(Colorado Springs, Colorado)
October 31, 2017
I met Xia on an online app. Not that I was looking but I hadn’t deleted it off my phone yet. And when you are stuck in Manila traffic, I used the app to pass the time. Swiping right and swiping left to see how love and destiny worked in the digital age.
I saw the paint on Xia’s face in a profile picture which had intrigued me. Her profile was incredible and seemed too polished. She couldn’t be real or she was a professional looking for clientele. So I swiped right.
Xia had super liked me. I didn’t realize this until later when we were on the dance floor at Revel in BGC.
The key to an online dating app is the back and forth in conversations that happens when you first connect. If there is a lull or if the answers become canned and generic, then you have both lost. With Xia, we conversated like we had known each for years. We went full blast talking about everything in a quick 30 minute rant. Then I called her via Facebook (as I normally do because I like to make sure future suitors know that I am not married with a secret family) and I was a bit skeptical. Her phone persona was incredibly strong. Why is strong a bad thing?
Nothing is wrong with a strong woman. But when you haven’t formally met and you are having petty discussions around professional life and personal – and she keeps trying to redefine what you are asking her such as, “Are we talking personal or are we talking professional?” I was talking a bit of business, as she is part of the Fashion Industry as a model and a photographer. She was also responsible for some of the greatest parties in Dubai’s history as an events planner. I was curious about her successes. But she quickly injected, “Is this an interview or do you like me?”
I wanted to say I like you. But I hadn’t met her. But I remedied that and asked her if she wanted to accompany me to see a movie I wanted to purchase for international rights “BIRDSHOT”. But I simply sent her the message, “Do you want to see BIRDSHOT?”
She was slow in responding.
“Are you asking me to a porn premiere?”
I laughed when I read her response. “No it’s not MONEYSHOT.” I typed out.
Then I called her. We agreed to meet at RESERVE on Burgos Circle in BGC in Manila later that night. But I gave her the heads up that I was meeting with Nina who commuted back and forth between Europe and Philippines to arrange events. And Nina’s money maker is that she runs the farms for San Miguel / Jollibee to source the chickens for their meals.
“So this is a meeting or is this a date?” Xia asked.
“Whatever your interpretation.’ I said.
“That doesn’t answer the question.” She responded.
Then I had to duck into a corporate discussion and couldn’t answer. She probably saw three dots for fifteen minutes. Then I went dark.
I also met Yo without expecting it. She was using Couchsurfing app and she was trying to travel to Bakersfield, California from New York City. She sent a request while I was in Colorado asking if she could sleep on my couch. And being someone who had spent many a night falling asleep on my couch – I wouldn’t wish that on my enemies and definitely on a beautiful woman who is traveling through the state of Colorado to get to California.
But I accepted her to sleep on my couch. I was going to volunteer to sleep on it and she could have my bed.
In the interim, she was accepted to Louisiana State University (LSU) and asked to delay her arrival in Colorado by a couple of days. I said no problem and figured I would never meet Yo as her plans would procrastinate her beyond her stopping in Colorado.
Then a couple of days I got a message that she was on her way.
I then I dug into her profile and saw she was incredible. Beautiful. Latina. And she was just getting out of a relationship where she had everything going for her. She could date anyone. But she was young. I was a forty something year old man. She was in her mid twenties. With all the fantasy building I still thought that I would never have a chance.
But one thing I tell my married friends who envy that I am single, not married, and without children – they keep making women. And she was the best of the new factory release of women: Smart, intelligent, witty, body with all features without any shame, and her future is she will be the first President of the United States with a Guatemala background.
Then suddenly on a night where the weather changed and the temperature dropped below freezing she arrived in Colorado Springs. It was October.
I was expecting a woman who looked very different than her profile pictures. But when she messaged me she was parked in the parking lot of my flat – and I went out to meet her – I was taken back.
“Are you Jackson?” she asked.
I think I grunted and didn’t know how to answer. I led her with her luggage the second floor of the 163 year old mansion I rented a loft within.
I told her that we could go out on the town because it was her birthday. We talked and had a couple of drinks to welcome her to Colorado. And then she asked if she could use my shower to clean up and get ready. I nodded.
I sat in the kitchen waiting for her to emerge and when she did – she was dressed to the nines New York style. She was wearing a blouse with an open back. I saw every line of her shoulders and had to clear my throat before speaking to her.
“You are going to be cold.”
“Do you have a jacket?” Yo asked.
I couldn’t answer with words but nodded. Then I gave her my brown leather jacket I had from my previous life in Heidelberg, Germany.
Then that night we walked slowly down Tejon out to Red Martini just beside Mansion Nightclub. During the time we got to know each other and found out we had more in common than we thought – and as men passed by us they couldn’t take their eyes off Yo.
But I had to keep reminding myself that she was my house guest. Don’t be pervy.
I walked from my hotel in Manila to RESERVE on Burgos Circle in Manila.
