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Monday, 22 December 2014

The Time I Got My Closure With The Aussie IT Manager

Remember the Aussie IT Manager from August? In brief, he was a character I first got in touch with on Jack'd and went out on two wonderful dates with. Once at the beach, the other in his apartment where we had fun.

Those two lovely days unexpectedly dug out some needy girl emotions in me where apart from going through that whole how-come-he-doesn't-call-or-respond routine despite him telling me not to feel like it was a hit and run, I started to come to terms with the possibility that this might actually be my turn in dealing with an unreliable guy who doesn't mean what he says.

For weeks, his lackadaisical behaviour and aloofness was certainly confusing to digest, which gave rise to my intuitive suspicion of his credibility. I couldn't help but wonder if these thoughts came up due to past experiences in witnessing these kind of characters show up in the form of people my friends and family members have dated or been with.

I've written about my frustration regarding him in this post and am aware to have demonstrated characteristics of being "a girl" about it. But despite it all, I remember did coming to the deduction that the best way sometimes to get over situations like this, is either through the passage of time, sleep over it(s) or sleep it off(s), or letting other positive experiences with new guys bury it. Those were the things I tried to get myself to do before the ensuing experiences with W over a period of a month gave me absolute closure.

Third Time We Met
About a week or two after that cold and rainy day where I felt sad, the IT Manager and I got back in touch, went through one more 'empty word' hurdle again before finally meeting for the third time at his apartment for fun. As usual, the session in bed with him was amazing. He even gave me a chance to try topping him, of which he said that I might actually be a "closeted top". I've never heard such a term before!

After the sex, I was looking for my pair of Calvins on the floor when we discovered that he might have accidentally put it into the washing machine together with the bed sheets we were rolling around in. Argh, damn it. I love that pair of underwear and now I'm not even sure if I'll ever see them again. It's so hard to even get W to respond to a meet, let alone ask him to pass it back on another occasion.

He insisted on lending me a fresh pair of undies even though I was more than okay to walk home without one due to the five minute distance we live from each other. Finally, I acquiesced. We were seated outside his living room, chatting and watching some television when I decided to ask him what has he been up to recently and he apologised for being, in his own words, unreliable. 

"Sometimes you just drift into your own bubble and you just don't want to speak to anyone", he said. Upon hearing that sentence, I felt as if I got the answer I needed in order to stay emotionally unattached from him. I was instantly aware that just like many other guys who are weird in our own ways, including me, he might be going through some personal issues or stuff that consumes them that we don't see.

He lives in a two bedroom apartment, of which one of them is rented out to this other gay flatmate who he claims the relationship is purely formal and non sexual. The rule of the house is that nobody is supposed to bring any sex dates home. But the IT Manager himself tends to break that rule because he is the owner of the place. I asked him if me being there was all right and he said it's fine.

Suddenly, the main door opens and the flatmate who was supposed to be at work came home unexpectedly. Awkwardness soon ensued between everybody in the apartment and I could feel as if every furniture and kitchen cabinet in the room was turning into frost. The flatmate who was perfectly man on the outside, I swear, was speaking in the voice of a woman. To make sure I wasn't hallucinating, I listened and observed intently like a hawk. Yup, nothing wrong with my hearing. Jesus, that is just freaky. Am I missing something here?

The flatmate was cool about the situation, but to counteract the awkward conversation between the guys, I walked up to them and made a friendly initiative to introduce myself, shot some breeze and intuitively decided to cut short my stay, leaving the residents to sort things out among themselves should there be any.

Fourth Time We Met
Two weeks after the third time we saw each other, I met him again for the fourth. Before the fun began, I passed him the underwear he lent me from the last time, freshly cleaned and nicely folded in a paper bag. He set out to find my pair of Calvins, only to pause for a moment in contemplation, lifted up his shirt to check and asked me if the one he had on was mine. I saw the band and said yeah. "Shit", he uttered. He took it off and apologised while I reassured him that everything is fine and I will accept it in the manner he was going to give it back. When I got home, I left the underwear in the laundry basket.

Fifth Time I Bumped Into Him and "The Roommate"
One more thing I should point out before I continue the story. Within the same week that I first met the IT Manager, I was kinda shocked to learn that there is actually a third character living in the same apartment known as the roommate. I know. It does sound like a horror movie, "the roommate". 

Initially I was a little confused and thought that the current flatmate was the "roommate", until it struck me that that isn't the case, and that he actually shares his room with another Hornet candidate from the area that kinda looks like me. His name was S and he was on a working holiday visa.

At first, the revelation bothered me because firstly, the idea that he chooses to be with another guy who could be another version of myself, made it all a bigger blow to my insecurity, and secondly, the thought that he might be playing games is sinking in fast. 

Later on, at the determination of wanting to be a grown adult, I realised that as long as I do my part in protecting my own heart, I have no business knowing what arrangements he has with other people. I am responsible for my own life. Period.

He even asked me at that point if I was interested in a threesome with "the roommate" because "the roommate" was keen. I obviously declined with dignity. I felt the reality of who I thought I was to him, faded away in a blink. I have to confess, I was a little bruised but it was a good wake up call for me to realise that I need to handle him as nothing more than just a fuck buddy.

One Saturday evening, I found myself dateless and restless. Everybody around me had their own plans so I had to entertain myself. The neighbourhood of Surry Hills was having their annual festival at the Shannon Reserve right across from the constantly crowded Gelato Messina and I decided to go take a look. I was really in the mood to feel good so I dressed up casual smart with a black tie.

However upon arrival, the festival was already in the process of wrapping up so I took a walk instead. As I was nearing the intersection towards Oxford Street, I caught sight of the IT Manager and his roommate walking hand in hand towards my direction on the same pavement. I didn't know why, but my heart dropped. I guess hearing something and seeing something with your own eyes can make a huge difference.

I only had a few seconds to decide if I was going to avoid awkwardness, or stay on the same path with my head up high. I chose the latter in which he, who I had a very strong feeling wanted to avoid the awkwardness too, but realised that we saw each other and it was too late. Oh God, the roommate look like another version of me.

