Chapter Six 6

After my divorce being in downtown Arica was what helped me to feel a lot better about myself, and the work I was doing. At least I was not a Taxi-driver, like my older brother Luis had forecast for me as my future. Little by little I started to enjoy life again, and even if it was a lonely time, work wise I should say, was pretty cool.
I really liked to be working in downtown because that was the place where things were happening. I really liked the relaxed atmosphere around that area, the coffee shops, and the restaurants. In my case, I loved the Arcade games that were just a block away from work. I was twenty-three years old and still the word Pinball-machine was a synonym of fun for me. I remember loving so much the Arcade games that when I was twelve-years old instead of going to school I went to the arcades to play pinball. I skipped the whole second half of my sixth year of school, mainly because I was fascinated, with the mechanics involved in the pinball machines, and because school for me was pure torture at the time.
For me the more cosmopolitan atmosphere of downtown was a nice contrast against the small town feeling present in the rest of the city.
In a small town like Arica when you go to downtown is a special occasion, and everybody dress up. All the business offices are concentrated in this small area that is no bigger than a few blocks in every direction. For me the feeling of downtown was like a party going on, and I was young, I was there wearing suit and tie, I had a lot of hair to show, and I was in a place where lots of nice looking girls passed me by constantly. I couldn't ask for more at the time.
One of those days, looking at the people going up and down 21st Boulevard, on one of my breaks, I was looking outside admiring all the good looking girls passing me by, and I was in the middle of that when I saw a brunet that really caught my attention. I started starring at her and I couldn't help myself to stop looking at her. She looked familiar, like I have seen her before. I looked at her with my typical quick up and down look, and she was wearing medium high hills, a white skirt with pink flowers and a touch of yellow and light purple. She looked fantastic! She had on nice shades, and there was something in the way she moved. She had that "I don't know what," kind of thing going on. She looked astonishing! She looked like a very feminine Dole, cute and smart, taking sure steps, and she was walking with confidence. She looked so serious, and she is my…"Scratch!" At that moment I realized, as she walked closer to me, that she was my Comadre Veronica. What a surprise! She kept walking towards me, but she didn't notice me. She was trying to hold on to a little kid that was pulling her by the hand and hard. I could tell the little kid was in a hurry to somewhere. She didn't pay attention to me at all. She was talking to the little guy, and my face was full of surprise. As she walked by I stopped her and I said, "Do you remember me Comadre?" She was surprised to see me as much as I was surprised to see her. We hugged, kissed in the chick, and we started talking for a little bit, but she was in a hurry so she said to me, "I really have to leave right now Compadre. Like you can see this guy is in a hurry. This is my son Sebastian, he is three and a half, and the last time you saw him, he was still in my tummy remember?" I said, "How can I forget?" I thought to myself, "How could I ever forget those times I spend with Mrs. Ximena." That crossed my mind as I was saying hello to this little guy. He looked very sharp, he had all the top brands on him, and he knew it. He was a cool looking little boy. As she was living, she left me her address and invited me to visit her house. She was back in Arica living with her mother and sisters. I asked her about Adrian, but she said, "Long story. I'll tell you later."
A Song that comes to my mind every time I remember Mrs. Ximena is that song that goes, "Oh what night. Late December back in 63. What a very special time for me. As I remember, what a night. Oh what a night. You know I didn't even know her name, but I was going never be the same. What a lady, what a night.
That was the first time in a long time, that I had experienced a major crush. Not long ago these experiences used to be a common thing in my life, and now, I was remembering how it used to be. In my mind my excuse was, "I was just living a more responsible kind of life." That day I had an epiphany, "I realized that I was starting to grow old." Not much was happening in my life at all.
That day I had a forbidden major crush. I said forbidden cuz the way I looked at her was with a very different set of eyes. First able she was the wife of a friend, and second she was the best friend of Ximena. I had a lot of respect for this girl, and she was a very smart woman. At the same time she had a lot of character and presence. She was the kind of girl that if you were in the Army, most likely you would have to salute her.
Talking about things starting to change in my life. A few days after that encounter with Veronica, we had a meeting at work, where we learned that our company was experiencing some serious business problems, and most likely they were going to be out of business very soon. That was precisely not the kind of news I needed to hear at that time. I was just starting to get used to my new kind of life. I even had rented a place that I picked it up mainly because it was close to my job, and now I was facing another big change in my life. After they gave us the bad news I got so worried, that in the days that followed that meeting, I decided to start looking for a new job. Is not easy to find a job in a place where the unemployment rate is about 20 percent high, so I started filling job applications everywhere I could.
It was hard to make a living in that city at the time, and talking about Economic Bubbles. Besides being hard to find a job, on top of all that, everybody has been given a lot of credit. The business strategy and policy was, "Take it home now, and pay later." The ones on top have changed the law radically, and now collecting debt had become a predatory and merciless practice. Now the consumers the base of any economy, had no protection against this massive companies. These companies started to make billions on just interests, and all because the upper class opened the doors of hell against the people, like someone said, "We are going to let the Bull loose." They all knew the people had no money to pay those loans back, but they just lend them the money anyways. They had injected massive amounts of cash in the economy creating a false sense of progress. Well I don't want to bore you with numbers, but the point is: Economy and the ability to make a living, they go hand in hand.
Since I divorced from Ivanisa I have been living on my own, and that was a great thing for me to accomplish. I finally have reached my own independence, and with a lot of effort I rented a little room on the back of a house. Being poor I was very exposed to whatever happened to the economy. That's why I was so worried, if the economy was okay I could make it, but if not I was toasted and over roasted. I should mention that my little room had a private bathroom and a separated door. I was really happy with my nice little place. It was all a young man on its own, trying to have a life, could ask for.
My job was all I had and I loved it, but truth was, I had a job that barely paid for my basic needs. In my country was common then to be thirty-years old, well educated, and still be living with your parents. It was really hard just to earn enough money to pay for a room and a bus pass. In my case I had a good job, and I could not afford to buy me a pair of shoes cash. I had to apply for a loan to have a pair of new shoes, and because of high interest rates, most likely I ended up paying for two pairs of shoes instead of one.
Since early in my life I tried to make a living doing whatever work I could find, and I really tried to make it on my own. I really tried to achieve that goal regardless of what kind of work came my way. I have never been picky about that. For me, any work was better than no work at all. In my neighborhood I was quite the handyman, and through the years I have worked for many of my neighbors around the block. They all knew about my skills and some trusted my handy skills, others didn't. Like I was young, sometimes I have to admit that I did bite more that I could chew. Around my neighborhood I used to fix leaky faucets, carpentry work, welding, changed the battery of a car, like I said, I was quite the handyman, and I always had pride on making my living in an honest way. For me there was not such a thing like a bad job, but like I said, no matter what I did, I could not find the way to make a living out of my skills. That's why the job I had at the time was so precious for me, and that's why when this company started having financial problems, my whole world started to tremble. I knew that if I lose my job most likely will be a long time before I could find another one. I was living pay check to pay check; I was living in a very delicate financial situation.
One of those days at work, taking a break on my favorite spot-that place by the front door of my work-I was looking at the people passing by, when my boss parked his car right in front of the store. He came over and asked me to give him a hand. It was early in the afternoon, and there was lots of people window-shopping, and he said to me, "Can you put these VCRs in the trunk of my car?" I said "Sure," and I just did it, no questions asked. Then when I was done he said, "Don't mention it to anyone okay. I trust you!" He said that to me and winked at me as he walked away. By then I knew something was wrong, but whatever was, it was already done. Later that day he told me, "Call home and tell them you are going to be late for dinner. Later on tonight we have a meeting." And he winked at me again saying, "Just you and I, and not a word to no one else okay? I trust you" I said "Sure boss no worries." That day after work he took me to a dance bar and we had a few drinks looking at the girls dancing. He asked me after a few to go and get the two VCRs out of his car, and gave them to the bar tender adding, "He will know what to do with them." I did give the VCRs to the bartender and before we went home my boss paid the bill, and gave me some cash saying, "This never happened," wink.
It was obvious to me that those VCRs were not going to the repair shop, actually they were brand-new ones. I got home that night with one question in my mind, "Did I just rob the store? Am I a thief now?" I thought "What I'm going to do now?" I did know exactly what just happened, and I didn't like it. I knew he was stealing those VCRs. I didn't know what I could do really, because he was my boss, but I knew one thing though, "Fooled me once shame on you, fooled me twice shame on me."
Having to chose between being employed or being jobless is not an easy decision to make, that's why is hard to explain how happy I was, when I heard the news that one of my jobs applications was accepted by a financial institution. This company was downtown too, and just around the block from where I was working. Not in 21st Boulevard where the hot potatoes were, but darn close.
Many times I have walked by this place, and I looked at this people working in this nice place wishing myself to be working in their place. This company was one of the first places where I have filled a job application, and now they were offering me a job as a Consumer Credit Executive. I just couldn't believe it, I was so happy, but nobody was there to celebrate with me that day.
At the time I have been busy, so busy that I almost forgot about my Comadre Veronica. One of those days I decided to go and pay her a visit. I call her from a rotary phone at work and for my surprise she was home that day, and she invited me over for tea time. I walked to her house in another nice sunny day, and when I got to her house I realized that her address was just a few blocks away from my place. What a surprise! I knocked her door, she asked me to come in, and we talked for a while. Later on we had tea, and the thing I like the most besides seeing her house spotless was the way she served the tea, and the way she set up the table, everything was just very neat. There I met he mom Mrs. Margarita, and we had a very good time. Having tea with her mom Mrs. Margarita "Abby"-Sebastian couldn't pronounce the word abuelita so he called her "Abby" and since then everybody call her that way. We enjoy the French bread, ham and cheese, and a very good conversation. I remember feeling a bit embarrassed having to ask so many times, about the meaning of the words that they were using on our conversation. Veronica's mom Mrs. Abby was a retired principal of an elementary school, so they did speak a very good Spanish. They even asked me if it was okay to correct some of my terrible grammar assassinations. They asked me in a very polite way, but it was quite embarrassing for me.
That day having a wonderful tea-time with them, I realized that the life of that house was Veronica's son Sebastian. They call him Chevy, and he was really the light of the house. He reminded me when I was little, and I was in my daddy Oscar's house. Besides the fact of being a very happy kid, he was the only guy among five girls. On that house at the time there was Mrs. Abby, Veronica, Margarita, Anita and his Great Grandmother. At the same time he was the first grandson of Mrs. Margarita and Veronica was the youngest of them all, so like you can see, just as I was on my daddy Oscar house, he was a very lucky and spoiled little kid, but very well behaved. He was always on the move, and his laugh was so contagious, he laughed from the bottom of his heart.
