Saturday, December 3, 2016

Black Mustang

"I'm the black mustang," he texted.
I saw him through his tinted windows, and smiled... hopping out of my parked car.
I had been waiting about a minute, letting him know what part of the mall parking lot I was in.
He nervously stood in front of me, I immediately went in for the hug-- as tightly as possible.

"Jesus Christ... I haven't seen you since... seventh grade!" I said.
The smell of freshly blazed weed overtook my nostrils.
He bashfully kicked at the floor, hands in pockets, occasionally making eye-contact with my overly excited face.
"Oh my god... that is strong," I said as I cough a little.
"I knew it'd be a good idea to blaze before seeing you... you're fucking beautiful, I would have not been able to talk to you at all" he said.

I met up with 5thGradeBoyfriend today... and it was... so good... oddly very good... like... I... didn't even suspect it would feel this good.
He drove out from Arizona for the weekend, unbeknownst to me.
He was incredibly bashful, which was uncommon in the guy I always knew... he was a total bad kid last time I checked. I found myself in the awkward position of trying to make HIM feel comfortable... I was the one with the job of speaking... of asking questions... acting extroverted.
Often times, I'd come to a complete silence because I'd catch him through my periphery just gazing at me... a gaze I've never felt, really... the goofiest, dopiest... most... lovestruck gaze I've ever seen anyone throw my way. It was like live-action Bambi... the twitterpated part.
"Ummm... Hiiiii, *5thGBF*!" I'd say, waving while smiling.
"I'm sorry... I just..." he'd say.
"It's really me... I'm here, in the flesh," I said, grabbing his hand with mine, showing him I was really there.

The way he looks at me... it's... it'll follow me for life. He has always looked at me that way... like I'm... some fucking mirage of his wildest dreams come true... not a lusty dream, just... a calm, joyous dream... if that makes sense. There is no perverse lust in his look... or judgement... it's... such a lovely feeling... I can't explain it... I just, never thought anyone out there would be able to look at me that way... like... I'm being worshipped... like I'm the best fucking thing the universe could have placed in their tracks.
Like I am a motherfucking heavenly mirage, damn it.

I'd look down and blush... smiling when the quiet admiring of my face (and it was just my face... not my tits, or legs, or ass... he'd examine every inch of my face with the most tender glance... Jesus, it gives me goosebumps) would last too long.
"Whaaaaat?" I'd finally whine.
"You're just... so much prettier... I didn't think it could be possible... you're... so perfect. Everything about you is so perfect," he said one of the times.
There was a hint of melancholy in his speech... like his regrets over his bad decisions would get the best of him. The guy carries a lot of sadness... and he's genuinely shocked that I would insist on staying friends with him, on being with him.
"Aren't you ashamed of being seen with me?" he asked.
"Why would I?" I asked.
"Like that white dude. He's clearly wondering what a nice girl like you... in your Audi, is doing talking to a... lowlife like me," he said.
My heart broke.
"I don't give a shit what he thinks. Your heart is kind and kept me sane during a time I felt at my loneliest" I said.

We talked for two hours... in my car, in the parking lot of a mall... my flowery scent mixing with his lingering weed fumes... and that shit felt like heaven.

The way he quietly admired my face... I'll never forget that.

Thursday, November 24, 2016

So many thanks

Always my favorite holiday.
Always weird, often uncomfortable situations occur.
Still my favorite holiday.

I spend this day with the family I hold closest, the ones who always show their love and share it.

I didn't think this day would come as fast as it did, I was actually dreading the awkward political confrontation that was promised to occur instead.
I never thought one of my closest relatives would be fighting for her life so damn soon.
Instead of political fights, my beloved aunt, Mooney's mom, suffered a massive aneurysm... and has been hospitalized since Sunday morning. I haven't seen her conscious at all.

Life's a blur. I haven't stayed so long in a hospital for any other family member in the past, not even my father. I fucking hate hospitals... yet there I am, not giving a shit... for as long as I can.
I love this woman... a lot... like, I can't begin to explain how much of my happiness and mental sanity I owe to her. She helped rescue my childhood from the doom it was promised. She has helped put a smile on my face during bitter growing pains.

