Full Circle: History Repeats [2/3]

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Part 2 – Going the Distance [“We’ll finally be together in a few moments”]

*Seatbelt notice is off now, thank you for flying with US*

Crushing a can of vanilla coke, tossing it into the recycling bin, I’m waiting for my ride in this August rush. {“Why isn’t anyone smiling? These folks haven’t shed a grin since the Raiders had both eyes.”} “Peace God!” yells my lift’s driver when picking me up and as I’m stepping into the Holiday Inn and its “no turning back now, let’s get this!” I plot out my 4 day stay and try to focus on the itinerary, as the quiet town serenades me to sleep. {“Ok, O K A Y. this town is “interesting,” let’s see how it’s like across the bridge. Will this be my new life?”} I mop up the complimentary breakfast, shoot my “other half” a routine good morning text and set my sights on completing the first tasks: A) Check out the uni B) Check out the town. I wait for my cab, headphones in blasting Summer Nights by Lil Rob and fidget with the brochures. I’m consuming the little I’ve experienced so far, trying not to assume how the rest will turn out.

“Mike’s Cabs” rolls up and I’m horrifically happy to see the conductor of my chariot. I shove myself into the back seat, a painfully raspy voice says, “I’m Mike, I’ll get you wherever. Put your seatbelt on.” Already, I’m terrified of Mike, his dead beady eyes stared at me through the rear-view mirror and I could hear him gripping his steering wheel tighter as I said, “Hey, thanks for picking me up. Cal Maritime Academy please,” the ford’s crown Victorian pleather screams in agony from the cinchingly-awkward tension from this first encounter. We hit the road and I’m vocally in awe of the bridges, trees, the bay and say, “Doesn’t seem too bad.” “WHAT!?” replies Mike, I apologize and mention to him that I was simply thinking out loud. He then turns back and we lock eyes. {“HOLY SH*T, WHAT THE F*CK”} I divert my glare from his thousand-yard stare to the radio in front of me and see USMC tattooed under his agent orange covered forearm skin. A golden globe and anchor insignia branded above his elbow wielding a fist with only 2 digits and thumb trying to change the station. “Cal Maritime Academy, eh? You trying to go into shallow patrol?” Mike initiates small talk. I sit trying to decipher his jargon and notice the scenery changing dramatically. Everything is dead. [“This place is a sh*thole.” Mike says under his breath] The california sun, prosperity and dreams never reached this pocket of it’s bay. Forgotten and left to rot, it’s depressing as f*ck. I shake back into conversation, “Sorry, shallow water like ‘coast guard?’ Nah, maybe I’ll join the navy after college, but I got other things on my mind.” Mike then falls into a spiral as he tells me about his experiences in ‘Nam. The expat continued to brief me on details he had to entail, frail at the memories of lost comrades and in an angrily shaking tone states, “I can’t say I didn’t have a good time though.”

“Hey babygirl, I’m on the cab going to the academy. I hope to see you soon.” I strategically send a text to “my girl” to have a timestamp of my whereabouts, incase, you know, something weird happens to me. Mike, kept asking, “What are you Thai, Cambodian or something?” I can see Mike giving me an ocular pat-down between his inquiries of my ethnic origin. “I’m mixed, Latino and Asian” I apprehensively answered. His eyebrows unflexed and incomplete smile reflected on the review-mirror, then says, “Ahhhhhhh, that’s not something you hear every day. Well, looks like we’re about to get to know each other a little better, traffic is starting to build up.” Mike’s demeaner shifted and laughter began to spew out of his chapped lips, from the stories we shared and compared from the times he was a “young stud” looking for love. Not even halfway to the academy, Mike shuts off the meter, “You’re something else kid, I haven’t had this much fun on the job before. Just give me $50 and keep making me laugh.” I’m shocked and stoked at the same time, from the drastic alteration in this here scenario. Picking up all the life advice that Mike was putting down, I frown at the reality that nothing here seems to be appealing for me. {“I’m a beach boy, not a kid of the bay.”} Getting closer to the barracks of the university, I ask Mike, “Hey, want to just give me your number and I request your services exclusively, for a flat rate, instead of giving other folks business? Plus, I’m going to need a ride to the train station and back later.” Mike chuckles and shakes his head “Yeah, Ok kid. I don’t see why not.” *Friendship formed*

“Hey babe, I’m almost to the school, can’t wait to hold you soon.” I verbalize as I type and hit send on a text for my treasured far away “friend.” “Awww that’s cute, but that’s not gone’ get you laid” my new friend playfully utters in a lungful. I laugh back and gaze at the school’s massive gates fortressing the campus separating it from the cold, dark and despair of the outside “ghetto.” Across the street from the school’s security booth, lies a Motel6. A petri dish colonized by a bacterium of prostitution and other kinds of strange. Outside door 1-1-4 is a pimp slapping his whore (she didn’t look like a pro-stitute and calling her just a “tute” didn’t carry the rhyme). Mike belches out a phrase, “Just like Bangkok and DingDang.” I chuckle back nervously and ask myself, “What the hell am I getting into!?” We pass the gateways and ride up a tremendously steep driveway. An oasis of colour in a desert of flavourless sorrow {“Hey, this schools pretty fucking cool.”}. Mike hands me his flip-phone and asks me to swap digits with him. I try to keep eye contact with him the whole time to not look at his mangled hand (well, what was left of it). He calls me friend and wishes me a good time. “I’m a phone call away,” he says whilst driving away. “Ok [Ray], getting closer to seeing you” I text one more time for good measure.

In an attempt to shorten this long story, just trust yours truly when I say that “this school and the bay, just isn’t for me.” I can see clearly that I have no ambition to pursue this institution. So, it’s settled {“I’m dedicating my stay in the bay to the only one keeping me sane. I’m only thinking and talking about her.} Like a zombie I barely participate throughout the tour and luncheon. I asked a current cadet of the alma mater, “What is there to do around here, anything fun?” His response was to walk away at my infuriatingly frustrating inquiry {F*ck me, right?}. I see a ship in the school’s pier, I break away from the guides and take a personal stroll around the grounds. I run into an official who questioned my lone roam around the practice vessel. “Is this town worth touring after seeing the school?” I ask before getting kicked offboard. The decorated instructor honestly said, “It’s pretty dangerous out there, I would recommend you just go back the way you came.” {Ok, O K A Y. f*ck this place.} I sneak into the library and change the departure time of my train ticket. {“I don’t give a frenchman’s f*ck, I am seeing her early!”} I pull out my phone and call my “chauffer,” “Hey Mike, ima need you to pick me up…Yeah I know it’s only been like 2 hours… You trying to get paid or not?” Mike rolls up, I break down everything and he ingests my sincerity. We peel out and struggle to reach the main highway Mike says, “I’m gonna need to take some backroads, you’ll see that Hawaii is better than this sh*thole anyways. What about the girl; she’s still your prerogative, right?” Driving down a sketchy neighborhood and before I could fully answer Mike…

*BLAP! PRRRRRRRR! CLACK CLACK CLACK!* A beat up Oldsmobile rolls up on a house. The crown vic’ comes to a halt and all of Mike’s combat training in evasive maneuvering ignited. Backpedaling the vehicle and “busting a bitch” my knight, in agent orange coated dermis evaded a drive-by shooting. “GET THE F*CK DOWN!” he yells, and I scream, “SHOULD WE CALL THE POLICE!?” Mike laughs as we speed away. “This type of sh*t happens every day out here. Just stay across the bridge… Uhmm, what time am I taking you to the station?” Mike says while keeping cool and calm. LIKE IF WE COULDN’T’VE DIED JUST NOW. {“Ok ok ok, no bleeding. I’m back at the Inn. I need a beer.”} The front desk receptionist, a cutely poised woman (who, according to my eavesdropping, had the hots for younger males), sees me storm in a panic. I rush to the fountain and splash water on my face and sigh in relief saying, “I’m alive!” She laughs and asks what happened. Not wanting to reiterate what I just saw, I firmly said, “I need some alcohol.” She smiled and didn’t question the age paired with my babyface. “I’ll just have it sent to your place.”

Decompressing in my room, I sip on brews, listen to tunes and talk to the goddess. I try to not stress about my current events and tell her, “We’ll finally be together in a few moments.” I don’t sleep and watch the sunrise, preparing to conquer this trek to reach my “queen bee” and maybe get a little honey :). Heading to the lobby I call my OG homie, “Hey Mike, it’s me. I’m almost finished with my “breakfast,” It’s time to rock this joint!” I slam down the phone and wait for my boy, avoiding conversations from the lonely cougar that’s thirsting for my mo’ning yogurt. I’m shaking the entire way to the station. “You’re gonna kill it kid, this is the only way to find out what’s real,” mike appeals. It feels surreal to finally see the one who knocks me off my heels. “You have my number, if sh*t goes down again, I got you” Mike reinforces before he drops me off. I sit and wait for the train that’s taking me up to the state’s capital. I board the locomotive and smile profusely the entire way to see she who slays my heart. I communicate with her that I’m getting closer, “I’ll pick you up outside the station :),” was her answer. Backpack strapped over one shoulder, ukulele in hand, I’m ready to conquer this unknown land. I make my way out of the station’s congregation location, “making my way outside,” and before I could hit send, I’m paralyzed by her beauty yet again. Confidently stepping out of a candy red BMW, poppin’ lip gloss shinnin’ with a blinding glare, I can’t help but stare as this goddess approaches me with a sinister smile, one so seducing that it sequesters emotions and holds them for ransom. “OH EM GEE, I can’t believe you’re really standing in front of me!” were her first words to me. We meet half-way in a sprint and connect heartbeats with a deep embrace. Inhale, squeezing tighter. Pulling back and staring into each other’s eyes, we simultaneously exhale and both nervously sigh. Gently groping my lady’s arm, “Shall we?” “We shall :)” was exchanged.

Steel-winged butterflies bounce around in my stomach, I’m painfully loving every second shared with her. Every chance we get to hold, grip, peck (kiss), is complete bliss. Never a dull moment and constantly learning more about another. I’m smothered by her giggle after every tickle and hooked by her look when she playfully asks, “what took you so long? I thought I’d never see you…” {“Yeah, me too :). Though, I can’t miss my train back and then who knows if we’ll ever meet again…”} We play and wrestle like cubs in the wild, her luscious mane drowns my face every time she mounts me, between my smile I say, “I’m completely happy.” We lay on the carpet in opposite directions, heads turned to face each other we recite our favourite colours and then she kisses my forehead saying, “Thank you for coming all this way to see me :).” She has my heart fully erect at attention, thirsting for her sensation and questioning if it’s reciprocating. Spun into a web of emotions, I’m caught and motionless from her love poison. In her clutches I’m vulnerable and life doesn’t feel normal. In a haze caused by her gaze, this lovable succubus picks at my teenage heart and laughingly demands we go to starbucks. Hop and skipping away we spend the entire afternoon and evening together. Always laughing, learning new things about another, everything is slick like butter. The link we share is tremendous. But I’m noticing that she’s doing more to me, than just pitching a tent in my undergarments.

We pretend to play like the adults we claim to be and dress up for dinner. 2012 was a scary year in fashion. I facetime my sister and ask her if my ensemble was “at least decent.” She replies to me, “Ya gump, it’s too f*cking late now!” I wait for her downstairs, while being interrogated by her parental unit, “Yes, yes Chinese and Mexican…” I spin in my chair towards the direction of her footsteps and jaw nearly hits the floor when I saw how stunningly gorgeous this goddess’ light fills up the room {“D A M N”}. Sporting a tight black dress hugging her shape {“F*CK, I’m gonna wreck the inside of my pants…”}, intoxicatingly addictive smile, fiercely gentile eyes that rip clothes off and a confidence that breaks down doors. I’m floored by her touch as she grazes my butt and pushes me outside to be photographed. We stood at the doorstep of her parent’s place and snapped a picture for the memory bank. Cruised to the restaurant and sang along to summer songs, I sense nothing wrong with gripping the inside of her thigh as we drive to and from the restaurant. During dinner we talk about our interesting story and how it’s incredible. Two lost twin souls found in the aisles of a retail store. A smile never escaped our faces as we cherished our organic connection. {“She’s the real deal Holyfield! I NEED TO SEE HER AGAIN.”}

2012

Sun sets and its time for me to catch my train. I display a warm appreciation for the hospitality to my lady’s family and wish them prosperity. The ride back to the station felt like an eternity. {“This is it, you know her heart ‘exists,’ so whats next?”} I argue with myself internally trying to figure out my feelings. {“I’m too young and have my whole life ahead of me. But, she’s the only one that gets ‘ME.’ F*CK!”} “[Ray] thank you for making this the best summer ever. You’re someone incredibly special, please don’t ever change. I cannot wait to see the greatness you’ll mature to be. I don’t know when’s the next time we’ll get a chance to make this happen again.” Mascara coated tears run down her face as she accepts the truth of our distant realities. She pulls me in close for a final embrace and kisses me on the cheek saying, “You’re special to me, will you at least visit someday?” We kiss and dismiss the warnings of my cabin’s boarding, “First call!” coming from the conductor’s cart. I grab her by the shoulders and thank her one more time [“Second call!”]. Staring into each other’s eyes, making sure to soak in every detail since I feared this would be my last time seeing her. “Last call, All aboard!” One last kiss and I say, “Ok babe, I gotta go. Please keep in contact and try not to forget about me.” Riding away into the shadows of night, I’m baffled at everything I have just experienced and wish to make sense of it all. I go down to the bar and sweet talk a beer out of the “young” seasoned bartender. Constantly questioning if I’m making the right decisions. I’m getting sadder as the distance is growing and fight to keep every tear in. I sip on the beer and look out the train’s window, just like every Usher music video. It’s physically hurting to be away from her, I don’t like the school, or the town and I got a couple of days left… {“I got two days left in a town I don’t wanna be in. F*CK IT, I’m seeing her again!”}

“Hey Mike… Yeah, I’m on the train back. It went great, I’ll tell you about it when I see you. But, Ima need you to keep the car running. I’m gonna come straight back to the station. I got you a beer by the way, Stone IPA…” I’m halfway back to station and can’t accept the fact that I won’t see her again. So, I say, “F*CK IT” and booked another train ticket to go back the following day. {“Ok. O K A Y. Let’s break this down. It’s almost 0200am, by 0255am I’ll be in Mike’s cab, over the bridge and back at the Inn by 0340am, shit shower & shave by 0425am, (hopefully Mike doesn’t bail) hit the road by 0440am, pass the bridge and reach the station by 0550am, check in for the 0630am train, arrive in downtown sacramento by 0900am, run to the ‘light rails’ and wait for the next tram, hopefully arrive in Folsom before 1100am.} As if the universe was on my side, everything was going to plan. I arrive on time, Mike swoops me up and I’m feeling tip-top Magoo. I drop every detail on Mike and we keep each other awake through the sleepless night. We park in the Inn’s lot and Mike enjoys his beer as I run up to get ready. After my cleanse, I rush down and see him in the lobby eating the complimentary food (it’s only for the hotel’s guests, but no one dares acknowledge him). “What’s up Mike, you ready, or you need some rest?” With a mouth full of bagel and cream cheese covered lips he spits, “I haven’t slept since Ho Chi Mihn. Let’s get ‘em killer OORAH!” Mike demands I sit in the front seat with him, basically to help pour him coffee from the starbucks box (since, you know, he doesn’t have fingers). We talk story and I can’t help but peek at the speedometer and calmly ask, “Hey Mike, am I really tired or does it say we’re doing 142mphs?” He spits his coffee back in laughter and replies, “It’s broke, the dang needle has been stuck on that number for years.” Not too convinced I continue, “then how do you know how fast we’re going?” Then a sigh and reply, “Look kid, I don’t. For all I know, maybe we are going 142mphs.” Astonishingly how quick we made it back to the station. {“Ok ok, we’re back. Stick to the plan and let’s have fun.”}

