Despojo, Part 2

When he made that jibe about not being able to get it up, Marylin and I exchanged surprised glances, but we said nothing. He picked up on it, put his hand on Marylin’s knee, gave her a sly wink, and said, “Don’t worry, sweetheart. I’m helping you out, too.”

He proceeded to throw the shells for me in all aspects of life: health, career, love, etc. They came up all black. Every fucking time. And almost every time, one black shell rested upon another, which really seemed to stress out my santero, which in turn confirmed my sense of doom. How was that even possible, all those black shells? In my job, I deal with a lot of statistics, but any idiot with half a brain can tell you that it’s pretty unfucking likely that all four shells would turn up black time after time. In succession. I mean, it had to be a trick, right? Some flick of the wrist, some hidden button pressed with prestidigitous fingers, the epitome of legerdemain? (I know that sentence is a clunker, but I couldn’t resist tossing all those words in, even if just to witness the disaster.)

Or was it really the spirits, what I believe they call orishas in Santeria, manipulating the shells to deliver divine information?

“That wife of yours,” he said. I had been lost in thought, trying to figure out if I was being duped or saved, but now I focused on him. He blew vapor at me. “Was she a good woman?”

I wanted to fan the vapor away from my face, but I was afraid that might mess with the ceremonial juju. I shrugged instead. “She had her good and bad, like anyone else.”

He laughed and shook his head. “Esa es venono,” he said. She’s poison. As an afterthought, he added, “Don’t eat anything she gives you.”

Marylin later explained that the most potent curses in Santeria were delivered via food. She had an uncle who had died that way. Her father and uncle had both eaten the cursed food, and they both became extremely sick. Her father immediately sought out a santero and had the curse removed. Her uncle didn’t believe in Santeria or curses, so he sought medical attention instead. As the weeks went by, he became progressively worse.

He died, and the father lived.

My santero now looked at the shells again, drew some vapor, blew it out toward the arranged figures along the shelves. He stared into space for some moments. “Some months ago, you and your wife had a really big fight.”

We had, but that was a natural assumption considering we were getting divorced, right? We’d been really drunk. But I mean really drunk. And I can’t recall what actually happened, but I do know that she even called the cops.

“It was around that time that someone called this curse on you.”

“Do you know who?”

“Those things are hard to discover.”

But I had my suspicions. The night of that fight, Betty disappeared after the cops left. No one could find her. Her father finally called me and asked me to please check in her car. That’s where I found her asleep. Her father, though…he’s a sneaky one. He’s a first generation Cuban-American, so I was sure he had tons of access to santeros, and he was the type to initiate something like this.

Or was I just creating a narrative using random events and hocus-pocus?

“At work…you have to be careful,” the old man said. “The muertos have been making you do things you shouldn’t be doing.” This shocked me. I had been escaping from work early nearly every day. “But you have to protect your job. Even if you don’t like it, it’s what you need to live.”

He thought again for a few moments, drawing on the vape pen. “And legally…you have to be careful. There’s some trick I’m seeing. Some kind of deception.” I couldn’t think of anything, except the divorce. But it bothered him.

“We’re going to have to do un trabajo on you,” he said.

I wasn’t going to say no at this point. I still wasn’t sure I believed any of this stuff, but it sure couldn’t hurt.

So he stood me in the center of the room. He gave Marylin the option of going or staying, and she decided to stick around and watch. He grabbed some leafy branches from a large urn, and he started to pray. To be honest, I barely paid attention to the words. It was a quiet prayer, chanted, and sounded what like I used to hear when I went to church as a kid. As he prayed, he swept my body with the leafy branches. Down the arms, along the shoulders, down the back, and swiping downward on my chest and stomach.

That’s when I heard Marylin squeal.

“Felt that?” he said to her.

She had scurried out of the chair and was trying to open the door. “Felt it? I saw that.” She finally got the door open. “I can’t be here.” And she was gone.

She later told me that she had seen some large, dark presence, billowing like a wind blown curtain, attached to my back and struggling to keep me.

The santero continued the prayer, set down the branches, and picked up the ornate sword that I had noticed when I first walked in here. He drew the blade out of the scabbard. I really hoped that he didn’t pull out a chicken next.

