Esperando, como siempre

longingNo se porque continuo esperando tus llamadas. Estaba revisando todo los archivos de nuestra relación. Y siempre es lo mismo; como la lluvia en el desierto, se viene de repente y rápidamente se seca.

Y espero a otra vez.

No se porque continuo viendo tus fotos. Estaba revisando todo los sinapsis de mi mente. Y siempre es lo mismo; como el sol del medio día, se quema de repente y rápidamente se desaparece.

Y espero a otra vez.

No se porque continuo todo de lo que hago. Estaba revisando todas las entradas de mi diario. Y siempre es lo mismo; con la tinta de mi lapicero, la paginas se llena de repente.

Y espero a otra vez.

No se porque te espero. Pero te espero…como siempre.

Y algo para tus noches:

Alone with all the money in the world

michaelI am not sure why I am writing about experiences that I went through during my past, specially my relationships with long, gone dead friends. Like Autumn, I may have reached an age when melancholy sets in, as if I am rewinding the video tape recorder of my brain and checking synapses of memory long gone.

It was during one of my trips to Amsterdam that I met a guy  whom I shall call Michael Grinder. This was my first time in Amsterdam, and my first time flying East to the other side of the world. I kind of felt lonely, not knowing what to do next in the middle of the gayest city in Europe. On the other hand, Michael was already a seasoned traveller. He was the youngest child from a well-to-do family. Dad was a doctor who knew how to invest in real property. By the time Michael became a young man, he was appointed the manager of all that wealth. Michael knew how to have fun with it too; making friends all over the Southwest United States, including repressed queens from that strange place called Texas. If you were a friend of Michael, you knew you would have a great time. Private plane rides, dinners at expensive steak houses, partying in the darkest cruise bars of Amsterdam, whoring all over Western Europe. It was fun, fun, fun. Or so it seemed.

I still vividly remember one of my trips to Amsterdam with Michael. He got together a bunch of us queens (mostly from Texas) to spend a week whoring through that city. Some of them rented a boat house at a canal and flew this huge flag of the state of Texas. I am sure the natives were used to the explosions coming out of tourists long repressed in their homelands. Still, the sight of semi naked young guys drinking, smoking (yup) and showing affection under that symbolic flag of fundamentalism, may have been a sight out of this world.

Another incident that is stuck in my brain involved his friend Ruddy. Ruddy originally owned one of the tawdriest  piano bar in San Francisco. He was a self-made wealthy man and was in constant semi-competition with Michael as to who can top whom. Michael used to say that unlike his airplane, Ruddy’s was so tiny and underpowered that it would fly backwards in the air. Ruddy was also a snob when it came to European high culture, specially the Dutch. So, one day, when we were waiting at a train station, he saw some Dutch words written on the wall of an old building. It must be a wise Dutch phrase, he said. Since none of us knew any Dutch, we asked a nearby young girl to interpret the Dutch words. She saw them and started to giggle and laugh. “First class toilet,” she said. Enough to say, we teased Ruddy all the way back to the States.

Back in the Southwest United States, Michael had a nice upper-middle class life style.  A nice big four bedrooms house with the cursory swimming pool. He was also one of those who had a cellular phone in his SUV. Those were the days when portable cellular phones were like a brick and were priced like a brick of gold. Most sensible, spoiled upper-middle class kids had a cell phone installed in the car. Michael was the model of our current cellphone addicted youth. At home, he was a normal guy. Inside his car, he would be on the phone forever. He reminded me of my current addiction: Holding my Iphone wherever I go, even if I am not doing anything with it.

Given what I have written about Michael, one would think he was a great catch, right? There is a phrase from a song that says “money makes the world go round and round.” Like Walden in the TV show Two and Half Men, Michael’s wealth was a blessing and a curse. He was blessed with lots of guys seeking his attention because he was a nice looking blond. The fact that he had money was just extra gravy. Like eligible wealthy bachelors, Michael could never  know for sure if it was him or his money. While he was generous, he also used his money as a weapon to control others. So, in a society where we value equality between the partners, how much equality could he find with a potential partner?

There was actually one who almost reached that level. I’ll call him Evangelos. Evangelos was just a normal middle class kid. Not very good-looking but totally innocent. Michael found him charming, specially on an occasion when the service workers at the airport filled up his airplane. Evangelos flashed out his credit card to pay for the fuel; not realizing that a single filling of fuel would cost around $500 (early 1990’s Dollars). Of course, there was no way Evangelos would be paying that. During my phone calls with Michael, it looked he finally found someone with whom to settle down.

