Exposing weakness is empowering.

Well, at least, that is what they say. And that is why I’m here. But just thinking about doing so doesn’t make me feel empowered, just exposed…followed my the feeling of being hit by a train carrying regrets and bitterness.

A while ago, I wrote about meeting someone on the plane with hopes of continuing the story with a second part. Months later the goal has not been fulfilled… But it doesn’t mean I have forgotten.

The last thing I think before going to bed is him. I can still sense him in the darkness, my feet on his lap and his hands up my legs. The same thought would haunt me when I wake up everyday since then.

He was a dose of danger, yet I felt an unknown comfort and safety in his arms. He was exotic but never foreign to my mind and body. He was intriguing, mysterious, puzzling…but a part of me understood it all. He was everything that I was not. We were different and yet the same.

He loves Barcelona; I love the capital. I watch MotoGP; he didn’t know what it is. He hates school; I thrive in it. I’m graduating; he’s about to start. He’s friendly; I’m unapproachable. I am ¨innocent¨; he is ¨experienced¨. I said I have time; he said his was running out.

But what we had in common was unreal. We’re a few weeks apart in age. It’s difficult (ahem, impossible) to find someone my age here to carry a conversation about the 2002 World Cup. We were equally sarcastic and honest about our thoughts, and were not afraid to argue to defend our positions. Despite taking different approaches in school, he said that I must be smart for getting the grades I do, but I dismissed his ¨compliment¨ by saying that intelligence isn’t determined by grades – and that seemed to pleasantly surprised him, because he went on to saying that he had a cousin who is a genius in school but not ¨street smart¨… Oh well.

On a more shallow side of things, he was beautiful. Despite being saddened by the realization that I had to leave the beautiful Spain, I noticed him at the gate before we even met – amazed by how alluring his figure was even though I only say him from behind (that neck. sighhh). It was like the scattered pieces of what I define as ¨my type¨ take the form of that man. I loved his hair color, his broad shoulders, his stoic but piercing and passionate eyes, his strong jawline, his perfect nose, his delightful lips… But more importantly, he was witty. At the same age as mine, he has already seen much of the world – leaving Ireland on a boat as a child to grow up in Brazil. He may be half-Irish from his mother’s side, but I cannot remember the words he whispered into my ears in the heat of the moment ¨You know, I’m Brazilian¨. Even now I still don’t really understand what he meant by that. And no, I didn’t find out.

I’m struggling to forgive myself that I didn’t talk to him after…umm, we got a little too private in public. A part of me wanted everything to end there, to leave the shameful act on that plane along with the witnesses – including him. I couldn’t bring myself to ask him to keep in touch…and now I’m wondering if it was the right decision.

Being the female constrained to a certain gender role imposed by society, I wanted him to take initiative. It would be better if he, not I, ask to keep in touch. As much as I wanted to ask his number, I kept waiting and waiting. In the end, he didn’t say anything and I let it go, convinced that had he really wanted to keep ¨in touch¨ after the flight, he would have asked…

But then I remembered that it was me who broke the ice. How couldn’t I? The guy was staring at me for a good fifteen minutes. I felt like I had to start a conversation or else that awkward situation would never end. Realizing that I was the one who initiated the interaction makes me wonder if he was waiting for me to ask his number…After all, he was a proud one. But what’s worse is so was I. I realize that it would have never worked out, but the thought of not being able to find someone better than him scares me more than anything.

Pues… Solo yo me quedo aquí, hundida y sin tu piel.

He must have flown back to Barcelona since September after fulfilling his parents’ request to help with the boat business in the US for the summer. But here I am, back to real life, trying to finish college…with no foreseeable opportunity to find his replacement. The men here just wouldn’t do. So I will keep in my mind for a while until I go back to Spain. By then he will be only a cloudy memory.

Or at least I hope.

~Brisa

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