Soulful Painter – The Cuban (2014)

portrait-painting-salsa-dancing-lr

Where did old-fashioned romance go?

My big camera slung over my sweaty blue halter top, I walked through the crowded club to the bar stand.

My Macedonian friend Ilena and I have just arrived to Cuba, on what I called the lame touristy vacation for Canadians. We were staying in the resort, drinking sugary Mojitos, Pina Coladas and cervezas (favorite foreigner word, usually accompanied by mispronounced dos); eating a variety of semi bland food and lounging by the beach with a book in our hands. All in all, it wasn’t so bad. All we needed was a mindless vacation and Cuba was the cheapest option.

Within fifteen minutes of arriving to the club, Ilena was already dancing close with a buff, dark Cuban. She seemed to have a thing for Pitbull lookalikes.

Dale! Mr. Worlwide

Dale! Mr. Worldwide. Mr.305

I told myself I would never get involved with a Cuban here. In fact, I brought my camera just so I could film an episode on the Cuban Lover and his pursuit of foreign, mainly Canadian women, as a way to get a green card. I thought these women were slightly pathetic and couldn’t fathom why they couldn’t see through all this romantic crap.

Now, walking through the club, I noticed quite a lot of attractive guys. Men from Argentina, Germany, Canada and yes, Cuba. But there was one guy that really got my attention. Tall, light eyed and dark haired, with broad shoulders and full lips. Yes, he was attractive, but there was also something quiet and serene about him. I literally craned my neck to look at him, but he barely noticed me among the crowd of people.

I looked for him, but realized it made no sense to search for someone I didn’t even know and focused on dancing. Just as soon as I did, BAM, I turned around and there he was! Seems that when you let things go, they somehow happen naturally.

What did he do? Well, instead of dancing like pretty much everyone else in the club, he just stood there – staring at the big TV screen, his arms crossed in front of him. Ilena and her dark man kept on grinding closer and closer to us. It soon turned out that the light eyed boy was friends with her Pitbull.

“Why aren’t you dancing?” I asked to him finally, yelling over the reggaeton.

“Oh, I do not like this music” He answered in bad English, then “You are Spanish?”

” Russian” I said, leaving out the Canadian part “And you?”

“I am Cuban”

Of course. He had to be. 

“Christian.” He stuck his hand out instead of kissing me on the cheek. “Mia”, I answered.

There we were – a foreigner and a Cuban. I was now becoming a victim of my own documentary. However, that didn’t stop me from dancing with him. At first he didn’t even hold my hand and danced at a distance, but soon we were close together, moving to the sounds of Cuban salsa. Christian wasn’t very good at salsa. He would turn me around awkwardly which would lead me to either hit him by accident or awkwardly shuffle around, unsure about which way to move. Sure, Cuban Salsa was different from the one I was familiar with, but I was starting to feel sure this white-washed boy wasn’t the epitome of a Cuban Lover.

We literally danced the night away, and with the words “Be careful, I might kiss you”, he did. So we danced and kissed some more.

At the end of the night, Ilena and her Pitbull – Mario, as well as Christian and I decided to head to the beach. There, as I conversation consisted of (let’s be honest here) not much, I still enjoyed the feeling of his big hands furiously trying to keep me warm, his gentle light eyes and his presence overall. I have been boyfriend-less for too long.

“You know” he told us “It’s not that I hate Cuba. I only wish I could see other countries to compare it to. How can you love something when you don’t know anything else?”

abstract-art-floral-tree-landscape-painting-fresh-blossoms-by-madart-megan-duncansonHe was an abstract artist, who lived in a city next to Varadero. He had a gallery opening in Havana the following week, but even so, he could only dream of leaving. We were told of a raffle where only a handful of people were allowed to leave the island. With the Miami lights so close, they could possibly feel them, Cubans were under the constant presence of America and the feeling of missing out on that something. Later, I learned they had barely any access to the Internet, let alone Facebook or Youtube. Most of the food was rationed by the government, meat was in very short supply,  many places denied.. with the majority people earning as little as thirteen dollars a month.

Barely four hours apart on a plane, Christian’s world and mine were vastly different. My regular conversations about travelling seemed out of place here. When I told him I was going to New York the following week, he could only look at me in awe. He has never even left the island. I instantly regretted mentioning the trip, but he wasn’t stupid. He knew I had the ability to travel the world; that most people did.

Havana

Havana

The first night Ilena and I went to sleep at 5 am and so continued the rest of our sleepless nights with the Cubans. During the day, we would lounge on the beach, reading a book, drinking coconuts filled with rum and of course filming. However, the interviews with the Cubans turned out to be quite fruitless. Most would easily talk about their sex appeal, sabor and the love of life and women, but when it came time for something more controversial, they grew uncomfortable. A bunch of lifeguards told me off camera that while some of the Cuban men did indeed fall for the tourists, many used the opportunity to leave the country. If there was a choice between a Cuban woman and a foreigner, the foreigner always won.

At night, I wished we could have turned the camera towards ourselves. Here we were – two Canadians, out with Cubans. We were embarrassed to even mention this anyone else.  Since there was no real conversation to be had, besides translation and simple dialogue, Ilena was only interested in Mario sexually. Christian seemed interested in me as a person – constantly asking questions. However, even though I spoke Spanish, our conversation was still painful.  Most of the time, I felt like an ESL teacher, taking a vacation from my teaching job, only to be teaching again – this time for free.

The first night they took us to a rock bar where foreigners screamed along to Alanis Morisette and ACDC. Ilena and I exchanged ironic looks before reverting back to our Cubans for more kissing and ESL. We then took a stroll in a night park, as if were on a high school double-date. Next night, they met us at an outdoor bar with roses, and Christian didn’t even let me get up to get a water. He wanted to do everything for me.

Maybe I was just another tourist for him, but I felt like it meant more. The way he gently and carefully touched me, the way his eyes looked at me… In a short while I grew used to him and he started to feel more like a boyfriend. That’s vacation for you. One week and you are in a serious relationship. Was I crazy over him? No. I wish I could have felt something resembling the Franko (see Puerto Rican) attraction, but in a way I was glad. There would never be a future for this. Even if I desperately wanted it. I would not be the Canadian girl I talked about. Nor did he want anyone’s help in leaving, he mentioned.

After the fourth night together, I got into the taxi with a veil of tears covering my eyes. We were seeing each other every day now, going to different clubs to dance. I loved his attention, his touch, his affection. That night he came to see me after sleeping for three hours. He had no strength to dance, only to watch me dance and hug me to him. He called my hotel room five times before I picked up. He told me he didn’t have any money to go out, nor did he like it, that it was the only way for him to see me. He didn’t try to grope me or attempt to have sex with me for five days. They were simple things, really, but they felt romantic.

“Look at yourself” said Ilena and our new friend Anna “We should put your camera back on you. Mia, we are here for a week! He knows you are here for a limited time, you know it. How do you know he didn’t do this before?”

“But I feel that it means something more” I pleaded. I knew I would leave, but I didn’t want to feel like I was one of many.

“What do you want? To take him to Canada?”