To my relief, he lifted my shirt and used the sharpened blade to slice a long cut along the front. He did the same along the back, then finished by ripping the shirt off of me, and throwing it at one of the figurines in his collection. It was a big, shield-shaped mask with X’s on the eyes. He then sat me down, draped me in a yellow veil, sprinkled me with holy water, and continued his chants. I let the veil block out everything. Not just what I saw, but what I heard and smelled and felt. I let that veil obliterate all my senses, and when he removed it, I could almost imagine I had been reborn.

The ceremony was essentially finished then. He called Marylin back in. She tip-toed into the room, as if afraid of what she might find, but she relaxed almost immediately.

He gave me a small pebble. “Keep this with you.”

“For how long?”

“Until you lose it.”

I haven’t lost it. I know this trick, by the way. It’s just a placebo. But I still haven’t been able to bring myself to stop carrying it or throw it away.

He then threw the shells for me again, asking all the same questions he had asked before. At first, they came up half black and half white. Then he said a few more prayers over me, placed a shot of liquor in front of one of the figurines, and blew vapor at it. From that point on, all four shells came up white, time after time. He sighed in relief.

And so did I.

I then donated over $100 for his service, placing it in one of the bowls that was set up for one of the figurines. And I was on my way.

I still don’t know what to make of the whole thing exactly. I want to disparage it and say it’s all bunk and find alternate explanations for all the events and information he touched upon. But here’s the funny thing. I’ve been much better since. Even if it’s just my own subconscious finding ways to heal myself, the experience had value.

And the next time Marylin and I had sex, I was back to being much closer to a sex god than a limp dick.

Despojo, Part 1

Before I get to the despojo, you should know about the three different types of Cubans you’ll find in Miami (an oversimplification, but for the purpose of this post, it will suffice).

There are, of course, the first generation Cubans. These people were born in Cuba and immigrated to the USA at various ages. Usually, first-genners speak English with an accent, if they bother to learn English at all (the older they come over, the less likely that becomes). And they take fierce pride in their native culture. The older first-genners are delusionally focused on Cuba and have an irrational fear of liberal ideas because of the whole Bay of Pigs thing. They’ll still curse Kennedy’s name, and if you suggest that the embargo against the island is pointless, get ready for a fight.

The younger ones are different. Marylin is one of these younger ones. She came when she was still in elementary school, so she learned English well, and after her stint at FSU, she actually talks more like a gringa than a Cuban. With her blond hair and blue eyes, she can pass for a white girl with little effort.

I’m a second-genner. My mother came when she was in her teens, I was born in the USA, and I learned Spanish before I learned English. That’s usually the profile. Second-gen Cuban-Americans still have fierce pride in their Cuban culture. Especially the food. We speak Spanish fluently, but not very well, even though it was our first language. At some point in our education, English just takes over and Spanish doesn’t progress past a 3rd or 4th grade level. Most of us can read Spanish, but with extreme difficulty, and we can barely write it. We still identify ourselves as Cuban first, but that’s mostly for show. We’re not delusional (I think) when it comes to politics. We’ll vote thinking of our own interests, not really caring what might or might not benefit the people in Cuba, and not campaigning for regime change over there.

Then there are the third-genners. These would be my kids (if I ever had any). They might identify as Cuban, but as an after thought. It’s kind of like claiming allegiance to a sports team, like the kid that decides to be a Raider fan because he likes the colors. Just because you’re a fan, however, doesn’t mean you have a clue of what it really takes to be on the team. They probably can’t speak Spanish. They’ll still love Cuban food, because really, who doesn’t?

And that brings me to the despojo. Santeria is common in Cuba, and first-genners bring that practice with them. Basically, Santeria is the voodoo of the Cuban people. Marylin’s family, being first-genners, have been visiting santeros their whole lives for one purpose or another. In general, when something inexplicable happens, or a string of bad luck takes over, people into Santeria will seek out a santero to do a cleansing, what we call a despojo. These rituals can involve things like divination, trance, dancing, animal sacrifice, etc.

So when I told Marylin about my divorce, car accident, tickets, injuries, and stress at work, she immediately suggested a despojo. She took me to her santero on Saturday. We stopped there before we went to the football tailgate.

santeria shrine

The santero lived in an efficiency in a home in Miami. (If you live anywhere other than Miami, you probably have never heard of an efficiency, but it’s just another name for a mother-in-law suite.) He greeted Marylin like a niece. He was a small old Cuban man with a bulbous nose and thick, pre-hipster glasses. He took one look at me and said, “But you’re totally descojonado,” as he shook my hand.

To put it nicely in English: you’re all fucked up.

