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i could go on for 40 days and 40 nights about my blog title and bore you to bits and pieces with 10,000 different ideas i actually had for the name of this blog but because of the 500 characters limit that is imposed upon this mechanism which, by the way, is supposed to promote free speech, i shall shorten it to just two words basically describing what the hell this is all about and who this hell belongs to.
Monday, May 18, 2009

how i decided to out myself to cheer Pangkeng up (part one)

(this story happened towards the end of 2008 and it has been hibernating, like many other stories that i have, for quite some time. i was waiting for the cat to be out of the bag, and since almost everything in this story is common knowledge now, it should and ought and will be told)

everybody loves a little gossip now and then. i mean, in all honesty, even the purest of heart loves to listen to the foulest of deeds.

turth be told, even if you are not a person who really indulges in the actual exchange of malicious information about others, and take great Scahdenfrude in doing so, one would naturally be most curious about it. why is she always so cranky in the morning? why does she always talk with her teeth clenched and dilated pupils? you mean he's the one who left the urine stains on the toiletbowl? you really think her husband left her for another man? with the exception of the last one, these are just some prime examples of gossip that are constantly being whispered in hushed tones around my workplace. the last one was just inspired by a piece of porn i watched recently - Private Man #7 - Desperate Househusbands (i am not making this up!).

ironically, gossip is sometimes really, a case of art imitating life. if you've watched enough American drama serials and work in a corporate environment, you would generally know how the exchange of gossip is being carried out. office rats in general, do it in the pantry, the photocopying room or mayhaps, the unisex toilets. soldiers do it in their barracks and the jungle and through a war. engineers do it beside their... oh, i don't know... power tools and pipes and humming industrial machines.

well, nurses however are of a slightly different breed. we most certainly don't have a photocopying room stacked full of toner and A4 paper (we survive on a lot of pre-printed pamphlets, forms and booklets). we don't have a pantry to call our own because the hospital decrees that it belongs to the patient (in fact, they call it 'The Patient's Pantry'). we do have a tea room though, that smells of something sour combined with an essence of death and decay (people of various cultures keeping foods in the fridge for too extensive a period of time... say, 2-3 days). what we do have, is a unisex toilet. you can often hear people trading secret from the corridor outside my work place's unisex toilet. and as a proud owner of masculine genitalia, i find that each time i enter the toilet, the women fall into a hushed silence or an exaggerated greeting. i highly doubt that it has to do with the size of my genitalia, come to think of it.

so other than the unisex toilets, where do nurses do it then? you see those curtains hanging beside your loved one's hospital bed? yeap, nurses do it behind closed curtains. while doing nursing-related procedures and routines, no less. i, for one, have personally listened to a colleague complaining about her husband while changing diapers for a patient. gossip, as you can see, is most certainly a dirty business in more ways than one.

from a guy's perspective, working in a female-orientated environment, one just can't help but be constantly bombarded by a barrage of information of what goes in the ward daily. the catfights, the medication errors, the major brouhahas, the moments of idiocy and a million little pieces of other gossipy paraphernalia - all usually traded in between shifts like a score card. i don't often get these bits of information because i'm always all frowny-faced and irritated at the start of my night shifts. Kegal Laughs and The Fiddy Cent Model are different though. on days when they are not menstruating, they are usually chirpy and fresh-faced, looking very much alive. so they always get all the gossip. not that it matters much to me, because all their gossip always ends up with me.

here's the thing about gossip that's really curious. gossip is somewhat like a curse. once someone hears a iece of gossip, the onus falls upon the receiver to technically tell someone else. it is an open secret that gossip has to be spread like wildfire or marmalade. everyone knows that it's usually wrong to do it, and yet, we still do. in a strange way, i think that i'm blessed in the sense that i don't find myself having the need to tell anyone else about whatever i hear at work. okay, maybe i do tell whatever i've learned at work to people outside of work. but in all honesty, gossip at work simple gives me a different perspective of what i perceive certain individuals to be. and yes, perhaps a little leverage over others.

another thing about myself that i discovered about gossip is that for some strange reason, people just tend to tell me things. not at work of course, where i'm mostly as irritated and angry as the bull on the Red Bull logo. but on a social level, i realized that all i have to do is put on a look of aloofness, light up a cigarette and give occasional grunts and nods of affirmation, and people just naturally dole out the fat. what made me come to this conclusion was actually an overnight session with a sex buddy in a local chain of cheap 'transit rate' (2 hours for $30, $10 for each hour thereafter) motels. no glowing neon lights of coconut trees and bikini women, but they do have ESPN, HBO and a free toothbrush. this sex buddy of mine no longer keeps contact with me. okay, he does, but somehow i don't find myself that keen for random sex these days.