“Of course not! I just want it to be meaningful.”

“Then it is”

On Friday, Christian was coming to pick us up to take us to his city. He came an hour early and was hanging out by the hotel in some hideously bright shirt. Apparently he had the taxi waiting for us for a whole hour, after which we switched to a communal truck full of Cubans eyeing us with interest (and the Puerto Rican towel I randomly brought with me).

204bike_riding_learningHis city was not actually a city.  Roosters and horses took over the dirt road. Kids ran around shoeless. Crowds of people lounged around gossiping. We were in a full blown Cuban village. Christian’s mother worked in the airport (and was at work when we arrived), so he was from a fairly wealthy family. Even so, the house he brought us in really left an imprint on me. Mismatched furniture, Disney Princess pillows (even though they had no kids), rusty rocking chairs on the porch, random posters, a fridge filled with cans of all sizes… Granted, he had a flat screen TV and a laptop, so I suppose he definitely was from a higher class, but it couldn’t in any way compare to the Franko’s modern condo I last visited in San Juan. The two islands were so close but miles away in terms of development.

We ate mayo filled pasta and watched the home videos of shy teenage Christian, after which we headed for the beach were he took me snorkelling just off the shore. We swam past amazing underwater corals and caves, surrounded by big fish and I at that moment I genuinely felt happy.

Maybe many Cubans were unsatisfied with their life, but at least they lived closer to the nature and were more in touch with their bodies. Sun kissed, barely dressed, with fragrant tropical air filling their nostrils. It is no wonder romance and sexuality came so easy to them.

After making out all over the beach and water region, we finally decided to head back to his place. Ilena and I knew what it would entail. We have been thinking about it the whole week. During the day, she would proudly tell me she wasn’t planning on having sex with Mario; that she didn’t see the point. One or two drinks later, she was falling into her hands and talking about ravishing his body.

So yes, we knew what was happening.

They left almost immediately under the pretence of ‘sleep’ and I nervously hung around on the porch barefoot. Chickens clucked outside, kids ran around, the warm Caribbean sun warmed my darkened skin and I felt more carefree that I had in a long time. He came out of the shower, his hair wet and a towel around his hips. His gorgeous green eyes were brightened by the sun and he looked like he should be on the cover of a magazine, except he didn’t seem aware of it. I took the shower and began putting cream on while sitting on his bed. He sat near me. Soon enough we started kissing, with Sarah Mclachlan singing in the background.

Yes, my dear readers.  He put Sarah Mclachlan on to seduce me. Ilena told me she got Celine Dion.

I wish I could describe to you just how incredibly sexy he looked at the edge of the bed, as he looked down at me. Then he was on top of me, pinning me down to bed.  As kissed my body, I couldn’t help but stare at him and the tattooed underside of his muscles. He looked sensual and impish at the same time.

However, just as he was about to come, he stopped.

I turned to him “What’s wrong?”

His eyes were red. I continued asking, until I realized what he wanted to say.

“I really like you too” I told him and he hugged me tight to him. I don’t know how I figured he wanted to say this, except the incident reminded me of Luiz (see the Portuguese). Christian told me afterwards that the moment was really intense for him and he almost couldn’t continue. I know most of you will say “what a pussy”. Maybe he was. I guess an artist and a Latin create a hyper sensitive combination. But what about the men in North America who are too scared to look desperate, to feel needy, to look anything, so they put up a tough front? What is better?

Afterwards, he wanted to show me the sunset. We ran through the village, so we wouldn’t miss the sun going down and it seemed like the entire village stared at us. I felt like I was in a chick flick, but it seemed like the whole trip could have been filmed. I suppose the all inclusive package includes the romantic encounters tailored to fit your preferences. This for me, was probably one of the most favourite parts of the trip. The feeling of freedom and youth, the sun-kissed skin, the boy at my side.cuba sunset

He hugged me from behind as we watched the sunset and told me “I think no matter what, it is important to take time to watch the sunset”. However, not only do we not watch the sunset in North America, but we hardly look up from our phones on the way to work.

After our walk, we made more pasta.

“What do you think I need to put in pasta?” he asked me.

“What do you have? Mushrooms?”

“No..”

“Tomatoes”

“No tomatoes right now.’

“Ok, well do you have olive oil?”

“Mia, you are in Cuba. Don’t forget” he smiled.

“Just give me the cheese and ham then.” I offered.

Ilena and Mario came back from their ‘sleep’ and as I ran out to greet them with “Mi casa es su casa”, Ilena announced that I was probably drunk. When we moved the furniture to dance salsa, she said Christian was drunk also. I told her I was high on life, which she used to mock me consistently from that point onward.

I stayed at his house, but Mario whose crazy mother only let him host Cuban girls, denied Ilena to spend the night. He ended up taking her back. Christian’s bed was not comfortable, but I wanted to stay with him. As we lay side by side, he told me “You know, you put life back in me? I was not doing too good but you made me feel hopeful. I don’t know what will happen, but even if I don’t see you again, I don’t ever want you to change. You are really beautiful to me.”

“Will you come say bye to me at the airport?” I asked.

“Of course” he hugged me. “Thank you for asking me”

We fell asleep to the sound of the ocean. By the ‘sound of the ocean’, I mean a sound track he plays in order to fall asleep. The guy lives near the beach and plays ocean music.

Anyways.

The next morning we went back to the hotel, where he hung out on the beach since he was not allowed to go any further. At the end, I was tired of lying in the blistering sun and kissing him every two minutes, as he would stare at me soulfully. I missed laughing with the girls and speaking fast English with lots and lots of slang!

So when he finally went home I breathed out. I needed a bit of a break!

That night Mario bailed on Ilena(with work as his excuse), making her extremely mad and cursing “My Heart Will Go On” that played from a speaker on our way to the restaurant.

“He ruined Celine Dion for me!” she mock cried.

Christian had managed to ‘get’ the money to go to a club with me (most likely from his mom, since there are no drug dealers to be had) but I told him I would meet him on the hotel beach. The poor guy came for two hours. He was burning up with a fever, but he sat by me as I practically fell asleep on his chest. He offered I go home with him, but I declined. I didn’t want him spending money he didn’t have and I loved the feel of my hotel bed.

Ilena told me she was convinced he cared for me . While she was hesitant at first, she grew to like Christian and his open feelings for me. She called us the over-the-top romantic couple or Aventura (a famous Bachata band) and said we could be annoying as hell.

He was at the airport the next day. I wrote him a letter Ilena poked fun at in the bus (since it was written in a red pen and on the pages of my girly diary..) I knew he would appreciate it, especially because I was sure he would do something similar.

Mario worked at the airport so he was there, trying to make peace with Ilena, who was starting to behave like an angry Cuban woman.

“I don’t want to talk to him!” she told me and marched right past him. But as soon as he created a separate line for us and gave her a rose over the counter, her anger began to melt. My face with a huge smile plastered on it didn’t help either. I mean the guy made a separate line for us! Some Canadians followed us, only having to move to the next one right after.

