Monday, January 14, 2008

He have a lover, I has e-mail

Was cleaning my inbox yesterday when I found this e-mail:

This is XXX [name withheld]. I have some comments about your blog. It is a breath of fresh air, really, literate, funny, sincere, and inspired in parts. Your entry today is lyrical in its naked longing. Your 'Boracay anecdote' is just hilarious. Maybe you shouldn't be too serious. Of course I say that at the risk of being presumptuous. I hope you publish your travel experiences because I will rush and buy a copy faster than you could say 'albeit,' ' enthuse,' or 'profuse,' 'obtuse,' or even 'peruse...'

It was dated February 14, 2007. What occasioned the sweet letter was my Valentine's Day blog entry, parts of which I'm reposting below because, wala lang, I feel lazy writing something new, and because the last time I checked, the post has chalked up 66 impassioned comments--making it one of this blog's memorable entries for 2007. Henjoy!

AND NOW FOR SOMETHING REALLY PERSONAL
Six years, and counting. That's how long I've been single. You can forgive me, therefore, if I look at the annual Valentine hoopla with skepticism and detachment. I take all the ritual mush with huge bags of salt--yes, since one puny grain wouldn't do it anymore in this day and age of 24/7 spin, when everything from toothpaste to bras suddenly find a throbbing connection to Feb. 14.

Why have I been on my own for this long? Beats me. My friends have some theories. They think I'm too choosy for my own good. They think most guys get either intimidated or bored quickly with what I do, what I like, how I live my life. They think I'm too square--doesn't drink or smoke, hardly bar-hops, prefers movies or long dinners with friends to partying, digs the standards instead of Mariah and R&B, wears his shirt with downturned collar, is not into color-coordinating his outfits or dyeing his hair the latest shade of burnt sienna, thinks Starbucks is overpriced, can't dance if his life depended on it. I'm, in a word, old-fashioned. Sige na nga.

I also happen to be reasonably well-read, sensible, generally cheerful and easy-going, fair and fiercely loyal to my friends. And my scruples are, I think, still intact. I steer clear of going beyond casual friendships with theater people (even if Lord knows there are many good-looking chaps in their midst) because I cover the industry, and getting entangled with anyone from there risks conflict-of-interest complications. No, if The One is to come, he has to emerge from somewhere unrelated--an astrophysicist, perhaps, but with a liking for Rodgers and Hart? Hahaha. Someone I'd bump into not in Bed but at Fully Booked? Someone who'd understand that I, having had my time in the scene, can afford to be "old-fashioned" at 36?

There, that's what my friends mean when they say I'm too choosy. Can't help it, though. I've never felt the need to hop on the bandwagon out of envy--just because friends, gay and straight, have begun settling down one by one. After my last breakup (a bad one) years ago, I told myself I could be happy and contented with just my friends around me. For the most part that's been true, but then you realize as they start getting hitched themselves that you, the single, fancy-free buddy, can become less of a priority--and naturally so. You learn to accept it, and wish everyone well. When it does get damn lonely on some days, you find yourself chuckling at the juvenile bravado behind your promise to forget love and stick it out with your amigos.

So much for the posturing. Nowadays whenever I go to a play or watch a movie or head off to the mall, I do wish I could have someone along with me--aside from friends of course, steadfast as they are. Paul Monette in "Borrowed Time" wrote that he met his beloved at a party. They found out they both loved the Greek classics, and by the end of the night Mr. Monette was hooked--forever, it turned out, because he was by his lover right up to the AIDS-afflicted end.

Hello, forget Medea, Broadway musicals will do for me! (Grin).

And Denzel Washington and his wife--they were seated beside each other at a play, and that's how they met. So whenever I watch a show these days I remember to look left and right at my seatmates--you never know, you might end up literally rubbing elbows with, ahem, The Effing One. But no luck so far. (What you do get are the occasional misfits, like these prattling girls who watched "ZsaZsa Zaturnnah." "Ay, andaming bading na manonood, ang gugwapo pa naman, sayang," they said. To which a friend of mine seated in front couldn't resist purring back: "Mga miss, 'ZsaZsa Zaturnnah' po ito. Dun na lang kayo sa 'Peter Pan.')

But, yes, I admit to this: my inner geek/grammarian can be a spoilsport. I don't think I can suffer for long someone who doesn't read. Does that make me a snob? I hope not. I don't mean, after all, that one has to bone up on Proust or Nabokov (I've never read Proust myself!), just that he likes soaking up new ideas and enjoys the magic of words. But, oh, what to do with bad grammar? I say everyone else gets a pass, but the person I'm supposed to go all gooey for--he at least should know his tenses and subject-verb agreement, or I'd never hear the end of it from friends raring for payback time for all the petty lait I'd made of their dates.