anyways, sex buddy and me are usually the $50 sort ($30 + 2 hours x $10). we have sex, smoke cigarettes, consume maybe a vowel (not A, O or U) or two, watch a bit of cable or whatever's showing on TV, discuss about our lives and then proceed on to have more sex. it's usually during the in-betweens that we start sharing stuff and catching up on each other's happenings. and the thing about this particular sex buddy is that he's pretty well-informed about the gay community. he knows which famous guy is bonking with which other toyboy, which famous singer prior to becoming famous was actually for rent, which famous actor is gay and has had plastic surgery done and many other pieces of gossip that can really indict people in the eyes of the law.

it was one fine day though (or more appropriately, one fine night), many months ago, that i decided to ask him out of curiosity, 'Why do you tell me these things? i mean, it's not like i am very familiar with the gay circle and it's actually highly scandalous stuff that you are telling me.'

he did this funny head action that they he always does. it looks like a cross between the ghost in Ju-On (Korean horror movie) and someone thinking really pensive thoughts. actually, i do have the word - 'cocked', as in he 'cocked' his head. but frankly speaking, i don't really like to use the word 'cock' because i mainly use it only when i'm having sex, as in, 'suck on my (insert word)' or 'sit on my (insert word)'. but for general understanding, he did cock his head, which actually makes a pretty good substitute for 'blowjob'. hur hur. but i digress.

'well, i'm thinking that you actually give people that certain sense of trustworthiness. i can't exactly place a finger on it. but you are not exactly affected by the mainstream,' he paused for a moment and now he cocked his head to the other side. if you see the number of times he cocks his head the entire night, you would think that he would need a cervical collar just to keep the neck in proper place. 'this counter-culture nature of yours just sorta makes you immune to this... well, inherent need for gay people to gossip.'

i remember thinking at that point of time whether this was true. i also remember thinking of having sex again.

'so, in other words, i make a good receptacle for gossip?'

'hmmm... *cock*,' he pondered, '*cock*, yes i would say so'.

'well...' i took a last puff of my menthol lights and extinguished it into the all-too-familiar porcelain that cup that i always used as a make-shift ash tray in this particular chain of motels. 'allow me to see whether you make a good receptacle for this as well then...'



a colleague of ours (Kegal Laughs, Pangkeng, The Fiddy Cent Model) whom Pangkeng really loves to bits was sent to the administrative department under orders of senior management. well, at least that was the official story that the supervisors let leak to us. and with enough exposure in the working world, one would know that a colleague would never be suddenly 'upped' from a workplace without any rhyme or reason. but at that point of time, i didn't really think on it (camera zooms forward slightly), pray on it (camera zoom) or sleep on it (last camera zoom), to quote from Boston Legal.

now Pangkeng likes a lot of girls. in fact, he treats every woman with a certain sense of respect that many people just can't see. the respect in question of course, is apparently coated with a lot of lewd jokes and name-calling. for example, he calls a 62-year old Patient-care Assistant with arthritis and heart problems, 'Hot Mama'. he initiated the 'squeeze-your-boobs-for-us' campaign whereby if we night shift boys get bored at work, we get Kegal Laughs and The Fiddy Cent Model to squeeze their boobs for laughs. in actual truth, it's all in the name of harmless fun and he means well. this girl though, she's apparently different.

she's the type of girl that you find in those sappy Taiwanese dramas about love and romance and metrosexuals acted by suspiciously gay men. she's definitely pretty. she's always decked in shorts and a v-neck. and she's very blessed with gigantic boobs, if not at least big. if my blog were an ongoing drama series, i would hire people to turn on electric fan to flow in her direction whenever she enters a room. her hair would fly in all sorts of choreographed directions. of course, so would her skirt. but like i said, she's always wearing shorts. so pretty is she that i sometimes think of her as 'the face of facial wash'. if they ever developed a clevage whitening lotion (i'm sure they must have something like that in the market), hers would be the face (or more appropriately, the chest) of it.

as i mentioned, Pangkeng apparently, has always had a thing for her. Pangkeng mainly being a 'boobs' man, makes me think that it's mostly the v-neck and its contents that presents a certain allure to him. but he usually tells me otherwise.