He led us to his shrine room. I already felt awkward. I had been wearing an old t-shirt all day, as he had instructed. I was afraid he was going to spray me with chicken blood, and studying the room just made me more nervous. There were pots and figurines lining the walls and shelves. Many of the figures were misshapen and grotesque. Big heads, creepy eyes. The pots were arranged in a manner that suggested they belonged to several of the figures, and inside, there were trinkets and food and full shots of liquor. A sheathed sword rested on a work table, jeweled chains wrapped around and dangling from the hilt. A large vase on the side held leafy branches. The room smelled like old-Cuban…like my grandparents’ house when I was a kid. I don’t know exactly what comprises that smell, but my guess is a mix of tobacco, sofrito, and cleaning detergent.

There were three chairs in the room. I sat off to the side as he worked on Marylin first. He sat facing her, touched her head, shoulders, knees, and said some prayers in Spanish. I understood words here and there, but he was speaking fast, and at times, it didn’t even sound like Spanish. He took up four shells, completely white on one side, and black on the other. When he finished chanting, he asked a question about Marylin’s job, slapped the shells together, and dropped them on the floor.

Half of them came up white. The other half black.

He proceeded to do this about a dozen more times, asking different questions, or delving into certain areas of her life with more precision. Each time, they came up half white and half black. Marylin had been having a rough time at her job. The shells divined that she was still conflicted and that outcomes still hung in the balance.

He did a quick ritual for her, draping her in a veil, sprinkling what seemed to be holy water, chanting, smoking from a vaporizer. That amused me. Practically all of the rituals require the santero to smoke and blow smoke for some reason I don’t understand. And here, in 2014, this santero had made the shift to a vaporizer to watch out for his health. Awesome.

He then asked all the same questions and threw the divination shells again. They proceeded to come up all white for every single question.

My turn.

“You don’t believe in anything, do you?” he said.

I shrugged. I had been a staunch atheist for most of my adult life, and here I was, getting a damned despojo. What the hell could I say?

“It’s a good thing, too,” he said. “If you believed in anything, you’d be in bed right now, unable to move. Someone did a real number on you.”

I wanted to know who, but it was something he didn’t have access to. He shrugged and began his chant. Tapped my head, shoulders, and knees. He smoked, and exclaimed, “La vida!” as he slapped the shells together and dropped them at my feet.

Black. All black. And one of the shells landed on top of another.

He groaned, put his head in a hand, and studied the configuration. “You have dos muertos mounted.” Dos muertos literally means two dead people, but I assumed he meant ghosts or spirits.

He studied the shells some more. “Not good. They’re powerful. And they’ve been working to make you do things you shouldn’t be doing.”

Story of my life.

“With this kind of curse,” he said, “I’m surprised you can even get it up.” He made a fist and stiffened his forearm.

And if you’ve read my previous post, you can understand how that made me a believer.

Well, almost.

To be continued…

 

Weekend Recap

I spent the weekend with Marylin. I picked her up Friday and we had dinner at Bulla Gastrobar in the Gables. An older crowd than I like, and a bit too pretentious for my taste, but the place was packed. I really don’t see why. The food was decent, but for Spanish tapas, way overpriced. They did have a nice selection of cocktails, and the ox tail flatbread with truffle oil was worth the trip, but overall, I prefer the more traditional and modest Spanish restaurants that focus more on food than frill.

We talked and drank, and the more we drank, the looser we talked. We eventually got around to the talking about sex while high. The last time I had visited her, we had smoked and then fucked, and it had been pretty amazing. But now she was concerned that it would become a habit.

“I know you like smoking, but does that mean that we can’t have sex unless we’re high?”

Well, we can, but why would we want to? That’s my philosophy, anyway. I couldn’t say that outright, though. She already thought me too much of a druggie. “You don’t have to smoke at all.”

“But then we’ll be on like different levels. I don’t want that either.”

And that was the seed for the upcoming fiasco.

So we get back to her place, I use the bathroom, and when I get out, she’s waiting in bed in a sexy negligee. She looked great, but all I felt was a pang of anxiety. I knew the game she was playing. It’s called the Fuck Me Sober game.

I felt trapped. I wanted to smoke, but there she was, barely clothed and waiting for my cock. Worse, she knew I wanted to smoke, and pulled this for…what? For validation? To feel like her desirability had more to do with her than with drugs? Who the hell can begin to understand what goes on in a woman’s mind?

