Last Tuesday, I was forced to attend She-ra's Halloween party in his condo in Mandaluyong.
I use the word "forced" because I really didn't want to go, but according to She-ra, "Kapag di ka pumunta, Buquiqang, magsoli-an na tayo ng friendship candles!!!"
So, go na ang lola niyo, devah?
Why didn't I want to go? As my close friends can vouch, I really am not that into partying. I prefer to stay home and watch dvd's.
Another reason was She-ra was threatening to introduce me to a guy he thought would be perfect for me.
I told him that I'm a little too old for blind dating; to which he replied, "Kapal ng fez mo, ate. Introduce lang oh! Dehins date itetch!"
Supalpal naman ako dun.
So, at around 1030pm, I was stepping out of the cab and into the front door of She-ra's mildly extravagant unit.
His condo was really huge. I couldn't fully appreciate the actual decor as the place was covered with wall-to-wall fake cobwebs, bats, and spiders.
Furthermore, the light fixtures were covered with orange plastic cellophane, making the whole room look like a sickly pumpkin's innards.
There were about fifteen to twenty people already milling around the place and Lord Almighty I didn't know any of them.
A few of them were dancing to the song being played, Spice Girls "Who Do You Think You Are?"
That's when I realized I had forgotten something very important.
Everyone was wearing a costume. I wasn't. I totally forgot.
"Bukeeeeraaaah!!!" screamed She-ra from across the room, swooping towards me in his billowing robe like a gigantic bat.
"Happy halloween," I muttered, handing him a bottle of wine I had bought in 7-11.
"Thanks!" She-ra said, looking at me from head-to-foot, "Hmmmm... hulaan ko kung anong costume mo. Aaah! Isang supervisor na na-demote!"
I was wearing a black shirt with denim jeans, "Harharhar. Very funny. Sorry ha? Nakalimutan ko costume party nga pala tong soiree mo."
"It's okay, honey," She-ra replied, grabbing my arm and pulling me towards the kitchen, "Come. Feast on the goodies I have prepared for my guests."
Several people were looking at me, probably wondering who I was and why I wasn't wearing a costume. Ay sorreh naman po!!!
"Who are all these people?" I asked She-ra, as he plopped me down on a seat in front of the table ladened with snacks and drinks.
"Just a few of my gym buddies and fubu's," he replied, while grabbing a paper plate and spooning tons of food into it, "Here, this is yours."
"Fubu's?" I asked, "As in Fuck-buddies???"
"Yupyup!" giggled She-ra, as he was pouring me a glass of wine.
I laughed quietly. Kaya pala andaming papabols sa living room.
I brought my plate outside into the balcony so I could eat in peace. Good thing nobody was there.
I was finishing off the glass of wine when She-ra came out, along with some guy dressed in a cute cowboy outfit.
"Andyan ka pala, bruha ka!" he slapped my arm, "Why are you hiding out here and not mingling with us outside? Anyways, this is Dookie. Dookie, this is Bookie. I think you two have a lot in common."
"Dookie?" I repeated, smiling, a bit confused.
"Yeah, Dookie, my real name's Donald," the guy replied, smiling, "But everyone calls me Dookie."
Let me describe Dookie. He's as tall as I am. He wears green wire-rim glasses. Medium-built. Medyo cute, na medyo hindi. Anlabo ba? Eto na lang; muntik na siyang pumogi, muntik na rin siyang pumangit. Not bad-looking, in fairness. Pero not good-looking either. Keri na, kumbaga. At hindi siya mukhang bading.
I'm sure he was thinking this when he saw me: Ang taba.
Anyways, She-ra left us alone. I wanted to strangle him for leaving me with a complete stranger. Sobrang hiyang-hiya kaya ako.
If Dookie had seemed the least bit annoyed at being alone with me, I would have probably jumped off the balcony screaming, "Ayeeeeee! Takot ako sa boys!"
But he didn't seem annoyed. In fact, he looked quite as shy as I was. This made me feel better about the situation.
Dookie had a bottle of wine with him. I asked for some.
"How come you don't have a costume?" he asked me.
I laughed, "Nakalimutan ko eh. And I wouldn't have any idea what to wear."
Dookie gestured towards his costume, "I borrowed this from my brother. I think he wore this during his gigolo days."
We both laughed and sa wakas, medyo nawala ang tension. And I guess the wine was starting to take effect.
"Where do you know She-ra from?" Dookie asked me, lighting a cigarette.
"From the office," I answered, "Ikaw?"
"From the gym," he replied.
I smiled at his answer. He noticed this, "But nothing ever happened between the two of us. Or ever will. We're not like that."
I laughed, "Okay, okay. Ito naman, masyadong defensive."
It turns out Dookie works for a call center in Ortigas.
"Anong account mo?" I asked, blowing out smoke.
"Car company," he said, fanning himself with his cowboy hat, "Email team ako dun."
"Ngek! Ako rin!" I said, surprised.
"Car company rin ang account mo?" Dookie asked, smiling.
"Ah hindi. Travel account kami," I answered, "pero pareho tayong email team."
As it turned out, that was the only thing we had in common; our profession. Other than that, we were as opposite from each other as Elizabeth Ramsey and Gretchen Barretto. Pero he was fun to talk with. Smart and witty.
