Casa Blanca

You spend half your life trying to grow up and the other half wishing you were younger. I wanted to grow, but didn’t know how. I  sat there on the bench watching the trees sway in the background and memories flash from time to time. Some good, some bad…I had just finished my finals, and was wondering what I would do after all this was over. At the time I remember being in a relationship that to me….felt like I could have avoided. I wanted something, anything, to help me feel like someone needed me.  She was great, but I felt I was always missing that part of me that could truly help her. I felt like I was in the way, and I spent all this time helping but not being helped. I was always there, but I felt like I couldn’t fall or we would both fall. Maybe I was just overthinking, but looking back I don’t think I was.

I took off to Madrid. It was a graduation gift, which I felt honored to get from my family. Years of hard work validated without just a student loan to loom over me for the next 10 years. It was a busy day at the LAX, and at the time I just knew my flight number. As i scanned through security check points, I felt the weight of not knowing where I was going or the details of the next day climb over me. I had made no real plans other than to meet a good friend out in the northern part of Spain who was teaching abroad. Was it Seville? Andalusia? It was…north of Spain, good enough I guess. I was nervous, but I had an innate nature to trust my instinct that it would all work out. When I landed, I did my best and found a bus to take me north, with the 40 mins of Wi-fi the airport gave me, I contacted him and made sure I had the city right. The people..spoke differently, it wasn’t quite the Spanish I was accustomed to, but it wasn’t wrong either. They say they spoke the “real” Spanish, but to me….perhaps it was never really a thought to acquaint myself with it. Twenty hours later, I finally arrived at sunrise, with my friend waiting for me. What city was I in?, I thought.  It didn’t matter, I was in Spain! The town was amazing, the people were friendly and for the first time, I felt comfortable in a country other than my own. During my studies, I did some research on the history of our family name. It comes from a Spaniard translation for “From the Sun” (In Latin). Or a hot summer breeze, but I liked the first explanation, it sounded more romantic.

We ate the food and danced the night away with the few friends he had made. The people of Spain are very friendly, especially in the night life. I could tell from the american influence, but the music was familiar to what I was hearing on the radio…about a year ago.  The clubs don’t start till about midnight and you can hardly tell from the energy you surprisingly have at 2 in the morning. I was having the time of my life.Drinking the local beer, dancing, and genuinely not having a care in the world. I could only think of how it would be looking back at these moments. How being an old man, how these memories could keep me afloat when it’s all said and done. In that moment I thought, “Couldn’t I be like this forever?” What a life! The streets were clean, and filled with so much history. He mentioned Morocco, and little did I know I would be heading there pretty soon. Honest to god I thought it was in Spain. I guess that C average during high school really paid off when it came to geography  because I agreed in a heart beat. A three hour train ride and we would be there, or so I thought. A cheap flight later, with the pilot landing like his life depended on it, we were in Morocco. A woman had awoken from her sleep screaming as if the plane had exploded just from the rough landing.

They spoke french. No Spanish. I wasn’t anywhere near home, but I was with my friend, for now. We took a cab during the morning hours when we landed.Going past it all, it reminded me of the streets of the barrios in Mexico. People awake at 3 am, scrapping for any type of job they can get. No women…..maybe they just knew better than to be up so late with men wandering the streets. Everyone we passed looked behind their shoulder, watching, waiting for an opportunity. We arrived. The city was bustling, even so early, you can hear the merchants talking in their language of the day to come. We were in the middle of town in a land so foreign to us. “Where is our hostel”, I asked my friend. “Hell if I know…but I know it’s in the middle of town”, and when he said that I realized I wasn’t home, I wasn’t comfortable, my fight or flight instincts were kicking in. For a brief moment I fantasized about what could happen, if we had to defend ourselves, how it would end.

It’s nothing like the movies fantasize about, it’s about substance and what you want to do with your experience. In the short time we were there, I saw snake charmers, spoke to a peace officer of politics, the Koran, and just the peace he wished me whether you believe in religion or not. We scaled mountains, went through forests of hikes and even explored through a waterfall. Yeah, a waterfall near the Sahara, at one point we were told to steer the boat! It was thrilling meeting people from all walks of life. When the time came we split off from a caravan heading into the Sahara desert. I met a couple from Puerto Rico and some people from Germany, all the while eating in the desert, dancing to the band playing, and seeing the stars at night for the first time in a while. I felt like my purpose in life was to get caught up in these moments, and it all felt right. If i constantly chased this feeling I’d live a life worth living. In some ways I was wondering what I was doing till then, I had a life back home…but for now I was just myself. Across the world, in the Sahara desert, I found out what I was missing. Conviction. So when I got on that plane, and took one last look, I really don’t think I ever came back.

