"Frankie, pare. Virgin ka pa?"

I nod.

"26 ka na, pare! Hindi ka bata forever."

Alvin grabs his beer bottle and takes a gulp.

"Ganito, pare. Tip lang. Kapag tumingin ka sa babae, i-imagine mo kung paano siya ka, ano, ka-sex."

I wasn't sure if he really meany what he was saying, but I go with it.

"I'm sure, pare, you still have hormones going through you, 'di ba? O baka naman ibang hormones 'yan..."

Just that morning, I was on the beach, doing my reading before the sun came up, when I saw this girl walk out to the shore in her pajamas. I've seen her the night before. We stay in the same hotel. She was in front of the line when we were checking in - really late, I must add - and I thought that she's pretty hot. You know, long-ish hair, big-ish boobs, speck-less face, that sort of thing.

So I was doing my reading, and I saw her, and she was in a loose shirt and her pajamas, and I don't know why she would, and I imagined getting my hands on those boobs. And pulling down those pajamas.

And then I stopped myself.

Yes, I'm a guy. I watch porn, I do things, and I get disappointed when a Playboy shoot turns out to be nothing more than a tease. And yet I can't get myself to imagine myself having sex with anyone. Not even my crushes. Not even the girls I woo. Well, sure, I did that earlier, with the girl on the beach, but it never really reaches a climax, so to speak.

When I tell my friends about my romantic notion of love, and, well, sex, well, they laugh. Of course I shouldn't have told them that.

"Dude, naiintindihan naman kita," Jojo said once. "Ako rin, dati, ganyan. Kakantahan ko pa, eh. 'If you leave me now, you take away the biggest part of me...'"

"Tama na 'yan, Jo, lasing ka na!" Alvin interjected.

"'Oy, hindi, 'no! But seriously, Frank. Feelings? Wala na 'yan. Pakapalan na lang talaga ng mukha. Sabihin ko, 'gusto kita!' tapos konting work pa, tapos... alam mo na! Gan'on na ngayon, dude. Kailangang makapal ang mukha. Walang feelings-feelings."

I didn't understand what he was trying to tell me either.

Night two at the beach, and we're at the bar. I badly want to drink something other than beer, but, you know, friends.

"Nine o'clock," Nathan says.

It's dark, but he still sees things. I can't, but they do. A girl, a group of girls, actually. Short shorts, flow-y tops, not loose, flow-y. You know, beach-y. Some are wearing shades, for some reason. They sound like Assumptionistas, but maybe that's just me.

"Pare, naiihi na ako, teka lang!" Alvin says loudly.

He stands up and looks for the men's room, or at least pretended to. He comes back after five minutes, and by then, the girls have taken their seats, and he's got a scouting report.

"Pwede na. 'Yung isa, pare, 'yung naka-green? Ayos 'yun, p're!"

"Sarap niyan!" Dale, who's been mostly quiet tonight, says.

I'm still squinting.

"See for yourself, Frankie," Alvin says.

"Go na," Nathan adds. "Malay mo... guys, nine o'clock ulit."

I stand up and walk towards the girls, who were giggling and nothing more at their table. I don't come close to them, for they might see me easily and think I'm being a stalker or something. I stay a couple of tables away, just close to the counter, and try to act confused, like a first-timer - which I am, actually.

One of the girls, the one in green, a green top that shows a bit of her midriff, and white shorts, and hair tied in a bun, and that huge smile, is the same girl I saw this morning.

I go back to my table.

"Ang bilis mo naman," Dale says.

"So what, ano?" Alvin presses.

"Eh," I say, acting uncertain. "Parang hindi ko type."

"Sure ka bang spi-not mo, pare?" Alvin asks. He doesn't look disappointed. More of, he wants to tell me something. Like what he told me earlier, before the girls came in.

"Hindi ko nga type."

"Kanya-kanya naman 'yan. Pero Frankie, ganito, tip lang. Kung magii-spot ka ng girl, number one, talagang i-spot-an mo. Tignan mo lahat. Maganda ba 'yung mukha, malaki ba 'yung boobs, 'yung puwit, gan'on. Ako, kunwari, binabangga ko pa para malaman kung makinis yung balat. Tapos, pare, number two, be descriptive. Ano, sa tingin mo, kaya mo ba? Kaya ko ba? Papalag ba? Naghahanap ba? Gan'on."

"Eh hindi ko type, eh." I convince myself that this is the case.

"Okay lang yan," Alvin says. "Next time. Cheers tayo, para kay Frankie!" He raises his beer bottle, and everybody else does.

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