The New M.E. Generation











The next day we exchanged texts again about other random things. Don’t recall what we were chatting about when he says: “I’m sure you’re still as beautiful as ever”.

I was one of those ‘ahhh’ moments that shook me to my core. One of those when you had completely forgotten how good it feels like when reading such a thought like that. And, how are you supposed to respond to such a message?

Honestly, my mind went blank about what to say other than thanking him. Since I’ve never been able to ‘go below the surface’ and find out what he’s really made of, I felt me opening about my feelings now was not the right thing to do.

Another few days later, again talking nonsense, I finally braved up to say: “I was meaning to ask you. Are you seeing anyone?”

He: “Nah.”

Me: “No nurses?” (Recap: he once got involved with another, probably one of many. When I saw on social media that he sent roses to her for Valentine’s and she posted the photo of the arrangement along with all this romantic text thanking him, I unfriended him immediately. I learned later on that when he tried to break-up with her, she threatened to kill herself. This may sound like a General Hospital episode, but no surprise here.

One word: Karma. It’s not the first time that guys say they’re not interested in me, to then hook up with some chick that later turned out to be a psycho bitch, to then reappear as if nothing has happened.’)

Him: “No nurses. Had a GF nurse. Broke up about 4-5 weeks ago.”

(So that’s why he came back… I told you so that there was something more here!)

Him: “I don’t do liars or cheaters.”

Me: “She cheated on you?”

Him: “Yup.”

Me: “Ouch! How did you find out?” (Karma. Again. And I didn’t say I was sorry for what happened to him because I’m not.)

Him: “I went to leave a love note in her wallet and there was someone else’s love note in there.” (Dude, you can’t go into other people’s things! Did you check her phone too while you were at it?)

And, what? He revealed his feelings? He expressed them on paper? Whoa!

But, Karma, again, of course. You never really wanted me and now life is getting back at you. Hurts doesn’t it? Wouldn’t be surprised it was that extremely bleached blond from your photo in the boat.

I don’t remember him being romantic with me, ever. I, on the other hand, was the one who once did write a note to him.

When my school held the annual Farewell Assembly for his graduating class, the custom was that you could send, and had delivered, cards and else from other students.

I decided to send him a card; I debated first whether it was worth doing it or not. After deciding to do so, I then had difficulty deciding what to say beyond the expected congratulations and well wishes.

I probably wrote something to the extent that ‘I will never forget you’, ‘Will miss you’, or ‘You’ll always have a friend here’. Thoughts that we tell others, but not always follow through later on.

Thoughts that in the heat of the moment touch our hearts greatly, to later maybe get forgotten once the day is over and the cards are put away, and we walk out the door towards the next chapter of our life.

I remember the event being held in the auditorium with people from the 7-11 grades. His class was sitting on the stage in about 4 rows of chairs. He happened to be on the first row towards stage left. He was wearing like a light brown suit with the darkest of tans.

My class was also sitting to that side, so I had a good view of him. When someone stood in front of him to give him the envelopes, he first had a look of ‘oh, for me?’. He held his hand open to accept them. 1-2-3-4. By the third one, his eyes opened wide and the face changed to a surprised one.

He read one by one. At one point he looked my way with teary eyes (yes I’m sure!), but don’t know if they were intended for me.

As the activity came to an end, many students jumped on stage to dance to “Come Sail Away“, the chosen theme song. I, of course, took the opportunity to be next to him. He did break out in some dance (yes he did!), and I shed some tears to which he didn’t react to much.

As the years go by, no matter what I do, I always go back to that day when I hear that song.

“I look to the sea; reflections in the waves spark my memory. / Some happy, some sad. / I think of childhood friends and the dreams we had.”

Yep, if only life could be as easy as a day at the beach.

 

 

 

 

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{February 20, 2017}   The Swipe 22 – Here fishy, fishy

The day after having the odd conversation with Kevin, I decided to send him a text message to thank him for taking the call because I thought it was the right thing to do, and added that ‘I hope to hear from you soon’.

A few days passed by and no answer. Needless to say, I started worrying and wondered if it was something I had said.

Although the conversation mostly centered on him, he did ‘wake me up’ at moments with his questions, such as why I was single (“guys pretty much disappear at the beginning of anything, so not quite sure about that answer. I honestly think they just want to bed me.”).

I believe that I also said that I didn’t exercise as much as he did, obviously, but tried to keep it up, and that if being in shape was sort of a dealbreaker for him, to please let me know. I was also serious when I said that “if you tell me you will call, then do so.”