Today was somber... today we all forced the food down... but we also stuck together like the glue we are.
Tonight I saw my aunt open her eyes... and give the nurse her famous annoyed glare... and I saw her squeeze my uncle's hand, and move her index finger when asked to do it... she moved it with desperation... the "I'm here! I'm HERE!" kind of desperation you so often see in movies.

I just want her to come back... and today was a promising start.
Please come back, tia.

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

The hero

I guess this is the part in my story where the hero comes to my rescue after I have lost all hope.

After quite possibly the most traumatic week of my life (this whole election bullshit has made me physically ill... where I've fainted in the middle of bootcamp and have felt nauseated all damn day. That same visceral reaction I have to news that upsets me horrifically), like in a fucking movie... the hero in my life reappears.

Today, out of the blue, at around 6pm, I logged on to FB to notice I had a new friend request. Rolling my eyes, I clicked on the notification expecting some annoying middle aged person from Hometown... but instead saw the name... a name I have been looking for since high school: Mario, the boy from the Red Ruffles story from a few years ago.

He's a fucking stereotypical Raiders fan... but he's fucking ALIVE! And FREE.
I screamed.
I almost cried.
I shivered like a dog with no shelter in the middle of a rainstorm.
All over an ex-convict.

I had not seen this guy since 1998... I felt elated.
My one protector during one of the most difficult times of my life... the one voice telling me I was beautiful when the majority were taking time trying to drown me in the negative;
The boy from the wrong side of the tracks who showed me and only me the depth of his soul:

And it did not take him more than five minutes to remind me I was beautiful, that I am "prettier" now.

Like... man... I fucking cried with joy... that bittersweet joy... of just how fucking FUCKED life is.

Is he trying to get in my pants like some dads my age are nowadays? Probably. Do I care? No. I'm happy to know he's out there... and it makes me blush to know he went through the trouble of looking for me. I feel... even if it's not the case, I feel as though... someone with whom I've intersected in life still remembers that time, and remembers it fondly. It makes me feel like I matter... like I'm memorable... like I really did mean something to him. It satiates that desire, that dream, that little line I'd constantly tell myself, the line I so badly wanted to believe during my lows: someone out there is looking for YOU.
After over a decade dealing with these situation where guys I think so highly about are constantly reminding me how fucking worthless I am to them, how forgettable and often obnoxious/burdensome I am... there's this kid I shared memories with twenty years ago... and he still thinks fondly of me.
That means the fucking world to me... especially right now.

This feeling is so fucking weird.

I am a nerdy shy girl... whose been on the back of the mind of a hardcore ex-con... and it makes me blush...

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Too soon

Well, shit, looks like I'm psychic, aren't I?

Monday, November 7, 2016

Girls aren't all bad

What was I doing when the motherfucking Cubs broke the curse and won the World Series on Wednesday night?
Angrily screaming "A MOTHERFUCKER BETTER BE DEAD!" as I sat in stand-still traffic for nearly an hour.

The kickoff to the long-weekend girl's getaway to Palm Springs started rough, being stuck in a horrible traffic jam in the most crucial moments of the World Series. Had it not been for that dickhead wrecking his car on a post, I would have made it to Kelley's place in time to catch at least the last three innings of the World Series ('cause who the fuck wants to sit through an entire game?). Instead, I very frustratedly sat in the passenger seat of my friend's car, reloading my google app, eating my nails, pulling my hair, and grunting like an animal.
But that was the only bump on the road (har-har... pun-y. I write like shit, get over it), and no, no dead bodies, just a dumb motherfucker running into a post in his stupid convertible... probably watching the game on his phone... but he lived.

I complain a lot about females and how I don't tend to get along with them, but this weekend was fantastic... though one female was driving me crazy at times... and she was not Kelley... or her pets. Now that I think about it, I hung out with pure estrogen this weekend.
And I could not have had a better time (well, maybe if I had gone to an amusement park-- because I get obnoxiously happy when I risk my life). I laughed so hard, I spit a mouth-full of water on my pants... I hadn't done that in years.

I was surrounded by animals... I hadn't done that in a minute either. I tried my hardest to win the approval of a cat, and I sure won it. That shit had me feeling all sorts of Snow White-y... a swollen Snow White due to her cat allergy she refuses to acknowledge or respect. I will NOT refuse to pet a friendly kitty, sinuses and itchy eyes be damned. Little homegirl even slept next to me on my final night, occasionally hugging my left leg (sure, her claws would "gently" wake me sometimes... but what if she was having a nightmare?).