While I was walking I was checking my Instagram to see if Sophia had messaged me but she hadn’t. Sophia and I had started a conversation about “what if” as if she was not engaged with her boyfriend.
Sophia and I had spent a lifetime together in three years – going to South Africa, trying to make a life together in Hong Kong, and traveling around Asia together – Bali, Singapore, and Macau.
She was the one that got away. Well, technically I had let her go because I had fucked it up. She had put up with a lot and still tried to make us work. But we didn’t. Because I didn’t realize the prize I had.
But six months after she had finally given up, I called her in all tears, in terrible sobs, that I had made a mistake. I didn’t want her to forgive me. I had done her wrong. And I wanted to let her know – that I was sorry.
I wanted to let go but it never left me.
Of all the relationships I have had since her, I never forgot the pain I had caused her. And I reminded her via Instagram that if we got back together, I wouldn’t make the mistake again.
But I didn’t want her to jeopardize the relationship she was already in. He had stayed by her side patiently for seven years and had just proposed a couple of weeks prior.
When we had dated, we were the passionate couple that everyone thought we were meant to marry. And after a decade of keeping constant contact, if we met and re-connected then people would know – it doesn’t matter – love prevails.
Sophia never contacted me that night. And it’s only fitting. I had hurt her. So why should she contact me and go through the pain again?
And why should she hurt the man who wanted to marry her to get back with a man who had driven her away?
Nina was sitting at the table near to the front door of RESERVE.
She was all smiles when we met. And we acted like we also had known each other for decades – although we had met only two years prior. And that was online.
I was upfront, “Xia is going to join us later. I haven’t met her in person but she is responsible for the hottest events in Dubai’s history and we want her for ClubbingTV.com. So I will have to meet with her.”
“No problem.” Then Nina paused. “Is she beautiful?”
“I think so.”
“Will I want to fuck her?” Nina asked.
“Yes?” I said awkwardly.
Nina laughed. “Then the answer is yes.”
And then Nina started to talk about the ‘lifestyle’ – where she arranged swinger parties. As a beautiful woman who is always the third person – she explained how many times the men that attended her parties but are focused on the free buffet and the open bar and not the participation.
“I hate it. Out of twenty parties that I have setup – I have participated in only two. Because I care about passion and connection. It’s not about penis. Most men focus on themselves and don’t focus on the women they are meeting. And when that’s the focus – I am out.”
I waited to answer, “Just to let you know that I am always worried about being selfish and so I don’t finish. So that’s why I have never participated in your parties.”
Then the conversation went quiet.
“Really?” Nina asked.
I waited to answer. “I could totally make this up. But no – a woman’s body is made with a body part with only one purpose – pleasure. No other organism on the planet Earth has what a human woman has. So I feel that tells me from God – that a woman should be pleasured. Not to be the one to be pleasured from.”
“Is that the only reason you didn’t come to one of my parties?”
I shifted uncomfortably in my seat. “Well truthfully, I am too scared to go to one of your parties. The concept is a fantasy come true. But I don’t think I could go through with it.”
“That’s fair. Some people get shy.”
I took a sip of my drink. “Well it’s more than being shy. It’s not my element. I believe in intimacy. Not sure if I could participate in a place where I might not feel a connection – but it’s purely physical.”
We sat there quietly digesting my last statement and we drank from our drinks – her frozen Margarita and mine – Red Bull and Vodka.
Suddenly Xia showed up.
Maybe I was buzzing or maybe she was too beautiful to comprehend. And I know that it’s easy to write that she was beautiful – and I describe women as beautiful – but there are times in your life that someone you meet knocks you down. Or pushes the breath out of your lungs.
Xia was one of those that pushes the breath out of your lungs. Maybe it’s because of her symmetry or the excessive dimples – but even Nina felt the same.
Nina’s smile became broader and her bisexuality shined.
“God you are gorgeous.” Nina said to Xia when she arrived.
There we were – Nina, Xia and myself in a bar in BGC – a day prior to Halloween – and we were buzzing discussing the new rules of relationships. And Xia explained that she was new to her country – as she was from the Philippines but lived her teenage and adult life in Dubai – she was trying to figure out where she was from. And who she was.
Nina asked her, “How old are you?”
Xia looked to me before answering and then came out, “41.”
“Fuck.” Nina responded.
“Hey I am 43.” I said.
Then suddenly Xia responded, “Together,” and she looked at me, “We are 84.”
Then I thought of our collective lives of 84 years. My 43 years and her 41 years. When I was before twenty years old I used to think that anyone before 40 years old didn’t know how to live and they were too old to experience passion.
Now that I was face to face with other experience like mine – that we had suffered enough. Fell in love and out. Married and divorced. Xia had had two children who were young adults who were being raised by a step-mother from South Africa.
As the refill of drinks made us more bolder, we drank quickly and left RESERVE.
I checked my phone for any Instagram messages from Sophia – I got nothing.