Yes, I may have sported a strong attitude, but after experiencing the stupidities of the previous guys, I’m definitely not wasting time deciphering someone else’s secret agenda again.

Eventually I send him a message through the dating site. His profile was still active, so when no response didn’t happen either, it got me confused.

I decided to then call and solve the mystery. He once again sounded glad that I did and as monotonous as before.

When asking him ‘are you okay?’ and saying I had messaged him, he said that ‘had been busy with work’ or something like that. It was as generic as moronic.

I decided to leave it as that. About a week later, to my surprise, I get a call from him. “I told you I would call,” said he. (Hip, hip, hooray?) But he made no mention of meeting. So, yeah, nice effort. Still half-ass.

Another day I finally got a reply to my long-lost text. ‘Hi baby how you doing?’ (Baby? Since when??) I bet this was probably intended for someone else. Good luck with that.

How things unfolded afterwards went down like this: he never called again. I was the one doing it. And if we spoke, he never talked about meeting, in spite him saying he did want to.

If I threw the question at him, he always gave me the runaround of ‘need to check my work schedule’ or ‘have to find out when I will be in your area’.

The last time I called him was during Thanksgiving weekend. I thought he would have some free time, but I was wrong.

“I have to work on Friday,” said he. “Ok, but we could meet at night,” replied I.

“My kids are visiting from college and I want to be with them as much as possible,” continued he.

“No problem,” said I in an upsetting tone and ready to hang up, when…

“What are you wearing?” asked he.

“What??” said I in a ‘what the fuck dude?’ mode.

“I want to know what you’re wearing.”

“I don’t do sexting or anything in-between. You’re not the first guy that asks me that,” said I in a ‘go fuck yourself’ tone.

“Because guys want to know. Don’t you want to know what I’m wearing?”

“No,” said I in a ‘no means no’ tone. “I know how this goes. It starts with a phone call, then you want to do photos, next whatever else. It’s not happening!” I was fuming mad, but able to maintain my composure.

Realizing how deep in shit he has gotten himself into, and that I wasn’t going to bite on the bait, Kevin abruptly ended the call. Honestly, I should have been the one to do that. His triathlon experience served him very well here in running fast from the situation.

After hanging up, I figured out why I was feeling weird with this one: he’s Fish #2. What Kevin wanted all along was the same as the first, a booty call. That’s it. So much for the family history and else that I thought made him different.

I immediately blocked him and deleted anything related to him from my phone, just as the other guys before him.

I then allowed myself to feel and think whatever I needed to for 24 hours, 48 tops. I keep what’s important in my mental handbook for future reference. Last step is going back to life as if nothing has happened. This is how I do it.

But the repeated patterns from guys has burned me out and I need a break.

I’m tired of guys with a self-centered attitude; how they over-correct themselves when dealing with their daughter, only to treat other women as if they were disposable; how they will say ‘don’t take it personal’ about anything that they tell you, but ‘I don’t want to hear it’ from you; how they will never admit that they’re wrong or say ‘I’m sorry’; how they don’t see anything wrong about being arrogant, but you ‘living in the past’ is.

I’m tired of being perceived as weak because I’m nice, to then getting my respect when I act (and react) like them.

As the lady in Cuba told me when she read the cards (see ‘The Reading’ chapters in the The Ex-Friend story), “No one wants anything with anyone. Nobody wants to be responsible for you. Nobody wants to give you anything. To get something from you or be comfortable with, yes, anything else, no.”

So what do I feel like doing now? Honestly, swiping left and logging out for a while. It’s probably the best hand to play at this time. Game over.

 

 

 

 



A few days later after getting this lousy call, I was still upset. It was bringing out some old feelings that I’ve worked so hard to overcome.

Plus, I have lost so much with my divorce and my friend was someone I was not willing to lose, even less for that bitch. My friend always said to me that ‘there would be nothing that would break our friendship apart’ and that he told her that if she wanted to be with him, she had to accept the fact that I would always be in his life. If she or any other woman didn’t like it, then it was time for her to go.

I appreciated his loyalty to me, but I knew things are easier said than done. My ‘x’ had expressed his discontent about him when married and although I knew things weren’t good, after you invest so much time and emotions, it’s not that easy to end a relationship.

More especially so of my friend, who had never had a relationship until now, knowing he would go as far as he could to make it work; failure wasn’t an option for him.

And as my mom has always said, ‘there are women that would do any business to have a man next to them’, which in this case was applying right on target with the bitch.