So... yeah... girls getaway to the desert, night drives through Joshua Tree National Park, shopping goodass deals, eating burgers every afternoon, and listening to "oldies" rock... while going home to a couple of dogs and a cat, made me forget how heartbroken and disappointed I was in humanity.

But I'm sure I'll discuss my disappointment in the very near future.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Sorry, October

I gave it an honest shot to post at least ONCE per month.
I kept October on the back burner because I kept thinking I'd have time for the slightest of updates.
It's not as though October sucked or was boring... quite the fucking contrary, I had too many things going on.
I mean, no, yeah, there were shitty moments, one time I cried so violently (as in, I was sobbing pretty loud and my nose was running as though I had the flu) I freaked out a dog for a minute or two... and I also had a very pathetic moment where I was quietly sobbing on a stoop in DC... but, it was... a lot of fucking shit going on.
Still, considering the number of times I cried in October, it was still a wildly fun month.
The quickness with which time is passing is just... inconvenient.
"Wait, what the fuck did I... what the fuck has happened since July?" I wondered, after realizing I've been driving without proof of insurance since that month (Ooops? And here I boast about not being a criminal).

The haze is back in my life, but I wouldn't necessarily call it depression. I'm having difficulty remembering what exactly I've been up to because events pile up, and I fail to write it all down.
I mean, July was spent trying to squeeze in a quick, last trip to Greece before my brother finished his tour-- didn't happen. August rolled around and that month was spent busy preparing the house for my brother's triumphant return to the States with his Greek buddy. Then September came up out of nowhere and that Hometown trip occurred from thin air... as well as I heard the terrible news about my friend. Then finally October, which had me in Chicago and DC and that was a fucking mess.

