It’s been years since you called me on Skype.
I know there cannot be anything between us. Last time you called you said you have fallen in love with ladyboys and is traveling to Iraq to book a hotel for your queen. Funny, you even said she was ugly but showed me a photo of a distractingly beautiful Diva. I mustered enough strength not to talk to you. That should have meant something on my part since I listened to you quake each night you cannot handle not being with someone.
And now you are coming here, on Philippine soil because you need me. I hardly recognized you on Skype. You’ve lost so much weight but still have that face that looks like James McAvoy burnt by the sun, looking at the sea of dead children in Atonement. You still have that intense look behind your glasses and a wry mouth which never smiled. Not until I danced naked in front of the cam and you said I looked disgusting and should go find guys to dance to on cam. As though you hated what I’ve become when there was no one, after you. Because, damn it, I love you.
I fetch you at the airport; a plane from somewhere on this planet because you never tell me anything. How cruel of you not to tell me anything. An Arab gay man with no city to call home.
I embrace you now as you vomit the hell of everything you eat. I give you a bath, touch your wounds and claim you, finally inside my old apartment in an old section of Manila where you grapple with life on the cold antiquated tiles of my floor.