(No) Part II of Stranger on the Plane

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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10 thoughts on “(No) Part II of Stranger on the Plane”

  1. wow! i love the second part, but there is something that i do not understand or at least that it intrigues me, i mean, you talk of your feet on his lap, his hands up your legs, feeling a comfort in his hands….what do you mean? you mean that you went to the toilet/bathroom with him to have an intimate encounter after meeting him at the gate just before getting on the plane? sorry if the question is silly! so he sat down on the loo and you stood tall in front of him to put your feet?

    “to leave the shameful act on that plane”, do you mean the intimate encounter was on the plane? wow!

    i think that you should have asked him to keep in touch…sometimes a guy may not ask not because he does not want to, but because he is not sure if the woman wants it.

    my personal experiences tell me that you have to be brave if you really desire to get something even if it looks difficult at first time.

    1. No such thing as a silly question (with me, at least)! I know I left it a little vague but that was the point. But if I explain it a little bit further, promise me that you wouldn’t try it on some poor innocent girl?

      There were two empty seats to my left, I was sitting on the far right one and he moved to the one on the far left, leaving the one in the middle empty. Later he laid down on his elbow on the middle seat and eventually moved there. My seat has an armrest that couldn’t be put up, so it was impossible to lay down on over all three seats. That’s why he suggested that I could switch seat with him and put my legs over the armrest, on his lap. Of course he had another plan in mind: so his hands could do as they wish. Later on I asked him to move to the middle seat where no armrest could set us apart, and things got even more heated from there.

      Let me make one thing clear: I did not join the mile high club (aka didn’t have sex on the plane). And I would never encourage anyone to do so – as it is most likely illegal. No, we stayed in our seat and did something easier under the blankets in the dark. Fortunately, it seemed like everyone else were asleep or did not care to report us… I’m pretty sure we could have gotten into some deep trouble for public indecency, bc I remember at one point in the heat of the moment, we didn’t care that the blanket didn’t cover, how do I say, all of him. (Props to the people and the flight crew who left us alone. This Spanish Airline has earned a new, loyal customer hahaha)

      What is most ¨shameful¨ to me about this ¨act¨ -besides it happening in public- would probably be the fact that some poor flight attendants had to pick up the dirty blanket…because he had to finish whatever he had to finish, if you know what I mean.

      Your comment confirms my worst fear: that he didn’t ask to keep in touch because he wasn’t sure if I wanted to…

      So here are my questions to you, Pedro, and they may be super silly but bare with me:

      In the US and also where I came from, the society defines gender role very clearly: men are expected to take initiative and women are supposed to be reactive. If the women make the first move, it is seen as coming out strong and aggressive – and men are intimidated and scared away…. That’s why I didn’t ask him for his contact info but waited for him to ask instead. What are your opinions about this? Do Spanish men seem to generally think the same?

      Unfortunately, I have listened/read too many comments about ¨Latin lovers¨ (meaning men who speak Romance languages) being the alpha-male, meaning that you would like to do the chase, not the opposite…So I thought that if he really wanted to, he would have asked. And if I had asked, he would have thought that I was way too ¨easy¨…

      It’s hard to accept that maybe he was thinking about the exact same thing. It seems like he was a very proud person too…If I hadn’t started talking to him first, he would probably just sit there and kept staring at me. Sometimes I forget that he could be just as insecure, unsure of himself, and scare of rejection just like me (even though it is difficult to believe, given that he is as beautiful, witty, and -let’s be honest- rich as he is).

      I’m looking forward to hearing back from you. Seeing that I am moving to Spain, I could use some tips on the Spanish way of courtship from an insider.

      1. in Spain a woman who takes a lot of initiatives may be called “zorra” (bitch, slut)…i do not agree, but lots of men would do or at least they would think badly about the woman.

        you are free to do as you please in Spain, but if you always take initiatives within a group of people or in a small town you might then be called “zorra” or “guarra”.

        a man may not make the first move ‘cos he is afraid of “sentirse rechazado” (the woman does not like him and does not desire anything)…..he then needs a move, even a little move from the female so he can feel secure….many other guys are secure and do not mind a nay.

        from my own experiences many times women have done the first move, and i love it ‘cos it makes a man proud like a lion if you know what i mean, but when it comes to difficult tasks because of the situation of the woman i have then made the first move even knowing the risk of it, but at the same time feeling secure.

        as for Latin Lovers…let me tell you something: in Spain the word Latin or Hispanic is used to describe Latin Americans like Cubans, Mexicans, Colombians, etc we do not see ourselves that way, and you might even offend someone, i know that Latin officially refers to Romance languages, the Roman Empire and its historical provinces now countries like France or Spain, but as i have just said we use it to refer to Latin America.

        the Latin Lover or Alpha-Male thing is rubbish i think…..just because some women, and men, love going to Cuba to have sex affairs with hot Cuban males does not mean that all Spanish speaking guys are the same.

        what do you mean by “promise me that you wouldn’t try it on some poor innocent girl”?