Since then I started to visit them, every now and then, having tea or sometimes even dinner with them, my life took a turn for the better. I even join in a soccer team, and I started to exercise more often. I have been always a very quiet kind of person, and with them I was no exception, but I did love to listen to them, and I think they noticed. It has been always quite the trouble for me to keep a fluid conversation about nothing, just talking of this or that like girls often do, and they are so good at it, but I really enjoyed being there with them. I didn't feel awkward around them, and even if sometimes there it was a long pause of nothing but silence, it was okay. As they were talking sometimes I did interrupt asking, "What was that word that you just said?" And they had no problems explaining to me the meaning of it, and at the same time, they did let me know when I was saying something grammatically incorrect. They corrected me in a way that they didn't make me feel uncomfortable at all.
It is hard to make a transition into this one but like Veronica was out of my reach for many reasons, I found nothing better than starting to go out with her older sister Margarita. I did start dating Veronica's sister after a few months of me going over there. That was interesting to say the least. We dated for a few months, and we had a great time while it lasted. Some things just happen others don't. I don't think dating her sister was the best idea I should say, but I really liked her. We were just not very compatible at the end. I remember at the time that I was so into finances, that I even made a mathematical graphic, where you could see the curved of love. When I showed that to Margarita we were on that part where the curve exponentially start taking off almost straight up. I remember showing her that graphic and I remember that soon after that, one of the things that didn't add up in the graphic, was the sudden down fall of the line. Accordingly to the graphic that shouldn't have had happen, but it did, and just like when a market completely collapse, one day I fell out of love with no warning what so ever. I really didn't see it coming. We broke up in very good terms, and when that happened I was afraid that our broken relationship was going to affect my relationship with Veronica, and the rest of her family. Until that happened I really didn't think of the consequences, and I didn't think beforehand that an event like that could damage our friendship with Veronica or the friendship with rest of her family. Good thing we were all adults, and Margarita and me talked to Veronica, and it was all cool between us. No hard feelings and was able to keep visiting Veronica and her family like always.
Every time I showed up at that home, I had a friend that was always very happy to see me, and that friend was Sebastian. I really liked to be his friend and I imagined what it would be like, to be a father, and come home to a beloved family. At that age in my life I really wanted a child of my own, and I was looking for a mother. I used to wonder who was going to be that woman, and at what age of my life that was going to happen. I always had that dream, but knowing my financial status, that thought looked as a very far-fetch dream. Anyhow it was nice to spend some time with Sebastian. He looked just like the son I wanted to have. I did always paid attention to what he was saying, and I always seemed to connect with him. I did catch what he was talking about, even if sometimes I had to ask Veronica what he was saying, because he was just starting to talk. Over all we really enjoyed spending some time together.
One of those days, I was asked a favor from Mrs. Margarita and Veronica. I was seated at the table having tea, and listening to Sebastian, when I heard Mrs. Margarita telling me, "Daniel, we need to ask you a favor. Like you know this lucky guy over here-rolling her eyes towards Sebastian-is surrounded by girls, and he is starting to go potty by himself. We are very proud of him starting to go by himself, but he is going number one seated in the toilet like girls do, and there is where you come in the picture. We need somebody who shows him how guys go number one. Could you show him please?" I smile and lain back on the chair with my arms crossed over my chest. Mrs. Abby said to me, "I guess by the position of your arms you don't like our proposal." I was embarrassed at first because she was right, as they teach you in Sales, when it comes to body language, crossing your legs or your arms is a sign of disagreement. It really got me by surprise at first, but hey, I had two older brothers, and I have been part of more than a few sports team, so I thought what the problem was? We waited until he wanted to go, and we went to the bathroom together, and I showed him how to boys go number one. He reminded me of myself when I was a kid, and I was surrounded by girls at my mom Nieves house. I was so spoiled, and so he was. I liked that coincidence. I looked at Veronica's family as the family that one day I wanted to have, and every time I went over and spend time with them, I felt coming closer and closer with all of them.
In the mean time a new opportunity came around work wise. One of the biggest and most prestigious financial institutions in the country was about to open a new branch in Arica. That was a chance I could not let to pass me by, and as soon as I could I send them my resume. They were offering all the positions, including people to work in the main office full-time. I applied for this job because was like a dream come true. They were offering more money, a whole bunch of benefits, and if I was accepted, I would have my own desk in the main office.
I was working in a job that was considered a career starter, and I was making barely above minimum wage, and like I said, all considered I was lucky to have that job, but still I could barely afford to cover my basic needs. One third of my salary was just to pay for transportation; almost half was rent; the rest food, and what about clothing? I remember having to ask for credit just to be able to afford working clothes, and I really struggle to make the payments on time.
I used to lose my sleep thinking about how to improve my financial situation, and I used to think, "What about if I had a kid or a wife, or both? How could I pay for all those expenses? Don't I deserve to have a family? What good is to have a nation if you are on your own? I use to beat myself up thinking about all that. No matter how hard I worked I couldn't get ahead, and when I started to think about this reality of mine, I had to abandon logic, and put math aside, because thinking about it, didn't help at all. When I started thinking about all that I had to stopped myself saying, "Everything will be okay. Just keep going. Keep hanging in there. You can do it!" I had no choice, and it felt like knowing about finances was a disadvantage instead of an asset.
At work everyone couldn't stop talking about the new branch that the biggest Financial Institution in the country was about to open. That was FUSA Financial Inc. Fusa was the name of the financial institution that was getting ready to open its door right there in the city where I lived. That was opportunity and even if I didn't tell anyone about it, I secretly applied for it. People at work and friends asked me if I was going to apply for this new financial institution, but I just played stupid. I didn't answer to their questions about applying for Fusa I just told them, "No! Of course, I haven't applied for it. I love my current job. What was the name?" Like I said, I loved my job, and I didn't want retaliation or people saying, "If you loved your job, why go looking for another, right?" Over all, I didn't want to let people know at my workplace, that I was not hundred percent happy with my existing job. That job that is giving you a way to pay your bills, and I didn't want to be part of those who are in the "black-list" I didn't want to be among of those who don't like the job that they have. Especially in my country you do not want to be on that list, especially in that kind of economy so typical of a third world country. The economy in a third world country is very volatile, and with unemployment in the double digits, trust me, you don't want to risk the one job you have. Was that lying? You can't blame a person when that person is being faced with survival, because is like a police with a gun in hand asking you can I come in? Can I search your car? You really don't have a choice.
At that moment I wished I had finished my career so bad, I was only three months away from finishing my career, but no money, and no time, the story of my life. I was too busy just trying to survive. I wished at the time when I filled that application for Fusa financial, that I could say, I had a degree in Business Administration specialized on finances. That definitely would've helped. I felt sometimes like I was an individual marked by society as not worthy enough to have a life. That was how I felt at times and many times I have to abandon that kind of negative thinking, even if it was rational and logic after all, because that was my reality at the time, but that kind of thinking was a negative one, and like they say, "Spiritually, things do multiply." Good and bad they multiply, and I didn't want to end up filling my heart and mind with negativity. I was young and I was not ready to give up on hope, at least not yet. When I was falling into that kind of thinking, the best thing for me to do was to take a humble attitude and with faith I said a prayer to the one. I asked for help to keep hope alive in my heart.
At the time I was going to visit them about once a week, and that was my life for a little while, just working hard and going to visit them about once or twice a week sometimes.
One of those days after a soccer practice I went to visit Veronica, and we encounter each other at the bus stop. They were coming back from the grocery store, and I just got out of the bus. We started walking from the bus stop to Veronica's house, and Sebastian was walking by my side. Like always he was happy to see me, and he took my hand that day. he was happy to see me as I was happy to see him. I was walking home with one of my favorite people in the world at the time, and that was my little friend Sebastian. He made me forget all about that bitterness that I use to carry around with me some times. He made me feel like a dad, and for some reason it was always fun to be around him.
That day as we turned the corner entering the block where Veronica's house was, and as we were a couple houses away from her house, we did here a loud engine and screaming tires, we looked back, and we saw this car swerving out of control, passing us by really quick, and the car rolled over right in front of us. Everything happened so fast and right in the middle of a very narrow street. I was surprised that the car swerved and rolled over, and it didn't go out of the road, heating fences or a house or us as a matter of fact. The car missed us just for a couple of yards. I give Sebastian to Veronica and run towards the car that ended up upside down in the middle of the streets, and with two passengers inside. I was afraid that the worst could happen, because I could see gasoline leaking from the back of the car, and the persons inside were not moving. I've got to the car in a second, and I pulled the two people that were inside out of the car one by one. I did take them to safety, and thanks God they were okay. The car didn't caught fire or anything, but for sure the car was a total. It could've been way worse. They were lucky, and we were lucky that the car didn't run over us. All this happened so fast that we couldn't stop talking about it all day long that day.
By that time Veronica and I were doing a lot of stuff together, I should've have call it dating, but that word didn't even cross my mind at the time. Why was I such a dork? I don't know, but to give you an idea how much of a dork I was, let me tell this short, but true story:
I was 15 years old and I was a freshman in a brand new high school in which, after a couple months I met a Girl. The most beautiful girl I have ever seen in my life.
A couple of months after the beginning of the school year, a girl got transferred to our classroom from another school, and from the moment I saw her, I was blown away. She looked like the girl of my dreams instantly. From the moment I saw her, I realized that I had a major crash on her. I was such a kid at the time. I remember asking myself, "If I liked her that much, am I ready to give up my stamp collection for her?" That's how much of a kid I was, when I was fifteen-years old.
She became my first Platonic Love, my very first crush. I started writing poems for her, and started thinking about her all the time. Every time I was alone I missed her, I wished she was with me at every moment of my life. I used to dream that the ultimate love was the one you grow up with, going from teenagers to adults together, ending on having a couple of babies product of that pure love, and then you become grandparents, and then end of the story. I was only fifteen years old, and I was looking for true love. I thought that I have found the love of my life, and true love was her, and that was all I could think about.
