Friday, July 18, 2008

About A Boy, A Rabbi And A Certain AJ.

It was a Sunday, a day for the boy to visit the synagogue and give praise.

Unlike the previous Sundays, he decided to come casually this time around. Dressed in a simple black crew-neck, shorts and sneakers, the boy entered the synagogue and was greeted warmly by familiar faces and the even more familiar scent of the place --- his Sunday home.

While he was standing in the middle of the room, relishing the feeling of just being there, the boy was spotted by the rabbi, who, without delay walked up to him and gave him a paternal welcome kiss. "How are you?", the rabbi asked.

"I'm good," the boy eagerly replied with a smile. But he was lying. And the rabbi knew.

"We'll talk later," the rabbi assured him.

By later, the rabbi meant, after he has greeted every single member of his congregation and given them his blessing, which, didn't take long. Few minutes later, he and the boy started their counselling. Halfway through the boy's bickering, he paused, quite alarmed of the expression on the rabbi's face. The rabbi was surprised. Baffled even. He had never seen the boy so agitated. Maybe it was the fact that the boy refused to talk about it for a while and kept it bottled up inside. Or maybe it was whatever he took that made his hormones go berserk.

"I'm sorry," the boy tried to calm himself down. "I have never felt this way. Ever."

"Because you've never experienced this before?"

"Never. Not with Erick, not with William. Not with any other fling."

He was wrong. In his process of recollection, he missed one person.


They met sometime in 2004: the boy and this AJ.

Somewhere in the middle of "Absolutely Not", while the boy danced in oblivion, AJ saw him. They were in a gay club. AJ was alone, while the boy was with his friends. AJ was quietly sipping his beer in one corner, while the boy was partying like there was no tomorrow. AJ was observing the boy, while the boy was trying to get the attention of the guy he had slept with the previous week, who wasn't paying much attention to him because he was with his boyfriend.

When the music changed, the boy grabbed his Absolut Vanilia from where he had parked it before he conquered the dancefloor and headed to the john. Normally, he would use the ladies' room. He was a VIP of the club and VIPs were allowed to do that. But there was a line to the ladies' room at that moment. There was only one porcelain god for women and there were about 7 women waiting to use it.The boy decided to use the urinal.

The club had two long urinals strategically placed against each other so that if there were two customers using each of them, they peed facing each other. A solid waist-high cement divider stood between the two urinals. From the waist to the ceiling stood a thin aquarium. On one side was the boy, forcing to entertain himself with the fishes, trying to fight the urge to check out what package laid uncovered on the other side of the fish tank. Somehow he succeeded in resisting the temptation. But the stare from that person on the other side of the fish tank was too strong to resist. The boy's eyes met his. And they smiled at each other.

Later on, the other person introduced himself as AJ. They exchanged numbers, and promised to call each other the following day. Little did they both know the promise was unnecessary. Just before the club played its last song for the night, they left together and headed to the boy's home. They didn't need to call each other the following day because 24 hours after they've met, they were still together, naked in the boy's room. The boy wasn't working that day and AJ decided to call in sick. They were mad about each other. For a whole week, they were together whenever they weren't working. The boy would rise at 6am every single day to have breakfast with AJ who worked the graveyard shift. Then they'd head to the boy's and make love like rabbits in heat, nap for a while, wake up in the afternoon, have a quick round, have an early dinner, then AJ would bring the boy to the theater where the boy did a performance from 8 to 10. Then the boy and his friends would go for drinks after the show in a bar that would be easy for AJ to go to on his "lunch" break.

Exactly a week after they met, the boy went to their usual breakfast place at 6:30am. AJ was nowhere in sight. He called AJ several times until he got pissed of the woman that repeatedly answered his call, almost mockingly. His temper was starting to blow but the woman said the same thing over and over with the same, unaffected tone.
"The subscriber cannot be reached. Please try your call later." Finally, the boy decided to go home.

As soon as he hopped in a cab, his phone beeped. The message was from AJ, and it said:
"I was watching you the whole time. Sorry I can't do this. I get stupid when I fall in love and I don't wanna get stupid ever again. Sorry."

Just like that, AJ fled. The next time the boy heard from him, via YM, the boy was already living in another city. AJ messaged: "How are you?" The boy ignored the message and blocked AJ from his list.

And just like that, the boy fled.