Catnip: Bald and Gay

CATNIP: Vida Mia Valverde

Experiencing disparate realities is always a recipe for an interesting life. This especially struck me when I was coerced by a bald gay friend (BGF) to go to a comedy bar located in one of the compounds at F. Torres St., Davao City. To put things into better perspective: I just defended my dissertation on the ontological status of unobservables posited by mature scientific theories and have presented this research in Vienna, Austria.  This BGF promised to take care of things as long as I just go along for the ride. I was a bit antsy as I did not want anybody to see me go into such an establishment.  I had an image to keep after all (Whether it’s a good thing or a bad thing is another story.).

Apparently, my BGF was a VIP at the place that we skipped the queue at the entrance and were given the best table in the house.  He was acknowledged and constantly referred to by the five drag queens performing on stage. When my BGF was teased by the performers that they have not yet been given their Christmas gifts, he nonchalantly handed them a thousand-peso bill to their delight.  Waiters were readily at our beck and call. The performers’ running commentary ranged from the crass to the low brow to the offensive. It could be funny at times. Perhaps, in another world, they were always funny.  They were, however, very good dancers who exhibited grace and skill that can be appreciated in any context. Eventually, I found myself laughing at myself because I was irrevocably there, drinking beer, and listening to drivel. I was with another high school friend that BGF also coerced to come. We just enjoyed the experience that took us out of our daily lives, not to mention our comfort zones. When midnight struck, my prince charming was  waiting for me outside, ready to whisk me back to my so-called life.

I was actually enriched by this unplanned night out. In my exhaustion at the demands on my time and being, I almost forgot to recognize other realities. Though this excursion is definitely not the “stop and smell the roses” kind of thing, it brought to mind in an oblique way the Socratic tenet, “the more we know, the more we do not know.” There is still so much to the world that we do not know and experience because we are comfortable with what we already know and experience. Such comfort may come from laziness, lack of courage, and ignorance. Of course, there are also socio-political ramifications to the whole experience of this night out. But given that we are already in over our heads with our midterm elections and social media wherein everybody weighs in on Philippine politics, this is but one small voice of a small experience in Davao City. Nothing profound or earthshaking. Just a recognition of a pluralism of realities, trivial and otherwise.