Causality, Luck, Fate or Chance

Some of us turn our heads and some of us engage. I am one that engages.

A stranger. Or a cause of events, particularly bad luck. Cancelled flights. Flat tires. Crowded coffee shops. Lonely holidays. And I search those that I encounter. Their words. Not blinded by sight, age, or situations. For I believe, nothing happens by chance.

And so my life remains interesting. Often others are baffled. The walls in which I sit now left Julie’s mouth agape. But then, she laughed, “You have the craziest life. And I wouldn’t expect anything less.”

And so, did I mention The Man at the airport? A cancelled flight followed by being denied access to the admiral’s club since my membership was months expired. Hours later, I returned to the secured door. And was accepted. No, I didn’t renew my membership, but we all have our ways. The eyes of the lady who refused me shot daggers in my back.

Upon entrance, chairs away, there was a Man. Followed be a lunch, a ferrari and some common similarities. And now a week later, a purchased ticket for me to return to San Juan to meet again. I thought it was just a Sunday night dinner. But a text now reads, “Bring your passport. You need it Monday.”

A script plays through my head. The words to explain that I am not one to be bought. My penniless struggle, my tears, and the suffocation I currently encounter would make such an offer hard to refuse. But refuse I will.

However, the world is not black and white. I will not simply slam the door.

I will search for another . . .

Stuck

We all have all tolerances and those that we cannot stomach. A trip to New York, originally intended to be 7 days. Transformed into almost a month. I return to San Juan. A place I still call home, despite the truth I can no longer hide from– that it no longer is. I hold on to it. My pinky wrapped around the balloon’s ribbon. The ballon seemingly deflated.

I come. Bearing a smile. Justifications. However, countless events have worn that smile, washed it thin. Unrecognizable.

Friday 10/30 The flight arrives at 12am. No one to welcome me. An airport within ten minutes, yet no friend to find. I arrive to my apartment. Carry my bags. My dog. To the second floor foyer outside my apartment. I climb the roof and squeeze through a window 1′ x 1′ over the stove as my keys lay inside. A rotting body so it smells. My hand against the cement wall to turn on the luz, to no avail. Fuck it. I have been here before. The company didn’t pay the bills. And worse yet, Friday. No hope for reversal until Monday.

Sigh. At least I am utterly exhausted. I go to collect my bags. The dog is gone. My heart races and I run frantically outside to the heavily trafficked “Ocean Drive.” Luckily a woman holds him. She was going to take him home. Thank god the Subway worker instructed her that he was mine. Flaca’s (the skinny girl who lives above.)

I lay my head. Tomorrow awaits. The first day that I can regain my routine. My horse. My workouts. My gym. The morning welcomes me. Yet no hour exists. No phone. No power. I take a coffee at said Subway. Charge my phone. The only spinning class is minutes away. I depart. Until the company car won’t start. As I shut the door, so does the blood in finger. Stuck in the locked door.

A $12 cab to the gym. A glorious workout. But, my finger throbs. Breathe. Calm. Like the celebrity’s tattoo.

I arrive back home. To recall that the hood of company car is quite broken. And the mechanic a month ago couldn’t open. The battery. The life. The heart that needs to be resuciated before the power and freedom that awaits me is guarded, unreachable. And my heart numbs. I search for perspective. The lesson in misfortunes. The strength.

Now I still search. As I sit. Feeling homeless. A bag of candles in my bag. A mile from home. At starbuck’s that closes in but twenty minutes. I pray for the power to revitalize my phone. My mind to collect so I can finish my work. 17 minutes.

Breathe.

And simply, I have no tolerance for stuck.

Teterboro waits – Meet A

Spontaneity and simplicity is incredibly sexy.

Wednesday. A perfectly mixed cocktail of excitement, nerves and fear pulsed through my body–a body whose shape has never been better. Perfect, some say.

A body that has yet to become acquainted with ‘A’, but whose mind is intrigued.  I have never met a man like A. 33. Incredibly successful. Laidback. Funny. And doesn’t give anything away. Translation= I really have no idea how he feels. I met him through my bestest friend and ex, P, in New York. Upon meeting A, he suggested I stay with him for a month as nonchalantly as asking the time. Our first three interactions were comfortable and full of smiles. And then I returned to Puerto Rico. 

