Letter no. 8: Tuesday With Mario
One night, as we were sitting on the woods by the sidewalk, under the sad face of the moon, he held my hand, squeezed it tight and looked me in the eye. Suddenly, he’s gone out of sight without goodbyes. In this letter, find out how I met Mario Maurer one Tuesday evening and how he moved my frozen heart to love. And unveil the real meaning of solitude.
To silent lovers out there who are afraid to risk, this letter is your sign. Play this as you read.
It’s been quite sometime. Let me start by saying this is not another story of a teacher who was once remembered by his wisdom and put into pages by Mitch Albom. Aside from the fact that my moment with Mario could not bind a paperback, this one page letter is far less dramatic that measures: to what extent can we define love and cope up with despair. Again, you are not reading Tuesdays With Morrie but rather Tuesday With Mario, and I mean Mario Maurer, the Thai hearthrob, the actor, a very deep good actor, whom the postcard is attached. I hope you are familiar with him.
Of how we met, it all happened one Tuesday night.
I was on my way to my friend’s house to attend a welcome party. Nathan, who’s been my loyal right hand since 2009 was throwing a party for her sister who just came back to Manila from Bangkok for a 2-week vacation. I was in my old tight white shirt paired with blue silky shorts and black slippers. I live just three blocks away so I just decided to walk and feel the air beneath my skin. It’s not too warm and the sun had just set. I passed by a bunch of men arguing over cups of beer. On the other side were little children throwing pebbles in the air and some students chatting in their plain white uniforms. I live in a village not so distant from the city. Trees on each sidewalks, underground wires, and not-so-busy people are the normal views everyday. I passed by the second block and crossed a short bridge. I paused when I got there and looked down to my reflection on the flowing water below. For a shortwhile, I felt the good vibes while looking down at my blurry image. Something great would happen. I walked passed the third block, reached Nathan’s house, took a deep sigh and entered the gate with a smile.
Welcome to Sofie’s Pajama Party. Everyone in the place was crazy. Party animals in their own definition of pajama. Some were in their sleeping pajama, some were in their indoor usual attire, and majority were just casual. There were choices of drinks in variety of colors on tables. The funny thing was, they were mixed with milk. I couldn’t explain the taste exactly but I liked it. It tasted good. The garden was teemed with Sofie’s friends, collegemates, colleague, cousins and pretty much everyone else who’s family related. Cookies and pastries were the main course which I really enjoyed. No hard drinks, no glitters, just balloons in red, painted chairs, flowers and bedroom displays. There were mats and carpets on the grass, with fruits and milk comforted by square pillows. The gloomy disco ball lit them all sounded by mellow rock instrumental that almost lulled me to sleep. It was so sweet and serene. A combination of flute and piano that had never been played by Kenny G. Obviously, I wasn’t in my pajama but I felt like I belong.
After a little while, I saw Nathan approaching. He was with his sister Sofie and they were like sweet siblings who just bonded after a long time. They didn’t have much similarities though. Sofie looked a little older than Nathan though it’s the contrary in reality. She’s the slim type and a little darker than Nathan. We shook hands. After I met Sofie, Nathan introduced me to his parents too who were also very nice to meet. They were pleased to see me as I did too. Surprisingly, his mother knows me. I mean she knows me by story. I learned that Nathan had been telling her stories about me which I thought was awkward. Why on earth would he do that. Hmmmm. Before I thought of any answers, I got back to Sofie.
We shared a mat, grabbed some cookie and milk, sat down in Indian position and started talking about each other’s life. Nathan joined us too. Sofie has been working as an English teacher in Bangkok for threee years. She shared funny stories about Thailand, their cultures and their way of living. As the conversation went on, he mentioned about Mario Maurer, the Thai Actor, whom both of us admired. She happened to meet him personally. It was like, “wow!”, it was just on the second bullet of my bucket list. And so, I told her how I adore Mario, how I crush him and how I killed a spot when the first day “Bangkok Ghost Stories” was shown in cinema. I even have a collection of his posters in my closet, and for the record, he’s my phone wallpaper.
We talked about Mario for the rest of time. We even played a question and answer game about “Love of Siam” and “Crazy Little Thing Called Love”, movies in which he starred as one of the main casts. I was having an awesome time.
Sofie: Okay, so here’s my dare. Uhmkay, if you were given a chance to meet Mario, and you were given three sentences only to say. What would you tell him? Haha.
She faced Nathan, gesturing to pretend as if he’s Mario.
Sofie: Aryt, hmmm let’s say this is Mario, face him, yep, just like that, and compose. So now, what do you wanna say? Haha.
I looked Nathan in the eye. Oh god. He could not be Mario. Though their eyes are quite the same. He also has a steep nose but Nathan’s fairer than Mario.Hmmmm hairlines are almost the same except that Nathan has few mustache. I closed my eyes and I finally said.