Soon after, as her and Mario were kissing and discussing the difference between shorts and pants,there was an announcement that the flight was delayed by two hours. Excited, Christian offered to go to his house. The idea was crazy, yet kind of sane, since all my luggage was already on the way.

There we were again. Chickens, children, beautiful sunset, me with my huge bag and jeans. I met his mother, who hugged me and fed me with the most fattening food ever, consisting of mayo, deep fried fat (yes), fries and a milkshake.

“If you stayed here and ate that, you would become like the rest of the Cuban girls – fat” he told me. “And then I would stop liking you!” he added as a semi joke.

my arteries!

my arteries!

His mom had beautiful light green eyes and I felt like we were all a family. With the same dark hair, green/blue eyes and tanned skin, we definitely resembled each other in a slightly creepy way. We chatted on the porch, and I even got some time along with Christian to lock the door and have sex for one last time.

I know he spent his last money on the taxi to the airport, but he wouldn’t accept my money and when time to leave arrived – he put his sunglasses on. I burst out crying in front of a customs officer who seemed to understand. I am sure I am not the only foreigner to leave Cuba in tears. After all, Cubans and foreigners is an old story.

In the airport, I opened the envelope he put into my bag and saw he gave me his ring, a letter written in Spanish and his childhood photo. These were simple gifts that didn’t involve any money, but that were made by hand and that told me he genuinely cared about me. Apparently he wanted to make me a mix CD, but even after collecting all the songs, he had to go to another city just to get the actual disk.

In North America, we have everything but it seems most of us no longer make any real effort to romance each other. Emails are replacing hand-written letters. Facebook chats are replacing emails. Downloaded songs and Youtube links are replacing CDs. We can get flowers on every street corner, deliver them with a click of a mouse and create a custom card in a minute.

But we are too lazy to pick up the phone and call someone to wish them a Happy Birthday. We don’t even need to remember it. Facebook can do both for us.

I will not say I came back enlightened, because that’s a cheesy overstatement. But at least for a little bit, before settling into my routine, I feel like I have gone back in time, back when romance was simple and direct. Back when there was no such thing as “cheesy” or “corny”. Back when we didn’t have to pretend we didn’t care or were the least interested party. Back to when you could simply enjoy the sunset and not worry about Instagraming it later.

I think the women who go to Cuba and fall for the Cubans are not pathetic or desperate, they are just tired. Tired of being independent. Tired of playing games, Tired of the coldness with which they are treated. They want to be seduced, they want to be “the one”, they want to be romanticized. Sure, in men’s opinion, women worked hard to feel independent, but at the end of the day, we all want someone to write us a beautiful romantic letter.letter-from-william-love-1923_love-family-papers001

Not a Facebook message.

 

 

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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.

“When?”
“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.

Mistake # 2: The Mexican Tarzan (2010)

Yet another mistake of mine, as I somehow ended up with a dominant prick I hated yet felt strangely attracted to. I guess if we didn’t like dominance, Fifty Shades of Grey wouldn’t sell so many copies. Please don’t tell me it’s well written!

If you have read some of my other stories, you may remember the mention of my Mexican boss, Vicente.

He was my direct boss whose job was to make sure the animators did not slack off and were on practically every minute. He was an animator himself and has been doing it for a few years back, taking breaks every so often to play basketball.

I hated his guts.

Dark and not very attractive, besides his perfect six-pack, he was crude, machisto and thought he was God’s gift to women. Maybe because he was so confident in himself, or possibly because of that Tarzan-like masculinity, girls were drawn to him like moths to a flame. And not just any girls. Beautiful girls. I watched wide-eyed as he would roar up to the building on his scooter, with yet another girl on the back seat. What did they all see in him?

One night, shortly after I have arrived, I was on my way to the supermarket and saw three

Mhmm, tacos

Mhmm, tacos

of the animators sitting in a taco joint close to our house. Vicente was one of them. We talked a little bit and afterwards he gave me a once over:

“You are welcome to come to my place anytime you want, Mia” he winked.

Repelled by his cockiness I shook my head side to side with a smile. It’s not going to happen, buddy, I thought. Nice try.

He was a boss most of us were intimidated of, as he always looked rough and angry, even if he was making a joke. Most of the guys on the team, Jay included (read the Cuban), looked up to him as if he was their mentor. He did get the girls, after all. With his low and raspy voice, Vicente’s anger scared even me. However, just as soon as he would yell at me, there would come out this other side of him. He would suddenly look at me with that fire in his eyes and I didn’t know how to react.

Once, during a Disney rehearsal, he came up to me as I was waiting behind the curtain and pressed me to the wall. His breath was hot on my neck and I held my breath, not sure if I wanted him to make a move or not. Maybe that was it, I thought. Girls liked the power of the wild animal in him. They liked being so explicitly wanted. And they were curious as to what this Tarzan man would be like in bed.

Hmm...

Hmm…

To my relief, he soon left the team and was replaced by Marcel, a former model who also thought he was God’s gift to women, but who was a lot easier to work with.

I didn’t see Vicente for some time, even though he lived in the same building as me. However, after I quit my job, he volunteered in helping me find another one.

I came by his apartment, uncomfortable to say the least, because I almost didn’t know how to act with him. He was so different. Gentle and funny, he talked to me as we had never talked before. We decided to go to a club so he could talk to the manager for me. They could use me as a dancer, he said.

That night I was exhausted. Now that I quit my job, all I could do was sleep. I had no energy for anything other than talking to Javier (read The Chilean) on the computer and even the beach bored me to no extent. What was there to do but lounge around or pretend to swim in the water, just because it was there? It struck me as odd how obsessed people were with vacations and beach, when it was there and there was no more fun in it.

I forced myself to wake up and get dressed. I needed a job, especially now when I would have to move out of my apartment in a week and I would have nowhere to stay. I wasn’t allowed to stay with my Mexican friends, since they like me, resigned the same day. It was our pact: to make our boss’ life hell as he would struggle to find replacements. After all, not only did I tell him all I thought of him and our working conditions, but I left that very same day. This was our top boss, Pedro. What a prick.

Vicente invited his sister and friend along, which relieved me. Now I wouldn’t have to be

Playa bar

Playa bar

alone with him. The manager was busy, he said when we got to the club, so let’s dance. He took my hand and led me to another corner in the room and I followed him. Suddenly we were dancing close to each other and I could see the fire coming into his dark eyes again. And then I felt him go hard. I should have turned around and left right then and there, but I didn’t. In some strange way I was flattered by the attention he was showing me.

He pushed me down on the stage and kissed me, his hot lusty breath on my face again. It all happened so quickly, I had no time to respond. As soon as he moved away, I got up and ran to the bathroom to register what just happened.

What was I doing? I thought. I need to go home. Or maybe I need a drink.

I walked up to the bar and suddenly spotted one of Pate’s acquantances – Gabriel. Gabriel was a wealthy Mexican from her small city and has lived in Australia prior to coming to Playa where he worked as a bartender. He was very cute and clearly interested in me.

“Can I buy you a drink?” he asked.

“Sure” I said, looking over at Vicente who was at the other end of the room eyeing me suspiciously.

