Friday, February 8, 2013

Why is he such a jerk? (A short story)

I don’t know where to start or what details I should leave out. I don’t even know if this story is worth telling. What I do know is that paper has better ears than any of my so called friends.  I will begin on the night of Oct. 18, 2006. 

I saw him: he was kneeling in the dark alley, with a knife in his hands, covered in blood and hugging her lifeless body. While he hugged and kissed her, his other hand continued stabbing her, as if his heart had been deeply divided by the love and hate he felt for her, all at the same time. It was right at that moment that I changed the channel and never found out the ending of the movie.

It was late and I was hungry, but my fridge was empty since I refuse to go to grocery store unless it’s absolutely necessary. I hate the grocery store, with all its food taunting me and telling me how I can never put them together to cook anything worth eating.  I decided to put some popcorn in the microwave. As I was about to dig in my delicious, high-sodium snack, I heard a knock on the door. Not expecting anybody, I ran to my bedroom searching for my wooden bat that I had bought sometime ago with the sole intention of hurting anyone that ever tried to break in my apartment. 

I cautiously looked through the peep hole, and I saw him. It had been 10 years since we last talked. He was still as handsome as ever. I ran to the bedroom to see if anything could be done to fix my homeless, vagrant look. The best I managed to do was to wipe the crusty nacho cheese off my face and spray some Binaca in my mouth. I ran to the door, and caught him about to leave.


“Hey,” he said, “it’s been a long time.”

“Yes, it has“, I said.

“It’s been so long I can’t remember if we ended up as friends or enemies.”

“Well, for your sake I hope it was friends, because I have a bat in my hand, and I don’t know what to do with it”. He chuckled his perfect chuckle and asked if he could come in.

Against my will I said no, but not because I didn't want him to come in, mostly because my apartment was such a mess that only war survivors could find their way through the piles of dirty clothes, papers and books.

He looked surprised at my answer. And why shouldn't he? The entire time we had spent together I never denied him anything.

“Well, then, can I see you for coffee tomorrow?”, he asked.

This I didn't deny him.

I spent the whole day wondering what this coffee date would be all about. I fantasized about him saying how he traveled the world, far and wide, and realized he couldn’t live without me. And now here he was, with a big diamond rock in his hand, kneeling down, asking me to share the rest of our lives together.

I also thought maybe he had killed someone, like the man in the movie, and now needed a new identity and a place to hide. 

But most of all, I thought he had just come back to hurt me one more time. And even though this thought kept coming back I couldn’t get myself to miss that coffee date.  I wasn’t even sure if he would show up. I could imagine him hiding behind a tree, watching me sitting all alone in the coffee shop, waiting for him to arrive, and then laughing because after all these years I was still stupid enough to wait for him.

To my relief, he arrived, and right on time, which was another reason for surprise. But he wasn’t alone. He had a guide dog with him. I thought he had gone blind from seeing me yesterday.

He sat down. The dog sat next to him.

“I’m glad you came,” he said, “I really thought you wouldn’t come. At least not after…”

“Stop, you don’t have to remind me. I spend too much time trying to forget. I don’t need you coming to remind me of a closed chapter in my life.”

“You’re right,” he replied, “I don’t even feel the right to come see you, but I need you…”

And then my brain went on fantasizing again. I thought he would end his phrase with: because you’re the love of my life, because you’re the most amazing person I know, because I’m madly in love with you.

Instead, he said: 
“I need you…to take care of my dog. You see, I’m in town for only a few days, and I don’t know anyone in this city anymore. You’re the only one I know…”

Nope, I wasn’t the only one he knew. I’m the only that would still talk to him. You see, Omar had left such a bad reputation in town that he had to leave. He had slept with every girl in the city, he had cheated on every girl in the city, that he only way to start a new life (and not get killed) would be to leave the city. And so he did.  Ten years ago.

Now I really wanted to disappear. 

Instead I just asked: “What’s with the dog? Did you go blind from seeing so many women at the same time?”

Again, he chuckled his perfect chuckle, looked at me deeply with those brown, deep eyes that lied to me for so many years and that I still adored, and shocked me with his answer: “It’s my wife’s dog…”

Now I was really feeling uncomfortable. I heard the fantasies of him proposing shattering and disappearing. I guess he must’ve seen my expression of disbelief, anguish, anxiety, sadness and loneliness all at the same time, because he paused and said: “I know it’s a lot to ask, and I don’t want you to feel obliged to do it. But if you do, I promise you it will only be for a week.”

I didn’t know what to say. I wanted to say no and run away crying, I wanted to slap him and ask him what was wrong with him, but most of all I wanted to kiss him so badly, and ask him why he hadn’t married me.

