30 Day Blog Challenge Day 28

Day 28- Most embarrassing moment

I have a lot to be honest. I think my most embarrassing moment is in middle school.

I had a huge crush on this guy. It was like an obsession to be honest. The only thing was he had a girlfriend. That didn’t stop me though. I wrote him a love letter and had my friends give it to him. The next day his girlfriend told me my letter was cute. I still haven’t recovered.

A Christmas Story

I waited anxiously for you outside the Embarcadero center. The BART was running late, you were on your way from your apartment in Oakland.

This was the first time we were going to hang out. It had been months of back and forth but I finally gave in. There was a magnetic force between us that could only be felt. No matter how much I pulled back, I always felt the whiplash of becoming closer to you. I didn’t want any part of it. I didn’t want any part of you. I felt myself bursting at the seams and I didn’t want you involved. Vulnerability is the enemy but I couldn’t help it. I was lonely and somehow you filled my void like a puzzle.

There you were, running up the stairs from BART. With your moppy brown hair that was always covered with a backwards hat, chapped lips, frail figure, and the iconic double denim outfit. I couldn’t help but smile every time I saw you.

You saw my smile and smiled back. You brought me close and embraced. He said “Sorry I was late. The BART is unpredictable.” I replied “Tell me about.” He laughed slightly and said “So what did you want to do?”

“I was thinking about going ice skating but when I got here for some reason the rink here is closed.”

“We can walk to the one downtown it’s not too far.”

“Yeah that would be nice me.”

We started to walk up Market. At first there was uncomfortable silences. You were still a stranger but with time it was easier to unravel you. We talking about our dreams of seeing the world, our love of writing and our favorite bands. The magnetic force made more sense with every word that spilled from your mouth. I hung on every word. I wanted to know you. I wanted you. It just wasn’t so easy.

We get to the ice rink downtown. It was my first Christmas in San Francisco and I hadn’t seen anything like it. A cityscape of tall building. Snowflake lights on every light pole. A huge Christmas tree outside of Macy’s covered in red and gold ornaments.

I couldn’t look up from the sky, the building, and the tree. It was what I envisioned my whole entire life. City dreams but in real time. I got lost until you said “You have a beautiful smile.” I locked eyes on him. I said “We should buy our tickets and get our skates. We don’t have much time until midnight.”

He bought the tickets for ice skating. I told him I could buy my own but he insisted. We sat down and tied up the rented ice skates.

You went on the ice first. I could tell it wasn’t your first time. I never have been ice skating. You could tell because I ended up falling a couple of times. After the third time, you reached your hand out to me. Your hand was soft and warm, comfort, everything I wasn’t but you smiled at me anyway.

We skated arm to arm. I had never felt so close to you, to anyone. We talked about our families. We talked about the upcoming holiday and how lonely it could be in the city. I didn’t feel alone anymore.

It was 11:20 and the last BART to Oakland left at 11:30. We rushed to get to the Powell Muni/BART station. We hugged goodbye and went our different ways. I hopped on the last L and by the time I got to West Portal, I had five text messages and three missed calls.

“Hey babe what are you up to?”

“Are you busy.”

“Why are you ignoring me?”

“Babe please I don’t understand why you aren’t texting me back.”

“Okay well I love you.”

None of them were from you. I started to cry because I wish one of them were. I wished I could let go, for the sake of me and him. I wished I could be free of the monsters inside of me. I wish I could be free on the infidelity.

Instead I text you and say “Sorry! I went out with a friend and left my phone at home. I love you babe.” Still wishing you were someone else.

Only For A Night

The bartender called last call. I had already felt the alcohol but decided to do another shot of whiskey. I didn’t know how I was getting home. My card was expired and I had spent all my cash on alcohol.

You told me don’t worry, just come home with me. I smiled. We had been doing a lot of things lately and you had been passing me love notes written on cheap brown paper towels. I still didn’t know about you. I saw you as a politician, a great face but behind the charisma hid ugliness of superiority.

