IT’S one thing to investigate whether one is a gay male; it’s quite another when it occurs to you that you might be caught in a possible same-sex couple’s lovers’ quarrel.
One of these “lovebirds” is Joshua (not his real name), my friend who didn’t strike me as gay but rather the kind who is just obsessively and compulsively clean; inclined to talk about other men’s closeted lives.
It used to be that, at least until I moved in with him with James, whom Joshua refers to as a friend, in a one-bedroom apartment.
Under normal circumstances a disagreement between two straight guy “friends” would escalate into something that makes you fear for your life; or demands that you either intervene or call the emergency hotline. But their kind of dustup rather strikes you as sweet, the sulky kind a girl initiates when her boyfriend admits that he thinks she is not beautiful.
Here Joshua shuts the door before the guy; here he looks out of sorts and sits panting on the edge of the bed. Here I would wrap my arm around his shoulders and ask him what seems to be the problem, whereupon he would briskly take it off his shoulders and blurt: “Don’t touch me!”
I wanted to point out that I was now involved here, but, in truth, all I really wanted to ask was whether or not they had had sex or, in this “relationship.” If anything, I was ready to excuse myself or suggest that I’m better off leaving them altogether if it would do them any good. But then again I saw that Joshua was trying to hide his tears, so that my modest proposal and the inhibition to say it were reduced to a resounding “F__k, man, are you crying?”
If I didn’t ask to display an air of genuine concern, I did so because I was really curious. But instead of point-blank grilling him about when has he reached a decision that he’s gay or, as someone so wittily put it, when has he unequivocally decided that he’s straight, the curiosity translated more emphatically if he’s being mugged.
“I mean,” I said, pointing at a bruise on his leg. “Gosh! Look at that.” Then I segued a little bit and made a sound as if I were gurgling stones, mustering the courage to ask “Are you together?”
“Are we together?” he said, wiping his baby face with a towel. “You are funny. Do we really look like we’re together?”
“I saw last night with my two eyes that you were touching each other’s willy. Well, how about that?”
“It was just one time, just one time for good luck,” he said.
When I was in grade school a classmate would be joshed by a group of bullies, cornering him at a nook in the school corridor to remind him that he’s queer.
“Just in case you forget,” one of them said, whereupon they would hogtie him on the steps and touch his gay balls. “Pabuenas [just one time for good luck],” each of them would say, as they took turns and were gone before the boy could even bite his lip and cry.
There were days they would pin the boy down and someone would wedge his feet between his legs and onto his crotch so that he could tickle his cojones with it, days he would fight them off and days he would just cry at that corner insisting that he’s not gay. But, gay or not, I don’t see, now that I’m older, a scintilla of connection between luck and squeezing someone’s balls because if it really were, how come feng shui experts don’t make a testicle necklace and wear it as a charm? I told Joshua this and he cut me off, saying “Queer or not, it’s none of your business.”
It’s always satisfying when someone you call “gay” is pink in the face and gets poised as if he’s going to swing at you just to prove otherwise.
With Joshua, I would stoke the fire and give him a quiz, with questions such as “Fill in the blanks: You are g _ y.”
After minutes of contemplation, he’d look up to me and say “You’re sh_t__ng me,” and then I would be doubled over and laughing until I’m rolling on my back.
It only works when the supposed gay man in question is not out, though, because putting somebody on the hot seat isn’t too exciting anymore when he has already owned up to the deed.
Because there’s something really fishy about how Joshua and James would sleep at night in the same bed and in each other’s arms; no matter that their bed is way smaller than mine. Also, there’s something there when they would take a bath together and how they coo and moan whenever they give each other a massage, or how James holds Joshua on the hips like a princess.
But I’m still all after the thrill of catching them when they kiss each other on the lips. Don’t get me wrong, and I don’t wish to excuse myself. I don’t wish to see so that I could have an item, either. I asked Joshua because I wanted to know what the party is all about, or what the cause for celebration is.
That would be a good reason to gather ’round all our friends and drink to that.
The views expressed by Vernon Velasco in this column do not necessarily reflect those of the BusinessMirror’s.