Tuesday, August 23, 2005


After four (4) months of regular chatting, Damien disappeared from the virtual environ without a trace, so to speak. The last offline message he sent to me was a very concise-five-word liner: "this is no goodbye, gagah!".. Don't mistake it --- gagah, like maharot, was a monicker of sort that he used on me, which i always took in good stride. As chatmates, Damien and I coined words and phrases in English and in my vernacular (as he showed interest in learning my language) that were peculiar to a given situation, e.g., whenever we talked sexy or naughty. Words like rehab (to mean bedroom encounters), maharot or maharotti were added to our vocabularies to refer to our flirtatious mood at that moment. We created a positive, even funny twist to several tagalog words that would otherwise, invoke negative connotations, e.g., gagah luka-luka, sira, atbp. -- all these for sheer fun and enjoyment in the chatroom.

The guy had charisma, a certain appeal, an aura of sensuality. At times, i was seeing it in the manner he lit up a cigarette; sometimes in the movement of his head, in the naughty sparkle of those eyes, or in that smile.

Damien was knowledgeable, very witty, very articulate. His excellent grasp and command of the English language (he was not born with an English twang) made if possible for us to have interesting discussions. His greatest asset though was, I think, his sense of humor. In his presence, there was no moment in the virtual that I was not enjoying myself. Monotony or boredom --- these were strange words with us.

I had the privilege of also catching a glimpse at the other facet of his personality -- the one I seldom saw ... the serious, humane, vulnerable part, yet that part that showed enough maturity, understanding and appreciation about life, about people.

Damien was my muse the moment he entered into my tabula rasa. He brought a fresh perspective in my life, allowed me to be myself without fear of being judged, to indulge in my passion, to pursue dreams that were already consigned to the archive, to be inspired, most of all. We do not meet people by chance. Perhaps, there was a purpose in having met him that one, boring Saturday afternoon in March.

It was only Damien who gave me this sense of connectedness; of discovering that with him, time could stand still. I used to entertain some creepy feeling of having known him before as if we were soulmates. But such belief ran counter to my own religious background. Ah, maybe, some things would rather be not spoken of, nor given names. "That which is understood need never be spoken". Or perhaps, I was overanalyzing things.

To say that he completely altered my world like no other, was an understatement. Without him now, I am back to grappling for a meaning again within the context of my life.

Forgetting Damien? I wish this is easier done.


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