My friend called me and apologized about the incident. He said that she had complained about my constant calling (which wasn’t true) and that she didn’t like it. She went as far as spying on my friend’s phone and monitoring all incoming texts and messages whenever he unattended his device.

He said he wasn’t giving up my friendship and if she dared call me after his warning, there would be a major problem between them. The relationship was in really bad shape and he didn’t know how things would end.

From the conversation that we had, it seems this would be the last I would hear from this bitch. I trusted my then friend would do the right thing.

If you’re wondering about Madeline, after her Europe trip, she went to live with her mother back home. Eventually she made her way back to my city and came over to visit me.

She cooked for both of us and while eating, she shared a video of her from back home where she got baptized in a river in the interior of the island.

I watched it and had no words to say about it. I knew she had wanted to embrace Christianity, but this was something she could have done where she was living and working before.

I kept thinking what my friend said about not doing something to an extreme and this was one of them.

I was attending church, but wasn’t letting my involvement take over my whole life like she let it happen.

I looked at her and wondered how she, the one I always considered the strongest of the two, be consumed by this.

I was the one who have been down, vulnerable, confused, insecure. How was it possible then that I didn’t fall for a behavior that misled me from the right path?

Why was I feeling unsure about my two best friends that their lives were heading in the wrong direction?

I couldn’t understand why they were behaving this way when they had always taught me the opposite, but from where I was sitting, my life for the first time in a while didn’t seem so bad.

I guess that’s what it means when ‘divine intervention works in mysterious ways’.



Fast forward a couple of years later and this time my ‘x’ left me and filed for divorce. It was a very difficult time. My father had passed suddenly early that year; my boss had made my work miserable from day one, and with my life falling apart because of these two events, he took advantage of doing everything in his power to make my performance suffer even more.

Within a 6-8 month period, the divorce was finalized, lost my job, and I moved out of my home and all that my life represented to that point.

Eventually I moved into an apartment; it was the first time ever I’ve been on my own and taking responsibility for everything.

I don’t know where my friend was in all this. My first memory into single life was he calling me to the apartment letting me know he had accepted a job in the Northeast and was already there.

He also called to introduce me to ‘his family’: a woman and son who would be living with him. Even more, he put her on the phone so we would meet.

I was so overwhelmed I didn’t question him on any details of how it all came to happen. I don’t even know (or remember) what he said about me, or our friendship, to this woman.

When she spoke to me she sounded OK, nothing then that impressed me or raised a red flag.

I was probably more concerned about losing our friendship than anything else, especially now, plus I trusted him he would do the right thing, or so I thought.

Once we both settled down, the calls went back to the usual routine. But now we would discuss our emotions more now that my relationship ended and he was in one that he referred to as ‘a marriage without papers’.

We kept supporting each other and would tell each ‘we would be fine’. But such a statement was easier said than done.

We were now more than 10 years older, gone through too many rough moments and in a stage in our lives that anything we set out to do could go either way.

Gone were the years that you felt you could overcome anything that was thrown at you, that there was a way to make things better, that by putting your best effort, you would get what you hoped for.

It was a time of ‘let’s see what happens’ and of knowing that all that had significance to you could be lost in an instance; leaving you with scars that not even the best medicine could heal.



The last time I saw my friend during college was on my Senior year. I don’t recall how it all happened, but he came to visit me.

I think he was on the area for an interview or simply decided to know my life in school the same way I had done with him.

I couldn’t get to the airport, so he rented a car and found his way to my dorm.

It was great seeing him. He was wearing a jacket (a habit that would repeat many times over) and was very happy to have made it.

My residence was an apartment and one of my roommates had brought a sofa, so it became his bed. Funny enough, this piece of furniture would become another item that would serve me well.

The memories of those few days are sketchy, but I took him to dinner to an Italian restaurant I loved.

During dinner we got up to date again about the future and, as always, he had a plan. He was checking stocks on certain airlines and according to what he was seeing and learning about the companies, he would then decide on which one to apply to.

He knew he would probably have to move if an opportunity occurred, but he was fine with it. He knew he couldn’t be that choosy if he wanted to make anything good of his aspiring career.

While at dinner, he mentioned to me that his maternal grandmother wasn’t doing well. All of a sudden, he slouched down in the chair, looked sideways and got really emotional to the brink of almost crying.

I had the chance of meeting her. She meant a lot to him because, after his parents’ divorce and his mom going back to work, the grandma was the one who basically raised him.

