Two months without photographic evidence.

Rodj pointed out how some people can fill out a photo album (with selfies) in a week. (Or a day, even.) But while we were still dating before, we never had many photos.

We had very few photos together. If we compile all our photos, we won’t even fill three pages. We did a mental inventory: One or two in Baguio, some from Bataan. (He said photos with big groups do not count.)

So, no, we don’t even seem to have photos of us when we were still boyfriends.

That we were talking about these things while watching Deadpool (something in the movie triggered the conversation) on the eve of Valentine’s, our hands held, weirds me out a little because it’s several layers of surreal.

Deadpool movie still

But surreal is nice, too.

#30DayWritingChallenge: My last love.

Would you look at that. I actually finished this thirty-day writing challenge thing. Although I feel a little mocked by the Universe for this last writing topic.

Day Thirty: My last love.

Rodj in Baguio Village Inn.

I started having a crush on Rodj when he posted a haiku on unrequited crush and ended it with “sayang ang condom”. I never told him this, but I was (and still am) a big fan of his Twitter posts. When we first met each other, he was a very quiet guy, taller than me, and quite shy; I thought he wasn’t interested in me.

But we became friends. And, eventually, friends with benefits. For some people, romantic or sexual relations follow a particular pattern. We had jokes about the timing of those times when we would meet and sleep together, when he realized there was a pattern to it.

Read the rest: I did not expect that we will eventually become boyfriends.

#30DayWritingChallenge: The one that got away.

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.

Jemai

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.

#30DayWritingChallenge: My first heartbreak.

Day Two: My first heartbreak.

Friends, especially internet friends, who knew me for a long time might remember that I used to be in love with a girl.

The early days of my Livejournal occasionally mentioned her, those times when we used to hang out together. I referred to her as Davaogirl.

I had a crush on her in high school which I carried well into college. I was a torpe kid who wouldn’t know how to act towards the person I was attracted to. She was a friendly, outgoing girl who (I think) enjoyed hanging out with me.

We never dated. She might have known I had a crush on her but she never hinted if she knew. Or she might have, but I was too dense to notice. Even then, I was always too preoccupied with myself to pay much attention to other people. I might be more in love with the idea of pining for her rather than her itself.

Oblation in UP Mindanao

She moved out of Manila come college, eventually enrolling in UP Mindanao (hence the name I gave her). We used to write letters to each. Letters! I used to draw little figures on some of the envelopes where I placed my letters in. Men, and sometimes women, with wings or balloons or wrapped up in vines. I knew she had a boyfriend in Davao, but they separated soon after she returned to Manila.

After she finished school, we saw each other again. Friendly, as usual. We would often meet with friends; we, in our twenties, and most were still single. Those nights with friends usually were spent drinking at Davaogirl’s place until we were wasted by morning. Despite the proximity, nothing sexual ever happened to most of us. Oh, some of us would quietly make out with each other, trying (but not trying that much) to pretend to the others that nothing was happening.

Davaogirl and I didn’t get involved with anyone; not her and me, and not each one of us with other people. And still, I carried a torch for her. It’s an attitude that will define my future relationships: I would end up making up for wasted chances and hooking up with lots of people.

Oh. And I tend to remain very fond of old lovers, even after the relationship has ended and both of us have moved on. Most of the time.

Thinking about it now, I was a creepy, pathetic guy. Some things never change.

Eventually, one of our classmates started dating her. He’s cute and they looked good together. They eventually married.

At some point there, I was heartbroken, my first true one. But looking back at it now, I don’t remember when it happened. Was it during the first time I saw them together and realized that they were a couple? Was it when I found out that she was seeing this guy and I didn’t know about it? Was it when I finally saw their wedding invitation? (Surely, it came before that.)

Or maybe it was not fixed on one moment. Heartbreak can be like the gradual ebbing of the tides: Look back after a while and you’ll see the shore was wider than what you remembered. The beach exposed the accumulated hurt you didn’t know you had.

I never loved another woman again.


Photo of the UP Mindanao Oblation was taken by Julienne of Nephithyrion.

U.S.T.

I wrote this last year, but never got around to telling the story behind it. I figured a year is long enough a time to procrastinate.

That may have resolved several years of sexual tension. Or it may have not.

