Chapter 2 — Good Men Hunting
In the previous chapter of Half Truths – Josh was furious to be led on by Jeff who was hiding the fact that he is actually in an open relationship.
After weeks of waiting with bated breath, Pokemon Go has finally reached the shores of Singapore, and taken the entire island by storm; giving Candy Crush servers some much needed respite. To identify those playing the game one would only need to look out for clusters of people gathered on random pavements and walkways, eyes glued to their phones, while making strange upward swiping gestures or tapping their phones rapidly with their index fingers.
While everyone else were discussing about where the rare Pokemons are, Tia and I were speculating where could all the eligible bachelors be?
“So it turns out that Jeff evolved from a Boyfriend type to an Asshole type.” I told Tia as a matter of fact.
It was Friday evening and we were catching up over drinks at Fry a rooftop bar along Club Street, a short stretch known for its trendy bars and restaurants popular amongst the afterwork crowd. The bar offers an incredible panoramic view of the area from the top of a 1940s heritage shophouse, while being tucked away from rowdy revellers below providing a literal and figurative oasis for its lesbian patrons amongst other beneficiaries.
“Sorry I really thought Jeff was the One.” she said apologetically. “Don’t be silly, it’s not your fault,” I said, as I took a fried chicken wing apart imagining it was Jeff I am dismembering. “Enough about me. How’s Tinder coming along?” I continued, attempting to deflect the attention from the topic.
“Tinder suck balls.” said Tia as she popped a lychee skewer into her mouth, a garnish from her empty martini glass. “I just don’t understand why does Tinder match me with guys who just won’t text me back?” she said with a mouthful of lychees. I looked at her incredulously and said, “Didn’t you know that most guys on Tinder swipe right without looking and leave the hard work of preselection to women?”
Tia nearly choked on her lychee. “No that can’t be true,” she responded almost accusatorially. “Honey, there are only two things that guys pay attention to: gadgets and porn. Behold exhibit A.” I said, holding up a copy of Stuff magazine which I found lying around.
A dyke waitress rests another cold pint of blonde ale on our table, I picked it up taking quick sip. “Well if you’re tired of waiting for men to initiate conversation, why don’t you be the one who sends the first message?” I continued. “But wouldn’t that be too unbecoming of me as a woman? Men should be the one doing the chasing,” she protested. “And should women be stay-at-home mums and baby-making machines?” I said giving her a look of disapproval. Tia attempts to bury her face in her third glass of lychee martini, smiling sheepishly.
“Tia it’s really simple. The question is would you prefer to do the choosing, or risk not being chosen? Or worse, being chosen by an Asshole type.” “Good point.” she said looking reflective as she reached out for the menu.
That same night Ian and I met up at Tantric, an institution of gay Singapore, also known as Tragic, an endearing reference to gay men who come to the bar week after week hoping for an encounter, but often left high and dry. A funny connection to the bar’s namesake which is an ancient form of slow sex rooted in Hinduism. Giant buddha heads carved out of granite lined the walls of its outdoor area where Ian and I stood. It was still fairly early, the after dinner crowd has just started to trickle in.
“So I am guessing that you are not friends with Jeff?” probed Ian who’s just ordered a tall glass of vodka soda, his go-to drink since I’ve known him, this time with a splash of cranberry.
“I am still undecided. He texted me two weeks ago to tell me that he ‘just wants to talk’. I have yet to respond to his message.” I said as I watched Britney gyrate in Make Me… on one of the flat screens on the wall. “I think you just need sometime to cool off, let the anger and hurt wane.” said Ian, always empathic and thoughtful.
“Fuck. Me.” I muttered, peering past Ian’s shoulder. Curious to see what I saw, he too turned around and together we observed a beautiful silver fox emerging from the crowd.
The term “silver fox” usually refers to an older gay gentleman who could be entering his fifth decade but still looks sexy as hell. This silver fox towers over six feet, hidden beneath his fitted white polo tee is a beach-ready body, and his skin tight faded blue jeans does a great job showing off his ass ..ets. His hair gloriously grey, thick and lustrous, fades into his salt and peppery five o’clock shadow. Almost immediately a group of twentysomething hungry bottoms descended upon him.
Ian returned to his drink and took a big sip. “This is depressing. He is the only guy in the entire bar tonight that I thought was fucking hot — but I know older men are never interested in me.” he said, sounding dramatic and dejected. This is sadly true. The wonderful world of the gays play heavily into subcultural stereotypes, a phenomenon which some suspect is indicative of a deeper desire for structure and a substitute for heteronormative gender roles. Older men or daddies are almost always seen with young nubile bottoms. Ian neither looks young nor nubile. However he could be a bottom.
Tops prefer bottoms. The problem with Ian is that he looks too much like a top, too “straight acting”, which confounds daddy types who are primed to look out for perky butts, broken wrists and lisping lips. In a good way, Ian busts gay stereotypes but unfortunately his sex life takes a beating too.
“Why don’t you just go up and talk to him?” I said encouragingly. “Forget it. I know he wouldn’t be interested. Anyway it would be too awkward for me to interrupt.” replied Ian with a slight tone of resignation.
The other problem with Ian is that when it comes to dating, he is almost always the passive one. No pun intended here. The thing is he has never made the first move, especially on guys he is really keen on getting to know. So he waits for other men to make their first move, and choose amongst the pool of second choices.
“Turn around, Mr. Silver Fox is alone by the bar right now. Go and say hi.” I egged him on. “You know I’ve heard that, if you want something you’ve never had, you’ve to do something you’ve never done.” quoting a post I saw on Instagram. To my surprise, Ian puts down his glass on the table, and started walking measuredly towards Mr. Silver Fox, who is having a beer, watching Whitney Houston on MTV in I Wanna Dance With Somebody.
Unexpectedly Mr. Silver Fox shifted his attention away from what he was watching, turning his head to Ian, meeting him eye to eye. Ian stopped at his tracks almost immediately, feeling awkward and self conscious all of a sudden. He blurted out “Hi.” like the kid who got caught with his hands in the cookie jar. Mr. Silver Fox reciprocated kindly with an amused smile, just then the moment was interrupted by one of the hungry bottoms earlier; this one came with an electric smile, wrapped his arms around daddy’s waist before planting a kiss on the lips.
Ian retreated. He should have known better than to ignore his instincts.
“I told you.” Ian said to me semi vindictively.
“What did you tell him?” a curious voice said from behind, startling Ian who immediately turned around. It was Mr. Silver Fox, standing face to face with him, slightly taller than I estimated. “I don’t want to be presumptuous but did you want to talk to me? Sorry I had to say goodbye to my friend who I came with.” he said with a boyish grin. Ian visibly flustered, promptly calmed himself down, extended his hands and said, “Hi, I am Ian and this is my best friend, Josh. What’s your name?”
“My name is André, but you can call me Andy. Can I buy you boys a drink?” as their hands meet for the first time. “Pleasure making your acquaintance Andy. Thank you but I was just about to leave. Have a good night gentlemen.” I gave Ian a sly wink as I excused myself.
“I hope you’re not leaving too.” said Andy cheekily. “Not if you’re still buying me a drink.” Ian quipped, smiling. “They say you could tell a lot about a person by what he drinks. So tell me what’s your poison?” Andy asked. “Vodka soda.” says Ian as he approached closer, close enough to get a good whiff of the base notes of Eau Savage that still lingered on Andy’s skin.
“But tonight I am up for something different.” he concludes with grin and they kiss.