Mr. Tarzan then sauntered over and informed me of their collective decision to go to another club. If I hadn’t known Vicente better, I would even say he actually looked jealous.

“I’ll join you soon” I said, looking over at Gabriel.

Ok, so the question on your mind is what was I even doing talking to these two guys, when I was already involved in a long distance relationship. Haven’t I already mentioned that meeting guys no longer interested me as I was invested in being with Javier?

Yes, it is true. However, we are all human and Mexico can do some strange things to people. This night, I was too relaxed to think straight and that’s what led me to what I to this day regret.

The pool from Gabriel's camera

The pool from Gabriel’s camera

Gabriel wanted to show me the pool bar that he worked in and we walked up the staircase to this beautiful empty lounge where he kissed me. We kissed to the way to the club. And we kissed in the club, with me pressed against him. It felt like we were kissing for hours.

“Do you want to come to my place?” he asked.

“I can’t” I said. I looked over at Vicente, who now was really starting to look dejected and who I actually beginning to feel bad for. A practical side of me took over, thinking that I did need the job, and he was the only one who could help me get it.

“You are leaving?” asked Gabriel who was now looking dejected as well. Well, sorry, I couldn’t please everyone.

I sauntered over to Vicente. “You want to go back?” I asked.

“You had enough of your boy there?” he asked jealously.

“Oh him? He’s a friend of a friend.. something like that.”

“Good friend, I can see” he smiled. “Ok, let’s go.”

It was getting light by the time we reached the complex in the taxi. He paid the driver and we walked upstairs. My room was on the third floor so I had to pass by his on my way up. Then the craziest thing happened.

Vicente, clearly still desiring what he didn’t get, grabbed  me by the waist and pulled me inside. Not knowing how to react I didn’t. I just went along with it.

Stupid, stupid, stupid.

He began kissing me, then he pushed me on his bed.

“What are you doing?” I gasped.

“Don’t worry” he said.

“I don’t want to have sex!” I exclaimed.

“We won’t” he said.

He continued kissing me until I felt something hard in me. He lied! I realized. He tricked me into having sex with him and I was the stupid one now.

“Vicente!” I yelled. “ I told you no”

“You want me to stop?” he asked. “I can stop”

“I.. I don’t know” I murmured. I didn’t know. He has already started so if we stopped now, what would I say this was? Was this sex or was this half sex? I realize that it’s stupid to consider the importance of what this would be titled at the moment I was literally tricked into sleeping with him, but my mind couldn’t stop spinning.

“I can put on a condom” he said and I silently watched as he opened his drawer and took one out. Why didn’t I leave? We continued whatever this was, was it sex or was it rape? I could technically leave, but I was somewhat forced into an intercourse with this man. Who was I kidding? I brought this upon myself. After all, who turns a Mexican guy on, makes out with another one and then goes home with him?

Finally it kicked in  just how ridiculous I was being and told him to stop. Now in a firm no, not a million weak no’s that seemed to have zero effect. He  registered what I said, throwing the condom down with some anger.

“I’m gonna go” I said, straightening my clothes.

“Stay” he said. “Lie down with me.” This was bizarrely turning into Jay, the Cuban, but it was even stranger hearing this from Vicente, who I have never seen anything but angry or horny.

“You know” he said, hugging me to him as I awkwardly positioned myself near him “I always liked you.”

“Uh uh” I said. And a million other girls.

“No, it’s true. I remember you came to this party in this golden dress and I couldn’t take my eyes off of you. I really like you, Mia”

I think my mouth must have dropped. He really liked me? He was my cocky boss who was the ultimate player. Was this a trick to get into my pants yet again?

I left him there and went to my room, lying on my bed for hours, unable to fall asleep. I have never really regretted having sex with someone until now. This felt wrong.

Had I been able to ignore him, maybe I would have somewhat forgot the accident, but as luck would have it, I had nowhere else to stay but his place for the last few days of my stay. He would come into the living room, where I lay curled up on the couch and lower his face to mine. I would keep mine turned sideways so he wouldn’t be able to kiss me. Look at me, he would say. The one time I did, he kissed me.

The next time, I saw him in the club dancing with a girl. She was all over him and I just felt disgusted at the whole thing. Would I now come home just to find him in bed with another girl? It’s not that I care, I told one of my girlfriends, if I didn’t have to live with him.

As I walked in the apartment, I saw her walk out of his room in his jersey. I knocked on the door. I just need a pillow to sleep, I told him. I’ll only be a second.

He asked me to come in. He was sitting in the dark, fully clothed to my relief.

“Why don’t you understand that I want to be with you?” he asked. This was bizarrely turning into a sappy Telenovela.

Who will Maria Gonzalez stay with? The sexy Antonio or the naughty Jorge? Stay tuned!

Who will Maria Gonzalez stay with? The sexy Antonio or the naughty Jorge? Stay tuned!

“I just saw a girl walk out of your room, Vicente! Are you kidding me?”

“We never had sex!” he yelled.

“Listen” I continued, grabbing my pillow and heading for the door “This doesn’t concern me. Sleep with whoever you like. I’m not your girlfriend.”

“But I don’t want you to say that” he said, banging the wall with his fist. “I like you. I want to be with you.”

“Vicente, I have a boyfriend!”

“It didn’t seem like that the time you were with me or that other guy”

“I know. But it’s true. I really like him and I can’t cheat on him again.”

“Can you at least just spend the night with me? I promise I won’t try anything during the night.” He begged, looking like a lost child.

“Okay” I succumbed. “But no funny business!”

He did try to kiss me in the morning, but thankfully, this time I pushed him away. A deal is a deal, I said. He sighed – you are so difficult.

Gabriel also tried to get in contact with me through one of my friends. He would call her phone and ask her if she could bring me along to wherever we were going. He sent me emails asking if we could meet again. I never replied. The thing with these Mexican men was that they were so easily turned on and until they fully got what they want, they would not stop. I knew that once I slept with Gabriel, his interest would quickly fade away. But had I now been able to chose who I would spend that night or rather the morning with, it would be him.

I guess regrets are there for a reason. They teach us a lesson. “Only an insane person would do the same thing and expect a different outcome” Albert Einstein once said and should I continue this trend, I am planning on placing myself into the nearest mental institution for examination.

After all, how many mistakes can I make and still not learn my lesson?

Mistake # 1: The Cuban Energizer Bunny (2010)

The most ridiculous one-night stand of mine, as I worked at a resort in Mexico. It’s true what they say about black guys!

The only reason I include The Cuban in my collection is because it really was one of my first mistakes. To prelude, let me say that I was single for a year, after I broke up with my Russian boyfriend. My love life was literally in crumbles.

I was depressed, bored and sick of my lack of love, passion and adventure. So, three days after I turned twenty five, I packed up and went to Mexico to work on a resort as an entertainer. Or an animator, as they called us. I thought, why not? I mean, this was my last year to take off before I would get down to real work and I wanted to try something I would probably never get the chance to do. Plus, I loved speaking Spanish, dancing Latin and performing, so I figured this job would be ideal for me.

