The Unfriendly Ghost

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Last weekend my roommate and I decided to take walk down to our local gay bar for a few dances and a whole lot of drinking. This bar is not your typical gay bar, its is the most Hispanic, latin-loving bar you might ever come across. The music is amazing, the drinks are extremely cheap and the taco lady outside is the cherry on top. Whenever I go to this bar, I set my standards lower than usual and the most action I expect is the security pat down. Simply put, I’m not what the typical men from this bar look for and vice versa. As my roommate and I enter the bar, we arrive just in time to catch their midnight drag queen performance. This night it was Selena – which is a rare occasion and a beautiful omen.

As we danced the night away we recognized a lot of the usual’s- they gay guy who works at the big lots down the street and sends me daily messages on grinder asking me on a date,  the young, big guy who dances like Shakira and has the confidence of a bull fighting matador, and the 65 year old grandpas who were late in the game but love to see young men dance. As Whitney Houston’s “I want to dance with somebody” blasted I spotted a young, good looking, blatino (black/latino) guy in the distance. He was tall, handsome and danced with rhythm. I approached him and asked him to dance and he said yes. His name was David and was from downtown. We danced a couple songs, and noticed my roommate made a couple friends of her own. She danced with a group of girls and dropped it low.

4 vodka soda’s later, the night ended and David and I exchanged numbers.  We gave each other a kiss goodnight and said we would talk the next day.

I woke up that morning feeling great. No hangover and enough energy to go on a hike across the Hollywood sign. I came back and made myself a good breakfast. I cleaned my apartment and caught up on some tv shows. I waited until about 2 o’clock before contacting David. “Hey Man, how are you?”. I kept it simple and masculine – what everyone in LA was into- but still never got a response.

Later that night I went with my friends to a straight bar in Chinatown called Melody Lounge. It was a hole in the wall bar and my first time there. As we lounged and chatted about work and dating bullshit I notice a familiar face in the distance. Mr. David himself was walking into the lounge. At first I thought I was tripping. How was this him? There was no way that out of all the bars in the Los Angeles he’d walk into this one. As he got closer and closer I realized it was. His slick style, beautiful eyes and nice smile confirmed it. I waved at him but had no response. I thought maybe he wears glasses and didn’t have contacts on.

As the night went on I kept thinking about the dis I just encountered. I acted like it didn’t bother me, but inside I felt like real life version of Josie Grosie! I got up to dance… and to see what David was up to. I went to the restroom. As I washed my hands I saw him standing behind me. This was my shot to approach him.

“Hey David”, I said.

“hey… do I know you?” he responded.

“its me, ___. From Cobra last night”, I said.

“Sorry man, I don’t remember. I was drunk”, he responded.

I smirked and walked away, but not before feeling like the dumbest idiot in all of Los Angeles! This may have been the first time in the history of Ghosting that someone has ghosted someone else IN PERSON! AND OVERNIGHT!

For those of you who aren’t aware of what Ghosting is. Ghosting is cutting someone off completely. You don’t reach out and you pretend like the relationship you had with that person never existed. You avoid phone calls, social media and seeing them in public.

Was he really telling me he didn’t remember. How embarrassing. I quickly ran to my friends and asked if we can head to another bar. We chugged our drinks in that moment faster than when we see our brunch waiter coming back to refill our mimosas.

As the night went on so did the drinks. The alcohol gave me the courage to text David again and tell him what big of a fuckboy he was. As I was getting ready to send my message, I got a message from him.

“Sorry about that, I didn’t realize it was you. Whats your IG?”

Sorry my ass. I did not respond. Left it blank and moved forward. I later laughed at the situation and thought, “This could only happen to me”.

On to the next.

