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Tuesday, 27 March 2012

The Movie In My Head

It's spring and the temperature finally reaches an enjoyable average as the intermittent chills of the wind mixes with the pleasant warmth of the sun. After wandering around the dynamic streets and shops on the Left Bank with my camera, I found myself sitting on one of the ubiquitous benches at Place Saint-Sulpice. The majestic square is flanked by the towering Église Saint-Sulpice and a central sculptural fountain in which water flows off the side like layers of flawless clingfilm. 

The romance of the square is accentuated by the low rays of the sun that seem to glow off the intricate architectural façade of the church and the surrounding Haussmannian buildings that form this little piece of heaven. In the air, I can smell the slight humidity from the fountain and the scent of the first batch of fresh leaves that are starting to replenish the bare trees. The European atmosphere comes to life with the sound of peaceful chiming church bells, falling water, flocking pigeons and intermittent voices of French people. Kids, tourists, youngsters and lovers loiter around to take advantage of the week long beautiful weather.

There, while people watching, I notice the considerable amount of good-looking men that traverse the square. However in particular, I couldn't keep my sights off a very well dressed guy at a distant bench who was deeply into his book. He lifts his head once in a while to look around but dives right back in almost immediately. It took him a while before he caught my eyes and realised that I've actually been looking at him. 

We continue to exchange long and daring glances across the square. The distance certainly made it much easier and less shy. This went on until a point where I was distracted by something else and while looking back at his direction, the bench was now empty and he was gone. Feeling a little disappointed by his absence, I curiously turn my head in search of him but there were no signs. 

Suddenly, he approaches my bench out of nowhere, gave me a slight smile, sat down and continue reading his book without saying a word. Now sitting at the other end of my bench and next to me, he is gorgeously cute up close. A few more preliminary smiles and glances, I finally picked up the courage and initiated verbal contact in which he reciprocates. That’s how our encounter unexpectedly began. 

As time passes, we bonded very well. He was French and I was the Francophile, therefore our days of getting to know each other better, are spent at cafés, parks, museums, sitting along the banks of the Seine and in his apartment. In fact, he helps me with my French and I feel much more confident now that I have someone special to tutor me while we spend time together in between playful advances and kisses. We touch, tease, cuddle and wrestle like two boys and best friends in a fraternity.

Finally, it's been weeks since we first met and we are slowly but consistently falling deeper into each other with each passing week. Our trust started building its foundation and I feel much more confident with him by my side. After a nice weekend brunch, we took a promenade and found ourselves lying together on one of the secluded grass patches of the Champ de Mars, a renowned park in the city. There, we talked almost about everything and also equally enjoyed the comfortable silence between us. It was our world, just the two of us. While fiddling with each other’s fingers, I put my arm over his chest and parked my head between his neck and shoulder. Apart from his cologne, I could smell him, his scent, it's very him and it's a scent I've grown to love. Our faces touch as we exchange subtle whispers and smooches. 

We are nothing more than two guys who share a strong bond, a piece of each other's heart. Embracing him, I finally know what a relationship feels like, and how nice it feels to share my life with somebody. As the smell of wood and fresh grass permeates through the air, we doze off together right there, near a tree. We lay there like we had all the time in the world before the weekend ends and Monday starts to take its usual toll on us: an adult life I finally share with my guy. 

[This movie might never happen to me, but it helps keep me alive and positive. It gives me hope that I will soon return and eventually find something so much more.]

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Am I In A Glass Closet?

Even though I use the term "closeted" or "not out", but I'm starting to realise that people are not blind. This makes me wonder if I'm actually in a glass closet.

Today, I finally talked about my sexuality with my current house mate and confidant. There were many occasions over the years whereby she indirectly hinted for me to talk about it, but I avoided the subject each time for I wasn't ready. But this time over a meal, our conversation somehow drifted to dating and relationships and she proceeded to ask if I am a person who knows what I want. Considering how she could smell these things and I no longer want to deny it either, I finally told her I've been paying a lot of attention to guys and I'm afraid.

Although it felt surprisingly natural to tell her, but yet throughout those moments and after, I felt uncomfortably weak, empty, vulnerable and insecure. A more accurate description to that feeling, would be: it felt like somebody robbed me of my internal organs and looked me in the eyeWhich explains why coming out is just so indescribably hard and painful for many of us. However, the one thing I am very grateful for was the zero judgement and absolute normality she displayed during the conversation, like sexuality is not a big deal and it's something natural that happens to people in life. 

