Sunday, January 10, 2010

Lacson After Dark





The Royal Pontifical University
Circa 2001


Legend has it that when the last of the classes inside the campus are dismissed, the unlit stretches of Lacson Boulevard and its side streets come to life. Of course, one would get tempted to say "It's normal. After all, students are rushing to leave so they litter the streets, have a small talk about the day's events until time would send them to their homes and dormitories." What I am saying are the spectacles that happen after midnight. When most people lie peacefully in their beds, its when the creatures of the night emerges.

We heard stories of young men spotted strolling at wee hours of the night. They wear jerseys or wife beaters and shrouds their faces with baseball caps. Many of them lay hidden in the dark until someone approaches and proposes his trade. It was the age before chatting went mainstream: the age when most non-straight guys stay under the radar and effeminate men masquerading as bisexuals were on the scene: It was the age when safer sex was unheard of and people crafted ways to let others know of their preference. It was my age of confusion and being a curious young guy who've heard stories of men searching for men for company, I too explored these places hoping to make contact.

An age gives way to another. A discovery has never been made.



Years have passed and the legend stayed like a nearly forgotten tale needing an epilogue. I have gone through different mediums of contact: MIRc, Malate, Online Forums, Gay Networking Websites and the list goes on. Yet, the whispers about the strange encounters at Lacson after midnight remain elusive as it has always been since the first night I went cruising there.

Until I found what I'm looking for only last night.



Pasado hatinggabi. Hinatid ko sa bahay si Rain Darwin. Galing kami sa inuman ng mga Engkanto. Dahil nakatira ang aking tropa sa area, hindi maiiwasan ang maglakad sa A.H. Lacson. Nag-iintay rin ako ng text message mula kay Kane upang maki-gate crash sa isang party na kanyang pinuntahan. Dahil wala na rin akong pera ay kinailangan kong mag-withdraw sa BPI sa kanto ng Espana. Madilim ang paligid at mangilan-ngilan lang ang mga tao. Ang kapansin-pansin ay ang mga nakatambay na kalalakihan na tila may iniintay. Karamihan sa kanila ay mga bata. Nakapambahay ang damit at matatalas ang tingin kapag iyong ito'y pagmamasdan. Ang kanilang mga titig ay may mensahe. Nakikiramdam. Maraming taon na ang nakaraan at tiyak na hindi ko ito bibigyang pansin.

Subalit dahil palaban na ako gaya nila. Hindi malayo sa akin ang makipagtrip.

Ilang buwan ang nakalipas nang may nangyari sa amin ni Da Hood Kid. Nagsimula ang lahat sa pagpapalitan ng tingin malapit sa bahay namin. Ang titigan ay nauwi sa kanyang pagsipol at ang kanyang pagsipol - na aking sinundan - ay nauwi sa kuwentuhan. Ang kuwentuhan ay nauwi sa pisilan ng mga kargada at ang pisilan ay nauwi sa aking kama. Yun ang kauna-unahang pagkakataon na pumatol ako sa isang taong nakilala lang sa daan.




Try it once and you will never fear trying it again.

The stares were all too common. I trade gazes to let them know their codes were decrypted. There were the catcalls and the stand-offs - separated by mere meters between prey and predator. I am too old to play this game and it is something I don't want to be the story ending of the week. I found the legend only to brush it aside when the plot has become predictable to many.

"D bale na lang. Dami tripper sa loc ko. Myt as well go home. Sensya na" I texted Kane.

Preferring the comforts of a familiar terrain, I went straight to the gay streets of Malate to spend the rest of the night dancing in my playground.




20 comments:

chichirya said...

may ganyan din pala sa Lacson.

Padsiefoot said...

Clap clap clap!

anteros' dominion said...

AH...ano nga ba ang sasabihin ko?

goodluck?

ay, mali.

nawindang ako bigla

my virgin ears

:D

Manech said...

"Try it once and you will never fear trying it again."

I can relate to this. So much, in fact.

I had that phase.

It is no wonder that I have long understood the kindness of strangers: conditional, fleeting, and on rare occasions, genuine.

It is easy to succumb to these encounters, to satisfy ourselves. Sometimes we're left with not much choice to begin with; we badly need some, sometimes. This is the reason why I respect people who go the other direction. Shows control, perspective.

engel said...

San yang Lacson. =))

Galen said...

Engel:

Katabi ng the Royal Pontifical University. Home of the Growling Tigers.

Manech:

It is no wonder that I have long understood the kindness of strangers: conditional, fleeting, and on rare occasions, genuine.

The very reason why its hard to engage in one-night-stands and its other variations. I cannot contain the sadness knowing everything is bound to end after the act is over.

In the end, we are left with two choices. Resist the urge or pretend it was nothing. The latter seems the easier path away from desolation.

Galen said...

Chichirya:

Yup. Second sa Circle, notorious rin ang happenings sa Espana - U-Belt Corridor.

Herbs D. said...

i love how you call IT, your playground. I call IT, the basketball court.

and unfortunately, i suck at shooting hoops.

Herbs D. said...

P.S. no pun intended.

dabo said...

galing ng pagkakasulat.. nostalgic yet haunting, like a ghost encompassing different dimensions.

john stanley said...

had i known that you were in the area, kinulit sana kita na pumunta.

i saw the ones you saw, too. it was 3 am and i was standing along lacson, waiting for a cab.

Galen said...

John:

I'm not sure if you were there. Had I known, I might have proceeded. Kaso, Fajardo's too far from my location. Hindi ko rin sure if I have the boldness to walk those streets at that time of the night.

Dave:

Thank you. People like us are haunted by our past. Lately, I've been thinking of what-ifs in my past.

Herbs:

Can't deny the place still is still my home. That's if I'm out alone.

Maxwell Flux said...

ah, yun pala yung lacson, hehehe. ;)

m2mtripper said...

Naalala ko yung mga plant boxes dati sa may Lacson... Makeshift motel.

Dati ang code ng mga "trippers" doon, naka black na shirt.

isipipis said...

jomski! nagkita kami ni jon sanchez dito sa baguio bago magpasko and we talked endlessly about you. ^_^

dami kong nalaman. hehe. anyhow, all good things naman.

i mishu bro, hope this year is better for us. and for love. mwah!

Galen said...

Carl:

At ano naman kaya kinuwento sa iyo ng aming dakilang pantas? Email mo naman sa akin. Hahaha!

M2MTripper:

Halatang naging playground mo yung lugar na yun ah!

Maxxbro:

Sigurado ko, supot ka pa nung nadiskubre ko yung area na yun. Hahaha!

m2mtripper said...

@ Galen: Haha. Hindi naman. Nakatira lang kasi ako dati malapit sa may Lacson kaya alam ko. Tsaka minsan umuuwi na ako mga alas-tres ng madaling araw kaya nakikita ko.

Hehehe.

/sabay labas ng halo

citybuoy said...

"Try it once and you will never fear trying it again."

it's often been said that there is comfort in strangers. i, too have abused this more than once. there's something exciting about being in the arms of someone you just met. there's security in wrecklesness just as there is peace in the middle of warfare.

thecurioscat said...

hehe

Jevin said...
This comment has been removed by the author.