At recess time I found the guts to start talking to her, and I was so thrilled that she talked back to me. Since that moment we became very good friends. Every time I had the change I talked to her and I wanted to know everything about her. I was so into her. After a month or so, from the moment I met her, I invited her to the beach, just me and her, and for my surprise she accepted my invitation. I remember being so out of myself. I literally felt like I was walking in the clouds, and it was hard for me to believe that she said yes, yes! I thought she liked me back, yes! She gave me her address, and that weekend we went to the beach, just the two of us. I walked to her house with a beach towel over my shoulder, and while walking I started to think about God and life, and that way I got there in no time. When I got to her home-a brick apartment on the last floor of a fifth-story apartment complex-her mom opened the door. I could tell she was her mom. She looked at me saying hello, and she looked behind the door, I guess was Norma telling her with signs to get lost or something like that, because she looked at me one more time and said, "Nice to meet you. Let me get Norma for you." Norma came to the door, I could tell she was right there, just a few steps away. She was ready to go, and she had her beach bag already hanging on her shoulder. That was the first time I saw her wearing other than the school uniform, and she had a nice pair of sun shades that gave her such a nice look. I was literally in awe.
We went to the beach right in front of her apartments, and all the way to the beach we were talking a little bit of everything. We didn't have to force the conversation, we were relaxed, and the words flew out naturally. We were getting to know each other a bit better, as we were enjoying the walk in a nice sunny day. When we got to the beach was just the two of us. We were away from the more crowded and most popular part of the beach. We lay our towels on the sand and talked for awhile enjoying the beautiful scene of the open ocean. Then we walk along the beach, wetting our feet in the ocean, and came back to bathe under the sun again. We spent hours talking about nothing and everything. Being by her side I had so much balance in my mind, instead of being dreaming about a perpetual motion device or God, by her side, I was present and completely aware. I have never seen a girl looking so good in a swimming suit, and that day by the ocean, I knew for the first time in my life that I was completely and undoubtedly in love. While talking to her at a point, we did get closer to each other, like almost kissing, but we didn't. I was trying my best not to do anything that could remotely upset her or come across as disrespectful. We had a great time together that day, and it was so nice to be by her side. I really felt like I was on top of the world that day.
Since that day we started being really good friends, every day we started to spend recess time close to each other, and she started to visit my home after school. I remember having an Atary 2600-one of the first game consoles ever, and I was one of the few kids that had one. I bug my mom so much about buying me one that finally she agreed to buy me one. She had to ask for credit, and go to great extents to please me on that one. She knew as well how much I loved computers as a teen. Norma and I spent hours, playing over and over the same simple, but at the time very amazing games. Our favorite was Tanks and Pong. We had so much fun together, and all of the sudden we didn't talk to each other no more. Everything was just fine, but after a little while everything changed for the worse. I couldn't understand what happened, but she started to avoid me at recess times.
I couldn't understand why she started avoiding me, and as days went by, she distanced from me everyday more and more. I didn't know how to get closer to her again, and I started to think, "What have I done wrong?" That uncertainty and to see her rejection really hurt me. I couldn't get over her, and even if in my heart I was totally in love, I didn't have the courage to ask her what happened. It was obvious for me that she didn't like me no more. That's what I thought, but I never asked. I blamed myself for her rejection towards me, and instead of talking to her about what was going on, I let my foolish pride get in the way, and from that moment we grew further apart more and more.
Even if we almost didn't talk to each other, the only thing I could do was to think about her all the time. I started writing poems for her, and it was obvious for my whole family that I was in love. For them I was having a serious case of puppy love.
Out of all the poems I wrote for her one of them got stuck on my head, because I read it to my brother Luis, and he made a joke out of it. He has heard comments from some of my friends that she liked to drink, and he didn't like her because of that. For me those bad comments were nothing but gossips out of jealousy, and at the time he made a joke out of my poem I got very insulted, but as the time went by I got a good laugh of it.
If you were a flower, I would like to be the soil and the water that gives you everything you need to be the beautiful thing you are.
If you were a bird, I would like to be tree where you sleep at night, and the air that supports your wings every time you fly…
My brother then said, "If you were a dog, I would like to be the tree where you pee on, and if you were a bottle of wine, I would like to be your liquor store."
About a couple of months after the date at the beach, one of those days a friend in common set us up in a date. I just could not believe it, just out of the blues this guy I barely new said to me, "I know you guys don't talk no more, but this weekend her parents are going to be out of town, and Norma wants me to take you to her house. She asked me not to tell you that, but I trust that you are not going to tell her I told you, right? I'm going to take with me to her house and after a few minutes I am going to leave, and you guys are going to be all alone, just the two of you. I wish you guys can fix this mess you got into. Do you want to go?" I said, "But of course! I thought she didn't want to have nothing to do with me no more." The guy said, "That is exactly what she thinks too. She thinks that you don't want anything to do with her."
The weekend came over quick and the guy picked me up exactly at the time he said was going to pick me up. We walked to her apartment, and as he said, he stayed with us for a bit and soon after he left. We sat outside on the stairs of her apartment, and we started talking like nothing ever happened between us. On those steps we started talking about music, and she mention a song I couldn't recall if I had listen to it or not, so she sang the song for me. That moment was for me like pure magic. I was listening to her voice with an English accent, and that for me was adorable! She sang Careless whisper by George Michael. How I could've known back then, that the lyrics of this song were a premonition of what came to pass to between us. How I could've known that I was going to waste the only chance that I have been given?
When I was with her I don't know why, but the last thing I had in mind was to kiss her. I loved to be around her, and get to know her was more important that anything. I loved listening to the sound of her voice, and she always had a lot to say. At the same time when I was away from her, the only thing I could do was to think about the moment when we finally kiss. I thought about the day of our wedding, that moment in the altar, after I put a ring on her hand, and I promised to love her forever and ever, and we finally said I do and kissed. That was how I used to dream of us.
There on the stairs we started talking and having fun for a while, and then we went to the liquor store close by, and bought a bottle of Pisco-a liquor typical of my country and very strong, strong as vodka, but with way better taste than vodka, because is made out of grapes, and not out of potatoes. Anyhow her parents weren't home that night, and she said to me, "I'm going to drink that Pisco with you, but you better don't take advantage of me." I said to her right away, "Crossed my Heart." We kept talking and drinking, having fun, and soon were drunk. We even had a balance competition after a little while. We were just having a great time together, like nothing ever happened. We were both alone on her apartment, and it was getting late. She and I were very tipsy, laughing our butts off out of nothing and everything. Was about that time when she dropped a glass to the floor and broke, as she tried to pick it up, she cut one of her fingers, and right away I took her by the hand to the sink of the bathroom, and I washed her hand, cleaned the wound that was just a little cut on her index finger, I put a bandage on it, and as I finish putting the bandage on her finger, we looked at each other right in the eye, and I did saw love in her eyes, she got closer to me, then I did stop her saying gently back to her, "I would love to kiss you right now, but we are drunk, and you said not to take advantage of you while you were drunk, and because I like you so much, I respect you even more, I am not going to kiss you right now while you're drunk." She put her head down, jerked her hand out of mine, turned around, and got inside of her bedroom, shutting the door hard after her. After a minute or two, not knowing what to do, I did call her door, but she didn't answer, and again my stupid pride let me down, I just left upset at her for her attitude.
Never again I had the chance to correct that mistake with Norma Plaza. Even to this day I still call myself a moron, dimwit, dork, jerk, and it's hard for me to stop calling me names. Every time I think about it, I see a big football stadium full of people, and all of them chanting over and over, "Dumb Ass, dumb ass…" Because I really regret the fact that I wasted the chance I had to kiss her, and could've been such a nice story to tell to our grandchildren. I really saw love in her eyes, as much love I'm sure, there was in my eyes.
"Wasted the chance that I've been given. I will never going to dance again the way I danced with you." with this experience I learned that she was the, "Now or never kind of girl." Actually I learned for the first time in my life, that there was such a thing. Never again I had the chance to correct that mistake. End of the short story.
With Veronica in a way I was doing the same, that day I was not in a date with Veronica, I was having teatime with her. I wish I could've known better, would've saved me lots of headaches in my life for sure.
Every time we were together was at least a good time, a good time if not a great time. She used to tell me about her dreams, and we did talk for a long time every time. That should've been a big clue for me, but no, I just kept looking at her like someone that was completely out of my reach. By then both of us have been divorced quite some time now, but in my mind I could not connect the dots. One day she even did almost the same thing Norma did to me. She played a song to me that she really liked, and we even tried to sing along. Actually she did understand some English at the time, and I didn't have a clue. The song was "More than words" by Extreme, and who could've known then that the song was like another premonition of the future of our relationship.
She told me in one of those occasions that she had applied for a job at a big insurance company. I congratulated her and wish her the best of lucks getting the job. That day we started talking about it for a while and she said, "If for any reason I ended up getting hired, we both will be working very close to each other in Downtown Arica, so to celebrate, we have to have lunch together one of those days for sure." Amen to that I said. I could tell she was very excited about getting that job, she was already talking about what she was going to do with the money and she added, "If I do get hired that job could be a great thing for me. I'll be making a living using one of my biggest assets, my rhetoric. I'll be talking all day long with people that want to buy life insurances, and most of them are people with lots of education, so I can use my big words and such. I can't wait Compadre." Veronica loved to talk and for some reason I loved to listen, especially to her.
Soon after that day, about two weeks later, she told me that she has been hired, and on top of all that, she was very excited because, her job started with a trip. She will have to go out of town for a couple weeks to be trained for her new job. She was very happy, and excited about it. She said to me, "As soon as I start working at the office in downtown, we need to meet for lunch." Sure! I said it's a promise!
She went out of town for training, and when she came back, as promised, we met for lunch downtown 21st Boulevard. We went to one of my favorite restaurants in downtown, "Mr. Flower-Don Floro." They had many delicious dishes, but they were well known in town, for their Italian food made from scratch.
I waited for her that day in the heart of downtown, in a corner by a little kiosk in the middle of 21st Blvd. When she arrived she looked great, like double Cherry pie, yeah! There she was, with a short skirt, and a long jacket, it was red, and had a hoodie. I keep saying to myself what a good looking brunette, and like always I felt lucky to be the one by her side. She made me feel in a very special way, when she was around everything was a lot nicer. I guess she had that personal quality called class, she was a very classy girl.
Rendezvous with her right on time, entered the place and we sat down in a nice table, at this vintage, but very charming restaurant. We ordered a couple of soft drinks to start, and her favorite drink at the time was: a long glass full of ice, then, she will pour some diet Coke in it. My favorite drink at the time and even to this day, was just regular Pepsi, easy ice.
She looked so fine that day. I was used to see her at home taking care of the house, and Sebastian, that I forgot in a way how good looking of a girl she was. As the restaurant name was Mr. Flower, in every table they had a little base with a fresh flower in it. That was a nice touch that mixed with the magic of that moment. The waitress who took care of us that day was Mr. Alamiro. He has been working in that restaurant for decades, and he really took good care of us.
