Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Grand Eyeball (Last Part)



Previously on Souljacker


I was looking to my left, and then to my right but they were nowhere to be found. Instead, the red rounded tables were occupied by ladies in groups of three or more. There were some guys, standing, but they didn't fit the picture I had in mind. First, their numbers were far fewer than what Spiker had told me, and they seem to be strangers to one another. Their gestures also hint that they go to Malate like every other week.

"Where you at?" I asked Spiker. The place was getting stuffy so I had to make a call inside the common toilet.

"We're upstairs. Saan ka na?"

"I'm coming."

I went up the steep spiral stairs and found them in a corner, close to the makeshift stage. It was indeed a large group of about seven men and three ladies. The girls were all lesbians. One of them was Travis McGee. With her long wavy hair, slender body and big boobs, she's a far cry from the butches we see everyday. Anyone could mistake her for a punk chick when she gets spotted inside a Cayote Bar.

As for the boys, I'm afraid I raised the bar too high. I was expecting to meet shy, straight-acting men. After all, they were bisexuals - at least that's what Spiker and the guys from my thread said. I sense a hint of softness but I'm still cool with them. It's like never leaving the meeting with my party-mates. I introduced myself using the name Joms and for a few precious minutes, I mingled with the Pexers.

Between dancing - to the tune of Joyrise and drinking a couple of bottles of San Mig Light, I made it a point to remember those who attended the eyeball. 

Spiker for one, was a lean guy with black-rimmed glasses. Though he claimed to be in the closet, he had the makings of a queer. My assumptions proved correct. A few years later, I saw him in Malate dressed as a pink nun. He was giving away free condoms during the Black Party.

Castlegrands on the other hand, was a short guy. His tendency to be touchy-feely got him into trouble with the other guys. At least that's what I've been told. Meanwhile, I totally snubbed another guest. A portly kid whose PEx handle goes by the name Ice Dragon. Maybe our chemistry didn't match, or siguro dahil I stole the attention of his eye-candy that night - Archerblaze. He was the chinito dude who sat in a corner, and whose gaze was fixed outside the window. He was fair-skinned, sporting a buzz-cut and when you look at him in the dark, he has this manly appeal that commands admiration. When I got to talk to him, it turned out he was nursing a heartache. A boy-crush of his fell in love with someone else.

In those days, it was easy to strike a conversation - without fear that such talk would lead elsewhere. I guess part of the self-discovery was to ask questions such as "How did you find out you like boys?" or "How do you cope with your double-life?" etc. Those stuff you begin to brush off as you get comfortable sporting a pink halo. Kids these days have no qualms uploading their faces on social media, while proudly proclaiming their fondness for boys. But for us a generation ago, revealing one's preference - even when everyone knows you're a screaming F and still deny it - is a very serious offense.

I cannot remember what I said to Archerblaze - except that I stuck with him the whole time. Maybe he was the first to know that I had a girlfriend, and that I was trying to fit in, but had no plans of pushing the limits of my curiosity. He did reciprocate my openness by sharing things about himself - others in the group would die to find out. So deep was my attachment that I still thought of him even when I should be paying attention to matters concerning my political party.

And we did meet - without anyone knowing - the next day.

The grand eye-ball was the first of the many meet-ups Pinoyexchange would see eventually. It would set the precedent for many other gatherings as the LBGT community spreads out and rifts between members tore the threads apart. 

The gatherings would only be short-lived as most of the bisexuals would eventually out themselves. They would join Pexman and Jack_mcph in discussing relevant gay issues in the first SNAGG thread. The lesbians disappeared, for some reasons and I joined another group, one that is more attuned to my nature - the Alien Nation. Less than a year after the first meet-up, the original attendees would move on - most - I would never see, or talk again. 

As I look back and remember how it all began, the first grand eye ball shaped the way I behave in groups. While I did choose to get along with the masculines, my first confidants were actually the soft-spoken and effeminate ones. I didn't know if I raised eyebrows when I put a wall around me and Archerblaze, but I did learn to hold back my attachment - after realizing that karir and friendship hardly mix. I stopped seeing group meet-ups as venues to find potential dates. (but I did break this rule once in a while, with varying results) And even though none of those who showed up became life-long hang out buddies, the grand eyeball laid the foundation to the friendships I would keep for life.


February, 2002




February, 2012 
   
  




7 comments:

the green breaker said...

I'm curious about Archerb;aze. Ayie. Hahaha.

Of course, grand meetups will always be the best avenue to spot the people you pick. Unless if you have other divine reasons, like yours kuya Joms. Nyah.

Mugen said...

Joe:

To answer your previous question, there's a line there that says "It was a near miss." Lol.

As for Archerblaze, wala yun. :) Eventually got over him.

Mugen said...

Alvin:

Thanks bro!

Ipe/Wacka:

Classic times no? Naiintindihan ko na bakit nostalgic nung mga panahong yun yung mga mas nauna sa atin. :)

Tim Smithson said...

Wow. Haven't tried grand meet ups ba. Maybe soon!

Angelo said...

Can't believe you still remember that GEB so looong ago. :) Hope all is great with you. :)

Mugen said...

Angelo/Jackmcph:

It was the turning point kasi. At that time, it doesn't seem so, pero looking at a hindsight, it basically shaped the person I've become. :)

Yup. Thanks. Do you get to see Kuya Carlo pa?

Tim:

I seldom go to group meet ups na. But yes, meron pa mga ganun. :)

Icy Flame said...

Reminds me, it's been 3 years since I "came out" in PEx. I remember na dati nababasa ko lang ang mga posts mo dun.

Bakit ganun, habang binabasa ko 'to parang feeling ko someone has written some snippets my biography? (Well, save for the escapade part hahaha.)

- Icy Flame/Edmond