I saw him today. On Facebook. My first boy crush. Instantly, I was brought back twenty years ago when I was in Grade 5, when I started getting attracted to boys, and, well, I never looked back since then.
I do find it amusing that the catalyst for my affection for boys/men was no other than him.
He was a transferee from a different province, so, right from the very first day of Grade 5 he immediately caught everyone's attention. He was the typical tisoy boy (I marveled at how light-brown his hair was), with an easy confidence, and speaking with an Ilonggo accent (in fact he spoke Tagalog with and Ilonggo accent). Not long after he arrived in school, every girl had a crush on him. He was, of course, voted as the Escort for the grade level that year (yes, we voted for Muse and Escort in school... argh).
Let's call him R. I remember I could not look straight at him, or just feeling awkward whenever he was around. But I could not stop stealing glances at him as well. You know those weird things we do when our crush was around? Yun.
It did not bother me that I'm a boy having strong feelings for another boy (OK, a stupid crush). I was in a Catholic school, but I never felt guilty for the attraction, although I did not tell anyone about it either.
One time, we went on a field trip. The night before the trip, I prayed the rosary, specially asking Mother Mary for R and I to sit together on the bus. I bloody swear I did. And somehow the prayer worked because the next day we sat beside each other. I was ecstatic, needless to say; I even offered him my Hi-C, which he refused.
I wonder if indeed I eventually became a bit obsessive over him because at one point I started talking aloud to my self, pretending he and I were having a conversation. It lasted one summer break.
In Grade 6 he was moved to another class. He was elected Escort of Grade 6, naturally (ugh). Anyway, that meant I did not have enough chance to interact with him except in drafting class when all the boys of the same grade level would have a class on drawing and wood work and all that macho shit, separate from the girls who were taught sewing and embroidery. By then, his mystique has dissipated from me; I realized he's not that smart after all, and in fact he became a part of the gang of naughty boys. Big disillusionment!
In high school I noticed him around campus, acting some sort of a leader of those jocks that excelled in basketball (what else?) but kept on getting caught in fights with boys from other schools. By then, I completely lost interest in him. (I became asexual in high school.)
And then in second year high school he got one girl pregnant. They were both thirteen. The girl was also in the same high school. She had to stop going to school for a year as a result of the pregnancy. R, of course, continued going to school where his friends started calling him Tatay (Daddy), a title he seemed to carry with pride, despite having no role in raising the baby.
Years later, after my university years, I bumped into him on Siargao Island where he seemed to live a surfer lifestyle, or pretty much being a bum. When I saw him, it struck me that he was not as gorgeous as I thought he was... or say, he was not as gorgeous as when I first saw him.
So today I saw him on Facebook. Stalking his other albums, there are photos of his wife and daughters. I stared at his photos, trying to trace, and recollect, his features when he was ten years old. Doing that did bring me back to memories of how stunning he was, or at least how I perceived him then.