Upon seeing me, he instantly let go of his roommate's hand. "Hey", I said. "Hey!", he replied enthusiastically as if nothing was going on. We shot the breeze awkwardly for a bit before I extended my hand out and shook his roommate's. "Hello. You must be X, nice to meet you", I said warmly and kept it strictly to that. The roommate was completely clueless as to what was going on and was lost. I'm guessing he too was having a weird time digesting the awkward situation happening in front. Who is this guy?

"Nice tie", the IT Manager complimented as he reached out to touch the tie. I wondered at that moment: "What is the deal between him and his roommate? Are they dating? Is there some kind of arrangement? Why would the IT Manager flirt so obviously in front of the roommate? Is the roommate himself being played? Does he wonder about life the way I do?"

As quickly as we bumped into each other, the three of us went on our way. I really can't explain this, but my deep sense of intuition can somehow read formless emotions and energy very well. I was certain that the IT Manager himself felt awkward and also in a way, dreaded that two minute of exchange even though he played the role convincingly.

During the rest of the evening, I was affected. I was suddenly a little depressed and dissatisfied.
It's not that I am in love with the IT Manager or anything, but I think I might have been a little jealous. I felt as if my ego got the slap it needed to wake up and be smart about things. The thing that still kills me was the fact that his roommate was another physical version of myself, and we are all replaceable.

Soon after, I tried to get myself to be grateful for what happened. Because I realised that this might be the universe's way of speaking to me, trying to get me to see the potential trouble and mess that I will be getting into if I let myself fall for this guy. 

Sixth Time We Met
After the last incident where I bumped into the IT Manager and "his roommate" on the street, I had a discussion with my investment banker friend regarding the matter. I told him I wasn't sure if I might have ruined a courtship or whatever it is that was going on between the IT Manager and his roommate by introducing myself spontaneously. I told him about me feeling insecure and inadequate due to how alike "the roommate" and I looked.

He mentioned that maybe I might have acted in a spur of anxious emotions, and that maybe I shouldn't have burst out introducing myself to the roommate on the street. For it sounded, in his own words, a little too "in his face". On one hand, I could see the reasoning behind his justification, but on the other, I felt that being warm and outspoken was one of the best moves I have ever made to diffuse the awkwardness and kept my dignity.

Since that night, I never made anymore contact. I was ready to silently move on when I received a surprising text message with his name on the display screen the next day.

    "Oh my God, what a surprise. Does he feel funny? Guilty?", I hear my ego questioned.
    "Jesus Christ. Get over yourself please!", shouts the inner voice and I calmed down.

I read the casual text, which apart from asking me bits of how was last night and telling me his roommate thought I was cute, says that he found another pair of Calvins in his home that wasn't his size and asked to verify if the one he returned to me the other day was the right one. I went to the clean pile of clothes and reconfirmed his suspicion that he might have returned the wrong one.

The next day, we made an appointment to meet up at a local coffee shop two minutes away from our apartments. Things were as normal as they can be. It was as if that awkward moment on the street two days before didn't happen. I have to admit that re-exchanging our Calvins over the table had its thrill as well as its surreptitious moments. I laughed inwardly at myself for the interesting situations that tend to come my way and embraced the originality of what could be the feeling tone of my life.

I don't know about him, but as for me, I was perfectly at peace and never once talked about that awkward encounter on the street few days back. I think I may have found the clarity I needed to handle my relationship with him as nothing more than a fuck buddy or foreign acquaintance.

Him and I chatted for a bit over a cup of coffee. I couldn't help but wonder if its because he knew I was leaving for Victoria the next day and was in a sentimental mood. The conversation was very enjoyable. In fact, I even told him about my recent rejection stories at Starbucks along with that Circular Quay toilet incident, for which he told me to write the experience down in a journal and "cloud" it for protection against physical circumstances. It doesn't have to be detailed, a couple of sentences or words to remember the day by. I smiled secretly on the inside thinking about Gay & Invisible.

Seventh and Final Time We Met
After almost three and a half weeks in Victoria, I came back to New South Wales for a couple of days before I was scheduled to head home. W did mention that he wanted to see me one last time upon my return. I didn't take him seriously until I found myself in bed with him again in October. He would say things like: "Damn. If you live in the same city, I'll date you. Hey if I'm gonna head over to your region, where do I find you? Which city?"

I remember having a moment in my head where I was trying to understand why is he saying all these things that probably don't carry any real meaning, and why was I still standing here in his company? Do we like each other or are we just products of sexual chemistry?

    "What are your plans for the afternoon?", he asked.
    "I was gonna go to the beach, but seeing as how the weather is grey and gloomy today, I might just head down to the city centre to walk around and buy some stuff."
    "Perfect. I'll drop you off. I'm headed across the bridge anyway for a work meeting so you can ride with me."
    "Oh no that's okay! No worries. I'm gonna take the bus."
    "No no. Come with me."
    "Uh, you sure? Wouldn't you be late for your appointment or something?", I asked out of concern.
    "Nah. It's cool."
    "Sure, I'll ride with you."

After a couple of minutes, he came back into the room and the following dialogue took place.

    "Hey I'm sorry, but I don't think I'll be headed North across the bridge. The meeting has been moved to another location."
    "See, I told you not to worry about it. I'm perfectly okay with getting there on my own. Which was why I didn't want to ride with you in the first place. Trust me, it's okay", I said with a smile.

Anyway, here is the big thundering moment that I will remember for the rest of my life. The IT Manager usually leaves his phone lying around when we're in the apartment and most of the time, I can see snippets of his messages off the bright screen. 

So right after we had that conversation, his phone was on the bed and I accidentally saw from afar what was on his screen. It was a message thread between him and "the roommate". The top bubble said something like: "Sorry, I didn't pick up. Was in the middle of a work conference call. You finish?" And the second bubble read something like: "The weather is horrible. I'll come get you now." 

For those of you who still don't know what happened there, the IT Manager lied to "the roommate" in his first text bubble about being in a work conference call when he was actually in bed with me, and the second text bubble proved that he wasn't being honest with me about "the meeting moving to another location".

At that few particular heartbeats of my life, I swear, something inside me sparked alive and I have never experienced a more powerfully elated moment in myself just by reading a text message. 