Me: Aryt, I just wanna say hi Mario. It’s nice seeing you in person. Uhm, you don’t know how influential you are to me and how I’ve known you so much even if its our first time to meet. There!
I opened my eyes and I saw how red Nathan’s face was. And we changed topic.
That was the weirdest game I’ve ever played.
We ate dinner. His father led the prayer and I witnessed how bonded Nathan’s family was. While eating, I remembered a scene in the movie “Love of Siam” where the family of Tong (Mario) were eating together and happily catching up on each other. I so loved the scene. Nathan would gest if I was okay every now and then. I would nod as a sign that I was fine. I finished a whole plate pasta or two.
I thought the party was over until I saw some folks setting up a mini stage. There was a band invited. They were Nathan’s college friends and to my surprise, Nathan would lead the vocals. I didn’t know he was a former vocalist. He never mentioned it ever. I was like “what is this? What else do I need to know about him?” I smiled at the fact that though I know him for 2 years now, there are still things I don’t know about him. But I was loving the thrill.
We all stood still as Nathan started humming Toto’s famous song. That was my favorite. I almost cried as the lyrics soothed inside me. That moment was like excerpted from the movie again. That same moment where Mew (Pchy) with the band was singing in front of Tong’s family in celebration of his sister’s return after being lost in a trip to ChiangMai. I felt it so much. I thought as if Nathan and I were like Tong and Mew: just friends, but secretly inlove, waiting for whoever would make the first move. That moment was unexplainable. I stared carefully as he sang.
I froze as the song went on.
“It takes some time. God knows how long. I know that I can forget you. As soon as my heart stops breaking. Anticipating… as soon as forever is through. I’ll be over you.”
I lied down on the grass, closed my eyes and felt Nathan’s sweet voice. My friend’s sweet voice.
Less people could be seen and Sofie’s friends were now fewer than earlier. The band was still playing and Nathan was still on the mic.
People started going away. Less cookies, no more drinks, milk bottles all over, deflated red balloons and some chocolate wrappers.
The night’s getting colder and I decided to walk around to ease the dizziness. In a not so distant area, I noticed a lonely man on the swing holding a bottle of milk looking nowhere. He looked very familiar even from afar. I gradually approached him and I almost died, yes, no way! when I saw Mario Maurer, the Thai actor. I couldn’t believe who I just saw. He was wearing green tee shirt, a pair of edgy jeans and gray scarf. Mario Maurer was in the house, at Sofie’s party. I couldn’t speak. My tongue was holding back. For how he got here, I didn’t know. All I knew was Mario Maurer was right in front of me, sitting on the swing, holding a bottle of milk with his eyes inviting me to sit down and talk. I blinked.
Once…twice..thrice… and it’s still him.
Me: How did you get here? Are you Mario? The Thai actor? You look exactly like him. Oh my God, why are you here? What brought you here?
Mario: Yes I am. I don’t look like him because I am him. Sshhh. Relax. Sofie invited me here. And I’m supposed to go there on stage last minute before the party. Alright? So why don’t you just stay beside me here. Just be quiet. Let’s hide here for quite some time and.. uhm I don’t know.. probably talk for awhile. What is your name?
I couldn’t speak but I tried…
Me: My name’s Coco and I.. I am a big fan of yours. You know lately, to see you was just on the second bullet of my bucket list and I can’t believe its you!. Oh my God, is it really you?
I attempted to touch his face and he didn’t resist. He smiled and I almost melt when I saw how he smiles in person.
Me: You know, we were just talking about you earlier. I was just.. I don’t know… How did you get here? How did you know Sofie? I mean…, this is crazy.
Then I burst to laughter. Even if I blinked my eyes so many times, it’s Mario whose beside me. I coudn’t believe it.
Silence. Then he held my hand as he uttered.
Mario: It’s me, ok? You know sometimes, things happen the way you don’t expect it to be. Life’s full of surprises. Of how I met Sofie and got here was a long story. I’m just like you, a normal person who came here to party, to celebrate little good things. You know, Sofie has a nice family. I can see the way she perfectly cares for them too. Where are you staying and how are you related to Sofie?
Me: I’m living just three blocks away from here. I’m a friend of Nathan, Sofie’s brother. We are very close friends and yeah your’e right. His family is so sweet.
Mario: Yeah, I noticed you earlier. In the crowd, and you were staring at him as he sings. A stare with a meaning nobody knows. By the way, thank you for being here.
Me: You know, I don’t know if this is really happening. If ever it is, I just wanna let you know how influential you are to me and how your movies moved me. I mean you personally. You taught me a lot of things. When I watched “Crazy Little Thing Called Love”, I couldn’t get over it for weeks. It was very unusual. I thought at first it would be a normal hippy teenage story, you know the typical rural high school story, but it’s not. You were very natural. I liked the whole story except for the fact that I was reading subtitles the whole run time. haha. I wish I could understand Thai language.
