Watch Me Entertain Myself!

Sacha Guitry once said, "You can pretend to be serious, but you can't pretend to be witty." Oh yes, I'm the great pretender.
(pilot episode: 20 January 2004)

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Not Another CB Episode!

This week was hectic. My ECD and my art director were both on leave. Plus we had two major projects that had the artists and I doing overtime work every night of the week.

So I leave you with Not Another CB Episode!

(Warning: the following episode contains a reference to the song “Stars” by Simply Red. If you are not familiar with the song, then the silliness of that reference will be lost on you.)

* * * * *

Meeting someone you know in the bathhouse is often an awkward first few seconds. Then the duration of that awkwardness will depend on how you’re related to the other person. Is he an industry acquaintance? Is he a former classmate? Did he know you before, when you were not yet out? Is he your parish priest? Is he your uncle who’s a priest? Is he the father of your friend? Is he your father?

One time I went to CB during the middle of the week. I got in, went straight to my locker, changed, and headed for the showers. I took the farthest corner stall. As I was showering, I heard someone go into the stall at the opposite corner and turn on the water. Curious to see the kind of crowd in CB that night, I craned my neck so I could look above the eye-level divider separating the stalls from one another and check out the newcomer.

It was my cousin.

Oh. My. Gawd.

Sensing that someone was looking at him, he turned and looked towards my direction.

I panicked and quickly moved forward while ducking my head to hide my face behind the divider. Wham! My forehead hit the tiles. Suddenly there were stars.

“And aaaaaaaaaaa-I wanna fall from the stars
Straight into your arms, and aaaaaaaaaaaaaaa-I,
I feeeeeeeeel you—I hope you comprehend.”

I wasn’t just simply seeing stars; it was playing in my head as I reeled and placed my hands on the wall to steady myself. Dios ko, I thought, award talaga ‘tong humampas ang ulo ko sa tiles!

“I hope you clap your hands!”

Ok Simply Red, just shut up now.

I took a looong shower. I waited until he finished showering and left. Then I waited for a couple of minutes more before I stepped out of the showers and quickly, furtively went straight to the second floor to hide in the safety of shadows.

You see, that particular cousin of mine has been a nurse in the US for more than 10 years now, ever since he graduated from med school here. I knew he was back here on vacation, but I thought he was in Bohol the whole time. Even back then I sensed he was a kindred spirit. The stereotypical giveaways were all there: working out, a penchant for tight shirts, vain with his looks, an addiction to posing for the camera, the slight arching of his eyebrows, the ever-so-slight swish underneath his gestures that only a fine-tuned gaydar can detect. But being his cousin, I never felt an imperative impulse to settle the issue: Is he or isn’t he? It simply was a non-issue.

Huwell, huwell, huwell! Now I know.

While standing in the shadows I quickly mulled things over. Did he recognize me too? If he did, will he try to avoid me? What if I bump into him? Or what if he didn’t recognize me? What if he tried to pick me up? What if he suddenly grabbed the family jewels? (Does “my” jewels become “his” jewels as well because of family ties? Wait. This is getting too weird. Stop.)

I decided that should we see each other, I’d acknowledge him. Hey, what else can I do, right? I don’t want to leave—I just got here! Heck, I paid the entrance fee too! And I don’t want to avoid him the whole night. There’s nothing more awkward than two people trying to avoid one another in the maze-like corridors of a bathhouse. We’d be moving too fast and always on the lookout. We’d be too busy avoiding each other that we won’t be able to slow down and enjoy the buffet spread for the night.

With that resolve, I steeled myself and proceeded to do my rounds. Nurse McVie, now on duty.

Turned out my cousin left CB after showering.


* * * * *

I also bumped into that night in CB. Well, actually I didn’t bump into him; he went up to me and asked, “Are you McVie?” Before that night my only contact with him is thru YM; I’ve seen him via webcam. But still I did not recognize him in person, so I am thankful he approached me and introduced himself. In fairness he looks much impressive in person, with powerful-looking shoulders. He had a benign, very friendly, almost innocent smile. Hehehe.

* * * * *

Thank goodness I didn’t have anymore “star-thudded” surprises that night. My forehead hurt for like 15 seconds only. There was no bump or bruise afterwards. The embarrassment to myself lasted a little longer than that.


Anonymous said...

a fine sense of the absurd is at work here.

what an immensely intriguing anecdote, with matching juxtaposition pa ng simply red. simply brilliant.

taga-teatro ka ba? kilala mo ba si samuel beckett??

mc vie, why arent u in elchay anymore? why have u gone cable? can't your show be syndicated by, say, elchay, friendster and myspace, as well?

Anonymous said...

bravo! barvo! clap clap clap (ayan ah pumalakpak ako after nung stars ni sRED!)

Ow cousins & d family joel. Perhaps he left quickly kc he recognized u???!!!

I thought ur (somewhere) OUT (der)?

anothere fuuuunnnnnieee episode of ur life :)

Anonymous said...

i just visited powebottom's blog. OMG!...mixd emotions :)

joelmcvie said...

JOSH: I'm officially out to everyone else except my family, immediate and extended. I don't lie to them about my orientation; they don't ask, I don't volunteer. :-)

Anonymous said...

Kissing cousins -- a family that plays togethers ...

joelmcvie said...

ANONYMOUS: Ewww... ick! Nah. said...

hehehehe natawa naman ako sa reaction ni josh sa blog ko :D

joelmcvie said...

POWERBOTTOM: (sings) "Vanilla, vanilla, I keep coming back to vanilla...."

Hehehehe! ;-)