Before I could give him an answer, I had to find out why his wife had a guide dog. He said that his wife was blind.

“Of course you had to marry someone blind. No one that could see your cheating, lying face would marry you.” But deep inside I knew that I would marry his cheating, lying face if he would only ask…  

He stood up and admitted that it was a mistake to even ask for my help. I agreed with him. He left a folded note on the table and left.

Once again, my brain went on fantasizing about that note, in which he declares his deep love for me and tells me that I’m the only one he dreams about.

I was hesitant to open it because I knew that once I did, I would be proved wrong again.  

This time I wasn’t. It read:

“I was never able to forgive myself for what I did to you. I came to you today, not because I need you to take care of the dog. The plain truth is that I need you, and I couldn’t come up with a better excuse than this. I’ve never been really bright, but I guess you already know that.”

But, what about his wife? Doesn’t that dog belong to his wife? But he wasn’t there anymore to answer my questions. I didn’t know that to think. Was this a cheap attempt to get me to run after him and say that I will take care of his dog? Was he trying to trick me?  Am I in candid camera?  

This note seemed suspicious. I thought I would be elated at reading this explicit expression of love, but I wasn’t. I was scared. I felt there was something hidden behind this note. Why wait 10 years? Why come now?

I didn’t run after him. I fought against my whole body and mind to walk straight to work instead of following the liar with the deepest brown eyes. I couldn’t concentrate on anything at work, and I was thankful when it was finally time to go home, so I could go cry myself to sleep and kick and punch all my pillows. I felt confused.

That night he went back to my place. He knocked on the door, but this time I opened the door so quickly I didn’t even clean the crusty nacho cheese off my face. I was prepared to jump into his arms if he told me in person what he wrote on the note.



“I just came to apologize”

“Apologize for what?” I asked.

“For the note”, he said.

“Why? Are those words true?”

“Yes, they describe exactly how I feel…”

I wanted to cry tears of happiness. I had so many questions for him. Why now? Are you really married? What took you so long to come back?

And then he interrupted my thoughts with these words:

“but not how I feel about you. The note was meant for someone else, but I wanted to clarify that before I left town. You know, gossip runs quickly around this area.”

I felt as if lightning had struck me. The only thing I could say was: “Do you like baseball?”

He nodded.

I walked back to my bedroom, grabbed my wooden bat…

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

How to get over a break up

He told me there was some one better that had captured his heart, and asked me to give him back the love letter he had given me the week before. The jerk wanted to sign it to a different girl. I guess he didn't want to go through the trouble of thinking up new lies for the new girl  I threw at his face and told him to stick it where the sun don't shine. I was only 7 and he was 8.
I was only 7 when I experienced my first break up.
It was a harsh one!

I was young, but this incident left me scarred for life. In a good way, though. It is one of those scars that you show to everyone because you think it looks cool. It is one of those scars that show you to toughen up and to keep your head up high even when things don't go so well. It was a scar that prepared me for future, harsher break ups.

And now you are in that dreaded break up place...

So he left. Now you find yourself curled in your sofa, crying your eyes out, seeing your future turn bleak and swearing that you will never love again. Also, you haven't changed your sweatpants or washed your hair in three days.

Once you've gone through what seems to be this necessary stage of grief, you're ready to move on. Let me remind you that this stage should last anywhere from 0 days to 1 week, but, for your own good, don't let it extend more than than.
Stop rocking back and forth. It only makes you look crazy. 

Once your grieving period is over, forget about the guy! Every time a thought of his cute face, wonderful smile or anything that remotely reminds you of him comes to mind, just shun that thought from your head. Get busy doing anything else. Enroll in a class in your local adult school. Learn a new language. Plan a trip or simply go out anywhere. The point here is to do anything that will keep your brain busy and away from sad thoughts.

If he broke up with you, don't call. You'll sound desperate and pathetic if you do. If he broke up with you because you messed up, and during the break up things didn't end up in good terms, you may call to apologize if you feel the need to do so. But the call should be just to apologize, not to beg him to come back. Other than that, don't call, don't text, don't leave voice mails, don't send letters, don't tweet angry tweets or post angry statuses. Move on with you life and let him move on with his.

If the time should come when he realizes he made a mistake by breaking up with you, let him make the call. You will then decide whether you want to answer or not.

If you decide to keep souvenirs from your recently lost relationship, store them away. Not under your bed, not in your closet, not in your bedroom. Place these souvenirs in your garage, or in a storage unit. You get the point: KEEP THEM AWAY FROM YOU, in a hard to access place!  The harder they are to access, the easier it will be for you to resist the impulse to look at these memories.

