Does Age Matter? – Part 2: Canada (2010)

And so began our long distance relationship. As soon as Javier landed in Chile, he wrote me a message saying that he missed me. I instantly wrote him back saying I felt the same. And this continued for four months, where not a day went by without an email or a phone call to each other.

The last month I stayed in Mexico, I could think of nothing else but him. I quit my work a few days after Javier left, and hung around for about a month more, going to the beach daily, going to clubs with no real interest for them or the guys I was meeting, and my favorite hobby – running to the internet cafe about three times a day to camera chat with him. I must have been very annoying to my friends as I could hardly talk about anything else. I would sit there for hours discussing one ridiculous plan after another.

“I know he’s young!” I would exclaim, my feet propped up on the wall “But he can move to Canada, can’t he? I mean, why not?”

Jes, but Mia.. He still has university” Pate tried to reason with me, even though she has been the biggest supporter for my romance so far. Pau was much less enthusiastic about it. My mom and brother were on the negative side of the scale.

complicated_1When I put my Facebook status as Complicated, my brother commented that the Mexican sun must have melted my brain completely. I used to poke fun at people who showcased their lame relationship statuses to the world, and now I was one of them.

I would skip happily to a phone booth on the side of my ghetto street like Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, and dial his number in anticipation. However, the conversation was confusing as I had problems understanding him or even finding anything to talk about. I’d confiscate my roomate’s computer and talk to him from my apartment, making sure to return everything to the way it had been, so she wouldn’t get suspicious. I could only think of him and I must have been ridiculously irritating to listen to, but I couldn’t help it.17167850-girl-in-love-vector-illustration

He promised that he would come to Canada as soon as he would get a university break. Sound ridiculous? I’ve learned to ignore that voice that reminded me of our age and culture gap. Maybe he would even move to Canada, he told me. Ecstatic I wrote him that it would be the best thing in the world.

Our so-called relationship continued as I arrived to Canada. At times it was hard, as I felt like I was missing out on meeting someone real, but I avoided meeting someone else, because I didn’t want to lose this beautiful romance he and I have created. Other times,  I felt like he was distant and was already tired of this ‘complicated relationship’. For those of you who don’t know, Toronto is about twelve hours away from Santiago de Chile. To say this was a looong distance was an understatement. It was four months of anticipation, excitement, torture and yearning.

Finally, he arrived. I have imagined our meeting just as I had imagined seeing Stefan again. Me, running into his arms in some beautiful silky dress as people around us turned around to watch the young couple reunited. Instead I arrived at an empty gate, and sat there staring at the boards, until suddenly I noticed him standing by the bathrooms. Yep, definitely not the Notebook.

He came for three weeks to live with me in a little basement apartment, that my Peruvian friend Karime rented out to us. To say it was little was no understatement: there was a tinsy kitchen right near the miniature living room and the one room that filled me with joy was the bedroom. The bed was the biggest thing in the entire place.

Gloomy Toronto from Javier’s Camera

By this point, all of my friends were extremely excited about the arrival of my Chilean boyfriend, as they have seen numerous photos of him and all thought he was gorgeous. To them it seemed like a fairy tale. With some minor mishaps, of course…

At first it was magic. He was here! In my apartment! I could finally touch him without feeling the coldness of the computer screen. I could finally kiss him and have him kiss me back! Here was this cute boy and he was physically with me. I could walk with him in the streets proudly as everyone would turn. We would wander around at night with a bottle of tequila and have sex in the craziest places. We would talk about everything as we did on the computer. We could go dancing together, where all my friends would stare in jealousy!

On the second thought, maybe not

On the second thought, maybe not

Or maybe not.

I have built my hopes up from this wonderful vision of Javier to such an extent that it was pretty painful falling down from Cloud number 9. All was perfect for about three days. Should I say perfect? I meant to say good. I was very much drawn to him and it was beyond exciting to have him in the same bed with me every night. We went out with my brother and his friends to the Guvernment nightclub and both my brother and his girlfriend loved him. The girlfriend even went so far as to mention how “ridiculously good looking he was” with wide eyes. I lay in his arms on the couch simply looking into his eyes and feeling happy.

And we had nothing to talk about.