I gave it the old college try, but at my age, after half a dozen drinks and a full week of work, and with the anxiety that welled up from the conversation and ploy she had pulled, well, the old college try was good for only a limp result.

Needless to say, after the mind-blowing sex with Dre on Thursday, this was a real disappointment. I smoked and brought her to orgasm with my tongue, but I was unable to climax at all. The next morning, we went at it again, and this time, I was able to get hard, but I lost my erection after a few minutes of being inside her. She had to bring me to climax with her mouth.

And the next morning, same result. Sober sex that led to sobering performance. I got right to the point of my climax, but she wasn’t quite there yet, so I tried to slow down and control my orgasm.

Instead, I completely lost my erection and had to eat her out to finish her off.

All this, after just having Dre call me a sex god a few days before. I still don’t get it. I like Marylin. More than I like Dre. Sex with Dre is the most intense, amazing pleasure. We fuck till we’re sweaty and spent, collapsed around each other in bed, and basking in the long afterglow of our orgasms. But I can’t imagine a future with her. With Mary, a future is easy to picture. She’s almost everything I could want, but the sex keeps falling flat.

All this can change, of course, but I’d be interested to hear what readers think. I won’t keep them both if I make a commitment; I just don’t like to play that game when in a real relationship. So what would you go with out there? The amazing sexual goddess, or the girl that you can picture waking up with for years to come, if only the sex could get straightened out (no pun intended).

 

Perspective

Yeah, I’m often bummed, but I also realize that I’m currently living the greatest sexual adventure of my life. And it’s all thanks to my ex-wife leaving.

It started with Tinder. I was on the app the same day my ex-wife told me she was leaving. Really healthy, right? I know because that’s the comment I usually get when I’m out tindering. And you should have seen the girls’ reaction when I told them that I had gotten separated a measly week ago.

I didn’t want to lie about it. I ended up having to lie about it after I kept seeing the same reactions. Girls couldn’t handle it, though most of them ended up fucking me anyway, so maybe I should have stuck to my principles. But there are only so many times that I could stand having the same conversation.

And man, there have been girls. It’s like a floodgate opened, and the universe funneled all the sex I could handle toward me. There was Mandy, who I’ve already written about. And then there was Addy, the ad-exec I liked to call Ms. Draper, ala Mad Men. She really couldn’t handle fact that I had only been separated two weeks when were on our first date. Oh, and the car totaling incident didn’t go over well, either. I had finally smoothed things over and we were about to bar hop to another spot, only to discover my car had been towed. So she had to accompany me to a sleazy, ghetto tow yard, and by the time we got out of there, it was too late and I was too depressed to go anywhere else, so I drove her home.

At which point she invited me up to her apartment. And she offered me a drink. And she busted out the weed. We smoked on her balcony. I knew it was on the moment she invited me up, but I was in disbelief, and I didn’t make the move until I was high enough to suspend that disbelief.

And then there was Raquel, the verbal ninja. Another Tinder girl. First white girl I dated. First Jewish girl I dated. And she knew how to work our conversation toward deep, meaningful discussions of life, philosophy, sex, inner demons. Between us, there was this inexplicable passion that ignited into some of the most amazing sex we had ever had. She often told me, “This isn’t normal.” And it wasn’t. I wish I had met her more than a few weeks after my separation, because she was pretty special. I couldn’t, however, bring myself to consider a long-term relationship or monogamous commitment so soon.

Timing is everything.

Dre was also a Tinder girl. In her pictures, I totally fell for her impish grin. Well, more her huge tits, which she displayed with a beautiful gold cross nestled within the cleavage. She was my kind of girl. Hialeah to the core. Hard drinker, loud, rambunctious, and down to fuck. On our first date, we drank and made out but she wouldn’t take me home. I’ve found that on Tinder, all the girls, even the ones that say they’re not down for a hook up, are down for hook ups, but only after a first, no sex date. That doesn’t mean they won’t get sexual. They do. Every time, I’ve gotten into heavy make-out and groping sessions. But 99% of the time, they won’t close the deal on the first date. Even Dre, the thirstiest nympho I’ve ever met, wouldn’t fuck me on that first date.

We’ve made up for it since then.

She’s one of the ones I’ve kept. She invites me over and waits for me naked. I smoke, and we fuck like animals. Three to five times within a two-hour period. She has been the most amazing sexual partner of my life, and each time we fuck, it just gets better. We’re getting attached, which could be dangerous because, as she said, we’re two broken people, and we’d create a shit storm of disaster if we tried for something more than sex. But it’s hard to stop when the pleasure is so intense. Last night, she cried a few times during her orgasms because she had never felt anything like it before. I couldn’t stop laughing because I couldn’t believe I had just had such an intense orgasm.