It was as if somebody or something divine shot a bullet of clarity through my soul and I was in complete alignment with the cosmic infinity. I had goosebumps, and a tear developing in my right eye out of the life-changing sentiment of gratitude and enlightenment, all bouncing off each other at the same time.

The truth set me free and I said, never again will I try to pursue something that I know is not meant for me. Before I left his apartment the IT Manager insisted on sending me to the airport for my flight the next day which was really nice of him. 

Realising that I am done, and that I am really not interested in taking any more of what he would offer, I said a friend was going to drop me off and I told him to take care without an ounce of disrespect or resentment in my voice but filled with genuine regard because I really do have a soft spot for this guy. He probably has no idea what he taught me, but as long as I know, I will be able to listen to my own voice and save myself from a lot of unnecessary heartbreaks.

Saturday, 6 December 2014

The Time I Met A German Man On A Rebound

This next guy I'm going to write about was a very interesting chapter that happened during my stay in this city. But somehow, thinking about him at this moment still brings out tiny emotions of confusion and emptiness due to the way my exchange with him ended. I'll elaborate.

Mid-week afternoon. There I was. Same coffee house, feeling restless, itching for a meet, started fishing on the gay apps on my phone. This pretty-looking man with a nice body from Jack'd reached out to me for a simple "Hi". After a couple of exchanges, the vibe I got was that he was looking for some fun. However, once I started to push for a meet to happen at his place that evening, he questioned me directly what were my intentions. Huh? Is he for real?

I said I am somebody who goes into a meeting without expectations. I like to meet guys and talk to them, get a sense of who they are and learn to enjoy the moment. If things go well, we can take it further from there, if not, it doesn't bother me too and I would still head home without regrets.

   "You happy with my answer?", I asked deliberately as a matter of factually with a smiley emoticon.
     "That's exactly my thought!", he replied enthusiastically.

Knowing that sex was not going to be the principal goal of the meet, I felt more at ease and could go into this date with a much more calm approach. Within a couple of hours, I was pressing on the intercom to his building and he buzzed me up. 

He lives in a nice location and a nice apartment. When I saw him in flesh, age has certainly roughened up his pretty face in a sexy and masculine way which I thought was kinda hot. But his use of a profile picture from his younger days on Jack'd once again made me ponder deeply about my own future, and what this common fear of ageing can mean to many gay men. Especially to those who are experiencing it now and to those who have come before me.

Immediately upon entering his space, my talkative mouth just started chattering itself away while he boiled us some water for tea. He has an amazingly comfortable and spacious couch that I just couldn't resist the idea of making myself feel at home in his living room.

Frankly, I've only stepped into his apartment for a mere ten minutes, but I could already see it in his eyes that he was completely fascinated and surprised by the friendliness and warmth that is currently standing in his apartment. Yes I call it friendliness and warmth, but maybe what it really was was just hyperactive energy and a lot of curious questions. Anyway if we can't trust what I see, at least trust my intuitive sixth sense for energy.

I can't recall the exact sequence of our conversation, but him and I are capable of talking about a wide variety of things. From German society and economy, to his current job search and recent break up with his ex-boyfriend. 

However, I think it was only revealed to me later during our fourth or fifth meeting that he loved his ex-boyfriend of Taiwanese descent insanely much, but the relationship had an element of deception and arrière-penseé to it in the sense that the younger partner was an incredibly smart but selfish guy who knew how to play his cards right. From what I gather, I was a little heartbroken to learn that his ex was reaping a lot of benefits from him. Financial or otherwise throughout the course of their relationship.

     "Weren't you aware at all of what was happening during the relationship? How did you let yourself go on when you knew what constituted the foundation? Did you see this coming?"

It wasn't only after I heard my own questions out loud that I realised, no matter how understanding or empathetic my tone of voice sounded, it was unfair of me, and that I actually hold no right to ask such difficult questions. Even if all I wanted were valuable relationship and human being lessons out of it.

Also at the back of my head, it started to sink in too that there are guys out there like his ex who are absolutely unafraid of their actions. I couldn't decide for myself I should think of them as indispensably clever in life, or just spiritually and morally bankrupt.

But the German guy did mention something later on about how he is willing to accept this experience of loss as some kind of returned karmic consequence for the behaviour of his younger self that resembled very much like his current ex.
"For those who use, will eventually be used?", I heard the voice inside myself ponder.

One evening, while we were playing this game called Lumosity on his iPad to challenge our brains, he would harmlessly reiterate at the fact that his ex was an intelligent guy who dominates this game. I think he might have meant it too in terms of IQ and academics. Which is why in the practical sense of survival in life, his ex performs well.

For a moment of insecurity, I thought about myself. On top of not possessing the practical smarts that many people seem to have, I feel that I am not clever enough to want to use people too for personal gain. "Am I on the right track staying the way I am? For sometimes, personal integrity and doing the right thing just doesn't really get you anywhere", I hear my inner self thought.

The German guy tells me too that he has recently been relying on this self-help book about happiness that he finds very useful in this period where he is still struggling to heal from his break. 

He would tease me jokingly about my passion for questions with statements like: "Is this interview over?" Or "Are you a psychologist?" Or "Oh wait, I need to write this down" which I find extremely playful and amusing. The guy does have some original sense of humour, and he's German. How interesting.

The initial plan was for us to have tea at his place for about an hour or so and then I'll head home to the simple chicken and rosemary waiting for me in the refrigerator. But surprisingly, the man decided to ask me to join him for dinner. I have to admit that it's always nice to have somebody further reaffirm the idea that they like your presence with requests like this.

    "I thought you already have dinner plans with your gay friend? He cooked dinner tonight and is expecting you isn't he?", I asked. 
    "No it's okay. I'm gonna call him and his boyfriend and tell them now I'll see them another day. I like being with you. You make me feel very comfortable."
      "Uh... Sure! I can eat with you."

We went out to a Vietnamese restaurant just a couple of blocks away. After dinner, we walked back to his street. During the commute, I thought about whether I was going to head home straight, or follow him back up to his apartment for a little taste of "German dessert". 