Scary how accurate my earlier mental strategy turned out. I arrived in downtown sacramento around 0845am and arrived to folsom around 0935am via “light rails.” Because this was all a secret in hopes to surprise HER, I wait for the appropriate time of 1000am to shoot her a good morning text. “Hey, did you manage to sleep at all… Yeah, I didn’t sleep much either… Just thinking about not seeing you again kills me… Well, what would you say if I told you I was in folsom right now?” She screams, “DON’T MOVE” in 3mins she picked me up from her place that’s 15mins away. We spent the entire day together same as before, enjoying each other’s company, playfully kissing, snacking and romancing. I feel like we’ve been in a serious relationship for a while and the people around us keep commenting, “Woah, what a good-looking couple!” She holds my hand, calls me babe and pushes me into awkward conversations with strangers. “You two are adorable, how long have you been dating?” asks the movie ticket vendor. “How long has it been babe? Feels like forever right :)?” she giggles in response. In shock because she said the words I was thinking in my head. {“Woah, this is creepy. I guess we are conjoined at the thought.”} We watch a movie about a masked vigilante in leather tights. She cried, I laughed. Every moment we spend together is savoury and sweet. {“She makes me feel complete”} After eating we cruise by a fountain, take a seat and begin unloading our emotional confusion. It’s obvious that we share a special connection, but our lives are set in distant places. Our young selves weren’t ready for the feelings we were harnessing. We still have a lot of life to live. {“F*CK this goodbye is really gonna suck…”}

It’s getting dark and unfortunately, I have a train to catch. She kisses my fists and wishes I’d stay for another day. “You know I can’t, I got work and all this college stuff.” My heart is pounding through my shirt and my tear ducts are about to burst. Its starting to sit, that this may be the last time I see this queen. Gathering my belongings, slowly making my way back to reality. {“This is it, the end to your ‘summer love.’ She’s gonna start forgetting about you”} We hold another closer and tighter as we step through the front gates of the station. “[Ray], this time forreal, thank you for making this the best summer ever. Thank you for being you. I really don’t know when the next time we get to meet will be. But please never forget about me, you’re not someone easy to forget [Ray]…” Before I could finish my speech, she yanks me in and plants a big, fat, wet kiss on me. In the middle of the walkway to board (where strangers had to squeeze by to get around our pubescent public display of affection). In tears she thanks me and wishes to know more of me after I leave. We kiss one more time, I board, drink and finally sleep. Wake up and I’m back in SoCal at my clothing store job. {“Sh*t, feels like a dream. There’s no way in hell that I’ll ever find anything close to what she makes me feel. That natural connection is one of a kind.”}

We spoke for months. Everyday. Conversations never got bland and there was always something new and exciting to learn about us two. Life began to work its twisted game and those daily endless conversations turned into weekly, bi-weekly, monthly…. Then. “Hey, can we talk?” was a text we both simultaneously messaged each other. Crazy to think that even then, we were in sync. We recognized and respected the distance that separated us. We acknowledged that we weren’t wishing anyone wrong and just simply wanted to grow. “We were once strangers, but life brought us together, more than once! Whatever happens, happens.” Our young minds, made mature decisions from the heart. A connection that was flourishing and alive would wither, but not die. We viewed and only peeked into each other’s lives after. Liking and commenting, on another’s social platforms. Seeing the other mature and find love, constantly questioning if the connection was still there. {“Maybe, she found a stronger bond and now not fond with me. I can’t help but say, ‘She’s the one that got away…’”} Life proceeds and years pass, I’m overtly secure in accepting that she has forgotten about me and we’ll never see each other again. All I can do is smile and cherish the memories. Laughing hysterically by myself, as I think back about all I went through to see her. {“Well, whatever happens, happens…”}

To Be Continued…

Part 3 – Full Circle [“I’m almost 30 and you got me acting like a teenager”]

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