And she called me a sex god, so that helps too.

There was Jenny, which I also wrote about. And Marylin. And Nelia. Marylin is another one I’ve kept, and Nelia I also plan to see, but we haven’t been seeing each other consistently. On top of those, I have a few orbiters that might turn into something more, but which are currently just flirtations.

Early on, I was managing four girls at a time. Going out with a different one each night. Having sex with two of them on the same day sometimes.

I’m thirty-eight. It was exhausting.

So I’ve cut back to Marylin and Dre. Dre keeps trying to pull away, calling me dangerous to her mental health. Seems like some therapist is cock blocking.

Marylin has been my healthy partner. She’s put together. Has things going for her. Doesn’t seem broken or damaged. Treats me well. I’m at peace with her. But I wonder if I’m settling.

The orbiters have potential, but I’ll leave them for another post. Nelia is one of those, but I have a couple of others. Those are full stories unto themselves.

I could look at all these experiences and have a much more positive outlook on my life and current situation. I’m able to do that at times, but then the negative creeps back in, little by little, and I find myself feeling blue again.

And is this healthy? I don’t know. Am I doing it just because I can’t stand being alone? Because I’m finding solace in all this sex? Hell, worse. What if I’m just using all this sex for validation? To feel better about myself? It’s become almost like an addiction now. When my phone is quiet for too long, I launch a text to one of my girls just to get that buzz of validation. And every night, even when I plan to stay home and work on my writing or play some video games, after being alone for a few minutes, I scramble for my phone and start arranging a meetup with someone. Anyone. As long as it gets me out of my parents’ house. And as long as I can bury myself in their sweet sex and forget my self for a few short hours.

I can’t bring myself to start considering the havoc I might be wreaking on their lives. I care, but I’m too selfish and manic right now to behave any better.

I wonder if anyone else out there has had similar experiences. I’d be interested in hearing about it in the comments.

 

Conversations with My Ex – Part 2

I have my days. Good and bad. They fluctuate so much I’m starting to wonder if I have a mild form of bipolar disorder. On my bad days, I can only think of everything I’ve lost.

That’s when I reach out to my ex. And it’s always a bad idea.

So a few weeks back, I was having one of my suicide Mondays, and in my depression and despair, I decided to check Betty’s Instagram account. There she was, on a yacht, being carried by some other dude.

It’s hard to describe what roiled within me. Jealousy, for one. Not that she was with another guy (well, maybe some of that), but that she was on a boat having an awesome time that was out of my reach. And that sent me off to my phone to launch some texts at her:

Do you ever miss what we had?

I miss the good times. But I just wasn’t in love anymore.

What gets me is that we never made an attempt. We didn’t try anything.

We barely talked about it. I mean, we could have worked to make things better.

We could have tried counseling. Anything.

The way you left makes me thing nothing ever mattered.

I don’t believe that. If you have to try so hard, it just wasn’t meant to be.

We had hard times, but we had built a life. And it was ours.

We had our space, our dog, our plans, the future…hell, we had our own language.

And you walked away without a care. For what?

I just wasn’t happy. I would have cheated on you and I didn’t want to do that.

As you can imagine, none of this made my day easier. We texted back and forth some more, but by this time, I was driving to the courthouse, divorce papers I had downloaded from the Internet completed and signed. It was a short, simplified dissolution of marriage. A couple of pages that would put an end to this stage of my life.

When I went to submit them to the clerk, the lady laughed at me,  slammed a hundred and fifty page packet on the counter, charged me $11 for the convenience, and sent me on my way. Needless to say, I haven’t gotten around to that paperwork yet. Every time I open the packet and start reading the instructions, I’m filled with despair. I’ll never finish it.

One thing that the texts did bring up was the notion of a relationship. Many people believe as my ex. That relationships should be magical and easy, and that true loves means being forever in love. But I think that no relationship is easy, and that they all require work and dedication to grow and evolve. And when I say work, I don’t mean a date night once a week. I mean the kind of work that I put into fitness. Rigorous, dedicated time and effort to build ourselves and deepen the bond and commitment.