Was I attracted to him, you ask? I asked myself the very same question. And the answer is...
Ewan ko kung bakit. I'm sure Dookie wasn't attracted to me either. But I do know that we did like each other, if I were to base it on our lengthy conversation all through the night which lasted until noon the next day.
But our chat wasn't continuous. It was interspersed with our actual mingling with the other guests.
Around 3am, I found myself involved in a discussion about cheating on one's partner; we were about six folks in the group: She-ra, me, Dookie, a girl dressed as a vampire, a straight guy dressed as Superman, and another gay guy dressed as a priest.
Vampire Girl: (spoken with utter conviction) Basta ako, I never cheated on any of my boyfriends!
Superman: Eh malay mo, sila pala yung nagchecheat sa iyo.
She-ra: That's why in all my relationships, and believe me, there have been many of them, I always make sure that they are aware that what we have is an open relationship.
Priest: Open relationship? Isn't that another term for "fucking around"?
Vampire Girl: I can't believe talaga how gay guys can be in a relationship and still sleep around.
She-ra: And I can't believe how heterosexuals can choose to sleep with the same person for an extended period. Malolokah aketch!
Dookie: Hindi naman lahat ng gay couple ay into open relationships.
Me: That's true. Although, I have yet to see an actual monogamous gay couple.
Dookie: You must not know a lot of decent gay guys.
Me: They're decent enough. But they're horny as well, that's the problem.
She-ra: Eh ano bang masama sa open relationship? It's better than to hide your sexual exploits behind your lover's back?
Me: So the answer is to parade it in front of him?
She-ra: As long as he's parading his exploits as well. At kung pwede kami mag-swap ng partners once in awhile. Hahaha!
Superman: Sana okay ang next girlfriend ko na open relationship kami; pero open only on my part, hehehe.
Vampire Girl: Greedy.
Superman: Hey hey! I'm just being honest.
She-ra: I don't think the heteros would be endorsing the open relationship thing too much. Most of them are so narrow-minded.
Me: Do you think I'm narrow-minded for not being a fan of open relationships?
She-ra: No. I think pa-virgin mary effect ka lang, ate.
The priest then squealed like a pig, waving an empty bottle of wine.
Priest: Alam ko na! Spin the bottle tayo.
She-ra: Go lang! I love it!
Priest: Truth or dare ito ha!
He spun the bottle on the floor, at siyempre pa, ako ang nauna.
She-ra: Bookie, truth or dare?
Me: Ummmm... truth.
She-ra: Haaay. You're no fun. Mag-dare ka na lang!
Me: (eyebrow raised) Nakikialam ka sa choice ko?
She-ra: Fine! Fine! Truth! Type mo ba si Dookie?
Silence among the players. Dookie was smiling shyly, not looking at me but at the floor.
Ako naman, pinandidilatan ko ng mga mata si She-ra.
She-ra: Oh? Answer the question, Bookie. Type mo ba si Dookie? Do you find him hot? Does he make you wet? Do you wanna keeeeeees heeem? Do you wanna taaaaats heeeeem?
Everyone was laughing, even Dookie and I.
Me: He's cute, pero not my type. And I don't think I'm his type either.
Dookie: Assuming ka, ha?
She-ra: Hmmmm... ang safe ng answer. Alam mo, kung nag-dare ka, papadilaan ko sana pusod ni ano eh.
Vampire Girl: Pusod ni Dookie?
She-ra: Gaga! Pusod mo! Tonta.
The priest spun the bottle again and this time, it pointed to him.
She-ra: Truth or Dare?
She-ra: Sheeet ka! Fine! Fine! Totoo bang kinalantari mo yung ex ko na si Brix?
Priest: Totoo. And he was goooooooooood.
She-ra: Di ba? Panalo siya no??? Anlakeeee!
Another spin of the bottle. Si Dookie naman.
She-ra: Malamang. Wala namang pumipili ng dare eh. Sana Truth na lang ang itawag natin sa game na to ano?
Dookie: Yung question ko.
She-ra: Fine! Ummm... do you think, may chance na pwede maging kayo ni Bookie, Dookie?
Dookie: May chance.
She-ra: (while throwing popcorn at me) Booookla! May chance daw!
Dookie: May chance pero I don't think we would work out.
Me: (hindi nakapagpigil) Bakit naman?
She-ra: Uuuuy! Interested!
Dookie: Feeling ko lang. We have only a few things in common, and I know you agree with this.
Dookie: Pero kung maging tayo, tapos magbreak, I think we would still be good friends.
She-ra: Eh di sana nag-F.L.A.M.E.S. na lang kayo para alam niyo na kung ano ang future niyo!
Priest: What about me, Dookie? May chance ba tayo?
Dookie: I don't think so.
She-ra: Weeeeh! Supalpal si Father!
The game lasted until late in the morning. I can't remember how much I drank, but it was a lot. However, I didn't get drunk.
Dookie brought me home in his car. And no, nothing happened.
Before I fell asleep, I received two text messages.
Dookie: Friends tayo, right?
I replied, yes po.
The other text was from She-ra.
She-ra: Boooklah! Thanks for coming to my party! Katabi mo ba sa kama si Dookie? Uuuuy! Remember, the best sex is dirty sex!!! Mwah!