The New M.E. Generation











During this trip I did pretty much the same as during Spring Break, except that soon I was about to go into the real world and was as lost as ever.

I liked being there with him; I felt protected in his environment and that anything would be possible. I kept looking at this guy and envied how well balanced he seemed and confident that things would turn out the right way.

I always admired that he would give thought to his plans, analyze the options that he had or were available, decide and stick to that until he achieved it. He would do it all calmly and stress free.

I was the opposite. I was anticipating all the obstacles before they hadn’t even occurred. I didn’t know what I was to do next and was already questioning myself how and if I would make it.

He saw how confused I was and suggested taking me to a palm reader that he had visited before.

I was shocked by his revelation as I always felt he didn’t need any outside influences to do anything. He was practically the only one I knew that would turn things around when they were not headed the way they should have.

The other matter to consider was that we attended a catholic school and were taught to follow or trust faith. Anything that didn’t fall under the established parameters weren’t considered correct.

I don’t know how he felt back then about his religious beliefs, but we were both careful on what we believed and trusted.

We shared that our parents had divorced at a young age, meaning we hit reality early on and that as much as you believed in a supreme being or not, there were things beyond your reach that you couldn’t control, because they didn’t had to do with you, but could scar you for life.

That’s probably why I’ve always considered myself spiritual than religious. Or maybe it was that after 12 years of daily classes it overwhelmed me instead of embracing it.

Life as I knew it was one where people would come together for the best reasons to later distance (or separate) for good. It was the effect of wanting to be close to others, but not too much, because you knew one day they could abruptly walk out of your existence with no explanation.

And this is how I’ve dealt with guys all along. I want to be with someone, but always put a wall in between, keeping the necessary proximity, so in case they go, it won’t hurt that much (or so I say).

The only one that had never done that was this guy and I was confident he would never do. It would be decades later to learn how wrong I was, because to keep up the faith, sometimes not even a little prayer works.



Although my high school friend was a disciplined student and had good grades, his pranks eventually caught up to him. His parents were called by the school administration way too many times hoping to resolve this issue, but to no avail. His mom literally told the principal, ‘do what you need to do’.

Even some of his classmates turned against him, even when they were not affected by any of his actions. The rumors started running high, even that he had committed plagiarism in his Senior year term paper.

The Engligh teacher met with him and asked him to talk about the work in general. After my friend gave an extended speech about the topic, references and else, the teacher handed back the draft and said to him, “you’re good to go”.

Academically he was doing all that he needed to do to ensure entrance to college. But because his conduct was so bad and the rumors so out of hand, and the school couldn’t take action against him for his grades, they did it where it hurt the most: he was told he couldn’t be part of the graduation ceremony.

I got really sad and shocked when he personally told me. I knew things were bad, but never thought that of the few people I was friends with this could happen to him.

This would be the first of many moments I witnessed the betrayal of people to those I cared about or myself. It didn’t necessarily create a sense of distrust towards others, but more in that they can turn against you at any time without any valid reason.

“Don’t ever give your life away to any religion, political movement, or even less a man,” preached he to me during that time. He also manifested his dislike for a particular type of people, an issue that didn’t surface again accidentally in the present time.

I never understood where this one came from and I never allowed myself to be influenced by it. I believe I have always been good to others, and many have taken advantage of it by mistreating me.

I used to give people many chances, especially guys, but with this guy’s betrayal, I have become stronger in my personality and discard quickly anything that’s toxic or represents a threat to my wellbeing, just like he has.

So the question is, how is it possible for a person, who gave you the right guidance to survive the world, change to the total opposite of what he taught you?

How is it possible that after all the negative I’ve gone through, was able to make it through it all and still have hope for the future?

How do you explain an over 30-year friendship going bad and looking at a person become totally unrecognizable to you?

Why am I still standing in the light and he is in the lowest, darkest period of his life?

Someone saved my life tonight”. Yes, universe, I know it’s you.



I got to my apartment as quickly as I could only to find a huge puddle of water in front of my door. The hallways are open, so if heavy rain is delivered with wind, the result will be as such.