By the end of lunch I guess she caught me looking down her blouse to her nice cleavage, and it was by accident, I didn't mean to do it, but her blouse button kept coming undone, and she said, "This blouse is driving me crazy, I cannot get it to stay how I wanted." I said to her "That blouse is driving me crazy too." We laugh out loud, said cheers and kept talking for a while. What a great moment we had that day, so far the greatest lunch ever, but we were just friends. It didn't even cross my mind at the time to think of her in any other way. We were friends and that was it. We were Compadres spending some time together in between chapters of our lives.
One of those days instead of having our weakly tea time, Veronica invited me over for a little barbecue. She had received some extra money as a bonus for her excellent work, and she wanted me to prepare for them my specialty, the 21 days aged Char Broiled Flank Steak. That was my personal favorite of all meats, and she had never tried that cut before, so she wanted to try it, and I said to her, "Count me in." All I had to do was to cook the meat and Veronica was going prepare all the side dishes. It was a real promising good time waiting to happen. We were going to have a nice family dinner like many times before, and I would've never thought how good of a time that dinner was going to be.
I went to that barbecue having absolutely nothing in my mind, other than having a good time around nice people. Spend some time with my little friend Sebastian, eat my favorite cut of meat, and have some of those delicious salads that she was going to prepare from scratch. Veronica really knew how to cook. That day I got there to her house, and I started preparing the fire and cleaning the grill. I was getting everything ready while listening to some good music, and drinking my easy ice Pepsi, like always. That day I felt right at home, and after a few the fire was ready, and I threw the aged Flank Steak on the grill. As I was cooking the meat I remembered that has been more than a month since I have not visited my mom Mercedes. I was in the middle of all of that, when Veronica came and asked me if the meat was ready, I said, "Just four more minutes Veronica. Most of the meat is done, but there is one piece that needs a few more minutes." She came over to let me know that she was ready to start serving dinner as soon as I have the meat ready. At that very spontaneous moment without not even thinking, I did something that I shouldn't. I did cut a piece of meat, take it with my fingers, and put it in her mouth. I fed her instead of giving it to her in a fork. When she opened her mouth to eat the piece of meat, I realized what I've done. I realize that I have crossed the line. She was not a little kid neither my girlfriend to do something like that. Putting food in somebody else's mouth is the kind of stuff lovey-dovey couples do. As I was saying, "What do you thing about the meat comadre?" I was in the middle of saying that, when the time seems to slow down and for split second our eyes made contact like never before. I was putting the food in her mouth, and I felt like our souls touched each other. The moment came and left in a blink of an eye, but what I felt at that moment, it was something very special.
After another great time at her home with her whole family, I did get home that night, and I had a feeling deep in my heart that I could not shake it off. The dinner was over, but I was still lost hanging in that moment when I put a piece of meat in her mouth. For the first time it was imminent to me, that I liked her and a lot. The only thing I could do that night was to replay in my mind that split second when we looked at each other's eyes. What a moment!
I was in a dilemma the question was do I like her? Or am I already in love with her? Whatever the question was I was in trouble, and serious trouble. She was my teacher at a point in my life, the best friend of my ex-girlfriend-teacher Ximena, I was the best man on her wedding, the ex-boyfriend of her older sister, and now what?! What a complicated situation that was, and was already too late? If it was true, that I was in love with her, then I already messed up dating her sister. What a dilemma! What to do, what to do?! It didn't make sense at all, and I kept contradicting myself saying, "It was nothing, is all on your head, she wouldn't, would she?"
I sat at the edge of my bed that night, and I thought about it long and hard. There it was no answer to it, no logic, and I didn't find any answer to what was going on with me. I was so confused. The only thing left to do for me was praying to the one with all my heart. I prayed to God in a different manner that night. I always prayed to God giving thanks for everything I had first, then I used to say let it be your will and not mine, finishing my prayer with the usual, "…in the name of your son Jesus the Christ. Amen." That was it. That's how I used to pray then, and I have to tell you that I don't pray like that anymore, but I still do pray. That night when I prayed I asked God for something, and it was a very simple thing, but a very important thing for me. I asked God to bless the relationship between me and Veronica. I did that because I thought and believed in my heart that she was the one. What baffled my mind was the thought about if Veronica liked me back. That was hard for me to believe, and that was what happened to me when my brain got in the way of your heart. Before I put my head down to pay that night I remember looking at the clock right before I close my eyes-it was about 11pm-and as I was finished praying I saw Veronica's face looking a bit older, and she had an expression of sadness on her eyes, a cold look on her eyes. That image faded out of my mind slowly, and when I opened my eyes, I did look back at the alarm clock, and for my surprise it was 1 AM plus. To this day I cannot explain how that happened, but like always no answer from heavens above either, just like always there it was silence over silence, and nothing else.
A few days later after that iconic moment in my life, Veronica and I went for a walk to the edge of the by the ocean-a road called La Costanera. It was a day we met after lunch time to have a break together. It was a little escape from our busy and stressful jobs. This side walk along the ocean is like a real life size museum. There is a park right in front of the ocean, and right in front of a cliff about thousand feet high. This park leads to the steps of a church design and build by Eiffel himself, back in 1875-the church of St. Marcus. By the way the story about this church made out of metal is a very interesting story.
Arica weather wise is never too hot or too cold, so anytime is always the perfect time to have a walk. One of those days, one of many in this privileged place weather wise, we were walking along the coast by the side of the ocean, with a fresh breeze caressing our faces, and in the middle of that, right out of the blues, we ended up talking about me dating her sister Margarita. She asked me why we broke up, and I answered her with a question, I asked, "Have you talked about this with your sister Margarita?" She said, "Yes but I want to know your version of the story." That was a tough question but I had nowhere to hide, so I said, "The truth as I see it. You know there is always more than one way to look at things. The way I saw it was we got to be the point where I realized, that I liked her very much, but I didn't love her, and I was wondering if I will ever be able to love her. That was the question. In our relationship I didn't see a future together. I asked myself, "Do I love her enough to share my life with her? Do I love her enough to say I want a family with her? Honestly I had no answer, and that in itself was an answer. The rest you already know it. As soon as I realized that I let her know, and we broke up. I wanted out. I didn't want her to feel like I was just using her. I was afraid to be unfaithful to her, and I thought she deserves better. I do have respect for all of you, I did make a mistake and I am sorry." Veronica said, "Nothing to be sorry about Compadre. Life happens. I know." I said, "I really like to have you, and your family as friend of mine." At that moment I don't know what took over me, but I looked on Veronica's eyes, and I said to her, "I know that you and I cannot be a couple for so many reasons, but let me grab your hand, and let me dream away. I don't want to think about anything right now, I just want to enjoy this very moment. Let me pretend that we have been a couple happily in love for a while, walking along the ocean enjoying a beautiful sunny day. May I?" I was having a very bad day at work and I needed a break for my brain at that moment. I needed to disconnect for a moment." We started walking along the sidewalk of the Costanera, right in front of this majestic cliff called "El Morro" listening to the waves crashing on the rocks. I don't remember what she was saying or what she was talking about, because I really spaced out inside my mind. I know she was talking about something, but by her hand in my hand I was lost in the moment.
Sometimes I think that if you start thinking about what you're feeling, you're already not feeling it anymore. I just wanted to remember that moment forever. Everything was good at that moment in my life, and I knew it was not going to last for long. I was right in front of a beautiful ocean front view, nicely dressed, with an okay job, and a beautiful girl by my side.
I still treasure that moment and I know that moment was the inspiration to write a song many years later. That moment is still patent in my mind. "Take me to the Moon, at the edge of the ocean, and will see the Sunset over the horizon. Take me to see the lights, reflecting over the waters. let me take your hand, and let me dream away, dream away. Take me to see Moon going to sleep beyond the horizon, let me take your hand, and let me dream away, dream away."
Working at my job was very stressful, as stressful as dealing with people always is. That break I took with her that day was in a way for me, an escape from reality. It didn't make sense to grab her hand, but it was the right thing to do at that moment in my heart. I did it with my heart. I didn't think about it. I don't even know what Veronica thought about it, other than she told me at the end of that brake, that she had a good time that day.
A few days after that moment, right after I had dinner with my beloved mother Mercedes, I called Veronica to see how she was doing, and I ask her if she would like to go out for a motorcycle ride along the ocean. With a lot of effort I had bought me a motorcycle with the fruits of my work. My first big dream come true I should say. I got me a Honda cruiser 400cc and as I remember I got that motorcycle way before the movie Terminator, and the motorcycle looked just like the one in the movie. I ask her if she wanted to go for a ride and she said yes. I was feeling great that night. Right after dinner with my mom Mercedes I grabbed my motorcycle, and I went to Veronica's house. I got to her house in a heartbeat. When I got there I had to wait for her to get ready. I waited on her living room for about a good half an hour. Half an hour, but for sure the wait was worth it every second. She looked great that day, and especially on my Bike. Before she got on my bike, I gave her a quick motorcycle safety brief. Always safety comes first. "It is very important when you ride with somebody in a motorcycle, to let them Know that they need to lean with you at the same time, otherwise you can have a very bad accident. If the person does not lean over with you, the motorcycle will keep going straight, and you cannot turn. I was very careful to explain that to her." She got on my bike after me and I told her, "Hang on tight. Lean with me as much as I do all the time, okay?" okay she said and on we went for a ride in another night of perfect weather in Arica-Vice. No vice for me at the time though.
We went for a ride along by the ocean at the perfect time, in a perfect night, the temperature was perfect. Almost no wind, just a gentle warm breeze coming out from the ocean, and on top of all that a moon was out in a clear sky full of stars. What a night that was. After a little while I stopped in one of my favorite places, a parking lot along the road, right at the edge of a low cliff right in front of the ocean. Plenty of big round rocks around where you can sit on it, and on that place waves crash into the rocks at the very bottom of the cliff with a lot of force. Sometimes with such force that the waves made the place rumbled with the roar. We sat over the rocks, lucking at the moon and the stars, and we chat for a bit. At that time in my life I used to believe in Jesus Christ, and I was curious about her faith. Out of the blue I ask her, "What do you think of Jesus?" Veronica being a history graduate from one the most prestigious Universities in the country, she gave me pretty much a lecture about this very well known character in history, instead of an answer. She mention all about the Historical impact of Jesus Christ in his time, and influence of this character that appeared in History two thousand years ago. I must add that I was a bit disappointed with the answer she gave me, but the question came right back at me, and that was the time to show her my Jesus I said, "First of all I do believe in the Bible so for me Jesus is alive today. He is bigger than you and I, and thanks to him we are here today. Thanks to Jesus our sins were cleaned… and …" I continued, "…When I look at the sky, I do realize that there is something else, other than just humans out there. I feel it and I know one thing for sure, I am part of it. Nothing is completely oblivious to its surroundings, and I have faith that is alive, and does care about us."
