Friday, June 01, 2012

Gossip Girl: The Inglourious Basterds


Farewell, My Concubine

"Although he rarely spoke of his failed relationship, I knew it was always in his thoughts, in the way his eyes would cloud over, in the way he would hug me tightly with his eyes closed at night. I knew those were not for me, but for a ghost in some distant past."

A Decade After (I)

"Honey… I kissed someone. And it was electrifying. That one kiss… changed me."

"Yeah. Kung gusto mo (If you want), we can have a threesome."

The Truth About Travis

"Travis is dead, the message read."

Summer is coming to a close. And as everyone knows, our favorite girl has taken quite a beating this season. With his mood down low, this once bright star is turning into a fading star. The only question is: do we dare say Kane's heydays are officially over or will l'enfant terrible resurrect and prove everyone wrong?

Carlo, Chris, and Gino and I were having dinner to catch up over the weekend. Over a mountainous serving of grilled mussels, squid, fish and shrimps, we chatted about the recent events in our lives. Chris has a new job and new boys, Gino's birthday was coming up, Carlo was moving to a new company. All in all, everyone seemed to be doing pretty well. Everyone ... except me, of course.

"Sabi ko na nga ba. (I knew it.) I smelled something fishy," Gino said. "Ang dami pala ninyong nilalandi niya, hindi mo alam. (He was flirting with a lot of guys and you didn't know.)"

"Hayaan mo na. Forget it. It's in the past now."

"Ikaw kasi, nagpapaniwala ka agad-agad. (You believed in him too easily.)"

"I know, I know. Tama na nga eh. (Enough.)"

It's all in the past. But the past has a funny way of sneaking up on you just when you least expect it. You never know what could trigger a memory. A shared joke, the color blue.

After supper, they decided (against my protestations) to crash at my place for drinks before going out after.

"Hay. Sige na. Kayo na lang. (You guys go.) I'm not really in the mood to go out," I said, gulping a shot of vodka laced with pineapple and cranberry juice.

"Hay naku, K! Ano ba yan, I mean, don't tell me you'll stay home and mope? Where's the girl I used to know?" Carlo said. "Besides, I want you to meet my new guy."

"Again?????" I exclaimed. "Weren't you just sad and heartbroken a month ago?"

"Hahaha. I was … I really was," C said. "I really did care for Louis. But what is it that we always say: you can only be sad for too long. Now take a shower and put on a nice shirt!"

At the club, Carlo introduced me to Brad, the guy he's sort of seeing. He was exactly how C described him: boyish with a smile that stretched from ear to ear.

"OMG! He is cute!" I whispered to Carlo. "I always knew you had great taste in men."

"Hahaha. Of course. You taught me well," he said, laughing. "Besides, you gave your stamp of approval the first time you saw him. But you were drunk, so you forgot. But you told me then: go!"

Carlo and Brad were dancing together, smiling laughing under the spray of red and green lights. Every now and then, I'd see a guy approach Brad and introduce himself. Apparently, he was the latest "It-Boy". I had to give it to my friend. Bravo.

We were all dancing and drinking. "I wanna dance … in love … and dance again …" The song played and Chris and I hugged each other and swayed and smiled as the alcohol slowly took hold of our senses. I was starting to have fun, to lose myself in the music.

Gino came towards me, and suddenly, he popped a question. "Ano … puede ba tayong mag-uwi ng lalaki? (So ... Can we bring home a guy?)"

I stopped dancing and stood very still. Gino was grinning, teasing me, using all his charm to get me to agree. I thought over the question carefully. I knew my answer would forever define our friendship and its boundaries; who we are to each other and the things we could do together.

If I said yes, a whole world of dirty, raunchy, meaningless, mind blowing, nerve wracking, fuckfest would open up to me. Together, Gino and I could persuade a plethora of men to have sex with us. A guy we fucked with once said: it's like the best of both worlds, you get the hot muscular guy and the pretty boy.

But ... if I said no, I also knew Gino would never ask me that question again. It was now ... or never.

"Sige na! (Come on!)" Gino repeated, cajoling me.

I looked him in the eye as I pondered the implications of my decision. "Sige (Okay)," I slowly said. I haven't had sex for a while, and the alcohol, sweat, and smoke made me want to fuck. I wanted in.

His face lit up. "Sige, diyan ka lang. Ako ng bahala. Sino ang gusto mo? (Don't worry. I'll take care of everything. Who do you want?)" I scanned the room and spotted a guy. That one, I pointed.

Uh oh, guess which band of brothers is back in business boys. Is this the reunion we've all been waiting for? Watch out Upper Eastsiders. Now that K and G are back together, it looks like three just became our favorite number.

