Chapter 6: Desaparecer

We spend far too much time learning words and far too little time thinking about what they mean. Take, for example, the word appear. If I asked you to define it in your own words you might say something like, “show up” or “become visible,” and by that hacksaw definition, you would have unknowingly reduced the word disappear to mean nothing more than invisible.

I like the word better in Spanish: desaparecer; it has more components. At the end of the word is parecer, which means to seem. Then you have des, which takes whatever idea you have and makes it undone (deshacer, destruir) all encompassing a tiny little “a,” which Greek roots will tell you means to/toward/near. So if you translate desaparecer quite literally, you are left with “the undoing towards what seems to be.”

So much better than invisible.

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And that’s what I did. That’s what I wanted to do. I wanted to take my life at it was seeming to be, and undo it. So on a Monday morning I bought a plane ticket to leave Friday and go to the Canary Islands. Alone.

I went for no cultural purpose. I didn’t go to see any sights or visit anymore churches. I went to just be alone, on purpose. And here’s what I learned:

-Spaniards either think I’m from Argentina or Italy based on my accent when I speak Spanish. I’ve still to learn/understand why.

-I require way more naps to survive than the average person.

-I like the ocean better at night than during the day.

-I can almost always eat raspberry cheesecake and apple pastries.

And that’s all she wrote. I had no major epiphanies, no life changing moments. Sometimes it’s good to just escape your own life, not even to obtain perspective, but just to merely not live it for awhile. And sometimes, it’s as simple as an impulsive purchase of a plane ticket to go somewhere a little warmer and get lost.

 

 

Chapter 5: Almost Speechless

Congratulations, America. You have started a war.

I sit almost speechless, and speechless I would be if it were not for the fact that I have gone completely and uncomfortably numb with rage and disappointed expectance at your incompetence. You have swiftly and proficiently killed what was left of the American Dream.

I will be the first to say I’ve never been proud to be an American. Since I was young and learned that this country was founded on rape and stolen land, I decided I wasn’t proud to be an American. And as I grew, I watch us ship people over seas rather than save our own country. I watched the people who were meant to protect and guide us slaughter and exploit us, and now I potentially lose the only thing I ever truly wanted: motherhood.

Because if this election is any indication of what the future of this country will hold, bringing a child into this world is nothing short of abuse.

You can sit there in denial and claim “nothing will happen” and “nothing’s happened yet.” But today I walked through the streets of Spain, and every Spaniard either marked me with completely disdain, or the look of pity you give someone after someone they love has died.

And I wish I could say we killed America today. I wish I could say that this was unexpected and I didn’t see it coming…but I did. In fact what has me so completely floored is that this is exactly what I expected from America given our history; I had just stupidly hoped we were better.

This is not a question of Trump versus Hilary. This is a statement of the horror that not only did we strand ourselves with these two candidates, but we now with our choice in this election have said that every atrocity of our nation is okay.

Sexual assault is okay. Racism is okay. Corruption and deceit and power to rich white men, it’s all okay.

And there will be war. Because now the country so barely holding itself together is openly and completely divided, and not between Hillary and Trump supporters, no. Because not everyone voted Trump because they hate minorities or women or progress. Some misguidedly voted for other reasons.

Whether or not Trump gets anything passed in office is irrelevant, because with his election we have now told those who supported him for all his horrific reasons that their behavior is okay, and we have given them the power to act on their hatred. The racism and sexism that used to sit quietly in the corners of our society has now been blown wide open, and I promise their actions will speak louder than their slanderous words ever did. We have added fire to an already boiling over pot, and there will be blood.

So this is a call to action. This is a call to war: those of us for the good of humanity and what’s left of our nation, and those who seek to make it unlivable. It is a war between love and hate, and to stand idly by and not fight for the crumbs of hope we have left is to stand on the other side.

Chapter 4: Love and Other Things That Induce Psychosis

How insanely baffling that the people you fall hardest for are always the ones you never planned on loving in the first place. How insanely annoying.

September 22, 2014 had seen the start of a new chapter with a same love. Like most freshmen, I had entered college with my high school sweetheart thinking we were going to stay together and be together forever. People warned about the changes, warned about the turkey drop, and like all freshmen in love I’d scoffed, “it won’t be me.”

But it was.

The second part of that saga had seen the other college-stereotype. I’d heard rumors of fuckboys. I’d heard the tales of boys who bent your emotions backwards and sideways until you believed that the lies they told you were love, and the sex they asked for was because they cared. I saw my friends go through it, and rolled my eyes as they spun eloquent quilts with the words of justification for these men who were, quite honestly, simply abusive.

“You don’t know him like I do,” they’d say, “he’s different when we’re alone…” and I’d roll my eyes at their desperation, deaf to the same sentences when they fell out of my own mouth.

And for two years while I was busy tripping over the past or being emotionally enslaved by the present, there was one always there. A boy from the third floor of my dorm that, looking back, I always gave far too little thought to.

He came in with his high school sweetheart as well, a beautiful girl he’d loved since seventh grade. In my mind, I justify this as the reason I never quite paid attention. We bonded over similar pasts, high school loves, and late night life talks. I spent almost as much time up in his dorm taking shots as I did in my own.

October 15, 2015 (and I only remember because it was Megan’s birthday, hbd ho), I was crying over something alcohol induced, and he kissed me. In the middle of my blundering, slurred sentence, he just kissed me. For no reason. To this day, I have not found a more effective way to shut me up. It was never brought up, and a few months later when I kissed him, well, that wasn’t brought up either.

And he sat there and listened to my stupidity. He bit his tongue as I described the love I wanted and validated the bullshit I was getting. For two years, he waited for me to figure it out.

There was no beginning. There was no moment I looked at him and had a grand you’ve-been-there-all-along epiphany. Much like the first time he kissed me, and our friendship, and every moment we’d ever shared prior, it kind of just happened.

And I fought it so damn hard.

In fact, I fought it so hard that the kid got on a plane and flew 6000 miles to come and see me for three days. I guess two years had left him a little impatient.

It often happens in the way that you fall in love with someone and they become your best friend. You have a crush, and in falling in love you grow to adore the idiosyncrasies and hear the life story and develop the late night talks.

Doing it backwards was like no other thing I’d ever experienced. Because he already knew me. We already knew every aspect of light and dark and oddities in each other’s life. We walked into this crazy, intense, spontaneous thing already completely and totally comfortable. Like home. They weren’t kidding when they said to fall in love with your best friend. And I highly recommend to everyone reading this to take a long hard look at yours, and make sure you aren’t being a fucking idiot like me.