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The Private Call

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I received a private call the other day. I usually pick these up, but for some reason I didn’t answer this one. I wondered if it was him. I kept thinking “he’s calling because he misses me”. Maybe something was wrong. As the No Caller ID kept glowing on my phone, I stared at it like a deer caught in headlights. I couldn’t move. I stood still. As the phone continued to ring, I wondered

Do you still think about me? Because I think about you all day. Whether it’s a song that plays, or a joke I hear. I miss the days where I can pick up the phone and call you. I wonder if you’re okay, do you ever wonder that about me? I still have trouble sleeping at night, do you? I miss you in my bed and the morning kiss before either one of us walked out the door. I know you have someone new to give these to you, but do you ever miss the ones from me?

I miss hiding in our apartment when I knew you were about to walk in- we used to laugh when I would scare you. I miss cooking for you, although I never did it often. I miss arguing about where we were going to eat- even though I always let you choose. I miss laying in our bed and watching funny videos before we went to sleep.

Were you calling me private to tell me the same? Were you calling to tell me you regret what you did? Were you calling to tell me you know you fucked up? Were you calling to tell me you wanted me back?

I didn’t answer.

My heart wished it was you, but deep down I knew it wasn’t.

The Birthday

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It has been six months since he walked out of my life. Stranded- walking around this big city full of people, but still feeling like the loneliest man alive. These last six months I’ve discovered a new heartache I never felt before- one that pierces my soul and my train of thought. I used to be able to turn to music for a cure, but now it seems music only enhances the ache. I used to turn to friends to vent, but now I find myself sounding like a broken record- repeating my feelings that won’t go away. Therapy was a bust, who was she to tell me what I should and should not feel. So I decided to go through this heartache alone. My solution became writing. I write and write and write until my thoughts and feelings make it on this document.

A couple days ago, it was his birthday. I wasn’t sure if I should text him or not. After a constant back and forth within my head, I decided not to. Why should I wish the man, who’s hurt me the most, a Happy Birthday. The promise he and I both agreed on was broken on his end. We said, “we’ll wait a year and revisit what we once had to see if this is what we really wanted”. 3 months later he was with someone new and parading them around his social media. So I thought- no, he didn’t deserve my wishes… and who’s to say he’d want to hear from me anyway.  I figured he had someone to make him a birthday card, like I used to. Bring him flowers, like I used to. Think of ways to make him feel a bit more special than the previous year, like I used to. I distracted myself the whole day. Luckily, work was hectic enough to keep me busy.

The following night I received a text from him. It read- “You couldn’t even text me for my Birthday? Wow.” At that very moment I felt a huge chip off my shoulder. For the first time, in a long time, my heart smiled. These last 6 months, I felt alone during this break up.  He seemed so happy with his new partner, meanwhile I’m here trying to put the broken pieces of my heart back together. That message made me realize he felt one inch of hurt compared to the length of a football field that I’ve been feeling. Although I’m still struggling with this pain, it’s nice to know he got a glimpse of my ache.

I’ve never been one to wish bad on to others. No matter the circumstances. I’ve never been that type of person. Learning he ached for a second because of something I did (or in this instance, didn’t do), brought a glimpse of joy to me. Not because he was hurting, but because this time we were hurting together. This is the first time since our break we had a mutual feeling. The unison in our twinge was uplifting in a sick and twisted way… it matched what we once had.

The feelings that I have for him is like the salt to the hour glass that is my heart. Little by little it drains and drains until there is none left. It might seem like a small gesture – my refusal to text him on his birthday – but to me it was one giant step into recovery. I was proud of myself.  My mentality is getting stronger than my heart now, which I know is one of the hardest things to do during a breakup. I was able to overcome the urge to text him because I am looking to move on, just as he did. My love for him is slowly fading away, like an old picture that’s been left out in the sun and soon enough, all he’ll be is just a memory.

