Thursday night, promo tickets to Myanmar came online, coincidence with George’s upcoming arrival to the land of mystery. “This must be fate,” I reckoned, booking the ticket without any hesitation, regardless of my financial status and my same-month trip with Alan.
Slowly, we developed a plan for our journey in Myanmar, with him refusing my idea of going to Bagan or the Golden Rock since he has to go there 3 times a year already. He made some suggestion regarding less touristy places instead in the rural area, I was cool with it too, since my whole reason was to see George again before November. Alan told me that it was selfish of him to lay out only the options that he wants to me to choose from like that.
Slowly, I started to build my routine not just around texting to Alan but also the excitement to do the trip with George. “Things at work didn’t go well? I’m going to Myanmar. Been trampled on by people from social encounter? I’m going to Myanmar. Troubles with sleep pattern? I’m going to Myanmar. Family problems? I’m going to Myanmar. The fact that I couldn’t bring myself to having sex with somebody else rather than George for a month? Forget about it, I’m going to Myanmar.”
Also slowly, I’ve been feeding myself with illusions of us lying on the isolated beach in Ngapali, holding hand under the blanket on the night bus or just simply walking with a little secret that no one around is aware of while strolling around the old mosque in Hpa-an. Alan said that I was mentally devoting too much for things that didn’t seem to even start, let alone to last, but hey, “I’m going to Myanmar.”
My mental state, drunk or sober, is always very well informed about the fact that we’re almost nobody to each other, just a couple of two gay guy, at 2 ends of the world, who happened to bump into each other and spend a few days together, that’s it. But still, my heart should be well-schooled, and so do my thoughts. Somewhere in that subconsciousness of mine that stays alive even when my body is put to sleep, there’s always a voice reminding “He’s the Ben that I’ve never had.”
And then, things started to change.
George told me that he might not be able to come to Yangon to see me so we might need to catch up at somewhere else, even though he has a week in Myanmar in advance. Again, Alan reminded me of how inconsiderate of him but again, I naturally defended him, saying that he’d had his trip planned already and I just couldn’t jump in suddenly and ask him to change everything. Normally, in movies, things like these wouldn’t have happened. The main characters would have jumped through the window over joy witnessing such romantic act of a dude flying all the way just to see her in a short time.
Last night, I was in Laos in my dream, along with his group of clients. When I was able to catch up with them all with my cool Batman-like motorbike, one of them told me that George’d been fooling around with this Laotian boy. The dude also said he heard the Laotian boy, from inside George’s room, screaming this thing that marked my brain vividly even in the morning after: “It’s halfway in, come on George…”
“Halfway” is the mark that I couldn’t even get to. I pulled myself out so quickly right before he got the tip inside me a bit and quickly I noticed a glance of disappointment. But that was something a month ago.
I just found out, just now, during our chat while he was waiting for his plane to arrive, the thing that I’ve known all along, and also that thing that Alan has warned me but still I refused to think of: there are many me’s around. One in Cambodia, one in Thai, one in India, god knows where else… And maybe they are not me but even more than me since I’m just the new guys. Those guys have been there all along in the very start, share the exact same things I share with him when he takes the tour group to their places. Those connections have been well established.
I mean, it’s understandable considering the nature of the job and the physical needs, and those scenarios are actually what I don’t find too surprising. But still, there’s something in the way he cheerfully shares with me such things that cut me with his every words, sweetly and sharply, like a secret weapon.
So I guess this trip will as how the dream played out, just be another “halfway” now that I have to come to my senses that my effort isn’t going to be appreciated as well as the thought that the future might have something in store for us has just been shut. My best strategy? I guess I would just play along with him, do the role of a gay friend for benefits, and suppress all of those thoughts inside since I know I’d rather be in his shades of blue than anybody else’s fool.