———

Weeks of loneliness and disconnection and a remembrance of so many of the words that fill this blog, so many of the emotions that are highlighted in a double life. And I realized how much a catalyst a double life is for loneliness and here I was, facing it, yet again. 

My first conversations with ‘A’ after leaving New York taught me that I would not relive the fibers of my past long distance romances.

This realization perhaps bore an apathy. And infrequent messages passed between A and I. I, as guilty, if not more than he.  And then A texted, “I think about you constantly. I miss you.”

Tuesday, he bought me a ticket . . . so we could have dinner Wednesday before he left for Europe. $700 for a couple of hours. Practical, no? But oh how I love.

Perhaps the scenario should conjure images of dinner at Per Se. Dressed to the nines, Louboutins, Him, a suit and tie. My long hair cascading perfectly. But no . .

 

I arrived. To his apartment alone. Another houseguest. A college friend. A, the buddy and I, in my white tank, jeans, and leather Varvatos, go to a low-key dinner. We laugh, we enjoy–as if this is how it has always been. And I would have it no other way.

Sure, I long for his thoughts. I want him to tell me he is crazy about me. Give something away. Barely.

He does however, recant the words of his text and how great it is to think about me, how wonderful to anticipate. We will give “us” a go. I can fly every week. Wednesday through Friday so we can get to know each other–date. And those five minutes were as much as I received.

His flight the next morning seemed to magically not exist. The hours passed and his trip to the office and the plans I made, seemed to fade away. At 2pm he finally left. At 5pm, he was headed home to pack for his flight that evening. I returned at 7pm. TV, Pizza and the buddy. Hours melted into the evening. Sleep took me. And the next morning, A was still there. By my side. Hesitant to leave.  No words were given.

And I can only wonder did A and the private jet wait 36 hours because of me. . . .

This is not fiction. “Engaged” or in spanish, “Comprometido”

It was Friday. I agreed to lunch with the Impulsive Gentlemen. He showed up at my office, dapper as always. We go to the Parisian Bistro (yes, in Puerto Rico). He orders a bottle of wine to which I agreed to one glass. We joke, laugh and enjoy our meal. Before I rush back to the office, he questions, “Will you marry me?”

My lips form a smile and my eyes pierce his. “It’s a possibility.”

The spontaneous trip was only a week ago, the first time I had seen him outside of social settings or meetings. And honestly, I still am deciding whether I am ready to date him. This lunch is our first reunion since our trip to BVI.

And this marriage talk, is surely just a joke.

“We must have forgotten our wedding rings at home”

I joke back,”I will start putting a ring of sunsceen around my finger so atleast I have a tan line.”

Our kids will be named Stephan Andre (insert fancy royal sounding last name here) and Andrea Stephania. I simply smile.

———————————-

“What dress will you wear tonight?” (We are going to the Phanton of the Opera.)

He is to pick me up at 7pm. At 6:40, I text him

“Navy blue.”

“What is it like?”

“Backless, halter, long.”

7:00 He is in the courtyard leaning against the bricks. Waiting as I descend. He opens my car door and I get into the Black SUV. He enters the drivers side and hands me a beautiful green box. I open it to find an amazing silver bullet clad with little diamonds and long silver earrings. He reaches over and carefully puts each long silver earring in my ear and secures the stunning silver diamond bullet around my neck. I catch my reflexion and I am in awe at myself. I notice the audience from outside. He turns the ignition on, turns to me and says, “One more thing . . ”

He hands me a ring- a canary diamond with diamonds on the side. White gold. It fits like a glove.

I thought it was a joke. A mother’s ring, or fake, or something from somewhere. But then, he later mentioned he bought another one. “I would marry you tomorrow.” White diamond and gold. So I can match it with what I am wearing . . .

“Compromised,” he says. Words being lost in translation. I think, how appropriate. Yes, I am most definitely compromised.