The Poem

 

As I struggled to get over my break up, I tried different methods of therapy. I tried working out, but the less weight I lost, the more it angered me. I turned to religion, but every time I prayed, I felt lost. Then, I tried poetry. Anytime I felt sad or bummed out I would grab my notebook, go to the park and write. I wasn’t very good, I know I wasn’t. But it helped. I wrote a couple poems until I decided to face the truth and realize I sucked.  I’m very self-conscious, especially with literature. I hate reading out loud, I hate writing and I hate when people read what I write – which is what I find ironic with my self-therapeutic method.  I’m hesitant to share my poems but I found one decent enough to post-

 

It’s been 4 Months and I still can’t forget you

I sit in these 4 walls with just the memories of us two

I finally rearranged the place, you should see it

You’ll never be able to tell love once grew and died in it

I took your pictures down, finally

But couldn’t throw them away, that just isn’t me

Though were not together, and may never be

I still visit those shared dreams of you and me

We had something special, you and I know it

So why’d you give up so quickly baybeh

We could’ve given it some time to help grow it

So now I sit in these 4 walls, empty in the dark

With tears in my eyes, and a broken heart

The Box of the Ex

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Spring, the beautiful time of the year where it’s not cold enough for a sweatshirt and not hot enough your face melts. It’s also the time of the year when you clean out your space physically and mentally. I decided to go through my closet this weekend and got rid of 20 shirts, 8 pairs of shorts/pants and a pair loafers.

As I cleaned out my room and re-organized my bedroom, I came across the one box I was not ready to see. It was the box of the ex. I was too afraid to open it… I didn’t think my heart was ready. This box lived in the back of my closet, where its neighbors were dust bunnies, old cables and a tripod I once bought for the when I thought I wanted to be a vlogger. I swept and swiffered around the box. I was so afraid of the box, I didn’t bother picking it up. I finally finished cleaning the closet and shut the door tight.

I went to my local goodwill where I donated my clothes and shopped for “new” ones too. As I shopped around, I couldn’t stop thinking of that light brown box. I know what lived in it… some letters, some bracelets, but mostly photographs and memories. We’ve been broken up for 5 months now and I still have not managed to gain the courage to open the box, let alone get rid of it. I wondered how bad this was for my mental health. Was I keeping myself from moving forward by holding back the few memories I have left of him?

The following weekend, I decided to go to that dark corner of my closet. The part of the closet that sheds no light or has any feelings. The lonely, cold corner… I grabbed the box and hesitated opening it because just like the box of chocolates Forrest Gump talked about, this was the box of the ex- you never know what memories you’ll get. A joint and two anxiety attacks later, I was able to open the box and fill my brain with memories of  him. Christmas cards we sent out to our friends and family, picture frames that once filled our home, polaroid pictures that we once took…. They all filled my bed one by one as I went through box. I didn’t cry. I didn’t feel bad. I felt okay. I missed him, of course… but I didn’t shed any tears. The memories these photographs provided were filled with laughs and joy.

A part of me felt the reason it has taken me so long to move passed him was due to the fact that I was stuck picking up all the pieces. When he and I broke up, I stayed in the same city, same apartment, same room. I found it difficult to stare at the same walls that he and I once shared, so I did my part in transforming OUR room into MY room. I got rid of our bed and got rid of our night stands and re-arranged my living situation. It helped for a while…. But eventually, I found myself in the same rut.

As I got to the last few pictures left in this box, I thought more and more of getting rid of it all. I thought, maybe if I get rid of these pictures and the memories that come with them, I would be one step closer to completing my closure process. All but one picture was left in the box. A polaroid. Face down and stuck in the corner. I struggled to yank it out but eventually it broke free… and so did my tears. It was a picture of him and I. We were at Coachella and sat on the green grass in front of the yearly art. His head rested on my shoulder. I remember that moment clear as day. It could have been the alcohol, music or drugs… but in that moment nothing or no one else mattered. As I held that picture, I knew I wasn’t ready to spring clean this box out of my life.

The bittersweet memories leftover from previous relationships should not hold us back from moving on. Instead, the bittersweet memories, should be what motivates us to move forward and find someone to create new ones with.

Spring cleaning should not be about getting rid of the old, but getting rid of what you don’t need… and at this moment, I still found myself needing those memories.

The “Pre-Boyfriend”

In Los Angeles, the city of dreams, one can only dream of finding the perfect man…. And as we search for our potential boyfriend, one can only dream of finding the perfect “Pre-Boyfriend”.