      2. Thanks for the comment. Let me respond from the last thing you said and I’ll make my way up.

        Firstly, what I said was only a joke and I hope you don’t take it too seriously. It seems like you were particularly interested about how things happened on the plane so I had to stress that I’m not encouraging anyone who do some kind of an intimate act on the plane, especially if it is flying into the US. I am sincerely sorry if you got offended. I suppose I need tone my dark humor and sarcasm down, but that is just how I am.

        As for the ¨Latin Lover¨ thing, being an avid blogger you probably had run into something similar. Here in America (or should I say the United States, since we are trying to be politically correct here), people tend to mix the Hispanic/Spanish/Latin, etc, etc carelessly. But here they are more sensitive when it comes to words like negro/morena or calling a store a ¨china¨ or making ¨Chinese¨ eyes, but these are very much acceptable in Spain. Unfortunately, I had to mention this idea of ¨latin lover¨ to bring up some (ridiculous) stereotypes that in fact do exist in the US. I am sorry if you have been offended. Personally I wouldn’t say the word ¨latin lover¨ out loud bc it really an unfair label to give…but the thought did come to my mind and that is why I am here, blogging away.

        Also, I would only refer to someone from Spain as an ¨español¨ (well, or ¨Catalan¨ depending on the person’s origin and political standing bc I do have some friends from Catalunya who are pro-independence but that’s another story) To me, ¨Spanish¨ is all things exclusively from Spain. But to avoid confusion, (bc many Americans use ¨Spanish¨ to refer to Latin Americans), I sometimes use ¨Spaniard¨. What’s interesting is that I said this word during a conversation with a Malagueño and he told me that he thought the word ¨Spaniard¨ was offensive and derogative…which is not the case at all in the English-speaking world. Thoughts?

        Your advice about courtship in Spain was super insightful. It’s too bad women still have to suffer with the name callings for acting a certain way that is absolutely normal when the men do it, but it is still good to know. Chances are I would still not behave in such a way bc I feel like I had seen enough last summer and am already bored by it all (which is kind of sad given that I am very young still). All I want to do is take a stroll down some old streets, drink some café con leche, read some books, and miss less futbol matches and MotoGP races, and continue blogging.

      3. you do not offend me at all…it surprises me that you think of it…perhaps it is the way i write that makes me appear angry or offended, my fault!

        i think that people must do what they feel whether on a plane, on a car’s bonnet or in a pub’s toilet even if the girl is poor and innocent as you say…i love how poor and innocent sound, haha…as if there were a poor and innocent girl in this day and age with so much knowledge!

        yes the pro-independence thing is a different story, a matter of lies, liars brainwashing people…

        i am surprised that your friend from Malaga thought that Spaniard is a derogative and offensive term, how is that? truly i find it quite better than Spanish, in fact i have refused to use Spanish during my two trips to the USA in 2010 and 2012, what i did use was Spaniard to make clear that i am European, for as you say in the USA the term Spanish also refers to a Colombian for example.

        sure that you will have a great time in Spain, better drink a cold beer not coffee, coffee? god! coffee makes me think of a serious woman who works as a secretary in an office’s desk all day…and beer makes me think of a wild and free female who does what she desires at any time.

        last but not least you must support Real Madrid not Barsa! by the way there is something that i share with you: to read books.

        well i hope that you will do more things than the ones that you have listed, and be careful whilst walking down a street, i mean, tourists often lose their handbagses!

      4. Hahahahaha I am young and innocent enough to ever try beer, but it is definitely on the list of things to do. I’m looking forward to having some cold beer in a sports bar watching a Real Madrid game – among other things 🙂 Cheers!

      5. you must be a baby born recently or a little girl playing with dolls if you are too young and innocent to have a beer, haha

        anyways there is beer with no alcohol….if you ever come to Murcia let me know and i would fain show you any place, at least a place that i know.

        be well and enjoy your weekend!

      6. I’m not that young but not old enough to be at a legal drinking age here in the US hahahaha I did try a few drinks here and there in Spain but quickly found that I am not a big fan of alcohol… So maybe I will give the non-alcoholic beer a try! Thanks for the invite and have a great one 🙂

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