Hiatus [ha-yay-tus]: a pause or gap in a sequence, series, or process (New Oxford American Dictionary)
"Titigil muna ako sa pagpunta sa gay bar (I'll stop going to the gay bar for a while)," I texted my gay bar going friends, Mary and Ringo.
It was around this time last year, first week of November. It wasn't the first time I told someone that I'd take a break from something I loved doing for the past year. Three months prior, I told my regular macho dancer that I'd stop going to his gay bar.
"Bakit naman? (Why?)," my partner macho dancer asked me.
"Paalis-alis ako ng bansa. Mahihirapan akong magpunta nang madalas (I'd be flying in and out of the country. It would be difficult for me to keep going to the bar)" was my alibi.
"Pero magkikita naman tayo? (But we'll still see each other?)"
"Oo, pero sa labas lang ng bar. (Yes, but outside)."
I didn't want to tell him that going to the gay bar was draining on my finances. I didn't want to admit that supporting him in his bar was getting more difficult, especially after volunteering to give him a monthly allowance. I was stupidly in-love then, and I thought that the only thing that would make him love me back was that "support."
With him, I was tired financially, and I wanted to stop. As weeks went by, I eventually "broke up" with him, citing difficulties in keeping up with the relationship. It was a good, clean break up from the relationship and the support. What I didn't admit that I was going to another gay bar with my friends, and I wanted to spend more time, and more money, in that bar.
I eventually found a new guy in that new bar. I fell very much in love with the hosto "Air", who eventually left me for another bar girl (and whom I have written much about in previous posts). Because I was still emotionally involved with him despite not being financially involved, as learning from my previous relationship, we had a very bad break up around end-October.
That was when I texted my gay bar going friends, Mary and Ringo, that I'd stop going to the gay bars. Just like my previous MD partner, they also asked why.
Lots of reasons are given by regular gay bar goers why they'd temporarily stop going to the bar. Working abroad is one. Being busy with work is another, more frequent response. Finding another gay bar or another macho dancer is another reason, which these gay bar goers don't usually admit. Or just like my friend Mary nowadays, they enjoyed living the "normal" non-gay bar centered life again.
But for me, I was just tired. Both financially and emotionally.
I stopped to focus on my work, which I had neglected a bit, months prior. I stopped because I wanted to re-earn the money that I seemingly lost for months already. I stopped because I wanted to let my heart rest, after the roller coaster of emotions felt for these men.
And so, for a month, my weekend nights were only spent at home or at other more wholesome gimmicks. I stopped receiving the frequent "good am, pauwi na ako" or "good pm, kakagising ko lang" text messages. I enjoyed shopping for myself, which I haven't done for ages since I started going to the bar. I even texted Mary back then when I was in Singapore that it felt so liberating to go back to Manila without thinking of what pasalubong to bring home to a guy.
Pero, hindi nagtagal...
Before that month ended, my gay friends, Mary and Ringo wanted to see another gay bar which we haven't visited before. Of course, not having been inside that bar, I was also very much curious. At least it was another new experience for all of us.
For me, it was a perfect time to restart, in a completely new setting, with a completely new set of boys. Malay mo, I was thinking that I would meet that perfect macho dancer this time who would not tire me financially or emotionally. Physically tire me? Pwede!.
And from then on, my November hiatus ended. I continued going to that bar even further, without thinking much if I'd tire eventually of throwing away money to a guy I fell head over heels for. To keep myself from doing so, however, at the start of my return, I decided not to get too much involved with these guys already.
Gay bar goers undergo their own hiatus in their lifetime. My friend Ringo is currently on his 3rd or 4th hiatus since he started going to the gay bar last year; his reasons are all shallow (kidding, Ringo). My friend Mary has stopped going to gay bars altogether for six months already, after a hiatus at the middle of this year. For that, congrats to her for graduating.
As for me, I don't know when my next hiatus will be. I keep telling my friends that I'd slow down para magtipid. Still I eventually find myself visiting our favorite gay bar, weekend after weekend, out of habit (Slow down ba talaga yan? asked usually by Mary). But I strongly feel that my next hiatus will arrive soon. Not because I will get tired like the previous one, but perhaps because I am already getting a bit bored. Just slightly.
Learn more: Lessons from Gay Bars in Manila