Monday, December 30, 2013

That Gay Play

Imagine getting your kit off on stage under the bright unforgiving lights before a packed crowd of extremely judge-y, critical gay men ready to chide, castigate and condemn every little blunder or bungle. Pretty sure that's enough to give even the bravest, ballsiest bad-ass a serious case of the jitters.

Though one of the newbie actors did seem a bit discomfited, the rest didn't seem to have any problems shedding their clothes - quite often enough to give the rest of us severe body issues! Since yes, you gotta have the expected comely eye-candy quotient in a gay play - so right from the very beginning, we had abs and pecs galore in a man buffet.

Evan Siau and John Tan, you've both made me doubly invested in my gym time. 

Which is exactly what I expected from a Chinese play titled People Like Us, recently showing at KLPAC.

Stories of a gay nature aren't all that common especially in these increasingly conservative times so I made sure to book me a ticket. Gotta represent yo! Of course I corralled my Ching Chong-conversant Charming Calvin into joining in case I didn't comprehend a single word of the play.

What I didn't expect was a surprisingly funny well-written script - kudos to William Yap - juggling several man-on-man relationship issues with a fabulous supporting cast. I'll admit I came with serious misgivings about the quality of the production - not to mention distinct doubts about the subtitles since the play was in several Chinese dialects - but they certainly surprised me.

Basically a story of three gay roommates and their individual problems therein - from a committed monogamist struggling with a long-distance open relationship to a relative virgin desperately seeking someone to love in our days of superficial homosocial apps. Not forgetting the prerequisite commitment-phobic playa on the prowl showcasing his enviable abs and pecs as I mentioned earlier!

The entire cast taking the time to snap a pic for posterity - or at least Instagram. 

With a small conspicuous PSA warning bit about the ever-prevalent dangers of anonymous sex, what with the chilling spectre of HIV ever present.

But thankfully it closed with a suitably happy ending which came as a relief after years of watching other mindlessly melodramatic homo-tragedies.

Admittedly an extremely gay congregation over there watching, oohing and aahing each time the handsome actors stripped off an article of clothing. Barring the ubiquitous gay nightclub, I doubt I've ever seen so many flaming homos fluttering in one area. Amazingly spiffy Ching Chong cuties all of them, quite as many perky pecs spilling out of cleavage-baring tanks in the audience as there were on stage! Quite apparent you needn't go that far to find someone on Grindr or Jack'd that night since most would easily be within a 200 metre radius.

Play certainly kept us all well entertained all through the night. A bit shaky on John Tan's part but he's new - and the role did call for a bit of awkwardness so I think it meshed really well with his nervous fish-out-of-water character. The supporting cast were all great - bringing on lots of laughs - as I mentioned earlier. No problems with the language since I understood most of it - and the promised subtitles were more than adequate.

Great enough that I'm hoping the writer gets to writing the sequel immediately as he promised. Definitely save me a seat for the next show!

Friday, December 27, 2013

Christmas Carol : Stave Three

By the time I was finally a Form Sixer, I was already dancing merrily down the glorious pink path of my deviant sexuality. Even way back then, the fledgling internet with the familiar bing boing dial-up sound had begun showing me vast new vistas of unexplored gay sexuality - along with obscure signs that things do get better.

Starting then, I didn't see any rational need to be apprehensively coy around the females - since for me, girls were for friends, boys were for fun! Coming out to myself certainly made it that much easier to mingle with the girls. Undoubtedly a bonus in Form Six where classes had mixed genders.

Which did get me invited to parties. Having a popular teenage Lothario for a friend who switched partners several times in a year certainly helped. And if I wasn't sent the invite, I'd still have heard enough about the details through the torrid grapevine to occasionally crash them.

Probably one of the reasons I found myself wallflowering by the punchbowl sipping doctored drinks when I bumped into my ISO. Thumpa thumpa disco music playing in the air, wouldn't surprise me if it actually had been Ace of Base. No doubt it must have been close to Christmas since December seemed to be the month for school after parties.

Though I could have asked some of my close friends to dance, I usually demurred. Not only did I have two left feet which would have been painfully obvious on the dancefloor, I didn't see much reason to slow dance with a girl when I'd much prefer to be grinding with her virile teen boyfriend.

My own gay-dar back then was still in its nascent stage and it didn't occur to me to look too closely on any of the other assembled guests. But just when my ISO walked into my view, it triggered a mini alarm somewhere in my head. Already known him for more than a while but with few gay guidelines to show us the way, it never occurred to me to consider him at all homosexual.

