I went for a fund raising party yesterday at Atmosphere. It was organized by LPG and the money will be used for The Straits Games 2005, which is a multi-sports event with participation from Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore and Hong Kong. The theme for the party was Ultimate 80’s.
Obviously, no one came dressed in 80’s costume. Except the performers.
I arrived there right on time at seven. That’s when the program was supposed to start but apparently no one can avoid the Malaysian-time mentally. The event finally started close to eight.
Anyway, while I was hanging outside Atmosphere waiting for my friends, I bumped into a few people I know. One was someone from the Bukit Buah hike and another was someone I knew when I was in university but didn’t keep in touch with. It was great catching up with them again. Coincidentally, both of them knew each other too as they worked in Cyberjaya with their workplaces adjacent to each other.
A while later, I met a friend who came with his Singaporean boyfriend. Excuse me while I gripe a bit. They are both equally good looking. Whatever happened to the notion that in a couple, one is always the better than the other? Yes, I think it is obvious that I find my friend cute. Sigh, life is so unfair.
Anyway, they have been together now for almost a year and my friend is going to Singapore to work soon so that he can be close to his boyfriend. Now, how sweet is that? Of course I wished him all the best. He is my friend after all and he deserves happiness.
As the program has yet to start, I continued to hang outside even though by now the place was filling up and soon all the good seats would be taken. That’s when I unexpectedly saw another familiar face, which I haven’t seen for seven years.
He was going into the gents. Without thinking I followed him into the toilet. When I went in, he was at the urinal. I looked at his back. What happened next is not what you think.
I left and waited for him outside the gents.
When he came out, he didn’t see me. He walked towards the road and again I followed him. This time, he saw me and recognized me.
He was actually a friend from secondary, whom I haven’t met since Form Five.
So we started talking and catch up with each other. He just resigned from Intel Penang and currently works for his father. (Why is it that the engineers I know work in Intel after graduation and then leave after a year?)
We exchanged numbers and continued chatting. Finding out from each other him what happened to who and who is doing what and so on.
I know since secondary school that he is straight. He didn’t set off my gaydar back then and even now, he doesn’t. And yes, the obvious question lingered at the back of my head. What is he doing here?
The question only got asked towards the end of the conversation. A female friend asked him to come for an AIDS fund raising event. With no plans for the evening and parents on holiday somewhere, he decided to come.
I was unsure whether to believe his typical blur straight guy act. But the uncertainty didn’t last long, as he whispered uneasily, “No offense, but why are there so many people dressed up very weirdly?” I wanted to laugh. That changed in a milisecond, to dread.
What was I supposed to say? “They are here to perform and this is actually a gay event.”
What I said was, “I think they are the performers.” And I changed the subject.
After that, he asked another awkward question. “Why are there so many guys here? In fact, almost all are guys. I came because I thought there would be some beautiful chicks around.”
I didn’t reply this time.
We went in soon after as the show was about to begin. It started with an all-male cheerleading team performing some (what else?) cheerleading stunts. Next, it was someone playing a character called Hokkien Lala. She was supposed to be at a wedding at Sheraton Imperial but somehow came to Twelve S.I. (Sheraton Imperial = S.I.)
It was a stand up comedy act. I found it pretty funny, but would be funnier if only I understood the Hokkien parts. My secondary school friend was standing next to me.
The awkward questions has not ended. Into the third performance, he asked, “Huh? This is a drag show?” What was playing on stage was men dressed up in women clothes lip-synching to 80’s songs by Kylie Minogue, Cyndi Lauper and Madonna.
The thing is, I knew it provided me a good opportunity to enlighten him on gay people. But I doubt I could do it at that time and at that place and leave him with a good impression. The drag shows on stage did not help.
I was enjoying the performances. When I turned around, he wasn’t next to me anymore and I couldn’t find him. Well, he did seem bored. Either that, or he saw two guys holding hands and he freaked out and left. That would be an expected reaction from him, which is another reason I didn’t tell him the truth.
I did think also that he might be extremely closeted that he just kept playing the straight guy act. After all, I did not see him with his female friend or the friends that he said were coming.
Oh well. I stayed on till it ended at about 10.30. I could have stayed on to party as the place was now opened to the public, but I didn’t.
I had other plans.