I've always had a feeling that this particular friend knew all along and asked how long has it been? She said she instinctively felt it when we met for the first time a few years back when I was still 19 and "seemingly asexual". Despite my confusion, she always knew that eventually I would discover boys. That last phrase of hers immediately reminded me of one of my close friend from high school who once told me that despite my "denial" and "confused" phase, she always knew where I was heading.

This made me analyse my situation on a larger scale and wondered if I might have actually been in a glass closet all along. Although there were many occasions in which people have no problem passing me off as straight, but there are also times where no matter how normal I project myself to be, a certain people could still pick it up. I recently hung out with a group of friends where 2 of the guys were openly gay. Even though I was very normal, but throughout the evening, I pondered incessantly if they could smell me out. The sudden feeling of not knowing what others already know sometimes scares me.

While riding the métro home with her, I drowned in my thoughts as I watch the world pass me by. It really started to sink in that my life is falling apart, and that I'm currently not the young adult I dreamt to be when I was much younger and naively optimistic. I am bitterly disappointed to realise now, at this moment, that I'm probably never going to turn out how I imagined myself to be. In fact, all that I was afraid to be, seems to catch up with me and conveniently fall into place which is dampening my optimism for the future. It hit me too that I must have done something bad in my past life to feel the inadequacy of this. Why else would I be this way?

Friday, 16 March 2012

So He Was Gay?

After the interesting discussion I had over dinnerI came home and asked my current house mate and confidant if she thought charm and personality was more important than physical appeal. She proceeded to tell me that although she always had a clear idea of her ideal man, but she ends up going out and having relationships with guys who are not at all her physical type. She falls for them due to their charm, something in which is known as the "je ne sais quoi"Apparently a gorgeous guy without the je ne sais quoi is just beautiful but boring.

She stated that men are definitely more visual than women. I chuckled and responded while that is indeed a very true fact, but she was no exception in regard to her wandering eyes during one of our outings.

She: [smiling] 
"Oh no! Haha! That was because I was just curious if he was a homosexual."

"What! What do you mean he's a homosexual?" 
"How do you know?"

"I don't know. It just comes! I feel it."

Me: [disbelief]
"But... but he was alone with that girl, holding her hand and kissing it..."

"Hey... You know that doesn't prove anything." 
"It doesn't mean that they're a couple. They could very well be just best friends."

[In my head]
Fuck, damn it. He was amazingly cute and to think throughout lunch, I couldn't stop fantasising about making out with him. 

As much as I hate to trust girls who think they know, her instincts have always been to a certain extend very accurate. It's true that I myself enjoy touching and flirting with girls all the time in public like there wasn't a single gay cell in me. Even though I haven't came out to her, but she could literally smell that I was having problems with my sexuality at one point.

The thought of him being gay did cross my mind due to his good-looks, impeccable dressing and body language. But being a person with an undeveloped gaydar, I couldn't help but disregard it as one of my usual obsessive wishful thinking, whereby every cute guy that comes into my radius might possibly be gay "for my amusement" when they are evidently straight. In addition, I live in a city of gorgeous metrosexual men, a challenging circumstance that inevitably clouds judgement.

Man, that dude was amazingly cute and I'm feeling kinda disappointed for having missed an opportunity. Although he could have very well been gay and out of my league, or straight and a total embarrassment for me, but at least I wouldn't punch myself now for not paying more attention. How could I have missed the signs? Damn it. damn it!

Thursday, 15 March 2012

"If You Didn't Exist, It Would Be Necessary To Invent You"

While having dinner with some of my friends, the topic of charming guys came up and the girls immediately started giving their opinions. They talked about J, and mentioned that while he is indeed extremely good-looking, but in terms of charm and personality, he just doesn't have it. I find this very true to a certain extend.

Then, a friend of a friend came up as another example for the topic and apparently apart from his pleasant looks, he oozes charm. Again, so true! Whenever we hung out, I do find myself attractively drawn to him whenever he's around and socialising. There's just some kind of aura at play. The girls continued to explain that although they're always on the look out for physically attractive guys, but they always end up falling for the ones with charm regardless of looks.

All of a sudden, this conversation brought about a sense of positivity in me as it reminded me that although I may not look like a model, I do indeed have my charm. People have told me that I'm cute and that I actually possess a boyish charm. However, due to my own serious insecurities, I refuse to believe it. But yet somehow, when I reflect and analyse my life, I have always been pleasantly popular and particularly engaging amongst people due to my sophisticated personality. It's a charm that draws, and evokes a sense of respect and admiration from my peers and people, despite some of the downsides that sometimes come with it.

I remember one of the Italian girls in my circle once used an Italian expression and said to me: "Se non ci fossi, bisognerebbe inventarti."

After much translation, I went on to discover its true meaning.