Conversations with My Ex, Part 1

Actual conversations have been few and far between. We did see each other once, on what would have been our seven year anniversary. Seven years from our first date, not marriage. It was the only anniversary we chose to celebrate every year, and she suggested that we get together for old time’s sake. This was barely two weeks after she left. I was totally for it.

She suggested a new restaurant she had heard about. One thing about Betty, she was always on top of researching the best new restaurants and pubs. We called it her concierge role, and I discovered tons of new places and experiences because of her diligent research. This place didn’t disappoint, either.

The restaurant was sort of hidden. It was in a rickety looking shopping center. All the windows were blacked out. The only sign in front said, “Market.” Opening the door and walking inside the Drunken Dragon, though, was like walking into some 1960’s tiki bar where you might find James Bond ordering a martini or two.

I guess I still held some misguided hope at that point. I tried to keep things light, but before long, we were delving into our shortcomings and failures. Dinner was delicious, but I barely registered how spectacular it was due to the sick knots in my stomach and throat.

We went to a pay-by-the-hour motel after. We got high and had sex. Then napped and left. The sex itself was good, but the entire experience just saddened me. Here we were, at a cheap skanky motel, having sad sex, when less than a month before, we had our entire lives, past present and future, and all the hope and love that engendered. How did we end up here? And why?

When I dropped her off, I can’t remember what pleasantries we said, but as she was going into her new apartment, her new life, and leaving me behind like an aged sweater, I blurted without thinking, “Love you.” My voice cracked as I said it. It sounded so weird to my own ears. She nearly burst into tears as she said, “Me too.”

And that was the truth of it, I think.

Over text, we discussed how sad the motel experience had been. We had both joked initially about remaining friends with benefits, but I knew I’d never do this to myself again. I felt more lonely after the entire experience than I had in all the days leading up to it.

You can’t move forward if you’re buried in the past.

 

Project Rebound: Mandy, Part 2

Sex with Mandy was fun and enlightening. I had never been with a girl so experienced and so down to try anything.

We met up for dinner on a Sunday at Mint Leaf, a great Indian restaurant in the Gables. We immediately started talking about sex. Our fetishes and turn ons. Our weak spots. Experiences that had stayed with us. Dominance. Submission. Orgies. Threesomes. We were worked up before the appetizers arrived.

By desert, the clothes were ready to fly off. Total “baja panty” conversation, as we say round these parts (that couldn’t have been a more odd pairing of slang and dialect, smh).

Still, we stopped for some drinks first. That was one of the things that contributed to our fling fizzle. As open as she was about sex in conversation, for her to be comfortable without her clothes in the bedroom, she had to be drunk. Every time we fucked, she made the same comment about needing another drink to loosen up.

So that night, we stopped at The Local, a gastro pub that serves locally sourced food and craft beers. We sat at the bar, drank some more, and groped each other until we paid the bill and left.

One thing about Mandy, she could talk. She never stopped. It was easy to hang out with her because she dominated the conversation with tons of crazy stories. And I do mean tons. Crazy people and situations seemed to gravitate to her.

The only time she shut the fuck up was right before sex. I found that out just minutes after jumping into bed at the Presidente Motel. It was my first time at one of these pay-by-the-hour joints in forever…maybe since high school. No, I threesomed there once with Betty and Aria just before we got engaged, but it still had been years.

Mandy became a different girl in bed. The hyper, ultra anxious chatterbox disappeared, and there beneath me was this brooding, silent, sultry vixen inviting me with her eyes to tear her apart.

sex

She brought something out of me I didn’t know I harbored. Or maybe it was the pain of being left that brought it out of me. I dominated her in bed. Devoured her. Made her squirt without bothering to prepare her. Choked her as we came together. She melted after that, and it kept her coming back for more. She said I reminded her of that Grey dude from the books. I’m going to have to pick those up to find out what else has this effect on women.

Unfortunately, the last time we got together, she didn’t drink enough alcohol, and she was anxious the entire time we fucked. I’m naturally a rather anxious person, and I don’t deal well with anxiety in the bedroom, so that kind of ended things.

We’ve still texted on occasion. But I’ve stopped reaching out, and my responses got short and distracted, and she’s pretty much stopped texting me, too.

Makes me feel somewhat guilty, but it shouldn’t. I have to get out of the frame of mind that these girls are giving me something and I owe them. I’m giving them just as much, and don’t expect anything in return.

I rather liked her openness. Her outgoing personality. Her willingness to try anything in the bedroom. She wanted a boyfriend, too…I could tell from several things she said. Even if I had fallen in love with her, though, I wouldn’t have been ready for that.

Her looks didn’t quite attract me the way I want to be attracted to a monogamous partner: she didn’t pass the friend and family test. Her anxiety gave me pause. And she wasn’t sufficiently into diet and fitness. Those are all things I need in my next relationship.

But Mandy, if by some terrible coincidence you ever read this, please know I think fondly of you. It was more me than you. And I hope you find what you’re looking for.

Coincidence and Fate, cont.

That run in with Betty,  though,  it got me thinking about how the world works,  what powers and mysteries underlie our experience of this universe,  this life.  Was this a sign? Fate trying to throw us back together? I mean,  how many fucking things had to align just so for that run in to occur? Miami is a big city with lots of cool spots,  and we both pick the same exact bar spot on the same exact minute?

I’ve never been religious  but I’ve always believed in signs,  and I wrestled with that encounter for days.  Did it mean I should chase Betty and make one of those desperate,  romantic gestures to win her back? Or was fate showing me that I wasn’t missing much? Showing me the grace of Jennifer in pressure situation?

Since this separation,  there have been lots of things happening that are difficult for me to just chalk up to coincidence.

Speaking of effort,  that’s another thing that bothers me.  Betty left without ever making a real effort to make our marriage work. There was never any talk about her being unhappy or unfulfilled or anything.  I mean,  we could have tried counseling and worked through issues that we had,  and if it turned out that things still weren’t working,  then we could have gone our separate ways,  but we didn’t even discuss that option.

The truth is,  I didn’t make an effort at the end either. If I had handled things differently,  we would likely still be together,  but my pride was too hurt,  and all I did was sulk.  I keep telling myself there’s no going back.  I tell myself that as I get high and watch South Park and turn to the side, expecting to see her there, laughing with me.  I can’t tell you how often I turn with words tumbling from my lips only the find the space empty,  and the fresh hurt pangs in my gut.

But if we hadn’t separated,  I know I would have been unhappy.  I would look at her and think that I could do better,  that she wasn’t worthy of being my partner. 

I’m just chronically dissatisfied. 

Which brings me back to worldview and the power of our visualizations.  Did I manifest this separation by constantly looking for ways out of the marriage? For thinking about that so often? Did I bring that whole string of bad luck by constantly thinking negatively about my self and my life? I have a voice in my head that is constantly pointing out the negatives,  my faults,  and my frailty.  Did that voice bring about the destruction of my previous life?

I’ve seriously considered that.  And I’m working to change the self-talk that goes on in my head.  I succeed for a while,  but old habits are hard to break.

Coincidence and Fate

Last Saturday, I was out with Jennifer. I met her at a Crossfit get together in Midtown the week before. It was in a bar/lounge type spot, and I was not out looking for a hookup. I hadn’t seen the Crossfit crew since I had moved out of Wynwood, and they were more my ex-wife’s (henceforth known as Betty) group now. You know how shit goes down when people breakup. The friends have to belong primarily to someone, and Betty had claimed these friends. But she was not going to be there for this party, so I took the opportunity to hang out with them and reconnect.

But I didn’t want to be that divorcee that chases his ex wife’s girl friends, so I planned to just hang out for a bit and maybe meet up with Raquel, the girl from Ft. Lauderdale I had been seeing. But plans change.

I hung out and talked and drank and checked my phone a lot to text back and forth with the girls I have been seeing. And then Jennifer approached me.

My plans went out the window. My biggest fault, I believe, is that I’m weak. I love women, and when I see an opening, I’m usually too weak to resist. So when she approached me, even though I had planned not to get into anything, I turned on the charm. We danced, we talked, we kissed, and we fucked.

So last Saturday, Jennifer and I decided to go see Gone Girl. But before, we went to Yard Bird in South Beach to have a drink. We sat at the bar and chatted and drank, and when I turned a second later, there was Betty, scanning the bar to find a bartender.

I had that sinking stomach feeling. I tried to continue the convo, but Jennifer noticed something was up, and I couldn’t stop glancing at Betty to see what she was up to. She soon noticed me, and she freaked out. I could tell she was agitated, but she played it off and started talking and saying hi. I don’t remember what she said to Jennifer, but Jennifer cut her off, saying, “Don’t worry, I know you’re his ex wife. I’m Jennifer,” and she gave Betty a kiss on the cheek.

