Father’s Day

I slice through the New York Strip like butter, revealing a glorious pink medium-rare center. I inhale the aroma wafting from the steak and almost drool just from the combination of garlic and thyme.

Dad lets out a chuckle from across the table. “So what did they say after your thesis defense?” He asks just loud enough for me to hear over the energetic chatter of other customers here in the steakhouse. “They didn’t enjoy all the puns, did they?”

“Oh, they loved the puns.” I say after swallowing a piece of the steak. “Okay, maybe they complained after the third Terminator reference, but it worked out in the end.”

Dad smiles through his thick black mustache. Creases and folds form on his face, which is something that I’ve never noticed before. I guess he’s getting older now. Or maybe it’s because I barely see him anymore, and any changes, big or small, will immediately look foreign to me. He struggles to slice a small piece of his rib-eye, incredibly well-done as usual, and chews meticulously so his dentures wouldn’t fall out of his mouth. He sighs and stares at me, making me stop right before I eat another piece of the steak.

“Thank you.” Dad exhales deeply as if saying those two words managed to take the wind out of him. “Not just for buying me dinner for the first time… Thank you… for still coming to dinner with me.”

I chomp on the next piece of my steak and chew slowly. This is the fifth Father’s Day dinner we’ve had where it was only me and Dad in attendance. Maybe I’m just more forgiving than my other siblings and Mom.

“It’s nothing, really.” I shrug. “I can’t really say no to good food…” I raise my glass of water in the air. “Happy Father’s Day!” I exclaim before placing the glass down a little too quickly.

We both go back to our steaks. Every so often, Dad would break the silence between us with small talk, but I offer short replies in between rounds of chewing my food. All around us were happy diners, smiling and laughing warmly at one another. Each table, like ours, has a father-figure sitting down on it that attracts all the beaming grins and chuckles from their respective families. Seeing Dad just sitting there making polite small talk, however, seems incredibly surreal.

“Is something wrong?” I finally ask. Dad jumps in his seat, taken aback by my question. “Normally you’d be complaining about Auntie Cynthia or doing something embarrassing by now, this is really concerning—–”

“I know you’re gay.”

I freeze mid-sentence. I haven’t heard my dad say that word in decades. His face looks more determined now. This is what he wanted to talk about all along.

“Dad, this isn’t the time—-”

“Your Auntie Cynthia called me on the phone and told me all about it.” He snarls, a chunk of steak flying from his mouth and lands on the edge of my plate. “Do you know how embarrassing that is? Apparently all your aunts and uncles and cousins already knew about it. And it seems like I’m the last to find out… When did you come out?”

I don’t know where to start. I never expected him to bring this up.

“What’s wrong?” He asks. He scans my face for any answers but I continue to stay stoic. “Son, I’m doing the best that I can to be a father here. I’m here if you need to talk about it.”

“Dad,” I start to speak, my voice quivering just a little bit. “There’s nothing to talk about. Now come on, you’re making a scene—-”

Dad drops his cutlery on the table. The clanging of the metal causes dissonance with the vibrant energy around us. His breathing becomes erratic. The façade he had earlier is now gone, revealing the frustration he’s been hiding all along. This is the father that I remember.

“I have every right to know this as your father!” Dad half-screams, slamming his fist near his plate. I could feel the gaze of a few people around us. “I’ve done everything that I could to make sure none of you went hungry. The least you can do is treat me like your –”

Something inside me snaps.

“WHY DO YOU THINK I’M STILL HERE?” I bellow. More diners turn their heads but they eventually return to their tables. Dad tries to speak again but I quickly cut in. “Don’t you think I know that? I get it. You’ve sacrificed so much for us. No matter how much I hate to admit it, I can never say that I’m not your son!”

“Then what’s with all the secrecy?” Dad interrogates. His nostrils flare and his eyes grow wide. I feel inclined to be intimidated, but I’m not a teenager anymore. His hands flail wildly, making him appear larger and threatening. I know his game. As he realizes that I’m not flinching, he switches tactics.“What, do you think I hate gays? You’re my son, I would never reject you for being–”

“Our Florida Vacation, 2007.” I reply with confidence, crossing my arms. A few shades of color drain from Dad’s face. “After we saw Cousin Dylan propose to his boyfriend in Jacksonville, you told me that if you ever find out that I was gay,” All the air vanishes from my lungs, forcing me to inhale sharply. I clear my throat. “… you would break legs, chain me up by my ankles and hang me from the ceiling.” Dad tries to speak but nothing comes out. “Well?” I throw my hands up gesturing for him to say something. “Was I supposed to think you liked gay people after that?”