I was shocked at how vulnerable he became, as I had never seen him like this. He had always been the strong one for both, the one that never let anything bring him down.

I sat there, frozen, not knowing what to do. I suddenly reached out and grabbed his hand across the table.

But, unfortunately, he remained as he was. He didn’t acknowledge what I did or said anything to my remark of, ‘she’ll be fine’.

It was as if I wasn’t there, as in someone else in his life had surpassed me in every aspect, even if I was just a friend in a total different relationship with him.

His hand felt cold and distant, his demeanor one that I had never seen of him and got me confused.

But I didn’t give it much thought back then other than to consoling him was the right thing to do.

It would be a few decades later when many traits of his would resurface again with another woman in his life that would greatly alter the friendship I thought we had.

And it would be pretty much as in this moment, distant, instant and cold. Instead of holding hands, he used it against me, and other, to create a block that no universal force could break apart.



It was still early in the morning the day after St. Valentine’s and had no plans or guy to spend it with.

So what’s a girl to do? Go shopping, of course!

Hey, it’s the most wonderful time to do that, considering there’s bargains for merchandise left over from the holidays. So I decided to go to a store close to me that I’ve been to before, which was advertising great markdowns.
I went straight to the back part where all the clearance items were. I liked what I was finding and listening to.

The in-store background music was all American as the store’s image is. The tunes sang about having good times, how much love a person had for their significant other; all with messages intended to make your shopping as pleasant as possible.

Heck, I was even singing the songs in my head. I got into such a really good mood, that not even the crowd at the store bothered me.

Next step was the dressing room. There was a line, but I didn’t have to wait that long, which was great.

I got inside one and was so immersed in trying out my clothes, that I became unaware of all other noise around me. That is, until something very strange happened.

A song with a Latin beat started playing. It got my attention because my mind was already tuned to songs in English, so it took me a few seconds to adjust to listening the lyrics in Spanish. What was even weirder was that of all times I’ve been to this store, I’ve never heard any songs in Spanish before.

I know I live in a very populated Hispanic community, but I know as a fact that many businesses hire the services of companies that provide background music. This means that the songs have been pre-selected, so you have no control of what is to be streamed.

As I continued listening to the song I realized I’ve heard this one before: <em>“Your love is yesterday’s newspaper that no one else cares to read about. I loved you, but now I don’t. You’re now part of my memory album.”

WTF?? Was this the universe talking straight at me? This is not exactly a love song, but more of a guy telling his significant other that he loved her at one time, but because she was ungrateful to him, he’s moving on and doesn’t want her in his life no more.

Ouch! That’s a big statement. It was pretty much what I lived with the beach guy, but in reverse, and it resonated heavily with me. It was almost as if this relationship had just been played out loud.

Then the song ended and the American ones continued. I was so baffled that I had to sit down in the dressing room to analyze what had just happened. I was still wearing the stuff I had picked out to try on.

Why did this happen, especially when I was alone, inside the dressing room? Maybe the universe altered the music in some way to let me know that yes, I did the right thing the night before.

Maybe if I had been on the store floor I would have missed the song. I needed to be there between those 4 walls to really get the message of what had happened then and now.

I stood up and looked at myself on the mirror. It was as if I was staring at another person; I felt different but in a good way.

That girl from the past was also yesterday’s news and just as the lyrics said, I just don’t want you any more.



It sucks being at work and then getting an email like this one later in the day when you’re ‘brain drained’ and just want your workday to be over and go home.

Knowing how I have evolved throughout the years, not that I needed to think over what I would say or would respond to it; I just didn’t want to use certain words that I don’t normally use.

If I already have decided to end for good whatever was happening because both of us, there was no need to communicate your thoughts in a way it’s not you.

I wanted to convey that I am confident in my position and feelings, not that his behavior has brought the ugly side of me. And that’s not what I want to be remembered for.

Unfortunately that’s how humans are; we remember the bad as small as it may be. We may do good for the longest time, and then we stumble and everyone takes notice. It doesn’t matter if the good outweighs the other; you’re recognized for how deep you fell.

‘Regarding you unfriending me, it came as no surprise. Truth is me being an old girlfriend is not the problem here regarding your relationship.

It has to do with the wife and her insecurities that I’m going to tear the two of you apart. I’m a threat to her and she needs to erase anything that’s considered to be that.

It happened to me when I was married. My a-hole ex made it clear that he didn’t want me having nothing to do with my male friends even when they were just that, friends.

It made me so miserable and isolated, but he didn’t care. It wasn’t about what was the right thing for the marriage; it was all about him and he alone.