"Alors, qu'est-ce que ça veut dire?"
(So, what does that mean?)

"Si tu n'existais pas, il faudrait t'inventer."
(If you didn't exist, it would be necessary to invent you.)

In addition to it being one of the most beautiful compliments I've ever received, I was dumbfounded by the beauty of that phrase in which I will remember for life.

My self-loathing image issues magnified in tenfold when I recently came to terms with my sexuality and realised that physical attractiveness is the primordial element in which turns the gay wheel. This conversation however has no doubt reinstated a little hope and confidence in me, it gives me hope that I will be okay in life. Although I don't see how being gay and invisible is ever going to help me succeed, but I do hope the genuine substance that I am made of will be good enough for the cute guys out there who share the same sophistication.

Monday, 12 March 2012


Once again it's Sunday, and while being out and about during the weekends in a city inhabited by beautiful people, I saw 3 hot guys on the same day. One while having brunch in a café, another in the métro (probably a male model) and another while at an exhibition in a gallery. I've seen the hot guy from the café a couple of times around the neighbourhood and did fantasise about him a little bit.

All 3 guys reminded me greatly of my sexual craving as I've recently been feeling hornier than usual. I remember one of the girls in my social circle once said that when living in this attractive city, it's always about the "hormones" due to the amount of triggersI couldn't agree more! As a young guy, I really need my healthy dose of sex. However, there's something about wanting something, and then having to wait for it to happen. Since accepting myself, I have indeed been progressively doing the necessary, but nothing seems to fall into place or come my way. I am really frustrated and depressed for I have been trying.

Well, even though I'm not even close to experiencing anything, I might as well at least enjoy the attractive sights while I can because I'm leaving soon. Due to the many issues that have happened to me over the past year, I will be going home to an unknown future. In addition, it took me a long way to open-up to my sexuality, and now to go home without having met anybody or properly experience anything is taking a toll on my personal confidence. A part of me still holds on to the possibility of things turning around for the better, but when you can't see the light, the journey indeed remains in the dark. Besides having to sort my life out, I am due to handle an intricate network of interwoven family problems and personal issues. Once again, the thought of remaining invisible and depress for the rest of the year is really dampening my spirit for life.

Sunday, 11 March 2012

My First Daunting Time to a Gay Bar Alone

Thought I should write about my first experience to a gay bar. Travelling alone definitely gives you the space for self-discovery, flexibility and independence. And one of the perks that comes with travelling in a big city, is anonymity. Last year, following my "wake-up" conversation with R, my head was bursting with thoughts and I decided to do some research before I went to bed. I noted down some bars that seemed ideal, and kept it in my pocket. The next day, with the information and map in my pocket, I would have the whole day to contemplate about it as I did other touristy stuff. For some reason, while walking in the park, visiting the museums and sights, I was constantly looking at my watch and am always aware of the time of the day. Then dinner came and after grabbing a quick meal, I begin my long walk towards the address. 

As I walk, I remember thinking to myself:
"It's ok, it's still quite a walk away, 25 blocks."
"Nevermind, there's still 10 blocks." 
"Ok, there's still 5 blocks and a left turn across 2 avenues."

With every step that I took, I felt even more nervous, depress, foolish and scared because I was about to do something I never thought I'd do in my life. I previously mentioned that I refuse to go anywhere near gay venues for fear of being associated and outed while my internalised homophobia was in full swing. This time, part of the thing that spurred me to go ahead was my prospective regret as I contemplated on both the feeling of going to bed that night feeling courageous, or for once again having chickened out. I knew immediately I would have regretted the latter. At that moment, I really wished I could skip having to go through those daunting hours and jump straight to my future self in bed when I finally know how things went. Feeling anxious, I finally convinced myself that for the next few moments, I am not me. I am nobody and I am anonymous.  

So I arrived. However it wasn't easy as I found myself walking the entire length of the street, back and forth for about 5 times before I actually picked up the courage to make a right turn and go in. My goal was to at least walk in, make a circle and walk out. It would be better than nothing. At a moment of spontaneity, I bit the bullet, showed my ID at the front and finally entered. Immediately, all eyes darted to the entrance as I entered. I felt so awkward, vulnerable and shy.

Then, I found myself thinking:
"Wow I'm in. I did it! Let's stay for a drink. After all, you've come this far already and you're finally in here." 

Remaining neutral, I went to the bar, ordered a drink and sat at a corner table. My eyes surveyed the scene as I try to let it all sink in. Being there alone, I couldn't help but feel awkwardly pathetic and lonely as seconds definitely felt like minutes. But I didn't care because the most important thing was that I'm now finally seeing the inside of a gay bar. After about 35 minutes, I finished my drink, took a deep breath and a good last look around and walked out. Back on the street, I couldn't stop smiling because I was very happy with myself for overcoming a lot of barriers. I knew there will be many more tougher things to come after this, but from closeted denial to gay bar in 48 hours, it was already a big enough step for me. 

