Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Had Me A Trick

had me a trick

At a birthday party, while my friends were gathered into a small crowd on the porch getting sloshed, I was sitting in the living room, watching Fairly Odd Parents with Kian, the celebrant’s seven-year old nephew from California. The only sound that filled the room was that of the television—it wasn’t loud enough to have my attention fixed on what I was trying to watch—and the kid’s chuckles which strangely reminded me of Donald Duck. It felt foolish having to bend over close to the TV set to hear the sound. I wondered if the kid was good at lip reading. I’d tried to deliberately disturb him by asking questions and he’d reply without taking his eyes of the boob tube.

Some multitasking skill this child has.

When the cartoon concluded, I finally saw Kian shift his gaze to me, if for a fraction of a second.

”You like Odd Parents, too?” Kian asked with a lisp on ‘parent’, and turned his attention back to the TV.

Adorable, I thought genuinely.

Despite my friends’ pushing, I was adamant not to drink a single bottle of beer. I wanted to drink, but at the risk of having a heavy head in the morning, when I had committed to run a laundry list of errands in preparation for the coming fiesta, I appeased the urge with Coke.

“Well, I, um… no. But I like—”

“ Kian!” a voice cut me.

I turned to where the voice came, and saw Trick standing at the door. He cast a glance at me and nodded. I raised my brows in response and smiled.

“Patrick!” Kian said, excitement in his voice.

“Hey, give me five,” Trick said as he squatted in front of the kid and raised his hand for a high five. Kian gleefully hit Trick’s open hand, giving a swatting sound.

I watched as Trick chatted with Kian animatedly, talking about Spider-man—which I heard the kid say was his favourite superhero. I felt a tinge of admiration watching them, having weakness for guys who had fondness for kids—something I wasn’t born with.

I had met Trick countless times already; Al, the birthday guy, introduced us back in college. We’d sometimes bump into each other in malls, church, and school grounds but we’ve never actually exchanged anything more than ‘hi, hello.’

Trick was of average height. He liked wearing semi-fitted shirt that revealed his lean, albeit not gym-toned, body. Since college, he’s always had a buzz cut, which shows a defined round face adorned with prominent brown eyes and an aquiline nose.

It must have seemed that I was in a trance looking at Trick, and smiling, when I felt a warm breath on my ear.

“You’re salivating like a dog,” Al whispered silently.

“Ugh,” I rolled my eyes. “Shut up,” I ordered. Al was, of course, aware of my crush on Trick but had promised silence.

Al told Kian it was past his bedtime and after a few protests—and Al’s pretending to ignore Kian’s plea, and even threatening not to take him to see the famous Tarsier—the poor kid resigned to be taken to his mom.

Trick sat on Kian’s chair after the latter had left with his uncle, saying “Goodnight!” as they climbed up the stairs. Trick, resting back on the chair, turned to me and smiled. He rolled his eyes as if searching for something to say. I cast sideways glances while pretended to be watching some lame TV commercial that seemed to last longer than advertisements should.

“Why are you here? You’re supposed to be outside, drinking, ” he started with a smile.

I quit the pretending-to-watch-TV charade and shifted my position to a comfortable one where I could stare at him straight.

“It’s quite cold outside, and I'm not supposed to be drinking tonight. Have some things to do tomorrow. The beauty of staying at your parents’ house,” I hinted at the joke, knowing he, too, was still living off with his parents.

“Just a few bottles wouldn’t hurt. I remember you were good at keeping your alcohol,” he winked. We had once been in the same drinking spree back in college, back when I could drink all night and still be sober.

I felt like an arrow shot through my chest. Not wanting to put my foot in my mouth, like I did when I got that tinge in my chest cavity, I tried to shove the feeling away.

“And besides, Al’s told me about your reputation.” There was a hint of jest in his tone.

My curiosity was piqued. Was he trying to play me or did Al actually tell him something? Al had a tendency to be such a big mouth, so I wasn’t sure. “Reputation, huh? What exactly did Mr. Blabbermouth tell you?”

I hadn’t realize we’ve said more than ‘hi, hello’ until we were talking about Switchfoot. Turned out we liked almost the same type of music. The tiny tinge in my chest had faded without my noticing as we talked about music, beer, zombie movies, gadgets, and coffee. It was in the middle of our talking about the movie ‘Red Dragon’ when I finally decided to switch the TV off, not that it was any disturbance whatsoever with its almost inaudible sound, when he dragged the chair, pulling it with all his strength—complaining “Damn, this is heavy”—and sitting just a few inches before me.

He persuaded me to have “at least one bottle” of beer when he stood up to get one for himself. I acquiesced when he swore “only one bottle, nothing more” with a beseeching look on his face. But of course, when someone makes you a promise, there’s a chance his fingers are crossed behind his back.