We would walk the streets in half silence, most of it desperately filled by me who could not for the life of me understand why after virtually talking for all this time, he had nothing to say to me in person. I blamed it on jet lag for the first day. He must be tired, I thought. But then the second and the third day proved to be the same. We were fine as we lounged about in bed, but as we stepped outside of the house, a wall of silence came between us and my chattering seemed pointless and meaningless. It was almost as if he had no desire to talk to me.

The third day I had to work as an extra on a commercial and he went to sign up for a Muay Thai class, as he was seriously into martial arts. As we walked, he asked me to pay for something the next time and I blew up. I have been paying for him most of the time now. I understood that he was a young guy who worked in a restaurant for hardly anything to save up money for this trip, but I also wanted to feel like a girl. Besides, he was from a rich family that provided him with money to spend in Canada. Silence fell upon us again and I knew he was angry. We parted on bad terms and I walked the rest of the way, crying. I cried because I still liked him. I cried because he was not what I expected and because I 11804felt so stupid for living in a fantasy.

During the endless set, I started to miss him to the point of sickness. After all, he had been so far away all this time and now he was finally here, within my reach. I ran home just as soon as were wrapped. He waited for me outside, sleeping on the bench just outside of the house. I kissed him on the cheek, grateful he waited for me.

“I brought you some food from set!” I said.

“Hmm.. ok thanks” he grumbled. He ate the food without looking at me and then walked off to bed. I was left speechless. I climbed in with him. He kissed me on the cheek, good night, and turned around.

I lay there immobile, staring angrily at a spot in the room. We have not seen each other for months and this is what I receive? A chaste kiss goodnight?

I tossed and turned, trying to draw his attention, but that did nothing. I then, started to sigh very loudly and finally he turned around.

Que pasa?

Nada” I said angrily. He turned back around and fell right back to sleep.

I was so angry, I couldn’t sleep so I sauntered off into the living room and sat on the couch crying. Soon, he shuffled in the room, a blanket on his wide shoulders.

“Mia, what is wrong?” he asked annoyingly, his voice raspy from tiredness.

“What is wrong?” I asked. “I haven’t seen you for months and this is what you give me, a kiss?”

“Why can’t I give you a kiss?”

“You didn’t even look at me!” I yelled not caring if anyone heard or not. “I feel like I’ve been married to you for years and you’ve only been here for a few days!”

He sighed, exasperated. “I don’t know why you’re so angry. Come back to bed.”

I was reluctant at first, then thinking I may have made a big deal over nothing came back and lay near him. He pressed me against him, hard. Did crying girls really turn him on?

Sex with Javier was average. That is to say that I felt nothing during sex, but I was so attracted to him and couldn’t help but stare at the way he held me and how powerful he seemed at the moment. That is the thing that kept me drawn to him. I wanted him to want me. It was as simple as that and the less he wanted me, the more I inevitably craved his attention.

I am not sure if he enjoyed having regular sex. It seemed that he was out to prove himself or try something new, rather than to have a genuine time with me. He would get turned on watching me exercise. The dresses that seemed to impress him so much in Mexico, had little effect on him now as he couldn’t even pick one that he wanted me to wear for a night out. It’s ok, he would say, shrugging. However, the evening I came out of the room in my short shorts, tied up tank and a pony tail, he instantly grabbed me from behind and started kissing my neck. He pushed me on the table and had cheap porno sex with me. He loved pink underwear, which made me think he had watched too much teen porn and which was made especially evident when I saw it pop up on his computer. Why would he pick me then? I definitely was not a teenager anymore.

He once made me watch porn with him, which just got me uncomfortable and eager to play along. The other time, he tied me up to the bed and tied my eyes with a bra that kept on sliding down my face making it hard to breathe. I then heard clinking from the

the infamous scene from the movie. A must see!

the infamous scene from the movie. A must see!

refrigerator as he decided to do a Nine and a Half Weeks and seduce me with ice. It was just very cold and uncomfortable, but once again – I played along.

However, we never again had sex outside. I tried to persuade him to take a walk to the Casa Loma with a bottle of tequila, but he no longer had any interest for anything exciting. In fact, for a few days towards the end of his stay, we did not have sex for three days. One night, instead of going to my friends’ house, he wanted to watch The Kite Runner. I fell asleep on his shoulder because the movie must have been three hours long. I could have gone to bed, but I thought that maybe that night we would finally have sex. Without any consideration for me, he did not bother turning off the screen. No, he finished watching the movie until the end, even crying at the sad parts, as I stared at him curiously and then sauntered off to bed, wishing me a good night.

