Friday, October 16, 2009

Brokeback Revisited

I wiped the tears away as I closed the covers of Brokeback Mountain, and rose up from where I was lying down in a purposed position as to hide the book covers should someone come in my room which I share with my two other brothers, therefore concealing what was it that I was actually reading. I put it back in its careful hiding place, where it was untouched for the last 3 years or so, but it didn't take it with the emotions long forgotten but was unearthed with each page read.

The story started with two young lads, Ennis and Jack, finding themselves sharing a job tending sheep in a remote place in the Americas - Brokeback Mountain. Rough mannered as they both are, cowboys in every sense, yet they found themselves sharing an intimacy greater than what was supposed to between men. The beginning was all casual friendship which was growing everyday, until the night they shared the same sleeping bunk and Jack guided Ennis' hand into the proof of his arousal, which seemed to release sealed emotions within Jack, and soon after he was behind Jack, both consuming their pent-up desires. The days that followed were of similar oneness, until the fateful day the job ended and they had to part ways. Maybe it's the isolation, maybe it's the loneliness brought by the place, but both found something from the other that rendered them incomplete for the rest of their lives.

Ennis married his finacee and had two daughters, while Jack married a girl he met and had a son with her. Jack ended their fours years of separation when he visited Ennis, and they lost no time in reliving the days in the mountains. Yet the individual lives they now both have were tugging endlessly at them, and they were limited to four times or so a year of isolated intimacy. Jack yearns to run a ranch together with Ennis, but Ennis would have none of it, being stung with the childhood memory of the dead body of a brutally and horrifyingly killed old man ranched with another man, and he was afraid of having the same fate. Twenty years of locked emotions exploded one spring getaway when Ennis said he couldn't make it to their summer rendezvous.

"Jack I got a work. Them earlier days I used a quit the jobs. ... You forget how it is bein broke all the time. ... Let me tell you, I can't quit this one. And I can't get the time off. It was tough gettin this time - ... The trade-off was August. You got a better idea?"

"I did once." The tone was bitter and accusatory.

"... Tell you what, we could a had a good life together, a fuckin real good life. You wouldn't do that, Ennis, so what we got now is Brokeback Mountain. Everything built on that. It's all we got. Boy, fuckin all... You're too much for me, Ennis, you son of a whoreson bitch. I wish I knew how to quit you."

Like vast clouds of steam from thermal springs in winter the years of things unsaid and now unsayable - admissions, declarations, shames, guilts, fears - rose around them. Ennis stood as if heart-shot, face grey and deep lined, grimacing, eyes screwed shut, fists clenched, legs caving, hit the ground on his knees.

That was the last time they ever spent with each other, for Jack had an accident. Ennis was left yearning for Jack. Upon a visit to Jack's folks to pay his respects, in the closet in Jack's room, he found carefully hidden Jack's shirt from Brokeback days, hanged, with blood from their scuffle the last day they were in Brokeback Mountain still unwashed. And underneath it he found his own shirt, whom he thought was missing, here, stolen by Jack, dirtied and unwashed, as if to preserve the memories which was Brokeback Mountain. It was Jack's place, and it held for him so many precious memories.

What Jack remembered and craved in a way he could neither help nor understand was the time that distant summer on Brokeback when Ennis had come up from behind him and pulled him close, the silent embrace satisfying some shared and sexless hunger...Later, that dozy embrace solidified in his memory as the single moment of artless, charmed happiness in their separate and difficult lives.

In the trailer where he was last mentioned to live, with a post card of their secret place tacked close beside it, Ennis hanged these memoirs of shirts, stepped back and looked at the ensemble through a few stinging tears, with finally the words "Jack, I swear ---"

And the rest of his life was lived brimming with the memories of Jack and Brokeback Mountain.

My life has always been a painful cycle of lingering in valleys of level emotions, coupled with a few heights of happiness, but marred by a lot of pitfalls of loneliness. I had almost always kept to myself, not wanting to be a burden to others, save for some instances that I couldn't hold up any longer that I open up to someone or something to address the need to fill up the open crater of sadness. See, I am still deeply sad in becoming who I am today. Given the chance I will gladly make do without my homosexuality. But life's not like that. So I have to live with it every moment of my life. Sometimes the bitterness is so intense that it brings with it pain that is so searing that it makes me want to cease to exist.

Yesternight saw one of those few times that I opened up. I texted one blogger, who I would like to be alone with, not necessarily to have sex, but to at least share intimacy, even if it will be just for a night. The move was a contradictory to how I usually am, and as I know that while it may be possible that the endeavor won't do us any damage, I'm sure that possibility is weak, for I believe that such arrangements leave a scar if the person is not fully prepared to handle it. My request was attended to, but with a no, as the blogger is not available. But he did send word to some of his friends, though at the back of my mind I know that such an arrangement is not deemed to work in my case. I texted some others, but in the end, I decided to go home instead, deeming it the wisest move to take.

It's just sad that intense loneliness brings out the worst in us. I was in one of my low points yesterday, and I believe I behaved below par than how I would have wanted to. My apologies to those who I have inconvenienced; but if you were what I esteemed you all to be, then I reckon you'd all understand.

Homosexuality, I sure wish I know how to quit you...

(Contains excerpts from Brokeback Mountain by Annie Proulx)


  1. sad sigh

    btw, I like how you write dude, keep 'em coming

  2. yeah. it really is sad. terribly sad...

    thanks for the affirmation. appreciate it a lot!

  3. Brokeback Mountain is one of my favorite movies. It is a cinematic giant, a classic we all cannot forget.