I had no choice but to take my broom and brush away as much as I could. I couldn’t believe what was happening. The ‘beach guy’ is on his way and the first view of my residence is a huge concentration of water that almost doesn’t let you enter without wetting your shoes.

When I was done, I was exhausted and sweated, so I got into the shower and washed my hair. I still had about a 1-1/2 before his arrival, so felt I had time to relax and get ready.

I took a rest in my bed and watched some TV, all while this guy kept texting me of his location. He was indeed on his way, but I still felt it was not happening.

But in between all the excitement, I fell asleep. Between the long workweek, stress of driving, the cleaning and pending arrival had gotten the best of me.

I woke up suddenly and it was almost 9pm. I still needed to dry my hair and decide what I was to wear. I knew going out maybe wouldn’t happen, but what I wear is important to me.

And just when I was trying to do both things (surprise!), I get a call from the front gate that he had arrived. I ran to my closet and quickly chose a dress (don’t know which one).

I opened my balcony door and signaled him where to park while talking to him on the phone. Whoa, that’s some nice car he’s driving. It had a very sporty design (which reminded me of the ‘original’), but felt too gaudy for me.

He got off the car and my heart beat faster. It was one of those moments you thought over many times how you would react when it happened, but you forgot how to when reality hit.

I looked at him on his way to the entrance to my building and thought, ‘damn, he looks old and he has a belly’. Even more, he had lost quite a lot of hair and was wearing flip flops (what, you invested so much on your car you can’t afford a descent pair of shoes?).

But that’s me; everything I wear has to coordinate or have a reason to be worn. For him, he’s still stuck with the laid back mood of the beach.

“Hey, you made it,” said I. “Take the stairs below to the second floor.” This is all I could say. I had no makeup and my hair was not blow-dried. My dress and shoes were fine, but perhaps not the best for this ‘20+ years to happen’ moment.

Ah, who cares? Why do I have to be so exact?



After the trip, my life went back to normal. My high school friend and I kept communicating frequently and I never mentioned the other guy to him again.

But, I did exactly what he told me not to: reaching out to the ‘beach guy’ or keeping my hopes up.

It all went back to how he has always behaved; sending only either text messages or emails. If I tried to call, even in the really early morning hours, he would not answer.

Every so often I would get upset and stopped messaging or emailing him all together. He would then re-emerge again and I would listen to what he had to say.

He went even further by sending some mobile photos of him, writing that he was attracted to me, and wanting to know how I was doing.

Instead of ignoring him, I would continue with the conversation and thinking there was still a possibility of anything happening. I kept disappointing myself over and over when I just knew better.

One day my frustration reached its peak and I made the decision to stop contacting him all together. I did this early November.

During Thanksgiving weekend I received a message that read, ‘I will try to make it there early December’.

My thought was, ‘I know it won’t happen’. But then again, maybe my silence had some effect on him.

So, in order to not show too much emotions (which was actually happening), I simply responded, ‘Great, keep me posted’.

More than a week went by and no sign of him, as usual.

Two days before the date I thought he would come, I messaged him. Finally, on Friday morning, he responded. ‘Doesn’t look good. Just sold my home and need to be out next Monday’.

Wow, here we go again. It was no surprise, yet I was pretty upset.

This is not doing me any good. I don’t need to disconnect; I need to take an indefinite leave of absence and detox from him.

My emotional health is really asking for it.



It had been a long and enjoyable weekend and still had the second city to get to for the day.

My friend got out of the water, rinsed off, changed clothes and else, while I sat on the car waiting for him when I checked my phone. It was around 3pm.

And, there it was, a missed call from an unidentified caller. Looking at the number, I took a guess it could be no one else but ‘the beach guy’.

I called back, got his voicemail, and left a message.

Great, now this is going to be like the ‘back and forth’ emails that we send to each other at random times.

I had mixed feelings when I heard his voice. On one end I was glad that, after all these years, we would finally get to speak to each other. On the other, I was having a gut feeling life was to repeat itself.

