Friday, April 26, 2013

Secret Agent Man

Our secret agent man, he leads a double life.

In the light of day, he plays the part of the dutiful, conservative Asian son, fulfilling his filial obligations to his aging parents while taking charge of the family business. Dresses the part with carefully bland clothes, scruffy shoes and messed up coif that he terms appropriately masculine. When the phone rings in a particularly macho ringtone, he speaks to his straight bruthas in a sufficiently low baritone, careful to omit even the vaguest mention of that shamefully taboo topic.

Then when darkness falls, the part quickly fades away. Soon as the stars come out, the vanilla shirts come off to be replaced by the stereotypically homosexual uniform of neon-bright tanktops, khaki shorts and flip flops. Sashay comes out, hand gestures flailing all about. At the flick of a switch, the Lady Gaga ringtone screams only to be answer by a falsetto squeal on his part as he makes a date to meet his other friends, those he deems unsuitable to bring home to the parents.

Secret Agent Man!

That's our Prudent Patrick.

Our very own highly discreet closeted homosexual. As I watch him play his separate roles, I wonder whether the wildly contrasting dichotomies would leave him utterly exhausted at the end of the day. Must be tiring having all your numerous acquaintances split into separate compartments, keeping close track of everything you say or do, always worrying that something would slip.

Ever fearful that his two worlds might collide. In fact it wouldn't entirely surprise me if one day Patrick brushed by us without even the briefest acknowledgement of our wildly flamboyant presence, just in case any of his supposedly straight friends might be tailing him.

Thinking back on my own past, I don't think I was ever that discreet. Like ever. Not even even prior to coming out of the closet. Hardly ever checked what I said, never minded my words, didn't bother about changing the pronouns. Just let them believe what they may. 

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