By Marge Gavan
“So who needs to meet a boy tonight?” someone from the backseat asked.
“Marge!” the girls answered unanimously.
Typical, I rolled my eyes.
I was in a car with six other girls on our way to Subic for the Summer Siren Festival. Little did I know, I won’t be needing their assistance to do what they were hoping for me to achieve.
I am the single gal that nobody wants to be single. Friends say I got beauty and brains, I shouldn’t be single. Strangers say I have the looks and the confidence, I shouldn’t be single. I do want to be flattered really, but years of being asked the “Why are you still single?” question is getting old. I know my friends love me and they mean well, but sometimes I wish they’d cut it off. I never had a trip without them telling me that maybe this time I would meet the one or that maybe, I’d meet some guy. What the f*ck is the one anyway? In this time and age people still believe in this shit?
But something was different that night. I took it all in humor and had a great time. My friends told me they’d be my wingmen and help me find a guy and I responded with a smile and a nod instead of my usual snarky comeback. I allowed myself to forget that I am 34, not 24. I sang along, danced along, and drank to my heart’s content. By the time we left the concert, I was already tipsy having finished three cups of the Gatorade + vodka mix.
I went along with my companions not knowing where we were going. I didn’t care, I just wanted to drink more. My friend told me that I was a revelation because she has always known me as the most reserved person in the group. But that night, I was smiling a lot, talking with people, and dancing like it was nobody’s business. If I could be this person 90% of the time, I would be living an entirely different life. I’d probably be that girl that everybody loves, the girl who is a lot of fun, the one who cannot be single. My inebriated version is fun loving, reckless, and uninhibited. Inebriated is the operative word; I can’t be this person without alcohol.
We were a company of 11 and I have no idea how we managed to fit ourselves inside the SUV to get to the next destination. We were traveling with a DJ, his voluptuous model friend, and two tall young men. The DJ was going to play at another bar that night and he asked us to come along. The two white guys were sitting on the back of the car and I remembered glancing at them briefly, wondering who they were. They looked young, probably in their early 20s; one is a brunette, the other is blonde.
The night was still young; the bar was playing EDM, and there were only a few guests when we came in. We went up to the VIP area and started with another round of drinks served in red plastic cups. The drunker I get, the more I want to drink. I finished my cup in no time and proceeded to make myself more.
I saw the blonde lad standing in the corner with another guy and a woman. I was curious if they were also friends with the DJ. The girl was a bit tall and pretty. She and the blonde guy were standing so close to each other that it was easy to consider them as a couple. I remembered snickering and mumbling that it looks like someone’s gonna get lucky that night.
The club turned into a frenzy when the DJ started playing. People started coming in, the drinks kept pouring in. It felt like I was in a half-dream, the music vibrating through my body, my skin tingling from that delicious drunken sensation. How is it that even when I could barely understand what was going on around me, I felt so alive?
Further, into the night, the blonde guy was suddenly sitting with us trying to chat up my friend. My friend seems uninterested, trying to be loyal to her not-yet-boyfriend. I searched for the other girl whom he was trying to get cozy with earlier but she was no longer around. “Where the hell did she go?” I wondered.
My friend was being me-when-I’m-sober; a total killjoy. She wouldn’t drink, wouldn’t dance, wouldn’t even talk to people. I picked up her cup, which remained untouched and told her to take a sip. She would take small sips, but she was pretty determined not to get wasted that night. I continued pouring the vodka into the cup and tried to get everyone to drink. The blonde guy had the misfortune to be sitting next to me so I zeroed in on him. I would raise the cup to his lips and he’d just go ahead and drink. For some reason, he couldn’t refuse me.
“I’m getting drunk,” he laughed and complained a little.
“Drink,” I replied.
And he would. Every single time.
Now I didn’t intend to do anything with him really, and by this I mean I wasn’t attracted to him. After all, I couldn’t even make out his face under the DJ lighting to determine if he was my type. I was also too drunk to feel any of those emotions that make dating a tricky business. I really just wanted to have a good time. Pretty soon he was already inebriated, laughing more than he should, slurring his words, and leaning toward me in a distance that is more than what is socially acceptable with strangers.
We could hardly hear each other from the loud music and so he would lean over to talk in my ear. Everything seemed to be in slow motion, my body was numb, my eyes were heavy. The blonde guy has closed the distance between us.
“I have never met a woman in my life who got me so drunk,” he drawled.
I laughed and said, “Then I’m special.”
He told me that I looked so good and slurred other things I could no longer recall. He whispered something to my ear, which I didn’t understand. Then he cupped my face gently in his hands and before I knew it his lips were already against mine.
The alcohol in my body prevented me from feeling the shock, and I guess I already knew it was bound to happen. It’s been years since the last time I kissed a guy that the sensation was almost alien to me. He didn’t move his lips a lot the way they do in movies, but his tongue was busy meeting with mine. I responded with the same amount of ardor. Did I feel lust? To be honest, no, my body was too numb from alcohol. But I welcomed the experience with an open mind. He is the third guy I have ever kissed in my life and the first one who is a foreigner. During the kiss, I remember thinking it wasn’t that different from the kisses I had before.
In between kisses we were able to get to know each other a little bit. I learned his name, his country of origin, and the fact that he and his family just moved to the Philippines. I told him my name, that I’m a writer, and that I am from Manila. And then I asked him how old he was.
“I’m 19,” he replied.
Say what?! I knew he was young, but a teenager?! I can’t believe I was there kissing a guy who could have been my son had I gotten pregnant at the age of 15. When I told him my age, he thought I was pulling his leg, but I see no reason lying about my age and told him that I am indeed 34. I started to pull back, feeling awkward about this whole thing, but he kept his hands on my shoulders and said that age is just a number.
“No, it isn’t,” I thought to myself.
“Are you going to the festival tomorrow?” he asked.
I shook my head, “Nope. We’re going back to Manila first thing in the morning.”
“Maybe we should meet in Manila,” he proposed.
“Then save my number, where is your phone?”
He smiled sheepishly, “I gave it to my mom so it wouldn’t get lost.”
Oh, my god, he is really a kid.
He told me to add him on Facebook instead. I let him enter the information on my phone because his last name was a bit hard to understand.
The rest of the night was pretty much a blur. We continued kissing each other like it was the most natural thing in the world. I must admit that it felt good to do it again after years of not letting any guy touch even the tip of my finger. I have almost forgotten what it feels like to be this close to someone and though I was lacking with emotions, I relished the experience.
I wish love comes naturally as two strangers meeting in a bar and deciding to kiss each other abandonly. I wish I was one of those girls who could easily meet a guy in places she goes to. I wish I could fall in love without thought, without precaution, without fear of getting her heart broken.
But love is not as easy as this kiss.
The last thing I told him is that I would just step out to grab a bite. I kissed him on the cheek and he said I could do better than that then proceeded into kissing me deeply.
I did find him on Facebook, but I was already sober.
About the author
Marjorie Gavan is a technical writer and blogger from Manila, Philippines, who is passionate about writing, reading, traveling, music, and volunteering. This BS Journalism graduate from Lyceum of the Philippines has come a long way from the skinny 11-year-old who secretly writes poetry. She now has 15 years of writing and editing experience in the field of marketing, public relation, technical writing, and government service. When she’s not writing, she’s usually propped up on a chair with a book in hand (she reads several books at a time). Either that or she’s traveling.