Something to remember…

It seems as though every generation has it’s teen sitcom. Whether it’s Dawson’s Creek, One Tree Hill, Saved by the Bell, Friends, or something else, everyone has a show that they grew up with. You measure the status and importance of your relationships with the opposite sex, gauged on what you’ve seen on TV. There’s these larger than life men, that always come sweeping in with grand gestures and romantic one liners that make your heart hurt just a little bit. It hurts because we know most men really aren’t like that. That the cheesy one liners never really happen in real life, and we remind ourselves that it’s not real. Until it is.

When I complain about how horrible men are sometimes, I only remember the bad. I only remember how many time I’ve been let down, hurt, or disappointed by someone else’s actions that really have nothing to do with me. It’s not very often that the fleeting great moments I’ve had come to the top of my mind. But when they do, all I can do is smile.

I was 19, and I’d just moved to Wilmington, NC. I’d already made my way through one boyfriend who turned out only to be a two weeker. And I was possibly moving on to my second. This guy was sweet. And gentle. And kind. And for the first time, I didn’t feel pressure to really do anything I didn’t want to do, which was nice. It was probably a Sunday– I say that because I remember I had school the next day—and we were both bored, with nothing to do. We hadn’t kissed yet, and were still in the friends stage of things, which really isn’t always a bad place to be. Everything is fun in the friends stage, no drama, no hurt feelings, just fun flirting. But back to the story. It was a Sunday and I was bored, and we both decided we wanted to do something fun. I had told him how someday I want to go to Myrtle Beach, just to see it. Everyone made such hype about it, yet it was only 45 minutes away from where I currently was. So he suggested that we just go. Hop in the car, drive down, check it out, and come home. Even though it was only a short drive away, it was still across a state line. And I’d never driven myself across a state line before, and weirdly enough it was that that made me nervous. Not any other part of it. Just the driving across the state line.

Just the same I agreed to go, if he drove. He said he didn’t mind. And we were off. I don’t remember what we talked about when we were in the car. I remember we go to Myrtle Beach though and trying to find some place to hangout, if even just for a bit. Somehow I got into a Senor Frogs, and I didn’t want to even try to drink at all because I didn’t want to chance getting kicked out of a bar in a state I didn’t even live in. But I stood with him at the bar and saw they had Mecheladas on the menu. I hadn’t seen or heard anything about that particular drink, since I lived in Mexico. It’s a beer with lime juice, and chili powder, amazing perfection. So I went to sit down so he could order, and he came back with two Mecheladas. One for him, one for me. I was so excited to be drinking it. I thanked him profusely. And I was even more excited when I actually drank it. I can’t remember exactly what he said. But it was something along the lines of “anything that can make you smile like that is worth it”. Now mind you, I was only 19, and didn’t truly know how to appreciate a line like that. But I swear that’s how it happened.

On the way home, I told him about how much I hated thunder and lightning storms. They just kinda freaked me out, I don’t know why that came up. We were probably just rambling off random facts about ourselves.  We covered every subject. There was not a single pause in the conversation the whole way home. We didn’t get home till about 2 am, and I had class at nine. I told him goodnight, when he dropped me off outside my apartment, and thanked him for just a fun night.

I went into my little apartment, changed out of my clothes, slipped into bed, and shut off the lights. What a perfect night. I fell asleep in no time. Only to be woken up three hours later by the clap of thunder and flashes of lightening. I sat up in bed, waiting for the next sound. Another clap. The storm was close. With my hatred of storms, I crawled out of bed and went into my living room, to flip on the TV to see what the weather man had to say about this storm. Growing up as a kid, if the weather was bad enough, there was always people on the TV talking about it. Yet there was nothing. This was the south though, things could be different. I went back to my bedroom, sitting on my bed. Thinking to myself that I’m an adult, I really shouldn’t be this freaked out by something that can’t actually hurt me. I glanced over at my clock, it was 5:15, at the time I didn’t have friends, or even know people who were up at that hour. It was just me, afraid, in bed, during the middle of a storm.

That was when I heard my phone buzz. Someone was calling. I looked down, it was the guy. I picked up the phone. He laughed and said he knew I’d be awake because of the storm, and he called to make sure I was ok. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. How is anyone really this sweet? We talked for the next 45 minutes until the storm passed and I was ready to go back to sleep. Then for the second time that night he wished me good night.