She was not too impressed with my answer at all, and to be honest with you I guess, I went a bit too deep. I enjoyed the conversation nonetheless, but I wanted her to go a bit deeper, more precisely I wanted her to show me her spiritual colors. For her Jesus was nothing but another famous character in history, and that was it. End of the story. I have to admit that I was a bit disappointed, because after all she got married at a church, and I didn't see any indication that there was faith in her heart. I thought she may even add something, but no, we listen to the waves hitting the cliff, and she changed the subject, and that was it. We did go back to her house and right before I left, we had a little Porsche moment. Somehow we went back to God and I opened up spiritually to her. She knew about my life quest that started when I was about thirteen-years old, and she knew I wanted to be the one who proved to the world, once and for all, that God does exist or at least proved to the world that God existence was possible. With her for me it was easy to talk about my favorite subject, and that was God, at least she did listen to me. I said to her, "Veronica let me tell you this, "If God created the earth and the heavens above, is a fact then, that God must had left clues all over and around. We just have to find the answers, but they are out there. I hope one day I get to understand energy, because I think understanding energy is the key to understand God."
I wished I was a scientist or something like that, but truth was: I was nothing but a Joe Schmoe, barely surviving, and still believing in Santa Claus.
That was my hope anyways, I was poor but I had a dream. That's why I kept working on my perpetual motion device, and due to the lack of resources I kept working on it, but only in my mind. For some reason I kept thinking about it, and every time I had the chance, I thought about of it and I knew, I was getting closer to find one. I said to her, "I do have very limited financial resources, but thanks to God, I have a mind that knows no limits when it comes to create things inside of it. One day Veronica, one day I will surprise you, and I will show you my creation."
Once I heard a saying that got stuck in my mind, "A man speaks of what his heart is full of." That's why I am always so quiet, because my heart was full of God, and it was hard to find people wanting to talk about God. Most of the people, very quick start talking about religion, and for me God and religion were two very different things. God for me is pretty much life itself, and religion is the way you express your gratitude for these precious gift that has been given to you.
Time went along nicely at my work except for a couple of times that I was late. I had a busy, and very entertaining life at the time. Still kind of lonely, but a busy life nonetheless.
Over there in my country a full-time jobs are 48 hours a week, so for me first time working full time was a very hard thing to do. At the same time at that moment in my life I finally realized something about drugs. There was no doubt in my mind, that the reason way they felt so good was only because I was addicted to them. Only those who have endured addiction can understand the struggle. Once you were an addict is very hard to come out of that circle that you got into. You become convinced that you cannot live without them, but you know better, and that is the struggle.
When you do come out of drugs you struggle, but as the time goes by, little by little you regain your confidence and self-esteem back. Finally I knew Paste was nothing but garbage, and you smoke garbage you become garbage. My next step on my life was quit smoking. I regretted smoking every time I had a puff. I have been always very athletic, but I was still smoking. At the time I had about six cigarettes a day and a few beers on the weekend for sure. I wanted then just to go down to one cigarette a day, but there it was always an excuse. My only excuse to be a smoker was, "At that time on TV, newspapers, radio and magazines, smoking was the coolest thing to do. Fact! We all know much the indecency of the tobacco industry was then. That is a reminder that humans are humans, and that's why people that leaves in a democracy, need to be always watching for those with a lot of money. Many people with money will do it just because of the profit, and with complete disregards to look at the impact of their actions in a social context. Humans are the biggest evil you will ever find on the face of Earth. As far as History goes, humans are the only ones who can turn Heavens into hell in a heartbeat.
As the days went by on my time off I love to practice playing the guitar, but I sucked at music. I was tone deaf, had no rhythm, but anyways I keep trying. I use to say, "If I do believe in eternity there is no doubt in my mind that one day, I will understand what music is, and if it is not on this life, it will be in the next one. One day I will be able to play the guitar, and one day my dream of playing music along with other people, will come true."
In that almost studio of mine, I had a spider-pet named Petronila. She was really special to me. She came out of hiding and got closer to the glass when I started playing my guitar, and she moved one of her legs to the beat of music. I swear! It was hilarious. Petronila was my first fan ever. She liked to listen to me every time I played the guitar, and for me playing the guitar was something good for my soul.
One of those days I got home from work and for my surprise, when I checked the mail, I found a letter from FUSA financial. I saw the letter and I remembered that has been months from the moment I filled that application. It has been so long that I was starting to think that all was lost, that's why I was so surprised to see the letter.
When I got the letter I was so happy. I was pretty much jumping in one foot out of happiness. I was celebrating that I got a letter back from Fusa Financial, when all of a sudden I thought, "What about if the letter had nothing but bad news for me? What about if the letter says, "Thanks for applying with us, but we have hired someone else sorry!"" Right after that thought instead of opening the letter I did freeze, I clutched, I did stop in the spot, and I remember a tear of sweat appeared on the side of my face. I didn't know what to do, I wanted to open it, but I was afraid that the letter contained nothing but bad news. I stared at the letter for a good minutes and a half for sure, and my heart was pounding. Finally I put the letter over the table right by Petronila's cage, and I said to her, "Petronila do not let anybody touch this letter. Keep an eye on it Petro. I need a shower before I do open this letter." After I took a shower I grabbed the letter in my hands, cross my fingers, and found the courage to open it. After about two weeks since the last tests-a math test, written and psycho test-they let me know on that letter that I have been selected for their new Arica team as a Credit executive. I was so happy that I started jumping up and down in one foot saying yes! Over and over. What a nice time. Unforgettable!
In my old job I had to go out and look for people that wanted to borrow some money, and now, in this new job, the people will come to me if they wanted to borrow money. I was going from commission to monthly salary, and not to mention the little perks that the job came with it, like paid lunch at a restaurant of my choosing. This job supposed to be much nicer and I thought, "More incentives for me to be a good boy." I told myself that I was going to keep it quiet, but I couldn't. I couldn't stop talking about it. In a few days I had told, all my friends and family, and everybody I knew was happy for me. I didn't say anything at work though.
Veronica and I were still getting to know each other, and I was opening myself up to her, every time a little bit more. The more I shared with her, the more she shared with me. Little by little I was starting to get to know the real Veronica.
One of the things I didn't like to know about her was that she liked and believed in the Oracle. Actually she liked and believed in the zodiac readings, Tarot cards, and predictions about the future from psychics. I didn't know that her room had no curtains. Little things like that, kind of threw me off, but I believed in free agency, and there is no such a thing as a written destiny for you, so I didn't pay much attention to those, "Little personality facts." In the other hand Veronica and I had our favorite subject to talk about, and that was history. I knew a bit of history from the money point of view, and she knew Global History, mixed together gave place for conversations that lasted for hours. I really loved to listen to her talking about those subjects. It was like watching a documentary every time we did, and those hours seemed for me like minutes. Veronica and I had our differences about spirituality, but in almost every other aspect of life, we had so much in common. By then, I knew I really liked her, but I still didn't have the courage to ask her to be my girlfriend. For some reason I felt she was out of my league, and still she was inside my mind in the, "Forbidden. Do not touch section."
About a month after I received that letter of acceptance from Fusa Financial, I had to go out of town for a couple weeks of training. That was a very exciting time in my life. I had to go to a town right in the middle of the Atacama Desert named Antofagasta. Everything was fine except for one little detail. I didn't have anybody that could take care of Petronila.
At the end I had no other option but to beg Veronica to watch after Petronila. After a long struggle she finally agreed to take care of that gigantic disgusting bug-as she used to refer to it. She really couldn't stand to be close to spyders, but if she didn't take care of it, most likely the spider was going to die. Right before I left for my two weeks of training I gave her my house keys, and I showed her how to take care of Petro.
To go to training for my new job was a very nice experience. Up to that moment, that was the nicest thing ever happening to me work wise. We flew by airplane to Antofagasta-a city by the ocean, four times bigger than Arica-and that was my first time flying. I really felt like I was in a different world. All my life I have been poor and now I was flying business class, working for a very prestigious financial institution. In my mind I was on the top of the world and I felt really good.
When we got to Antofagasta after a short one hour flight, we had dinner at a very nice restaurant-a restaurant right in front of the ocean with an unbelievable view of the bay. There I met all the people selected to open this new office in Arica, and every employee of the Antofagasta branch was there to welcome us. We had a great time and right after dinner, they send us in a cab to our hotel rooms. We needed to get ready to start the very next day, first thing in the morning, our intensive training.
Not everything that shines it's gold. After all that glamour from the airport, and then the fancy restaurant, we got to the Hotel rooms, and the magic was gone in an instance. I was very disappointed to get in our rooms, and realized that we have been placed in cheap motel rooms, the kinds of rooms that most likely get rented by the hour. I was so tired that night after all that social interaction that I just crushed over the bed.
Social interactions has been always something very stressful for me, because is very hard for me to stay put all the time without being lost free inside my mind. When I have to be aware of all my surrounding, and pay attention to what people are saying at all times, is hard for me. In the other hand when I listen, I really do listen.
I remember resting over the bed and I closing my eyes for a moment, while I was falling asleep came to my mind, how nice one of the girls has been to me all night long. She was a very good looking girl and as I was falling asleep, I could see her smile, and the look in her eyes, "Cute girl" I said and that was the last thing I remember doing that night. I was so tired that I fall sleep right where I was, and how I was.
I heard the alarm clock next morning, and it felt like I just close my eyes for a minute, but it was next morning already, and it was time to get up.
At breakfast time that morning the rooms were the talk of the hour. I was not the only one complaining about it. During breakfast I couldn't help to noticed that this girl, my new co-worker Ruth she kept being just a little extra nice to me, standing just a bit too close to me, just a bit.
We talked about the rooms with our supervisors before training, and by the end of the day, they gave us the good news, that they have upgraded our hotel rooms, and now we are booked to one of the most luxurious hotels in town. Everybody was thrilled that day. At the end of a very intense training day, we went to the Hotel, got our stuff out, and went straight to our new hotel rooms. There everything was so much nicer. It was great!
The next day after training some people went out for a touristic ride, some went shopping, but I was tired. For me nothing works better to relax than a long walk, so that day after training, I went to the local market. I really needed to go for a walk that day. The Local Market was the only place that I could think of at the time, and it was close enough that I could get there, without having to take a taxi or having to ask for many directions.
