On our way to Earthling, we couldn’t help talking about how Hot Stuff disappointed all of us. There was nothing hot about hot stuff. Soon enough we were back in good ol’ Earthling.
Pipay met us by the door and escorted us to our favorite spot. The place was about 1/3 full by then. We ordered our drinks and temporarily transferred to a front row seat to witness the all-cast dance number.
We were happy when Pipay pointed out that Carlo was there. We thought it was high time Ella got to meet the elusive Carlo but alas, it wasn’t meant to be again that night. A newly arrived guest had already requested Carlo. It wasn’t Carlo’s time to meet Ella.
Jessica’s first observation when the dancers hit the stage was that Ramon was nowhere to be seen. She later spotted him at the back row. I did not spot Ramon but I spotted numerous familiar faces.
The dance number started. We were all getting the steps down. Ella and I could probably dance it by now. I was stifling a laugh when I saw that among the three dancers in the lead was Jonas, the attention seeker Jess and I first encountered when we tried to make sure Carlo was available for Ella. Jonas was in between Keith, a baby-faced, fair skinned young fellow and Sylvester, the average looking fellow who had eyes that could talk. I had eye contact with both Keith and Sylvester at some point. Sylvester in particular seemed to be telling me to pick him using his eyes. Not bad for an average looking fellow.
Banjo was also in the all-cast. So were Luigi and Francis. Ramon danced a solo number right after the all-cast number. I didn’t know how Jess was doing then, seeing Ramon again. I didn’t know if it helped but I pointed out to Jess some imperfections I noticed in Ramon such as his growing potbelly. I did it to help her see that he’s not perfect. I sort of felt like a heel afterward because I knew Ramon saw me whispering to Jess while he was dancing. I could tell he knew I was saying something about him. Sorry, Ramon.
Ella, Jess and I returned to our regular table. Ella requested Francis again. Jess decided to take Colby, the body beautiful dancer we did not see the night we witnessed the parade of ickies. Jess did not pick Ramon on account of her bargain with Ella that she, Jess, should not pick Ramon until she’s ready to face him. On my part, I was again at a loss. I didn’t know what to do. Face-wise, I found Keith the best looking. But I didn’t need a pretty face. I preferred to be entertained and have someone halfway smart to talk to if I were to be in Earthling for a good number of hours. It was too dark in there to appreciate a pretty face anyway. I didn’t want another Lawrence either.
Pipay came to my rescue when he saw I was having a hard time picking someone. He suggested Sylvester. He said Sylvester is very good in entertaining guests and in conversing. I decided to take Pipay’s advice and so I ended up with “mama-san’s choice”. The three dancers soon joined us in our table.
Ella was already familiar with Francis so no grand introductions there. Ella and I, however, modified our opinion of Francis that night. From seeing him as a diamond in the rough, we saw him as a stud with a best before date fast approaching. Francis, perhaps being more comfortable with Ella the second time, talked openly about needing money, money and more money. He even admitted to Ella that he would agree to be a kept man (“magpapabahay”) if anyone, gay or woman, would offer then and there. Suffice it to say, it looks like Ella will be choosing a different dancer next time around. Adios, Francis.
As for Jess, she had to leave early that night so she had limited time with Colby. Jess tapped me when Colby joined her and asked me to tell Colby what he should talk to her, Jess, about. Colby struck me as someone quiet especially when with strangers. I told him to tell Jess about him, his work, and all that. After Jess left, Colby told me he had a hard time talking to Jess especially since he’s naturally shy. Colby apparently also told Ella that Jess seemed busy texting when he was sitting with her. The way I saw it, Jess was busy indeed; busy thinking of Ramon perhaps.
Even though Ramon was not requested by Jess, his presence somehow haunted us. Ramon’s presence lingered or rather, malingered. His sulky expression seemed glued on his face even when he joined a later all-cast dance number. Later that night as I was busy texting Jess, Ramon performed a dance number that shocked the pants off those who knew him. I didn’t see much except the latter part because I was texting but Ramon went all the way in that dance number, something he claimed he never did or will do.
Sylvester? Well, let’s just say Mama-san was right. Sylvester was a good choice. He’s average-looking but he’s smart, educated and has a good personality. The smart and good personality part suited me most since I wasn’t there to get laid but to be amused. Amused—that I was able to accomplish with Sylvester. He was easy to get along with, fun to pick on and very helpful in assisting. It was like having a waiter, personal assistant, entertainer– all in one. Even Ella agreed that picking Sylvester was a good choice. She got along with Sylvester, too.
At one point when Pipay approached our table, Ella and I jokingly pointed out that Sylvester stood out in his shirt because all the other dancers were wearing sleeveless tops. Ella and I said Pipay should cut off the sleeves or otherwise disqualify Sylvester from working. Sylvester gamely took off his shirt saying : “Gusto niyo huwag na lang magdamit!” (If you want, I won’t wear anything!). Sylvester even shouted: “body shot! body shot!” That was way funny. I told him to go put on his shirt.
Of the three dancers I had talked to for prolonged periods (namely: Banjo, Lawrence and Sylvester), I had the most rapport with Sylvester. I had the least with Lawrence. I was too drunk to really be able to give an accurate observation about Banjo. (Hmm…does this call for a part 2?)
Sylvester talked about wanting to see me outside Earthling—his treat. I told him not to spend money on me since he’s studying and also acting as breadwinner for his family. I further told him not to expect me to spend on him either. Nonetheless, I have to admit I was surprised Sylvester wanted to see me outside Earthling and that he volunteered for that date to be his treat. I didn’t see that one coming.
Ella showered Francis with compliments the whole night. I didn’t know that then. I only found out later on. That made me feel guilty because I was totally picking on Sylvester and constantly ribbing him. Sylvester admitted that he knew he was not good looking and that he had regular clients more because of his personality and ability to converse. I told him: Mabuti alam mo! (It’s a good thin you know that!). I asked Sylvester if he does ATW dances (read: nothing covered) and he shyly admitted that sometimes he does. He looked worried when I paused before answering. I finally told him I don’t care if he does ATW dances, that it doesn’t change anything. He smiled and held his hand out for a high five. I don’t know up to now why a veteran like Sylvester would feel shy admitting to a client that he does ATW dances or why it should matter to him what I think of it.
When Francis danced and held on the contraption in the ceiling, I nudged Sylvester and told him not to do the same when it was his turn. I told Sylvester with Francis it was okay because he, Francis, was thin. I joked that if Sylvester held on to the contraption, the same might fall because he, Sylvester, was on the stocky side. I didn’t know that my joke had an effect on Sylvester but when it was his turn to dance, not only did he ignore the contraption but he also did not remove his shirt. All the other dancers removed their shirts when dancing. That was odd especially for someone who earlier admitted that he does ATW dances when he feels like it. Ella later pointed out that Sylvester did not look our way either, probably self-conscious and feeling “fat”. Sorry, Sylvester. I didn’t intend to make you feel bad at all. Really.
I didn’t have much time to feel guilty because when Sylvester returned after his dance (and after changing into another shirt—he had about 3 shirt changes that night), he was his happy self again. Sylvester was the type who would not stay in Earthling forever. He had a life goal and was getting closer and closer to it. Being smarter than some (most?) of his Earthling, Sylvester’s future seemed promising. I told him so at some point and he seemed to really appreciate it. Sylvester, towards the latter part of our stay in Earthling, told me that it has been a pleasure for him to meet me and spend time with me.
Earthling was fun that night in general. Ella and I certainly felt like we lived up to being girls who just want to have fun.