Urban Dictionary defines Pre-Boyfriend as “when you’re seeing a guy who’s not officially your boyfriend, but is well on the way to becoming it”. I define Pre-Boyfriend as the guy you like spending time with but don’t see long future ahead. My Pre-Boyfriend and I would do things as if we were in a real relationship without the commitment. My Pre-Boyfriend and I would do things like; go on dates, walk my dog, go on hikes, be my date for family events and weddings…etc. As I search for my potential real boyfriend, I kept my options open for a pre-boyfriend.

One of my really good friends showed me a technique she had while she used Bumble, “just swipe right to everyone and when you match with people, you get to decide how far you’d like to go with this person”. I began doing this. I swiped right so far on my phone, I think I might have malfunctioned it.

Potential Pre-Boyfriends score: 8

Potential real boyfriends: 0

I messaged and messaged away only to truly find a match with 3. Could this be it? Would I finally find my potential Pre-Boyfriend? If I did, would this mean I would still be able to continue my hunt for a real boyfriend?

I decided to go on this Pre-date date. We talked, laughed and got acquainted. Harutik was a cute middle eastern man. He was an architect in his mid 30’s who loved to travel and owned a condo with his brother. Although he was great on paper, my paper felt unwritten. As I sat in this date with him, I wondered if bringing up the pre-boyfriend term would be the respectable thing to do or would this mean I am self-destructing our potential pre-relationship relationship.

When asked what I was doing on Bumble and why I chose to go on this date with him, I decided to do the right thing. I told him “Although I am looking for a potential long term partner, I just don’t know if I am looking for something serious right now”…. Sure, it was a little white lie, because we all know I really want something serious… I just know I don’t want something serious with Harutik. The date quickly turned from sweet to sour. I can tell he felt bothered… and it wasn’t long before we asked for the check and split it down the middle – this was not a good sign. By the end of the night we said our goodbyes and I never heard from him again. I texted him saying I had a good time and hope we can still be friends… but I was ghosted right then and there.

That’s the problem with dating in Los Angeles, the good ones are only good enough to be pre-boyfriend material… and when we finally find the potential real boyfriend, we soon find out all we are to them is pre-boyfriend material. It’s the circle of dating life….

 

Dreaming

I had a dream of you last night. It was beautiful. Just like when we first started dating. We were happy and in love. We had our own home. You should’ve seen it. You would’ve been impressed. It was one story tall but it was huge. We had big windows and doors everywhere. A Spanish style home, like we always wanted. We had a nice courtyard and there was a beautiful spring breeze that filled the room. The wind kept blowing our curtains in and out of our home. Our place was all white. Pure. We were being silly… as we were when we first started. We were playing hide and seek… I was “it”. I looked for you all over the house but couldn’t find you. I kept shouting your name. I laughed and checked under the bed. I pretended to give up and sat on the couch…. But you didn’t give in. I continued to look for you. Were you in the closet? Nope. Were you in the restroom? Nope. I began to worry… I thought you left my dream. After a minute of sitting on our bed and thinking of where you could be hiding… you popped out of the laundry room. My face filled with joy as you jumped on the bed and we began to cuddle and kiss. The dream was beautiful. At some point, I remember realizing I was dreaming… but I refused to wake up. I knew if I woke, I would no longer be able to see you… and that hurt more than waking up and knowing you weren’t there laying next to me.

Eventually, I woke up. It’s been the best dream I’ve had in the last 6 months. I sat there and stared at my ceiling. Didn’t move. Didn’t think anything. I just stared. I later realized, that although the dream was beautiful and made me feel good inside… it was only just a dream. As I thought about my emotions and everything that I was going through I realized how lonely I was. The breeze I felt in my dream made me wish I had someone to cuddle with. The beautiful home I had, was a home I wish I was sharing with someone. Was it him who I was missing or the thought of him? Did I truly miss his presence or just a partner to keep me company? I cried because I didn’t know the answer… and I still don’t. I eventually got out of my bed and into the shower. It was time to rinse myself off from this unrealistic fantasy.