That night was not good.

I screamed at him so much I even scared myself. What was wrong with him that he didn’t want to have sex with me? Why did he even come to Canada? He could stay in Chile and communicate with me virtually. That clearly seemed to work better for him. What did you say? Speak English – I yelled. When he left outside, I wailed so loud it seemed there were no more tears left in me. I used to be fun, I told him.  You made me into this crazy girl with the way you’re acting. He slept on the couch.

In the morning I left to my mom’s house and stayed overnight. I came back calm and collected. This was the last time I begged for sex. This was also the last time I changed my plans just to watch a movie with him or even better, watch him sleep.

Now, instead of craving his attention, I lay on the bed reading, ironically a book titled It’s Called a Breakup Because it’s Broken.

“Is that a hint?” he asked.

He was all over me like a cat: touching my knees, staring at me, not leaving my side for one second and wanting to get my attention.

The time he didn’t want to go to the pool with me,  I went by myself without a complaint, and when as I climbed into the shower to wash off, he climbed in with me.

It is not as if we didn’t have any good times. We did. But most of his stay was defined by me crying. I came home in a cloud of tears and anger every time I visited my mother. He talked about other girls. He didn’t treat me as a woman. He no longer talked about living in Canada; rather he now discussed moving to Australia. He didn’t look at me in the same way he did in Mexico and he never gave me any compliments.

He clearly was in love with the idea of the movie he created in his head. And now, seeing as how the movie turned into real life, he no longer wanted any part of it. Every morning I cried as I looked at his sleeping face: puffed up lips and disheveled blond hair. I didn’t want to lose him. I couldn’t imagine what I would now look forward to. But by the end of his stay, I was tired. He drained me emotionally. I no longer felt beautiful and my eyes didn’t glow. I felt and looked down. And the more I tried to revert to my fun and carefree self, the more desperate I looked.

I went through sadness, to anger, to pure indifference. Leave, I thought. There was nothing left for us to do now. Our last night in the club he asked me if I saw any future for us. I nearly laughed. Future?

No, I told him, you are too young to know what you want and I am too mature to feel like less than a woman. And I would like to date someone who can make me feel that way.

That night we had sex for the very last time.

I walked him in the airport and stood there, not knowing what to say.

“Well” he said awkwardly “Thank you for everything”

That is all he had to say to me. Really.

I kissed him on the lips. “Safe trip” I said and turned around and walked out of the airport.

I had nothing more to say to him either.

He later wrote me an email apologizing for the way he has acted, telling me how special I was and asking me if we could still stay in contact after all that happened.plane-taking-off

We still sometimes write to each other though we have not remained real friends, per ce. I still think of Javier with humor more than anger or any other negative emotion. He was what he was, a dreamy young boy and I was the one who should have been responsible for knowing that. After all, I was six years older.

But at least he turned twenty when he was in Toronto.


Does Age Matter? – Part 1: Mexico (2010)

My swift vacation romance with a younger guy that turned into a long distance relationship. I guess the sun can really melt your brain!

I slammed the phone shut and angrily stared in front of me as I walked. The friends I was supposed to meet did not show up and now they were not answering the call that must have cost me a fortune.

I have now been in Playa del Carmen for  two months and the animator position at a resort that seemed so wonderful in my dreams was in reality truly exhausting. In

the opinion of drunk American tourists, most of whom came to Mexico to escape winter,

me, in a hideous purple wig

me, in a hideous purple wig

playing volleyball with the guests must have been the best job ever. Sometimes it was. Most of the time though, smiling and constantly interacting with people, eating with them, performing in front of them and always being on drained me to no extent. Apart from the day off, we had zero time to ourselves. At first the two hour break we received in the middle of the day seemed perfect for tanning on the beach. Lately, I would use this time to curl up on the stage behind the curtain feeling true bliss. Then the cell phone would buzz that hateful sound and I was back to entertaining, which never seemed to end.

santiago-lrgThankfully, I made two wonderful friends: Paula and Patricia, whom I called Pau and Pate, both hilarious and straight to the point. This was also doubled by the fact that they spoke less than adequate English and I spoke average Spanish: so we conversed in Spanglish. And let me tell you, when you are limited in a language, you can’t help but be straight to the point.