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México Lindo y Querido

They danced. They smiled. It was a dance of our people, with smiles and laughter that represented a time where there were no need for worries. You bought groceries and conversed with the other locals. Of course, this was a reenactment of said time. We we’re hosting our annual show. We danced of the different regions of Mexico. Each one was unique to the other because it represented a culture within a culture. Of a time when your grandfathers were youthful and people understood what it was like to be in harmony with your fellow neighbor.

Although we practiced day and night, we could only capture you glimpses of those moments. From the steps to the townspeople, these were meant as a romanticism type of picture. The room was filled with people from all walks of life, some old…some young, some from a different culture. As I stood there watching them practice, I couldn’t help but smile at all the beautiful dresses and movements that brought out the pride of their people. It was so much more than dancing, we understood that this was meant to represent our culture and share it with the world. Step after step, they were in sync with each other and it was mesmerizing.  The girls that twirled side to side, and the ruffles in their dresses unrivaled by the aura that they brought into their steps.  A jump, a spin, a hand raised and lowered, intertwining with the dresses that they wore. Suddenly, you hear a grito from the men, as they did their steps. We’re strong, we are confident, we are the fathers in our community. They said  this with every footstep. I could hear them, and they spoke to me. I’m proud of where I come from, there’s passion, there’s culture, and there is a dance we dance in our hearts.

Time

What do I have time for. A quick sentence or two is what I can hope for these days. A thought to maybe sometime somewhere down the road have a conversation with you. Unfortunately for me, all I have are these moments to think of you. That you’re somehow doing better than when I left. I’m doing fine, there’s too much to say and not enough time. I hope I live in the good parts of your memory, that somehow I made it through to the days where your mind seamlessly sways into peaceful times. Our moments were short, but I had fun. It’s all too complicated now so I leave you with this. Take care my friend, for what it’s worth, you were always a pleasant memory.

 

via Daily Prompt: Complication

All you need is blood

It was a Saturday morning. Nothing out of the ordinary, the weather was clear that day with blue skies, parted clouds and a slight burning from the morning sun, I could tell it was going to be a hot one.  I had planned breakfast with the family for later that day to reacquaint ourselves from so many weeks apart. I had forgotten till the night before that I was due for a blood donation.

As I walk to the front door I was greeted by a helpful worker who asked whether I was a walk in or made an appointment. She was a bit older, gentle eyes and a demeanor that spoke to me and said I have to work here, I want to. I’ve done this before, more times than I can count, but there was a fluttering in my heart developing when she mentioned I should do a double donation. I did so, despite my intuition. As we approached the chair the nurse had asked which side I’d prefer, my right arm was hurting  from my workout the day before so I opted for the latter. The room was clean, full of IV’s and comfortable chairs to lay in, with a kitchen to the side, I felt that the facility had an ambiance of  safety and professionalism. I wasn’t afraid.

Thank you for donating today! She said with a cheery smile. So you’re going for the double donation today correct? All right well first things first, I need to verify some information, what is your name? Your home address? and your birthday? Are you feeling healthy and well this morning? Yes, I replied. All right, let’s get started. My heart was still beating steadfast, but I felt fine from the decision I made.