You don't have to throw these mementos away. After all, this guy was a chapter of your life, and whether good or bad, you learned something that made you who you are today. However, you don't have to keep them either. In some cases the guy behaved like a real jerk, and if he's a chapter you want to completely erase, throw everything away.

There really isn't a rule that dictates whether you should keep mementos or not. The only rule is STAY AWAY from them until you are completely over the guy who broke your heart.

Other things that you should keep a distance from are romantic movies, songs, books...Pretty much, keep away from anything that has the slightest hint of romance. If you must watch a movie, try some sci-fi, action or psychological thrillers. Explore new things.

There's nothing wrong with being single. Use this time to get to know yourself better. You will learn new things about your personality that will better prepare you for an improved and better relationship in the future.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Why am I so ugly? or How to love yourself

Nobody is perfect. I know that, you know that, and yet, for some unexplainable reason we still demand perfection, from others, and more painfully, from ourselves.

Our hair is never in the right place, our nose is always the wrong shape and bigger than it should be, and our body, ugh! Don't even get me started. We walk out that door feeling like Quasimodo's twin.

The worst thing is that these thoughts of ugliness and inadequacies don't stay in our head. We reflect them in every thought and action. We can't accept ourselves so we don't expect others to like us, and we go through life selling ourselves short because we don't believe we deserve anything better.

It's time to stop! It's time to start loving ourselves and to believe that we deserve love. But, primarily, it's time to start loving ourselves because nothing good will ever come our way until we start loving who we are.


Step 1: Take a good look at yourself. A good look. Not just a glance in the mirror, but actually spend a few minutes looking at your face and falling in love with it.

Why is this step important? Because sometimes we hate ourselves without really knowing who we are. Some people can't stand to look at themselves in the mirror. I know a girl who applies her make up without using a mirror because she doesn't like looking at herself. Her make up always ends up looking like Heath Ledger's joker, and still she refuses to see her reflection. 
Try it. Look at yourself, but instead of pointing out your perceived imperfections, point out what you like about yourself. Do this every morning. Don't be afraid of who you are.
Familiarize yourself with your own face. We spend most of the day looking at other people's faces and sometimes we just forget to look at our own.

Step 2: Take a hard look at your "imperfections." Are they really that bad? Why are they even imperfections?

"My nose is just too big and crooked." Says who? Who defines what a perfect nose should look like? Or are you saying that because your nose doesn't look like the ones that appear on billboards or TV?

Reclaim your power. You gotta acknowledge that billions of dollars are paid in advertising every day to make us feel like crap, to make us feel inadequate, to make us hate ourselves.

Are you gonna give these greedy people the power to dictate how you should feel about yourself? Are you gonna allow them to rob you of your self worth? NO! You are the only one that has the right to dictate what is beautiful and what isn't, and without a doubt, you are beautiful.

Step 3: Understand where true beauty (and sex-appeal) come from.

My friend thinks Edward James Olmos is the hottest man on Earth.  I think John Stewart is super handsome. Are they really handsome? Show their picture to someone outside our culture and compare it to a picture of Brad Pitt? I'm almost sure Brad Pitt would be the winner in most occasions.

What makes Olmos and Steward so utterly handsome is their self-confidence. They don't fit the standard of "handsome" and yet so many girls are attracted to them.

And that, my friends, is what true beauty really is! Beauty is self-confidence. Beauty is feeling perfect even if you don't fit the mold. Beauty is accepting all your traits and showing them off. Beauty is loving yourself. 

So start owning your love! Don't let anyone tell you what you should and shouldn't love about yourself! Love it all!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

The Oppressing You

You are your worse critic. No matter how far you move away, you will never be away from yourself, which makes this infinitely more painful if you are your own worst nightmare.

The self attacks with bombs of doubt and bullets of fear. It inhibits your thoughts by imposing unnecessary filters to your every idea. It moves us away from who we really are by only allowing conventional thoughts to make its way out. And then we wonder why we're boring!

The truth is no one is like us. Our DNA is unique and there has never been, nor will there ever be, someone exactly like us. Why, then, are you trying to desperately fit in, when you know you have something better to offer?

Many times we cage ourselves in because of the bugaboos of life. We shirk our responsibility to show the world who we are and to shower it with our many and unique talents. Why? Because the monster that lived under our bed as children, has now moved to the inside of our head, constantly telling us why we are not worth it, and why our ideas don't deserve to see the sunlight.

However, knowledge IS power, and once you know the techniques this monster uses on you, once you know how it threatens you into submission, you will know how to beat it and how to let your true self shine.

Follow me in this journey to beat the monster, to step on our bugaboos, to live life!