And my legs hurt from the haphazard massage that came before it. I went to one of those dinky massage places. Within moments, I was butt naked with my face pressed on a hard mattress. The entire place reeked of semen, cigarette smoke and broken dreams. Through the harsh red lighting, my seemingly innocent masseur asked me if I liked it hard.
An hour later, he was inside me. I was okay at first but then I started weeping. The pain was a little too much. Though he was pretty short, his cock had somehow transformed from flaccid and infantile to erect and ginormous. I thought that the bit about me paying for this would ease the pain or that he would stop when I told him to but despite all I said, he kept going and going and going. He rode me hard and with such abandon. Intent on getting my money’s worth, I focused on the ceiling and made patterns with the irregular brown stains. He finally came, then I came and we settled the bill. As he popped out to get a towel to wipe the blood and shit off my leg, I closed my eyes and imagined I was at the beach, relaxing with the warm sun in my face. I imagined I was far, far away.
And then I realized at that exact moment that this is what I've become. This has become my life.
Two weeks ago, Nick asked if he could “borrow” some money. This was weeks after his last text to me. His promises to love me despite myself were left hanging in the air. I sincerely thought I would never hear from him again but when I opened my eyes, he was in front of me, taking the last of my money. I looked at him, trying to memorize each line on his face for in my heart of hearts, I knew. I knew I would never see him again.
A sugar daddy at age thirty-three. I guess that’s why I allowed the masseur to fuck me even though I didn’t really want him to. At least I knew what I was getting into. I paid him to fuck me. There weren’t any messy complications or pretensions of affection. If I give him enough money, he can make me forget that I am who I am – someone who is impossible to love without a few Ninoys involved. After we both came, the masseur and I lay side by side on the small mattress. He offered me a cigarette as he lit one for himself. His breathing was labored, probably by all the smoke in his workplace.
“Can you kiss me?” I asked him. He gave me a quick peck on the cheek. I looked at him with disapproval.
“Not like that. I want you to kiss me like you mean it.” And he did. It felt real. True enough, he was worth every single centavo. For a little over an hour and at the expense of an entire week’s salary, he was mine and I, his. It felt nice to be owned again.
He held me for a little bit and then with the sounding of the house bell, we knew our time was up. I got dressed and walked home. It was drizzling a little but I ignored it. I had my iPod on shuffle and it started playing a Switchfoot song. This is your life. Are you who you want to be? the singer asked. It was almost 5AM. The sun was beginning to rise and everywhere, people were waking up and to take part in their lives.
This is my life. I am not who I want to be.
♫: Switchfoot | This Is Your Life (2004)