Us performing in the distance

It was not. We worked grueling thirteen hour days with only one day off. We also had an evening off, though the bosses seemed to enjoy taking any liberties away from us at any chance they got.

In addition to waking up at 8am and finishing at 11pm (on a good day), we had to succumb to the power trips of our bosses. We actually had three bosses, a real ladder of hierarchy, and each boss really enjoyed pointing out how powerful he was, while at the same time licking another boss’ ass. And they were the horniest bosses I have ever had, though more on that in another story.

Mhmm, lobster

Mhmm, lobster

When I arrived to Mexico, I was white. So white, that my second boss used to announce me as the “girl from Transylvania”. This was before I went to the beach and sat there for hours without any sunscreen. After I came back looking like a cooked lobster, no one called me ‘the white girl’ again. (Do not try this at home)

There were three girls, and four guys in our animation team. All of the guys had perfect bodies and quite a few were players. They would constantly hook up with ditsy American girls, whose names were usually Heather or Meghan, and then proudly narrate the stories to others (sometimes even reading the love letters the girls wrote them).

They got very excited when they realized another girl would be joining their team. One, a Cuban guy whose name was Jay started spending all his time with me. Here was the thing, Jay was black. While I hold absolutely nothing about any race or culture, I was never drawn to black guys. However, I found Jay extremely attractive as I have never found another black guy. He was very cute, had an amazing body that should only be featured in catalogs and danced, well, like a Cuban.

Represent, represent Cuba!

Represent, represent Cuba!

Jay and I become somewhat close, though I am not exactly sure what we talked about as he spoke about thirty percent English and I could not for the life of me understand his Spanish dialect, which is mind numbing even to other Latin people.

That night, we decided to go to a club together. He was on the street, yelling through my window for me to come downstairs. We took a taxi together where he confessed how much he liked me. I laughed the ridiculous idea of the two of us off. At the club, we met up with another group of girls, one of whom was all over Jay, while I was dancing salsa with another guy. After I witnessed their make out session, which did not phase me at all, as I was not planning on having anything with him, he came up to me and told me he would ‘rather go home with me’. Or something along those lines in bad English.

I agreed since I was very tired and Jay gladly agreed to share the taxi with me. In the taxi, once again, he started his confession of passion and then he kissed me. We kissed and kissed until the taxi stopped and we got out in front of our apartment.

At this point, he picked me up and carried me up three floors to his apartment. I am pretty sure I was screaming at him to put me down, but clearly not with enough conviction.

He carried me into his room and I felt I was in some sort of a daze. No, he didn’t drug me or anything like that. I just felt as if this whole thing wasn’t happening to me. He started to remove my clothes and then pointed to the mirror on the side of the wall.

“Look at us. Don’t we look so good together?”

That's the way the cookie crumbles

That’s the way the cookie crumbles

We looked like a giant broken Oreo. Me, with my lack of a tan and him with a hell of a tan. I let go of whatever negative thoughts were circling in my mind. After all, it has been a year since I had sex, and I was curious. Soon, you will realize that curiosity is the one thing that usually leads me to do the most ridiculous things. Especially away from home.

I will never forget the sex. He was huge. Enormous. He was hung like a horse. Yes, I suppose it is true what they say about black guys. And the size wasn’t a good thing either, because I felt like I was revirginized. I mean it hurt like hell. I couldn’t wait for it to be over. But he just kept on going like an Energizer Bunny, convinced he was giving me the time of my life.

When he finished filling me up with ecstasy, I quickly put on my underwear.

“Where ju going, Mia? He asked in his Cuban English.

“Well, it’s late.. and we have to work tomorrow.”

“Stay, with me a little”

I sighed and lay back down. I wanted to forget this whole thing ever happened and by the looks of it, it wasn’t yet over for him. He was still lying naked and though I tried to avert my gaze, that thing really was enormous and all ready for round number two.

“Ju know I really like you” he said.

“Hmm?”

“Jes.. I would like to have you as my girlfriend” he said.

“Oh.. well, it’s complicated. I mean, we work together.. so”

“Jes, but it’s fine. I like you. I would like to have girlfriend.”

“Well, I mean.. now is not a good time, but who knows?”

Seeing as how he was about to advance again, I made an excuse, grabbed my clothes and ran out of his apartment.

“Jay brought a girl back yesterday” Vicente, my third boss, who was sharing an apartment with Jay told me the next day.

“Uh? I guess so” I muttered.

“Know who she is?”

“Hmm? No”

“Probably some slutty girl”

“Haha.. yeah..”

I avoided Jay at all costs and felt embarrassed about the whole thing, but he wouldn’t stop trying. He repeatedly tried to get me alone, to pass me a look and a few times he actually walked into my change room in a towel. He would then kiss me and remove his towel to reveal his huge dingaling. As tempting as he thought this was, I never felt even the slightest desire to have sex with him again. At the end, he got so angry with me he told me that “he wanted to fuck someone, but not me.” Even though it was supposed to hurt me in some way, it just made me realize how truly stupid he was.

At the end I think he was fired for pressing some girl against the wall and scaring her with his giant penis.

Three Days und Three Years (2007)

My first real romance and how it has affected me as a young(ish) girl. We knew each other for three days and I thought about him for three years. It’s true that the first time hurts… like hell!

Being a late bloomer, I was still a virgin at twenty-two. I could not figure out why,  but I was never physically drawn to any guys that I’ve shortly dated up to this point. While I was dying of curiosity and of course dying to have sex with someone, I could not for the life of me do it with someone I was not attracted to. Unfortunately, all of the boys I have dated  did not fulfill the ideal of the strong man that I so wanted. Even kissing them stirred no sense of longing in me.

I have not had a boyfriend for an eternity. Up to this point kissing was just okay and sex was an illusion I felt would never become real. I have started to consider myself an ‘old virgin’ and began to think there might be something wrong with me. Maybe I was abnormal? All my friends have already had sex and here I was, not even really wanting to.

That December, I took a trip to the Dominican Republic with my mother, thinking that I needed to get away from the cold Canadian winter and the disappointment the lack of my love life was causing me.

Welcome to D.R.

Welcome to D.R.

The first three days were uneventful and one day it rained so hard that I felt like heading back home. My mom and I sat in the lobby staring at the entrance and I moaned aloud about how much I wished someone cute and European would arrive.
Day 0: The Staring

I saw him the next day as I was lying on the beach lounge chair. He stood there very built and confident alongside a shrimpy-looking friend, looking at me with no hesitation in his dark eyes. I glanced at him nervously, then as he caught my gaze, quickly averted it to make it seem I was starting intensely at a palm tree. Minutes later he walked by me, throwing me another intense stare. That evening, I waited to see him at the resort club, but he never showed.

Day 1: Meet Ze Germans

I finally spotted him the next day. My mom and her new friend were urging me to go to the beach with them. However, I was fully set on hanging out by the pool in order to see him again. Surely enough, I finally saw him lazily strutting to a lounge chair. My breath caught and I raised my magazine to look like I was reading.

