November 17, 2004

Evolution, Mutation, at Harvat ng mga Mihn

“Pssttt, lola, kanina ka pa ba?"

Darius shifts his gaze from the cream of his green tea frappuccino to the smirking face of his friend who has just arrived. He raises his left eyebrow and tells his friend matter-of-factly, "Well, late ka! As always. Andito ka na so no point in asking how long I was waiting."

Tony takes the seat opposite Darius. "And as always ang taray ng lola ko!"

Darius smiled wryly at his friend's retort. "O, musta naman yung Cebu mo? At ang promise mo ha! Treat mo tong iniinom ko kaya bayaran mo ko. At kulang pa to sa tagal ng pag-aantay ko ha!"

"Ok fine! Order muna ako sandali. Dami ko kuento sayo, inay! Ay naku, maloloka ako sa mihn! May gusto ka pa ba?"

"One grande of this green concoction please." Darius shakes at his friend his half-finished frappuccino cup while trying to bat his non-existent eyelashes. "Plus a ham and cheese croissant. Kung wala, yung blueberry cheesecake na lang. If you don't mind." He added with a sweet smile.

"Of course I mind! Ako magbabayad noh! Demanding. Pasalamat ka late ako!" Tony stands up and strides away from his friend, trying to feign disapproval.

Darius observes his friend at the cafe's counter. Mutant na talaga ang kaibigan ko. If Tony doesn't talk and walk like how he talks (with lola, inay, charing expressions) and walks (swishy swoosh), he would pass up as a straight guy endowed with boyish good looks. He dresses up just like any yuppie walking along the avenues of Makati and Ayala. Well, Tony does pass up as a straight guy. That is, when he's not with Darius or with any of their close friends because he doesn't walk and talk like how he does now without them. On the other hand, the reserved Darius (he doesn't warm up easily to people and he finds socializing with strangers to be small talk) usually dons what he insists on calling a unisex fashion, mostly consisting of a fitting baby tee, flared hipster pants, leather boots, and a sporty shoulder bag. Without him making any sound or movement, people can definitely tell that Darius is gay.

"Eto na senyora!"

"Thanks yaya! Ang bait ng yaya ko!" Darius beams at the tray being handed to him by his friend. "O ano? Kuento ka na. Tagal mo rin dun ha. I bet marami kang native delicacies na natikman doon." He laughs at his use of the words native delicacies to refer to the local men in the province.

"Native delicacies ka dyan. For your information ate, hindi bukid ang Cebu. Ang mga lalaki dun hindi mga pahabang kamote o saging na nilaga kundi caviar, sashimi o frankfurter sausages!"

"Whatever! So ano? Any steamy encounters? Kuento dali!"

"Hay, naku, the steamy encounter stories are almost all the same. Besides, alam mo naman na I've stopped digging straight guys noh. I go na for OUR MIHN!" Tony has put too much emphasis on the last two words that the two guys having coffee on the next table look at them. Tony smiles at them. Darius gives them a dull look.

"OUR KIND you mean!" Darius faces his friend once more with his left eyebrow pointing to the ceiling.

"Ayan ka na naman! When are you ever going to accept na we're better off with one another? I mean, we'll have better chances at fruitful relationships if we have them with fellow gays. You can't continue on hoping and waiting for a straight guy to sweep you off your feet, tita. Yeah, they may come if they sense some bills and coins that might fall from your pockets when you're swooned by them. But when they've drained you of what you can give, you'll find yourself alone again picking up your pieces and trying to rebuild yourself. And that happened many times na ha! You're very intelligent kumare but you can't seem to get this. Nag-evolve na ang gay scene dito, mama noh! So you better become part of this evolution. Otherwise, you're headed towards extinction!"

"I don't call that evolution, dear. I call that mutation. Besides, if pursuing fruitful homosexual relationships means claiming to be bisexual and acting like a robot who walks straight and talks with an obviously trying-so-hard-to-feign a deep voice, then no thanks. I'd rather be left extinct than head towards damnation of losing that homosexual identity which WE should be proud of. And why should I plod back into a closet? Just so I can bring with me another homosexual skeleton trying to be a bisexual? It's lonelier than being alone, dearie." Darius lowers his left eyebrow from being raised while talking and raises his right eyebrow instead.

"Manang, you're having the wrong notion there. Well, not entirely naman. True, there are those who've never had any heterosexual urges in their life yet they claim that they're attracted with both sexes. Eh, may mga issues pa yan ate."

"Look who's talking?" Darius suddenly cuts off his friend. "I really wonder why you have to act masculine pag di mo kami kasama. Anong issues yan dear?"

"Mama, as I told you countless of times that my eyes have been opened to the reality na lalaki ako na nagkakagusto sa lalaki and that I can celebrate my masculinity. We are a product of a society that accepts only a man and a woman's partnership. Kaya naging super girly girly tayo trying to imitate women. Well, noon pa yan manang noh. Nag-iba na ngayon. Wag ka naman paiwan na manang ng kahapon!"