Upon arrival at the entrance of his building, my beating heart made the decision to head back upstairs to use his bathroom for real, and also to give us a proper moment to say goodbye. 

As prophesised, my chance of a goodbye hug became a kiss, which became a make out that sent my blood levels soaring like pillow feathers. We kissed so much and I couldn't get myself to stop, nor did I wanted it to end. 

When I finally came to my senses that I needed to catch the last bus home, I was already standing in his room with my pants open. I told him that I really needed to go and that we can meet again for coffee tomorrow and continue this. He agreed. On the bus home, I couldn't help but wonder if I should have stayed over when he offered. "We need to get married so you will stay", I replayed some of the cheesy things he said to me in my head.

The next day as promised, I was pressing on the intercom to his building again and the other end responded in a deep robotic voice going: "German embassy. Come on up 4th floor." I laughed. 

We were hanging out in his apartment again. However this time with my bowl of tea still full, we were already making out and adjourning into his bedroom to get naked. I suppose yesterday's built-up of rapport certainly saved us a lot of time today. 

In his room, the sex wasn't mind-blowingly amazing, but it was certainly very enjoyable. His body was just as good as it looks with clothes on and without. It was athletically defined and kinda chiseled which was so exciting. He could tell that I adored his biceps, his chest and his torso due to the way I kept caressing it like a boy who has never touched such good body parts up close and naked before. He hardens them for me and I love it every time.

His original sense of humour doesn't stop outside, he brings it into the bedroom. There were three very distinct moments in bed which showed me just what type of character this guy really can be. The first one would be the part where he was about to give me a blowjob, and while under the covers, he grabbed my tool like a microphone and started speaking into it like a radio DJ on air.

The second one concerned my ass, where before rimming, he would spread and re-close my butt cheeks vigorously in emulation of one's lips while voicing over each movement, effectively making my ass a talking ass.

The third would be at the end of our session where after dressing up and trying to make sure I didn't leave anything in his room or on his bed, he reenacted a slightly shocked face and teased: "Oh wait, where is your virginity? You lost it. Right here!" 

I gave him a gentle punch and we both laughed. "Well if you must know", I said, "I lost that a while ago last year." He took a moment to apologise if his weird sense of humour made things uncomfortable. I reassured him that it's fine and that he should be celebrating his originality as there aren't many people who can get joy so easily.

After the sex, I stay cuddled in bed with him for about forty minutes. And without realising, the late afternoon quickly turned into a dark evening. He asked me to stay again with him for dinner, but seeing as how we've just spend too many hours with each other within two consecutive days, I prefer not to ruin a good thing because I was starting to feel a little suffocated myself. He kept telling me how great I make him feel. We kept in touch over the weekend via text messages and WhatsApp.

About a week later, we hung out again. In fact, I saw him a couple more times over coffee and two amazing Italian dinners, of which none of them consisted of sex. There is one bizarre thing however that I've come to notice, is that the alarm clock on his phone is set to ring at almost every interval. And whenever it does, he doesn't turn it off. He simply just snoozes it and it will ring again in the middle of our conversation. The process repeats itself one too many times that I feel it has to be something significant. He told me is his way of keeping track of time although something in my head felt that that didn't make sense.

The rooftop of his building is amazing too. Once he took me up there for a tour and I was just completely blown away by the panoramic view. Damn you could see everything! The harbour, the bridge, the Opera House, the observation tower, the city skyline. He reconfirmed that the new year's barbecue party and fireworks viewing from this spot is as exciting as it is socially fun. After all, he lives in a gay neighbourhood. Aw man, I wanna be here for that!

The other thing I'd like to highlight concerning the behaviour on my part that is not so polite, is my wandering eye. I don't know if it's because I'm in a good-looking gay neighbourhood, or if it's because I haven't gotten my guy fever under control, my eyes are predisposed to wander  a lot and I think he notices. I felt bad and I talked to him about it.

During our time together, he and I talk about a wide variety of subjects. A couple of memorable discussions and lessons I've learnt or have had the privilege of talking about included:

  • How systematic German society operates, along with the purpose and scientific thinking behind how the country runs as a collective. I remember telling him how fascinated I am with nations and empires and how a country is being run. In the end, I could identify for myself, the positives and also the negatives in which a society or a country is born and built out of a certain way of thinking.
  • The topic of money and personal wealth. Any advice on this matter? Has he defined his relationship with money? Has it always been good, steady and abundant? He said that there was a point in his life when he was making lots and lots of cash everyday. It was a foo and beverage business venture which unexpectedly made him very rich. However, it took away his freedom seven days a week for a couple of years due to strict commitments. He mentioned that there comes a point in life where the money isn't worth it anymore at the expense of your happiness. And so, he let that business go and went back to full time employment. Of which he gets to travel a lot.
  • His ability to pick out some of my fears, me nervousness and my worries. He asked me one night about my constant nervous energy in being a worrywart. Are you always this anxious? I can tell that you don't seem to be in the present. You seem to be living in the future. He was right, and I thought immediately about the lesson in this post.
  • How my character and the person that I am, reminds him very strongly of this German friend, who is a friend of a friend of another friend. The guy was somewhat lost halfway in life and was trying to find himself when he set up his own company to try and help organisations solve problems relating to their efficiency, success, productivity, performance etc. The company consist of a small team of experts who are commissioned by organisations to step in and help them solve problems relating to management communications, office structure, human resource etc. Initially when he conceived the idea, people thought that it was a stupid. But now, their company has successfully amassed a portfolio consisting of big clients in Europe. This story gives me hope in the sense that I might actually possess skills and traits which have yet to find its right platform to be valued, as opposed to me thinking all the time that I am for lack of a better word, stupid or not smart enough to perform at a professional level.
  • Finally learning the magic Italian word "acqua del rubinetto" from a friendly Italian waiter during one of our dinners. It is the French equivalent of saying "une carafe d'eau" for which travellers need to pronounce when visiting restaurants in Italy and in France to make sure they get free tap water without having to pay for the all expensive bottled sparkling. "Acqua del rubinetto" kids, remember that.

On the last evening when we hung out in his apartment (although I didn't know it at the time that it was going to be our last) I was seated upright on the couch and he was lying down with his head on my lap. I was massaging certain spots on his forehead and he was caressing me lightly.