Pau was a skinny rich girl who left her home in Mexico City to try something new, while Pate was a busty, sarcastic girl from a small town, Celaya that she has always wanted to escape, because ‘is so boring!‘. Both lived across from me in a shared apartment. We would usually yell to each other through the window, which was ultimately heard by the entire animation team who also shared the complex with us. Tonight, they promised they would meet me at Mandala, a big electronic club, but didn’t show. Had I gone home as usual, I would have seen their note in the bathroom which told me about their change of plans, but for the first time, I had gone straight into the city.

Now feeling lost and angry I stared into space, until a tall and blond silhouette appeared in my vision.

Hola, como estas?” He said.

I blinked. He was a tall, curly blond guy with light blue eyes, full lips and light skin. He was of an athletic build and looked slightly French. How was it possible that he spoke any Spanish? He did not at all resemble anyone who might be from South America.

This guy bears UNCANNY resemblance to Javier

To my grand surprise, it turned out he was. Javier was from Chile and was in Mexico for a weekly vacation with his family and his half brother Cristian, who was sitting in the bar. His brother definitely looked a lot more Latin with his contrasting dark eyes and skin. They were leaving in two more days. This fact didn’t faze me.  Especially here in Playa, where hardly anyone stayed for more than a week.

Playa by Night

Javier invited me for a drink, which turned out to be a bottle of rum that his brother and he took from their hotel. Seeing as how my friends weren’t showing and I was slightly attracted to him, I agreed. He was relaxed, had an easy demeanor and did not try to impress me in the least. He seemed very genuine and I felt comfortable with him. And OK, he was very attractive, though for some reason, this only kicked in later.

After drinking a bit of rum, we went to an underground bar to dance salsa. Turned out, I was much better at salsa than he was and by the looks of others, they thought it too. They must have thought I was a Mexican, trying to teach an American how to dance. He was so white and I looked so dark, it really confused even me.

After we danced, Javier and I sat on the chairs talking.

“How old are you?” He asked in his soft Spanish accent.

“Twenty-five” I said. “I just turned twenty-five” I corrected. “And you?”

“I am almost twenty”

I think I must have either squealed with laughter or put my head in my hands in shame. He was a child! And as it would later turn out, almost twenty meant nineteen and a half. I was a cradle robber. Not that I have done anything yet, but I was definitely thinking of it.

Craddle robber indeed

Cradle robber indeed

However, as many of you know, your vacation mind is not exactly the same as your everyday one. You do not assess the person with as strict of a check mark list as you do in real life. In Canada I had to make sure the guy had a career, goals and was my age or older. Maybe one or two years younger. But six? My vacation mind told me that I was just having fun and none of it would last, so why worry?

He walked me to the end of the street, as we waited for my taxi and leaned it to kiss me. There were no crazy fireworks. Just a nice and soft kiss which I knew was coming.  We agreed to see each other the following night.

The next night was just as fun as we danced on the beach, kissed and laughed. I wouldn’t say I was falling for him, but I definitely enjoyed spending time with him.

The last night of his stay, I invited my friends to come out with us. Having heard endless stories of Javier to the point where they couldn’t take it anymore, they were interested in finding out who I was so interested in. Exhausted from work, I almost didn’t wake up as they screamed through my window. All I wanted to do was sleep. Unwillingly, I got myself up. I have worked for thirteen hours, and it was eleven, but he was leaving the next day. I had to see him.

“He’s gorgeous” said Pau and Pame in unison. Before this statement, I mostly saw Javier as a cute guy who I had a fun time with. Now I looked him over. He really did look like some sort of an Abercrombie model with his toned and muscular body and a sexy pout that would get all the fifteen year old girls excited.

After dancing in the beach club, the Blue Parrot, the girls said they were exhausted and needed to sleep. I was beyond exhausted as well, but I didn’t want to go. Javier took my hand and pressed it against his chest.

“Please don’t go” he said.

“Okay” I agreed. “I’ll stay”

We went walking on the beach. Heavy rain started and we decided to go swimming in our

This is romantic only in the movies

This is romantic only in the movies

underwear. I, as usual, didn’t plan my choice of underwear so it was mismatched: a black bra with flowery panties. Without his shirt, Javier really did have a six pack.

