I was having a cigarette this one afternoon. And there was this little neighborhood kid, her face in between our iron fence bars. She's this girl around five, perhaps, who was trying to strike a conversation in the way most daring, inquisitive kids her age are inclined to. She was like, "Kuya, sawayin mo nga itong si, si, si boy (and then she covered what was a forgetful smile with her left hand) kasi akyat siya ng akyat dito oh! (Hi, can you tell this little boy to stop climbing your gates please?)" She was pointing at our green iron fence which was about seven foot high. And then I told her, " Huwag kayong umakyat diyan, mataas yan, baka mahulog kayo (Don't climb up that gate, that's too high for you kids!)" in a calm voice that's appropriate for reprimanding kids her age.
And then the boy, her daredevil playmate, joined in on the conversation with a very intelligent observation. "Bakla! (Faggot!)," the little sonofabitch said in a half-scream that would drive closet queens my age crazy with helplessness. I knew better, so I kept smoking.
At that very moment, the little girl shouted in protest, "Hoy! Hindi siya bakla! (Hey! He isn't a faggot!)" towards her daredevil playmate who was already a good distance away at this point. She then turned to me and continued with her unbroken attempt at small talk. She said, "Hindi ka naman bakla, diba? (You aren't queer, right?)" while moving her hands up and down the iron fence flanking her cheeks. I smiled at her and said, "Huwag mo paglaruan yang gate, marumi yan. (Stop doing that, those gates are dirty.)"
Unfazed, she responded with a playful "Di naman ako umaakyat sa gate eh! (I'm not climbing up your gates!)" And then she looked at her hands and wiped them briskly on her shirt. "Ay oo nga, marumi nga! (You're right, it is dirty!)" I finished my cigarette, went inside, and thought to myself. That little kid is going to be a fine fag hag someday.
Her daredevil playmate, on the other hand, will be the agony of any given closet queen.
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