We started walking to your apartment downtown hand and hand. You told me you wanted to take me to your favorite spot. A single bench parked on a peak of San Francisco over seeing the whole city in its beauty of light pollution.

You told me you were done with white girls. I should of snarled but I was lonely and for reasons I never knew I did enjoy your company, even if I felt you were full of shit.

We kept walking and stopped in front of a church and you said we were all Gods in control of our own destiny. I didn’t understand until years later.

We finally reached your apartment. We went into an old elevator. I couldn’t stop looking at you. I fucking hated you and everything you stood for. Your faux Ghandi philosophy, your spirituality through crystals, your distaste of rap music, and your narcissism. You kissed me and it felt like a temporary home, feeling temporarily safe.

When we go into your apartment I couldn’t help but notice all the signs of a failed relationship. Dozen of empty frames on the wall, a floral couch picked up from a thrift store, crisp white sheets, and a piece of burnt carpet from a past romantic night that didn’t end well.

You started to peel layers from me one by one. I could see it your face. I saw the pain. I was just a piece of your fucked up puzzle. I should of just slept on the couch but I didn’t care. I needed the warmth of your skin, the intertwining of your fingers, your weight on top of mine. I started taking piece by piece of you realizing there was nothing there but drunk conversations and a false sense of comfort.

I left in the morning leaving everything behind the door of your apartment.

Tampico, California

The sun woke me up that morning. I opened my eyes slowly and turned to my side but my husband was already gone. Another business trip. It had been a few months since we had moved to Murrieta and I hated it. I hated the traffic, the abundance of fast food and chain restaurants, the drivers, the attitudes, the attempt of good restaurants but were still sub-par, the weather, how everything closed so early, and anything you could think of. I hated it. I had quit my job to fulfill my dreams of becoming a stay at home mom. After a few tries and a few miscarriages, I had lost all hope. I had no friends and no family just my husband who was barely home these days.

I have always been an adventurous person. I would just plane tickets anywhere and go by myself. I moved to San Francisco with nothing but some bond money my dad had left me. The adventure in me got lost in falling in love and settling down. That morning I felt I was reborn. I felt doing something different.

I was going to Tampico California.

Tampico is a small desert town in the middle of nowhere, full of weirdos. A lot of antique stores, art freaks, and bougie bars.

I took a shower, slicked down my newly short hair due to a recent melt down and put on my favorite pink dress and hit the road.

Tampico was about two hours away from my new home. I got into my Prius and listened to The Radio Dept all the way there.

I decided to go to a local tiki bar named Oceana. It was only 11 in the morning so respectively I was the only one there. I went to the bar, ordered a basic Mai Tai and preceded to hide in the booth in the back of the bar. I had brought multiple books on design. I always dreamed of being an interior designer, a dream I had thrown away.

I had gotten through at least three Mai Tais and one book until a man approached me. “Excuse me miss.” He said. I looked up from my book. He was average height about 5’6″, super tan, dark shaggy hair, thick eyebrows and almond shaped green eyes. I looked at him confused and said “Hi.” He smiled and said “Sorry to bother you but this might sound crazy but can I paint you if you aren’t too busy today?” I laughed and said “You want to paint me?” He said “Yes very much so.” I smiled. It was crazy but that day I felt different and I was also a little drunk. I  said “Sure if you aren’t expecting a Bridges of Madison County type romance. I’m married and happily so and also please don’t kill me.” He smiled at me and said “I won’t kill you and I’ll respect your marriage.”

“Good just let me pay my bar tab, what’s your name anyway?”

He reached out his hand and I took it. He said “My name is Jake.”

“My name is Vera.”

“Nice to meet you Vera.”

I paid my bar tab and got into my Prius and followed Jake deep into the desert. I didn’t know what the fuck I was doing and I was thinking about turning back around. How did I know for sure this guy wasn’t going to kill me for sure?

After thirty minutes of driving we stopped in front of a villa. I got out of my car and met him in front of the door. I asked “You live here?”

He smiled “What? Are you surprised?”

“Well I really don’t know what to think I did just meet you at a bar for a matter of two minutes.”