It was at that surreal moment that I suddenly had this strangely erotic but personal moment in myself where I started to open up to the possibility of liking this man for real. Could we grow to like this man for real? Is he a potential guy to be in a relationship with? Wait, he wouldn't even tell us his age. Shouldn't we be with somebody our age? I don't know.

That night he suggested that we give a sleepover a try before I leave the city. He said he really wants to wake up to me in the morning, make me breakfast and see how things can go between us. Initially I was hesitant, but seeing as how much he really wants this, I agreed to do it and we settled on a day.

As our sleepover date approaches, he seemed to have been awfully quiet. I texted him, only to receive a reply the night before that he's actually been sick the whole time. I offered to pay him a visit to make him some food but he needed to rest. So I left it as it is.

The sleepover then never materialised as the date of my leaving approaches. On the day of my departure, I texted him goodbye and told him to take care of himself, although deep inside, I was a little unhappy at the fact that he didn't deliver what he said he would. 

He texted back to say that he has been struggling lately with his breakup and has withdrawn himself. Upon reading what he wrote, I gave him a very supportive reply and suddenly felt like I had no legitimate grounds to feel upset. Since then, him and I never spoke again and I've looked forward.

Sunday, 30 November 2014

If You Cannot Hear The Sound Of The Genuine In You

"If you cannot hear the sound of the genuine in you, you will all of your life spend your days on the ends of strings that somebody else pulls" - Howard Thuman

Saturday, 29 November 2014

The Time I Realised the Dangers of My Perfection Mentality

You know, the longer I live through my days as myself, the more I've come to realise that I have unknowingly grown into a human being who makes his decisions, plans his life, and lives it according to a psychological syndrome known as perfectionism.

For those of you who think I might be talking about perfection for the egotistical and prideful way it sounds, no I'm not. I'm talking about the self-destructive version here. The part that is often dangerously found at the inner core of individuals, individuals such as myself. So, perfectionism, is it innate or self-made?

    "Do you think you have a problem with life's bad side? Why do you think it consumes you so much to the point of collapse whenever things don't work out, or go smoothly the way you want it to go?", asked the counsellor two years ago.
    "Because... because... Bb-bb... Because, it's not perfect. Dare I say it. It's not perfect! And I hate it. I hate it so much", I remember hearing myself say in defeat. It was at that powerful moment too that I realised for myself, that I am somewhat corrupted by this inexplicable syndrome for perfection.

In order to get to the bottom of how I ended up with this mentality without seeing it coming, I'll need to look at my thought process as a kid. Realistically speaking, I would have to say that my life doesn't deserve to be called bad. Really, in comparison to what is going on out there in the world, it isn't bad. But it definitely had its challenges as an emotionally weak gay kid from a broken family. For some reason, we always had a lot of obstacles or practical life issues that needed a lot of sorting out.

I often wonder if its because I never had that seemingly "perfect life" as reflected by the world or the peers surrounding me, that I unconsciously started the pattern of constantly daydreaming about the ideal situation, the perfect future, or the perfect movie to escape the current reality I didn't fancy.

I remember fantasising a lot about what my life will look like in a perfect world, a world without failure, a world without setbacks, a world where resources, financial or otherwise, odds, physicality and luck are all on my side. I don't know where this unrealistic form of thought arose from, but I think one of the things I could identify as the trigger was my perception of other people having it that way.

You'll always hear me say something like: "When I grow up, this and this will right itself. When I become successful, this and this will be perfect. When I am twenty five, things will no longer be as miserable and as low as they are now. When things get better, when I become more good-looking. When I, when I, when I."

Well, twenty five years down the road, I've grown into an adult struggling with the same concept of thought. However, the difference this time in this journal, is that my awareness of the problem might actually help me realise how severe this perfection disorder has corrupted me. And that I can now start to implement a conscious efforts to change the way I operate and think. To make better choices for myself and to be freer as a person, as a human being.

Here in this post, I would like to first write down for myself, my realisation of the dangers caused by this state of mind. Looking back and analysing my life, this psychological disorder for perfection has driven me to do many naive and unreasonable things in the past and in the present. They include:

  • Why I had thoughts to want to end my own life prior to the year 2011 when I realised that being gay wasn't going to 'go away' no matter how many nights I went to sleep. I felt as if my entire being and existence was tarnished, and that I was the new ostracised defect. Which is so foolish when I come to think of it now, but that was certainly the thought of a person raised in a conservative cum religious society where homosexuality is still taboo. Anyway, that was the past and I am glad now to have survived that depressing state of mind.
  • My unreasonable frustration and resentment with failures and hardships that never seem to into my life because psychologically, they remind me of how imperfect my life is. For I perceive them as elements that swallow perfection or rather a form of 'mess' or a 'nuisance' to the perfect movie or vision I've aspired to. Will work on it.
  • Why I couldn't accept my body, my skin, or how I look. In other words, the 'physical container' I've been given by God for the longest time in life because firstly, I couldn't accept myself. And secondly, I allowed my belief in not measuring up to what people around me or society might perceive as a conventionally attractive male defeat me. I think that gave way to my long rooted battle with issues concerning the lack of masculinity and deep insecurity. Will work on it.
  • My lack of commitment in allowing myself to truly like a guy properly for the long termor take on recent guys at a chance of a trial run for possible boyfriendship, because apart from the worry that I first need to sort out my career path, I think I am also constantly on the wait and look out for other guys who might be better fits to my dream of a perfect loveWhich I'm starting to realise might be unrealistic and a huge mistake. Will work on it.
  • My constant blind wait for the perfect timing, "the perfect opportunity", "the perfect job", "the perfect price" or the "perfect design" at the expense of not getting anything done. This idea of idleness and paralysis brought on by the hope of waiting on perfection has recently been a recurring theme which needs to be tackled. Will work on it.
  • Why my ex-boss from work was critical of my tendency to over-think on a task and strive for obsessive perfection that it impedes my professional output, speed and productivity at the work place. For in the realistic world that we live in, sometimes perfection doesn't carry as much weight, importance and value than practicality itself. Will work on it.