The times I've been close to posting something, they weren't happy posts... they were sad, reflective things that make me uneasy.
The haze is lingering, floating around my brain, mostly because of my friend's mom. She's actually why I even made the sudden trip to Chicago and DC.
Due to her weakening health, my friend's mom can no longer travel (she lives in LA). I've made it my mission to show her as much as I can, despite the fact that posting on FB makes me cringe because... it fucks with my nerves. I've posted videos and photos to her page of all of her grandkid's birthday parties... parties to which I've gone despite having zero children and zero ability to make smalltalk with parents (so I go about rough-housing with the kids as though I'm some fucking clown... all in the name of not having to participate in adult conversation). She praises my photography and my traveling spirit... she says it helps take her places in her mind.
One of her "final wishes" was to see the newly opened National Museum of African American History and Culture out in DC, because she herself lived some fucked up shit being a white woman who married an African-American man in the early '70's. Tickets are sold out until March of next year, and she doesn't feel confident she'll make it to that month, and if she does, is sure she will be in an even worse state to travel so far.
SO, I sucked up the irritation I feel when I know I'm going to get accused of humble-bragging, purchased a couple of last-minute plane tickets, aaaand I posted on FB.
Of course, I didn't mention the truth behind the trip... so the whole thing was a heavier burden than I expected to feel.
First of all, I went about my DC days in complete solitude (DAYS, my nights were a fucking shitshow... the most fucking entertaining, soul-recharging shitshow I've had in years). My brother works weird hours, so I wouldn't get to see him in the mornings. He's also barely getting all of his belongings returned from storage... so his apartment is full of boxes... no food... a total bachelor pad that gave me the most depressing vibe of loneliness. Here I go about my day at the fucking crack of dawn to get into the NMAAHC on their daypass... which is something like 100 a day that are given out, first come, first serve basis. There I was in line at 8AM, hair still dripping wet, in the shadow of the gorgeous museum... ONLY person there without a companion.
I actually scored my ticket, with something like 25 left... I've never been so stoked about something as I was about scoring this fucking golden ticket. The problem was that since it was only 9:30AM, I had until 2:45PM to be allowed entrance.
SO I walked all over the monuments... and checked out their free museums until then.
This didn't make me sad at all. I enjoy my own company... and the weather was motherfucking GORGEOUS.
It wasn't until I entered the museum that I realized I was about to be in for a world of hurt.
I cried throughout the entire lower levels (aka the beginning of slavery through the civil rights movement), and I had goosebumps the entire visit. The information was hard to ingest... despite being a history buff (laugh if you'd like... but I've killed this subject since grade school), I was not prepared to share the moment with people who have such a deep, personal connection with the subject... that horrible subject. It was difficult to look people in the eyes... to see their hurt... it was so very hard. Even harder was capturing any of it through my phone... because it felt so inappropriate... like I was interrupting such a private moment for OTHERS.
However, I tried my best to see it all... to give everything the respect it deserved... and I captured as much of it for my friends.
Knowing I was seeing this, experiencing this for someone who is going to... die... soon... was also responsible for my tears. It was strange... it felt so strange... to be aware of that... it was heavy.
"Wait, why the hell did you come here so abruptly, and for such a short period of time?" asked my brother. All I could give him was a shrug and an "I fucking love DC. I'm going to an event for the last Presidential Debate... and I'm going to worm my way into the NMAAHC at all costs." Completely unable to add the real reason of "my friend is dying and wants to see this." It sounds like a fucking movie script.
SO, I do this until I literally get kicked out of the museum at closing time (not before helping a disabled veteran out of the museum who was getting zero help from anyone. That bummed me out to watch), and I walk out to the Mall and sit down at a bench to watch the sunset in complete silence... soaking in all of these fucking emotions. Before complete darkness, I headed back home-- Capitol Hill... my brother literally lives three streetlights away from the nation's capitol... on Capitol street... it's fucking amazing (we're little Mexican-Americans from the Vegas hood... never ever did we even dream this would happen... fucking ever).
OK, so I do the longass walk home, and sit outside of the main gate to the apartment complex because, while I have the apartment keys, I do not have the key fob for the main entrance. My brother said he was nearby, but encouraged me to walk in behind one of his neighbors. He had told me this same thing the previous night, but I didn't heed the advice because I'm a fucking shy brute. However, this day I was feeling brave, and as I saw a young man walking up the stoop where I had been sitting (KEYS IN HAND, mind you), I stood up and started to walk behind him. Just as I grab the door he had just opened, he grabs hold of the knob and PULLS IT AWAY FROM ME, effectively slamming the motherfucking door in my face.
It was at that moment where I reached my breaking point, and I broke out into sobs. Yes, sobs. The door getting slammed in my face felt worse than anything I could have imagined... it... hurt my dignity... it broke down my emotional wall.
This wouldn't have happened if I were a pretty white girl...
The though jumped into my mind and next thing I knew I was sitting on the stoop crying like a pathetic little girl lost at a country fair.
I started to think about ALL the fucked up shit I've had to "suck up" and "deal with." All sort of... mean, racist, heartless, demeaning, embarrassing bullshit I've had to deal with... as a female, as a big girl, as a Mexican... and I fucking lost my mind. I quit. I quit trying to be strong. I quit trying to excuse it.

I sat on that stoop... clutching my FUCKING SMITHSONIAN GIFT BAGS full of EXPENSIVE ASS MUSEUM SOUVENIRS... alone... in the dark... looking at the ground, crying... trying not to look "dangerous" or whatever the fuck that dumb piece of shit prick thought I was.
I sat there for about twenty minutes, waiting on my drunk brother... cowering away from any new neighbors who'd show up to open the front door. I heard one person loudly walk up the steps... and I crouched to the smallest form I could get into... refusing to make any eye contact... the person stepping louder.
"Hey!" he said once he opened the front door. I didn't look up.
"HEY!" he said again, louder, more irritated.
I'm going to get kicked off the fucking stoop now, aren't I? Fantastic...
I timidly looked up, trying to look as... nice and calm as possible, to see it was my brother. The moment he made eye-contact with me, I realized he noticed I had been crying... and I KNOW he felt sorry for me... I saw the sadness in his eyes... his stance softened. I noticed the pity he felt the moment he saw the humiliated little girl I had been turned to, sitting on his stoop.

Crying on a stoop is nowhere near as "romantic" as movies make it out to be.
It's heartbreaking. And embarrassing. And pathetic.

