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Monday, October 13, 2014

Love and Loss

      I loved her and she loved me back. I'd never tasted adulation like this before. When we were but friends we promised we'd never catch feelings for one another.

      By nature I'm a pessimist. She was an optimist. We went together like shoo-bop sha wadda yip-pity boom DE boom. For those of you who don't get that reference, before John Travolta became a Scientologist he practiced a little religion known as Greaser.

      It was the summer of 2011 when I first laid eyes on my blonde beauty in the church pews of my local sanctuary. Her eyes were as blue as the sapphires I wanted to place upon her neck. Her marble skin laid as soft as her demeanor. Her thighs ran like silk across the folds of my fingertips. Her lips danced like fire crackers across my physique.

      Every fiber of my body wanted her. But it was more than a lust. It was more then a sexual urging. I think it was love. This was a foreign feeling to me. I'd never felt such invigoration for another human being before. I would fight for this woman. I would bleed for this woman. I would write a series of erotic vampire novels for this woman.

      Aside from her physical allure I felt a spiritual connection in the same magnitude. She was an artistic soul, as was I. She was philosophical and psychoanalyzed those around her, as did I. Most importantly, we had communication, a vital necessity in any strong union. I entrusted her with everything and I felt safe in her arms. The classic teenage thought rang through my heart, she was the only person in the world who truly understood me.

      As our relationship progressed the pessimist within me seized to exist and the optimist emerged with utter merriment.  I had always promised myself I was never going to be that dopey head over heels buffoon and yet here I was.

      I couldn't believe the disillusions of grandeur I was having. I wanted to marry this girl. I wanted to spend the rest of my life with this girl. Whatever college this girl was going off to, that's the college I was enrolling in. Whatever city, whatever state, that was where I would lay my nest.

      I've never really wanted children. I'm not against having kids. I've played around with the idea but in all actuality its not something I have set out for myself. But this girl wanted kids. And for her, I'd be a father. I'd raise the fuck out of her kids, man. Those kids would be so prim and proper. I'd go, "Who's your Daddy?" There'd be no hesitation. They would definitely point to me. They would know who their Daddy was. I mean if there was a Daddy Emmy's I would totally be the Matthew Mcconaughey of Daddies. True Detective. True Daddy. Right here.

      We dated for several months and I was on top of world. Everyday of my Junior Year I rode cloud nine to school. She was actually home schooled but she came to visit me a couple times. There was nothing I loved more then showing her off. She was my trophy wife. What could I say? Walking with my arm wrapped around her waist and her hand in my back pocket. I felt like a million bucks.

      But my insecurities soon got the best of me. I've always been very territorial with my friends. I need to be told that I'm your best friend and that you hold me in the highest esteem, above all others. I'm a first born son so I've always gotten an over-abundance of parental attention. I have a Christian mother who acts like a Jewish mother so I've been coddled for most of my life.

      With a bit of a silver spoon in my mouth I've become very insecure when I don't have people adoring all over me. I mean, thank God my parents are divorced because now I have four parents and honestly, I think I need twice the amount of love most kids get. But my territorial nature doesn't just apply to friends. I've learned over the years that my territorial persona applies to all of my acquaintances. I'm still convinced to this day that I was my therapist's favorite patient.

      But regretfully enough, it has always affected my relationships. I became very jealous and territorial over her. She was gorgeous and I didn't wanna share her with other man. But before we started dating when were close friends she told me about this guy in her social circle that she had a thing for.

      Well, several months into our relationship, he broke up with his girlfriend and oddly enough my girlfriend and him started spending a lot  more time together. My insecurities began to rise to the surface. I couldn't fathom the idea of losing her. The thought was like, it was like I was breathing underwater. And the more pictures they posted on the Facebook, and the Tumblr and the Twitter of the two of them hanging out, I felt like I was drowning in every pixel.

      I became jealous. I refused to let her hang out with this guy from this day forth. As if I had that kind of power over her. I knew she was into this guy. She had told me. She refused and their friendship continued.

      The last straw. The one that put an end to our relationship was when I heard that her group of friends, guys and girls, were having a lil slumber party. But she told me I wasn't invited. It was a close nit group of friends and only the inner circle would be in attendance. I didn't want her to go. Not if her little crush was gonna be there.

      I was petty, I was being silly. I know now that I was thinking in a irrational manner but at the time all I could think was, I wanted her all to myself. I just, I couldn't shake the thought that maybe there was something going on between them. And the thought of that, it shattered me inside.

