Come February, following a year of having casual sex, dating three guys in two days, and exclusively dating one for six months, I couldn’t help but wonder how, two weeks before Valentine’s Day, I was single and dateless. Truthfully, I knew the answer, and it was pretty obvious—I was single and dateless two weeks before Valentine’s because I broke up with Walt, who had promised that he’d take me out on Valentine’s Day, what would have been my first one with a guy, when we were still happy and had each other in our futures. But our breakup isn’t what this is about. This is about Cody.
There are some things about my past that keep me in there, and they’re mostly mistakes that have consequences that I need to face. One of those consequences sent me back to my hometown, which is so small that I have more fingers on one hand than I have decent guys to date. It’s been difficult, especially since I’m trying to find a real boyfriend in the only way I can (online, duh), and Tinder doesn’t even work in my parents’ house. The nearest guy on Growlr is a 30-minute drive away, and the guys on Grindr are not only pickier than the ones in Manila, they’re uglier, too.
Hello, it’s me again, the closeted gay guy from the Philippines who tries to live a gay life from the closet. I’ve been gone for a while because things didn’t turn out so well with me and Walt, and I’m sorry that I couldn’t come up with a better explanation for it. Truthfully, I can’t find the right words to correctly explain how hurt I am, especially since finding out three months after our break-up that he was cheating on me the whole time we were together. Silly rabbit, now I’ve said too much.
“Time is a funny thing. A decade can flash by in an uneventful second, and then, in just two years, monumental things can happen… things you couldn’t imagine happening in a million years.” – Carrie Bradshaw, Sex and the City 2
I don’t think time is a funny thing at all; I feel enslaved by it. Two years guilted me out of going for whatever might have made me happy. 48 days made me regret letting go of a six-month fling, despite its toxicity. 20 years (21 in February) made me rush myself into a relationship that obviously imploded; it also made me unsure of how I feel about being single.
As the year comes to a close, it’s always nice to look back and reflect on what had been. I’m definitely not the same person as I was at the start of 2016, both for good and for bad reasons, but the same reasons have allowed me to grow.
Whether or not I am to be believed, I was optimistic at the start of the year, and I had every reason to be: I still had a valid excuse to be on vacation until June; I had a weekend abroad planned; I had a handful of opportunities waiting to be grabbed. But a few days in, the overwhelming weight of reality set in: I had nothing figured out’ that weekend abroad flew by; the opportunities seem to have with a hefty price tag that I simply could not afford. On top of that, I was turning 20, running out of hope and money, and single. I surprised myself by coming up with a Birthday wishlist that had no material things at all, and I eventually got everything I wanted… until I let self-doubt get the best of me and take everything back.
When that kind of thing happens to you, it usually takes you to a bad place. I voluntarily put a blot on my academic track record. I gave myself seemingly valid excuses for my bad behavior. I destroyed two relationships, of which one was destined to fail, and the other I failed to fight for. I went through two suicide attempts because I no longer wanted to try. I’m broken in places, but I’m still alive.
Happy New Year, everyone!
Before everything went to shit, I was the ultimate single boy. Unlike most of the people in my university, I had never wanted to be in a relationship, and for good reason. I had Latin honors to chase, and virtually no time for any social life beyond what I could have with classmates that I had projects with. I was willing to sacrifice everything to get good grades, my health, even, but a relationship wasn’t one of them. For the most part, it felt a lot like I didn’t need one. I found it to be such a waste of time and money, and I learned early on that I was almost always happier when I did things with myself. A lot of it also came from the awareness of my physical attributes. I’m not handsome. I’m morbidly obese because of my conscious decision to neglect a healthy diet and daily exercise in favor of doing schoolwork. I accepted that I was a specific type, that it would take an extremely special boy to see past my size, or at least one with a weird fetish for big bellies.
I really needed to cry. I ran out of the rec center to get some fresh air. Once I got outside, I looked at my surroundings to see what I could do next. I spotted a supermarket across the street. Determined to get revenge, I stormed in, my face red from holding back the tears I refused to shed for Connor.
I didn’t get too much—just a box of Trojans and two bottles of lube. Even though I was fuming with anger, I couldn’t help but laugh at how ridiculous and immature I was being. Before the cashier gave me my receipt, she told me, “it’s best to be safe even when you’re heart-broken.”
That last part I made up. The cashier didn’t care. Being gay in Canada was as commonplace as having a tattoo; nobody cared. But at that moment, I wish that somebody did because I needed a hug, a really warm hug, preferably from a burly man with a lot of body hair and natural musk.