Beauty is not the only attractor

The night ends. The hundred candles are a mere resemblance of what they were six hours ago. I still recall the warm invigorating scent. I still see the shadows dancing on walls that extended 20 feet into the sky. The inner courtyards exposed a veil of stars and a faint light shone from the watching moon. The evening, perfect. The setting, unreal. 16th century, Moorish palette, an ambience, a perfect canvas.

We sit 18 feet under beamed ceilings and our feet kiss Italian tiles. The shadows cast from the archways obscure a grotto so inviting, magical, that I consider a short hiatus from the dinner. The secrets behind each passage and open area intrigue me, their provided breezes sustain me. She used the crystal and the silver, I learn as I shamefully place the silver in the washer.

I see him watching me from the corner of my eye. I am the “flame” this evening. He the moth. Our conversations are disparate, yet he continues to listen. He has only been here two days, but he feels “home.” I overhear him lean in and tell the host.

I walk. And he follows. I lean and the blue Italian tiles of the counter caress the small of my back. I smile. And he tells me I am a closed-book. We return to the table, now cleared, all of our glasses remain flickering in the light. We lean in over no less than twenty candles between us. Their light illuminates our expressions, our engaged eyes and connection. He continues, “a listener, an observer.” I accept these words, his sentiments a compliment. My mind travels and questions my storytelling moments. Earlier I stood hands up, “don’t shoot”—the table in tears. This is going in my book he said.

My mind returns pensive to our conversation. The others go outside gifting us with solitude, urging an intimacy or sensing a connection, I presume. Awareness in my acquaintances. A trait, I much admire. He recants my earlier words, the look in my eyes, he smiles and his eyes now ignite as he assigns an exact number to my mention of the word “balance.” My words are all noted. They were too by the others. A thesaurus, I am not. But this evening, my words captured.

I get up to use the restroom, the inviting grotto smiles in its darkness. I glance at my phone. 2am has approached too easily. Empty bottles placed in a perfect line. Our responses to each scrawled in pencil on the labels by the hostess. I don’t revive the intimacy. I don’t return to him and our table. It is time to leave. My colleague and I say goodbye. Light and empty promises of everyone seeing each other this coming evening.

The hostess lets us out the 20 foot wooden door. We leave and walk up the cobblestone street. The camera clicks. Moments captured on her wide format lens. Blurred images in the quiet street. Without flash. Simply outlines. Memories.

My colleague asks if I know who he is. He informs me.

He is here taking a break from his life of power . . . attaining balance.

A story in eyes

Thoughts indistinct.  Movement without significance. No moments this past weekend elicit a painting. I write of noise.

A weekend in Vieques. Following my last minute decision, an impulsive text was sent to the very handsome man stranger from the gym Friday morning:

Going to Vieques if u want

One wrap following a work out and two lunches is all we had shared. I had always noticed him and while we had spoken, our eyes never had.

The quick meals shared in the last two weeks unveiled intelligence and shared philosophies. A heart and a gentlemen. Something was still missing. Our eyes still failed to speak. Though, curious about his continued lunch invites. And intrigued with my combined attraction and indifference, hence the text.

What time
3pm
Calling you

“Well, we’d have to share a room, but there is a seat for you on the plane. I won’t take advantage of you,” I joked.

In my mind, I didn’t foresee a budding romance or a weekend of sex. I simply was inviting a man on a plane, to an island, to my bed and was more or less, indifferent. Sleep like siblings should I wish.

 

The weekend was not a catalyst for emotions of color. Highlights. Experiences. Memories. However.

 

 

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Dancing with Mr. Handsome. Physically, we are the perfect pair. Such ease and sexuality, our bodies seemed as if every inch had been explored. The truth is it was their first meeting.  A couple that you couldn’t watch without imaging them fucking. A comment from my dear gay, “What a hard on everyone had watching you two.” A weekend that brought a second truth to the fact that dancing is not a perfect indicator of the horizontal same. Decent. But my thoughts shift to Caballito with who I had two left feet. I enjoy Mr. Handsome, but emotions, there are not.

 

 

 

capturedviequenese

 

2am. Our corner spot was closed. We waited for the crowds to leave. To reenter and dance after hours with just our group. The locals walked to their mode of transportation-horses (a species higher in population than people in the amazing island of Vieques). I approached. Bored. Waiting for the doors. “Quieres montar?” One said. Thinking I was just some pretty gringa , he would lead me for a little walk.