The next day, Gino and I decided to hit the gym before he goes home. We were talking and laughing, recapping the events of the previous night.

"Ano ... gusto mo ba, may i meet pa tayong isa? (So, do you want to meet up with another guy)?" he suddenly asked. "Out of 87 messages sa (in) PlanetRomeo kanina (earlier), siya lang ang okay. (He's the only one who's okay.)"

"Ha? (What?) It's Sunday. Ano ka ba. Time for rest and reflection."

"Anong rest and reflectiong pinagsasabi mo diyan, Ano? (What are you talking about: rest and reflection shit. So what? Game?)"

"Ayoko. Pagod ako at malungkot. (I don't want to. I'm tired and I'm sad.) Besides, does he know how I look like?" I asked.

"Ano ba ... Naayos ko na. Okay sa kanya at gusto na niyang pumunta ngayon. (I've already arranged everything. He's seen it and he wants to meet up now.)" Gino said. "Sige na ... Halika, papakita ko sa iyo photos niya. (Come, I'll show you his photos.)"  
"Gino, ano ba ... ayoko nga (Come on, I really am not in the mood)," I protested as he dragged me to the computer. "Pagod ako. Ayoko. Ayoko. A ... YO ... (I'm tired. I don't want to. I said I don't want to. I ... DON'T ... WANT... )"

And then suddenly the guy's photo popped out. I paused and my sentence was left hanging in mid-air.

"Puedeeee," I said out loud. "Oh my God. He's so cute. Tara na! (Let's go!)"

Gino was laughing so hard. "Tignan mo ito, ang daming arte. Gusto naman. (See? Told you.)"

Lloyd was lean, and cute and oh so adventurous. After all the contortions and exertions, we were all thoroughly exhausted. Magaling. Mahusay.Game na game.

He cuddled up beside me and hugged me. "You okay?" I asked him. "You want water, juice, anything?"

He shook his head. "Nagka girl friend ka ba?" I asked him.

"Oo (Yep)," he said. "Pero kasi, pagbabae gusto relasyon agad (But the thing is, girls always want a relationship.)

"Hahaha,. So ang gusto mo sex lang?" I asked.

"Sa ngayon. Mas hindi kasi komplikado, mas hindi hassle (For now. It's less complicated, less of a hassle.)"

"Yan ang gusto ko sa iyo eh. Madaling kausap (That's what I like about you. No hassle)," I teased him.

After everyone left, I took a shower and started preparing myself for bed So another week is ending. It had been fun, but somehow I couldn't shake off the familiar melancholia descending over me. "When will I see you again … You left with no goodbye, not a single word was said ..." Adele was crooning in the background and I was starting to feel a little sad and lonely.

I couldn't sleep so I opened a book of poems given to me by a friend.

Oh, gallant was the first love, and glittering and fine;
The second love was water, in a clear white cup;
The third love was his, and the fourth was mine;
And after that, I get them all mixed up.

Oh God, this is good. I snuggled into my pillows, wanting to kiss the book. I read another poem.

Four be the things I am wiser to know:
Idleness, sorrow, a friend, and a foe.

Four be the things I’d been better without:
Love, curiosity, freckles, and doubt.

Three be the things I shall never attain:
Envy, content, and sufficient champagne.

Three be the things I shall have till I die:
Laughter and hope and a sock in the eye.

Oh God, this is really good. I stood up and opened a bottle of wine and poured myself a glass of Chardonnay. I sipped it and it was fruity and light, and the taste stayed on my tongue as I continued reading. The loveliness of the poems, the solitude of the night made me remember Mr. Big. He was one of the very few people who truly understood me and made me feel safe. All of a sudden, I wanted to talk to him.

"Neil," I said when he picked up the phone.

"Kane?" he said. "Kamusta ka?"

"Hay Neil." I missed him, the sound of his voice and the way it echoed in my soul.

"Why, what happened?" It must have been the sigh, or my slurry speech or the way I said his name.

"It's a long story," I said.

"I've got time."

After the tale ended, I asked him how he was. "I'm tired too," he said.

"Oh. I'm surprised to hear that. I thought you were having the time of your life," I responded. His photos and updates in Facebook showed he was happy with his boyfriend and he had told me they were going to live together soon.

"A wise woman once told me: we need to go to as far as where our pain will take us. Does that make sense?" I continued.

"I want to meet that wise woman. Kane, I am happy. But I never learn, Again I find myself rebuilding my life around this one person. As an architect, I should know better than to build my structure on one foundation," Neil narrated. "I'm worried. Scared that I'll go through something more painful than my divorce."