      So we fought about it and eventually it tore us apart. It was painful. She had been my first love and what came next, I guess you could call it my first heartbreak. But time heals all wounds, as they say.

      I look back on that era in my life and I think of all the time she took from me. Years down the road I still think about her from time to time. But rather than a flush of melancholy, the thought of her brings a smile to my face. I'll always love her. She'll always have a place in my heart. How does the old saying go? "Is it better to have loved and lost, or to have never loved at all?"

      You know before I felt it, I was always skeptical about the concept of caring about someone that much. Its rare and it doesn't happen every time you share a pillow with someone. But now that I felt it, I wouldn't trade it for anything in the world. 

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Dear Diary

Dear Diary,
     It’s been 4 years since Mom walked out on us. And now my father is getting remarried. And soon enough, he’ll forget all about me. Only so much love to go around, right? I used to be the most important woman in his life. I guess those days are over. Everything was going great before Barbara showed up. I hate her! I absolutely hate her! I…I…wish…she…were…dead.
Sincerely,
Yours Truly

Dear Diary,
    I was able to get in contact with Mom. I’ve been staying at her boyfriend Tom’s house for a couple weeks now. I’ve been trying to act helpful, make myself useful, you know? But I was doing the dishes the other day and Tom came up behind me. He put his hands on my waist. He said things. It…it made me feel really uncomfortable. I don’t want to be here anymore. I think…I think it’s time to get my own place.
Sincerely,
Yours Truly

Dear Diary,
    It’s been years since we’ve spoken. I just wanted to tell oyu, the hospis called last night. Mom’s gone. It was Hem-C. All those years of going God knows where, stroking dirty needles in her arm…well, it finally caught up to her. But as I revisit your pages I remember all the horrible things she put me through. And it still hurts.
Sincerely,
Yours Truly

Dear Diary,
    I met with Sharon yesterday. She’s really the only medium I know, and she helped me to talk to Mom. She said, she was sorry…for everything. I forgave her a long time ago but I don’t know if she’s forgiven herself. But in time, she will. We all have. She was always one to hold a grudge though. (Laughs) But I  know, I know…she’ll come around. In time. She just needs some time.  
Sincerely,

Yours Truly

The Books We don't Often Read

      You know how they always say, don’t judge a book by its cover? Well I propose a new quote, “Why the hell does it always feel like there are a few chapters missing?” I mean our lives are really just a song, a movie, a book per say and some of those books are more “interesting” than others.  

      Rarely when you first meet someone are you informed that someday you will be holding their hair back as they puke into the toilet. Little do we know that when we first become acquainted with our future best friends that we’ll soon enough were going to be oozing out our heart and souls to these poor bastards.

      We’re their emotional pillows but thank God they don’t know that when they first meet us or we’d run away screaming. It is very rare that when we first meet our friends to be that when they shake our hands for the first time they greet us with, "Hey I'm Robert. In about 6 to 8 months from now your gunna call me at about 4am in the morning sobbing into the phone as you grief over your latest heartbreak." 

      Just like my alarm I’d really like to hit the snooze button on you right now but you give me rides to the airport so unfortunately I have no choice but to listen to this psychological torture. I mean, I would totally give you advice but I know you’re not going to listen to it so why bother. 

      But no matter how many trials and tribulations they put us through, we still remain by their side. We know that they’ve seen better days and we hope that tomorrow sunshine will smile upon their faces. Just as soon as that hangover subsides.

      I had many acquaintances throughout my High School career but none quite like my friend Gabriel. You know how we all have that friend who can say the most ridiculous and mundane statements and still somehow you find yourself lost in a thunder of laughter, well that was Gabriel for me.  

      Gabriel has had a deep impact on my pop culture throughout the years. He turned me onto rappers like Ludacris and TV Dramas like Breaking Bad. I never used to play sports until Gabriel got me into basketball and from then on the entirety of my school lunch periods were spent on the court. 

     I've always known that Gabriel had more going on under the surface. He sometimes referenced living in Mexico. Later with a little bit of idle goading I discovered that he spent the first decade of his life there. I wanted to know more.
              

      He lives with his grandparents and I was curious as to where his parents were in the picture. Gabriel is a private person and I never received any of the answers I desired. What is his game? Did he like being all mysterious and what not? I surmised that his life was going to be one of the books that I never got to read.