He noticed me and seated himself on the other side of the pool – right across. However, he made no move to talk to me, so I decided to take proactive action and lowered myself in the pool, as sexily as I could. Deeply inhaling, I swam along the donut-shaped pool, attempting to look both nonchalant and sexy. When I  swam by him, however, he did not even look at me. The jerk was too busy reading a book.

The view of the pool from my window

Dejected, and somewhat relieved, I swam back to my lounge chair. Now he would have to make a move, I told myself. I’m done.

I raised the magazine back to my face and lowered it slightly to be able to observe him at the same time. Just then, he finally put his book down, stretched out slowly and threw me a direct look. Getting in the water, he swam to my side of the pool, to the basketball net which was located immediately by me. Clearly showing off his physique, he started throwing the ball in the net, and might I add – missing a few times. His shrimpy friend came by and they exchanged a few words in what definitely was German.

“Damn… Germans” I thought. I never liked them. They were rude. They were efficient. They were cold. They were cheap. I could go on. I have never actually met a German guy, so these were all based on many World War II movies and the stories of others. But I guess I had to give this a chance. Maybe he was all of the above, but I was on vacation. Normal rules did not apply here.

His goofy friend and he started to play basketball and I, unable to take any more of this bravado and eager to start a conversation, sat on the ledge of the pool. “Who’s winning?” I finally mustered.

The macho man turned toward me with a smile. “I alvays lose.” The goofy friend giggled.

“Can I join?” I asked.

“Ah. Of course!” He smiled widely. “I am Stefan and zis is my friend Christoff. Vy are from Germany. And you?”

As if that isn’t obvious by your thick accent, I wanted to add.

“Well, I’m Russian, but I live in Canada. Did you just arrive?”

“Russian!” He exclaimed. “Yes, vy arrived ven it vas raining very hard. And vy have ten days more. And you?”

“ Three more days.”

“Oh, zat is all? It is too bad.” He looked sad, then smiled charmingly. “Vy should take advantage of the tree days zen!”

No, danke

No, danke

And by advantage, I assume he meant ‘German sex, ya?’ I could laugh at the arrogance! No one was taking advantage of anything. Here he was thinking he was going to get laid, but there was no way I was going to have my first time on vacation. That was not like me.

Stefan was not my idea of gorgeous. I have always gone for the commercial boys, but he was much more manly and strong. The quality that attracted me about him was his confidence, charm and the ability to be so damn relaxed. He knew I would say yes to him, even when I did not yet know it.

“So vy can meet after dinner, yes?” he continued. The basketball was moving from one of his hands to another.

“Sure” I smiled. “Okay”

He passed me the basketball. “You vould like to try?”

I took the ball and threw it in the net. To my surprise, the ball went in perfectly.

“Beginner’s luck” he winked at me.

I swam back to my lounge chair. My mom has returned from the beach and was smiling widely at me. “Who’s the guy?” She asked me in Russian. I told her the story as I’ve always told her everything about my love life. Which to this point has all been PG13. She approved, thinking that Stefan was extremely charming. She then made me go ‘for a swim’ around his lounge chair, which was the most awkward thing in the world, topped off by her flirting in bad German.

As we walked out after dinner, I noticed the Germans standing by the restaurant. I began toNervous_Girl_by_themedusa hyperventilate. To make matters worse, my mom noticed them as well and began to push me in their direction. “They’re waiting for you” she said. “I need to catch my breath” I whizzed, my knees wobbling. Thank God I didn’t wear heels. “You can breathe while you’re talking to them.” She said.

Okay, here goes – I told myself and wobbled towards them. Both smiled at the sight of me. We sat down on the curb and started talking. Stefan told me that he was a professional boxer and was apparently ‘quite well known in Deutschland’. Christoff also used to be a boxer, but now worked as a trainer. The image of skinny Christof getting punched in his goofy face was a bit too much to handle. Stefan, come to think of it, really did look like a 1386-0905-1204-5728professional boxer with his buff body, short hair and somewhat broken nose. Yes, he had a broken nose. Definitely not a picture of a an Abercrombie model.

I drank rum and coke and suddenly it seemed we all spoke English fluently. At least this was the most fun I’ve had in a while. And I felt so wonderful talking to Stefan. He was funny, he was sarcastic and he was definitely sexy. And a surprisingly great dancer. I think it’s all the dancing you have to do in boxing in order not to get punched. That I realized when we went dancing that night and he led me effortlessly. But his manliness was a bit too much. He opened water bottles for me, he threw an angry gaze at a man dancing with me and when I commented I felt bad for leaving Christoff alone, on our way out of the club, told me that “Christoff is not a child. Vy don’t need to babysit him.”

We walked together through the resort and sat down near the pool. The conversation, from what I remember, did not consist of much depth. And really, how could it? We spoke two different languages and no matter how many drinks we had, we would never be completely fluent. All I remember is discussing the word “trousers” for hours and wanting him to kiss me. However he stood in the pool in front of me as I sat on the ledge, looking very relaxed and nonchalant. Definitely in no rush.

I asked him to teach me how to box, because frankly the kissing wasn’t coming, and he started showing me how to avoid punches.Then when I tried to punch him, he twisted my arm around with an ironic smile on his face. Then he kissed me.

I’ve kissed quite a few guys to this point, but this was not a guy. I felt like I was kissing a man. As he continued kissing me, I felt like I had actual desire for him. Many of you will say it’s normal. Of course it is! But not for me, who up to this point had no idea what it was to feel this desire. Usually, I would check off lists in my head, make plans or count. As in 1, 2, 3 aand done! Ok, maybe a 4,5. Now, done for sure.

As I pressed my body to his hard rock chest I felt a curiosity about what it would be like to

I couldn't help putting this in here

I couldn’t help putting this in here

have sex with him. Most guys just kissed me. He kissed me like he wanted me. And it made me want him. After, he held me close to him. He invited me back to his room and of course I declined.

Day 2: Like a Virgin

The next day, I felt a little nervous about seeing him. However, he was playful and just as into me as he was last night. Christoff also helped diffuse the atmosphere through his giddiness and ridiculous jokes.

Stefan threw me into the pool, then jumped in and pressed me to himself. “Everyone’s watching!” I complained, my usual paranoid self.

“Who is vatching?” he would turn me around in the water. “Look.” I would take in all the sleeping red people or others with magazines who really did not give two damns about us making a show in the water. “See?” He would smile to me, a Cheshire smile and then lean in to kiss me and I felt him go hard against me, which was a curious sensation since I’ve never felt anything like it before. Only heard about it. Yes, fo real!

That evening I decided to show off and joined the animators in a Bachata lesson. I knew how to dance Latin and did not need a lesson to learn the basic moves of Bachata, because the dance literally consists of 3 steps. I did it only so he could see just how sexy I could be.

All the animators were impressed with my moves and the instructor ended up dancing with me after the lesson was over. This was perfect as Stefan was right there, watching us. As I walked over to his lounge chair and lay near him, under the towel, he looked at me – with those lust-filled eyes.

“You’re really great at dancing” he said. “I wonder vat else you are great at.”