I was walking and admiring all the new scenery in this new town for me. It was like playing discovery. I love that feeling. I was walking along the corridors of this big market, when I walked in front of a flower shop, and I saw a beautiful bouquet of flowers. I don't know why, but I thought of Ruth-this girl that has been so nice to me, and it felt so right to buy her a bouquet of flowers in appreciation for her good disposition towards me. I wanted to say thanks for making my life much better in a place full of estrangers. I bought a very especial bouquet of red roses, and I have to admit, that I didn't think much about what I was doing. It was a very spontaneous thing that I did, and that, is not a common thing for me to do, because most of the time, I have the tendency to over think stuff I do.
After that long walk I really felt great again and back at the hotel, I knocked on the door of her room, that by the way, it was in the same floor my room was, just a few rooms away from mine. She opened the door, and I give her the roses saying, "Thank you for being so nice to me, appreciated. I will see you tomorrow at breakfast. Good night Ruth." She was a bit out of words, but for what I could tell, she really liked the flowers, and she said, "Thanks have a good night too. I'll see you tomorrow. Thanks again. The roses are beautiful." Your welcome I said and on I went to my room. On my room I took a shower, got in bed, and I started to watch the news on TV. I was about to turn off the lights and go to sleep, when my room phone rang. It made me jump out of my bed. I thought it was my supervisor. I answered the phone and it was Ruth. We started talking for a bit, and she was feeling lonely. She asked me if I wanted to give her some company for a little bit. Who would've thought that the trip was going to be that good, but there I was, me and this good-looking red hair girl. Oh what a night! (December of 1963 The Four Seasons)
And I thought that this trip was going to be a very busy boring trip, but actually ended up being one of the most exciting times of my life. Oh what a night, late December back in 63, what a lady, what a night.
Next day at break time we talked about it, and we decided to keep it to ourselves. We needed to keep our distance, because after all, we were coworkers, and we didn't want to be in a violation of any work policy rules, if there it was one. The truth was we didn't know, and we got scared. We decided to keep it quiet. It was a secret, and that made it even more exiting, but I pinched my arms a few times that week, just to see if I was dreaming or I was awake.
For me love starts with trust and respect. Trust and respect is the keystone that keeps everything together in a relationship. I wanted to find a girl that could say God is the corner stone of my soul. I wanted a girl that loved God above all just like me, keeping always God above all. I was glad for some reason that I didn't over think what happen that night. Good thing I was too busy at work that I didn't have time to try to make sense of what happened that night. At the time I knew one thing only, and that was: It was a wonderful time, and I wanted to live it just like that.
Back in Arica, after two weeks of intense training, we had a meeting with all the big wigs of the company. The meeting was right the night before the grand opening of our brand new branch to the public, and it was a very nice reception. They gave us the best of lucks, and welcome us to our new family. That night right before the end of the reception, I was able to finally talk to Ruth, and I got close to her, but she was not being nice to me anymore. We started talking and when the moment was right she said to me, "You know I don't want to risk losing my job for just an adventure with you. I have a child to take care of, and this job is all I have. Unless you want something real serious with me, you better keep your distance, and your mouth shut. If you want something serious, I might be able to consider it, so think about it and let me know. You know where to find me. Good night now. I'll see you tomorrow." She looked upset at me, and she really took me by surprise. I didn't take that as a rejection first, but then I thought about it, and realized that what she was saying was something like, "You got lucky boy in a moment of weakness or whatever happened to me that night, but don't you think of me just like another of your toys. I am not that kind of girl, and consider yourself lucky." She turned around and left.
After all this years now I do understand. Now I know why she was upset, and it was because I hesitated, right after she said, "Unless you want something serious with me." There she paused, and I really did hesitate. I didn't know what to say, and I guess that was enough of an answer for her. That was the answer she was looking for, and she was right.
At the opening day of this brand new branch, the lines of people were so long, that they went around the block. It was hard to believe that so many people were in need for some money. Our job was to fill out the applications for them, and submit those applications for approval. I never worked so hard in my life. We couldn't keep up with that immense amount of people. We needed help, but our manager said to us, "..don't worry it will get better soon," but day after day, week after week things didn't get better, and no signs of slowing down. The long lines kept being long and endless from the moment we opened the doors, until the time we closed the doors.
My first month went by super quick, and every day I got exhausted of so much work. Every day the only thing I did was, go to work, eat something and go to sleep.
One of those days at work I was filling out an application as usual, and I looked up for a second, and I saw Veronica. That was a big surprise for me. She was the last thing I was expecting to see that day at work. She was dressed very nice like always, but that day I looked at her, and she was astonishing. As soon as she realized that I acknowledge her. She came to me, and with a keen attitude, she got close to me and said, "I know you're busy, but I need to talk to you. Anytime when you get a minute, come and see me." She said that to me very quick, and she left. I looked to my right where Ruth's desk was, and yes, I did catch her looking and paying a lot of attention to what was going on. As soon as she saw me looking back at her, she put her head down, and kept working, and so I did.
After work I called Veronica, and we agreed to meet at my place for lunch. Even though we were nothing but friends, I was glad that she was part of my life at the time.
I had been all my life very anxious, so I was very excited about what Veronica wanted to talk to me about. I got home and when I opened the door she was already there. I almost forgot that she had the keys to my apartment. She was lying on my bed very comfortable, and as a pair of good friends, we started talking. At first we talked about very trivial things, but after a few minutes we got to the point where I asked, "So Veronica what do you want to talk to me about?" She answered my question and she really took me by surprise. She asked me straight out, "Do you like me?" Moment of truth, and I was thinking, "I really hope I don't mess this up this time." It got me totally by surprise. I found nothing better than let my heart do the talking and I said to her, "Before I answer your question, allowed me to take a minute, and explain something to you. Like you said to me many times before, "It is nothing bad, so don't worry. In a way allowed me to say my peace, before I give you my answer. As you know I do like and respect you and your family, especially your mother Abby, and I don't want to disappoint her. Talking about you and me, I already made a mistake dating your sister. Personally I don't call it a mistake. For me was nothing but an attempt to find true love. For a moment I thought she was the one, and I have no shame on that. I have to confess to you that I really felt something special for her, and you know the rest. I had good intentions, but things didn't work out. Many of the things that I liked in Margarita, are present in your personality as well, your feminism, your intellect, your education, your kindness, and your sense of humor. I really like your family. I like your family and out of all of them, you are something special for me. I always saw you as somebody completely out of my league. Like I told you that day at The Costanera, "Let me take your hand, and let me dream away. You are nothing but a dream to me. I thought you didn't like me as a man, but since that last barbecue when I put that piece of meat in your mouth, something very special happened. That moment was the first time I ever saw something else in you. It was just a split second, but I cannot take that moment out of my mind. And there is a problem, because I don't think I like you, I think I already love you. The answer is yes! I do like you and I already do love you."
I took her hand and I ask her to stand right in front of me. I told her, "Could you put up your left hand please? Lift your hand as if you are given a high five. Close your eyes." I put my right hand in front of hers, almost touching it, but not really. I closed my eyes, and I felt how my heartbeat changed its rhythm, and started beating faster as we were getting closer to each other. I got closer to her, like you get when you are going to kiss, but I didn't. I barely touched her lips I kiss, and I gave her a kiss on the cheek. I almost kissed her again, but I changed my face to the other side, and I kissed her in the other chick. Then I touched the tip of her nose with mine, I leaned my head to the right, and I finally, softly I kiss her in the mouth, and I kissed her lips until I took her breath away.
After that moment my life became very exciting all of a sudden. We started having a secret affair. We didn't want anybody to know about us. We wanted to keep it just like that, until we found out where we were headed. We didn't want to upset her mom one more time, and first of all, we didn't want to hurt Sebastian. He really added a degree of seriousness to our relationship, and the last thing we wanted to do was to confused him or hurt him in any way.
Sebastian was happy to see me more often, and I was happy to see him more often too. These two people were putting some sense of direction back in my life at the time. They were for sure something special.
All of a sudden my life made sense. I was happy like I haven't been in a long time. Veronica and I had lunches together in downtown, every single time we could. We both dressed very well, very executive like, and I really liked to see her dressed like a lady, and with her girl on, all the time. We were still getting to know each other though, and right in the middle of that magic time after, about a couple months from the beginning of our relationship we stepped over a rough patch. At that time in my life I couldn't be more faithful to her. For me to swindle with another girl, was to betray my own heart. I was jealous too, and I have to accept that I got jealous quite often, but when those feelings came to me, I said to myself, "What good is to love somebody that you cannot trust." I did take a deep breath, and said to myself, "I am not doing anything wrong, so the rest, I'll leave that up to you my Lord. I will not poison my heart with that kind of dark feelings, and let it be your will and not mine." The rough patch that I was talking about was a time when she threw a fit at me, crying and accusing me of being unfaithful to her. She really thought I had created on her, and she was totally wrong.
I thought by then, that a little of time was going to fix our small differences. I thought soon everything was going to go back to the magic of that beautiful beginning. But our rough patch with Veronica didn't end just like that. Her jealousy started really getting on my nerves. One of the things I really didn't like about the way she was acting was the fact that for mean times, I already had enough with my biological family. The last thing I wanted to have in my own family it was to have another relationship where yelling and acting out of control, was part of the daily routine. Being in my biological family those moments when all of the sudden hell broke loose for no reason at all was more than enough, and what I wanted to find in my life was a woman with whom I could have a family like my mom Nieves and my daddy Oscar had. Her scenes about me being with another woman, when it was not true, it did really put a dent on our relationship, and made the magic almost completely disappeared. Her scenes of jealousy brought me back to the worse moments I had in my bio-family, and that was really hard for me to handle. At the same time the couple times that we broke up over it, revealed a bigger issue behind it, and that was, every time I broke up with her, I was breaking up with Sebastian as well. Because of that, I did talk to Veronica and I said to her, "This is the last time you make a scene over nothing, next time you do that I swear it will be the last time." It was hard for me to say that, but I knew that the last thing I wanted in my life was to live the way I used to live with my bio-family. Nobody is perfect and every family does have their own difficult times, but the difference is how you deal and how your treat each other in those difficult times. Like I said, trust and respect must be present at all times for a couple to say that they have something real.
