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My Gayfriend

(by riannor) Tonight I crashed at Miguel’s pad. With the maid out for the day, he invited me over to keep him awake while studying for his exams. That, and because he had a secret to tell, some personal, gay stuff his family wouldn’t be too keen on hearing about. He prepared menudo accompanied with cheesecake he bought from a deli in a nearby hotel. My favorite dessert, thank you, I told him.

After dinner while he was working on his papers I checked around his room, pried open every box and drawer I encountered, not letting a single thing pass. I messed his bed, commenting on how pink the coversheets were. Then I busied myself with the accessories on his desk. That’s my sister’s, he said when I raised an eyebrow on an expensive hairspray. You should try it on, I said.

He showed me to a cabinet filled with pirated DVDs. I picked a fantastic story where in two girls found out that fairies were real and believable. During the film I asked if he had ever seen strange things, like sexually. Yes, he said, listen. I stopped the film and turned to him. This boy I’m about to date, so he began, and I could sense he was getting excited, as girls do in recalling their first romance.

I woke up to the sound of his voice. He was calling me for breakfast, but it was near noon, and I said no, you, thanks, still dizzy from having woken up. Later he escorted me to the street, and when I got on a cab, I had an urge to kiss him. The heat stuck to my hair, clothes, skin from where I sat on the side of the cab in direct sunlight. And something else: a faint, almost sweet, odor beneath.

I received a text from him the other day asking if I had plans for dinner. Immediately after school I went to a department store to buy a red lipstick, headed back to my condo unit and showered, then spent the remaining hours fixing myself on the mirror. It wouldn’t be a first to have dinner with him. Usually when our evening class ends at the same time we’d eat out in some canteen. Casual.

He was amazed to find me all dressed up. I grabbed his arm and started walking before he could say anything. Upon reaching the highway he took his arm off mine. The pedestrian lights went green: I stood still. Come on, he said, then lightly touched my elbow and guided me as I crossed. Halfway through the street he moved to my other side and did the same.

Manly, I thought, how very, very manly. The headlights of the cars glared at us, at me, and for a moment I was on the verge of tripping, the paved street looming closer, if not for the hand that urged me to go on. I tried my best to walk quickly and still appear ladylike. But I was wearing high heels, which I never really got accustomed to, so that by the time we arrived at the restaurant my feet were aching.

Did Michael say anything, he said. What, I asked in confusion. After I left, he whispered harshly, did he mention anything. Oh, I said, picking up the menu. I signaled the waiter to our table, ordered some pasta and a cake for later, and took slow, careful sips from my glass. When I couldn’t stand his gaze any longer, I sighed, sank deeply into the sofa. About you, no, I said.

Two nights ago I went to a friend’s condo, rode the elevator up to the highest floor, and ascended the rusty metal stairs that circled up and towards the rooftop. A group of people was seated at the center, some of whom I recognized; some I didn’t. There were plastic cups scattered about, whisked by the wind, and from where I sat the smell of rum was sharp. Hoy, Miguel called.

I smiled, only seeing him then. I was about to stand up and transfer to his side when a friend began to introduce me to the others. Michael, Princess, I mumbled after having been acquainted. The two were sitting closely side by side; too close, in fact, that if I hadn’t noticed Michael looking Miguel’s way every so often I would have assumed they were together.

Kiss or Strip, someone was saying. It’s a game where the bottle is spun twice and the two persons it points to have to either kiss or strip. The kiss had to be more intense every time the two are paired off again. If not, strip some more. I nodded my consent, having just arrived and with no excuse to leave, and wondered if the bottle would spin as easily as it had sounded.

Michael was my first. The next ones didn’t matter. At the onset of the game Miguel announced that he had to go, he was needed at home, only staying long enough to strip his watch and shoes. As soon as he left the teasing started—why, Michael, it’s obvious, why not. When the bottle pointed to Michael another time, I decided not to strip, and imagined what it was like to be someone else.

Full, fool—which is which? I practiced the former word over and over in my head while I walked up stage, but when I got in front of the audience and started reading the poem, what was heard was the latter. Miguel, who remained at the back during the performance, bashed me afterwards. Like, he should have read the poem himself—it was his anyways—if only he wasn’t too shy.

I looked for a spot where I could sit down. After having traveled almost two hours to get to this poetry night held in another school, I was exhausted. It was Miguel who had insisted last month that we attend—I had just met him at that time—and I, with nothing else to do and a new recruit in the literary organization Miguel was part of, accepted. I had no idea then that he was a closet gay.

The boys, he said. I giggled with him, pointing to the ones I knew he gets crushes on, already adept at spotting his type during the few weeks of pseudo-dating him. There, see, that guy who keeps looking over, he was saying, my god ang sexy ng calves. I think he likes you, I said. And his eyes lit up, like a cat’s, and it wasn’t long before I excused myself.

He asked for my number, Miguel shouts. Who, I shouted back. I was in the middle of the highway, lying down with my back on the road, the traffic lights signaling stop, it’s a red light. Miguel kept to the sidewalk, shouting Michael, his name is Michael, and I looked up at the moon before me—hazy, closed, too gendered for my taste—my body shuddering with the roar of the engines of distant cars.
Unlucky Mole
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Upload Date: 31/12/1969

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