"Well if you're simply celebrating that masculinity of yours, would you enlighten me please why you become as girly as you are now and then become oh so manly oh so suddenly pag wala na ako? It really puzzles me how someone like you who kept joining gay beauty pageants back in college would suddenly throw away his glittering sashes and laugh at the silliness of it all."

"Oy, ikaw nagsabi nyang silliness ha. I never considered those silly. I threw them away because I had no use for them anymore."

"Or you threw them away because you were scared that your pretentious boyfriends will find out that you were once Binibining Gay Waling Waling. And speaking about boyfriends..."

"Ate, sandali lang. May nag-text. Baka importante." Tony cuts off his friend whose two eyebrows are now on the same level, both pointing to the ceiling. He checks out his cellphone and with a smile pounds excitedly with his two thumbs the keypad's buttons then exclaims, "Manang, sorry to cut off this verbal judo of ours. Have to go. Alam mo naman. Call of nature!" Tony laughs wholeheartedly at his last statement while he replaces his phone in his pocket.

"Sino na naman yan? And I was about to comment about that noh! Pano magiging fruitful relationships yan kung sino sinong bading na lang ang ginanagawa mong boyfriend." Darius picks up the fork and starts scraping the edges of the plate of the blueberry cheesecake. He notices the two guys on the table laughing while the other one is writing on a paper.

"Asus! The more, the merrier. And the MORE fruits! Kaya fruitful!" Tony laughs boisterously again as he stands up to leave. "Mama, kailangan ko na talagang umalis. May nag-aantay na na bading na na-harvat ko kaninang hapon. And yes, one gay word I learned in Cebu is harvat. Nay, ang sosyal noh? Term nila for panghahagip in general. Pero parang mas feel ko syang bigyan ng exclusivity for gays. Alam mo naman how fast gayness and gay words evolve. At ikaw naman, pag-isipan mo to. Sa guapo mong yan, marami kang mahaharvat. Mag-evolve ka lang!" Tony bends down to give Darius a beso-beso. "Alis na ko 'teh. Tawagan na lang kita."

"O sya. Bye mutant. Salamat sa treat mo, sa pagiging late at sa pag-iwan mo sa kin ng maaga dito. Sana wag ka nang dumami pa." Darius looks at his friend fondly while trying to curtail a laugh imagining that outside Tony would start walking like a robot.

He starts to toy with the untouched blueberry cheesecake creating little slices while pondering on what Tony and he constantly argues about. It happens all the time. Their talks usually end up on arguments about gay behavior transformation which Tony claims to be evolution and which he terms mutation. Guapo ka dyan. Maganda ako noh! He smiles to himself as he eats a small slice of the cake.

He notices the two guys in the next table standing up. Before they head for the door, the other guy stops by his table. "Hi! We can't help overhearing your squabble earlier with your friend. You're very interesting. I thought you might find a friend of ours to be interesting as well. We're pretty sure, you're just his type. I've written his name and number on this paper. Hope you check him out." The guy smiles at Darius while he hands him the piece of paper. "Don't worry, guapo yan. Hindi pretentious. Open. Hindi takot sa sasabihin ng iba. Yun nga lang, masculine talaga sya. Pero hindi acting yun."

Darius just stares at the two guys while he holds the paper that is handed to him. He is too surprised to say anything. My gulay goodness gracious, ang guguapo pala ng mga toh! Before he could thank them, the other guy winks at him and takes the hand of the other signaling that they have to go. Darius looks on as the two walk towards the cafe's door with their hands entwined.

Ang tagal ko na ring walang ka holding hands. Ang last time, nagbayad pa ko ng 500. Mag-gi-give in na ba ako kay Tony? Aba, hindi ha! Pagtatawanan ako nun for sure. Well, hindi naman ako gagaya sa kanya noh. Tuloy pa rin ang pagiging girly. Besides sabi nung dalawa, ma-ta-type-an ako nung kaibigan nila. Eh nakita naman nila kung gano ako ka-girly noh! Aba, hindi ba parang hinarvat nila ako para sa kaibigan nila? Talaga lang ha! Pag ito hindi guapo, ewan ko na lang ha! Darius stares at the piece of paper. He takes out his cellphone and starts to navigate for the phone book. Teka lang. Kailangan ko bang mag-polo, slacks at mag-brief na pag ginawa ko toh? Ay! Minus 48 million ganda points yan! Eh, kung ayaw nya, ayoko din sa kanya! Pero try ko na rin. Sige. He then starts to input in his cellphone what's written on the paper.

-- FINIS --


louie said...

halu ems! miss you na! nasa germany ka ba ngaun? miss u!

Anonymous said...

doubt hodgebodge/em will ever get to read this but just in case - can you get in touch with me? i'm based in cebu -

emmz said...

this was my second short story written ever. and it's been featured in INQ's YOU site: