Our chat last night left me worried about you. I don’t like hearing you sounding so down and out. I can only imagine what you’re feeling having been in your situation myself so many times.
Remember the designer? “El comemierda,” as you used to call him? Si, the one who after months of going out with me didn’t have the guts to admit we were a couple—or dating, even! — and instead introduced me as a “friend” to anyone we met. Remember how he never looked at anyone in the eye when he spoke? Remember what he said in our last fight, the one that made me realize our “friendship” was not going anywhere? That I was too emotional for him. That he wasn’t sure he could be with one person all his life. That he wanted to keep things light and with no drama.
What did you say to me then? What did you tell me when I came crying to your door and told you the news? “Ese comemierda no te merece.” That bastard doesn’t deserve you. Life is drama. Life is hard. How else do you grow? Then you played your songs for me. Songs of loss, heartache, and breakups. Songs full of revenge and heightened emotions suitable for a diva.
I cried and I wailed. I was every bit the drama queen you are on stage (and off).You held me close and promised everything would be alright—eventually. You told me it would hurt for a while, but that one day I would wake up and find myself feeling better, lighter, and stronger than before. You said I’d be more careful after that, and that I’d be wiser when meeting new guys who wanted to know me. You told me all this and more, some of which I didn’t understand at the time, and a lot that although I didn’t want to hear it, I had to in order to move on.
And you were right. I did heal. I did mend. I did feel better after our many evenings together watching silly shows and movies on television. I enjoyed our many chats late into the night. I loved our boy bashing sessions, our resolutions, and the promises we made to ourselves and never kept. You made me laugh like no one else could during those days. You helped me feel better about myself and see that there was nothing wrong with wanting more or having it all. You told me it could happen, but that it would be hard. And that if it did happen, that it would be harder to keep long after that. Life is hard. Relationships are harder, you said. Or was it your mother?
So now it’s my turn to tell you there’s nothing wrong with you. There is nothing in you no person in his right mind would want to turn down or run away from. If they do, it’s because they can’t see past the blindfold they put over their eyes. They do this willingly when they buy into the gaytto mentality, the big boy syndrome, the tyranny of masculinity, the shame of discretion, the exclusive muscle club, and the bigger is better tag line. These are the men we unfortunately lust after. These are the lies we buy into because we see them so often in magazines and television. These are the images we are forced to pretend will make us happy, but that in reality keep us trapped in stunned emotional comas.
I can’t remember a single instance when I went home with a muscle boy and had great sex with him. Or even good sex. The best sex I had (and you know I can die a happy man having had great sex) were with men who look like human beings. Men who are comfortable in their body and with their bodies—the way they look, the way they think. Men who know self-confidence (rather than bitchy, bored, tired, bitter, jaded attitude) is the best of aphrodisiacs. These are the men who’ll work you all night, who’ll please you, and are not afraid to tell you what they feel or wait the standard four days to tell you what they want. No games. No attitude. No nonsense.
There’s no reason to look over anyone’s shoulder because you’ve found someone who makes you laugh. When I remember all the times I had great sex, it was with men who didn’t look like models, or played by the gaytto rules. There were regular guys, confident guys, honest men who were looking for the same things I was. I let them go because I was blind and didn’t know better. I was part of the scene. I was there, in the middle of it, like you. I did it all. I saw it all. I played along and knew the rules. And every time I played I came up empty handed. I went home feeling much like you do. It sucked. I hated it. But I thought it was the only way to play the game. Sometimes you scored, others you didn’t.
I don’t think it’s so much where we find love as much as how we go about it. The games, the lies, the fear, the lack of honesty are too distracting. We hide behind empty words and tired rejection excuses. They all now sound stale even when I say them.
If it were up to me, I would make the next few weeks go faster than usual so that your heart mends as soon as it can. Unfortunately, it takes time to get over a heartbreak such as yours or forget someone who hurt you the way he did. I can only promise you that things will get better eventually, and that one day you’ll wake up and wonder what it was you saw in him and why you fell for someone who didn’t value or appreciate the person you are.
But fear not. I’ll never say “I told you so” nor feed you clever but meaningless Hallmark lines to help you feel better. I’ll sit here and hold your hand while you cry—so cry all you want. Yell. Scream. Stomp your feet. Curse and wail as much as you need to. Play your sappy torch songs. Dress up in black with the veil you found at the dime store in Calle Ocho if you need to and perform on stage all the sad songs your audience loves until your make-up runs. Be Eva, sing Paloma, thrash like La Lupe and beat your DJ as she did her pianist until you exhaust your soul. Do this for a few days and then pick yourself up.
The women you impersonate and admire were tough, strong women who survived despite the men who abandoned them. They grew strong and proud, just like you’ll emerge when you’re through grieving. Don’t hold anything back. Because one day you’ll be back. And you will. Happy. Proud. Head held up like Santa Gloria Gaynor. You’ll stop lighting your candles, burning your incense, and bitching like your mother. (Don’t tell her I said that.) You’ll go back on stage and make fun of La Britney, gyrate like Shakira, and smother yourself in Ketchup and dance the Ketchup song along with the Colombian, Puerto Rican, and Hialeah boys who adore your every move.
And just like you promised me once, I’ll promise you this as well. I promise you that one day we’ll look back at this and laugh about it. I’ll bring up “el difunto” and you’ll roll your eyes and say to me, “How did I ever? How could I ever.” And we’ll hug and giggle. And we’ll know we’re happier and better off this way.