Through the keyhole, a mystery

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By John Constantine G. Cordon

I. Deciding night
The yellow lamp radiated a subtle glow across the room. The night was quiet and outside the street, only a few footsteps could be heard. The house was near-empty. For the night, only two souls shared the lamp’s glow.
While he sat on his bed, his heart pounded faster and faster like the water gushing from the faucet in the comfort room. It stopped. Gently, the door opened. He turned his head meekly, and there he saw the man clad in a towel. His neck suddenly stiffened for he knew that was the signal.
In front of him was a man in his mid-twenties. Young. Adventurous. His physique was neither of an Adonis nor a Pygmalion, but it was nonetheless astounding. His dark complexion blended with the dim canvass of the room. His chiseled muscles proved the vanity in him. He towered high. His eyes, of almond shape, sent the next brightest light after the lamp. No wonder women ran after him, even though he pays no attention.
On the bed, Gerard Velasco (not his real name) slowly unbuttoned his polo. As he began to reveal his skin, he also took off the one thing he previously held on to so dearly—his obedience to the owners of the house and to the Owner of Heaven.
One by one his clothes fell on the floor, his vulnerability gradually stripped naked. Soon after, he could not do anything but pull the blanket underneath the pillow to preserve a little bit of dignity. The man began to untie the twist in his towel. There was no backing out.
“Shall we?” the man’s husky voice broke the silence. He had only been hearing that spiel at a dance. But that night, it meant differently. The man went onto bed and laid comfortably; he could only look as his body froze in anxiety. A hand pulled him. For a while, he was stunned, yet he still lay down. The man moved and rested on him. They were now eye to eye, skin to skin.
As the man began to explore his body, there was a sudden rush of guilt. Everything he promised to himself before melted like candle wax. Things were not as simple as how it was said. He wanted to remain faithful to his beliefs but the man on top was not easy to resist, especially when the temperature started to climb. His promise to remain clean was already shattered. So be it.
At first, he did not know what to do but he let his fire consume him as the night lingered, the fire of carnal craving burned him and the man.
So he also did what the man did. Their hands explored each others’ body slipping from the back down to the thighs. Nothing was left untouched. Even their lips passed all the curves of their body. It was as if their lips had always known each other—passionately.
Being the bottom for that night, there was pain, an unbearable pain that warranted momentary pauses. But the man insisted that there had been no pleasure without pain. So he surrendered himself and gave in to the man’s plea. Though it was still painful when they continued, all he could do was swallow his own dignity. He thought he had become a slave for someone more powerful—and experienced.
Then things changed. There it was, the pleasure that the man had said. And as soon as he reached it, he held onto it—“nice, beautiful, and fulfilling.”
Outside, the night went on silently but inside the room, there was a heightening excitement. Two souls intertwined and shared a common desire. Gerard knew that he was breaking everything that his parents taught, even going as far as spending the night—this night—under his parents’ roof, who were off to the province. Moreover, they only met a few hours ago, at dusk, when the sun was slowly retiring for the night. As they tussled and turned in bed, there was really no love at all.
Andrew was Gerard’s first sex eyeball partner.

II. A little letting go
Weeks before, Gerard met Andrew in a social community website, www.g4m.com. Like Friendster, it connects people through a link of friends, where anyone can get to know the person across the monitor only with the things that the person wants to know about him—a cyber identity, an identity that conceals the dirt and makes the rotten glisten.
With nothing to do, Gerard logged on to the website and after a few clicks, landed on Andrew’s page. The guy sent him a personal message a few days after, saying that he had seen Gerard visit his page. It came as a surprise. Gerard did not expect that a handsome guy, whose page had been viewed for a thousand times by more handsome men, would waste his words on him just to say that he had seen him viewing his page.
What else was there to do but bite the opportunity for a prospective boyfriend? He responded and after a few minutes, a reply came. This time, it was full of questions about his age, education, hobbies, and interests, the usual slum book questions. He answered. As they exchanged words, they were getting closer. It was not long when the invitation came in.
Andrew asked Gerard if he was into sex eyeballs. Gerard was stunned. He knew what it was but it never came to him that the guy would send a ticket to bed. He acted on impulse: “Yes.”
The sun was setting. This time, he gazed into the air, wishing that he could undo everything that had happened. He fell in love with the man but clearly, sex was just sex, with nothing in between for them to share. Love was absent that night. Both were playing with fire that could burn their hearts. And as for Gerard, he paid the price: he fell in love, a mistake that one could not afford to do in a faceless intercourse.
Even after the sex, Gerard felt the coldness in Andrew, which he chose to deny, thinking that the man had learned to love him back. Yet things went differently. As soon as the act ended, Andrew fell asleep for about two hours. Upon waking up, he suddenly jumped out of the bed and went inside the bathroom to fix himself. Then the man waved goodbye. “It was nice knowing you. Thanks for the night!” And he went away, just like that. Not even a moment for a talk.

III. Masked sex
He thought Andrew was his last. But a few days after, messages started to make their way in his inbox. There were lots of hi’s and hello’s. By simply looking at the messages, he already knew where those would lead. Opportunities came left and right; he gave attention to all of them. He was right; none of them was genuine with their cutesy introductions. All of those words were simply prologues for a later invitation to have sex. Learning from experience, he vowed never to gamble his heart again, only his body so that he could feel that same pleasure that Andrew had given him.
Since he only found sex pleasurable when his partner was attractive, he only reserved his sexual trysts to those packed with pretty pecs, attractive abs, and gorgeous faces.
He played well in this Russian roulette with sexually-transmitted disease as he came out clean after every encounter. Counting some instances where he and his partner were unprotected, he realized that there were no formulas to evade diseases, only mere chances. Gerard fervently held onto luck every time he went out to play. And he would swell into obsessive-compulsiveness every time he would see an abnormality on his skin that seemed way beyond a pimple.
But every after eyeball, his fear still beat in his conscience: he’d know that he was doing something wrong and immoral. The soap that he rubbed onto his skin every time he bathed after sex could only clean the sweat, saliva, and semen that he and his partner have shared, but it could never wash away the guilt and shame. Those two were deeply rooted in his conscience and they would never go away. Even if he concealed them when he put his clothes back on, still they would linger and haunt him.
His list of solicited men was now going a long way. Yet, the names in the list were just names—and sex. He already learned the technique: separate the heart from the body. There was a place for emotions and a place for desire.
Gerard is not retiring from this lifestyle anytime soon, with all the instant pleasure that he gets. He believes that men are truly promiscuous—that one should just find the “on” button that will trigger their libido. The culture of pleasure will still have him as a follower, especially in sex eyeballs, where things are very instant. One click, and before he knows it, he is already “booked” for the next few days.
His prince charming, still stuck in heavy traffic, is far off from salvaging his lovelorn heart. He has played with the prince’s escorts first to let the time pass by. Only when the prince charming has arrived will he stop flirting and relearn how to truly love.
He is young and has all the energy to meet up with anyone and spend some time for a little bit of friction. He can never tell when he will stop. Behind every doorknob that he locks when he plays the sexual game, through the keyhole, one can only but find a mystery.

Montage Vol. 11 • September 2008