After sobbing my way through telling him what had happened that day (I did that thing little kids do when telling their mom about a shitty school day... trying to seem strong but losing their shit once their chin begins to tremble when they start talking about their bully... yeah, I did that, and my brother was my mom), my brother took me out on a walk to some thai restaurant and a famous cupcake shop... where he even ate one, despite how much he hates that shit.

It was a nice walk in the dark... a gorgeous autumn night... with some of the most famous US monuments lit in the foreground.

The emotional weight of this day was... massive. The haze lingered, but only for a few hours. The universe has a way of balancing shit once in a while, and the following night was loaded with adventure and laughter... and a lot of drinking... with a Greek heiress.

So... like I said, a lot of shit happened. October was a crazy adventure.
One minute I'm sobbing in front of a scared dog because I was heartbroken by a lie (not sure I'll elaborate on this story yet, or ever), the next I'm giddy over purchasing tickets to the east coast.
One minute I'm crying my eyes out on a stoop... sobbing and cowering away from people... and the next I was taking care of a drunken, filthy-rich woman (who seemed to be much lonelier than I) who was forcing expensive alcoholic drinks and delicious falafel on me... paying for EVERYTHING because I was taking care of her.
One minute I'm sleeping on a broken couch in a cold living room on a chilly Chicago night, and the next I'm hugging and crying with a 50-something-year old Cubs fan outside of Wrigley minutes after the Cubbies win the pennant.
October was FUCKING CRAZY (FUN and oddly heartbreaking).

Friday, September 23, 2016

Indifferent gratitude?

This Mexico trip, while being incredibly conducive to the proliferation of my artistic expression, also served to make me aware of a shift in my personality.

It has been a fucked up road for me in terms of controling my self-esteem.
Considering the ridiculously extended period of time spent being told I was ugly... literally getting that shit beaten into me at times, it should come as no surprise that I'm pretty fucked up in the self-esteem department.
I don't understand why exactly I had people calling me ugly as a toddler... I see photos now and think I was quite adorable with my giant eyeballs and whatnot... but the fact that "ballooning" in third grade brought about the merciless fat-shaming for the next 15 years kind of makes sense in my head... I mean, as much sense as bullying and ostracizing the fucking shit out of a girl for YEARS just because she's larger than average can make. Those were my formative years... age five to 25 are goddamn IMPERATIVE in a human's development, who the fuck are we kidding? To think someone-- a gentle, timid girl-- spent those years completely abandoned and only approached to be belittled or shamed or... hurt... and having her grow into an even more timid, awkward, and downright FUCKED UP individual isn't so outlandish.

So I hear I'm ugly and get ignored, only get attention to get publicly humiliated or physically harmed, for roughly twenty years. I hear fat jokes, people oink and moo at me (or actually "Ew" me when I walk by... really... that sound fucks me up to this day... it's worse than getting punched in the stomach, seriously), guys completely ignore me (AND ONLY me) at social events like Quinceañeras and weddings (I might be the only girl from Hometown who never once got asked to dance during her entire adolescence. Today, I still don't get asked because I acquired the fame of "The girl who doesn't dance" as thought that was ever my choice-- to turn someone down), girls avoid associating with me in public because they find it easier to have nothing to do with the one girl guys mock OR ruthlessly ignore. Later in my adolescence guys do begin to talk to me... I am smart, witty, funny, knowledgeable about sports, cool, kind, considerate... I'm a homie... and only that.
I become thoroughly convinced I am the ugliest, stupidest, most disgusting person on the planet... the unworthiest, most-embarrassing creature alive.
THEN I lose weight. A lot of it. THEN I suddenly become worthy. Suddenly I am noticed. Suddenly people want to associate with me. Suddenly people are baffled by my rejection... "You didn't like me six months ago as a fat girl... I'm the same fucking human being on the inside... I am the same shy girl who begged to be noticed and comforted... why the fuck am I suddenly worthy because I dropped 80 pounds? You're telling me being FAT warrants that type of torture?!" It was THE WORST mindfucking of my life.
The suddenness in the change of treatment from others was too quick for me to adjust, for me to accept. 20 years of neglect and hurt... suddenly converting to laudations from others in a matter of six months. I was the kindest, gentlest girl I could be during my years of torment... I graduated on time with a biology degree, FIRST person in my family to graduate college... but dropping 80 pounds was WORTHIER to people than any of that shit.