Really. How romantic, right? To top of the douchy machismo, his hand was slowly running over my leg as his eyes were drinking me in. This guy was clearly interested in having a vacation fling. Why wouldn’t he be? And why wouldn’t he be convinced that at twenty-two, I was no longer a virgin? Even I couldn’t convince myself that was possible.

“What a jerk” I thought as he looked at me with those piercing dark eyes. “There is no way he’s going to get anything. The joke is on him.” However, a part of me wanted him so badly that I did not push his hand away or say anything to put him in his place.

As I was taking a shower later on, I started thinking. Why not have sex with him? Sure, he was from another country. Sure, I would probably never see him again. And yes, he probably was not in love with me and couldn’t be in the one and a half days that I’ve known him. I was certain it would hurt me more than I’ve ever been hurt. I was positive that it was ridiculous having your first time on vacation. However, there was one loud voice within me, telling how much I wanted it. I was twenty-two. I was not a child. The reason I have waited for so long was that I did not want to have sex until I would have felt a desire for someone. And here was this desire. I knew that no matter how painful it would be in the future, it would be worth it. I would remember this beautiful vacation forever. And I still remember myself in what was probably the longest shower in my life.

He knocked on my door later that night and we walked to the beach. We lay down side by side on the lounge chairs and slowly he started to kiss me. As things began to heat up, Stefan looked down at me.

“Mia, you vould like to go to my room?” he asked quietly.

“Stefan, I should tell you something” I began. “I’m a virgin.”

As I uttered those three words, I swear to you, just as in a cheesy chick flick, rain started to pour down. Stefan stared at me, a look of pure bewilderment.

“But you are twenty-two.”

Yes, thank you. I know. Please remind me again so I don’t forget.

“I always told myself that I would know when I wanted someone.. but I have not wanted anyone until now.”

“But I do not vant you to feel bad afterward. I vant you to have sex with your boyfriend. I don’t vant to hurt you.”

“ But you won’t! I know what I’m doing and I know what I want.”

“Ok” he said, as we walked under the pouring rain. “Come to my room. Just to talk.”

We went to his room and because I needed to get something from mine, I told him I would be back. However, by the time I got to his floor, the number of his room completely eluded me. I walked around, quietly knocking on doors and whispering Stefan? but no one responded. Dejected, I walked barefoot to reception and asked them for his room number, but they could not help me. As I walked back up, I felt crushed that I might not be able to find him, but somehow I finally found his door. He opened it in his boxer briefs.

“You left for thirty minutes. I thought you vould not come back” he said angrily and pulled me into the room. We kissed on the bed, but he never took my clothes off. Then, he pried a pillow under him and looked at me with a smile on his face.

“What are you doing?” I asked.

“This is sex” he said. The cocky asshole. But his slight cockiness was unfortunately the thing that drew me into him in the first place.

“I do not feel right about this” he continued with a sigh.

“Look, I told you. I’m fine” I said. I have set my mind on this and there was no turning back.

That seemed enough to convince him and we continued our make out session, until the door opened and Christoff stood there with a silly grin on his face. I was so embarrassed, I almost threw Stefan off of the bed.

“Christoff!” yelled Stefan. “Didn’t I tell you to sleep on ze beach?”

Even though Stefan kept on convincing me to stay with him and even gave me his toothbrush, I decided to leave back to my room. We had one more day left. The final third day.

Day 3: The First Time Hurts…

sunset_033That last day we spent hours just lying by the pool, looking at each other and as the sun started to set down, I realized that this sunset was bringing the end of this short vacation romance. I left him with Christoff and sat on my balcony, putting on makeup and crying. As a result, smudging all the mascara around my eyes.

I put on a light green halter top with a white skirt, my skin glowing from the sun. As I walked by the bar, he called out my name and I saw him sitting by himself, looking quite dejected. I sat near him. He looked at me for some time then said:

“I do vant to see you. I will try to come to Canada in the summer.”

“The summer?” I exclaimed. “I would have forgotten you by then.” As it turned out, I would not.

He asked to have dinner with me and afterwards, we sat on the side of the pool.

“Look, I still feel bad.” He told me. “ You should be with someone you know. Someone you are in the same city with. I do not vant you to regret this.”

“Stefan” I said. “ I am attracted to you. This does not normally happen to me and I told myself that once I’m really attracted to someone, be in Canada or abroad, I would go for it. The only way I would regret something is if I did it with no feeling.”

He looked at me thoughtfully for some time and finally said: “Come with me.”

cartoon-of-excited-kid-receiving-a-gift-isolated-clipart-83383871

Sorry for the perverted comparisson

It sounds very funny, but it is incredible how giddy I was before going to his room. I danced in front of a mirror to “I’m a Slave for You” which was playing through the windows. The irony. I was curious and happy, and not at all nervous. I literally looked like a kid at Christmas.

So, most people tell me their first time was terrible or boring or nothing really amazing. Stefan and I only had one time, but it was the most memorable time I have ever had. Possibly because it was so limited. Granted, I should be honest and say he was a bit of an arrogant prick, even then. Standing in front of me, very toned and quite sexy, he asked me “Have you ever seen a naked man before?” like he was Michelangelo’s David or something.

“Yes” I mumbled. I have not. Only on TV or my brother, accidentally; neither of which counted.

However, it was one of the most exciting moments of my life. Even if it hurt a little. I think because he was the first, and I would spend quite a lot of time comparing others to him. Though to know what I was comparing them to was strange as we only had that one time.

like-a-prayerAfterwards, I changed into a blue dress and we went dancing. I remember that we danced to Madonna’s Like a Prayer, because anytime I hear that song I get a bit wistful. I also remember my mom crying on the side, because “it was just so sad and romantic”. I had to send her back, so she wouldn’t embarrass me.

“I will not sleep tonight!” Stefan told me, but as we lay in bed, he dozed off. I studied his face as if I was saving it for the future. Would we ever see each other? Would we even want to? Something that you share together on vacation does not transfer to real life. Vacation was not real. We were not real there. We didn’t have school or jobs. Hell, we didn’t have anything else to do rather than go swimming, eat, dance, drink and make love.

When I went back to Canada and he to Germany, we would realize how little we had in common.  I stared at him for quite some time, cried a little and left.

Day 4: Road to Nothing

The morning was difficult. He woke up early to say bye to me. I remember that the sky was cloudless, the water crystal clear and it was so just hard to leave. He has offered me to stay many times, but he has never offered paying for the return ticket.  Now, sleepy eyed and clearly wanting to still be in bed, he carried my luggage out of my room. We sat in the lobby for some time, but I just wanted to leave. There is a Russian saying that goes: “You cannot breathe too much air before you die.” I could not get enough of him before I left. I had to leave regardless.

The bus arrived and I gave him a quick awkward hug and kiss before scurrying off to sit down. Tears were pouring under my sun glasses. Stefan came in the bus and sat near me.