“Yeah I live here. It was my grandparents place. They left it to me after they died.”

“I’m sorry to hear about your grandparents.”

“It’s cool. Everyone got to go someday.”

He opened the door to his villa and the best way to describe the interior is eclectic. Flea market finds, modern furniture pieces, 18th century portraits, and bohemian rugs.

“I love your place!”

“Thanks, I’m quite the hoarder.”

“No your style is very eclectic but it all works. I’ve always dreamed about spaces like these. Do you mind if I ask you what you do?”

“Not at all. I do a lot of different things. I paint for commissions sometimes and also sell my painting at farmer markets. I make music and dj from time to time. I guess my day job is a bartender.”

“Jack of all trades. So do you work at Oceana?”

“No but when you a bartender around these parts you know all the other bartenders. I bartend at a bar downtown called Incandescence.”

“Sounds fancy.”

“Yeah you can say that. Did you want something to drink or eat?”

“Yeah that would be lovely.”

He went into his kitchen and brought a bottle of Merlot, some bottles of water and made a charcuterie board. He opened the bottle and poured me some wine and I took a few pistachios off the charcuterie board.

“Thank you. So what’s your story Jake? Do you always ask random girls to your home and paint them.”

He laughed and said “No but I was feeling adventurous today.”

He started to set up his canvas and paint.

“Me too! I’m not from around here. I moved to Murrieta a few months ago and I hate it. My husband went on a business trip and I felt like going somewhere new and decided on Tampico. Now I’m in a stranger’s home about to be painted.”

“So what’s your story Vera?”

He started painting on the canvas.

“I’m 25 and married. I don’t have a job mostly because I was trying to become a mom but it looks like that’s not going to happen. I’ve always wanted to be an interior designer but I never pursued it. I have no friends anymore and lately I have been feeling very lost. I’m sorry I’m already kinda drunk and I’m probably talking your ear off.”

“No not at all. I appreciate your honesty. It’s refreshing.”

“So are you going to dodge my question or are you going to tell me your story?”

“I’m 22 born and raised in LA. I moved out here when I was 20 to pursue art and that’s about it.”

“Do you have a girlfriend?”

“No, it’s not my thing. I don’t think love is real.”

“Wait why?”

“I think mostly because I’m traumatized from my parents divorce and previous relationships. I’m also on the road a lot so I haven’t met someone who could keep up. It’s a lot to ask from someone.”

“Fair enough.”

We were quiet for a moment I kept picking at the charcuterie board and the bottle of wine. I became very drunk and just went on rants about my life. My hopes and dreams. How I wish I went to Paris. How I wish I could start a Youtube channel. How I wish I never stopped traveling. Jake didn’t say much. He was concentrating but he did open up about never knowing what direction to go. He was free but wanted structure in his life. His free-ness made him feel lost. It had been a long time since I had someone to talk to and someone who would shut the fuck up and just actually listen.

The sun woke me up the next morning. I wasn’t in my bed or home but actually on Jake’s couch. Jake was in his kitchen making some breakfast.

He smiled at me and said “Good morning sleepyhead.”

“Good morning. I wasn’t too obnoxious last night, was I?”

“No not at all. I have enjoyed your company.”

“Me too. I really don’t have any friends and this is the first time I feel okay but I really should get going. Thanks for letting me stay on your couch.”

“Are you sure you don’t want to stay for breakfast?’

“I would love to but I really do have to go. We should exchange numbers or something.”

“Of course, Hey Vera.”

“Yeah”

“Just know you’ll always have a friend in me.”

I smiled. I knew I really didn’t. My husband is a very jealous guy. We exchanged numbers and address. I got in my Prius and went back home. Everything went back to normal. No friends. No excitement. Just me, myself, and I and sometimes my husband when he wasn’t working.

A few months had passed by and I received a large rectangular package. I opened it and wouldn’t you know. It was the portrait Jake painted of me. It was dark and moody, just like me. It was me. I started to cry. There was an envelope attached to the back. Inside was a small card that read “To my friend, Vera. I hope you have found happiness.”