Today in random Americana:
The city where the office I report to is located is a nice, laid-back Arizona city, Gilbert. The place is clean, the people friendly, and the area looks as harmless as a sleeping puppy. Except for the hotel right across the street.
After the department director spoke to the training class, there was a mild distraction when one of the employees excitedly mentioned that there was a shout-out at the hotel.
“Now you know why we didn’t put you there,” the trainer told my colleague and me. Apparently, that hotel occasionally has these violent incidents every couple of months.
“You’d see SWAT there sometimes,” another employee gleefully joined in. “The rest of the city is nice, but that place is so ghetto.”
Day Twenty-Eight: A trip I can’t forget. (Mumbai)
The only weekend I had when I briefly stayed in Mumbai was nearly ruined when I went drinking on Saturday morning after shift.
There is a good local beer in India called Kingfisher. It comes in two variants: white and red label. Normally, I drank the lighter white label; but on that Saturday, I decided to finally give the red label a try. It was good. Kingfisher was less sweet than Filipino beer like San Miguel Pale Pilsen or Red Horse, but has a nice earthy flavor and little bitterness.
Kingfisher Red also kicked like a motherfucker.
I was hungover when I woke up that evening, causing me to cancel meeting up one of the team supervisors who invited me over to his place near the sea. That really sucked major ass: the only Saturday I spent in Mumbai and I had to sleep it off. My hangover lasted well into Sunday and I was only able to go out after noon.
It is relatively easy to move around Mumbai.
Day Twenty-Seven: A wedding.
A favorite among the weddings I have been in was one where we blew bubbles as the newlyweds went out of the church. In most weddings, the guests would be throwing rice or flower petals. This couple thought of a nod to wedding tradition that was more environment-friendly.
The couple then both rode in bicycles — one for the bride, one for the groom — instead of taking a car to the wedding reception. It must have been a sight, seeing the bride still in her gown, riding a bicycle along the streets of Makati. People who saw them thought that it was a scene from a movie shoot.
Sadly, it was also a marriage that did not last. The couple separated a few years later, possibly breaking many of the former couple’s friends’ hearts. Some love stories just do not end up in an ever after.
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-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.