I was lucky that my friends forgave and supported me because they love me as the true person I have always been to them.

I’ll tell you this, when the years go by and your daughter grows up and moves away, and you find yourself all alone with or without your spouse, then you will realize what a mistake it was to have let go of all the people that truly loved you. By that time I will have forgotten about you and not really interested in listening to what you have to say.

Let me ask you, would you have done the same if I were in a relationship? You and I know the answer very well.

And regarding this friendship proposal you always present to me, fact is, I’ve been the one who have been writing and reaching out to you.

This means that once I discontinue doing so, because I know you won’t, that’s it; it’s over. You’re not just unfriending me for a while, it’s for good.

Like with other guys I’ve met, if I’m not the one making the effort here, nothing happens.

So, good luck with your life because you will need it.’



The next day at work on a Friday I started thinking about how the situation had unfolded the day before.

I know I did the right thing by turning him down, but I also realized this was probably the last chance of ever seeing him again face to face.

Reality is, the only way to ever finalize the past and present was to confront him and all my emotions.

So, if getting to where he will be is not an option, how about telling him to make a first stop on my end, and then later he continues to his final destination?

‘Hey, I was thinking, how about if you came over first, maybe have some dinner, and then you go?’ text I.

It didn’t take long for him to reply. ‘I thought I needed to resolve my issues with my girlfriend,’ replied he.

‘I know, but this will probably be the last chance we have of seeing each other,’ said I.

‘Yeah, I could do that,’ said he. ‘What time do you get out of work?’

‘No later than 6:30 p.m. What time would you get here?’

‘Around 8:30-9 p.m. Text me your address so I can set it on my GPS.’

It was only about 12 p.m., so it meant he was to leave around 4 p.m. if he wanted to avoid Friday’s traffic jam, especially coming into my city.

I asked him to text me once he was on the road and subsequent locations as his trip advanced.

I kept on working as usual until around 4 p.m. when the local weather decided to work against me when it delivered massive amounts of rain.

It got so dark it looked like it was late at night. Damn, now this means traffic is really going to get bad for me and (hopefully not) for him.

I hurried to finish my work on time and rushed out the door at my usual leave time. The rain had stopped and everyone driving were doing the ‘are we there yet?’.

My plan was to get home, shower and wear something appropriate for the occasion or, better yet, something that really represented who I was and not what he probably still has stuck on his mind about me.

So, what’s is it going to be? How about high school sweetheart turned prom queen diva? Yeah, it’s personal and I’ve got the clothes and shoes to make it happen.



Surprisingly, he replied a few hours later. ‘I don’t mind what you said. I actually want to meet you. I haven’t mentioned it before because I want to be available when we agree on it.’

I thought his reply sounded reasonable, so I felt the next step would be the right one: asking him for his number.

This would allow me to text him whenever I felt it was time to go out with him, if I got to that point. I could also control the situation and test his patience. I wanted to see how serious he was and how long he was willing to wait for the meeting.

So not wanting to come across as desperate, I waited until the next day to ask for his mobile. He gave it to me about 2 weekdays later around some odd hour when I was already sleeping.

I waited about a week to go by and emailed him on a Saturday morning about just having drinks that night and each traveling to the location separately.

He declined, as he was supposedly complicated that day. Not caring if it was true or not, I waited another week and did the same. This time he wrote he was available.

I then called him that day around 12pm to secure a plan for the night. I then realized I hadn’t given him my name.

He text back to meet at a bar some time after 8pm and that he would call me after finishing work to discuss.

All right, let’s wait and see if he actually follows what he says. And if he does, then I will slightly reschedule my afternoon to include some walking, resting and doing my hair.

Yep, no matter what, you have to look your best, because if not, you’ll end up crossing paths with all the people you don’t want to, especially those of ‘my past life’.

And if it happens with this guy, the gossip will surely reach the ears of some very particular people, which I wouldn’t mind.

Even if this outing ends in nothing, being seen with a much younger and cute guy is starting to sound like a good idea.

Interesting thought considering those people probably never expected much of me after the split. Fact was, they never cared to really know me, so it would be a total shocker.

I would love to see their faces, but, actually, no. I hate putting up a show for whatever the reason. What matters is that I’m living life the way I want to, with all its challenges and adventures.

At the end of the day, I’m the one who’s dealing with all the good and bad, the ups and downs, and all the responsibilities that go with it.

Getting back to dealing with this 20-something, no worries here.



et cetera