My ISO : What's wrong?
Paul : My bow is askew.
My ISO : Leave it. I'm going to tear it off later anyway.
Paul : Oh.  

Hard enough that I kept hoping to find someone else in school who was gay like me - surely I couldn't be so disconcertingly foolish that I would miss one standing right beside me since forever!

Though my ISO was undoubtedly handsome enough that I would wish him to be so. Then again statistical chances were stacked against me - and I'd had more than my share of achingly painful adolescent boycrushes on straight fellas to know better. No way was I gonna be waiting for a bus that was never coming ever.

No, no, he wasn't gay. That was what I kept telling myself.

But during that party over the punchbowl, I knew things would finally be going my way. It could have been his wicked smile. It could have been that suggestive wink. Or maybe the quick brush of his hand as he poured himself a drink.

Then again it could be the spiked punch but something told me that things were about to get plutonic.

Monday, December 23, 2013

Christmas Carol : Stave Two

Thus ends the first part where I came to realize exactly how relentless unstraight I was - which brings me to the second stage.

Before the end of secondary school, I had already pretty much cleared up any of my incessant doubts about my sexuality. Having a dear friend almost descend into a deranged purgatory of his own making while wrestling with his own homosexual demons really simplified things for me. Not to mention with Dapper Donovan regularly flashing his sculpted abs for my wide-eyed perusal.

Yes, I was definitely gay.

But all that only opened the door to Sexy Sanjeev, the quiet, bookish fellow who literally walked into my life with his dazzling smile and a hello. Since I was already known to him - oh my high school notoriety - I didn't even have a chance to introduce myself. Instant best friends we were.

As high school crushes go, obviously I fell really hard, really fast. Didn't take long before I was sophomorically doodling his name on my workbooks, along with the occasional quick sketch of his spectacularly long-lashed dark eyes. If I recall, I even had mementos such as his name tag and his school photo in my desk. Don't even ask me how I got my hands on them.

Of course Sanjeev was straight. Even counting the unfavourable probabilities, he would have been undeniably straight - though I was obviously far too besotted then to see. Not that I expected anything blatantly sexual in return. Just a brotherly hug. Maybe a fleeting kiss. All extremely family-friendly PG-13.

Sanjeev : Hey, wanna go for a swim this afternoon?
Paul : Umm... with you?
Sanjeev : You had someone else in mind?
Paul : You in speedos?
Sanjeev : I wasn't planning to swim in a burqa, of course swimtrunks.  Unless you'd want to see me naked.
Paul : Umm... you naked. I think I'll need to be excused for a moment. 

If Sanjeev even knew of my increasingly apparent boycrush - which I actually think he did, he thankfully never ever said a thing.

It took a brief summer holiday to end my sadly one-sided crush. Blame that and the crappy transport system. Back then I needed to change several bus routes just to get to his house - yet I did so just to spend some time with him. Till one afternoon while being painfully rattled in the rickety, slow-moving stage bus, I was solidly hit by an epiphany.

'Where the fuck am I going with this?'

Maybe it was the sweltering tropical heat evident enough in the airless confines of the bus. Maybe it was the jolt of the bus on a particularly nasty bump. It was then that I realized how hopeless things would be. Crushing on someone relentlessly heterosexual - no matter how accepting he might be of me and my sexual predilections - would be ultimately futile. Being platonic friends was all our straight Sanjeev could ever offer and for me to hope for anything more would be simply... pathetic.

Needless to say, I got off that bus and on to the next. Heading the opposite direction.

Each time I play this song, I remember we once exchanged similar Christmas gifts - bearing Mariah Carey's Christmas CD. 

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Christmas Carol : Stave One

Name three things. Well, the three things that clearly defined me as a raging homosexual back in high school. Unlike some of my friends who came out late in their teenage years, I knew pretty early on about my predilections, or at least had some inkling of where exactly I would be heading sexuality-wise.

Which obviously brought me to that quick grope at the end of my schooling career up in the school chapel with my ISO.

But let's start with the initial beginning. Though I've had my nervous doubts about my apparently deviant sexuality, it didn't actually become all too clear till my fourteenth. Or was that my fifteenth birthday. Since I was an avid reader with books piled up all over my house, it was easy enough to purchase gifts for me since almost any reading material would have suited me.

Turns out my rambunctious group of teenage boys mischieviously decided that a raunchy Mills & Boons would be the perfect gift. Not that I minded - after all I still loved my romances, no matter how sappy or generic they may be. Simply Sam had been chosen to make the purchase and I'd been dragged along to pick the gift. Always trying to keep their cool machismo, cocky schoolboys don't actually bother to pick and choose gifts after all.

