Friday, January 20, 2006

I Lost It at the Movies

I love watching movies on the big screen. I like larger than life images to overwhelm me; in fact I prefer watching at the orchestra instead of lodge because the images look larger than life. I lost myself in the sights and sound conjured by (mostly) Hollywood magicians: traveled back a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away; experienced a close encounter of a third kind; feared the jaws of death lurking in the deep; and looked for the lost ark.

But there’s something else I lost at the movies—or rather, in the movie houses. That was where I had my first sexual encounter. It was in the old Quezon Cinema in Cubao, back when it was just one movie house instead of two. I forget the movie I was watching. I even forget what he looked like. But I remember his hands crawling up my thigh, seeking, until he found me. I remember feeling so hot and bothered; a fire was burning below my skin. I was shaking all over when he unzipped my jeans. Hands down, it was the most exciting hand-job ever.

Soon I discovered a thrilling world under the light and shadows of a darkened movie house. There were guys on the prowl along the aisle and inside the men’s room—standing at the back of the theater despite many empty seats, going again and again to the bathroom without taking a leak. All they want is a quick anonymous release. It’s the excitement and danger of doing something so private in a place so public.

I admit I got hooked on the excitement too. I was young, horny and a movie buff. I would watch the second-to-the-last showing seated. Then I’d stay on for the last full show standing at the back. I became very familiar with the theaters in Cubao and ranked them according to cruise-friendliness: Quezon, Coronet, Remar, Diamond and New Frontier ranked high on my list. When Ali Mall opened, theaters 3 and 4 eventually became notorious for the backroom and bathroom action.

What gave me pause was an incident when the guy wanted payment after giving me a hurried hand-job. In fact he insisted on a hefty payment and threatened to stab me with a knife he had concealed in his shirt. “Hands-up!” after a hand-job?! I was able to get away by distracting him then suddenly standing up and walking away from him—I was ready to shout and make a scene had he attempted to follow me. Afterwards I decided to be more selective with my hook-ups. “Must look like he doesn’t need the money,” was my mantra.

Through the years the theaters in Cubao deteriorated as well as the quality of cruising. The action moved to the cinemas and the corridors in malls—SM North and Harrison Plaza became notorious haunts too. The old Greenbelt (One) theaters became my favorite hunting grounds after work.

Now that theaters are getting smaller and changing their layout, theater cruising must also evolve. As for me, I’ve left the cruising scene in movie houses and moved to bathhouses instead. There I’m sure no one will ask for payment; even better, I can enjoy more than a hand-job there. And there’s no need to go frantic when the end credits start rolling.

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