Well, this is not a cinderella story. What I failed to say till now was that Michael was also HIV positive. The word “bareback” was not yet in existence at that time, but that was what happened between Michael and Evangelos. If my memory is correct, Evangelos willingly played Russian roulette with the virus. He lost. After that, I am not sure what else happened, but the happy relationship became an unhappy one. Evangelos used the only weapon available with him and sued Michael for being infected. I don’t really know the details of the court action but I think it was settled mainly in favor of Michael. Evangelos continued to haunt Michael, destroying his property, assaulting him. Michael had to get a restraining order.

As time went on, my communications with Michael became less frequent. Phone calls were not returned, emails unanswered. The few times that I was able to reach him did not show anything amiss. He was happy that his period with Evangelos was over and was moving on. Then, a year later, a common friend told me Michael killed himself. He went to a hotel in a questionable area of town and overdosed himself.

I don’t really know what is the moral of the story that I just wrote. There may be no moral but just something that my brain wanted to put down in a corner of cyberspace.

De lo que pienso en este momento (my thoughts of the moment)

Image

This came from pinterest:

Se que estabas chequeando cuando enlazo mi blog en Facebook. No se que travesura en mi mente me hacen poner cosas como esto, decirlo a todo el mundo y, gracias a esta tecnología, solo tu entiendes de lo que digo. Y no te preocupes mi querido, solo tu lo ves allí.

Este es mi experimento de escribir en Castellano. Si, el español no existe. En lo mismo que el Ingles no existe. Todas estas lenguas que hablamos son combinaciones de gestos humanos. Ay, mi mente se va a otros lugares ahorita. Tengo que regresar a lo que estoy pensando y no ser un cobarde.

O si! Del amor. Ayer vi una película con el titulo “los hombres al lado,” o en Ingles “the men next door.” Es sobre un chavo de treinta anos de edad. Accidentalmente, el tuvo citas con dos hombres que eran padre y hijo. El padre diez anos mas, el hijo, diez anos menos. El chavo estaba enamorado de los dos. No podía decidir entre ellos cual sera la persona con quien pasar la vida. Ellos, los dos, continuaron ir a las citas porque no querían también de perderle. Y sabemos todo de lo que pasara próximo, no?

Ellos los dos no podían continuar una relación conjunto de tres. El tenia que decidir. Y como decidió? En la película, fue la persona que le movió los sentimientos mas. Nos se si en la vida real sera como eso también. Si querías leer un fin cierto, lo siento. Hasta ahora, no se como ver el fin.

I am not a walking ATM (part 2)

reginald003.jpgIt is time for me to write my view on the subject of gay men entering into relationships with men in, shall we say, economically challenged foreign countries. Is this subject a complicated one? Yes and no. How complicated can it be for you to read your spreadsheet and check how much foreign (or local) aid you have been providing?

The belief in a capitalist system is that there should be a free exchange of goods and services. Viewed as this, all human emotions would have an economic value assigned to them. Certainly, one of the most sacred institutions, marriage, has an economic value assigned to it. Otherwise, why some parties have prenuptial agreements? Otherwise, why divorce is one of the most rewarding fields for law professionals?

Likewise, the plain simple view of such same-sex relationships is that they are mainly relationships based on economic benefits. The older richer man gets the emotional needs that is lacking in a youth-oriented, looks-dependent, society. The younger poorer man gets help in advancing through life. Shades of ancient Greek or Chinese traditions?

If so, then why it is that in today’s gay society, most people whisper about such relationships. “Oh, did you hear that Harry is keeping that young thing from Senegal?” “…and how much did you send this week?”

It is my opinion that this is more a reflection of what we view as egalitarian love. As Anthony’s article pointed out, our brains have the notion that the impulses of our loins are connected with the impulses of our brain. We view the attention being given by the other person as an assertion of who we are. Like the title of this essay, we think it is “us” and not the “ATM card” that what our partner wants. We are therefore hurt when our wallets are constantly being pulled out. We start thinking of him as a thief.

But if you view the situation from the other side, what you may see is nothing really that evil. There may be actual affection hidden in the overall cries for economic help. When he calls you “daddy,” he may actually and figuratively think of you as a father figure. He may view you as an anchor in an otherwise hostile society. It may be an illusion. Still, in societies who are hostile to same sex relationships, the idea of having stable friend/partner/husband/wife from a foreign land is quite alluring. It may provide some stability.