Mario: Really? Thanks. Yeah, it was natural. I mean those stories happen. They aren’t fictional. And the language, uhum.., yeah, I guess it’s not easy to learn something you are not used to do or say. What else do you like about it?
Me: Yeah, I guess. Oh I like the setting. How I wish I could live in Thailand too and learn you culture.
Silence. He took one sip of a milk as I continued the conversation.
Me: You know, the crazy thing is, I just watched “Love of Siam” earlier, an hour before I got here. Nathan gave me the hardcopy as a birthday present last year. And you know what, I loved the film. I can fully relate. I cried a lot. How did you manage to connect like that?
Mario: When I was doing the film, I didn’t know if I can make it to the end. But I still made it. It worked. It’s not only you who cried. I even cried when saw the script. It’s not just about gays who fall in love and get hurt. While doing the film, I learned the value of family too, the struggles of a woman in loving a homosexual, how society judges us in times of curiosity and pulls us down after we chose reality. Sometimes, a love can also be expressed without calling each other boyfriends and girlfriends. It reaches out when lovers are forbidden, it grows stronger when suppressed. Life is not only an acceptance Coco, it is also integrity, that you still love even if the person is not around.
Me: Thanks for sharing. I’ve been wanting to see you and to hear this. And I still can’t believe it’s happening.
Mario: It’s alright.
Mario: Do you love Nathan?
I didn’t anwer.
Mario: Listen my friend, even if you don’t answer it, I can sense that you do. Why don’t you take a risk? You have a strong bond of friendship. Who knows, he maybe feeling the same way. Tell me, what are you afraid of?
Me: I fear love in the first place. I wanna protect him. His family didn’t know he’s gay. I don’t want to make things complicated. I am not sure what I feel. I don’t even know what love is acually. I fear separation. I fear lost. Love may not be true. Sadly, I don’t know. How will I be able to handle separation if I try to love. And if separation is a part of life, and I know about separation well, is it possible that I can love someone and never feel afraid of losing him? Or is it possible that I can live my entire life without romantically loving at all?
Mario: How would you know if you won’t try. The fact that you feel hate, that you feel fear, it’s a manifestation that love is true. It is indeed true and it doesn’t require you to manage, for the very least, it’s his responsibility to know. Think about it. … Uhm… I’m not sure by the way how long can I stay. I still need to leave tonight. I can’t stay here. Listen… why don’t we take a walk for just a minute, I think Nathan is unstoppable.
I could still hear Nathan singing from afar. I checked the clock it’s 11:00PM. I finally agreed. We got out of the garden, trotted on the misty woods, by the sidewalks. And under the sad face of the moon, he held my hand, squeezed it tight and looked me in the eye. I closed my eyes as he drew closer to me without any word. I was expecting a kiss. And I wasn’t wrong, I felt his lips brushed into mine, so warm, full of love. That was the moment love got into me. The moment I was decided to give my heart a second chance to believe in love again. I opened my eyes, and suddenly, he’s gone out of sight without goodbyes. I closed my eyes again so tight as tears rolled down my cheek and as I opened my eyes for the second time..,
I saw a familiar face smiling beside me, waking me up. It wasn’t Mario anymore, but to my surprise, it was Nathan who’s beside me. And I wasn’t walking on the woods, we were lying on the grass instead. I realized that I felt asleep in the middle of the party and I was dreaming of Mario. And Nathan was lying with me on the grass holding my arm. I felt conscious. My eyes searched and I saw no one in the garden anymore. The party was over. I turned back to Nathan.
Me: How long have we been here? How long have I been sleeping here? Oh my god, I’m sorry I lost my mind. I don’t know what happened.
Nathan: They just left actually and it’s not so long. Now, get up there and mom’s waiting upstairs. You can sleepover here cause it’s too late for you to go home.
I burst into laughter as he did too. I felt very happy but I didn’t tell Nathan about the dream though. Oh God. All along I thought it was real. Every details seemed so real, Mario’s face, the conversation, the walk, the empty bottle of milk and oh wait… the kiss, it was very real. Had I been really kissed?
I looked seriously at Nathan and gasped a courage to ask.
Me: Did you just kiss me?
Nathan: I beg you pardon???
I took it as a yes.
INDEX: Click here for LOVE OF SIAM TRAILER
“Sometimes, a love can also be expressed without calling each other boyfriends and girlfriends. It reaches out when lovers are forbidden, it grows stronger when suppressed.”
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“Have you ever loved a bestfriend? Have you had the courage to confess?”
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Song: “A Smile I would Never See” Official Soundtrack of Love of Siam
Photo lifted from: http://rodmagaru.com/2012/01/19/mario-maurer-love-months-cover-chalk-magazine/
Posted on August 9, 2012, in LETTERS 1-8, LOVE LETTERS and tagged Bangkok, blocks, Kenny G., Love of Siam, Mario Maurer, Mew, piano, solitude, Thailand, Tong, Tuesday, Tuesdays With Morrie, vocalist. Bookmark the permalink. 26 Comments.