big old fat franco.

big old fat franco got even fatter when i saw him in december of '09. he'd easily put on another 20 pounds in the past year, but he was the same old big old fat franco. he just rolled up to one of my favorite restaurants in manila, zong, and he took a seat next to his equally big old fat sister, nikki. franco looked stressed and tired. i was happy to see him, but if he was happy to see me too, he certainly didn't show it. "where the fuck are we going tonight?" he said. good to know his diction hadn't changed. last time, it was, "what are we eating here? are we gonna get two fucking chickens?"

franco's straight filipino, but he's loud, obnoxious, fat and racist. so, more like an american. but that's how the middle to upper class in manila do. they roll american style. guy was wearing big old baggy board shorts, a giant t-shirt, and a baseball cap. all eyes were on him. he's got this thing where he likes the attention. he wants to be an actor, but he'll settle for always being an extra. poor fuck. an extra in filipino movies, which, even poor filipinos don't fucking watch. he'd tell us about them. "i play diablo in shake, rattle, and roll," he said. i never saw the movie, mostly because it looked like shit and i don't understand tagalog well, but still, i believed him.

we went upstairs to some bar, and there was loud music but no people there. the five of us, franco included, were the only ones in the whole fucking bar. finally, some other people arrived. "there are a lot of them," franco said, and he was right, they were a big group. "and there are a lot of us," nikki said. he counted, pointing at me, my cousin, my cousin's friend, princess, and then nikki: "one, two, three, four, seven," he said, his fat finger pointed at his fat sister's stomach. she punched him on the arm.

the conversation switched to what franco did for a living, and that was to entertain rich business foreigners. he took them to strip clubs, whorehouses, any place of debauchery, really. princess (her real name) asked him in tagalog, "and what, there's a lot of girls behind a glass, and you choose who you want?" franco shot her a look of disgust. "no!" he said, "it's not a fucking aquarium!" i thought of what i saw last year, at asian entertainment, a seedy club on roxas blvd. it was an aquarium. prostos in a fishbowl.

he talked of this other place in queson city, this joint near my dad's old neighborhood. place was called classmates, where all the high-class whores wore schoolgirl uniforms. "it's just like any other place," franco said. "some of the girls are ugly. but some of them, i swear to you, they look like gods." "and you've tried all of them, huh, franco?" "no," he said, "i'm a professional. i'm only there to entertain the men who want to be entertained." "why don't you entertain my cousin?" she said, pointing to me. "no, that's okay," i said. "yeah, that's okay for me, too," franco said, "that shit is expensive."

the girls talked of going some place else, but franco said, "it's a sunday night. who the fuck goes out on a sunday night?"

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