So there we are, examples from which I can recall spontaneously from the head. Although some of them might be a little too personal for me to elaborate here, which I will not get into, but my hopes of writing this down in the journal is that it will remind me of what I really need to work on, and to allow myself to remember this period of growth in the future.

Friday, 21 November 2014

The Time I Met A Bulgarian Guy

On Saturday, my childhood friend and his girlfriend decided to host a spontaneous dinner party of seven in their apartment, of which, I'm currently crashing in. I could hear the stubborn INFJ in myself go: "A dinner party of seven? Where I can't have in depth personal conversations with the guests? Think I'd rather skip it."

With the thought of wanting to escape the crowd I wasn't in the mood for, I immediately confirmed my plans to hop on a train to go meet this new guy I've chatted with on Jack'd at his suburb. When we first got in touch earlier this week, my initial impression of him was that he was a good-looking guy, and had him pegged as someone from either South-Eastern Europe or Latin America due to his look. He confirmed my geographical suspicion later on and revealed to me that he was originally from Bulgaria.

Prior to our meeting that night, he warned me about not being able to communicate effectively in English, which I thought was weird considering he texts fine. Then, upon meeting him face to face at the train station where I arrived, I learnt that his claim for the lack of linguistic proficiency was true, and that it was going to take a lot of patience from us to get through the night. 

What was even more disappointing however upon seeing him, was that he has gained a little bit of weight, and certainly didn't look as good as the candidate from the profile picture I agreed to meet. Well M, what are you gonna do? We're already here. A guy's just gotta make the best out of the situation.

In the spirit of not wanting to be that douche bag that says: "I'm sorry, this isn't going to happen because I now find you physically unattractive," I told myself that the date must go on. It's just that now, we can cross out sex from the menu. As soon as I switched my thinking, the situation didn't seem so disappointing anymore.

So from the train station, we stopped by the liquor store to grab a bottle of wine, for which he insisted on paying for, then to the nearby convenience store for some chips. Throughout the entire time we were shopping, he was very cold and aloof. Even with my warm and friendly conversationalist at work, he still had trouble responding in terms of the energy that he was putting out. Maybe he really can't understand most of what we're talking about you fool!

Back at his apartment, things were better and he gave me a brief tour of the place. There was this moment during the tour where I could feel that he deliberately showed me his bedroom. From what I could 'receive' on my end, was that I'm guessing it's to see if we had a shot at going to bed early. I stayed unaffected and pivoted us back out to the living room where we could sit down and have some proper hang out time. He looked shocked, and if I'm accurate in my judgement of people's emotions, a little unhappy with where things were going.

Then I started to feel as if what I was doing wasn't fair to him. As a genuine practitioner of honesty and respect, I decided to let him know then and there in the living room about the ending he wasn't going to get from me that night. It was my way of offering him a fast checkout card if we didn't want the same things. That way, it would save everybody the time and unnecessary trouble

I obviously didn't tell him the truth about why 'fun' wasn't going to be on the menu because I just don't see the point in this. It will only hurt someone unnecessarily telling them that they don't attract me, and what do I get out of it? So I made some lousy excuse to make it seem like it was my problem and not his.

Then surprisingly, he said it doesn't matter and that we could just sit around and hang out like normal guys. Wow, he still didn't mind us hanging out in this place? Why would he put himself through this when he's clearly uncomfortable or aloof?

After opening the bottle of wine and settling us down, I started my conversation with him. During the first thirty minutes, the atmosphere in the living room was just very awkward due to his lack of response and seemingly cold façade. I could have easily chosen to end the night, but then I had an interesting idea of how to turn things around to make it more interesting.

Inspired by what I could achieve and what I did with the bisexual chef in the name of wanting to have some fun with my enthusiasm for therapeutic chats, I decided to try it out again with him. If I can get this Bulgarian guy who doesn't speak fluent English to open up or talk about his life, it could possibly be an unrealised potential or test to my patience, skill and spirit. This is going to be fun!

Remembering that the candidate has trouble with the language, I kept my questions really simple and clear. Initially the silent gaps were very uncomfortable, then gradually it became the norm in the conversation.

"Wait, let me think how to tell you in English", as he would often repeat, then take his time to think and give me short replies for which I am willing to listen and understand. He was quite good at communicating with me without having to explain excessively. And that was the inexplicable formula that really worked in this chat towards understanding each other.

His story was that he grew up as a purely heterosexual guy. He was one of those guys who always had a girlfriend and had no clue that he had homosexual preferences until he arrived in his mid twenties, where a one-time brief encounter involving his then girlfriend's hairdresser changed the course of how he started to sleep and go out exclusively with men.

    "Really? You never felt any attraction towards men while growing up? Never thought about it prior to that incident?"
     "No", he answered.
     "So will you ever want to be with a girl again?"
     "No. I am gay", he reassured me.

Throughout the next hour or so, we had a very rich conversation. I couldn't gauge if it was the way I asked my questions or if it was the way I listened to him that he felt so comfortable in opening up. It was like taking a walk and revisiting all the experiences that was locked away in his mind.

One thing that really stayed with me, was when he talked about being single, and that it is not uncommon for him to meet someone he really likes or wants to pursue, only to have that person not feel the same way or like him back. I think that part resonated with me mostly because I feel that as I venture deeper into my journey with meeting guys, I myself am starting to witness what he was talking about from the shoes of having been in both sides. Ah, life.

    "Do you work in... in... Wait let me think the word in English. Psychology? Or Journalist? You ask a lot of questions and you seem very curious", he looked me in the eye as he asked.
  "Nope. I'm just being me", I answered. By the end of two and a half hours, he was commenting on how weird it is to be seated here with a stranger he met on Jack'd and having felt like he just spilled his treasures. 

    "This is crazy you know. I've lived here for 2 years with the same flatmate, but I never told him anything. I don't talk about what I just told you even with friends.", he said. And for that, I thank him for being comfortable enough with me to talk about his personal past.

Seeing that the time was already close to 11pm, I decided to take-off to catch the bus back into the city. My session with him is done and I am very happy. I've given him free therapy in exchange for personal stories that are treasures in disguise for my learning experiences. 