I mounted. My legs bare. Took the reigns and one kick. In a minute, the crowds were far behind. Rhythmically gliding in the saddle. My hair flying.  His friends attempted to ride alongside me. Their faces shocked, in awe. I noted my continued amazement at the fact that languages divide, riding never does. Hugs envelop me without words or touch. Their eyes, their acceptance. Applause from the crowds. The boys following me as I turned the corner, bringing the canter to a halt.

 

Highlights. Memories. A lesson in eyes. 

 

Armed

I hear one of the company’s partners hitting his desk, his ritual when he erupts in laughter or anger, but the banging strengthens, closing in from all directions. Construction perhaps? Perplexed and indifferent, I am too intent on satisfying my afternoon coffee cravings. 

“Attainingme, Attainingme …..get….. get out here.” My colleague’s sputtered screams. The words spit, distraught, terrified, fumes coming out of a broken muffler. Simultaneously, the building shook. The banging besieging our banal office. Chaos. An altercation, a fight? Between who?

I turn the corner from the dark server room that doubles as a faux kitchen– a safe serves as the table for splenda, sugar and that horrible powdered milk constantly hardened by San Juan’s humidity. His hands are up. He staggers backward. Unmistakable aggression in unintelligible words. My steps lead me and I expect to see two strangers pummeling each other on the ground of our second floor foyer.

 One more step. And no one is on the ground.

One more step and the hallway’s surprise awaits me. The barrels shine. Three guns point at me. The closest, within a foot.Two remain pointed at my colleagues. I hate that hallway.

“Who else is in the building??” the five of them demand. “No . . one. No one,” we stammer.

Our hands up. My coffee, left somewhere … I don’t recall.

Confusion. Death. Moments. They are all fleeting. I am no stranger to guns. Yet, I have never been confronted with one three staring at me with intention. In moments like these, an aesthetic detail to focus on doesn’t exist. The chambers, the barrel, a small dark one way tunnel–a game of chicken, with no competition. The bullet wins.

Theses moments are chaos. Dreamlike images only remain. A blur. I don’t remember much. The American in the red finally said to put our hands down. I looked to my right and noticed my hands  in surrender position. Embarrassed, I was. Their vests, continued action and commotion. The building reverberated as they attempted to clear the five floors. Dismayed to find just us. As if the closed streets, helmuts, two federal agencies were not so carefully orchestrated to find an empty building with four employees.

The fifth floor is locked. Their excitement mounts as they demand the keys… Which none of us have. We reach for our phones, our blackberries. Drop them. We are sequestered to a couch. The air conditioner does not breathe. And we sit. They run our ID’s. Our socials. Local and Federal. Where is the search warrant? “With the case agent,” said the one who later pulled it out.

Fear. Uncertainity. 

Tactics. Procedure. Intimidation. 

Blanket consent. 

Venezuela was safer. 

A circus. Agents everywhere as I peer through the second floor windows. 

Three hours. Jokes. Laughter for what else can you do. “You are strippers right?” It was our receptionist birthday. No such luck. 

“Thank you for providing some entertainment,” the very attractive, earlier dictator, commented as he checked my laptop, clearing me to finally leave, finally have water. Wahoo. Not quite. He walked me down to my car. I don’t give him my number. It is not the time. It is not the day. I am sure he can find me should he want. He is an agent, right?

Adrenaline. These moments. They linger. Your blood changes directions. Your cells change shapes. Something remains. Even should it be nothing, you are now different. Knocks. Bangs. Hallways. Take a different light. 

My body. My mind. Caffeinated. Drugged without substance. 

The evening was later drowned in Margaritas. We laughed. A company happy hour, we never have. The laughs are forced. There is a fear. A concern. 

I search my phone. My address book stares at me blankly. I send a text to Caballito. It goes unreturned. 

That morning, I had noted my gratitude for my drug’s week quiescence. But, the late hours of the evening stretch. My thoughts turn to anger as I notice  Caballito’s evasion. I comfort myself. With the only way I know how.