I remembered the things that I needed to do the next morning when I realized that I’d already drank five or so bottles of beer and we were on the porch with the rest of our friends, although we both cut ourselves from the group to a bamboo bench on a corner. We sat close together that I could feel his warm body, and continued our conversation.We were talking face to face, as if the music from the radio that played a disco track and the voices of our friends were drowning our own voices out. His face was merely a few inches from mine; his breath smelled faintly of cigarette and beer.

One could possibly mistake it for a pot session when everyone else in the group was dancing. And I burst laughing almost out of breath when Trick stood up and started dancing like a macho dancer when a Bob Marley song started playing. I cheered him on, refusing to submit when he motioned me to dance. I could have gotten myself off on the spot when Trick took off his peach coloured shirt and threw it at me. It smelled good; I couldn’t place what scent it was but it smelled like a baby’s cologne. I was in heat, literally. I twirled the shirt above my head, cheering him on.

Trick stopped dancing immediately after ‘Amber’ ended. He couldn’t stop laughing. I threw his shirt back at him, and he wiped his face.

I lauded Trick, screaming some almost incoherent cheer as if i were watching at a real club. He chuckled.

He looked sweltering with sweat trickling down one side of his face, I thought I was going to faint. I could hear my own heart beat. His chuckle slowly lightened when he looked at me. I crossed my brows, ill at ease. He took a bottle from the floor and drank it down.

He put his shirt back on, and I thought that I have been too obvious with my thoughts. But as his head popped out of the shirt, he chuckled once again. I sighed relief.

“You’re spending the night here?” He asked, standing up and getting two bottles from the cooler.

“No, I’m no longer drinking that. ” I said.

He gave a look of surprise mixed with discontent as he handed me the bottle. He winked, and I knew I had to take the bottle from his hand. And so I did, as he sat back next to me.

The guests started to bid good-bye and hugged Al for yet another set of birthday greetings. It was two in the morning. Oh, shit! I talked to one of my friends who had offered to give me a ride home. But he had forgotten about me reasoning that he thought I’d already gone home because he didn’t’ notice I was with Trick on a “dark corner”, as he put it, and had already given my seat to someone else. “You naughty,” he added with a nudge on my chest.

“I’ll drive you home,” Trick spoke from behind me. I had to turn around and ask to be sure he was talking to me. “Come on, it’s on the way,” he winked.

On the way, Trick was silent except when he talked about music, out-of-nowhere, and laughed. He offered we stop by at a 24-hour mart for coffee, and I agreed. We decided to buy some pills, too, to lessen the hangover that was sure to hit us when we woke up. We drove to a nearby bank and drank coffee on its steps. After we took the pills and drank from the same bottle of water, we got in his ash colored KIA Picanto. We drove in silence, which I was then sure was brought by exhaustion when he yawned. When we reached my place, I thanked him a couple of times.

“Do you have keys?”

“Nah, I’ll just ring our help.”

He rolled his window down and looked at our house, then at the clock on the dashboard. It was almost four in the morning.

“Let’s go to my place.” he said, looking at the rear-view mirror.

I didn’t respond. Truth was, I’d been praying like hell inside for something like it to happen but dismissed it on the accounts of delusion.

Silence hung thick between us, until I finally smiled at him. “You don’t snore, do you?” I didn’t know what I was thinking but it was the first thing that came to mind. I felt ridiculous, starting to put a foot in my mouth.

We got into his room quietly, not wanting to wake anyone up. He flicked the switch and a fluorescent bulb illuminated the room. I was trying to grasp details in his room, but what kept echoing in my mind was that I was about to sleep in Trick’s bed. After he had taken off his shoes, he took off his shirt.

He opened a built-in cabinet, pulled out a shirt, and handed it to me. It smelled softly of mothballs. He took a pair of surfing shorts and tossed it over. I said that I was okay with wearing jeans to sleep, and he was surprised, saying he couldn’t sleep with his jeans on. Not much to my surprise, he took his jeans off. Now, it was a sight, it was! He wore low-rise black underwear that I could see his trail of happiness. I handed him the shorts he had offered, and he slipped into them.

He was bare-chested, and I took that he slept without a shirt on when he closed the cabinet. He watched while I took my shirt off and changed into his. When we were ready to go to bed, he flicked off the light and let me go under the thick comforter that was spread on his bed before he laid beside me.

I closed my eyes, but opened them again when I felt his breath on my face. I kept silent, immobilized. Then my muscles tightened, as I’d anticipated, when he lifted his weight to move closer. His nose brushed mine, and it was then that I could practically hear angels from behind me sing in chorus.

I kept my eyes open, to meet his, as he puckered his lips and pressed them into mine.