'she's just very nice to me lor...' Pangkeng said when i once asked him in between a cigarette break at work, why he adored her so much.

Singaporeans seems to define a lot of things as 'nice'. Sex is nice. Coffee is nice. Dogs are nice. Mice are nice. anything indescribably favourable to a person seems to put defined as 'nice'. having always had a need to put indescribable things to words, i therefore decided i just had to probe further. 'i'm sure many other people in this world are equally nice as well,' i paused to exhale, 'but you have to tell me what else about her makes you like her. her character, the small little things she does, the big big things she has on her chest? please, anything but nice.'

and here's the thing about Pangkeng. he's not exactly good with words other than expletives, lewd vocabulary and dialects. so he was most certainly stumped for a moment. two puffs of his Marlboro Lights and silence ensued.

he finally said, 'i think it's mainly because she likes me for who and what i am'.

if you've seen Pangkeng before, you would most definitely know that he's nowhere near good-looking. but like i said before, you need to have worked with him for at least two shifts before you realize that deep beneath all that physical derelict, there's really a heart of gold. having worked for practically two years with Pangkeng with him permenently being my junior and carrying out all the menial tasks that i burden him with, he has never as so much said no. well, okay give and take a few expletives. but it's all just a matter of expression for him. he has had so much contact with patients that they always end up telling him stuff like 'if you ever have need of (insert random service), just call me with this number on the name card'. he has been offered handphone sales at cost price, job offers, discounts at restaurants and litigation services. in fact, just about two months ago, a lawyer offered to write up his will, sans legal fees.

'Divorce leh?' Pangkeng asked.

'half-price for you,' the lawyer replied with a deep chortle.

all that said, prior to her transfer to the administrative department, Pangkeng and Facial Wash Face were so-called 'dating'. they did courtship-ish activities such as walks in the park, drinks at coffee outlets, holding hands in movie theatres and the like. at that point of time however, Facial Wash Face was also simultaneously seeing two other men. not that there's anything technically wrong about that as she never promised these guys anything. and furthermore, she explicitly told these guys about the presence of the other potential men. my guess was that there was nothing in these men as yet, that would tip her decision towards commitment at that point of time.

so you can imagine how big the blow it must have been when Pangkeng heard that Facial Wash Face was suddenly trasnferred to administration. admittedly, the only thing that really cushioned the blow was the fact that she apparently cut contact with her prior to the transfer. she never replied his text messages, never picked up phone calls. it reminds me of Romeo when we first see him in the play, 'private in his chambers pens himself, shuts up windows, locks far daylight out, and makes himself an artificial night'. Pangkeng had indeed withdrawn into his private emotional chambers. no amount of boob self-squeezing (from the girls) and light brushing of his nipple (on my part - he always likes that, it's like charity to me) could rescue him from the darkness that he had perhaps created for himself.

our next encounter with her wasn't till several months later. time has definitely healed wounds. but it takes no more than a mere paper cut to burst open when took months to mend. we bumped into Facial Wash Face somewhere in June or July last year, she, on her way to work while we, back from work. decked in a white dress and blouse, she looked really bloated. fat, actually. but it's rude to call people fat. and you're liable to strung up in a litigation battle. the curious thing though, was that she was holding a huge piece of newspaper over her torso. i don't know whether it was ironic or fat's... i mean, fate's (hur hur) idea of a joke, but there was an equally huge slimming agency ad right smack in front of the portion of the newspaper that we could see. i don't know if the rest of my gang noticed it, but it was the kind of thing that brought a smirk to my face.

for Pangkeng though, it was nowhere close to being a positive encounter for him. i thought whether Pangkeng upon seeing her that bloated, was the type that went for superficials. but i chided myself, thinking again about what he mentioned to me with regards to acceptance on her part for what he truly was. Pangkeng remained quiet for the rest of the day.

(it's a bit wordy, so i'll post part two this coming Saturday)

About Me

Name: the nurse
Home: Singapore
About Me: i'm a nurse, i'm gay, i smoke, i play the piano, i patronize the theatre, i flip through glossy magazines for no apparent reason, i love sex, i am a left-handed libran, i watch art-house films mostly, i love house music, and did i say i love sex?
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