Luneta 7

(Warning: This is fiction and may not be appropriate for certain readers. Like I have readers LOL!)

After teaching them all I knew, they were promoted in many good ways. Living in foreign cities, they spread their allure on hostel beds and backseats of cars, in hotels and motels, in the parks of Paris, Amsterdam, London, New York, and the good old Santa Monica Boulevard. “Damn those Filipinos,” foreigners say, “who taught them how to be good tarts?” Their humble servant, the divine mentor of Manila Bay is still here. How about offering colleges an entire semester course in the Art of Hustling?

Outside of these neophytes are homecoming queens in the closets. How many times have I been fooled by them? One rule I adhere to in this godforsaken city is shun them. A man may come here to recite biblical verses with heart wrenching convictions, condemn unnatural acts man commits, speak of hell and punishment under the law and kneel to pray for all the homosexuals in the world, honey, the bitch won’t surprise me if a minute later he would be soliciting me for sex . Them holier-than-thou sickos are the sickest of all, because when lust is taken over by guilt, they’d drop all the blame on me. This guilt makes so many closeted gays condemn, kill hustlers like me even, every night. Honestly though….. I still give in to these sickos sometimes. At my own life’s risk, especially when I’m low with money. You can never keep money in this business, the damn policemen are always threatening to lock me up if I don’t grease their dicks with money, you know what I mean?… Never had any police record except a few month’s ago. The son of a bitch arrested me for what he called indecent exposure. Indecent exposure my ass. I was mooning him that’s what! And then, he planted weeds in my pocket and yelled, “Huh huh, you’ve got drugs my boy, you’re in trouble.” Oh yeah? Marijuana is not even a drug for chrissakes. I mentioned this big fat NBI name, threatened to sing his taste for young boys in public if I got locked up. The stupid officer called the NBI man! To verify my claim. How stupid can one get? Oh boy, after that phone call, he howled like a dog, his tail stiffened in his ass.

I’ve met one queen under the influence of liquor who challenged me for a fist-fight… I fucked him later for pay. With my fist!

Oh, in Manila, I can no longer distinguish a gay guy from a straight guy. There was a time an Army officer, yes, from the fucking Philippine Armed Forces, got out of his army car with two women, made love endlessly for an hour or so, and when the women were gone, he shyly asked if he could do me too.

But among all the closet queens, the most interesting are always the good old farts, the confused, wondering where the hell their sex orientation is headed to. I am inclined to categorize the Faceless Adonis as one of them. Funny, but these queers act so similar to each other. First, they would feign shock upon hearing what I do for a living, second, they would express disgust at my gay clientele, and third, they would ask me a man question.

“How about doing women?” Roberto asked.

“Avoid them. Women tend to look at hustlers as lovers. Once you fuck them they start asking what time you’ll go home – to their houses. And they are fatal. They’re too fucking emotional.”

He faced the bay. “I didn’t know we Filipinos are this free and wild.”

“And you ain’t seen nothin’ yet! Honey, this is Manila at night, the gateway of the demon bidding young men like you welcome to the dark masquerade of illusions. Seduced, you come, find and shape your masks, and with new anonymous identities, indulge in the wildness, until you get tired and disappear.”

“I’m curious,” he said, cutting into my deep imagination. “What made you do this?”

He was beginning to tick me off. “Are you interested with me or what?”

“Of course. But… I need to know your quality and story before I pay. Isn’t that the nature of business?”

My ears stood up after hearing the word pay. Babe, for the right price, I would share a passionate love with anyone, refer clients, even weave stories that would put Charles Dickens to shame.

“I was raised by my grandparents. Well… they are both dead now, bless their souls. Old age, I suppose. As far as I can recall, they took over my life since my parents were gunned down by the NPAs for refusing to pay communist – imposed taxes – damn guerillas. Because of them, my family disintegrated. They tried their best to provide a good life for me, but when you see old folk still dragging their limbs in the rice fields just to feed you, you develop a sense of shame. I promised myself that any day soon, I would become independent. They did not understand my reasons for stowing away right after high school. In fact, I dread to think I hastened their demise. Since the day I could fuck, I used everything under my power to survive without them. Hell, they didn’t need to worry about me in their old age, I can fend for myself, thank you. I practiced first with Bernie until I blossomed into the toast of the village faggots. Every one of them took turns on me. Never been so busy in my swine life. Demand for me was so high I was away from home all the time. I mean, I became so difficult to locate that my good grandmother would always recruit the town folk to search for me without realizing I was just a window away from our house, right under her nose, harnessing my sexual powers with a hair cutter or a cosmetologist…”

I noticed his increasing interest to my story. He sat like a child listening to a fairy tale, leaned back against one coconut trunk and crossed his legs excitedly. Fool, I thought. Whatever… as long as my storytelling is working.

“Now, now, don’t tell me they did not suspect anything at all,” he interjected.

“I don’t know if they were getting senile then but they denied all my activities even after they caught me once or twice. There was a time I thought they approved it. You see, in my village, folk don’t believe in homosexuality, calling it a phase that I will outgrow naturally. So, with this blind permissiveness, I was bequeathed the title Prince of Hustlers. Their suspicion was just aroused later on when multitudes of limp-wristed city slickers and tourist pedophiles flocked into our village regularly. “Why,” they wondered, “When we don’t even have a designated tourist spot?” Our village is in between two mountains. I recruited other young boys and hooked them with everyone that took fancy of their baby faces, brown skins and supple lips. The suspicion became a fact when the boys started wearing expensive jewels and brand name clothes. That was when they chased me out of the village.”

“Damn”, he said, “You are tough. You could be charged for promoting child prostitution. Did you know that?”

“No. In our village there was only one lawyer. He was also my most avid costumer.”

He burst laughing. “Please proceed,” he said.

“It was too late though, by that time I was both a pimp and a boy hustler with a far reaching domain. I regularly attended school- oh boy, what a job security I had in there. I went to church, but the devil in me lured victims even in that holy place. Why, I almost did it with the village priest. He just got scared the moment I was ready to feed him with my things, I suppose.”

My companion became restless upon hearing this… He is probably religious.

So I changed the direction of my story. It is my tactic, the language of hustling is simple: tell people what they wanna hear. Hey, I am aiming for a big kill.

“Don’t get me wrong. I am no bastard ready to spread my legs anytime a peso bill is waved before my face. I’ve acquired bigger balls and tastes in growing up. I never dealt with the

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