Thursday, January 27, 2005


Just over a month ago, the 22nd of December or thereabouts, I saw John Rae again. Over two years had passed since I saw him, and it all happened in the strangest of circumstances, the stuff that deus ex machina denuouements are made of. There he was, amidst the flurry of other gay guys who had just emerged from a restaurant where they had their Christmas party, and the first thing I noticed was how good he looked. A little slimmer perhaps, but then it may just have been the dim lighting of the early morning or the dark blue shirt that flattered him, and he still had his distinct smile which to me was fiercely affecting.

I didn't talk to him much. In fact, I really didn't have much to say. It had been clear to me in those silent two years that he had moved on from the short yesterday we shared, and I was no longer in the equation in whatever manner.

After twenty or so minutes, I said goodbye to the group as I needed to catch a deadline. I gave hugs to some of the guys and shook hands with others. Out of courtesy, I reached out to John Rae for a handshake, and he responded by taking my hand and gently pulling me to him for a hug. We held each other lightly though not too briefly, longer than those of acquaintances and shorter than those of friends, and that was it.

Whatever that hug meant is no longer of consequence, though admittedly it bothered me for days on end. And even the odd confluence of circumstances leading to it has been placed on the shelf of personal anecdotes for its wickedly humorous undertone. I've even dreamt of him again, strangely. In the dream, I had my head on his lap while he with his dry fingers, gently stroked my face. It was something he liked doing then. A tender and quiet moment that ended when I finally woke.

I've heard of what has happened to him since that day long ago, when he told me he didn't love me anymore, and it's generally been well and fine and dandy on his end. All good. To me, has the makings of a great man.

The other night, I opened up a photofile on my computer, an image taken in March of 2002. In that image were me and my college friends -- we were having a reunion at the time. John Rae was in the picture, too, standing right beside me. He had picked me up from the venue so we could go to the sports club where he'd have a round of tennis, but my friends insisted he joined in the group photo before we left.

I stared at the photo, noting again his affecting smile, and the charming eyes slightly glazed by the glare of light on his glasses. But instead of fear and anxiety overwhelming me, I felt at peace and even mustered a slight smile, like I was looking back at a delightful memory. And I realized I was okay, blemished but no longer scarred. Many things led to that moment, and I've slowly collected them, untangled their web, and kept them precious. There's gratitude there, in the assurance that the dark does pass and the destination eventually peeks from the horizon.

From what I saw in that untangled web, the light began to shine with that one embrace that neither invited me back nor said goodbye, but simply opened another door.


Anonymous said...

Belated Happy Birthday! :)


bocceli said...

hi sweetie. *smile*. so much has happened. reading this post brought back so many memories. i was almost on the verge of crying. that's how much i missed you guys being there. i always end up thinking how things would have been had i not gotten hitched. would i still be seeing you guys to this day (more often than once a year).

i'm glad to read this too. i'm happy for you for seeing the opening. maybe a more luminous light (not as luminous as my aura though.. hehe). hopefully things go well for you and i hope to see you guys more often.

Sherman said...

Teresa - Many thanks, dear. HUGGIES

Bocceli - Hey, luv. It was great seeing you, too. Missed talking to you. Schedules are really hectic for Suki, Angelo and Xochi because of Icon, so I don't know when they'll be available for a quickie R&R. (I read your article, by the way. Nice!)

Like you, I wouldn't know how my life would have gone if I hadn't let my heart fall for JR. But lessons do have a way of making themselves apparent only after the internal chaos and I have no regrets. May matibay na tayo, paré!!! Heheheh. At mas malawak ang isipan.

HUGGIES, Bocceli. I'll see you soon.


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