I woke up to the ringing of my phone. Eyes closed, I reached on the side, and opened my eyes when I couldn’t feel a table. I turned to my left, and there he was, face flat on the pillow, facing my direction. I remembered everything – every detail of what happened; it all seemed surreal. The ringing jerked me from running my eyes from his face down to his back.

I reached for my pocket, but realized I was in my underwear when I felt skin instead of leather. I found my jeans on the floor and fished the phone out of the pocket. I answered to the high pitched voice of my mom, asking me where I was.

I gently shook Trick’s shoulder as soon as the call ended, and gladly he woke up without any more shaking. He sat up and held a hand on his head. “What time is it?”

“I have to get home.” I replied, staring at his chest, remembering how just a couple of hours ago I ran my fingers on it. He looked a bit grouchy. When I was ready, he wore his shorts and led me to the gate. He offered to drive me home, but I refused.

“No headaches?” He opened the gate.

“Nope.” I said.

He yawned, and then smiled. “Told you the pills would work.”

There were things that I wanted to ask, but at the realization that it couldn’t be more than what it was, and at the risk of having my mom chopping my head off, I said goodbye. He said goodbye, and I turned to walk away.

That was two weeks ago.

Four days ago, I was enjoying my lunch at KFC, trying to sink my teeth into a huge chicken burger when I saw him buying a fruit shake at a nearby stand. He looked at my direction and his face lighted up when he saw me.

I could feel my heart race. Took a long sip of drink, as he approached.

“Hi.” He smiled.

“Trick.” I said, not trying to hide the glee in my tone

He wore an apple green shirt, and a pair of cargo shorts. He pulled a seat and we talked. There wasn’t any talk, though, about that night- much to my relief. I wasn’t exactly sure it was the right time to talk about it -if we were ever to talk about it. I invited him to join me, but he declined on the reason that he was going to meet his sister. We chatted for a while before he got a message, and had to leave.

“I’ll see you around.” He winked as he stood up. I wanted to ask for his number, just slightly disappointed that he didn’t ask for mine. But I reckoned we were living in a small city, we’ll certainly be seeing each other.

Monday, May 11, 2009




take this
i swear i can do without
it is like heavy rain on a good day
washing, washing me away
and i swore i would not bite
but starvation has got its knife

as he brought his boxers down
i breathed, sighed relief
his reality strikes big as it hangs
well beyond my expectations
he affirms his thorn is sweet
as a swain's dialect

it must be perfect
i breathe as they breathe down my neck
with croissants and pistols
i knew i had to stand in the middle
as others before have and failed
learned with stain on their hands

while my heart puckers
it too shall gain
i swore i would do without
and i did for a moment as they spectate
throwing roses with thorns
sweet as his popsicles

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Boy, Disappearing


I’m looking at you, ambivalent. Thinking whether or not to believe you, or at least the philosophies you want me to think you have. Nah, I doubt you really have them in you. It’s easy these days to say things, especially to a boy who fell off his bike and everyone looked at him—no, they didn’t laugh, but their eyes where mocking with amusement, sheer amusement at his falling down, and probably at the fact that he was such a klutz. You said things were meant to happen, like how you were meant to find a missing book that you thought you’d lost when you needed to lend it to him. Oh yes, him. You’d do just about everything to please him, wouldn’t you? Yes, you would. Your mouth says you wouldn’t, but your hands are willing slaves to his every call. You’re trying to insult me in the face, but I can let that pass. I’m a forgiving person. I forgive the insensitive way you hold that cup.

My eyes bounced off a wall. Now, that wall used to be white, but now it’s dirty. But it can’t be dirtier than my thoughts. I have a dirty mind. I think filthy things. If my thoughts reflected themselves into the sky now, it’d be dark. Ebony dark, like it’s going to rain. It would make you think the end of the world is coming. Now, you, you look a bit like someone from my past. And I could go all night about what I can do to you. Yes, smile. You’re paid to smile at me. And after that, why don’t you follow me to the loo. It’s such a slack today, it is. You won’t need to attend to virgins and whores. Yes, look me straight in the eye, and tell me what beautiful teeth I have.

I remember the times we used to drink the hours away. Light beer, sometimes gin. We ran around carrying knives, chased each other like we were on a prairie chasing butterflies. You said you’d slit my throat if you caught me. You even showed to how you’d gladly do it. Sliced the air fiercely. I shouted that you looked loony with the look in your face. You shouted back incoherently, and you laughed. Why on heaven and hell did you laugh? But I laughed anyway. And we continued chasing each other.

Now don’t look at me with disappointment. I washed the dishes, didn’t I? What more did you want me to do? Shave your legs? Nah, you were given hands to do that yourself. After I’m done cleaning my hands, I shall enjoy myself in bed. I’ll dream me a safer place. A place much different from this one, where I don’t have to wash the dishes while you drink beer.