bet his face looks like shit thats why he has to create this image of him in the internet.u may be the most eligible gay netizen, but never in real life. in real life u are just a big fucking loser. aww suddenly ur stinky lips went upside down.did u feel that. u know u are. in the real world,travis,u are a loser and nobody looks at you. FUGLY!

cjgruet said...

A friend of mine used to say that the difference between a thief and a swindler is just one thing: sophistication. The former is ready to muscle it out, the former does not have the brawn and will only use the power of language and charm. But they both rob not just property but the truth.

Whatever it is, once to get up close and personal there is always a bond created. So, where ever he is and whatever persona he now wears, may he be safe and well.

Yas Jayson said...

Some poets just knew what to say

The Art of Disappearing
Sarah Holland-Batt

The moon that broke on the fencepost will not hold.
Desire will not hold. Memory will not hold.
The house you grew up in; its eaves; its attic will not hold.
The still lives and the Botticellis will not hold.
The white peaches in the bowl will not hold.
Something is always about to happen.
You get married, you change your name,
and the sun you wore like a scarf on your wrist has vanished.
It is an art, this ever more escaping grasp of things;
imperatives will not still it – no stay or wait or keep
to seize the disappeared and hold it clear, like pain.
So tell the car idling in the street to go on;
tell the skirmish of chesspieces to go on;
tell the scraps of paper, the lines to go on.
It is winter: that means the blossoms are gone,
that means the days are getting shorter.
And the dark water flows endlessly on.