Soon Betty’s date showed up. He was in the bathroom. I said hi and shook his hand. I have to admit, I wanted to squeeze the shit out of his hand, but I didn’t. He was a small, tiny guy, and I felt way superior to him. Petty of me, but that’s what at I felt.

Then the anger started. This is what she left me for? To have the opportunity to go out with guys like this? This is why she threw away all the years we had spent together, the things we had shared, our dog, our plans? I didn’t get it, and I still don’t.

Jennifer and I laughed about the encounter all night. Jennifer was great. She kept telling me how she couldn’t understand why Betty could be with him in comparison to me. Jennifer is a real lady, and she knows how to treat a man. I think it’s almost enough to marry the girl already, but I’m not going to be ready for a long term commitment for a while.

We ended the night perfectly. We smoked weed and fucked. What I like to call smucking. And it was fucking amazing. We had breakfast the next morning, but I haven’t seen her since. My schedule has gotten hectic.

The Initial Loss

It was the Wednesday before all this madness that my ex-wife and I talked and decided to get divorced. I guess it had been building for a while. I wasn’t happy, and I knew she couldn’t be all that happy, but it was one event that broke the proverbial camel’s back.

I went on a business trip on Sunday. My flight left at six in the morning, so I slipped out of the house around 4:30 a.m. without waking my then wife. I missed my connecting flight in Dallas, and arrived in San Jose around 3:00 p.m. pacific time. I decided to call my wife to tell her about my day, hear her voice, and just talk for a few minutes. I knew she had planned to hang out with a girlfriend.

I called. I texted. After half an hour, I texted again. I knew she was out drinking with her friend because they were documenting all their fun on Instagram. After another hour, I call again. And tried another text.

Nothing. No response.

Of course, I was pissed. Pfft, I texted. Fine.

That’s when she started texting me back, but I was fed up. I ignored her the rest of my trip. She sent me a few more texts, asking me to respond, and she made some cute posts on Instagram to elicit my forgiveness. But I remained silent.

When I returned late Tuesday, she was asleep. Wednesday morning, she tried to talk to me, but I avoided her. She texted me later in the day, reminding me about her high school reunion on Saturday, and I replied peevishly that she should take her friend.

We talked Wednesday night, and decided to separate. It was very cordial. “I know it was fucked up that I didn’t answer you,” she said. “But I was too interested in my own fun. I don’t want to keep doing this if I’m not giving all of myself to you.”

I agreed.

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We watched a show and smoked some weed. That was a big mistake. My emotions run rampant when I smoke. Ask anyone who has seen me watch Frozen while I’m high.

We went to bed. Yes, we slept in the same bed until she left Friday. I lay there in the dark, and my mind was running through all the thoughts and images associated with our time together. All the things we had shared. Our nicknames for each other, the travels we had taken, how we fooled around on the roof during work one day, our first kiss, the games we played with our dog, the restaurants we’d visited, the beers we shared, the plans we had to teach at international schools, the house we’d buy. Don’t get me wrong, there were a million things and more that annoyed about her and that I borderline hated. But at that moment, I focused only on what I would miss about her and my life with her.

“I’m going to miss you so much.” I couldn’t keep my voice steady.

And then I cried. No, I bawled like I had never bawled in my life. Deep, wracking sobs that I could not control. I lay on my side and my body heaved with the power of my pathetic blubbering. It went on and on and on. She cried and consoled me and it just made me cry harder.

After what seemed like an hour but might have been more like ten minutes, I started to compose myself, brought my breathing under control, and drifted off to sleep. The next day at work, I wept quietly throughout the day, locked in my office so no one would see, and making furtive trips to the bathroom to wash my face.

Ever since, I’ve been up and down. So up and down that I wonder at times if I’m having mini manic episodes. Luckily, I’ve been really busy with dating, so I have kept my mind off the life that I lost. That’s how I think of it, by the way. It’s not losing her that bothered me so much. It’s the life that I lost. It wasn’t the happiest, but it was my life, and I treasured it and would have held on to it for who knows how long. It had lots of lows, but great highs as well, and for me, it balanced out.

But when I’m alone, and I start thinking, or I pet my dog and he glances over his shoulder, looking for her to join the cuddlefest…it still hits me hard at these times. Writing this was hard as fuck. I typed it at work, and my eyes still watered up as I re-imagined these events. We’re still friendly and cordial, but every time I see or talk to her, it sets me back a bit, so I probably will avoid doing so in the future.

Enough sappy stuff. Let’s get back to the hook-ups.