Going to a gay bar alone for the very first time is no doubt anxiously daunting. But there's always a first time for everything and I'm glad I made myself go through it. I stayed for a drink even when I was supposed to make a circle and walk out. Therefore I gave myself a mental pat on the back for having been so courageous in overcoming my own expectations.

[This post shall be dedicated to future readers who might find themselves at similar crossroads of self-discovery. May this story help shed some light and inspire you to have courage.]

Saturday, 10 March 2012

I Can't Have Beautiful Things

I live in a city inhabited by beautiful peopleIn fact, beautiful citizens of other countries move here in search of change and sophistication; with hopes of establishing an alternate life for themselves in this dream city. Therefore my circle of friends and acquaintances is inevitably composed of highly attractive guys and girls. I previously mentioned that attractive people although make good eye-candies, but they also continue to remind me about how depressed I am. Already suffering from diffidence, insecurities and low-self esteem, I obviously felt the self-conscious pinch whenever we hung out. The feeling of being ugly, has always been one of my issues while growing up. However, until this very day, never would I thought I'd carry this with me abroad, to a world now so much bigger than my high school compound and sports field. In addition of having recently came out to myself, I have never felt so vulnerable and insecure in my life; something that I painfully conceal with a fake smile.

Within my current circle of attractive friends, I have been paying attention to a guy named J. J is in the acting field, therefore I've seen him around in school due to his strikingly youthful good-looks. Recently amongst other friends, we hung out more often and I discovered more about his life. J is funny with a cute soul and I like him. Unfortunately as probability goes, he is just unmistakably straight. I have been thinking of ways in which I can show more interest, but it's just not possible without it being pointless and awkward. Hence, I can only think about him in my own time as I try to get over the built-up infatuation.

Speaking of which for the past 3 weeks, I've been exchanging glances with a beautiful girl in my class called C. At the beginning, I refuse to believe the glances were anything, until it happened on one too many occasions that it's just hard to take it as nothing. For some reason, I am very drawn to her and she too reciprocates my gestures. C frequently comes into my thoughts as I was impressed to discover an adaptable, lovingly humourous, worldly, optimistic and benevolent character behind that attractive face as she slowly joins our circle of friends. As we spend more time together, we equally flirt and hug. She is deep and would be the type of girlfriend I'd have if I wasn't gay. I am frustrated because my strong desires to pursue her is completely knocked down by the fact that I'm still having issues with myself and am struggling with my sexuality. Therefore nothing is ever going to happen. 

In other words, I am no where close to experiencing things with guys, neither is it possible for anything to happen with the girls that come into contact. I feel so numb, depressed and frustrated as I really don't know what the fuck I can do to change myself or my luck in life. I really don't want to be unhappy, but I can't help but feel hopelessly depress at this moment...

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

The Piano

I have always been envious of people who display extreme talent in music. The piano in particular has always shared a special place in my heart. Today, while witnessing one of my classmates dazzle us with his violin, it reminded me greatly of my lack of perseverance for the piano.

When I was a kid, my parents sent me for Piano classes. But somehow rather, I dropped out around the age of 10 due to other distractions that came with growing up. For some reason then, I just didn't see how letting go of the piano would affect my future. It's been well over 10 years now and I heavily regret having given it up and didn't place more insistence in excelling the piano. Although I do occasionally sit in front of the piano to try and learn some of my dream pieces, but it's long and frustrating. In addition to constantly being abroad and away from home, it's hard to really settle down and properly pick it up again. I'm still yearning for the day when my hands could dexterously glide through the keyboards, to my dream pieces.

There was a scene in Grey's Anatomy, in which a legendary violinist from an episode said: "For what I lack in natural talent, I make up for it in discipline"

This saying is in fact very true in reference to my undertakings in life, whereby my determination has always been the force behind my perseverance. As a person who lacks of luck, talent, academic intelligence and physical competence, I've always had to endure the feeling of never being good enough and work effortlessly twice as hard in order to reach a certain level. The only natural born talent I can think of is my admirable artistic skills, my sense in the kitchen, my knack for languages and social communication, along with my empathy and emotional intelligence. Perhaps due to my insecurities and the lack of self-confidence, I recognise the importance of personal development as I truly value the aspects of being well educated, broad-minded, knowledgeable, cultured and worldly. But even as I'm on my way to being highly developed, is it really going to help me with my quest for existence and self acceptance?