USL6000A“You think I am not sad? I vould cry too, but I am a man. I can’t” he smiled to me. “ My little Karandash.” That was his nickname for me. In Russian it meant pencil and that was the only thing he knew how to say. I was trying to stop crying, which was futile as tears kept on running down my cheeks. The whole bus was watching this like in a movie (except no one clapped at the end). We kissed again. “Don’t get burnt” I think was the last thing I said to him. How trivial and ridiculous are the last things we sometimes say to people. He left the bus and stood outside it. Though I believed he was sad too, just for a short moment I saw him exchange a laugh with Christoff. I dismissed it but it hurt me.

Then the doors closed and the bus began moving. Even now, four years later, I still remember the terrible sadness that rushed through me.  We were moving to nowhere, I felt. We were going further and further away from him. Only in the movies, would I ask them to stop the bus and run into his arms. The end. But in reality, I sat there, watching the dry Dominican scenery pass by us. I was certain that this vacation would affect me more than I ever thought. And it did.

2008-2009: The Pain

I came back to the cold winter, that has just began. Days were short and everything seemed so dull and gray. I remember running on the track at my university and looking at the planes whizzing past me in the sky. I yearned with all my heart to go to Germany. I was obsessed with the language, with the country, with the WWII, you name it. Just the mention of anything German would send a pang into my chest. I always wanted to cry.  The only thing I looked forward to was talking to him, but the distance left its mark. Now hequotes-about-long-distance-relationships was no longer on vacation, but back to real life. He talked to me and he told me he missed me, but I didn’t feel it. He never called me on the telephone and he could not even install Skype.  I tried being friendly, I tried being fun and easygoing, but it was all pointless as I felt pure indifference from his side. We weren’t just separated by distance. We really had nothing in common besides those three short vacation days. Our conversations were hollow and filled in by my constant chatter, trying desperately to create something out of nothing. I got angry at him a few times, but afterwards realized just how ridiculous it was to fight with someone who really did not care. I remember that New Years and how I sat in the bathroom crying. He did not even wish me a New Years and when I offered to call him on my birthday a few days after, told me that he was leaving to a friend’s house.

Two months later, I met a Russian guy and started going out with him. At first I was excited about the new relationship, but soon, that nasty feeling caught up with me again. I cried in my boyfriend’s kitchen. I looked up pictures of Stefan online, as they filled the internet. I would see someone who looked like him enter a subway and get a pang in my chest. It hurt to know I couldn’t even see him on the street. In fact, I would probably never see him. The amount of crying he caused me was very cruel. He cut me off so easily, and I was still there waiting for him. I daydreamed constantly about our beautiful meeting in the future. The scenarios and locations would change, but it was always the same image. I would stand in the middle of the city in some bright dress and heels and he would come up to me with that impish smile and tell me just how beautiful I have become.

2010: Switching the Roles

Just like that maybe?

Just like that maybe?

We have stayed in some form of contact over the years and later the roles have switched as he started writing to me.  I just came back from the animator position in Mexico and he saw all the photos I have posted of myself: confident, better looking and more of a woman.  Suddenly, we found contact again and he apologized for the way he has treated me. He asked me if I ever regretted that night and my answer was no. Truthfully, though it has hurt me, made me depressed and full of constant longing for him and for that vacation, I have never until this day regretted my decision. Mostly because I really wanted to have my first time with him. However, it has definitely caused for a lot of vacation flings in my life. It seems that I’ve been wanting to recapture this first time with him. Most importantly, I think it was him who started my obsession with the International dating.

Over the few years, the pain and the longing has subsided. I stopped feeling a pang when I thought about him, I stopped longing to see him and I would only Google his name out of boredom. Last winter, he reappeared again with the invitation to LA because he had a fight there. He emphasized how much he wanted to see me, how sexy I was and how wonderful our reunion would be.

At this point, I was in a relationship with Dominick, but I was not in love with my boyfriend and once again I started fantasizing about meeting up with Stefan. Me coming out of the airport with a feminine coral dress and white heels and him looking incredulous at how beautiful I’ve become. It seems, however that Stefan was much too cheap to actually consider paying for me and thankfully I’ve come to have a much bigger backbone than to fly myself to LA in order to provide free sex on wheels.

At this point, I was not hurt nor surprised as I’ve seen this side of Stefan all throughout the years. And in all honesty, the fact that he never showed any real kindness to me, after being my first was a clear bright sign. However, even though there was no feeling towards him left in me, I still needed some closure. I finally got a wonderful one last summer.

Dreary Hamburg

2011: The Closure

I was in Europe for the summer and my last stop was supposed to be in Berlin. I was not planning to go to Hamburg, though a part of me was interested in seeing him. It was my first time in that part of Germany and the idea of finally realizing that dream that I’ve been having for years was surreal. At this point, I still had Dominick back home, but was planning on breaking up with him. Additionally, I have met Luiz (see the Portuguese) who has flown in to stay with me in Germany for four days. Needless to say, I had no room for another guy. The problem or the interesting fact was that the cheapest ticket I could get out of Germany was of course out of Hamburg, so I would have to go there whether I wanted to or not. And of course, after going over it (for maybe five minutes) I decided, what the hell, I’ll write to him. He was very happy to hear from me, though he was in a relationship. We arranged to get in touch again before I got to Hamburg.

I told Luiz I was meeting with a good friend of mine and he was clueless as to who Stefan actually was. So clueless that he even gave me his phone to get in touch with the German. The first time I heard Stefan on the phone, I felt like we never lost contact. It was just so effortless and natural. We laughed a little and he poked some fun at me trying to pronounce German street names.Then he asked me if I was with a friend. I told him I was. He asked if it was my boyfriend. I told him it was complicated. He asked what my ‘friend’ would do if we met. I told him that my ‘friend’ could manage on his own. He said OK. He would pick me up tomorrow.

All I remember is that the big letters spelling out Hamburg stood out for me, as if they were the eighth 6500287_983ceddec1_mwonder of the world. This regular European city was the one I’ve been striving to get to for years and finally I was here. It was difficult to even believe it. Not only that, I was here with another guy I met on vacation, who while I was staring out the window and trying to register being here, was trying to hug me from behind.

Unfortunately, unlike my dream, Hamburg was dreary, cold and it rained almost non-stop. Also unlike my dream, I was not glowing with a bronze tan, but looked like a pale pimply ghost and I could definitely not wear a dress in this horrible weather. Out of the limited clothing I brought for the cold, all I had was tights and a few sweaters, which was definitely not what I had in mind for all these years. Nevertheless, I got up the next day and piled on tons of makeup I bought in the Berlin bus station, while I told Luiz I was looking for food. Sure, this was not ideal, but at least I would finally see him.

When I didn’t hear anything from him, I checked my email only to see a message in which he told me he had a meeting for boxing and was busy the whole day. When was I leaving? I told him that I was leaving tomorrow and that it was today or never. He told me he would call me later on.

He never did.

He never apologized. He never made an excuse. He said absolutely nothing. So that was it delete-all-tweets-300x243– three ridiculous days, three long years and many excuses. But to actually do this to me when I was steps within his house, was even beyond him. I wrote him that I was done with this, wished him a good life and erased him out of contacts and finally my life.