I most certainly did.
It was 1997. We met at the university in Diliman. He was a foreign student who was fluent in Tagalog. We were taking the same course. I was a student assistant in our department. We often met but in hindsight, our meetings were casual and friendly really. I read too much on things that were in fact random.
I fell for him. He never even thought of going there. I didn’t see that. I was sideswiped and blinded by craziness. There came a point when I was so consumed by my idea of love that I had to tell him. So I dragged along my very good friend Sheila and sought him at his dorm. Sheila knew I was crazy in love with the boy. She didn’t know I was about to tell him.
When we got there, he was gracious enough to entertain us. We talked about stuff then Sheila saw a friend of hers and excused herself. I didn’t need to muster courage. When you are overcome by craziness, bravery has no meaning. So, I told him in an offhand way. I said, “You know I have a problem. You are my problem. I’m in love with you.”
He was taken aback. Who wouldn’t be? I can still remember the daze in his eyes as he took his time to say, “I’m sorry Kyn. What can I do? I’m not gay.”
Now, I was surprised upon hearing this. The only thing I can say was, “May yosi ka?” to which he responded in the negative. So I said, “Bili muna ako ng yosi” and from somewhere in my head I heard Alanis singing, “Isn’t it ironic, don’t you think?"
I later found out from Sheila that when she went back to where he was and asked where I was, to which he replied I bought some cigarettes, he then said in a pensive way, “Makulay ang buhay niya.” Come to think of it, this comment is still an enigma to me. He might be referring to my being gay with an analogy to the internationally recognized iconic rainbow symbol of gayhood-ness. That’s the only way I can decipher that.
So, I crashed and burned. I kept my distance. I left the university the following year to work. Since then, I have never seen him again. But Sheila has in Hawaii a few years back. She said he asked how I was. When I heard this I thought, except for I was fine, I pretty much didn’t know how else I would respond. At that time, I already did not think much of it anyway.
The conventional wisdom is time heals. It does not. Time only passes. That’s what it does. What happens is, as time moves along, we learn to accept after the fact. In my case, this came about, give-and-take, 3 years on.
If he ever happens to stumble on this blog and read this entry, this is what I want to say to him: To you know who you are, I’m so sorry for my craziness. I blame it on hotwired neurotransmitters. Damn adrenaline, dopamine and serotonin! My deepest apologies for all the discomfort, inconvenience and anxiety I have caused.
As for my telling of this incident in my life, and in the public domain at that, all I can say is that the time for me is right to recount this experience in this medium. My intuition says it feels right and when it does, I learn a little bit more about courage.
P.S.: And to those who lent me their courage at the time when I was down and out and drowning in misery, my friends Sheila, Rachel, Tess, Tita Fe, Tina and Joe and to all my other university and extended friends, Gerry, Butch, Doris, Gisella, Julius, Oye, Paeng, Marky, thank you. All of you are true. I’ve been remiss as a friend in more ways than one. For one, I haven’t had you feel my presence for some time now but be assured that I still remain true to you. For me, you are still the family that I have bonded with by choice. Let this be a testament to my continuing covenant to our friendship despite distance in all its forms. Thank you so much for the bond you extended to me. It is treasured and will be until my very dissolution.