As I help bring the glasses into the kitchen and picked up some of the trash that we left, I decided to give him a hug before I go. At most, maybe a kiss for being such a patient guy and then I will leave. A hug and a kiss? Yes a hug and a kiss. Sure. I can do that.

Then guess what, the hug obviously gave way to body contact, which gave way to a kiss, which gave way to a make-out in the kitchen. Just when I told myself that I'm going to stop and that this is as far as I'm going to allow myself to go, he lifted me up slightly and moved us back out to the living room where he let us fall onto the couch. The guy was a good kisser and certainly someone who knew how to caress and pushed all the right spots. On my neck, on my abdomen, on my skin. I was so turned on.

I knew that from a sensible point of view, I should stop if I was going to keep my word for not leading him on, but what was happening was just so fun and enjoyable that I let myself be lazy to take in the moment. "Oh come on, what's the harm with a little foreplay or make-out on the couch?", I thought to myself. Then, I couldn't recall how it happened, but he cleverly lifted me up slightly on my feet and we glided towards his room. The next thing I know, we were both already on his bed.

Yes. The clothes started to come off, and I ended up having fun with him in the bedroom for about forty five minutes. When we were done, he kept asking me to stay the night for which I declined and said I needed to get home. I couldn't tell if it was because I had my release, or if I felt ashamed for doing something I said I wouldn't do, but during the last moments of our goodbye, it felt a little awkward.

The time was about 12.15am and thankfully, I managed to catch one of the last few night buses that were headed towards the city centre as per his recommendation. Throughout the next few days, he texted me a lot, telling me he wishes to see me again and stuff. However, due to me not feeling any genuine attraction, I've decided to stay in touch but not lead him on. I then left it up to time to let things die down.

Thursday, 13 November 2014

The Time A Bisexual Chef Opens Up About His Struggles

I am about two months behind my writing so most of these stories have actually taken place a couple of weeks earlier. Back in September, I remember going through one of those restless days where I felt so unfulfilled and started to cruise excessively on the gay apps. But as usual, nothing positive ever comes to fruition whenever I 'fish' this hard.

It wasn't until when I've decided to let things go and was on the bus home when a faceless profile on Grindr said hi to me. I couldn't remember if he did it immediately or after a few chat bubbles, but turns out, the guy was good-looking in his early thirties when he revealed a face picture. He asked to meet that evening, but I was already set on going home so we decided to regroup the following day instead via text message.

So on Friday afternoon, I caught a train from Central Station to meet him at his suburb. Upon my arrival at the destination, I got a text from him telling me that he was still on his way home from running some errands in the city, and will be here in about twenty minutes. Twenty minutes?! Fine. Fine! I can wait twenty minutes. I'll just humour myself with mental jokes while I wait.

Throughout the next thirty minutes, many trains came and go on the platform but still, there was no guy. He called me once to tell me he was on his way and I thought although that was a good initiative on his part, but I still felt a little annoyed. Actually scratch that, I was beginning to feel pissed.

I started to feel as if something isn't right regarding this behaviour, and voices started to appear in my head. "Forty-five minutes of waiting? Jesus M, why do you still bother? Why don't you just walk away? Wait, what if he turns out to be an inaccurate depiction of his picture? What if he is not a legitimate guy? What if he is on drugs? Why are we putting ourselves through anxious situations like these? For the experience?"

After about close to an hour, his text came and we met on the platform staircase. He appears to have gone shopping, was wearing shades and was dressed like a retired fraternity boy. I could have opted for making a big fuss about how he left me waiting for a goddamn hour, but you know what, nothing positive can come out of displaying such childish energy so I let it go.

Apparently, we needed to take an additional five minute cab ride back to his place. I was on the verge of losing my patience but told myself not to back out now. I was also very tempted to tell him that this sex date isn't going to work out due to me not feeling any good vibe. However, I kept my mouth shut and went with the flow.

The taxi finally came to a stop in front of this brick terrace house and he paid for it. On the outside, it looks like no one bothered to do anything with it. But on the inside, it was amazingly cozy and tastefully decorated thanks to his female house mate who works in fashion and publishing. He lives with a girl? His best friend?

He took off his shades and I thought his eyes were beautiful. I walked into the brightly-lit kitchen and hovered around the wooden dining table while we shot the breeze and he busied himself. Finally, I closed in on our distance and kissed him, although I swear I could have felt his aloofness. After a few more pecks, we moved into his bedroom which at the moment, was in an acceptable mess. I could have judged him, but decided not to. For some reason at the back of my head, I thought that there could be a story behind this, but never really dwell on it.

I would say that overall, the guy was physically attractive. He had a nice athletic body, nice eyes, nice hair, nice lips and nice skin. He smells great too thanks to his cologne which was the perfect mix with his natural odour. If he wore a tux at a formal event, he could hunt if he wanted to.

There were lots of kissing, sucking and foreplay on my part for a good fifteen minutes before he decided to come. However, throughout the time we were in bed, I could feel very strongly that there were vulnerable moments from him. My mind registered that he was either holding back on this sex date, or that he had issues pertaining to homosexuality.

After he came, I decided to jerk myself off to ejaculation with the both of us lying next to each other. It wasn't the most smooth-flowing of sex dates, but that's fine. Then he cuddled me with an expression that seemed to suggest great confusion. The atmosphere in the room was awkward and resembled very much like I was in a sensitive moment, and that I was the only one making the moves.

Then he looked at me and apologised. He said that he feels a little weird right now after having fun because he actually just broke up with someone a few days ago, and it was a girl. An electrical wire in my head instantly jolted itself to live. Ah-ha! So that's why!

Upon hearing that, my heart soften in great empathy. I then took the initiative to reassure him that it's okay, and that I understand, and that he doesn't have to feel bad about this sex date. In this instance, I was very grateful to how honest he was with me. Because I'd rather go with transparency, than having to walk away later on, trying to figure out what went wrong or what was the damn issue. And now, I know.

Immediately after his confession, I tried to respect his distance and proceeded to put on my clothes because I felt his discomfort. My plan was to leave but he invited me to stay for a cup of coffee and I agreed, thinking that I might also use the additional time to help him talk about what he was struggling with.

