Thursday, April 24, 2008

My days with Jeff

This is Jeffrey Mishler.

I met him in Columbia. My history with him is complex. Those of you who know what I'm like will immediately know what I'm talking about.

Anyhow, he's quit his white-collar number-crunching job in New York so he can study to become an alternative fuels researcher, and in the interim he's studying Mandarin in Taiwan. (He was gonna do it in China, but I explained to him over chat why those plans were pissing off his Taiwanese boyfriend so much.)

Anyhoo, since he was in the Eastern Hemisphere, I extended an invitation for him to come and visit Singapore. Or perhaps he invited himself. In any case, I was definitely the one who urged him to stay in my house.

So I took him to Arab Street...

(This was his first mosque! Not that surprising, considering he's a Westchester Jew.)

Fortunately/unfortunately, the Muslim bookstore next door was one of the cool enlightened ones that stocks handbooks explaining comparative religions rather than the Protocols of the Elders of Zion.

Also took him to the Esplanade...

...the National Museum...

... Clarke Quay...

... and the Night Safari.

Many of these photos are from his Picasa set rather than mine.  As you may have guessed, we share a similar sense of irony.

And no, we didn't sleep together.  Not that I didn't want to bonk him with every sinew of my body.

I've been a skank ho before and I'm a skank ho now, but a Millsian utilitarian calculus appraisal indicated that all I'd be getting would be momentary pleasure whereas he'd be wrecking a twenty-month relationship, so it'd have been extremely selfish of me to push him.

Besides, he really is a faithful boy.  He says things about his bf that make you go, damn, that kid's lucky (I use the word "kid" figuratively; his boyfriend's a few years older than him - Jeff's of a generation that simply hasn't heard about the ol' quasi-colonial gay SPG dynamic).

The amazing thing, though, is that we really do have great chemistry in eccentric conversation, and he says things that imply I'm not in fact unattractive to him, and I've realised that while there are some guys who are so attractive they make me feel unattractive just standing next to them, he's not one of them.

The long and short of it is that I believe, in a parallel universe, we could've been boyfriends.  Nice, stable boyfriends of the type that's purely theoretical to my consciousness.

And so in the darkness of the Night Safari, when I'm longing to wrestle him down into the heaps of giraffe dung and eat out his Discovery Channel, I realise that I'm somehow feeling utterly satisfied with the way things are.

He's a swell guy to have as a friend, and that's great.

I feel desire.  I feel contentment.

Isn't that what love is supposed to be like?

Anyway, the highlight of his visit was probably Jurong Bird Park.  

Don't we look cute together? He loves birds, absolutely loves them.  Who knew?  I sure didn't in Columbia.

So we got a gander at all the cliches:

(In case you can't see the sign properly, it says: "THE WORLD'S MOST DANGEROUS CREATURE: Homo sapiens").

We also got some cheap thrills.

No, I don't know why they have a white rooster among the scarlet ibises.

But as we gay men know, cock attracts cock.

These little babies are called the Victoria Crowned Pigeons.  They're native to New Guinea, both Papua and Timor Leste, and they're utterly unafraid of mankind.

Doncha love the look of childlike wonder in his eyes?

I, on the other hand, transform every moment into farce.

Ooh, and these rainbow-coloured anomalies are called lories.

If you ask me, somewhere in Australasia, God kind of gave up on trying to make his creations look believable.

Naturally, I didn't just take Jeff places.  I force-fed him local delights, including D-24 durian, which he found unsmelly but way too rich:

And wasabi-flavoured Japanese soft serve.

I also took him to watch the Mandarin musical "The Soldier and His Virtuous Wife". Brought my niece Kimberlyn along, hoping that maybe it'll teach her not to be intimidated by angmoh men when she's older. During dinner at Bugis Market, she pressed him to try Katong laksa. He loved it. Even drank up all the gravy.

Saturday he was on his own. So he went with his friends to Pulau Ubin...


...and the Merlion.

In the meantime, I missed him horribly. I watched Lucky Seven and went to the Books Actually Re-Opening and Dance Dance Dance and consistently felt like shit.

He was home when I got back. I would be visiting graves for Qing Ming the next morning, so I wouldn't be able to see him off. I made him take a few more photos.

Just to provide myself with evidence that he was in my home.

I got up the next morning, and took one last photo of him before I left the house.

And this is the last photo he took in my house.

The odd thing is, I don't miss him anymore.  Sure, I still think he's gorgeous and I'd still love to schtup him and have rainbow babies with him someday, but right now he's quite comfortably... absent.  The utilitarian calculus was right. Better not to have slept with him. Yes, I believe it.

I've actually decided to visit New York in June/July, not to visit him but to visit someone quite different. I have unfinished business with the city.

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