I woke up three hours later to get ready for class. I was tired, crabby, and mildly regretting my last minute late night trip so late at night. The boy texted me a good morning, and asked me what I like to drink. I wasn’t sure what he meant. I mean such two statements are usually said at opposite ends of the day. Morning: Good morning. Night: What are you drinking? He told me he was stopping by a coffee place and asked me what I wanted. I was touched again. I told him my drink order, hoping that he wouldn’t be too late, as I was already on the verge of being late for class. He showed up five minutes before I needed to leave and said “if you’re going to stay up that late, and still make it to class, you deserve this” and handed me my vice of caffeine in a cup.

Once upon a time, in one night, I had three very sweet, pseudo cheesy moments, with one guy. And when my bitter cynicism gets the best of me (more often than not), I think back on those moments and am thankful that there’s hopefully still some good, even in all the bad.

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Crazy…

In a moment of confusion, I am certain that I have finally rested my head on some real idea. My mind is made up and I feel happy for an instant knowing there is certainty in my life. And then I see you. You smile at me and I know it means nothing. You’ve confided in me how women mistake your kind nature for flirting. So I know it all means nothing. But still. When you smile, and go out of your way for me, it changes things. Not in the way most might think. Not in a way that would be monumental or even bothersome to anyone but me. Just the same though, it changes things. My one single idea that I had only moments ago locked in as certain is now thrown back up in the air, degreated to mean nothing. A small jesture from nothing but a friend makes me question a thought and wonder if it is, or really ever had been, right. Back in the silence of my apartment I come back to where I had been only days before. With out a solid idea of life, or even where it’s going. I only have a solid idea of where I’ve been and taking the physical state of that away, I’m not even all the sure about the mentallity of it. So it’s in the present I remain, not too sure of much else.

Not exactly my best

I always thought that if I saw you again I’d… wait no. I never thought I would see you again. When we met you told me “I will go back to my home country in two years” well that was three years ago, and yet you’re still here. See, I left, and even now when the realization of being back is just starting to set in, the chunk of time in which I’ve been else where is becoming less evident. When I see you though, it’s not like that, not at all. Looking at you and listening to you say “Hey. How are you?” makes me remember that my whole life has happened since I was here before. I made movies, I cried, I fell in love, I got taken advantage of, I had a job, and so much more. A whole life happened since the last time he had held my hand. The first time I saw you since I’ve moved back was across the room at some bar, I was chatting it up with some guy who was the hiring manager at an apple bee’s (I knew this was not a job someone would lie about to make themselves sound better) and you just came waltzing in. My world stopped for a split second and I watched you go up to the other end of the bar. Then you left.

This time, well on Saturday, you saw me. I was downtown, carrying a nice wine buzz that left me ambivalent to anything I should really care about. Just the same though as I was walking up to the second level of this bar– the same one I had seen you at before– you grabbed my shoulder and said “hey. how are you?” in an accent that I never really liked on anyone except you. I looked hot, but it probably wasn’t my best. Considering that I wasn’t in charge of anyone that night, my words might not have even come out completely clear. I smiled and pretended that a whole world hadn’t passed since the last time we talk and as I walked away this time I looked over my shoulder and told you to look me up on facebook (wow I can’t believe I said that, I MUST have been a bit… well yeah) and that we should get together soon.

Waking up the next morning I vaguely remembered having said that to you and regretted it almost instantly. When did I become that girl that wanted to get together just to shoot the shit with a guy from the past. Oh wait. No. That’s not me. I’m sure we’re different people now, but with the same conflict. He’s pushy, and I’m arrogant.

So there you go.

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.

Putting it all on paper…

If I sat down in my small apartment and made a list of all the things I want in a man, it would go something like this… He would need to be tall, dark hair, dark eyes, a strong build, baring a slight resemblance to Michael Buble, Dermot Mulroney, and Steven Ward, he’d love Dave Matthews Band almost as much as I do, he would come from some sort of higher social class, he’d be cultured, and always have great idea for fun dates. And for reasons I don’t understand, I found that guy on Plentyoffish.com. I couldn’t believe it. He was cute, and he loved Dave Matthews, and had agreed that sushi would make for a great first date. After sushi this tall dreamy man suggested we go bowling, then after bowling I suggested the beach, then after the beach he suggested down town. Everything was going perfect… on paper. I mean hell I even called my mom to tell her about this guy the next day. Well the next day came and we lost contact, I didn’t care to call and apparently he didn’t either.

My mother mentioned him a few times, wondering if we were still talking.

Well last night I was at my club of choice down town and while I was shaking my hips and dancing, I looked across the room and saw this tall man. Our eyes locked and I smiled. It was him. It was the tall guy from before who loved Dave Matthews Band. I beckoned him over to me and it was as we were dancing together on the dance floor that I realized why the perfect date had only been a one time thing. It was all there on paper, written out perfectly. But there was no spark.