Wednesday, July 28, 2010

final compulsive post from the greatest place on earth

Don't you love it when your mp3 player is on shuffle and it seems to pick the perfect songs for your mood--songs you didn't even know you had? I sure do.

I'm bidding Buenos Aires good-bye in just a few hours. It is sad and stressful and I am terribly anxious about re-entering the English-speaking world. For the past nine months, I have largely been answering to nobody but myself. There have been few questions for me to deal with here, only what I want to do each day. Many days I did nothing. And many days I did exactly what I wanted to do. It has been such an amazing and refreshing experience that I just want to keep doing it again and again and again.

I am ready to leave, though. I am ready for something new. Maybe Marido is part of this something new. Today we were wondering for a bit if we are more in love with the romance of us than us in reality. Of course, this is one of the billion thoughts that has crossed my mind, and one of the thousand that has lingered and returned. But what I have to keep reminding myself is that, like leaving Buenos Aires itself, some situations may seem unreal...but they are just as real as anything, whether we planned for them or not.

Hasta luego, Buenos Aires. Thank you for being so good to me. Thank you for depositing me in this wonderful house with these beautiful people. Thank you for challenging me, and thank you for your patience, your time, and your comforts. I hope we'll meet again.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

love and boringness and moving

It is a cold and drizzly Sunday in Buenos Aires, and I actually left the house to go about my day, and retreated home after about 100 meters, where I have spent the day eating popcorn and day-old facturas filled with dulce de leche.

I am in love, and part of me hates it. I hate the fact that last night my roommate had to practically beg me to go to a party with her because I kind of didn't see the point of going out if I wasn't going to pick up boys. I hate the fact that I was sniffly today and didn't want to tell Marido that it was because I did a bunch of coke last night. I hate the fact that I am perfectly sated to lie in bed and just think of him, or to spend an hour cooing with him over video chat. I hate the fact that I feel stupid and boring but I don't care because I am in love. I hate that I cannot work, cannot write, because the only thing going through my mind is: Aww! He's so sweet! Twelve more days until I see him again!

It has been a rather intense week apart since we parted ways at the Madrid Airport. Somehow we became absorbed into an email exchange this week that involved the words "sex" and "marriage" and "long-distance" and "non-exclusive," all terribly heavy things to be floated through Gmail with a person you met about oh, six weeks ago. But as intense and sort of unwanted as the emails were, I'm glad they happened. I feel as though we are on the same page, and this is a new feeling for me. We are in love and trying to be responsible and respectful with ourselves and the other. Even though we feel like breathless teenagers, we also feel very wise. It is exciting but also boring. I like you? You like me? Great! Great! Okay, great. Now what?

Well, the 'now what' part is actually a big deal in this case, seeing as I currently live about 6500 miles away from him. 'Currently' being the operative word, of course. That status is going to change in three short days. Then, I don't know. He's formally invited me to crash with him for the entire month of August that I'm in SF, and that sounds both lovely and crazy. Not crazier than going to Spain with him, but close. I know I've joked that he's my Marido since the day we met, but...I can't help but feel like I'm just getting caught up in this delirium. He's already booked a flight to come to see me in Chicago the following weekend. And instead of feeling overwhelmed by all of this, I am fanatically thrilled. Great! Great! Great! Snooze.

I find myself constantly thinking, "Is this really happening? I need a nap."

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

what to say

The day of my last post, Marido and I left Navarra and went to the coast. I think all the togetherness was wearing on me, because as soon as we got there, I left him in the pensiĆ³n and went to work on my article, which was sort of a pointless thing to do on a Sunday afternoon in Spain, because everything was closed. I took a breather in the plaza and tried to soothe my nerves and to coax myself into the loving place where Marido seemed to be, mentally, and that I seemed to be dancing around like a scared bird.

When Marido showed up to meet me, he had some bad news. He'd gotten word--through Facebook, of all things--that his mother was in a coma.

We had a less-than-pleasant evening, where I tried to take care of him the best I could. But when you don't know someone very well, you don't know how they react to stress and what helps them. We talked it through a bit, but it was a rough night where we sort of hated each other and felt helpless. While we didn't fight, there was a moment where I sat on a street corner and cried because I didn't know what to do but I was sure that I wasn't making things better and was actually adding to his stress just by being there. When you are exhausted and stressed out, the last thing you want to do is worry about how your date is doing. His mother died the next day.

I suppose many people would define this as when the honeymoon ended, but with the uncertainty gone and the finality of death, we were able to mourn for a while and carry on. He wasn´t expected to return to Argentina for the cremation, and he was at peace with things, so we moved on. This would seem callous to a lot of people, but maybe this is just another reason why Marido and I get on so well. We have similar attitudes toward a lot of things in life, and death is one of them.