     "Piccolo latte for you?", he asked while trying to handle the espresso machine.
     "Yup, thank you. So what is it that you do?"
     "I work at a restaurant in the city. I'm a chef."
     "Oh culinary arts! That's cool. So what cuisine do you specialise in? French, Italian?"
     "No specific genre, but generally western cuisine."

Finally, he walked over to the table with two cups of coffee in his hand, sat down, offered me some chocolates as we continued to talk on a chilly late afternoon.

     "So your house mate has great taste. This place is just so cozily decorated. I love it."
     "Yeah she does. She works in fashion and also in publishing."
     "Does she know you have guys over?"
     "Yeah, but only when she's not around or at work."
     "So are you guys close? Do you like talk to her about your personal stuff or whatever it is that you're going through?"
     "Yeah I do. We're kinda like best friends."
   "You know just out of curiosity, is there a label that you identify yourself with? You mentioned in the room that you just broke up with... a girl? 
     "Yeah it was a she."

    "Forgive me if I seem unusually fascinated. I've never actually met a guy from Grindr who tells me that he has relationships with woman too. It never crossed my mind that you are a 'bisexual' so to speak, although I don't know how comfortable you are in labels, or if it's even fair for me to use labels such as that to refer to your situation."
     "No sure, go ahead," he said.

    "So what's it like? Have you always known that you went both ways while growing up? Because for a long time in my life, I've known for myself secretly that I was sexually attracted to men, and men only. But during the closeted period between eighteen to early twenties, I actually dangled the bisexual card with some close friends to justify my denial and to test the water, even though I knew it was a lie. It was a denial-cladded tool for me to acknowledge my homosexuality without having to say, I'm gay. You know what I mean?", I added in detail.

    "Yeah. Being with both men and women isn't as fun as how people like to think it is. Contrary to having it all, this is something that has been bothering me. I mean I still struggle with it everyday", he says.
     "Really? You mean to come to terms with it or... to pick a side? Or..."
     "I don't know, it's really complicated, and hard to articulate", he answered.

   "Hey, that's okay. No judgement, I understand. You know I actually thought all along that swinging both ways is kinda like a privilege. A privilege that you can be open to both", I said.
    "Nah it isn't. It's like having two personalities living in you. You are not completely gay, but neither are you completely straight. I can't call myself gay because I'm not a hundred percent gay, and I can't call myself straight because on top of sleeping with girls, I have desires to be with a guy too. So I still can't figure out what this is and it's just really messy", he explained with slight despondency.

     "You know, maybe there really is no straight forward formula or answer to this case. Have you ever thought that maybe part of the lesson here is that you need to be okay with what you are and that maybe you really don't need to try so hard to put yourself in a box? Because the thing with sexuality is that there is an entire grey area that people refuse to acknowledge. People want the simple gay or straight which I think is no longer applicable in the 21st century that we live in. By the way, have you opened up to your circle of friends regarding your struggles?", I asked in the most understanding tone.

  "Yeah I did. I tried to come out as gay once but I just ended up dating girls again. Sometimes I talk about it with them but they can't seem to understand. Just like every other person in this world who might not be going through a certain problem, they can't relate or have no idea how it really feels."
     "Yes yes. I know what you're getting at and I agree."

    "Actually my ex-girlfriend and I kinda broke up because of this issue. I have a lot of issues to deal with and my insides are fighting with each other."
    "So tell me this, do you think... you're more attracted to guys? Or are you more attracted to girls? I know this might sound like a very personal and forceful question on my part, but just think about it for a moment. Reflect on your historical pattern, which side seem to exude a more powerful pull?"

      "Hmm, I don't know. But I can tell you that whenever I'm in a relationship with a girl, I want to be with a guy. But when I'm with a guy, I don't feel like I need to be with a girl." 
     "Really?", I nodded my head simultaneously as my eyes illuminated with heightened interest.
      "But when I'm with a guy for too long, I do still think about not wanting to give up that white picket fences suburban dream I share with a wife and dog."
     "Sounds like you really are trying to work out a lot of things and are struggling with your identity."
    "Yeah I am. And this, this... this is weird. I just told you a bunch of stuff I don't even really tell my friends. I've never met a complete stranger, or some guy for a sex date for which I end up telling him my story or have this kind of therapeutic conversations with."

   "Thank you. I actually love talking to people. It keeps me alive, and it's often the most rewarding and meaningful part of my meet with guys. Have you heard of the Kinsey Scale?"
     "Kinsey what? No. What's that?", he asked.

    "Kinsey scale. I don't know if this information might untangle some knots or provide you with a better understanding of who you might be, but look it up on the internet. Kinsey scale. It's a study coined by a man named Alfred Kingsley, used to measure a person's sexuality on the scale of 0 to 6, with 0 being exclusively heterosexual and 6 being exclusively homosexual. I happen to know that I am a pure 6. But his theory suggests that there exist an entire grey spectrum of sexuality for which people can fall anywhere between a 2 to a 5, ranging from predominantly heterosexual and incidentally homosexual or vice versa, to equally heterosexual and homosexual."

As soon as I finished that dialogue, his eyes lit up in curiosity, which seemed to suggest that I might have unknowingly opened a small window in his heart.

    "Can you send me a text with the name?", he requested.
    "Yeah sure. Maybe it might offer some form of light to your struggles? Anyway, you'll be fine. Don't worry. You'll figure yourself out eventually. Maybe there is just no straight answer to your search. Maybe you need to be okay with it. You know, this year I met a German backpacker who was so lost, and was struggling to find some answers pertaining to his life, and I remember asking him about how he would feel if reached 70 or 80 having never found what he commanded himself to look for. And he said something like, although he would be very disappointed, but maybe part of his destiny or goal for this life, is to learn how to be 'okay' with not finding the ending you want. To learn how to live in peace and to be at peace with the way your life has turned out."

He listened intently as I finished my last gulp of coffee. Then we timed my departure to coincide with a bus that was arriving in a couple of minutes at the nearby bus stop, headed for the train station. While on the journey back into the city, I remember feeling this very powerful feeling of gratitude that I get to witness and learn more about the world and its people through the eyes of these dates.