I refused to accept the claims from others regarding my "newfound beauty." It wasn't me being humble or fishing for compliments... it was me genuinely NOT believing those who spent the majority of my life calling me "ugly."
After a few years, I found myself feeling guilty... arrogant... vain... conceited, whenever I thought positively about my appearance.
"Get over yourself, AnoMALIE."
I'd catch a glimpse of my high cheekbones, or how cool my thick lips looked in a certain shade of lipstick... or how huge and dark my bare eyelashes looked after a shower... and would stop myself cold in my tracks when the thought was positive.
"People PAY FOR THIS SHIT, AnoMALIE! AND YOU WERE BORN WITH IT! You lucky broad!... but... I mean... I'm still ugly... I mean... I can't make it work... and that's just some conceited-ass shit, idiot. Clearly you aren't pretty, or else guys would be all over you. Get over yourself," my conscience would wrestle.

Up until two months ago, I'd still blush WILDLY... activating coldsores... whenever ANYONE would allude to my "beauty." I'D FUCKING GET TEARY-EYED from the embarrassment of a compliment.

This trip to Hometown, I experienced two instances which helped open my eyes to a possible shift in this fucked up, low (more like "nonexistent") self-esteem of mine.
On my third day, I went to the "city" to get my broken filling fixed (I was so furious a couple of weeks ago, I ground my teeth hard enough to break off one of my porcelain fillings). After the thirty-minute procedure, I proceeded to walk around the city with my parents as they did some shopping in various locations. Mom and I were fed up after about an hour of perusing through little shops in the city plaza, killing time as Dad had his boots shined.
Mom decided to grab some barbacoa tacos, while I sluggishly waited, standing next to her with my fucked up, swollen, numb mouth hidden from the general public who were enjoying their morning stroll in the plaza.
"Don't move your face... your right side is paralyzed... you will look crazy the moment you attempt speaking or even smiling... but don't look like a homicidal sociopath," I thought.
Originally, a chick was helping mom with her tacos. I looked away form the taco stand, searching for dad, and when I looked back at my mother, a young, green-eyed man was hastily making his way over to us, quickly asking mom what kind of beverage she would like.
"Uh... a... Coca-Cola," Mom said.
I couldn't help but smile, bringing a hand to my lips the moment I remembered about my half-paralyzed mouth. Mom had sworn-off soda before our trip, I bet her she wouldn't make it through this trip without a drink.
The guy looked over at me, holding out a chair, and invited me to please take a seat.
Fuck... I gotta talk...
I tried my hardest to "smize" (smile with one's eyes) a la Tyra Banks. I held out my left hand and shook it as a negative, immediately bringing that same hand to my lips when I felt a smile escaping as I thought about how dumb I must look with a half-limp smile.
I tried my best to gain my composure, and stood as... "nicely" as possible while my mom finished her tacos. I tried looking "nice" and not intimidating or angry as I stood without moving my mouth (that shit's hard when you're naturally scowling like I am. I need to overcompensate with a permanent smile so other don't think I'm ready to uppercut the shit out of them). I looked around and people-watched for about ten minutes, while listening to the green-eyed guy talk to his coworker about the upcoming dance he so desperately wanted to go to.
When Mom finished her tacos, I finally once again looked over at the young man and serenely watched as he pushed his female coworker out of the way in order to be the one who gave Mom her change. The guy fumbled with the coins for about thirty seconds, dropping and sorting through the 1's, 2's, and 5's, fucking up his math. The commotion made my sight shift to his hands, then to his blushing face.
"Here is your change. And pardon me for the fumbling... A guy gets... nervous," he said after giving Mom the correct change, smiling while briefly making eye-contact with me.
I smiled politely, softened my stance, and calmly walked away.
I did not blush with embarrassment, I did not roll my eyes in irritation.
I felt... sort of sorry for the guy... for letting my presence get to him. He was sweet, and not in the least bit vulgar in his behavior towards us... he was sweetly nervous.
Sweet kid... little does he know I'm damaged beyond repair, totally unworthy of the attention.
I'm dead inside. Well, no, it's more like... I felt tenderness for the kid, for still possessing that ability to feel for someone else at first sight. However, more importantly, his attention did not anger me, or embarrass me, or even flatter me... it just made me feel bad for him feeling I was something out of the ordinary. "Bless your heart!" sort of thing.
And I moved on. Calmly.

