Day Twenty-Five: Winning.
I rarely win in raffles.
Some people are born lucky. They are more likely to win in games of chance. Their names are often drawn, even for consolation prizes. I had a co-worker who was so lucky, it actually backfired on her: her name was drawn twice in an office raffle. Unfortunately, raffle rules state that employees can only submit one entry per person, so she was disqualified for both prizes.
Whenever I attend company parties, there will be that point during the eventual raffle when I’ll hold my breath waiting for the announcement of the winner, only to exhale in disappointed because, as usual, my name was not called.
That’s more than ten years of working and annual company parties, plus the occasional parties thrown by the account’s client or some other employee-benefit contest.
It’s the same outside of work, even when I was younger. During school fairs, in church parties, even in the occasional traveling perya. I would spend all my money playing the color game and lose all of it without really winning anything.
There was one particular time when I actually won a raffle that I do remember.
Meeting up with him tonight was a bad idea.
He talked about red flags from the other guy he dated — warnings against getting further involved with the guy which he should have heeded sooner.
What I should have realized were his recent red flags. The abruptly ended online conversations. The evasion when asked when will we see each other. I was the only one who tried to keep our communication open.
We talked of former flames who left us damaged. We talked of our many personal dysfunctions. We talked of why he didn’t want me back to his life.
I see his reason and I understand it. But it hurts whenever he drives me away.
When the other guy told him that he stayed with the former because he didn’t think anyone else would want him I wanted to break the other guy’s nose.
I want him.
I love him.
I am not no one.
Three in the morning and we were walking along the empty street. I tried to hold his hand but he moved away. He crossed the street and walked away quicker.
And I realized how tired I am of running after him.
I let him turn at a corner until he was out of sight. I walked away slowly to give him time to get a cab and drive away.
He doesn’t want me anymore. I should have seen the red flags sooner.
Day Twenty-Three: The best meal of my life.
It is a common joke among former residents of the Chairless Apartment that whenever we start cooking pasta, it means we are running low on money.
Normally when we buy groceries, we would include two kilos of dry spaghetti noodles and cans of fried sardines. We also always keep lots of garlic and pepper in the kitchen cupboard.
On days when we have enough money among ourselves, we would eat out or order food delivered to the apartment. If we feel like cooking, we would think of comfort food we miss and prepare them: pork sinigang, kare-kare, menudo, ginisang munggo. Nearly everyone in the house can cook, and we help each other in the kitchen.
On lean days, we bring out the pasta.
Day Twenty-Two: Something that happened in a car.
The world started spinning the moment I stood from my seat.
“Can I stay over at your place?” I asked the guy I just met. He was friends with my friends and I thought he was trustworthy. Cute and trustworthy.
It didn’t help, the short walk to the roadway. Every step felt like a tumble and I begun feeling like my stomach was starting to protest.
It wasn’t the only one. I vaguely remembered one of our companions complaining. He wanted to be with the guy. How did I ever get so lucky?
The cab driver might have had misgivings if he should let us in. His instincts were right, of course, but he still agreed to bring us to Pasig.
I can’t remember what the ride was like, now. It was probably awkward and quiet. I wouldn’t trust myself talking while trying to hold my beer down. The world was hazy and my eyes couldn’t focus.
It happened when the cab was about a hundred meters from the guy’s place, like a bad sitcom sequence. That point where I could have waited just another minute and things would not have been as embarrassing. I threw up.
No one throws up with dignity. One can hope that he can at least open the cab window and let puke fall out to the street. I didn’t do that.
Damn manual car windows. I barfed while the window was still halfway open with some vomit falling on the cab floor. The driver should have listened to his instincts.
At least I didn’t puke on the guy. He wouldn’t have slept with me if I did.
Day Twenty-One: The one that got away.
I don’t think have ever written anything about Jemai. So here is one for Throwback Thursday.
We met in someone’s birthday party in the early 2000s. A friend in Livejournal decided he will celebrate his twenty-first birthday by kissing twenty-one guys.
(Was it his twenty-first? There must still be some record of it in Livejournal somewhere, but I’m not going to look for it; I will eventually discover loads of other stuff. Anyways, humor me on this recollection.)
I was, I think, Guy #11. Jemai was Guy #12. After we had our separate turns making out with the birthday guy, a common girl friend introduced us to each other and asked that we make out. She was into guys kissing. Jemai and I made out on the spot.
It became a frequent sight after that, Jemai getting drunk and making out with me in parties, sometimes in front of our friends. We even had photos of it. Fun times.
But we also started seeing each other.