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)

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Un. Re. QUIT. Ed.

Last night I watched the movie Sikil for a second time. It’s the first movie in a looong time that I’ve gone out of my way to watch in the theaters more than once. When I was in high school and college, I’d make it a point to watch movies several times; first to enjoy it and the subsequent viewings to re-enjoy it again while breaking down the technical aspects of the film during the parts that I really, really liked. Why did the director shoot it at that angle? How quick was the cut-to-cut editing in that scene? How did Meryl Streep do that? After going through the technicals I go back and enjoy the scenes as a whole again and again, reliving the feeling. That’s why I end up watching at least 3 times; my most watched movie of all-time is still E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial, with a total of 7 viewings in the theaters (video cassettes and DVDs are exempted). Damn that Ken Escudero. He’s the reason why I’ve seen the movie Sikil twice.

Okaaay, I exaggerate. So maybe it’s not really his wounded puppy eyes that keep drawing me back. It’s really the oh-so-familiar story of a gay man falling in love with his straight friend. It has happened to most of us at one time or another—having a crush on a straight friend. But while most gay men would move one with nary a scratch on them, I perfected the art of unrequited love. With my first childhood crush I fought with my brother for his attention; in the end he preferred to hang out more with my older brother than me. In high school, college and several years beyond, I “pursued” four straight guys for at least a year or more (not all at the same time silly, one after the other). And there were a few more who attracted my eye and kept me busy trying to get them to notice me. But with all of them I ended up with nothing. Well, all except one.

He was the one who was different from the rest. Maybe it was his (relative) youth that made him fearless. Maybe it was his exposure to cultures other than ours that made broadminded. Maybe he was just flattered with the attention and importance I gave him. Whatever the reasons, he was one of the few exceptions who didn’t wince and pull back their friendship when I revealed my true feelings towards them.

One night I ended up sleeping over at his house after a party. As luck would have it, the others who were also going to sleep over decided to pull out last minute. In his room I offered to sleep on the floor; he insisted that his bed was big enough for the two of us. But won’t you feel uncomfortable sleeping beside me knowing my feelings towards you, I asked. Nope, he replied with a shrug and a smile. I decided to push it. Can I hug you while we sleep? I tentatively asked him. Without missing a beat he said sure. And he laughed and joked: Basta hug lang ha? Hehehe. Without missing a beat I said of course.

A few hours later I woke up to a very dark room with my arm around him and my face inches away from the back of his head. I could still smell the lingering scent of his shampoo; his nape had that hint of Ivory soap that’s so sexy on a guy. I listened; his breathing was slow and deep. I lifted my head and moved closer to look at the side of his face. He was deep in sleep. From that angle I couldn’t see his eyes but I knew they were closed; I couldn’t see his lips but I knew they were partly opened as he breathed in and out. Inside me I sighed: so near and yet so far.

Then I lifted my arm off him and turned to face the other side of the bed, my back now facing his. And I forced myself to sleep again.

The next morning whatever romantic inclinations I had towards him evaporated like a wisp of a dream that, a few seconds after snapping awake, disappears forever into the mists of night.


Anonymous said...

Hi Joel - just wanted to thank you for the post. Kind of hit me where I am at right now - I know attraction can't be helped but I wish there was some way by which you can actually tweak the hypothalamus so the attraction won't graduate to something less than attractive (like slobbering admissions - he he).. Anyways, just visited Mandaya and grrll posted something na may "connect" sa posting mo... I feel like I am being chased by the Erinyes right now..

Best regards - Homie

joelmcvie said...

@HOMIE: Actually I was lucky enough to have been older when that happened. Because had I been younger, I would have leaned over and kissed him on the cheek. And had I been younger, I'd pine for days after about being "so near and yet so far" and wishing against hope that he'll turn gay and love me in return.

I mean, imagine that? We're asking two MAJOR miracles to occur: [1] that a guy changes sexual orientation overnight; [2] that same guy will desire your whole being.

Kahibangan, right? =)

Anonymous said...

hahaha. eouch! i was reading your posts and comments with mixed amusement and pangs of.. ouch! the second miracle you talk about applies to me. difference is the guy already is gay but just sees friendship nothing more between us. he just got attached.

channelling julia roberts right now...


joelmcvie said...

@FRANCIS: Here's some merthiolate or mercurochrome. Now put it where it hurts. Yes, drink it all up so that it reaches your heart. =)

My dear, the earlier you snap out of it, the better for everyone. =)

Anonymous said...

Hi Joel,

I wish I had the courage to introduce myself, but I'm afraid I must remain anonymous.

Your last post definitely hit a chord too.

I've been in exactly the same position (literally and figuratively) many times. And alas, I guess I'm still young enough to continue pining about being so near and yet so far. He knows how I feel, but he is the only one who knows. And whenever I am hurt by wishing and hoping, I run to him, and he listens.

It's a vicious cycle which I've become addicted to, and while I claim that it doesn't affect me much, many times, it still does.

I don't expect any miracles to happen soon. I just hope I get over my addiction to the lingering smell of his shampoo, and to the odd sensation of waking up with him in my arms, so near, yet so far...

I just hope it doesn't get to the point where he has to kick me out of his bed and out of his life because I've crossed the line. Ha ha ha.


joelmcvie said...

Dear Fern,

Please do talk to someone else about it, NOT JUST HIM. You need to snap out of it, and the sooner the better. Here's a cautionary tale to help you get over it: Would you want to be like me, who wasted his time and youth pining for a love (or more) that is a lost cause? Don't wake up one day to find out that you could have had more options had you started when you were younger.

Anonymous said...

Wow, looks like they've been going to you for advice, so maybe I'll take the opportunity, too. Haha. Right now, I think I like this guy a few years older than me, but I don't know if he's gay. I've heared some rumors, but I don't really know, and he's been sending pretty mixed signals.

And no, I'm not out. Haha. What do you think?


joelmcvie said...

@SEVEN: The difficulty is in the whole uncertainty surrounding the two of you. You've received rumors and mixed signals about him. What you may not realize is that others--including him--may have heard rumors and are getting mixed signals from you.

The most direct way to cut through all that uncertainty crap is to ask him--in private, of course. But I doubt if you or most anybody in the same boat as you will actually have the courage or the wits to ask.

In the past it took me years before I could tell my crushes how I felt. But I eventually did. Now that I'm older I tell them as soon as I'm sure I feel something towards them.