I walked in the water and he followed me. We attempted kissing each other,  which was made difficult by the splashing waves of salty water on our faces. I gotta say, it definitely looks a lot more romantic in the movies.

The rain got heavier and we climbed up onto the covered lifeguard chair. Our kissing turned into more kissing and suddenly he was removing my bra and we were having sex. Let me be honest here: yes, it looked ideal, just the way I’ve always imagined it, but here was the thing – I didn’t really enjoy it. We were slippery, it was a bit awkward and it felt too rushed. Not only that, we never finished as there,in the midst of all this rain, appeared a couple who decided that kissing each other right near the lifeguard chair would be a superb idea. Javier and I sat naked, laughing at the ridiculousness of the situation. I mean, could they really not find any more space on this gigantic stretch?

I put on my wet blue dress and took my sand filled shoes into my hand. The taxi dropped me off and we kissed each other goodbye. I didn’t invite him in, firstly because I had roommates and then, just because there was no point in prolonging this. He was leaving the next day.

My next day went along as usual. During the Playacar bike tour, which consisted of me in

Something like that

Something like that

an ugly helmet making up a whole bunch of history about the ruins, in order to entertain the tourists who were too lazy to leave the hotel zone, I thought of him. I felt a bit empty that he left. The time with him, though short, was genuine and fun and now I felt alone.

The day after, I came in to our morning meeting with the animators only to see the headline of the paper Terremoto en Chile. Had there been an earthquake? I asked one of the guys. Apparently there have been. They even closed down the airports, or something, someone else said.. though it could be a rumor.chile-quake-headline_645x400-2

I was playing darts, or rather watching people miss the bull’s eye and feeling insanely bored as well as nursing a sick throat, when a short stocky Mexican security guard came up to me.

Eres Mia?” he asked.

I nodded my head. He told me that were two guys looking for me.

Was one blond? I asked, my eyes widening in disbelief and hope. Could it be him? He was blond, answered the Mexican man with a shrug.

Hands shaking, body shaking, everything shaking I ran to the animator office.

“Mia, can you go collect people for the water aerobics?” Vicente, my boss asked.

“I’ll look on the beach” I said.

He looked me over as if I looked absolutely insane.

“Everything ok?” He asked.

“Of course!” I squeaked looking as if I just snorted Coke.

He gave me a doubtful once-over and turned away.

I ran or rather skipped to the beach thinking: is it him? What if it’s not? I don’t want to get myself pumped up for what might be a mistake, because if it’s not him I will be so upset I will die!

Awkwardly standing in the water, shuffling his feet, Javier’s eyes lit up when he saw me approach. I put my hands to my mouth. The older man sitting on the lounge chair smiled at us as if to say ahh, young love! and got more comfortable in his chair to watch this movie meeting.

I ran into him and hugged him around his neck.

“You’re back!” I exclaimed.

“Yes, I wrote you an email, but you didn’t respond. The airports are closed. We’re staying for two more days. It took me so long to get to your hotel, and I didn’t know if you wanted to see me. But I really wanted to see you.”

“Why didn’t you know if I wanted to see you?” I asked.

“Cristian. He told me it was just sex. That I should let it go and not act so romantic” he smiled.

“Your brother knows nothing” I laughed. “Come to my place tonight. I will meet you outside of the apartment”

I kissed him and turned around to walk to the hotel. The old man and a couple of others seemed happy they got to watch a free show.

“Ju so lucky, Mia!” exclaimed Pate in her deep, raspy, accented voice, when I told her the story. “I wish someone would do zes to me! Is so nice to have a boy come back for you!”

“Well he didn’t come back just for me! He kind of had to come back, because of a huge tragedy..” I added.

“Does not matter. Que romantico!” she clapped her hands together in excitement.

That night, I ran home just to see him. I was so elevated by the thought that he was still there, near my apartment, that he didn’t leave and that we could continue whatever this was for a few days more.

I got out of the taxi in my red polo shirt and black skirt, which were the evening uniform of the animators.

“You’re late, Mia” He grumbled. “ I waited here for an hour. There are some wild dogs in your neighborhood, you know?”