As I saw the needle being inserted I averted my eyes and thought of a time where pain was a distant memory. It was a quick stinging sensation followed by the cool sensation of blood being drawn. There it was, red, in all it’s form, and feeling the precious resource draining from my body. The machine roaring in the background. I squeezed my hands from time to time, passing the moments with what I could think of  doing on my phone. I felt the cooling wind of the room, my lips were cold and my legs were  starting to chill as well. When did it get so cold? I wondered. It was a slow transition, but slowly…. and slowly, my lips felt like they were being drained from the blood, and I was turning cold. Wow….amazing..I can actually feel it! My heart skipped a beat, and an excitement filled my mind. As the minutes past by, this excitement overwhelmed my body. My hands started to shake profusely and found myself barely being able to use my phone. The room that was safe in my mind, started to shine and gleam with a translucence type of bright light. I called to the nurse, but aloud, I could barely make a whimper.  Nurse…nurr…nurse… can anyone help me? Nothing. They couldn’t hear me.With what seemed an eternity, she came over to check on me, I got a blanket and a heated pouch. It wasn’t helping. My heart was shaking now. It was beating a thousand times a minute. Ok…ok..ok ok ok , calm down…there’s nothing wrong. It’s just blood, it’ll come back. No it won’t….my mind answered. You’re going to have an episode, you’re going to die here, alone..with strangers who don’t care. No…no come on, how can I be taken out voluntarily? It’s impossible! Hahaha I can’t believe it, I laughed nervously. I’m invincible, I’m me. I’m… human, my mind thought. No, no, no I’m, not afraid…I’m ok, I’m ok…I’m ok I’m ok I’m ok…calm down, It’s ok…. god damnit! hahaha I can’t stop… I can’t stop this…but I can! No…no you can’t hahaha… it’s beyond you, it’s not listening, it’s not listening to you, it’s doing it’s own thing! Stop, stop stop stop, you can stop now. I took a deep breathe and my heart followed with it.

Ok! The donation is complete, she said. How are you feeling? I’m.. ok, I can’t stop shaking though haha. Did you eat  beforehand? Drink water? No, I responded. I didn’t really prepare for this, I thought I could just show up. You’re going to be fine, it happens…just try to calm down, we’re here for you, nothings going to happen. Trust me. I held my hand out, it was still shaking. I’m all right, I thought. I’m ok. I’m human. I really am, and I wondered what I was before I realized this. Maybe I was stuck in a naive dream which I didn’t want to wake from. Did they have to give me such a wake up call though? I was just trying to do the right thing here. Guess that’s how life goes, it can’t be helped. I let out a sigh in relief, that was….something. As I opened the door, the sun glared into my eyes….oh man…It’s going to be a hot one.

Solweather

 

I saw a strawberry field. My first memory was the blazing sun,  melting any ambition within us. It was brutal on a new born, just barely catching a glimpse of the world, to see a glare, hardening our eyes…but perhaps that’s what my fate was destined to be, growing where the sun shines most. Why were we working so hard to achieve a life worth living? Why couldn’t my parents have made it this way from the beginning. We’re living in a day made up for people like us. Always hungry, always poor, and always wondering what could have been.

Silence

I just walked out. When I had reached the stairs everything that could be said was and this weight was lifted. I stared back at my coffee maker in the corner still steaming from a fresh pot. The brown wooden contemporary tables where my office stood in the middle of the room. I cracked a smile and with a heavy heart I turned the door to face the rest of my day. With each step my heart grew lighter and as I said goodbye to everyone there were promises of meeting up again. Somewhere in the back of my mind and maybe theirs I knew it wasn’t true. I would never see them again. I was all right. They don’t need me anymore and besides, my car is calling me to get home. The thought of a sunny afternoon under the oak tree held my internal regrets. If I had any that is. I don’t why, but I smiled and kept walking, I can’t agree with what they were doing. In my own way I knew I had to do what was best for me. There was an adventure waiting for me that I hadn’t realized yet. Maybe it was intuition that led me to this moment but I felt great. As I breathed my last breath there I was asked what I would do. “I’m going to go get some rest, travel and find my home again”. Like the wind I was free to do as I please, and with that breeze held a silence that was not obstructed with thoughts. Just a simple breath was all I needed. I got a new job, won at the casino, held a new relationship, and traveled the world. I was tired of staring out the window, I almost lived to hate it, all I saw was me doing all those things but I was stuck at my desk. Now I don’t have to wonder.

 

 

 

 

via Daily Prompt: Disobey

Silver Lining

Silver Lining

“Splendid. Another day is done and I’m at a loss for words. The leaves were withering off the trees as the November rain came pouring in through the season. I walked slowly through the park with leisure. The sound of squirrels rustling through the leaves gave me a sense of quietness.I cracked a smile, however faint it was. What seemed a gloomy day had a silver lining. I had found the reason behind my void and endless vexation. You go through life always believing the most logical and unequivocal sense of reason can guide you to the right answer. As simple as it may sound it’s not always the direct route that guides you to blissful paradise. It’s the opposite. You get courage from your fears right after you go through it.  Trying to protect yourself you end up hurting those that mean the most. Running from terror gets you hurt and embarrassed. Instead…look into it… to face the monsters lurking within your heart. It may sound wrong but it feels right. Just splendid.”

 

 

via Daily Prompt: Lovingly