Kuwento: Once, in Puerto Galera, a cute guy--cool and cono-looking--caught our collective eye. He also seemed to like the attention, because he kept looking our way. Thereafter, it was a race among us seven friends to see who could approach him first. That night, I sat at a bar and there he was opposite me, chugging beer and swaying to "Happy." But he was with someone else who seemed extra-solicitous--his lover, I presumed. He saw me in a bit, recognized me, and raised his bottle in a toast. Ha, was I giddy. After a while, he motioned for me to join him as he slid out of the bar and walked towards his room. Introductions, hi, hello, where are you from. Then, just to be sure I wasn't entering dangerous territory, I asked the question: "Are you with your lover?"

"No, third party lang ako," he said. "He have a lover."

Toink! See libido going down, down, down!

My friends were hysterical when I told them about it afterwards. Now you know why I'm still single.



PLUS: Re the "'albeit,' 'enthuse,' or 'profuse...'" part of the e-mail, it has to do with this.

15 comments:

lateralus said...

Poetic license lang yun. haha

amateur misanthrope said...

This post depresses me.

Aileen Apolo said...

Gibbs! Have faith! He shall come! It took me a looooong time to find the "efffing one", but he did come wehhehehe. For those who are intimidated, well it just means that you shouldn't waste your time with them. Sama ako pagnanood ka ng shows!

alkor said...

Natawa ako dun sa "he have a lover" hehehehhehehe.

Karla said...

This is my favorite piece ever! You know, you really should think about compiling your stuff into a book. I promise it will be a best-seller. Lahat kaming friends mo bibili ng tig-lima each! LOL.

Seriously, you should because I really believe in you.

Speaking of the one, sana may ma-meet din akong mala-Denzel Washington habang nanonood. I told myself this year I'd make sure to catch a play each month, and I'm convincing people at work (mga walang life! LOL) to go catch a play. Spammer ako ng mga schedules ng plays. O di ba.

BTW, have you received a package lately? Hmmm.

Miss you!

Anonymous said...

Whew, good thing i didn't have a grammar mishap when we met up for an EB.... was it 3 years ago? Or was it my aggressiveness? Peace Gibbs.

paolomendoza said...

hirap kasi sa mga conio.. hindi na nagaaral!

Hilda said...

Eep! Love cute guys too, but they have to be smart and provide wonderful conversation. Definitely can't be just eye candy.

Hope you find your love, Gibbs, but only if really you want one. ;-)

Mojo Potato said...

Amen! Who wants a tongue-tied partner? Hehe

Anonymous said...

Believe it or not, I'm also single at 35. And it's also been 6 years since I had a bad break up. Í totally understand what you feel. It is liberating to be single, but sometimes when all my friends go their separate ways, I feel that I'm stuck there on that very spot, not knowing which way to go. Left, right? geez. but, look on the bright side, dude, all the money goes to yourself... ha ha ha... seriously, there's always a reason behind everything. maybe it's just not our time. You know what they say, "the thing you want comes when you are least expecting it."

Karla said...

I haven't said this yet, but thanks for the Soundscapes CD you gave. I so loved it! It's a regular in the office now, and I play it whenever I write copy.

So, thanks for the "education." I've heard many of these tunes before but didn't know what films they were from, so the CD was really helpful.

Many, many thanks!

bingskee said...

totally hilarious, as if i am watching a comedy show. and i actually saw the libido went down ha ha oh, i imagined, is what i meant ha ha

gibbs cadiz said...

BENJ, hehe, sana nga ganun. :)

AMATEUR MISANTHROPE, aww. :)

AILEEN, haha, good for you! sige, sama ka next time. :)

ALKOR, hey, thanks for the comment. :)

KARLA, glad you like the cd! and thanks for the book, too. hmmm, sino kaya maglalakas-loob na mag-publish in book form ng blog entries ko? hehe. :)

ANONYMOUS, we had an EB? identify yourself! :)

PAOLO, naman! :)

HILDA, good choice in exie! :)

MOJO, you too huh? :)

ANONYMOUS, agree, singlehood can be a blessing too. :)

BINGSKEE, hehe, i myself was laughing for days every time i recalled the incident. :)

stevie said...

I feel your pain.

Anonymous said...

This totall cracked me up, Gibbs. Haaay to be sooo eligible and not looking....

-AMIEL

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