One of those times when we did break up what brought us back together was Sebastian. She said to me, "You might not want anything to do with me, but Sebastian is missing you. He has been asking me, "What happened? Why Daniel is not coming over? How can you be so cold hearted? If he was your biological son you will never break up for something so small like a fight out jealousy. Would you?" I said to her, "Love starts with trust and respect, and if you cannot trust me or respect me even when you get mad, I cannot believe that you really love me. At the same time is really hard for me to turn on and off my feelings for Sebastian. I can't do that. Every time we have serious differences and we break up. I have to try to turn off my feelings for Sebastian and then when we come back turn them back on. You need to understand that we are in a serious relationship. We owe to each other more respect. You cannot treat me like I cheated on you when you have no proof of it. You need to understand that is double hard for me to deal with this situation. Whatever you say about this, you cannot justify the way you act when you get jealous. Things get out of control, you start swearing at me and you start pounding on my chest with closed fists. I really worry about this situation, if we ever going to be together, I don't want you to give that example to my son. I do not want to have a family like the one I had with my biological parents. In my bio-family yelling, hitting the table, and swearing to the top of their lungs was the way to deal with family problems. I want to have peace in my house, and I want to have peace in my heart as well. Remember that Sebastian reminds me of my daddy Oscar and my mom Nieves you know the story. That is how I want to have a family. I want to have a family just like my daddy Oscar and my mom Nieves had. You know me, and you know how much I dislike those out of control arguments that we had when you get jealous. My dad Luis use to do that all the time at my house, but he was diabetic, at least he had an excuse, what's yours. I don't want to live my life like that. I want a family full of love and harmony, and I know that it might take some work, but I know is possible."
It was clear that we had our differences, and our differences instead of growing thin, they were growing wide. At that time in my life I dreamed of a woman that can say grace before we eat our meals. Might not be that big of a deal for many, but for me it was. Something like that, like saying grace is something that has to be born from the bottom of that person's heart. Something like that cannot be a request. It has to come from your heart, and she didn't have that, and like I said, at the beginning was not a big deal, but as the time went by, those little things, were making our differences bigger and bigger to the point.
Something was fundamentally wrong on this relationship of us. Never before I've been in a relationship, where there was a child in the equation, and our relationship went through ups and downs constantly. Sometimes too high, sometimes too low. It got to the point where we came back together, saying to each other, "This is the last time we come back together, if we do break up again, it will be for the last time." I said to her "I want to give myself one more chance, but this is the last time, because if we broke up again you will confirm to me one more time, that if you don't know me by now, you will never do. I don't want to be treated like a liar and a cheater when I am not. You trust me or not, no more jealousy scenes." We had so many of these real serious moments, but after we talked about, and we went for a ride, we ended up back together, once again.
In a corner of my mind, and in a corner of my heart, there was this feeling, and this feeling was just like being seated in a roller coaster, that you promised not ever to ride it again, but there you were, seated on the same roller coaster, not knowing when or how it was going to start, but you knew it was going to start, sooner or later.
This situation with Veronica started to have a very negative impact in my life. My work was busy as always, and I was doing okay, except for the fact, that I got late to work a few times, and all because I had not enough sleep. Being late to work was not a pleasant experience at all. The manager did let me know right away that I could not do that. I have never been the strongest physically, I am not the weakest either, but I was working really hard, day after day, and once in a while having these big arguments with Veronica, really drained me out and took away the best of me. Many times that fact was reflected in the way I use to wake up the next morning we had one of our arguments. I used to wake even more tired than when I went to bed. A busy job and a jealous girlfriend don't mixed very well at all.
I wanted to go early to bed, but she didn't let me, for one reason or the other, she didn't want to leave my place until it was a very late. I think she thought sometimes, that the only thing that I wanted was for her to leave, and then instead of going to sleep I was going to go out with someone else. I talked to her about my problem of waking up in the mornings many times, but she didn't listen. I guess she thought that if she left early, I was going to sneak out, time after time, taking advantage of her.
Like I said, with her it was a ride from heaven to hell, and from hell back to heaven again. I was really getting sick of that emotional roller coaster, and I got so sick of it, that we broke up one more time.
By myself, at home playing the guitar for Petronila, I started to think about my life, and trying to make sense of all this, I found that there was an analogy between her and my job.
Her and my job at a point where far out of my reach; they were a dream that you don't even dare to think about it, but somehow, someway they became true, and they become part of your life. Once these dreams become real, and you start living these dreams, after a little while you start to wonder, if they were even worth the trouble in the first place. It is hard to realize sometimes that your best was not good enough. Sometimes everything around you is the same, but you are not the same anymore. Just like that day when you stopped playing with your favorite toys and you understand that you are not a kid no more. Life happens even if we like it or not.
I felt really lonely at that instance in my life, and I wish my mom Mercedes was there for me, so I could talk to her, and asked her for some advice. Even knowing that most likely her advice, it would be the last thing I would do, but sometimes is nice to have somebody that you can share with. My mom Mercedes by that time, she was not leaving in Chile no more. She was already here in the U.S., and she loved it. She followed my sister Belinda, and she was living in the city of Billings, Montana to be more precise.
Thinking of my mom at that time, made me remember her saying something in the lines, "When you see a chance, take it!" and I thought about getting a Visa to travel to the US. I don't know why, but I did. Now or never, now I had a good job that could make me qualify me for a tourist visa to be able to visit my mom if I wanted to. In the middle of this emotional storm that I was going through, I had a moment of clarity, and I applied for the US visa. Even if I was working really hard, and I barely had the time, I made the time and I applied for the vise.
At work after two months still lines of people were going around the block every single day, day after day. I never worked so hard in my life. In the middle of all that, I look up and there she was again. I knew I had little defense against her, so I knew I was in trouble right away. I could see myself again in that same roller coaster. Soon after that visit of Veronica to my work, after she asked me to call her again, we were back together again. I loved to spend time with them, and especially with Sebastian. He was such a clown; he always found the way to make me smile no matter how serious I was. He was sharp and upbeat, and his laugh was so contagious that he filled my heart with joy, every time he laughed from the bottom of his heart. I wanted a kid just like him. Many times though, I thought he was really my son.
This time we got back together really felt like we were trying to glue back a broken glass and it was definitely not the same.
Veronica had a friend, and she was her best friend from childhood. I have seen her a few times before, but I never had the time or the chance to get to know her any better. One day though Veronica told me that we have been invited to have dinner with her best friend named Sigrid, and her boyfriend Mike. For my surprise I was told to be on time American-style, because Mike was from the US, and it was very disrespectful to be late for them.
The day of the dinner I knocked on the door at the address they gave me, and a guy opened the door in a very strange way. He looked like he was making out with somebody. He was tightening up his belt and fixing his hair. The funny thing was that I heard a guy asking him, "What did you do with my pants honey?" And he answered check behind the couch sweetie. At that moment I was like out of words really. I thought I got the address wrong or something so I asked, "Are you Mike, Sigrid's boyfriend?" He said, "Yes, and you must be Daniel. Come on in." I asked him, "Am I interrupting something? I can come back later if you would like?" They both started laughing saying no Daniel, we are just kidding with you buddy. I am Mike Sigrid's boyfriend. I am Eugenia's fiancé, and you must be Daniel right? Nice to meet you they said to me, "We were just pulling your leg have a seat. The girls should be here shortly." I have never felt so uncomfortable seated in a couch, but we started talking and after a few minutes everything was just fine. The girls finally arrived and Sigrid and I were finally formally introduced. We all started talking and caught my attention how polite and happy Mike was. For my surprise he was not born in Chile, and he did speak perfect Spanish. He was from New York, and he was American. In Chile we call American people, "A Gringo" In Chile these words mean nothing, but an American white person, no disrespect at all. At that dinner I found out that Sigrid knew my German friend Manuel. He has given some German lessons to her older sister. What a small world. I asked Mike, "How come you are here in Chile?" And he said "It is quite a story." I said, "I really want to know. I'm curious." He said okay and told us, "Is a very long story but I'll give you the short version." His father was from Peru and for work related reasons his father went to New York, and there in New York he met his mother. After about a year of dating her, they got married, and moved to China for a few years, then they move back to Chile for another few years. That was how Mike met Sigrid. They were classmates in middle school. Then Sigrid was his high school sweetheart, and when they broke up, he moved back to the US. He started working as a firefighter for another few years, and then he realized that he's true love was Sigrid. Then he came back to Chile and started dating Sigrid again, and he proposed her, and then they got married. To make the story short he said, "…and here I am with the love of my life." And they kissed. It was for sure a nice story, and we said cheers to that. We had a wonderful time that night, having dinner together, playing some games, and a few drinks.
Since then we started to hang out almost every other weekend, and no matter what we did or how simple it was, together we always had a good time. Mike really loved animals. Animals were his true passion, and you could tell. He brought his two dogs from the US, and he really loved them. In Chile dogs were dogs, and dogs don't travel in airplanes. We keep the dogs outside, and we never allow them to get on our furniture, but not Mike, his dogs were like his brothers. You could see that dogs were his extended family for him or something like that. His dogs got inside the car, over the furniture, the bed and they were almost always inside the house. Those little details revealed that he really was from a different culture. At the time he was in his late 20s, and I really like the fact that for him, dogs and kids were something special.
Veronica, Sebastian and I looked just like a happy family, and in my heart they were my family. Even if we have come along in our relationship with Veronica, she was still too jealous for me. Here and there she was still giving me some grief, but not as often as she used to at the beginning of our relationship. Once in awhile we had what I used to call, "The show" she will say things to me like, "What you're looking at that girl for? Why are you late?" She even asked me sometimes why I was using that certain kind of underwear or why I was putting perfume on me and such.
Inner peace is a blessing. I love the feeling of having inner peace, and actually to have my inner peace is paramount in my life. Sometimes being alone is the only way to keep it strong. Introverted I guess, but not an island. Those senseless arguments, were the only thing keeping me from going all the way with her. I had never before experienced so much uncertainty about staying in a relationship or calling the quits. I guess Sebastian was always in my mind, and when I thought about breaking up with Veronica, he was always in the mix. Sebastian was giving me that unconditional love of a child, and I really respected that. Sebastian reminded me of how much I loved my Daddy Oscar, and how much I have missed him throughout my whole life; especially when I entered my 20s. I wished that I could have his advice, and listen to the fruits of his own experiences. As life happens we like it or not, Sebastian and I bonded. I didn't ask for it, it just happened. Every time I saw Sebastian was like looking at myself, when I was little, and that fact, really made me think twice every time I had an argument with Veronica.
I was not a saint, I know, I looked to other girls. I just couldn't help to look, and even to this day sometimes I see a nice girl, and I can't help to look at her, but it doesn't mean that I am going to act on it. Anyhow to cheat the one I loved was for me betraying my own heart. We were learning to accept each other imperfections. We were learning the meaning of the word we.