“I…” Dad stutters, averting eye contact. “I was drunk. That was just a joke—”

I roll my eyes. “You were sober! You spat on Dylan when he tried to hug you. You kept calling them ‘faggots’ as we drove away—” An exasperated sigh manages to sneak its way out of my mouth as I place my hand over my face. “‘I was drunk…’ what kind of fucking sorry excuse is that?”

Dad looks like he just ran out of steam. He sits on his chair with slump shoulders. I have never seen him look so defeated. “I…” he starts softly. “I just want you to tell me. In person. Not through text or on the phone. Not through someone else. I shouldn’t have to hear this from your relatives. This is something that you should be telling me face to face. I’m just… Just trying to be a good father–”

For a moment I feel like I should believe him. His face reverts back to its old, wrinkled self. His furrowed brows soften, and a small frown develops on his lips. I feel the need to forgive him, but something holds me back. I’ve heard him apologize before. I seen him apologize to Mom countless times. I’ve forgiven him so many times myself, and I always end up disappointed in both of us.

“And I’m trying to be a good son.” I add. “This is the least I can do. I can spare an hour or two with you for dinner. I tell you things about my life.”

I can see our waiter walking closer to us. A concerned expression forms on his face for the first time this evening.

“But I’ll choose what I want to tell you.” I declare. “On my own terms… When I’m ready, not when you ask me.” I point at him as he dares to even open his mouth to talk. “This isn’t about you… and it never will be.”

I can’t even tell if I forgave him or not. I don’t feel like I did, and I feel like it was a lukewarm answer. But it seems like Dad’s shoulders relax a bit. He sits back on his chair once again, staring up at the ceiling. I do the same. The ceiling itself isn’t interesting. The long light fixtures that hang from the ceiling and drop to about 4 feet above each tables are nothing to cry home about. I don’t know what Dad is doing, but I just need to make sure the tears welling up from my eyes don’t fall and flow down my face.

Before the waiter could even speak, I hold up a hand to him. “I’m sorry about all that noise, we were just having a moment.” I try my best to fake the happiest grin I could plaster on my face. “Can I also get one of your drink menus? I think my dad just needs something to drink.” I wink at the waiter, who winces immediately. Once he walks away from us, I sigh heavily before returning to my plate.

Dad raises an eyebrow. “You don’t know how to wink. You’re just like your Auntie Cynthia.”

I smile. “There we go. That’s the dad I know and love.”

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Straight Crush

Nooooo no no!
We’re not doing this again!
I’m not signing up for weeks
(WEEKS, may I remind you?)
Of half-assed Shakespearean-esque soliloquies
While you look at yourself in the mirror
And cry.

I don’t care if he’s tall
And has a goatee
And talks with a Southern twang in his accent.
(Damn, he’s really cute though.)

HE’S STRAIGHT.
ARE YOU SLOW? (Sometimes, I wonder.)
DO YOU EVEN KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS?

And no, don’t say that “Oh but he seems like
He could be in the closet” nonsense.
Your GAYDAR can’t detect horseshit
Even if you’re BATHING
In it.

I mean,
I get it.
(Duh, I’m you.)
Your type of guy just happens to like
A lot of things that straight guys like.
Like video games.
And cargo shorts.
And flip flops (That’s a straight guy thing, right?)

Except girls. You don’t like girls.
But they do.
See how that’s a big problem?

So don’t put your heart and dick in your sleeves.
You know you’re gonna hurt yourself again if you do.
Just forget about him.
Find a new hobby
Move to a new state.
That way, no one gets hurt.
No one gets…
No one…
No…

You already fell for him,
didn’t you?

Starbucks

My official label as a gay man
is a lot like a Starbucks drink order.
 
I can already see the barista
yelling over the counter.
“Cis gay Asian bear,
a shot of geekiness,
extra vanilla,
no kinks.”
 
It’s excessive, I know, but I’m happy with it.
 
Then the Barista squints
at the name on the cup.
“For… Pablo?”
 
