Friday, March 04, 2005

Heartbroken (Based on "The Potpourri of Queer Emotions")

The five of us arrived at the Newman agogo boy bar to a full house seating. The sofa seats lining the walls were already fully occupied. There were curious straight couples here for the promise of the most outrageous unnatural sex acts in the world, groups of queer folks here to witness sexual poses wilder than their 50 people gang bang sessions in Towel Club, and a few uncles here to catch one of the boys to brush their egos and prove yet again that this Earth is worth their existence for at least another night.

As the mamasan scurried around to find us seats, I felt you touched my hands softly. Didn’t matter you were clad in just your white undies with a semi erection underneath, you had the most sincere and decent smile in the length and breath of Suriwong street. The patrons behind were pushing us in, you reluctantly let go of my hands, but our eye contact locked on to each other stubbornly.

We were forced to take the bar seating right on the edge of the raised stage, where the performance will take place. I looked up and found a huge bulge staring at me. It was 15 minutes before the show begins, but there were already boys on the stage, each clad similarly in white undies and a round number plate for easy identification. As they made their turns on the stage, some began to dance to the deafening music, while others stood still and look around to check for approval eyes from amongst the patrons.

“I like you.” The voice came through loud and clear, echoed through my auditory canal into my inner ear before registering in my brain. Perhaps you had placed your mouth too close. Lily and Piu Piu were obviously amused by the attention that I was getting from you, and had dutifully shifted their focus from the Agogo Boy No 33 dancing on the stage (the one with a big bulge) to Agogo Boy No 28, who had now positioned himself right behind me.

“You are beautiful and pretty.” You repeated after another Agogo Boy who was standing next to you. So he is your English teacher.

“Thank you.” I said bashfully, careful to balance between being too overly overjoyed (of the undivided attention that I was getting from you) and being overly cautious (of money boys who go all way out to land their kill of the night.)

You seemed delighted with my positive response and immediately opened your arms, and locked them onto my body in a tight one-way embrace. Lily and Piu Piu watched with heightened enthusiasm as they waited in anticipation of your next move.

I stayed very still, reluctant to provide further feedback to you on my feelings. I was worried that any further actions from me would mean that I was accepting your company, which most probably would result in additional charges on top of the 200 baht that we paid for the drinks. I would pay if I can afford to, but the millions of items for sale at Chatuchak had caused a temporary loss of self-restraint earlier in the morning, leaving me with just enough cash to settle the 500 baht airport tax for the return flight tomorrow.

And so to the disappointment of Lily and Piu Piu, I continued to stay very still. My eyes longed to see you straight in the face, but I continued to stay fixated on the performance in front of me. My ears longed to hear your elementary English, but they choose to be drown in the deafening music. My mouth longed to taste your lips, but the artificial sweetness of Coke did the trick.

I thought you would leave me, but you held on nevertheless, oblivious to the countless stares of admiration from the other patrons. Throughout a good 90 minutes, your eyes continued to wander on my face, your ears listening out for every opportunity to hear my voice, your lips hovered on the back of my neck patiently awaiting mine, and your arms continued the tightening embrace on my body.

The mamasan finally came over and gently reminded me if I would like to offer him a drink.

“I did not invite him here.” I said softly to the mamasan, who promptly gave you a stare and walked away. That was perhaps the most heartless thing I have ever said to anyone in this world. Please believe me that it hurt myself as much as it would hurt you (if you understood English).

And I imagined how different things would be if I were to meet you in another setting, in another time.

You finally let go of your grasp on me to go to the washroom, but you never return. Perhaps the mamasan had given you a stern warning about wasting too much time on someone who seemed ignorant to the attention that you were showering him with.

My back began to feel the shivers. Your body most probably had shielded me previously from the direct blow of cool air from the air-conditioner behind me. Right now the void felt extra painful amidst the drowning music and cheering crowd. The copulating couple on the stage had changed into yet another difficult position of acrobatic proportions, but I don’t remember anything more.

As we were collecting money amongst ourselves to settle the bill, I saw you again, across the other side of the stage. Your other agogo friends were scrambling all over to catch hold of the last few single uncles who had stayed on after the show for some last minute ‘shopping’ spree. But you just sat there on the edge of the stage, your longing eyes fixated on me. The smile on your face had faded away, your arms were hugging your naked upper body.

“I don’t have money for you, boy. Are you for real?” I opened my mouth but acknowledged the language barrier between us. Tried looking for your English teacher but the rest had already finished up their drinks and were walking towards to the door. I left my seat reluctantly and joined them. My legs felt heavy, had to hold on to Lily for support.

And then you walked over to me, and quietly slipped a stalk of rose into my hand.

And I stopped breathing.

I would have enough air in my lungs to say “Thank you”, but I know any response from me would invite unwanted attention from the mamasan, who would most probably give you an even sterner lecture this time.

And so, with one deep breath, I pushed the door and left. I turned back to catch one last glimpse of you, but you had already disappeared behind the shutting door, you into your own world, and me into mine.

As tight as your grasp on me just one hour ago, I now held on tight to the stalk of rose from you. The petals were already shrivelling, but in my teary eyes, it was the most beautiful rose I have ever seen.

Hearts are often broken
When there are words unspoken
In your soul there's
Answers to your prayers
If you're searching for
A place you know
A familiar face
Somewhere to go
You should look inside yourself
You're halfway there

Exhale – Whitney Houston


No comments: