I long for one more dance

Text from Caballito: “I guess you don’t want to see me anymore, right? I will stop insisting eventually don’t worry . .  . ”  

My companion. The smiles, the ease, the comfort and the dances– the memories remain. The words on this blog cement them. The emotions I survived, the attachment to a connection that remains unparalleled. A connection that was never intended to be more. 

And a text received Sunday. I do want to see him. I feel his longing, his missing me. But my life no longer affords him a window. Perhaps, the window will reopen. But the longing is what I find most intriguing. For my emotions past written are now his.

Timing. Sliding doors. Life. And I think of S. And the Impulsive Gentlemen. And a pile of coins. Hands. Time. Options.

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What do you have?

Can the world execute a well-crafted plan? A series of events. Is there a camera rolling? This isn’t happening. I am not this girl. . . I see the mirrors. I am secure in my self, but my ego is in check and this insanity, is not . . . 

I am already missing U. What do U have? I do not know but I love it. The text reads. From the guy whose table I sat at Wednesday night as they exchanged Secret Valentine names a la Secret Santa. As he gave each of his friends CDs with a quote inscribed on the packages inspired by the recipient. I was in awe at the group. The friendships. The amazing guy, who I thought gay. Perhaps, this is what I need. Perhaps, this group could be mine.

That evening, a lift of my depression. I felt full as I ascended my stairs. Friends. Being social. A sabbatical from which was too long. I laid down, calm. A departure from my usual “read, write, do” or numb with addiction until I pass out.

However, last night was different. That text. The fashion show. Even Rediscoveringme was there. The tug of war. The trying to be gracious, hating the required hover when one buys you a glass of champagne. I was leaving to meet Caballito. And then his phone went unanswered for half an hour. I sat in my apartment as I received that text from the man I thought gay. I am already missing U. What do U have? I do not know but I love it. And I was angry. Why? What do I have?

Caballito called twenty minutes after. I went and met them at Latin Star at 2am. I watched him and Enrique eat. The lie from weeks ago, a faint memory.

———————————————————————————————————————————————————–

Today. Friday. Thank God. I am glowing. I don’t know if it’s the weekend’s nearing, my prospective career, or the fact that I am no longer emotionally attached and vulnerable to Caballito. Last night, I listened to him as he stumbled on words such as “I haven’t been good to you,” and “make love.” You mean fuck, right. I said to myself. Happily.

This morning I must have woken up on the right side of the his bed. I worked out and as I showered and dressed up for work, actually blow drying my hair. I walked around my apartment in black lace shorts, sipping my coffee, dancing and feeling irresistibly like me. I told the parking attendant, “Creo que tienes el pelo mas bonita.” The window washer, barista, bikers and joggers all waved, “Hi, Attainingme.”

I love it here in PR. I really do. I will ride a rodeo horse tomorrow- it will be a first. I will go to the beach. Work out. And happily spend time working and avoiding the Artist, the Man I thought Gay, and a few others– the men who have presented their emotions. Unzipped, raw and tender.
I walk into my office and Jose, attempts to speak English. “Flo- ers.” What? He chuckles. Laughter- his default response to all things said in English. I walk to the back thinking there is something wrong. More guns? No, he points. To my office. I walk. Flowers.

WHAAAAAAAAT? 
I assume they are from MattDamon or my sweet 80 year-old friend Tito or the Artist. . . but, then I read the card:
Ha sido un placer conocerte. Espero que tengas un lindo y bello dia. –The Engineer.

 

Disclaimer: I post this, because these are stories and moments that no friends want to hear, tellings that elicit nothing positive to the listener. But, this is my place. And I write this, because it hurts.

Knots

theartistport

It is possible to like a few. But, is it pointless? Am I just toying with hearts? I don’t let go, because “maybe’s” exist.

The coins laid out before me. I pick them up. I close my fingers around them. Unclench, and pass them through my fingers.

I think. I stare at my last name. A simple word. It is affixed in the painting that just was anonymously delivered to my office. Wrapped in brown paper. His name and my last. My heart skipped a beat. Fuck. I unwrap it. The Artist. Yellow. Warm. Bright. Abstract. Is this how he sees me? I would have guessed a painting to be inspired by me, conceived by him, to be rich in frustration, as his frustration is akin to mine with Caballito.

Tomorrow I leave for New York. Cold awaits. An extreme from my past weekend of tangerine and turqoise, Venezuela. There was Veuve Cliqout and waters so clear I could see the fish swim around my bronzed skin, the same fish that later lay splayed amongst lobster, kissed with juices from oranges and lime. I danced in the moonlight. I confronted my unquiet mind. I came back with bruises. Too many knots. Unfortunately, not from those tied around my wrists. 33 knots–the yacht’s speed.

I fly tomorrow. To pack, ship and donate my belongings from New York. I will stay with KidRobot. See MattDamon for dinner. I will think of the Artist and the painting that I stare at now. I will straddle lives and affect hearts. This shouldn’t be painful, but it is. And all the while, I will think of Caballito.

Refuge

I write this as I listen to Fonseca’s “El Arroyito.” I recall his smile and that moment.

I am in the restaurant below my apartment and my phone rings—it is Caballito. The background noise drowns the words, the words I have painfully anticipated. I bolt for the door—that is bolted. I am trapped. My breathing is heavy. And I fumble insanely, making a scene. Success. The warm air welcomes me. But the music and insufferable voices are simply replaced with the admonishment of the wind and an uncommon passing of trucks. I anticipate a siren next.

I retreat to a small refuge in the building’s façade. His tone is unyielding, his words abbreviated. And his anger, seething—horses’ nostrils flared.

I grasp for pieces of his diatribes, clumsily threading them together. “Enrique tells me everything.” I cannot comprehend what he is saying.

It was 4am. As Enrique rose from my sea of white and the athletes left my apartment, my thoughts shifted to Caballito. Despite my ditching him, he was and is the center.

Caballito and Jorge, his friend of 25 years, were walking to his car. The athletes to theirs. I lingered on the phone, waiting for the bang of the inevitable collision. Caballito proposed to pick me up. He hung up and I heard nothing more that evening of a collision. They arrived. Impatiently waiting, Jorge was sent, or came on his own accord, up my stairs. He grabbed me. Kissed me, or tried. I get in the car and we drive to Caballito’s. Where we danced to Fonseca. Where we had that moment.

Later, Jorge followed me to Caballito’s bed where Caballito was sleeping. When he too laid down, I left and chose the couch for the evening. Caballito awoke to put his arm around me and discovered Jorge. After which, Jorge left the bed and discovered me on the couch. He crawled behind me. His arm around me, spooning me and cuddling. I was three hours with sleep. Exhausted and half dreaming, I didn’t quite contemplate the light brushes against my shoulder. It was soothing and it felt amazing. Until, the hand traveled south and I was extracted violently from sleep as he discovered (luckily, just barely) I wax. I jumped up quickly. AHH

I recalled the evening. How much Jorge tried. I recalled the circles I danced and the attention I received. I sadly thought how insignificant I must be. What a statement when one’s friends, their kin, pursue you. I was angry at Caballito. Disgusted at Jorge and exhausted at his continued attempts. But, understanding. What boundaries does a non-relationship give?

In the morning, Caballito drove us home. He interrogated my leaving with the athletes. He told of the collision. And this is when he gifted me his succinct bye. Ok, so what. He knew I left with them. It wasn’t done on the sly.

But it was something. 38 hours. Of waiting. Until my phone rang in that restaurant. I couldn’t comprehend. What I did not know.

I am in my refuge. Phone to ear. FIghting off the noise. And Caballito’s words unveil that something happened. Something more than vodkas, waves, and my apartment. I am furious. Confused. Yet, enlightened to the anger, the countless hours of waiting. He says more. Something happened. I raise my voice. I walk in circles. “What I had a threesome with two 19 year old boys?” No, something with just Enrique. “And where was Marco?”

I then notice, I am on display. My refuge, a floor to ceiling window to the restaurant’s VIP table. They stare. I am but a movie. I turn away. To find I am imprisoned by the wind. My apartment steps tease me. I calculate the run, but my purse is sitting at the bar.  I am having one of those public moments. Causing a scene. And I cannot escape for the fear that if I lose Caballito in this moment, I will lose him forever.

My words are strong. My voice frantic. In disbelief. We are fighting. Both. Screaming. This is an extreme first. I plead, hold on, for one minute. I run. Grab my purse. A spectacle.

My apartment. Dark. Empty. The ocean screams. The ocean is, for the first time, not calming. I, like a well-trained sailor, shutter the walls of windows. And I learn that Enrique told Caballito of an incident. Boasting of something in my hallway bathroom. My words stop. I don’t question. I don’t dispute. I cannot tell Caballito his son, his kin, his athlete, his confident, lied. I do however, recapitulate the evening, or rather from leaving the pool to arriving in his car. Jorge happened after. Thank god.

My story disproves Enrique’s lie. But, I am also willing to step down. I need not win this battle. I pale in significance. My phone beeps. It is dying. The avengers will not relent.

I laid, my head on the marble. Curled, like a fetus, I cling to my phone plugged into the wall. Beeping. Don’t die. I had waited 38 hours for this moment. The fight ended with me thanking him for his call. I told him while I was sorry he was angry, I prefer it to indifference. To him not caring. “If I didn’t care I would not have been so livid that I couldn’t speak to you for two days . .  . I could not call you yesterday, because I couldn’t have lived with what I would have said.”

I am not a seeker of drama, not a screamer. Yet, I loved our fight. A smile formed. The first time in 38 hours.

In the conversations since, the lie, the evening, remains unmentioned. “Movie night?” he asks. “Yes,” I smile. A lie will watch us from the distance.

 

The evening

The evening. It was Saturday. 

I am the most beautiful girl in the room. The most beautiful in all of Puerto RIco. I am told every time I frequent here. It is not the truth, but nevertheless, the mouths that say it, genuine. The pool reflects purple and green. The night is perfect. The lights shine in the crystal of the champagne glasses and in the eyes of those searching to get laid. The music echoes from the lobby. I sit. My shirt. Intricate as it ties around me. Requiring no brassiere. Exposing my tanned back. Tight jeans. And unnecessary heels for my 5’11” frame. The weather, warm, yet not humid. The energy and laughter, effortless. Is this intoxication or good energy? The answer does not matter.

It is here where I feel admired. If only he knew, I so often think. But tonight, he is here too. Perhaps his eyes will see it, and he will think I am pretty, be grateful for the knowledge that I choose him. And I ponder, do I do so stupidly? He is just a few feet away, engaged in conversation. He watches me from the corner of his eye. At our cabana, the odds are in my favor. Enrique, Marc, Luis, Jorge and Benicio. I welcome the attention. But they are merely circles I dance around him, he the center.

His two athletes, akin to family, are too beautiful. Polite. Perfect. Dark hair and chiseled features. I cannot fathom them only 19. Yet, any older and they would be too aware of their power and I would be distracted. We want to dance. The expensive ambience too sophisticated for our desires. We propose leaving. After a round of drinks, Caballito says. An hour passes and we are on our way. But then the girls we picked up cause some disarray and need to stay.

An apartment soiree no longer so appealing. I suppose we are staying. Enrique, his athlete, his “brother”, comes to me and says, “will you drive us to our car?” He says it quietly, from a few feet a way. I know our cars are equidistant. My curiosity piqued. I will return I tell Caballito. Jorge, his bestfriend, offers me his accompaniment. I decline–not gracefully.

The athletes and I are at my apartment. The ocean pounding against the rocks. We are sitting. Vodkas. Talking. Horses. We speak about Caballito with no relationship significance. Aware of their loyalty, their kin, I wonder, were they flirting?—knowing Caballito has likened me to nothing? He’s gay they said. Or was it an interrogation, an attempt to gather fodder.

Enrique says, it’s time to go. The phone rings. It is Caballito. As Enrique leaves, he peaks into my bedroom. His eyes widen. My gigantic posted bed. A sea of white sheets. The ceilings high. The ocean. He sits . . . on my bed. I am not sure what then was said. 

 

To be cont.