I had a crush on this guy from the first time I met him.

That first time was more than ten years ago: A girl friend from work tagged me along to his house for some drinks. It was a crazy night, from the things I half-remember. Said girl friend, having had too much to drink, threw up in his living room. To this day, this guy and I still laugh at that memory.

He was living with his boyfriend at that time, and I had a boyfriend of my own. I never even tried to flirt with him, in any conscious manner. We added each other in social media, but kept minimal contact for several years.

It was a surprise then when, after seven or so years, I saw him in a bar in Malate. I can’t even remember why I went there; it might be that I was with friends. I think he was alone, drinking. Or maybe I misremember that part.

The amazing thing was he recognized me at the same time I recognized him. It’s been years and I rarely post my photos online, or use my face in my user pictures. It was as if we last saw each other about a week ago. It was one of the things I liked about him: we can talk easily to each other, even during the first time we were introduced to each other.

We were both single and I was living on my own. He was drunk and wanted to sleep but didn’t want to go home. I invite him to my place. He agreed. At some point while we slept, we were spooned to each other.

But that was it. We slept next to each other and that was all. And yet it never felt frustrating, back then or remembering it now. At the back of my mind, I wanted to have sex with him and yet I was never disappointed that we never tried.

Years later, he admitted to me that he was thinking of similar things.

“We were, what, hugging?” he told me. “Maybe I was too happy with the Chairless Apartment. Or maybe I was too brokenhearted that time that I didn’t want to spoil you.”

But it was a nice moment, I told him. I can appreciate nice moments. Would it have changed things if we did? We did not pursue each other again after that night.

Eventually, I entered another long-term relationship. This guy also was in a few relationships for the next few years. Occasionally, we would come across each other; I even introduced him to my then-boyfriend. It seems that despite that one time of palpable sexual tension, we remained good friends.

IMG_20130316_230245

It’s been more than a year now since I broke up with that boyfriend.

Early February last year, I went to Ilocos for a few days to put a bit of distance from my recently-ended relationship. And all of a sudden, this guy texted me while I was on my way back to Manila. He was drunk and still sorting himself after his last relationship. At length, we talked about our history and the unresolved sexual tension we’ve had for years.

We agreed to each other a few days later, on Valentines, for a few drinks. We wanted to catch up with each other, and it looked like we will be spending the night bitching about our recent exes. Except we didn’t. Because of his ex.

His first boyfriend, actually, the one he was still with when I first met him. It was a curious bit of serendipity, for his ex to appear while we were talking of that time I was in their house. And it was a good thing, too. I liked his ex; he was a strange yet lovable guy, always spreading love for the universe. We forgot about the exes we were supposed to bitch about and talked of other things. And it turned out to be a good night because of it.

Inside a tricycle, while we were heading to another bar for more beer, this guy held my hand and placed his head on my shoulder. And we kissed. It was the first time we kissed each other.

Would it have been different if I decided to jump into this new chance for another relationship? It was only a month since my last boyfriend and I parted ways. While this guy still has not moved on from his last relationship. It felt like it was too soon.

We started seeing each other, not really dating, with whatever was happening to us a nebulous idea that lingered around our interactions but was rarely explicitly acknowledged.

It started going downhill weeks later. I, not aware of what he thought, was wondering about taking things more seriously with him while he, not knowing what I was thinking, began losing interest.

He met another guy and eventually they begun a new relationship. Ah well. I was heartbroken.

But this guy is, ultimately, my friend. One of the friends I’ve cherished for several years and that affection trumped over any kind of sexual attraction we might have for each other.

I knew I was over my heartbreak and no longer held any ill will when I saw him again several weeks later. He joined me and my friend while we were hanging out in a museum cafe (the same museum where this guy worked, and it was intentional); he and my friend took off really well. We were still there when his boyfriend arrived and I finally saw the person he kept mentioning in his tweets. He was a really sweet guy, yet gave off a impression of peaceful strength; I can tell why he chose him.

So we’ve defaulted to what we were before: friends. I’m searching in my mind for that sexual attraction I’ve kept for him for several years. It’s still there, boxed and kept away.

After all, the affection I have for my friend trumps over any kind of sexual attraction I might have on him.