It’s Paulo.
Fuck.

For Free

Good.
We’re not too far from each other.
Need some—
Ah, gotcha.
Should have known you’d be prepared.
Just ten minutes away by car.
No biggie.

You know, this always
Makes me think.
It’s almost hilarious,
Isn’t it?
Inside I feel empty.
And in just a few minutes,
For a few minutes,
I won’t be.

But I never get any closer to becoming a
Complete Person.

Eh, who gives a shit?
We both know what we want.
How we want it.
Just
How much
We need it.

I shouldn’t expect a miracle
when I’m getting this for free.

“Homosexuality is a Choice” (Se dice de mi)

Being gay is a choice?
You think it is my choice?

To be gay is my decision,
Just an option, no precaution,
Sleep with men until exhaustion,
Just like dirty little sluts?
You think our brains are simply tainted,
Misguided and perverted,
With minds so corrupted,
Sticking dicks up in our butts?

Lay down with Adam, with Peter, or with John,
In bed together, and wake up right at dawn.
Will mark us winners,
And a prize as well.
Eternal damnation,
A ticket,
Straight to Hell?

Does that mean we chose,
To be discriminated ruthlessly,
Intimidated relentlessly,
And pushed until down we fell?

Systematically-selected to be shunned and be detested,
By the antiquated hatred in this world.
Constant threats of death and beatings and some may even throw things,
Nimbly dodging, once our rainbow flag’s unfurled?

Oh what a life
This truly is,
And just because of who we kiss!
What kind of man cannot resist
A cursed life so grand as this?

Forget respect, we’re over it.
We’ll take the hit and cry and sit.
Of course I kid about it all,
Sarcastic wit’s the wherewithal!
To disagree with your guess,
It’s the only way to stress,
That the answer all along is “No.”

And yet they still talk.
But they won’t ever say,

“Homosexuality’s found in nature,
Part of Earth’s own legislature,
And it’s not just some fiendish made-up ploy.”
Born this way, it’s all genetics,
Not cosmetic or synthetic,
Like a useless plastic toy.
It’s not at all infectious, like a disease.
You won’t shiver, or shake, or sneeze.

What crimes have we committed,
For simply being gay?
Aside, of course, for looking fabulous,
While wearing a beret?

You say that you’re enlightened.
To me, you’re mad and frightened.
Concerned with who we have sex with,
Every,
Single,
Day.

We just want to love each other, and spend time with one another,
Swear we wouldn’t be a bother, yes it’s true.
This isn’t something that you choose, believe it all, we’re not confused.
I’m really sorry that our views displeases you.

While being gay is not a choice,
There is a fact I’d like to voice.
It’s not for you to rejoice,
For it may sound a lot like noise.

When you throw sludge,
Then smear and smudge,
Unfairly judge,
When things won’t budge.
Don’t feel so bad when asked with sass,
If you really choose to be an ass.
Because, of course, the answer will not be “No.”

Parkour

I’m going to die next week after 2 hours of parkour on a college campus.

Like this, but sadder.

A really really really fit guy started talking to me on OkCupid, and suggested we go and join the parkour club at a nearby campus. We exchanged numbers, and we planned to find each other wherever the club will be meeting. I, in my typical fashion of saying “Yes” to everything without thinking it through especially when I’m talking to people of authority or really attractive men, agreed and promised him that I’ll be there. He said I am now part of his “Parkour Friends” list in his phone, which I feel like is a step up from just being on a regular “Online Friends” list. It is now my destiny.

On my way to be legen— wait for it…

Physically-fit and attractive men rarely talk to me. This case is a very uncommon event, and it stuns me when it happens. Vegans and vegetarians actively avoid me, and fitness buffs and athletes generally won’t even look in my direction.

My first problem is that they’re all very attractive to me. That’s the kind of guys that I like.

Sexy. Athletic. Toned. Tall. Beards are a plus, but not required. Long hair is fun but not necessary. Red hair, the rarest of them all, is a giant plus. At that point, they might as well be a shiny Pokemon.

Aren’t we all just hunting for our shiny Pokemon?

And when you mix in a little bit of geekiness to that sexy solution, it creates an incredibly attractive human being that I would do anything in my power (within legal limits and without being creepy, of course) just so I can wake up with that person every morning for the rest of my life. Okay, I gotta tone down the creepiness.