Gift me with anything but indifference

The moments in which I am frustrated exceed those that I am not. Was it not but a week ago where we reconciled? Where my body had one of those nights she will never forget?

 Last night you danced with me to Fonseca. Moments before, Jorge spun me around effortlessly; my legs and hips performing the salsa perfectly. But with you, I had two left feet. You had patience. I stepped on your sock. Don’t move your hips. Just your feet. Painful minutes with no success. You stole a kiss. And my heart skipped a beat.

I suppose dancing is not necessarily an indicator of the rhythm of two in bed. Despite our unlikey matching, last night, I saw you for the first time as a future partner. You were smiling, singing and I felt just how much I adore you. How attracted I am to the wrinkles that surround your eyes. I would be willing to make you mine. Perhaps, our wedding could be without the newlyweds’ dance?                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

The night was far from perfect. Yet, that moment was. But, it, just a moment. As are we. Infrequent moments. Rotten milk more consistent.

And now I sit. In thoughts, recurring, more common. Frustrated. Wondering. Telling myself this isn’t worth it. It should end.

As succint as your parting bye this morning. I stared at the rearview mirror as I departed the back seat, searching for more. Your glasses hid your eyes. And you offered nothing else. I called moments later. You didn’t answer. I assume you are angry. No, I hope you are. Your indifference would hurt more. Anger received by indifference. The sum of which may be our end should you be an indifferent man unwilling of the effort. Am I this naïve? I, a masochist? Tell me I am wrong. Tell me I am worth at least this. I wait. With each ding and vibration of my phone, I jump. But it isn’t you.

It has been 24 hours now. 

Like an addiction. I search for the willpower. To refrain. At this point, all I want, a conversation. Perhaps, gift me with our end.

There will be no dance

I ended it Friday night.

Everything I had was what I wanted, but for some reason my emotions were not in accord. Much like my growing departure from New York, sometimes what your mind tells you is irrelevant. My mind tells me New York is more my home than Puerto Rico. It tells me to stay connected, to return. It tells me I will never want to settle in Puerto Rico. Yet, my soul relearned smiling in Puerto Rico. My heart feels more at home daily. My core breathes. And with that, I know New York is not where I am meant to be.

He started kissing me. I kissed him back. Restrained. He kissed me there, his eyes watching me. I pulled him up and kissed him. I said, let’s go to bed. I couldn’t engage. I welcomed a bed where a few kisses could be followed by sleep. An escape from the intimacy of which I was unable. In bed, he kissed me. I wasn’t there.

“What’s wrong? You are distant,” he said. My lip moved, yet no words formed. “If you just want to be friends, that’s okay with me,” he ended the silence. Pain. Instantly. And it hit me. The emotions. Unseen tears as I turned in fetal position, away, to the mirror, the mirror where we would watch our dances. The mirror that came to life as we would go turn on the light and stare. 

His statement cemented that he didn’t care, that my emotions far exceeded his. I was done. I said so. He justified his earlier statement. It didn’t mean that he doesn’t care. Irrelevant. The pain of which I felt was the discrepancy between how much we care. Goodbye companion.

“We need to go to the living room so I can see your face,” he was refusing to hear my words. I suppose words can lie, faces cannot. We sat on the couch. And I tried to explain what myself didn’t know, that I didn’t want a commitment, that I was like him, yet it wasn’t working. And he said,

I told you from the beginning. I don’t have anything to give. But, it’s not about the sex. I care about you. We talk for hours. I miss you. I like you.

Some statement about how rare, our sexual chemistry. 

 I don’t want to hurt you though. I understand. You will always be my friend. We can still do dinner, and talk, and . . .

What changed though? I don’t understand . . . 

“i just can’t do this.”

Ok.

Come. Let’s just go to bed. 

Sleep.

“I have to go. I can’t. Goodbye.”

 And then his eyes lowered. His voice wavered. Could he possibly cry? He couldn’t look at me. I went to kiss him. It wasn’t returned. I made a joke. And I turned from the couch. I never looked back.

I left Caballio’s. I ended it. Without knowing why. There would never be another dance. Goodbye mi companero.