All three of us started to rotate around Burgos Circle with Xia held her phone out in front of her to lead the way via GPS. Here was a supermodel from Dubai and a sexy thirty year old woman who was the lead swinger of the most successful orgies around the world – all of us trying to find our way to the dance floor.
And in the meantime, I was trying to rectify a relationship with a woman who was engaged to another man.
In the midst, we took a selfie and then found the freezer locker door of the Seven Eleven where the entrance to Bank Bar was. Then we had our fourth and fifth drink.
Xia told us how she was just recently married in Germany. During the honeymoon her new husband felt emboldened to punch her multiple times in the face. In a lull, she convinced her new husband that she wanted to visit family in Dubai – and he agreed. Then she flew to Dubai and escaped. Then she instantly bought her ticket to Manila.
Four weeks later she was sitting with Nina and I.
Here I was sitting at Bank Bar looking at Xia’s face that was recently healed from bruises and wondering what man would be stupid enough to try to destroy it, and Nina bought another round and Nina, Xia and I did a toast. In European fashion we had to do a deep look into each other’s eyes while clicking our glasses together – or we would have seven years of bad sex.
“I doubt that,” Xia said outloud.
“Of the bad sex?” I asked.
“Yes. Bad sex is not repeated. It’s definitely not a curse. It just becomes who you are.” Nina added.
“To not having bad sex.” I said and we bounced our glasses off each other.
“The couple in the corner over there is looking at us.” Xia said aloud. Nina and I looked and it was a couple who probably came to the bar just to have one or two drinks – and saw us and started judging us.
Nina was quick to bring up that couples who see passion – between multiple people more than two – are immoral to outsiders and we should be shunned. And then Nina asked if she could sit in the middle to be closer to Xia. “I want to kiss her,” she added.
“Good luck.” I said and stood up and let Nina take my place.
While Nina and Xia started to talk, I looked to my phone and saw that it was dead. And I wondered if Sophia had tried to connect with me.
It was Yo’s birthday celebration. Ajani at Red Martini had pushed us shots. We downed them.
"You want more?" Ajani smiled and looked down.
I nodded and I pointed at her. “What do you want?”
Ajani chose and poured.
We all threw them back. I paid with a recent international deposit and then I whispered to Yo, “Let’s go sweat this out.”
She nodded sloppily. And we went next door to Mansion.
We danced hard.
And in the midst of our dancing, Yo and I kissed. Maybe because a guy was trying to break into our dancing trying to get Yo distracted. Yo told me later that a man who doesn’t connect with her tries to interrupt her life – her goal is to break his heart. And she then looks around and finds the person that is fueling her passion – girl or guy – and kisses them deeply.
I had her lips on my mouth. And I gave mine back. Then we danced.
Bank Bar was mesmerized on us – as me being the white guy flanked by two incredibly beautiful Filipina women who were putting their hands on me. They thought I was paying for the attention. But instead I was hitting the bare bottom of my bank balances and hoping I could keep my Southern respectability – and be the gentleman to pay for everything.
That ended when I paid the bill. I mentioned that maybe we should call it a night. I didn’t want to be the kill joy but I hadn’t planned financially on a big night.
Nina had a wicked smile. “Fuck that. Now we are taking it up a notch. And I am putting it on my tab.” Then she reached out and took Xia and my hand and led us out. The bouncer winked at me when I went past him.
Yo and I left Mansion when the house lights went up and the music stopped. But we left holding hands with our fingers intertwined.
Then I took Yo to V Bar.
There Yo had her drink of choice, Tequila on the rocks. And I was asked by management to drink quickly my Vodka Red Bull. And Yo had her hands on my skinny jeans.
As we walked home, Yo had to stop near a dumpster and pee. I tried to look away but I saw her pull down her jeans and saw the sexiness of her naked hips as she squatted – then the squirt of her urine on the asphalt.
That night she got sick when we were trying to make out. I kept her warm with blankets on the bathroom floor as she vomited all night while hugging my toilet.
I slept on the couch as had been my plan. And when Yo woke up the next morning I had breakfast fruits waiting for her on the chest beside my bed.
At seven in the morning in Manila, Xia pushed open my hotel room door with me close behind her.
Nina had decided to go home on her own but had asked if she could watch if Xia and I were going to have sex.
“I don’t think that’s going to happen.” I said laughingly.
“You can’t read signals,” Nina added. Then she kissed Xia on the cheek and we left the cab.
In the mid-morning light, Xia woke up as I held her in my arms. She kissed me deeply. Our bodies were intertwined. Then she unraveled from me and got on her knees in beside me on the bed.
“Look at you.” And I motioned my head to the mirror next to us in the hotel room. She turned to look at herself naked. Then I asked, “Who is beautiful?”
She looked down at me and laughed. “I am not going to answer that.”
“You have to.”
She looked at me deeply. “I am,” She said softly.
“Believe it.” I added.
Then she straddled her hips over my mouth.
I drank greedily.