My second problem is that I am not the type of guy that my dream guy would be dating. I’m 230 pounds right now. My closet is full of clothes that I can no longer fit into. While I am making strides, my dating market value (as I have explained in this post right here) does not match the requirements of the guys that I’m trying to date.

And yeah, I know what you’re gonna say. “There’s someone out there for everyone.” “The guy you’ll end up with will love you just the way you are.” “Being big is beautiful.” I get it. That’s fine. It’s a great way to make myself feel better when I’m dealing with my weight. I even made a post (which you can check out right here) about how I’d hate it if my main goal to lose weight was to flaunt my hot body in front of everyone who rejected me.

HOWEVER.

None of that will help me lose that weight.

I get that it’s not nice to make fun of people’s weight, especially since some people do have health problems that cause it, and that psychological problems plague people suffering from obesity, preventing them from losing weight. But I’m not one of those people. Really, the only thing that’s probably stopping me mentally from continuing to lose weight is this non-stop repetition of “You’re to thin. Eat more. Keep eating.” that keeps playing in my head, said with the voices of my mom, my grandmother, and doctors I have seen in the Philippines (which deserves a completely different blog post).

I’ve said this to Five Guys before.

So in a way, barely anything is stopping me from reaching that goal. I want to be with a geeky, sexy, tall guy. In my current state of fitness, it’s way too much to ask for, but I can make positive changes in my life through exercise and a proper diet. I technically need to do this anyway since both my mom and dad’s families are prone to diabetes.

One of these days, if I continue this path that I’m walking on to reach a stable healthy lifestyle, I’ll be able to jump over that fence where all the attractive, in-shape, fit geeks are hiding as they play Pokemon on their 3DS. Parkour might just end up being the most important skill that I need to get over that hurdle.

—DARY! Ironically, I am lactose intolerant..

Of course, this is assuming I don’t break my bones and die next week. If I stop writing for 2 months, please call the cops and have them search for my body.

Anyway…

I tried to draw him based on the pictures he has.

s
It’s a quick sketch, none of this is to scale. Just wanted to emphasize the orange hair!

He’s not that much taller than me (even though I’ve been emphasizing the importance of height).

But, as Ke$ha has so elegantly stated…

But right now I enjoy the friendship. He’s a nice guy, and has enough geekiness for me to geek out. Maybe eventually, when I drop even more of this weight, I’ll become more than just a “Parkour Friend.”

 

———

EDIT:

While chatting some more, he made references to the workout in ONE PUNCH MAN.

Of course I’d choose a red-haired comedian.

He’s tugging hard on my heart string, man. This guy is unreal.

———

 

On The Other Side

Years ago I wrote a note on here that had a poem about being a spy. It kinda sucked because I sucked at poetry, but I do like the theme of the poem. While I wasn’t directly stating it, it was essentially about how hiding my sexuality felt like I was a spy living among innocent civilians. I’m too lazy to look it up, but I’m pretty sure it had something about wearing a disguise in the presence of my peers, or having a facade or holding a mask in front of my face; something insufferable similar to that, which only my past self could write about.
In any case, being a spy is the most accurate thing I can compare with being in the closet. You really are putting up a disguise, you gotta lie about your true identity because you’re not sure who to trust, and most of the time when your cover is blown, your life could be in danger.
This is why I can confidently say that gay people are great candidates for espionage.
When I finally did come out, most of the fears that I had (rejection, disownment, harassment, assault, etc…) didn’t really happen, save for a few outliers. I was lucky that I had a caring family and supportive friends and attended a university with many people who accepted you for who you are, regardless of your sexuality. Compared to others, my experience with coming out of the closet is quite mild and I’m very thankful for that. While my coming out story may be uneventful, coming out and accepting who I truly am will always be the greatest decision that I’ll make in my life.
So I dedicate this to others who are currently in the closet. No matter what your sexuality is, there will be people who will accept you. Sometimes it feels like the world is completely against you, and it may not be a good idea to come out. That’s fine. Circumstances change, opportunities will arrive, and hatred will always retreat away from love and reason. You have the choice of when you want to come out. You have the power to open those closet doors and tell the world that you love everything about yourself.
And I’ll be one of many who will want to hug you on the other side.