It was just like a movie; you told me why we wouldn't work out & why, somewhere down the road, you'd walk away & I'd be despondent and heartbroken. But then you kissed me. & what a kiss; fingers in my hair, warm lips on mine, on my neck, on my collar bone. You told me I was trouble. & had it been a movie, I would've asked you to wait. & I would've said, "Do you want me to fight for you? Is that what this fucking is? Because I'll fight--I'll run the gauntlet. I don't care if your family hates me, I don't care if it's hard. Give me a chance to show you that no one will respect you like I will, invest in you like I will, love you like I know I will." But it wasn't a movie, and instead, what I managed to piece together was a dumb joke. "Well...I'm sorry I'm Puerto Rican, instead."
A completely different person ago and in a city far away, I worked in a men's clothing store that only hired girls and we all worked for commission and tips. This store prided itself on hiring only big booty bitches and 17 year old me was thrilled about working there. As much as I wanted to be one of the cool girls at my job--the girls who got $100 tips and got customers to go buy them shoes and purses during work hours--I just didn't have the flirt gene in me. I was an awful flirt, and an even worse sales girl. & one day, one of my coworkers decided to bring this fact up in front of everyone. I fired off and immediately regretted it; this girl was really from the hood and she could have torn my ass to shreds right then and there without ever breaking one of her long, acrylic nails. "Hey listen, I don't have to know how to flirt; this isn't about to be my livelihood. I'm going to college in a couple of months & you're still going to be here, living off commission and handouts." There was a lump in my throat the size of a golf ball. I wanted to cry because I realized what I'd just done; I'd just given her an invitation to beat my ass in front of all the world and God. She gave me this look and I knew I was done for, I wanted to run, I wanted to cry, I wanted to pee... I wanted to run away, peeing and crying. But instead I held it together and fortunately, she didn't kill me. Needless to say, every shift I had with her from that point forward became unbearable and the point came where I was ready to move on from the whole thing but to no avail.
On break one day, I asked another girl who worked with me what I should do, should I apologize? What happened next has stayed with me my whole life.
"I say, pour sugar in her tank. It'll ruin her engine."
& I said, "You mean, like, be nice to her until everything blows over?" & she said, "Bitch, what is you talking about? I said, pour some goddamn sugar in her gas tank. She drives that green honda civic with the 'bama girl decal."
It was one of those moments where the curtain was pulled back and I could hear God laughing. In my actual life, I've always found this advice to be true; be kind, even when someone doesn't deserve it (which is sometimes the hardest thing in the world to do) and watch as they come undone. But from a gentler perspective, I've heard that we should cultivate kindness and forgiveness not for others, but for ourselves, because those who harbor anger hurt themselves more. My coworker didn't realize it, but she had just given me not only the only really good street advice I've ever gotten, but some of the best advice I've gotten, in general.
Hood advice is good advice.
& also: I can still totally write about things besides men. So yay.
There is a guy who I've been, I'll just fucking say it, obsessing over since the summer started.
I haven't properly picked out a blog nickname for him, but let's call him Crane. He was the first time I've ever met cute & it happened while I was hanging cranes in my old office so...like, yeah.
Crane is the kind of guy dreams are made of; he's educated, family oriented, funny, and damnit if he isn't gorgeous. & of course, he's too good to be true.
It wasn't too long ago, but certainly long enough ago that people around have began to question my judgment. Crane is not an American & we come from completely different ethnic backgrounds. & so Crane tells me one night that there's a limit to where things can go between us because of this cultural difference.
I'm so bad at reacting to things on the spot, especially bad news. So I had all these things swirling around my mind but in that precise moment, what I managed to say was basically "okay."
Had it been anyone but Crane, I would have given them a mouthful. But it wasn't.
Growing up in an army community, interracial dating is very much a reality and a norm. Sometimes I romanticize America--our president is biracial!-- but one need not look far to see that xenophobia and racism are major realities of America today. Is calling this situation racist taking things too far? I think about the conversation Crane & I had & imagine a white guy saying those exact things to me. I would, without a moment's hesitation, remove that person from every facet of my life for being racist. But then I also think that interracial dating is not a norm in a lot of places/cultures and that most people come from homogenous societies. This is spiraling out of control.
Where I mean to go with this: Crane is still someone I'm very much interested in and getting to know. & that's all I know.
I try to sort through how I feel and what I want but just come up with more questions.
Do I really need another serious relationship right now? In the last 8 years, I've had 3 serious relationships all stacked haphazardly on top of each other. Maybe something not serious is in order?
Do I feel confused when Crane does or says something sweet or gets jealous? Always.
Am I terrified that I'm going to be heartbroken? Absolutely.
& on that particular question, I ask myself; how is this really any different than any other relationship?
In a lot of ways, I hate that this is my point of reference but in 500 days of summer, there's a scene where Tom says to Summer, "I just want to know that you won't wake up tomorrow feeling differently." Or something similar. & Summer says, "I can't promise you that. No one can."
& it's the truth. Isn't every relationship just one person giving another person the permission to completely destroy us?
But anyway. So, like I said, I know nothing. Only time will tell, I guess.