So, what shall we do then? Is it love? Is it an endless drain on your ATM card? It depends on what we are seeking. If we are seeking someone who “loves” us unconditionally, then, we will stumble and fail. If we are seeking companionship with mutual benefits, then, it may work. It may work so long as you know how to budget yourself. It may work so long as he knows and respects those limits. Like all relationships, it may work if we understand them better.

I am not a walking ATM (part 1)

bangkok boxerWith permission from Anthony, the owner of Monaga’s blog (see my links), I am reposting a blog entry that he wrote about a common occurrence with foreign gay men in Santo Domingo. It is the first of a series of blog entries that I plan to write. Mainly, they deal with subject that affects a lot of gay men seeking companionship or love in relatively poorer countries – Whether that adoring man is actually in love with me or with my ATM?

Here is Anthony’s view:

Naive or Stupid?
Suppose you are someone past the age of going out clubbing regularly. You have heard about the Dominican Republic, and wanted to visit. But, you are not the type of person to “pay” for sex in the conventional way. You used to have a lover (whose schooling you paid for), go to the gym regularly and generally are well put together.

You book your trip and visit Santo Domingo. You go out to the bars and clubs and are overwhelmed. Too many people are begging and pestering you and quite frankly you find the whole thing unseemly. Just as you are writing an email to tell friends that though the men in Santo Domingo are beautiful, you are put off by the whole “pay” thing.

Through some acquaintances you are introduced to a young man that you find attractive. He is not only very handsome, but has a very nice personality. Over the next several days you get to know each other better. He tells you very personal things about himself, and listen as you reveal some intimate details about your life.

You go back home and you and he conduct a very expensive long-distance telephone relationship. You are convinced that this young man is genuine. You believe that he couldn’t lie, even if he tried. He tells you about his family situation and you can hear him crying softly through the phone. Slowly, you begin to think that this young man really cares for you.

Now, back in the real world you are by nature a pessimist. Your bullshit detector is always set on high, and you pride yourself with being able to spot someone quickly who is trying to take advantage of you. You are the master of telling everyone what they should be doing in their own lives, quick to give advice if you think a friend is being naive and acting irrationally.

Then you begin to send money to your new “friend.” And, you won’t tell people that actual amount, because you know how ridiculous it is. You tell everyone that you are just want to help him get his life together, but he doesn’t work, nor go to school, and he thinks you have so much money he thinks it is a waste of time anyway. I mean, one day he will be living in the States, right?

While you are thinking this young man is just great and maybe someone you can spend the rest of your life with, things begin to happen that you choose to ignore. You find out his nickname for you is “Banco Popular.” He is now fixated on “things” he needs. In the beginning you are happy to send him money. I mean, you can afford it. So what if he is only in his late teens, you are now about to hit 50. He cares for you and you know it. He has told you things that he has never told anyone. You can see he cares for you in his eyes, the way he caresses you, the way he softly cries when he is asking for money over the phone.

The friends you tell about your new love are supportive. They know you are lonely and feel that if makes you happy, well… They just want to know why do you have to send him so much money. Then as the trips progress, you start noticing changes in his behavior. He has become much more materialistic. Before when you brought gifts he was glad to get them. Now, he looks at the bottom of the Jordan’s and tell you that these are from last year and he can’t wear them. You were at Target at bought some cologne, but you made the mistake of getting him some Perry Ellis. When he comes over with his friends so that he can impress them with all the gifts “Banco Popular” has given him, they laugh when you walk out the room. None of them had ever heard of Perry Ellis. I mean, nobody raps about him in hip-hop.

Something happens, though very slowly. You know deep in your soul that something isn’t right, but you don’t want to admit it to yourself. You start to think about all that you had planned for him. How you were going to make his life better. But, you also notice how he is now starting to resent you, because you have placed conditions on the money you send. Though he doesn’t like them, he agrees to whatever you want because he wants to get all the money “Banco Popular” can send and bring to him.

You have all this money and success, but you finally come to the realization that it CAN’T buy you love and happiness. You have been using your money as a sword over his head to do whatever you wanted him to do. You thought somehow your money would make him “want” to be with you.

Then it happens, you find out you have been taken advantage of. Now, you are angry. Why didn’t anyone say anything to you. Well, they did, remember? The problem was you didn’t want to hear it.

The lesson has been learned (right???). It makes no difference how much money you have, you can’t make anyone love you. But, you damn sure can buy some great sex!

Slow curtain, the end…