In our country work wise is common to have a job that gives you a four hours lunch break, and most likely you have four hours of work in the morning, four hours of lunch break, and another four hours of work on the afternoon. That is a typical work day in my country.
One of those days instead of taking the bus home, I decided to walk home. I needed to go for a walk badly that day. My legs needed some exercise and it was a beautiful sunny day. It was not hot at all, so it was a great day to go for a walk. I wanted to walk home that day, cuz I needed to take a break from this busy and senseless world, and for that nothing works better for me than walking and thinking. Letting my mind free to think whatever my mind wants to dream about, is the best way to find balance in all aspects of my spirituality. For me walking and thinking has been my favorite thing to do, and it was free, actually walking saved me the bus ticket.
About half way walking to my home, I started to think about my perpetual motion device, and I was trying to break this dead loop of physics. Physics says that you can't overcome the principle of Conservation of Energy where energy can neither be created nor destroyed. In other words you need energy to produce energy or energy never comes for free. The interesting part of this theory is that in physics matters is always related to what we can see, matter itself, see to believe. For me this notion was incomplete, because things like love or hate they don't use any physical space, but as far as we know they still exist, and they are very powerful. When you go this route in your mind it gets very complicated, but think about that if that principle of physics is correct the Universe would have never existed. Science today is telling you there it was a beginning and there it will be an end. Everything we see and we know has a beginning. For me the problem lays on the fact that if we find the beginning of where matter comes from, we will find the origins of energy. There is a formula to be found in a perpetual motion device. The fact that we can think and be aware of this miracle call existence and life, is completely spiritual. Without the spiritual side, the universe would not matter at all.
I like to call these things, "The essence of a human-been. What you believe and what you don't, are in essence, your essence."
Some say sex is love and that's it, but we know better. Having sex with someone or killing someone is part of the physical world, but they are led by a thought first. Something happened in your brain first, and how our brain translates that emotion into action is very abstract, just like music is, and if the whole Universe was nothing but music, God would be the rhythm, and that is what I am talking about.
I don't know why, but when I think about this, I always remember the words from the Bible, "Spirit over matter" Every time I thought about my perpetual motion device, for some reason made me think about eternity. Spirit over matter, and eternity, what a pickle!
It was for sure a pickle, but I loved to think about it. I started thinking seriously about these ideas since I was thirteen-years old, and I remember very well that day when I said to my friends, "One day, I will be able to prove that God exist." At the same time, that day, I realized that has been ten years since I started thinking about that, because I was twenty-three-years old at the time.
Walking home thinking about this pickle, and all the ideas that I had worked on, one by one, and as one thing led to the next, something clicked in my mind, and led me to a new idea. I had a Eureka moment. The idea that I had, was not a new one, but at the time for me was a mind bender. Actually what I was thinking about was the Leonardo da Vinci's spinning well. I didn't know back then, how close some people have been to create an actual working artifact that can move continuously without using any source of energy. Since the time of Leonardo da Vinci many have tried to achieve this goal, and all of them for one reason or another, they have all failed, and none of their ideas have actually worked.
The idea I had was something like that, but not exactly. That day I got very excited and I couldn't stop thinking about it.
That day Veronica came to my place to have lunch with me, and while eating she noticed me very distracted. I was spacing out without even knowing it. I was still hanging on that Eureka moment. I was dreaming big, like as if my invention was already working and being used by everybody. I was dreaming that my invention was the new standard of residential building code and stuff like that. I couldn't help myself.
Sometimes is good to dream. Imagine a house that is self-sufficient energy wise. Imagine a house that doesn't need to be plugged in into an electrical grid to function or connected to a gas line. This new home of mine was 100% self-sufficient energy wise, able to produce free energy and enough of it that you can run your whole house. Now imagine that when you are not using all the lights or the stove is off you have energy left over that can be used to run your car. In that case your house will be your gas station as well. If every home had an energy source like that, all the houses together will be able to supply the whole country with all the energy it needs to run and with the greenest energy ever.
I was dreaming about that and God when all of the sudden Veronica materialized right in front of my face. I was so lost thinking about that perpetual motion device of mine, that I forgot I was having lunch with Veronica. While dreaming and eating she got me out my dream asking me if I was listening to what she was saying asking me, "Please finish my sentence." I didn't have a clue about what she was talking about and I responded, "Have I told you about my new theory of energy?" Right away she got upset and she said, "Who is the girl that has all your thoughts, have you stupefied, and so confused." I said to her, "Actually I was thinking of my perpetual motion device. In a way I was thinking of God. I'm sorry if I didn't pay attention to what you were saying. And yes I did bless the food already. I mean no disrespect, and if you knew me a bit by now, in my life God is first, and if I don't talk much at the table, you should know is because I'm talking to God. Not really talking to God, but I am thinking about God. I'm thinking that God and energy have something in common, and I'm sorry if I spaced out, but today walking home I had a Eureka moment…" She interrupted me saying, "Sorry if I interrupted your conversation with God asshole!" she stand up and left.
I was so sorry. I have been ignoring everything she was saying, just because I was lost inside my mind. I was so sorry, but I was helpless. I couldn't stop thinking about it.
To be honest with you, at that moment in my life I realized that I was a dreamer and I couldn't bring myself to stop dreaming about this machine. At the time I was completely convinced that I had to get that idea out my mind and make it happen here, in the real world. Inside my mind I was thinking about this machine that could be set in motion and never ever stop again. I had this eureka moment and because of my new design, I couldn't find any reason why it couldn't work in real life, and I couldn't wait to start making a prototype of my latest invention. Was I just having a dream or not? I had to find out.
Sometimes I do start thinking about things like this one inside of my mind, and I do get lost in my thoughts. I do this quite often when I am eating. While eating I start thinking deep inside my head, and I could be at the table with my whole family, and I go Autistic on them.
I was so sad that day because she left, and what I really wanted to do was to let her know how excited I was about this latest idea of mine. I wanted to tell her about my perpetual motion device, but Instead of saying something as she was leaving, I just stayed seated and kept swallowing my food. At that moment was already too late to say I'm sorry. I knew trying to reason with her while she was mad was a waste of time. I just sat there, finished my meal, thinking that I was nothing but a jerk, but I could not help myself.
Our relationship was brutal and by dinner time, we were already back together like nothing happened. Actually I felt so bad about what happened at lunch time to the point that I suggested to her, "What about if we go for a ride by the ocean, and have dinner together tonight?" She accepted my apology.
That night I was exhausted of thinking so much about all that stuff, and I really needed to take a break. I sincerely apologized for my behavior at lunch time. That was my bad for show.
Listening to the waves crashing over the rocks for me is like magic, it makes me feel automatically good, and especially at night time when the lights are reflecting on the ocean.
While having a good time walking by the side of the ocean, we started talking and she said to me, "I apologize for my scene at lunch time. I should've known you better, and trust you more." I said, "First able thanks for this beautiful moment, and second able you know I can be social like everybody else, just not all the time. Sometimes I need time for myself, a little bit of time here and a little bit of time there. I don't mean to be an ass, but that's what I do sometimes. Sorry Veronica." We had a great time that night, and we got really lucky that night because it was a moonset night. We got to see the moon disappeared on the horizon. It was a beautiful scene.
Next time we had lunch together I explained to her what was happening to me that day, and I let her know that I was going to save a bit of money, so I could make a little prototype of my idea. I explained to her that I really needed to get that idea off my mind, and she said to me, "Oh you're just crazy, not even da Vinci was able to do it. I don't know why you think you could." The sad part of her answer was that she was right. Not even Leonardo da Vinci could make it work.
To make a real prototype I needed a lot of money and like always, I had not even a penny to my name, so it was not much that I could do about it anyways. I started thinking about how I could test the principles involved, and I scaled down my project to the bare basic bones. After a few weeks I found a very peculiar way to put this mechanism together, and I found a very economical way to test the concept.
In college I learned to be organized on my thinking, and the first thing that you do to start a project, is to start making a budget plan. I did that and I named the project, "Spend what you don't have." I tried to explain what I was doing to Veronica, but every time I did, it was just a waste of time, she really couldn't care less and I said to her, "What I want to do is a cheap model just to test the idea." The idea is so logic and so simple, but still is like putting a bicycle together for the first time where every part has to be custom made and that is very expensive. Veronica understood one thing and that was, I didn't have money to buy a bicycle even less to make a custom one. She was practical and like always I was dreaming big.
I named the project, "Spend what you don't have" because whatever money I spend building that artifact was more money that what I could really afford. Actually I looked at my shoes, and they were starting to get holy on the bottom. I couldn't afford to buy a new pair of shoes at that very moment, and how ironic that every penny I didn't have at that moment, should have go to buy me a new pair of shoes, but guess what I did? Little by little I gather the materials, just like when I built my foosball table, and little by little I put together this Frankenstein looking artifact, of course, it didn't stay working forever like it should, but the principles that I used to put that artifact together, they all work as I thought, and I was very impress of what I saw.
I looked at Veronica and I said, "Veronica it didn't work, sorry." Veronica couldn't be happier that day. She got to rub it on my face, and with that sarcastic tone on her voice she said, "I told you it was not going to work. If that was possible they would've done it long ago. Many have tried before, and they all have failed." I said to her, "You win" facts are the facts, and it didn't work. I know, I know.
That day after all, I had a smile on my face that lasted all day long. In my mind, I had accomplished something really great. I went from having an illusion inside my mind, to having a blueprint of something I have never seen before, a real picture of an artifact that I have created. That day I was in heaven no doubt about it. One of the happiest days of my life, "Dreamers!"
I thought, now I have something real, not just an idea. For the first time I was able to add dimensions to my artifact. I learned from that test how small it could be, and it was a small enough to fit in the back of a house. For the first time I was certain that if this fuel-less engine was well-built, it could run nonstop for at least a hundred years. If my assumptions about this engine were correct, you could start thinking on conquering another planet with it. If you were to take this engine with you to another planet, you will have a source of energy for a hundred years at least. Amen to that! That was what Veronica said, right after I tried to explain to her my vision, my vision of God and energy, altogether in these new artifact that I have put together. In all reality at that moment in my life I didn't have the resources to keep working on that engine, and I wish I could have, but my reality said otherwise.
At that moment in my life, I was hundred percent invested in my relationship with Veronica, and I never looked to anyone like that before, in my eyes she was everything. I was happy to be by her side regardless, and being around her was all I needed.
Veronica didn't understand that I wasn't looking to solve all the problems of the world, or change the world, or get rich with this, nothing of that did really matter, because to me what I was really doing, was trying to find the answer about what I cared the most in this life, and that was God.