This type of... serene... resignation (to loneliness) was my response to all expressions of admiration from people.
A second instance of "blatant admiration" occurred the night of the big patron saint festivity, the 9th.
The evening is spent attending an hour-long mass dedicated to the Patron, and at the end everyone files out and down the hill, eats street food until the sun goes down (usually about an hour of fucking around to one's content, be it drinking tequila straight out the bottle until the world can't stop spinning, stuffing your face with cobs of corn or pancakes or churros or tacos or tortas or cotton candy, or playing various carnival games), then finds a good spot to watch three-hours-worth of live fireworks... really fucking intricate fireworks, set to live music.
View exiting the church.
That two-story house down there with the red "pop-outs" is my much-envied balcony seat.
Originally, I wasn't going to participate in the activities (except church, because I'm a fucking nun), but as I was exiting the church, a cousin whose house is at the foot of the hill (upon which the town's church is located) invited us to watch the fireworks from her roof.
Church on the hill, behind the pyrotechnic "trees"
This meant I would not have to mingle with the drunken crowd, and I'd have the best seats in town.
Just as the time approached for the lighting, rain started to pour, and everyone down below rushed below the stands and proceeded to shiver the night away, watching the workers struggle with the fireworks.
After perhaps half an hour of staring at the messed up fireworks display, I started to zone out. I sat in my chair, under my umbrella, gazing at nothing.
Never too rainy or windy to party.
Meanwhile, I live out my destiny to be the Mexican version of Quasimodo.
After another twenty minutes, I began to feel eyes on me. I felt a guy in a red shirt, standing below, at my periphery, intently staring at my face. The gaze felt hot on my face, but as calmly as I've never been, I looked over and made eye-contact with the culprit: Cos... my childhood friend... the little boy who always kept me company when I'd hang out at "el alamo" with the summer gang (don't get me wrong, those memories are without a doubt the happiest of my life, but not without its share of excruciatingly painful and sad... like when the girls of the group started turning into gorgeous teens and I only ballooned into a fatter, more pathetic nerd, and the girls proceeding to go out without me, disassociating with me so as to not scare away any boys). I love this kid, madly, but with no romantic feelings whatsoever. I love him for having a heart, and taking pity on me at a time when he was a sweet little kid, a 9-year-old with a platonic crush on a weird, funny, kind, chubby, (five-years) older girl who was mistreated by jackasses who failed to appreciate her strengths. When we'd play games that required a partner, and before there was time for me to stand alone for even five seconds, I was his go-to girl, this nine-year-old's first pick. He'd hug me, and sit next to me... and give me random little gifts that his nine-year-old little hands could find-- plastic bracelets, flowers, lightning bugs. This child saved me many, many tears.
He's now a 26-year-old honorably-discharged marine... with severe PTSD that he acquired during his two Afghanistan tours. Townspeople avoid him, because he's "weird" and doesn't talk... often says hello and randomly drifts off, walking away from everyone. He prefers to remain in solitude.
I've never been scared of him, never judged him. I've always loved and appreciated him.
However, this visit I had not seen him whatsoever (since he was not home the day I visited). Watching him watching me... felt... warm, but... cold. He stared, with the same kindness in his eyes with which he has greeted me since his childhood... that same level of admiration. His gaze did not leave my face for... what felt like an eternity (more like five minutes, because it lasted a song and a half). How do I know he was staring AT ME? I was the only person on the roof... everyone else was in the safety of the ground floor-- indoors. I made eye-contact with him for about five seconds, only to make sure I was the object of his cocked head. Once I saw I was indeed the object of his attention, I continued with my activities (filming one of the pyrotechnic "trees" which one of my family members ordered).
I was not being indifferent... I was just... being myself... my quiet self. No blushing, no irritation... just... quiet resignation.

There is certainly gratitude, but...  saudade... because it's undeniably kind of anyone to admire a wreck such as me the way they do, but sad that in no way do I deserve it or can "reward" them for it.
DO they even want to be "rewarded?"
Is indifference truly what I feel... now that I've typed all this shit out and finally analyze it for myself?

Gratitude... but... I don't understand what the big deal is... just carry on, my friend... carry on.