      But while Gabriel remains closed-off, I've confided a lot in him over the years. Like the fact that I've seen Miley Cyrus's Wrecking Ball music video half a dozen times, and I maybe kinda sorta rock out when her music comes on the radio. Um what else, oh I sometimes pee sitting down but only when I'm writing a tweet or playing candy crush on my iPad.

     Oh yeah, the biggest one, when all my friends were talking about Heath Ledger when he died and they were talking about his best performances, while everyone was talking about Batman, I was secretly thinking about the time I sat in my room alone and cried my eyes out watching Broke-back Mountain on Netflix.

     Four years have pasted yet Gabriel still wouldn't tell me how he went from Mexico to California or how where his parents were in his life. But all that changed recently when Gabriel Neocheo enlisted in the US Marine Corp. With both of us going into our separate lives, Gabriel said that since he may never get another chance he’d tell me his life story, which he always knew I was curious to hear. 

     In the prologue Gabriel’s parents Terrah and Francesco met in Israel. They were both college kids at the time, only there for the week on vacation.  They were both young college graduates looking to get a little taste of the world.

     Gabriel's Dad was a tall well-bred sophisticated olive tanned man with swagger in his step and a silver tongue in his mouth. Gabriel's mother was a dainty catholic butterfly with long cocoa colored hair and emerald jewels between her pupils. Francesco was a lady's man and well, she hadn't had many men at all but polar opposites attracted and miraculously enough love blossomed.

      Terrah and Francesco had split up shortly after Gabriel was born. He spent the first 9 years of his life living in Mexico with his father while his mother lived in Portland. It wasn't until Francesco the tall well-bred sophisticated olive tanned man with swagger in his step and a silver tongue in his mouth died of AIDS after so many years of promiscuity that Gabriel was returned to the womb that bore him.

      But Portland wouldn't have him. His mother was a distant stranger now. It was too late for them. She was already a neurotic woman with diagnosed anxieties of her own. She couldn’t handle a basket case when she herself was one.

      She had already started a new family. With two children from her new husband, they lived in their white picket fence and Gabriel regretfully didn’t fit into the story-line of their book. He was now the black sheep of the family.

      He couldn't speak English and he couldn't fit in with his brother and sister. His mother didn’t want to tamper her new life with the old sickly one she had left behind in Mexico all those years ago. He was a ghost from her past. So he was passed along to his grandparents like some stray puppy in the rain.

      I always complained about how Gabriel could never hang out because he was always working, working, and working. Well it turns out he was chipping in for his old grandparents though because he never engrossed me with details I assumed he had a job somewhere doing construction or something. His mother’s side of the family was Italian after all.

     But I mean it always seemed like he was busy. I was going to a new school in a different neighborhood. I barely every got to see my best friend anymore, so yah, it was really frustrating. I mean, how many chores was one teenager expected to do?

       I rarely ever do my own laundry, let alone do my own yard work. But like I said he was the black sheep of the family. He had to make himself useful. He had to make himself worthy of being one of them.

       Even now Gabriel is still trying to prove himself to these people, these people who are supposed to be his flesh and blood and yet they can’t even see the potential in their own grandson.

     But despite Gabriel’s best efforts to feel like he belonged there were off-handed semi-prejudice remarks sprinkled here and there. “Well I don’t know how they do it over in Mexico,” his grandfather would gripe. As if there was a superior American way to clean up kitty litter. 

     Though comical and ridiculous from a spectator's point of view, to Gabriel, it was a constant reminder that he didn't belong. No matter how hard he tried he was always going to be the outsider.

     Gabriel told me that his mother had this preconceived notion that for the rest of Gabriel's life he'd simply live with his grandparents, working with them in the field.

       Partly out of a deep seeded patriotism and partly out of a fear that his mother was right and he would never amount to anything, Gabriel Enero joined the US Marine Corp. And on top of that he applied for Art School at the base he will be stationed at for Boot Camp. He's going to be a combat correspondent. In other words, a professional writer, a man after my own heart.

      I can't say where the road ahead will lead my friend. But I do know this; he has tenacity unlike most people I've had the pleasure to be acquainted with. When someone tells him they can take him on the basketball court any day of the week, he spends the next 4 days training at Van Nuys Park. When someone tells him that he's never going to be a talented artist, he's at Valley College the very next day signing up for an observational drawing course. And when someone tells him he's going to amount to nothing, he'll take the world by storm.