Wow, he really is serious with his boyfriend. I was tipsy and his words floated in my head like dancing ghosts. "happy". ... "rebuilding my life" ... "structure" ... "divorce" ... What do these words mean? For a moment, I felt a tiny pang of ... was it jealousy that he loved somebody else? Or envy that he has someone and I have no one. Who knows. Sometimes our emotions can be tricky to understand. Why do we feel the things we feel?

"Anyway, ikaw kasi. You trust too easily," he said. "You take care of yourself. Sometimes, I think you're too nice."

Too nice. Is there such a thing? Is there a point where you become too nice and people start making a fool out of you, I wondered. Sigh. All these questions and no answers. I've always thought people ought to be nice to each other, to trust rather than distrust, to treat each other with respect and dignity. Maybe I'm too old-fashioned.

Neil and I went on chatting until I felt my eyes starting to close. "Neil, I'm sleeping na ha. I'm happy we got to talk a little."

"Hey. You'll be fine," I said, trying to comfort him. "Remember, you always have me, whatever happens."

"Good night K. And you ... me," Mr. Big said. I know Neil, I know. Maybe it was the wine, or maybe what Neil said, maybe it was the hot sex, or the beautiful poems but that night, I slept soundly for the first time in a long time.

I cut my hair the next day. Short hair is more commercial, more sell-able. And I ... I wanted to be sold. As the locks of hair started to fall, I felt like all the heroines in all the books and films I've seen. I'm Romeo's Juliet, I'm Dante's Beatrice. I'm Serena and Blair, I'm the Devil Wearing Prada.

The last strand of hair dropped to the floor. I slowly stood up and looked at myself in the mirror. From now on, no more Mr. Nice Guy.

They say a death marks one of the largest transitions there is in life. It is an end and a new beginning, another step in our evolution. But evolving is a tricky thing. You can't change without changing the world around you.

And not everyone might see your transformation the same way you do. But if you can make it through and truly be reborn, then maybe so can I. 

So beginning today, the past is just a prologue. It all starts from here.



eon said...

i like that drink (vodka, pineapple, cranberry). i order that as bay breeze here, very pambabae.

i'd like to share with you a poem by cavafy:

come back often and take hold of me,
sensation that I love come back and take hold of me--
when the body's memory awakens
and an old longing again moves into the blood,
when lips and skin remember
and hands feel as though they touch again.

Come back often, take hold of me in the night
when lips and skin remember...

Eternal Wanderer... said...

is this in connect with with that infamous tweet of yours? :P

rudeboy said...

"When a woman stays young and beautiful forever, the world is hers."
- Queen Ravenna, Snow White and the Huntsman

Mac Callister said...

Aw! But i like u being nice kane hehe.

Grabe ka pala ganyan lang kadali makakuha ng booking!

Pero parang bagay kayo nun kausap mo sa phone ha :-)

♥N said...

I've always wondered if people can really change -- or if we sort of just evolve into how our surroundings form us.

I hate how I have always been the nice girl. I've been stepped on too much and taken for granted. I tried to do this same thing before, to be mean and selfish, but I found that going against my true nature made me even more unhappier.

john stan said...

Should we expect Kane, the bad boy, in the next few days?

Let's meet up soon, K. I will introduce you to Jason, not to boast or anything, but just to remind you that there are still happy endings.

You once told me that you have been a witness to my relationship's ups and downs. We went through a lot but somehow, we came out strong and still together.

I know your happy ending is out there. Never settle for anything less.

Alex Tan said...

I think landi breaks like this one is healthy. But in moderation lang dapat :)

Brian said...

Here's to transformations, Kane.

And also I would like to have the title of that book of poems.

Nate said...

"Ikaw kasi, nagpapaniwala ka agad-agad. (You believed in him too easily.)" -- this struck me.. i remember during yas' party when sine-sermonan ka ni nox, and you said that you trust people easily..

try as you may to have this "image" of a bad boy, i'd say it's too late.. coz, nag-register na sa utak ko that you're a nice person.. :)

but, a little of both nice & bad would be a good mix, i think.. :)

Spiral Prince said...

K! Why am I reading the woes I poured out to you on a regular basis a year ago? Changes. Metamorphosis. Being too nice. And, of course, exorcising Mr. Nice Guy.

And yes, short hair is in. ;)

citybuoy said...

I guess I never realized how hard that whole ordeal hit you. Parang gusto kita i-hug. :( Kaso short hair ka na. Baka matakot na ako sayo. lolz