The rest of the honeymoon progressed without incident, so much so that there is little to report. We motored around and observed each other as closely as we observed the countryside and the people. But while Marido poured his heart out to me about how he felt, I kept my cards very close to my chest, so close that he kept asking me what I was thinking and why I wouldn´t tell him. The truth is that I spent a significant amount of time thinking about Ex and Joe, and during almost every night I dreamed of Ex. That is not something you want to tell your new boyfriend on your faux-honeymoon in Spain. Whenever he asked me what I was thinking, I didn't really know what to say.

Something amazing about Marido is that he is extremely open. He would explain everything--from why he likes me so much to why he was changing lanes. This could be tiresome to some, but for someone like me it is kind of perfect, because I never have to wonder what he´s thinking. It´s too bad that I can´t really return the favor at the moment, but I am doing the best I can. At times I felt pressured to echo some of the sentiments he was expressing, but it is a little fast for me. I am surprised I even let him hold my hand.

I adore this man and I miss him, but I am glad we have this time apart now to slow it down a little. I actually think that my heart is full and I have to let go of some people before I can be in love with him. Surprisingly, the person I have to let go of is Joe. When I go to see Joe in San Francisco, I can't have sex with him, and this makes me sad, because that is something we do very well together. The thought of seeing him and telling him I can´t or won´t sleep with him any more makes me terribly sad. I thought of this on the honeymoon, that this is not something I could do with a clear conscience, even though I slept around when I was with Joe. And it's not just the sex. I was always waiting for the moment to be in love with Joe, to admit that I was in love with him.

Timing is funny like that. It´s not just timing, of course. There are other aspects of Marido that have landed us together in a way that never worked out for me and Joe. And while I spend nights gflirting with Marido, I feel ready to give up others to be with him, but it is still sad. I know that Joe will be sad, too. And this whole time, I thought the reason we weren´t committed to each other was so we could avoid being sad. And here it is. Again.

Any advice on ending things with your favorite sex partner?

Sunday, July 11, 2010


It's been a week of honeymooning with Marido, and things have been so luscious and perfect that I am not quite sure where to begin. He met me at the airport in Madrid and has been driving me around Spain, France, the Basque Country, stopping in at cute town after cute town, lying on crowded beaches, winding our way through sunny fields and tree-filled mountains. He is doing all the driving because I don't know how to drive manual transmission cars.

We figured out that I met him on Madrid exactly a month after our first date, but with our schedules this is probably one of the longest fifth dates in history. It is completely overwhelming and I am often silent on our long drives, in awe of it all, disbelief. I think I would have an easier time understanding if something was wrong---if he was giving me creepy vibes or if he were a terrible lover or if we were constantly having communication breakdowns. But everything seems so natural and easy that instead I feel confused and vaguely panicky, like I must be missing something. Because what?the?fuck?is?going?on? How did I end up on this French beach with this impossibly charming man who somehow always knows the right thing to say? Has he been cyber-stalking me all of my life, preparing for this trip together, anticipating exactly what I love, what I want, what is important to me, and what will make me fall completely in love with him? It sure as hell seems like it.

Sometimes I look over at him and am filled with an incredible sensation of being completely safe and protected yet terrified like never before. The day before I left, I told my buddy B that I was sure I would fall in love this week, and here it is, happening. He said to me, "Falling in love isn't the hard part." And he's right, of course. We can love most anyone, but it's making it work that is hard. And when we begin to talk about the future, which we dabble in at times during our long drives, it fills me with fear. It's not as though I have any specific plans at all, but I was happy before I met Marido. I have plans to go to Mexico, and plans to go to Budapest, to take photos and write books and fall in love. And I'm scared that I will wander off with this man and forget all of these plans. Because I feel like he could ask me to go anywhere with him, and I would go. I mean, he did talk me into crossing the ocean to run with the bulls with him. On our second date.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

loving it

I'm back home in Buenos Aires but leaving Saturday for Madrid, where I will meet Marido at the airport.

I totally freaked out yesterday. I was tired but bursting with anticipation and I couldn't do anything but flail around in the whirlpool of anxiety and excitement. I just know that I am going to fall in love. I am like 85 percent there already. For some reason this made me very upset. I cried a few times this week when I thought about it. I don't know why, but I am terrified.

I sent an email to my girl, the bride-to-be, seeking some words of wisdom and she really came through for me. I was all upset and unsure and feeling sick. In addition to the teary eyes, I have had trouble eating this week. ME--the girl who wakes up in the middle of the night, hungry. But I was just sick at the thought that I might fall in love--for real in love, and that Marido could be the last man I love--either because I will love him forever, or he will hurt me really badly and I will never love again. But bride-to-be had some great words for me, about trusting your body and yourself. And she said: it's not your job to know what will happen, or to control what will happen.

It's not? Somehow, I thought it was. Really. But she's absolutely right. All the craziness has been me trying to anticipate what will happen and be ready for it. But that is not love, and that is not life. I need to love in the same way that I live...with gusto, and with the knowledge that I can handle anything that comes my way.

And now I am just giddy!