Monday, October 14, 2013

Out Of The Hermitage (The Benchmark)

n. hermit's place, a place of relaxing retreat

Many apologies for writing in freeverse, as I am running out of stories as of late. That, or I am beset by procrastination these past two weeks, for it now becomes apparent that my muses had walked away after the open book sessions last September. Much as I would like to blog about certain subjects that remained unspoken, I have to say that I can only afford to do so if I pen the narratives in broken sentences. Thought flows erratic, and the passion for the written words seemed to have drifted away in such manner, like when my sanity relies on Twitter to keep the solitude contained.  

So what happened the last fourteen days? 

Let's start by telling a juicy story. Someone flashed his thing to me and what I did was just stare at his shlong as he stroked it to keep an erection. "Tamang trip lang," as he would say to my mild astonishment. We were locked somewhere, unperturbed by the enclosed space. Never did I think that in his drunken stupor he would cross lines and tempt me like he probably did with others. But I stood my ground - despite zoning out and imagining myself making out with him and jacking off his dick in that cramped corner. God knows I won't flinch once the beast in me is awakened (like one time when someone asked if I am endowed), but knowing he is taken and we are friends made me cut the chase and tell him,

"Tara na nga sa labas!" 

That same night, I also learned the concept of benchmark and the idea terrified me. You see, I have an acquaintance who broke up with a friend two years ago. They had a long but one-sided relationship. Theirs was full of strife and sorrow, that even my friend's family was dragged into their drama. The acquaintance was troubled from the very start - he was possessive, a jerk, and he spends his ex's money for vices. My friend had to struggle for five (or was it seven) years before life knocked some sense into him. He realized that his partner was dragging him down and there was no sense in sticking out for him. They separated, and then my friend met a hotter boyfriend a few months after his break up. Now they are living together, with my friend having a better-paying job while taking up graduate studies in Ateneo. 

Going back to the story, I met the acquaintance in a hotel somewhere in Cubao. I was brought there by the companion who showed his cock in another gathering. The host had crashed from popping drugs with another guy whom friends said was his "flavor of the month." They were both naked, and were under the sheets. The only guy sober enough to accommodate us was another friend who I've known since 2003.

The hotel room was dingy, with plastic bags and bottles of water scattered everywhere. And the people around me were dazed. What kept their spirits high were the flashing lights from their smartphone app, and the electronic dance music bouncing off their phone's tiny speakers. It was a sad sight. The closest scene I could describe if I were to attend a Party and Play (PnP) activity. I took off my shoes, laid next to my old friend and listened to the music, for House was something we had in common. We talked about my past experience popping the party pill, and how it felt clubbing under its influence. I stayed with them until my companion insisted on doing something insane - to himself - that I had to leave rather than see him in a twisted blissful state. 

"So boyfriend nga niya yung kasama natin?" I asked my companion as we descended the stairs to buy his paraphernalia at a nearby drugstore. 

"Sabi niya, pero hindi magtatagal yun." He assured.


"Alam mo na, benchmark niya yung ex niya." He was referring to my friend. 

We continued going down the eight flights of stairs, but at that moment, I thought of my own state and how my journey towards being found by the Fourth is progressing:

It hurts, not because I have to give up, or of knowing I have to start over again because it might not work. The wound burrows deep every time flashbacks return me to the days we spent together, or remembering how I kept the faith that our forked and broken paths will merge somewhere down the road. It hurts knowing I've met someone who complements me. After all, he is my alter-ego, and yet, we didn't see each other. Or we did, only to realize we long for someone else. However, something changes when affection fails. It makes you a little weary the next time a new one comes along.

"I feel sorry for the guy." I pondered. "Does he know he exists only for a moment?"

Unsure of the answer, I kept the thought to myself knowing my companion still struggles to find his ground, despite the presence of a partner. 

Apparently, his First had already set the standard.   



Javes said...

I bet your acquaintance will really have a hard time finding someone who could top off your friend's "endurance." Enduring 5 or 7 years is not an easy feat. Who will ever be willing to do that, too? Well unless your acquaintance would change for the better. Do I sound like I'm judging him. I'm sorry haha.

JM said...

@Javes: That's why he can't find a steady relationship. His ex was his benchmark.

Geosef Garcia said...

I dunno if I am that naive, pero ngayon ko lang narinig itong 'benchmark'. And I'm not sure kung alin sa mga relationships ko ang maituturing kong benchmark. Maybe my current one, since this is, so far, the longest.

JM said...


The current is your longest and probably the guy you loved deepest. So he is the Benchmark.