My friend got inside the car and, when I was about to start it, the phone rang again and it was he. The moment of truth had arrived and I was nervous.

We exchanged the usual greetings and small talk before getting down to business.

“I’m 2 hours away from you,” said he. “I could drive down today and stay at a hotel to sleep.”

“The thing is I’m headed to another place now with my friend to have dinner there and then drive all the way back, so I don’t know what time I’ll be back. You should have called me ahead of time. Can you make it tomorrow?” asked I.

“No, I have a lot to do tomorrow, starting with my kids. It’s difficult for me to plan ahead. Also, is that guy your boyfriend?”

I knew this question would come up. “No, he’s not my boyfriend!” said I in an upsetting tone. “I’ve known him since I was 13 and graduated from our school as well.” (Dude, if I invited you to come see me it’s because I have an interest in you.)

I thought to myself, why am I giving this extensive explanation to him? Worst of all, I should have stepped outside my car and taken the call away from my friend. The way I responded to the question was totally wrong.

The conversation got into more of ‘who should done what and when’, or who was responsible for this failed attempt to see each other.

So, I agreed with ‘the beach guy’ that I would call him when I was traveling back from my dinner.

I took the wheel again and tried to concentrate on my driving, but my friend knew I was upset. I didn’t want to talk about it because I was sure his opinion about the other guy just got more negative.

At a certain point I did vent out because I was frustrated yet again at my bad luck with men.

“Maybe I shouldn’t have told him about meeting. I feel like a fool for getting my hopes too high like you said,” said I.

“Better now than later,” answered he.

“I know, but nothing happened. I don’t know what to make of it.”

“Don’t think about it. Enjoy your vacation.”

Yes, I should. I’ll figure it out (or not) after my trip ends.



{June 10, 2013}   Take Me Back 8 – I believe

‘The ship is going to be in your hometown again, but only for one day’, read the letter.

I was going to see him again! That was incredible, considering it had only been a few months since I first met him.

The ship was just going to make a stopover, so Johann explained he would call me home at the first opportunity he had. How and when we would meet was to be determined upon the ship’s arrival and him being able to disembark it.

A couple of weeks went by and when the day arrived, I was really scared that this reunion would not occur.

I remember getting up that Saturday doing my usual things, but never leaving home. At some point my mother noticed I was sitting in the balcony for extended periods of time or running to the phone every time it rang. I told her the truth and she took it well.

The day turned into night and I kept waiting, and waiting, until (ring!) the phone call I wanted to get was finally received.

“Hey, I made it!” said he.

I was so happy I could barely contain my emotions. “Can’t believe we’re talking again! Never thought it would happen”. Yes, I was trying to be cool but couldn’t.

Whatever else was said was that, because it was already night, it was better that he took a cab and meet me at home.

I hanged up and sat on the balcony again waiting for his arrival. It was probably the longest wait ever for me back then. Every minute felt like an hour.

Then, after ‘an eternity’ passed, I saw this cab pull up. Johann was in it and pointed to the driver as in ‘this is the place’, paid and got off.

‘He’s here, he’s here’, I thought to myself.

Talking about making a wish and getting it. After this day, I certainly do believe.



I don’t remember what I said to my mom regarding the ship’s visit, but she agreed to take me on Saturday afternoon after completing our house chores.

That was the routine every weekend, cleaning the house, and I was anxious to get it done. I think I even had time to take a quick nap afterwards.

What I do remember is that I dressed up nicely with long white pants, a striped shirt and blue shoes. I don’t know what I was thinking because I could have worn something more casual.

But growing up wearing a school uniform all your years of schooling made you wanting to wear nice clothes whenever you had the opportunity.

My mom and I got to the location and my heart rushed as soon as I saw the ship. It was all white and traditionally designed like those you would see in the movies. But seeing it in real life was an experience I’ve never had before.

I stood with my mom before the ramp connecting the dock and ship. There were two guys on each side of it, who greeted us before walking up. They were surely happy to see me (guess you guys don’t get to see too many chicks?).

