Something about the heart

In my new city, I stare at things I see. Drunk people. Big buildings. A flutter in my heart that lets me know that this place is exactly where I’m supposed to be. There’s a quiet excitement that sits in the belly of me, and everyday it feels as though there’s a butterfly flapping it’s new wings with anticipation of what’s coming next. And don’t get me wrong, I’m not missing the current moment, because that would be silly. But even with all things new and shiny, there’s still cause for pause in my tiny apartment. A pause that leaves me breathless and devastated, even if it’s for less than a millisecond, it still happens. Maybe devastated isn’t the right word. Eh. Even typing it, it seems a little melodramatic. Maybe shocked is a better word.

Last May, I met a boy. It all starts with a boy doesn’t it? It was one of those things that should have just been a weekend thing, but being the girl that I am, and him being the boy that he was, neither of us would accept it just as that. I mean why would we? Fate is fate. This boy I met on my first visit to New Orleans this year. And he left me dragging my feet to get back to Texas. And I remember spending days being mad at him because he made me not want to be in Texas. He made me hate Texas, when really both Austin and Texas had done absolutly nothing wrong. All they had done was to be everything I had ever wanted. But yet, it was the boy in Louisiana who made me realize that why both Austin and Texas were everything I could have have dreamed of, they were not the right fit. I told myself that me wanting to move to Louisiana had nothing to do with a boy. But let’s be honest, he was the driving force. And I didn’t want to move because of him, I just wanted to move to be closer to him. However, life happens, and nothing ever happens the exact way we want it to. And I moved to New Orleans for no one but simply myself. For simple selfish reasons at that. Which honest to blog, I feel that’s just how it should be.

So even though I moved here for myself, and even though I have friends here, friends I have known for years and I love dearly. It’s strange. There’s a boy in the very city of which I stand, who once felt the same way about me, as I did about him (butterflies in the belly), and it also strikes me as odd that in one moment it can all go from good to bad. I once tried to explain it to a friend.

Me: Everything was perfect… until it wasn’t

Friend: That tends to be how it happens

I’m not sad, and I don’t wish to change anything that has already happened. It just seems so funny to me how quickly the heart can go from light and flighty to sad and… well just sad. Lucky for me the sadness has passed. But from time to time, it strikes me as funny. This boy who made it seem like he had so many plans for me, is no longer even in my peripheral vision… but instead just something that flutters through my brain wave from time to time. And even when the sadness has passed, I want my milliseconds back.

When I saw you…

I was walking around the center of my strange city. I had told my mother I was going out to have a beer. When really I was just wanting to see what all was out in this city on a Tuesday night. I had already been surprised by a large handful of friends earlier that day, people I hadn’t necessarily thought of seeing. It had been great to see all these people that had spent that last four years dancing through my memories and dreams. And to suddenly have them in my present was a thought I just hadn’t found a way to wrap my head around. In the moment, I wasn’t sure where I was going, or if a beer would actually be involved in my night at all. But somewhere, there was something about to happen, I could just feel it, this warm sensation of excited nerves simmered inside me. Then I heard something that pulled my from my daze in this strange city. It was my own name. But who was calling it? I turned my head to focus my eyes on an image that shocked me so much, that I would have been less shocked to see my dead friend Kim standing there. It was a vision of my past. A person who had passed through my thoughts at least a hundred times. A man. Someone who had put his finger print in my thoughts about men when I was sixteen. We’ll call him Jose. He was my english teacher in the high school when I had been an exchange student in this strange city. He was teaching me how to say “Hello. How are you?” in my own language. At the time he had been so friendly, and I remember thinking he was adorable. His pale skin was close to matching mine, except it had an olive twist to it, a different tinge of pale. And his eyes weren’t  the usual dark chocolate brown that I had become used to seeing in this strange city. They sparkled a light brown that was amazing and delicate that I couldn’t help but smile. We were talking outside of the class room one day and he cocked his head to the side and smiled at me. I smiled back. I remember thinking how friendly he was. It wasn’t it till he reached up and brushed an eye lash from cheek with his thumb that I felt my stomach jump, I knew he somehow felt similar to the way that I did. And then in that moment he said something I had only days before dreamt about hearing “Would you want to go out sometime?” Was he serious? Looking in his eyes I realized he was. “You’re kidding right?” was all I could think to say. I mean sure I’d thought about it, but he’s old, and I’m not. “Yes, come on. I am young. I am 26 years old!” Okay buddy that’s not that young, I remember thinking then. “I’m only 16!” I squeaked back. And that was essentially the end of that. For the rest of the year I avoided his class, I just plain skipped it, I had been so creeped out that I couldn’t even look at him without my skin crawling.

Well as I said to him then, I was only sixteen. And now, well I’m older, and a bit more experienced in life. Over the past few years I laughed at my younger self, wishing she could have seen that ten years difference isn’t as much as it might have seemed at the time. I didn’t ever expect to see that man again.

But now, when I was standing only feet away from him in this strange city. My eyes popped out of my head and I couldn’t help but laugh. “Lee! It is so good to see you!” I couldn’t even bring to words how funny it was to see him. I had kicked myself for letting the ten years keep me from liking him. And here he was standing in front of me. I knew that I had five weeks to see what could maybe happen with him. So with his invitation to join him and his teacher friends I followed him into a restaurant, we had drinks and chatted a bit. It only took twenty minutes and I realized nothing special would happen with this man. I wasn’t certain though, so I told him I needed to leave, and asked that he walk me home. After a few minutes of being persistent, he agreed but said he would drive me, and we would walk to his car. His car was halfway home for me, and walking with him was nice. He was conveniently parked near my first host family’s house, and I hadn’t been there yet, so I stopped for a moment to take it in, it was weird being back there. And had I not been with Jose I would have gone and rang the door bell. Jose pulled me over to where he was standing at his car. He placed his hands on my hips, and already I knew what was going to happen. I smiled for a moment looking at him. I knew after he dropped me off at home, I wouldn’t see him again, and I simply shrugged. He pulled me toward him so that our faces were inches away from each other. Our noses touched. I placed my hands on his chest to steady myself, and then in one moment, he kissed me. A voice went off in my head said to me “I’m baaack.” Kissing this man in front of me was just like being seventeen all over again. I had kissed so many people so many times in hopes of building something, of filling some void for my insecure seventeen year old self. But now at twenty-one with no void to fill, and my security intact, I pulled away from him, smiled, and then walked around to the other side of the car, and climbed in, then quickly got out of the car after thanking him when he reached my house. I came to Mexico to find the girl I used to be, the fun, crazy, cocky, arrogant little girl hoping to make it out of this adventure alive, when all I really found was that that little girl had grown up.