“Hey, this is George, coming straight to your town from Burmese jungle!” The text was said with such sparkles in the eyes in my imagination.
“George? From the jungle? Imma call you George the Jungle then.”
It was just something over a month ago that I finally met up with George in person. And it was exactly one month ago that we said goodbye in my town, after 3 amazing nights together, promising of a future trip in November, together, with just us and the music we both love. Who would have known that the scenario today, when I just got back home from the airport and rushed to bed to write this, would be a total contrast?
“Excuse me, I’m looking for George,” I asked the reception man in that tiny cozy hostel in one corner near Chinatown in Downtown Yangon. In a blink, I heard the familiar footsteps that ran up and down the hotel in my town rushing the tour group from their room in order to make it in time to the bus station, and, no sooner, his voice.
“Hey you!” George greeted, this time, with the indeed sparkling golden brown eyes, that same toothless wicked smile, and of course that clumsily childlike body language I fell in love with, which was all followed by a warm embrace.
“I’d never thought that I’d see you again…” I whispered in his ears the thing that even my imagination wouldn’t dare dreaming that far. Seeing George in flesh and bone again, in just 1 unbearable month, 8 months sooner than expected, is what I couldn’t believe that I could be able to do and had done.
George then hold my hand and dragged me, who is still feeling like living in a dream like illusion, into the room where he pulled my face closer and gave me the deepest kiss that seemed to make the moon outside stay still to watch upon us for a while. Pushing me down to the bed, George then quickly unbuckled my belt, and went for my cock.
We then went to Shwedagon Pagoda which is one of the 3 Buddhism symbols of the Burmese. Dazzled in my favorite shade of gold, the stupa stood still in the dark in its glorious form the way it has been since the 14th century. Amazed by its beauty, I turned to George and see how his eyes sparked again with wonder although it must have been the 100th time he visited this place. Lovely dinner came afterwards and then of course, the sex.
I’d never been comfortable letting anyone inside me. Actually, I’d always been thinking that the first one conquering such territory would be someone special, someone that I feel like sharing a long term future with, someone whom I care about more than I care about myself. And that’s exactly the thought that I’d had for George. And that night, after a failed attempt in my town, it happened, in our unmade bed in Yangon, with the light from Sule Pagoda glimmering from behind.
But then, a moment after he pulled his dick out and blew huge thick loads on my stomach, sucking my cock for a little more, I suddenly felt like I was falling out of his realm, like a satellite falling out of its orbit, only to be struck back to the reality by the lonesome darkness casting all over the room. Half spent, half satisfied, half disguised.
And things from then on headed only for the worse. All of the fights, all the arguments regarding the trips, the accommodation, the financial status, the daily routine were unhealthy since they all ended with him criticizing me for being selfish and keeping myself distant from his world.
On the other hand, George didn’t see the fact that his controlling habits, his tendency to get me to do the exact same things he did and pay 100% attention to him all the time while getting much less back, his criticism sweetly enclosed to me for going out drinking alone while I needed space, and, even worse, his thoughtless words, are what pushed us further and further, no matter how hard I tried to remind him that I’d put my job and everything aside, skipped all the places I want to do in Myanamr like Bagan and Inle Lake, just to be with him, in these rural areas.
I remember there were some bus ride to Mawlaymine, some walking trip around Saddan Cave, some trekking in Hpa-An where basically, we were accompanying each other in our own little world, like two entirely different entities. And everything slipping out of my mouth would be another reason to annoy him and vice versa. And again, he blamed me for staying silent.
Sex did happened one more time in the shower while we got back to the guest house in Hpa-An, after I put some sun block on his aching back, lying to him that it was muscle soothing relaxative cream just to make him feel better psychologically before we could purchase proper medical aid. I fucked him in his ass, and then in his throat, hard, like a vengeance I’d been loading up for days.
The kindness of strangers is always what I believe and find comfort in. The beautiful travel group that I met along the way, to whom I cried to while we were chain smoking and swilling Burmese beers, told me that I should just get the fuck off and join them. Inga said that George was the bad “girlfriend” type that I should ditch for my own sakes, which is what Alan’d been warning me all along. Todd, another guy in the group, said “dude, you should think for yourself.” And how could I forget the sincerity and sadness in the eyes of Linet, a loving Danish girl, when she shrugged my shoulders and looked straight at me saying: “The bus to Golden Rock is 6 am tomorrow.”
I didn’t listen to them, of course, even for a moment I was about to take my backpack out of the room and embark on my own for the rest of the trip. But then, I saw his face resting in his sleep again. I always watch him sleep in the silent low dimmed light like that since our first night, seeing all of his nerves slowly getting relaxed, dozing off into a million mile away universe like a little child. Yes, he is that little kid, in that almost 40 year old man body. And that whole process took me back to the start, where I fell in love with him in the first place, and for that I was thinking that there would still be hope for us. I stayed.
And then the drop that spilled the cup finally arrived. He tagged along his fucking fuck buddy in Burma in our taxi trip, which I discovered later putting all the pieces together or maybe I’d blindfolding myself the whole time. That was it. And now was it. I stormed off the taxi and gave him a cold shoulders even when we had to be in the same airport, same gate, to take our flights at the same time, heading our own separate ways.
There have been some intimate moments in which I felt like I was in touch with the same old George again. It was when we were sitting on the same boat, getting drifted along the river in Saddan cave while the sun was setting from behind, racing with the water flow. It was when the seagulls on Strand Road riverside started to spread their wings and fly in flocked towards our direction under the blood light sky while we were both admiring in awe. It was when we were in that monastery and got invited by the local monks to join their meals. And it was when he playfully made some cruel jokes about daily pill intake and hearing impairment.
I finally got home at midnight, learning that my mom and dad are not sleeping together anymore and my sister is currently in hospital waiting for the result of my nephew’s operation. It was like I’d ditched all of my responsibility, ignored my loved ones for a false illusion that George and I could be something, only to come back with a losing hand and even worse, a feeling of broken hatred for forcing myself to do what I didn’t want to, and emptiness.
“Let’s see how it goes in the future?” the text message from George said, when he left my town a month ago, wearing the same old dark blue t-shirt with a colorfully Indian-decorated car. “Yes, goodbye for now, but let’s see how it goes,” I replied.
I guess this time the goodbye is permanent. It’s time for you to go, and for me to let you go back to the jungle, where you come from and probably where you belong. Now it’s also time I put my heart to sleep for a while.
Goodbye George, my Jungle Man.