“What is the meaning behind that tattoo?” DJ asked me while hazel eyes carefully examining me as if I were a foreign object.
“Oh… uhm, well, it’s just in the shape of a button,” words clumsily made slipped from my mouth. And I was trying to get in the diplomacy business. Who could perform masterful diplomatic role while being unable to have a way with words under unexpected situation?
“There’s more than that. You’re too overthinking to ink something on your body just like that.”
“Is that your professional diagnosis after a period of just under 15 minute observation?” I regained my ground.
“Well, I’m an pathologist after all. And we took psychology of course.”
That was our first encounter, in the same bar where I first met Koen and David. The bartender must have been giving such “I know you’ve been whoring around” kind of look. But it didn’t really matter that much to me. I was too busy indulging an endless flow of new information regarding human anatomy and stories of he helped a girl who said “ho ho” for Santa Claus speak properly again.
The impression of the following dates have faded, together with my trips with Alan and Khoi, as well as the heavy load of work piling up after that. But I do recall DJ texting me saying “I want to see you first thing in the morning when I wake up” despite the fact I had just made fun of his confusing in color shirt and his sandals. That night, I didn’t stay over since I went on dates with the initial idea of distracting myself from Jorge, not for another Jorge immediately.
One time we went to this karaoke bar with some of the friends. “End of the World” by Skeeter Davis, that’s the one I chose since there’s nothing really in that poor playlist. And while I was getting puzzled with the pitch change in the karaoke version as well as giggling from people around, I awkwardly took a step back and bumped into DJ. There he was, standing right behind me since when I had no idea, mic in his hand, backing me with the chorus. We finished it with the score of above 90, but the more important thing was that I think I couldn’t help but looking into his eyes.
“You wanna hear another of my professional diagnose? You are cognitively talented,” DJ whispered in my ears. Ain’t flattery always get one down on his knees?
And there were dinners, lunches, breakfasts, some arguments, more dinners, night walks, and of course, sex, that follow. He let me inside, which was what he didn’t normally do since he was top (and also bisexual), while his iPod was playing “Desperado” by the Eagles, the song he said made he think of me.
What had to come finally came. It was the end of his journey. He gotta go down south to fly back to his hometown in Canada. We said goodbye. It was all good to me. We both enjoyed the fun. It wasn’t that deep to make me feel anything.
It was all good. Until I received his message from down south, with 2 options that I didn’t have to choose from:
A. DJ said he would fly back here to see me before he left for home.
B. DJ said he would love to fly me down to an island I’d never been before and we would meet up down there.
With my constant hunger for adventure, I chose the latter. Our office was about to host some conferences down there too so it was all convenient. Interview date came right after the ticket was booked. I was in frenzy, but still weathered the inner storm to embark on the trip. I did wanna see him again.
And there he was, standing at the airport, waiting for me, wearing a plaid scarf around his shaved head, just like I used to do.
“Hey DJ Man, you are copying my style!”
“Des, I saw your photos and thought it was a great idea, especially considering this weather and humidity.”
Yes, by that time, I had started calling him my DJ Man, and Des was what he picked for me as, like he said, it sounds somewhat melancholy and shortened for the song Desperado.
We had 2 drunk nights on the beach, in the dorm and in front of a bungalow, lots of sunbathing. He taught me a few more things about astronomy since the island sky was laced in stars.
“This ain’t nothing in comparison to home. The milky way is visible there,” DJ man said, pointing to the sky which I was too busy admiring. Home, thats what he brought up a lot in our conversation. His home, somewhere in Canada, is a place where I imagine there was a still lake in the night embracing his boat house by the water, his dogs barking nearby, and the sound of tractors resonating from afar, and his Mustang parking outside, waiting for me to come in.
We had a bike accident, where I accidently dropped him off, which I really feel sorry for. Covered in bruises and physical pain, he still tried his best not to stay in. He said he wanted to see me under that ease and glowing light like that in those Facebook photos of mine. To which I responded: “I currently am.”
On our final night, we had both finished our books and were knocking down vodka, chain smoking on the wooden stools, playing country music in loop. Stories of our past relationships and everything were waiting in line to be told as we took turn sipping and spilling the beans. I told him about my first boyfriend, Jorge, Alan and Bathrobe. He stated that he’d slept with around 65 men, the reason for which he said is that he had to make up for his first 40 years of his life leading a “straight” life. We were indeed running for the money and the flesh, or on a second thought, the flesh only, since the other is my own race.
Out of no where, DJ Man turned to me with teary eyes, stuttering, like one of his patients with troubles making complete sounds of the words on their minds.
“You’ve taught me how to feel again.”
As I am writing this post at home, a day after the short getaway, he should be packing his bags, heading to the airport for a nearly 30 hour flight (which would definitely hurt his rear due to those heavy bruises). And soon all we’ll see up there would be constellations and planets from different hemispheres. Surely I’d think of him, my DJ Man, if I happen to ever see a part of the milky way, or hear any of that Terri Clark songs. And I know somewhere, occasionally, he’d think about me too since I’m sure it took a lot of heart and courage for a tough guy in his middle age to show his vulnerability in front of a messed up kid like me.