I lived in a ghetto neighborhood, where the houses had broken windows, the dogs roamed feraldogs_0the streets (I almost got attacked by a pack of wild dogs once) and the only taco joint in the neighbourhood had the menu scribbled on the wall. Our white building also looked like it had been bombed during the war.

“Sorry!” I exclaimed. “I practically ran here!”

I brought him upstairs to my apartment, which I shared with two Mexican girls: Ana and Karla and a loud French-Canadian girl Cara. Unfortunately all were there, as well as Karla’s brother and boyfriend. I quickly introduced Javier to all of them and whispered under my breath.

“Ok, we need another place to stay”

Thankfully, Pate and Pau were going to sleep anyways, so they let us stay in their living room. Javier and I talked for hours and now I saw a new side to him. He was a lot more manly and non-nonchalant than I gave him credit for and I was very attracted to this new sarcastic and masculine side that I saw. It was a few hours before we actually got to having sex. He quite dominating this time as he held my by the throat and whispered “shh” when I made noises. And I was a lot more attracted to him.

I fell asleep sometime in the early morning, after I kissed him goodnight through the gate.

The next day was brutal. I had to somehow function on about three hours of sleep, I was

I am one of the pink 'things'

I am one of the pink ‘things’

still sick, and we had a dreaded Disney show that we had to perform in every Monday. One of the reasons we dreaded the show so much was because should (God forbid) one of us forget a costume or mess up, we were denied our night off. And the bosses really seemed to enjoy taking our so-called privileges away from us. In fact, one of the very first shows I was in, I misplaced my knife costume. Yes, I was a black thing with a huge silver knife on my head for Beauty and the Beast. What did my boss do? He told me I would have no night off. I didn’t like that? There was the door.

Sick and tired, I had to go through the day and try to stay alive for the night when I could spend my last moment with Javier. The night finally came. We went dancing on the sand and by the end, I sat on his knees staring into his eyes.

Blue Parrot

“You’re so beautiful” he told me. Javier wasn’t your typical Latin man. He didn’t just throw words around. So when he said something, he must have meant it.

“I want to see you” he said, his sky blue eyes widening.

“After Mexico. I don’t want to lose you.”

“Me neither!” I exclaimed. I felt that we had something special and that even though we had such an enormous age gap, maybe our connection could erase that. Now, writing this, I realize just how ridiculous this must have seemed from the outside: a younger guy from South America, who has not even finished university and who in reality, was not so mature, to move to Canada? To do what?

At that moment, however, our feelings and the ideal Mexican background added to this perfect illusion of our international romance. After all, what is not perfect about the smell of the ocean, the tropical air on your skin, the slow Spanish music, tanned and relaxed (at least on his part) people, and the sad yet beautiful finality of our romance?

We must have watched too many movies.1452175945_1367036341

Maybe I created some of this illusion because I wanted it, but at this moment I truly wanted to be with Javier. I wanted to see him again. And on the plus side, no one has ever gone such a distance to be with me. Stefan included. (Read the German)

I brought him back to my apartment. Actually, he carried me back because my feet were full of blisters. I opened up a bed in the living room, so that my roommates wouldn’t see me.. until the morning, when they had to pass by us on the way to work. We talked and talked, for hours again, and he only made a move on me by the early morning where I was too tired to keep my eyes open. My roommates must have seen him because Cara later told me that there was a beautiful boy in my bed. What, how did he get there!? I laughed.

I had a day off. We went to the beach,swam in the salty water one last time, and then he kissed me goodbye. I sat on the sand and cried. I cried and cried on my way to the telephone booth where I called my mom and mumbled the story to her through my tears.

“So how old is he?” she asked, her voice full of concern. I tell my mom everything and after Mistake #1 she didn’t expect Mistake #2 to come so quickly.

“He’s nineteen.. but he’s really mature!”

I heard laughing on the other side of the phone from both my mom and my brother who was listening on the other line.

“He’s how old?” she asked again. “Don’t tell me you’re serious.. and what are you going to do with this child?”

“I don’t know.. We will work something out.” I yelled angrily, wiping the tears with my free hand. We would, I thought. We would make it work somehow. People had long distance relationships and they found a way to stay together. And he is younger… so what? Did age really matter in the grand scheme of things?

The answer is: yes. And yes.