When I finally stepped on the ship and took a good look at it, I felt transported to another place and perhaps time. For a few seconds, I simply forgot where I was.

I don’t remember how things happened next, but I asked one of the guys where Johann was. He turned around and called to him out loud, with a tone of ‘somebody’s here looking for you, you lucky guy’.

I was so embarrassed as I was still trying to keep this situation unknown to my mom. But before I could react any further, almost coming out of thin air, Johann appeared.

He stood in front of me, I turned around to look for my mom and, to my surprise, she walked away, laughing.

I got what I wanted, getting to the ship, finding Johann and my mom allowing me to talk to him.

Now, what do I do?

I looked at him again and all I could do was say ‘hi’ and smile.

“Hey, you made it! I’m so glad you did!” said he. He probably thought he would never see me again.

Looking back I now realize what an accomplishment that was. I made a decision on doing something and went for it, but thinking it would probably fail somewhere in the attempt.

I took a risk and something greater than me made it all happen. Call it courage, the universe, or perhaps divine intervention.

What’s important is that I was there.

“Yes, I surely did. I made it.”



These guys were surprised and happy that I was talking to them.

Let’s consider the current scenario. You are having the opportunity to travel the world and getting educated for a lifelong career.

But, you are bottled-up on a ship with a whole bunch of guys, probably weeks on end, and you’re finally on land. Having some human contact, especially with a young chick, sure made your travel all worth it.

I learned they were from Europe, a country known for its abundance of water, a certain kind of flower and some very funky shoes.

One of them, Johann, explained to me that he was in the navy preparing to become a marine merchant. He was very polite and respectful.

I briefed him about my life as simple as possible. I basically told him that I was a girl born and raised in this neighborhood, in high school, and looking forward to eventually going to college in the US.

I was about to wrap-up the conversation when Johann told me their ship had arrived today and was to be docked for about a week, as well as open to the public during the weekend, and that he would be very happy if I could visit him.

It felt like one of those scenes from a movie that looked too orchestrated to be possible. But it happened to me and my performance had just earned me the critic’s choice award.

I told him I would try to make it. The ship was located not that far by car; walking was possible (like these guys had done), but not the best option for me.

The guys left and I went back to my girlfriends and told them what happened. They were still in awe for what I did and even more now for the invitation.

“Hey, why don’t we all go together?” asked I. They all looked at me like, ‘are you kidding? We don’t have driver licenses even less a car.’

My only other option was my mom, if you could call her that. What am I going to tell her? How is she going to take it?

Sound like my audacity will sink into the deep if I don’t navigate this situation well.



I was driving back home and more than happy that this night was finally over when he makes a confession.

“Hey, chica, I don’t think I can drive home.”

Say what? I stared at him even more closely. He’s either telling me the truth or he’s trying to pull this off so he stays over my apartment and try to take it to the next level.

From what I learned from him and his past, he thinks he’s going to put me in the sack. Honestly, even if he the last man standing, I’m not interested in him at all, not even for a ‘quickie’.

If he’s indeed that wasted, the farthest he can go is crashing on my sofa and I sleeping in my room with the door locked.

When we got to my apartment, he started rambling that he was not up to driving and so on. I brought a pillow and blanket, and placed it on my sofa and he wasn’t happy at all.

He kept saying things I didn’t care to listen and his demeanor made me realize he was fine enough to leave.

I don’t remember what I told him, but he got the message that it was time to go home somehow and ‘relieve’ whatever was inside of him.

“Damn, girl, I can’t believe you’re making me go in my condition. I don’t know if I’ll make it home….” He kept on and on.

Yeah, yeah, yeah, keep moving. Talk it over with your pillow and get over it.

As for myself, whatever is left of this night will be spent comfortably with my own pillows and television.

If I’m lucky I’ll find a comedy and laugh, a lot. This has certainly been a long day and the drama has worn me out.

I’m not quite sure this will be the last chapter with this guy. Let’s see how long the intermission lasts.



et cetera