Paul : Man, what would he do if I were to jump him? 

It was the time our curly-haired Sam picked up the book that I realized that I might not be entirely straight. Obvious enough that Sam was thoroughly heterosexual though, what with his youthful adolescent gaze mindlessly transfixed on the trashy book cover showcasing the curvaceous swell of the heroine's evidently generous breasts.

But that wasn't what got me turned on. The faint flush of pink on Sam's fair cheeks, the almost insignificant rise in his breath rate signifying arousal and that unmistakable swell in his burgeoning crotch - thanks to his rambunctious teenage hormones, entirely visible even through his horridly shapeless olive-green pants.

Basically Sam getting all hot and bothered - got me all hot and bothered. If I hadn't been dead sure that he would wallop me - not that he would have succeeded, I would have certainly tumbled him right on the floor of the bookstore. Appropriately enough under the aisle of romance.

Even then I managed to at least reach out for a shockingly daring squeeze of Sam's thigh. Sent a quick thrill down my spine. Such a thing as homosexuality had barely even entered into our confined world back then so Simply Sam wouldn't have given it a thought.

Me, it was as if a door had just opened.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Candy Cane Christmas

Taking the time to write some lines here in the triumphant aftermath of our annual Christmas fete in Netherfield. Striped candy canes line the halls, wine glasses tipped on every irregular table and the perfectly wrapped presents under the tree have been tossed all over by guests on the hunt. Don't you just love Christmas parties!

This year with our regular party caterer taking a brief hiatus for the season, I was left with little choice but to scout for a nearby teahouse to deliver food - all of a shockingly non-halal porcine nature.

Fortunately for me, my non-kosher guests didn't seem to mind. In fact I think they actually relished the sinful taste of some ham and bacon. 

And nothing says Christmas quite like a roast pig all dressed up in festive red and white. 

New guests on the invite list this year, one of whom came with some delicious notoriety seeing as Mad Madison was erroneously painted as the highly despicable ex-girlfriend of someone we once knew. At least that was the sum of the stories we were told - which I tend to listen with half an ear since malicious gossip tends to tear down reputations bit by bit with each salacious retelling. Always two sides of the story in any breakup, no matter how outwardly cordial. 

Madison : Quick! Tell me what the bastard said!
Paul : Do you care?
Madison : Not really. 

Glad to know that the raging rumours aren't entirely true since I find our lady in red, Mad Madison absolutely delightful - far from the grasping temptress I had been led to believe. Someone I would no doubt be proud to call friend one day. 

Madison : So what have you heard from him? 
Paul : Your ex? 
Madison : Some horrible things no doubt?
Paul : Isn't that what exes are meant to do? 
Madison : True. 

As soon as I start getting to know her better of course. 

Something another guest - our Diffident David - is unlikely to do since he seems mortally terrified of women. Poor fellow crouching furtively in a darkened corner of the party room nursing his drink hoping no girls would come close with probing questions - a bit hard to do when I kept dragging him into the limelight. No doubt if Madison or any of my comely nurses had approached him with a suggestive come-on, David would have jumped out of his skin. 

Unusual for a budding homosexual! Maybe David needs to grope some boobies to be convinced that girls don't actually have cooties

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Forbidden Fruit

Undoubtedly the ultimate bane for all homosexuals. Wouldn't surprise me if the devil himself had placed the deliciously tempting yet undeniably straight Adam in the sumptuous garden of Eden just to entice poor deviant Steve into eternal heartbreak.

Despite what some hysterically homophobic conservatives would claim, heterosexual men still outnumber the rest of us gay fellows - and probably will for a long time coming. So ever since the proverbial first homo fell for his straight brethren, that painfully futile boycrush has been a chronic affliction for all gaykind.

Dangling that gorgeous unattainable boy in front of us and yet denying us a bite? Talk about eternal punishment much worse than just an Adam's apple.

Ever since I realized the sheer pointlessness of falling for a straight boy ( almost inevitable once you're indoctrinated into an all boys school ), I've tried my best to avoid that very situation if at all possible. Close encounters with hunky yet unavailable straight men are a definite no-no, most especially if they are just the sorta irresistible dreamboat that might trigger unwanted fantasies. Don't even think of just being friends since the temptation to want more is almost impossible.

Nipping that growing infatuation in the bud is the best advice I can possibly give.

Unfortunately wishing, waiting and wanting is all you're gonna get. 

Which is what we failed to do for our new friend here.

