I Remember the first night we met. You were frying those lumpia with such purpose and grim determination. I was cooking the crookedly cut spam that Gazelle butchered right next to you. You looked over at me and smiled. It remember thinking it was cute and innocent, like a child. You were beautiful.
I remember feeling so out of place as everyone started up that movie, a bunch of Christians watching a Christian film. It was definitely one of the most horrible pieces of directing I have ever seen in my life. I was sitting against the wall, away from everybody else. I’ve always liked a safe vantage point where I can see everyone in front of me. I hate the idea of people sneaking up behind me.
I remember looking for that short chick with the sweet smile, but I couldn’t locate you anywhere. I thought you had left the party early. I was sitting there debating whether it would be rude to Jason to sneak back up to my room. You approached me out of nowhere and asked if I wanted to give Rosie a bath. Thinking back on it now, nothing you could have possibly said would have impressed me more than that.
I remember us planning how we would go about it. I remember taking you up to my room and giving you my shirt that looked like every other shirt that I wear. I was worried because it wasn’t even my room. It was plain and boring. As we were walking up the stairs, I was trying to catalog all the things I might have left lying around that you would find unattractive. I was hoping that I didn’t leave pieces of my hair all over the sink. To be honest, you looked so stupid and clunky in my shirt. But seeing you in it for the first time was amazing.
I remember it was raining hard. I really like that I met you on a rainy day. We were scared Rosie would catch pneumonia if we let her back outside after the shower. That cock-blocking angel, Jason, walked in on us three in the shower. I remember encouraging him to leave quickly. I was almost angry that he was ruining a special moment I was having with a girl. At that point, it had been a while since I’d had something like that.
I remember regretting that I didn’t ask for your number. I casually asked Jason about you. But you know that guy…intelligent but dense. He just said you were an innocent girl. Because I couldn’t tell if you were interested or not, I didn’t pursue it any further. I am kind of a minimizer of risk after all.
I remember the first time I called you. You were back in Stockton at your parents’ place. You were so damn bouncy and positive. I remember thinking you were actually kind of annoying. No that’s being dishonest. I thought you were almost unbearable. But there was more to you than that. I stayed because I realized something. I picked up on sadness, insecurity, and loneliness underneath the incessant babbling. Once I looked past your Easter Bunny exterior, I saw intelligence and substance. In our hearts, I think we are the same person, two people who chose two different methods to find acceptance and love.
I remember our first date. I almost didn’t recognize you when we saw each other again in that pizza parking lot. I remember thinking this chick totally looks like a Mexican. I should have taken you out for something fancy. But I was excited to get my first look at a university dormitory. And you know me…I like kicking it in private areas. I’ll never forget seeing your bed for the first time. I remember thinking “wtf it’s pretty much a bunk bed”. The child in me wanted to clear out the bottom and make a fort.
I remember spooning with you for the first time. I remember pushing myself against you while Tati slept a few feet away from us. Good times…
I remember the first time a girl has made a big, romantic gesture for me. I had taken the long bus ride back from my classes. Exhausted, I opened the door and walked into the living room. Ashley gave me a knowing smile and I walked into our room. Ghetto Christmas lights from the dollar store adorned the wall next to our bed spelling out “Les Femmes?”. It was definitely one of those times my so-called intelligence failed me completely. I remember thinking “Is this some kind of tacky bible verse in Hebrew?”. I thought the surprise was that you redecorated the room.
I remember the first time I went to Disneyland as an adult. It was so much smaller than how I remember. It was also the first time I had to worry about all the adult stuff that comes with taking a trip there. I remember thinking the parking protocol was pretty legit. I wish they exercised that system at all amusement parks and events that incite large crowds. I remember being frustrated because I couldn’t smoke outside the designated areas. I was also angry with the appearance of them as well. The one in California Adventure is a tiny little clearing away from the crowds. It was insulting that I was forced back here, out of sight, one of society’s rejects. I remember you asking for our picture to be taken. I hate looking at myself. Why couldn’t I just let things go for your sake?
I remember the first time I attended a school-sanctioned dance. I’ve never seen so many white people in one place. There was a graveyard of discarded heels in the corner. Why wear heels with the intention of dancing the night away? I will never understand fashion. I remember how Andrew seemed to fit right in. I was so jealous of him that night. I just wanted to get away and explore. I’m sorry for dragging you with me. Why couldn’t I just let things go for your sake?
I remember the first time my car was towed. I was so angry at your school. We walked together to the company and met that nice woman. We took as many things from the car that we could carry and lumbered back home. Remember that nice lady gave us a ride back midway through?
I remember the first time I tried to make country-fried steak. Now that I think about it, you really do love frying stuff. It was kind of salty and tasted more like the ones they serve at BJ’s than Dennys (which is a bad thing). But we did it together and it was so much fun.
I remember the first time a girl has made a video for me. You promised me you would always try.
I remember the first time a girl has made a virtual poster for me. Thank you for that babe.
I remember the first time I ate hospital food.
I remember the first time I went to a fancy restaurant. Remember how you were geeking out over that table scraper? All the employees even came out to bid us goodbye. I was absolutely blown away with the entire experience. Who knew tamales could taste so good?
Daneva, I took your virginity. But the thing is, you took many more of mine. The events I’ve listed here doesn’t even begin to cover all the things you have done to expose me to the world and grow as a person. Every single one of my problems is rooted in my low self-esteem and easily provoked temper. If we ever find our way to each other again, I will have already become the man you always wanted. I miss you. Take care.