Tuesday, October 02, 2007

The Birthday Saga 4

Sex And The Plaza
24 September 2007

"Discovery Bay tonight?", Chris asked me even before our day at work began. He was trying to ask whether I wanted to have dinner. Trying. In reality, he meant "Discovery Bay. Tonight." I said yes but I was hesitant. Not that I didn't want to go, but I was just recovering from a retarded weekend and I wasn't sure if I had the right amount of energy to keep up with Dan and Chris --- two of the most animatedly vivacious fags I know.

Then again, they ARE my best friends. I neglected them on my actual birthday, and it was payday. Dinner won't hurt. They weren't asking to go clubbing. So why not?

Without any more protesting, i found myself on the bus to Discovery Bay with Chris at around 630pm. He was bisy texting and calling the entire trip, which was good, because that gave me time to recharge on the ride to dinner. Sporadically, he would turn to me and give suggestions on what to wear the following day, at the Volume party. In my efforts to conserve my energy, I contained my appraisals to his every suggestion in one sentence; delivered in such a way that each sentence was punctuated with "and-that's-my-final-answer" period.

As soon as we got to the DBay Plaza, Chris made another call, murmured, hung up and said, "Malapit na sya. (He's almost here.)"

"Who?" I was puzzled. The way he talked silently on the phone made me think he was referring to an ex-con with an illegal business to pursue with us.


I was relieved. Not because I was scared of meeting somebody with unlwaful intents, but because Dan wasn't gonna be late. (He is notorious for that.)

Chris asked where I wanted to eat. I suggested Hemmingway's. They have really nice food and we could have Painkiller #3 (a rum-based cocktail. It came in 3 variations: #1, which had a shot of rum; #2, with 2 shots; and #3 with three. Hello!) after the meal. He wanted Ebeneezer's. To make the deciding part easier, I said, "Why don't we try something we've never tried?" He agreed.

We headed to Cafe de Paris and checked out their menu. The name they gave their French dishes looked very authentic and appetizing on the menu. The price wasn't that bad too. There was something in the way they individually captioned their dishes, though, that told me their food tasted Chinese. Subtlely, I led Chris to what looked to me like an Italian restaurant.

We browsed the menu and decided it was where the dinner was gonna happen. Reasonable price, they had deep fried camembert, bruschetta, inexpensive wine, and their al fresco section was a smoking area! Purrrrrrrrrrr-fect! We got seated and I was getting ready to ask him where Dan was already when his phone rang. He stood up, excused himself ( he said he needed to go to the bathroom) and walked away. I started to pray that the boys weren't up to something. I was wasted and I was sure I wouldn't have enough gusto for surprises, no matter how big.

Our very dependable server for the night came back to our table and served the two glasses of Shiraz that I ordered for Chris and me. Almost at the same instant, Chris arrived and almost shyly, he confessed that Dan was already in the area and couldn't decide which to buy for me. They had planned to surprise me with either a set of speakers (to replace the one that Dan gave me as a gift last year) or an external hard drive (to save my computer from crashing anytime soon, given it's been thriving on barely 2 Gb over the past two years because of too much porn, programs and files I just refuse to get rid of). He admitted they've both already given up. "Ano ba talaga gusto mo? (What do you really want?)", he asked me in a very desperate tone.

"Bally bag or Prada shoes," I jokingly replied.

"Pakyu! (Fuck you!)", he answered.


Then he asked if it was ok to delay the gift for a few days. They could get better ones at much better, better deals in Sham Shui Po. I said I didn't mind. He called Dan again to ask him to come already. In less than 30 seconds, Dan came to sight.

We then placed our orders, asked our server to take our picture, and started a Sex-and-the-City-ish free flowing conversation about ourselves --- something we hadn't done for a long time, since "Charlotte" found the man of "her" dreams, moved and got married.

Sex and the Plaza girls minus "Charlotte", aka Julius

After devouring on a large greek pizza (the only food item I didn't like because their Feta cheese wasn't as strong as I expected it to be and the olives were a bit overcooked), deep-fried camembert (yummmm!), linguine vongole (disgustingly delightful!), (oh-so-mother-fucking-tender, although not very juicy) veal, bruschetta ( heavenly, except that "you're supposed to slice the tomatoes thinly!!!!! [-broken hearts club]), a few glasses of wine for Chris and me and a gallon of orange juice for Dan, we decided to leave Staten Island and go back to Manhattan. (uhmm... I meant DBay, and Tung Chung rescpectively).

We had a dress rehearsal to do for the party the following day.

...will be continued. promise.