#30DayWritingChallenge: The best meal of my life.

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.

Day 03 - Favorite Place

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.

#30DayWritingChallenge: The story behind the last text I sent.

Day Sixteen: The story behind the last text I sent.

Lio's text message.

Last week, my friend and previous housemate Lio sent me a message asking if I was available this weekend. He said he has a friend who wanted to have her cards read. We agreed that I will drop by his place near Cash and Carry on Friday afternoon (yesterday) for the tarot reading.

I met Lio through a gay forum website which I admin. We met in person when he, I, and a few other members decided to meet up and exchange porn movies. Some time after that, when I was desperately looking for a housemate for my old apartment, Lio volunteered and we started living together.

Lio was, at that time, a slightly spoiled single child who had little concept of housework. He didn’t cook and his main contribution to the apartment was mostly bottles of alcohol in the fridge. He did mature over the years.

He is now living on his own in Makati. He fetched me outside Cash and Carry; when we arrived at his place, his boyfriend Drew has just finished cooking dinner: an unusual combo of plain pasta, spicy laing, and garlicky longganisa.

More: A frequent joke I threw at Lio was how he was one of the few Bicolano I know who has a low tolerance for piquant dishes.

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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.

Weekend clean-up, Rurouni Kenshin, and Rock Loqal.

The Chairless Apartment is now mostly, relatively clean. While we were mopping the floor earlier, I told Bern that we should hire a house cleaner in the future. Maybe someone who could tidy the place up twice a month. My mother will gasp in disbelief if she would find out. It’s not so much that I will be spending for a house cleaner, as it is about me being too lazy to clean after myself.

We should be leaving the apartment by December 26 (evicted!) but we have not yet found a new place to move into. If we can’t find one, I’ll move back to Makati temporarily and start apartment-hunting by January. I am not looking forward to sharing the roof with my parents again.

I completely forgot about the Lantern Parade last Saturday. I’m still groggy from last week’s Pride March, I’m in a state of semi-lethargy all week. I planned to bring Bern to a movie last Friday but we opted to eat out instead.

We were able to watch Rurouni Kenshin yesterday with Jeff and Kaito. It was a happy trip back to the 90s watching the anime turned into live action. It wasn’t a bad adaptation, either. Particularly spot-on was Megumi: you almost wish she sprouted fox ears at some point. Kanryu was played with so much ham he could be served in a dozen Christmas dinners.

Kenshin was competently performed by his very pretty actor and Saitou was an attractive upgrade from the anime (not complaining!) but I was a little disappointed at Sanosuke. The mannerism and scruffiness was there, but he was demoted as a less effective fighter in the film. Good thing there was a rather funny kitchen fight sequence that very nearly redeemed movie!Sano.

The fight scenes were mostly well executed, with moments of pure awesomeness, like how Kenshin escapes to the other bank of a stream. The movie was able to avoid some of the silliness of the anime but it also introduced its own bits of silliness, mostly when it came to movie!HannyaGein.

So I guess I have to thank you, SM, for bringing Rurouni Kenshin to the country.

At Rock Loqal: Kaito, Jeff, Jade, Bern

After the movie, Bern and I dragged Jeff and Kaito to the Mall of Asia for Rock Loqal. Page gave us free tickets and we happily stayed in front of the stage, watching the bands, and destroying our eardrums. Mayonnaise has just started when we arrived, followed by Barbie Almabis. Jeff and Kaito left halfway through Barbie’s set. Barbie is a very competent guitar-player, doing a good guitar solo towards the end of ‘Torpe’. Unfortunately, she didn’t finish the song, and segued into a rather trite ‘We Wish You a Merry Christmas’.

Other bands we caught were Razorback (you’re still the most kickass rock singer in the country, Kevin Roy), Malay, Indio I, and Salamin. Bern and I didn’t like the last band too much, with their Linkin Park (with bongos!) sound and pain-and-anguish-from-tortured-souls-of-priviledged-gated-village-boys lyrics. Somebody give the boys a hug.

After Bern and I went out for some food, we found out that we can’t re-enter the MOA Arena anymore. Oh well. At least we got to see Razorback again (thanks, Page!).

It’s sad, though, how with such a impressive line-up, there weren’t a lot of people watching. It’s not that people aren’t interested with local rock music; the last Tanduay Rockfest was packed. Maybe it was the lack of publicity. Or maybe it was the lack of alcohol in the venue.

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Madonna, Buffy, sea serpents, and suicidal underwear.

Two odd dreams from last weekend.

Dream #1

Madonna was riding a serpent-like sea monster following Buffy Summers who kidnapped Madonna’s son. Buffy turned around to show a blonde sea siren who suddenly attacked the sea monster.

Dream #2

Former co-worker Popin invited me to drink some cocktails she made on the pretext that she was studying to be a bartender. One of the better drinks included omelette as an ingredient. The drink was not called an “omelette”; it had an omelette. All the drinks were good, though.

It turned out to be a reality TV show where people are supposed to get drunk, do ridiculous drunken antics, and pass out in front of the camera. Two of the invited girlfriends started pole dancing in the bar. No, I didn’t get drunk enough to do anything stupid.

But this was not a dream:

I was getting the dried laundry from the clothes line when one of my briefs slipped from my hand and fell on the cement stub outside the balcony of the laundry area. I tried to fish it out, but I caused it to fall further down, on the outcropping roof placed outside the units at the building’s ground floor.

Bern and I had to take the step ladder (which normally functions as a book shelf) to fetch it. It was one of my newer underwear, bought just the week before, so I was pretty keen on getting it back. Good thing this happened at the back of the building, away from where most of the tenants pass on their way out.

We used to have suicidal plants and cooking pots. Now, even our underwear are jumping off our building.