Thursday, July 14, 2011

What's Real

In October 1987 I went back to Uruguay (that's where I'm from) to visit my grandparents. My grandma had just been hospitalized and my mom needed to go and take care of her a little bit. I think it was all a plot to take me back and leave me there. At 18 1/2 I was starting to rebel (yes, it took me a while). While visiting I was invited to a dance club and my mother said yes. I was so thrilled, at 18 I had never been to one so I made sure I looked my very best. Thankfully gravity was still my bff.

The place was in the middle of nowhere, but it was really nice. The weather was absolutely beautiful that night and you could stand outside and feel the breeze. The girls were showing me how "it was done". We walked around, looking forward but at nothing, pretending we were all that and then some. Suddenly, I was faced with a pair of beautiful eyes and a smile that made me stop. As I'm staring like a fool I knew that he said something, but for the life of me I could not remember what it was. I concentrated hard and said "what did you say?". He smiled again, and although my knees got weak, my mind stayed focus and he repeated his words slowly. "You...have...beautiful...eyes". I was mortified, specially because he said it slowly, I mumbled a "thank you" and just kept walking. From then on, no matter what guy asked me to dance or started talking to me, my eyes followed that boy where he went or who he danced with. I was fixated and if you know me, the worse thing that can happen is me being fixated on something.

We went home, a bunch of little pieces of papers with phone numbers on them, empty promises of "sure, I'll call you", "of course I think you are handsome, I'll call you". All the promises a lie because I didn't know how to handle these situations, I had never been in one.

The short trip with my mother turned into a three year stay. After my mother came back to the US with my brothers, I went back three more times to that club to find the boy with the eyes and smile. Finally on October 31st, 1987 I saw him at the bar. He was drinking a beer and I was wearing my shortest, I mean cutest mini skirt. When he looked up (probably because he felt my stare burning his face) I smiled and looked elegant and poised. Ok, I tripped on a step and fell gracefully. When I started to get up he was there helping me, like superman. I think he ran superspeed in my direction. He was a superhero with a great tan.

When people say, I don't know what love is, I tell them, it's because you have never been in love. For sure, that moment he touched my arm, I felt love.

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