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Love and Nostalgia

She was bronzed by the sun, the Summer heat emboldening both her body and her growing passion for life and for me. We met at my Aunt’s, our courtship, if you could call it that, a whirlwind of youthful pursuit and ferocious exploration. We were each other’s introduction to the delights of sexuality, our spirited adolescence unraveling the tenuous ropes still fastening us to our childhood innocence. On the cusp of maturity and burgeoning manhood, I gripped her hand tighter and tighter, our whirlwind lust and na├»ve devotion blossoming into love. It was the Summer my heart felt enamored by a girl, the fire that threatens to overtake your entire body and being, unable to be contained by the heart, which Is made both indestructible and fragile by the young siren you call yours. As with all great fairy tales, ours was marred by fate. She moved due to her family needing more affordable financial obligations, and J remained in our hometown, grief-stricken and wandering. Of course, we stubbornly refused to let go, adamantly raging against the hurricane of Fate, ignorantly trying to preserve our capsizing vessel at the cost of our own lives. This went on for the better part of a year. Conversations, once enthusiastic and primed with excitement towards our future, became distant and stale. Fighting became increasingly commonplace, our love and connection suffocating under the weight of unexpressed realization and the unrelenting encroaching of reality. I still remember the day. We had gone a month without seeing each other. Even at 18, life has a habit of getting in the way. Work, college and a steadfast refusal by our schedules to acquiesce meant that we became ghosts to one another. I had just gotten my license and my new car. This duo would be my sword and shield, my uncompromising companions in my war towards winning back her heart. We met, we kissed, he explored. Our passion had dwindled. I labored in vain to resurrect it, but the effort proved Sisyphean and futile. The last embers, worn down by the harsh winds of distance and growth, were gasping softly as they began to embrace death, despite my valiant fighting towards the contrary. I kissed her goodbye underneath a dying, flickering streetlight. We said goodnight, and I drove off down the barren highway.

Some in this life are like flashes of light, glimmers of ebullience. A promise of heaven. When they make their entrance, we’re shocked by the sudden rush of emotion that accompanies their arrival. You wonder where they’ve been hiding all this time. Everything before them ceases to matter, or even exist essentially. All importance is redirected towards them, whether you realize it or not. Hell, even if you had the presence of mind to notice, it’s not like you’d have a choice. She arrived on a cloud of purity and grace, intoxicating me with her rough edges and refined adorableness. Her eyes captivated me, holding me prisoner in a cage of amber, her crooked smile beckoning my mouth to hers. I remember fondly exactly when I fell in love with her. At dinner on a Friday evening after she had convinced me to skip work, we conversed about normal things. The dialogue, normally banal and mundane, crackled to life as we spoke, her presence and force of will making each word sparkle powerfully, entrancing me. Suddenly, she turned her head slightly to her left a few degrees, a dial enflaming my desire. The moonlight angled in, dancing in her russet irises seductively, pulling me in, enrapturing me and rescinding my rationality. Words left me and my tongue sat paralyzed  I was stupified by the angel in front of me. All of her was perfect from that point on. The curve of her lips, the intoxicating softness of the nape of her neck as I nuzzled it with my mouth. Her body, ashamed of herself as she was, was incredible. Latina thick with a runner’s slim waist, she was mouth-watering. Love quickly blossomed and made itself known forcefully. The ensuing 8 months were ecstasy. As always, distance made its appearance. I left for the military, leaving her with heartbreak and anguish, although, to be fair, I fared little better myself. We prodded along courageously, and for the first year our love and devotion grew stronger. But it wouldn’t last, couldn’t. Distance, the very thing that drew us together initially, drove a cumbersome barrier between us ultimately. When we broke up, there were hysterics, hatefulness, disdain, and finally acceptance. All in all, although I’m sure she hates me now, I sincerely wish her the best.

Love has blinded, scarred, mangled and broken me. It’s also empowered, inspired, strengthened and sustained me. The point is that, as in all things, the most important thing in life is perception. Each time I chose to believe that I was finished due to the loss of this person, I was. Contrarily, when I steeled myself against the inevitable loneliness with a hearty dose of optimism, companionship, and social commitments, I recovered relatively quickly. Talking to women daily with no intent towards picking them up worked amazingly as well. It may take awhile before you’re sufficiently comfortable with venturing back out into the world following a minor setback that emotional blindness has convinced you is catastrophic, but when you do, remember that pain is growth, and it’s better to grow then remain stagnant. Live.

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