Of course we met him recently - way after poor Diffident David had fallen for the forbidden fruit of straight boyhood. Lachrymose fellow that he is, no doubt there were many dismal melancholy evenings of woebegone weeping over some long cherished memento. Probably a few nights of All By Myself ala Bridget Jones as well. Admittedly hard to break away from the crush when the object of his affection remains close so tearing him away - at least for a little while - seems to be the best solution.

Paul : Falling for straight boys. Ouch. 
David : I know. 
Paul : And he's never gonna love you back, at least not the way you want him to. It would be like Fabulous Felix falling for a girl. 
David : True. 
Paul : Having a quick drunken one-night-stand isn't gonna solve anything.
David : He wouldn't go for it. Not gonna happen. 
Paul : You could always drug him!
David : Of course not! I don't do that.
Paul : Then rather than moon fruitlessly over him, walk away from him quick. 
David : But he's my friend!
Paul : And he knows you have a crush on him. 
David : Yes. 
Paul : So he'll understand. You can't possibly get over a guy when you're constantly under him!

Me, I would have gone for that drunken one-night-stand suggestion but then David's a better man than I am.

Shy fellow that he is, David balked at our other suggestion - which was a wild, no-holds-barred mind-blowing sex orgy that would dropkick any other rational thought out of his head.

Saturday, December 07, 2013

Curry KitKat?

I've heard of misheard song lyrics - come on, we've all messed up some songs only to realize the unfortunate mistake later at karaoke - but certainly not a song that's not only mangled, garbled and crushed... and then co-opted for an entirely new term.

Over dinner after a long day at work, I learned that the nurses here can be endlessly inventive with their native lingo as well. Especially when it comes to discreetly ogling the boys.

Nurse : Oh all the cute boys. So curry kitkat!
Paul : Sorry what?
Nurse : Curry kitkat!
Paul : Kitkat what?
Nurse : It's what we term well-muscled boys. Curry kitkat?
Paul : Because they like curry? Or kitkat?
Nurse : No, it's from the song. You know... 'curry kit kat boom boom pow'?
Paul : Oh good God. You mean 'gotta g-get g-get' from the Black Eyed Peas song?
Nurse : Yeah, curry kitkat!

Supposedly the boom boom pow bit emphasizes the ubiquitous pec twerk. But rather than focus on the boom, the nurses decided to dub it the curry kitkat. So the more manly buff a dude gets, the more curry kitkat he is.

So do I pass muster? 

Don't ask me where they ever get such novel ideas.

Talking to these nurses turned out to be an experience all in itself - almost like travelling to a foreign land to converse with enigmatic hand signs. Needed a bilingual dictionary just to decipher what they meant by their surprisingly canny observations.

Just in case you have no idea what song I actually mean. Yeah, it took me a while as well.

So new word of the day for me. 

Monday, December 02, 2013

That Gay Cousin

Quite obvious that I'm an advocate of the 'Born This Way' genetic theory to explain budding homosexuality. Simply put, short of someone with severe sadistic tendencies, why would anyone bother choosing this burdensome problematic path?

Which made me wonder today as I was sifting through my extensive family mail. With more than fifty first cousins at last count - and that's not adding the next generation, wouldn't it be fair to conclude that there would be more than one homosexual in the family? Other than fabulous me I mean. Since most of my fellow peers have dutifully done their familial duty by wedding, bedding and breeding hopefully in that order, I assume the majority would be relentlessly heterosexual.

Thankfully straight but not narrow.

Well all except for one.

Who might not be straight at all. Something I came to realize just today. Younger kid brother of Macho Mike... let's call him Meek Mason. Well he's no longer a kid now, should be all of thirty at last count.

Now you see me, now you don't.

But for some reason I am beginning to think he might be gay. Mason has always been kinda reclusive, keeps to himself and his usually unseen friends. Even seated at the dining table where it turns to din and chaos with my loud, hyperactive relatives squabbling over food, our covert little fellow hardly speaks a word beyond an unassuming grunt. That goes for the Chinese New Year reunion dinner as well where he makes a momentary appearance and then - just blink - and he's gone.

Supposedly out all night with that pack of mystery pals.

Quite a feat to remain undetected in that small town - especially one that includes my passel of frightfully nosy cousins the likes of Lispy Lori and Lanky Lacey. Never been any fair maiden attached to his name as far as they know. Not even the faintest whisper of scandal has ever reached their notice.

Hell, like I said we have a family newsletter / forum on Facebook with everyone included - from my nonagenarian granny to latest infant in the family - and yet he's not a part of it. Or barely makes a peep which is why I don't even recall his existence.


There must be something hiding in his closet. Could be his deviant sexuality. Could be a secret fetish for cross-stitch. Or a real -life corpse.

Either way it has made me maddeningly curious.