Thursday, February 02, 2012


Growing up, I had a fascination with saving stuff. Up until 3 years ago, I saved everything as if it were some special memento of a time long gone.

In 1998, I went to the movies with my cousin and uncle to watch "Blade." At 16, it was the greatest movie I saw in my life. I saved the stub, and every subsequent stub thereafter.

My cousin and I were competitive all through our adolescence. It was playful and helped us push each other further. We'd try to see who could do more push-ups, who grew taller, who had bigger biceps, etc. We tallied everything and compared vigorously. It was important for us, especially for me, to have a record of all this.

I was a little embarrassed to remember today some other data storing that I partook in. A long long time ago, maybe back in junior high school, I went to my local discount store and bought several composition notebooks. The black and white one was used to record all the basketball games my cousin and I played, the score, and the winner. The green and white one was where I was writing a movie script that included all of the kids in my neighborhood. I came across my father's camcorder a few years ago, and loved making shirt videos [another form of record keeping]. The red and white one was something entirely different.

It was in this book that I would keep track of all the girls in my life. Listed chronologically, complete with their name and what they wore, I'd write down in extreme detail any kind of extra curricular physical activity that was had. Something as innocent as a kiss would be recorded. In my adolescent mind, a kiss was gold.

I don't remember getting past the first age in this book. I don't even remember when I threw it away. I wish I still had it today, though. Although the idea of it seems juvenile and chauvinistic, it could be something as awesome as reading an old personal diary.

Sometimes, out of nowhere, you remember making out with someone you completely forgot making out with. That ever happen to you? And you laugh to yourself, "Holy shit! I forgot about that!" How do we forget about these incidents? What causes us to remember?

If I could do it all over again, I would have keep better record of the small stuff in my life.

Friday, January 21, 2011

This message will self-destruct in...

I went to visit my sister yesterday. She was listening to some old school R&B, and singing as she cooked. It was a little different from all the other times I'd pass by. Either the TV was on, or some random radio station was on as background noise. Before I knocked on the door, I could tell this was a CD she purposely put on to enjoy.

Twenty minutes in, I ask her, "What the fuck is this you're listening to?" Not because It was horrible, but because I wanted to understand what mood she was in. She goes on to explain that it was a CD a friend made her about 2 years ago, but she never listened to until that day. She knew he had a crush on her, but by listening to the CD, she fully understood how deep his feelings were.

She recounted moments when he'd confess his love for her.

"Yo, I love my mother, but I'm IN love with you."

I couldn't help but laugh when she said that. I instantly felt bad for laughing. I've been in his shoes so many times. I knew the pain of wanting someone you couldn't have. I've seen life from that side of the fence. Hearing my sister tell her side of the story just made me laugh. I saw life from her side of the fence as well. Being the object of adoration isn't any easier than adoring someone who doesn't feel the same. The bottom line is, if its not mutual, both parties suffer. [I know. Duh!]

As I left for work, I suddenly remembered the many times I was that fool. The one professing his love for a pretty face. The one writing obscure poems about feelings I could never express. The one daydreaming and imagining parallel universes where he could be with the object of his affection. I suddenly felt so stupid. It became clear as day that they were no doubt laughing their heads off, as my sister was with me, as they remembered little moments; things that were said; secrets that were revealed; gifts that were given.

I suddenly remembered a scene in "Say Anything," where John Cusack's character leaves a voicemail asking Diane Court to "nuke" the card he'd given her. He said it hurt him to know that it was out there. That's what we need. Expiration dates on these "gifts." Let them cease to exist as soon as the "friendship" ends. No need for us to STILL be laughing stocks years later.

Monday, January 10, 2011

50 Facts About Me

1. I have a really good memory.

2. I'm the most social anti-social you'll ever meet.

3. My favorite color is black.

4. I think its really sexy when a girl yawns.

5. I have a superiority complex. I've got your garden variety, run of the mill insecurities, but I still refuse to believe anybody is better than me.

6. I once wanted to be a writer, and wrote about 10 chapters of a fictional autobiography.

7. I used to rap when I was in high school. My name was "Mr. Unknown."

8. Ass and boobs are great, but I loooove a pretty face.

9. All of my favorite movies deal with time-travel in some shape or form.

10. I'm not allergic to anything [that I know of, so far in my 28 yrs...knock on wood].

11. I'm attracted to girls who have daddy issues. Not on my own accord. I just noticed that's the common denominator for all the ladies in my life.

12. I got my first cavity when I was 26.

13. Saying the alphabet backwards is a piece of cake for me.

14. I used to steal from my parents when I was young. I felt so guilty that, when I was of age, and had the means to, I'd shower them with lavish gifts, as if that would make up for it.

15. My favorite book is "Flowers for Algernon."

16. I make the same new year's resolution every year: Make more money, stay healthy, be creative.

17. I'm very self-sufficient, and I'm a minimalist in every sense of the word, even in the way I dress.

18. I judge people by what they complain about.

19. Growing up, I was Catholic, Christian, Jehovah's Witness. At this point, religion is a joke to me.

20. I haven't seen a doctor since my teens.

21. Slow soft kisses turn me on.

22. Phone sex is overrated.

23. I used to save EVERYTHING. Now I throw shit out with the quickness.

24. I fell in love with Tupac when I was 14. I'm still a huge fan.

25. I love watching obscure, independent titles as opposed to blockbuster hits.

26. I dropped out of college on the first day of my junior yr.

27. My friends all say that I don't love them. They just don't understand that I like to be alone.

28. Girls with hairy arms are sexy to me.

29. My parents have never told me they love me. They've never even written it on paper. We get along just fine.

30. I set up little challenges with myself to see how long I can go without masturbating.

31. I love fruits. Apples are my favorite.

32. I have a slight fear of getting old and organs not working, so I try to live as healthy as my schedule/salary/surroundings allow.

33. I've got no problem telling friends how much they mean to me, but can't find the words to say it to a close relative.

34. I wear boxer briefs.

35. I think sex is a woman's game. Its all about the girl and making sure she's pleased.

36. I'm honest to the point of offending, though those are never my intentions.

37. I have a fascination with words.

38. I hate rainy days, except when I don't have to leave my house.

39. There's a song stuck in my head since 2005. Its an instrumental. I don't know the title of it, but I am dying to download it and put it on repeat.

40. I own a PS3, but only use it for Netflix. I only have 2 games.

41. I'm not into sports at all, with the exception of playing them.

42. Cristian Castro is my absolute favorite singer. I mean, there are many others, but he's at the top of that list.

43. I'm extremely stubborn. It takes a lot to change my mind.

44. I'm scared of heights.

45. I hate feet. I don't like to even look at them. I don't care if they're well groomed, I can't stand them.

46. I have 22,775 songs and 199 movies in my iTunes library.

47. Superman is my favorite superhero, and I watch Smallville religiously.

48. If I ever had a child, I'd do everything to make them the greatest human possible.

49. My ears are my "spot."

50. I love turkey wings

Sunday, January 09, 2011


This hasn't happened in a very long time, and I'm thankful for that. I was reminded of it this morning as I lied in bed with my pillow over my face.

When I was younger, I'd wake up in the middle of the night in a panic. Somehow, in between dream and consciousness, I'd feel myself suffocating. It wasn't ever something dramatic. It was a slow excruciating reminder that I was running out of air. Every single time I inhaled, it became harder and harder to breathe. I'd tell myself, "All you have to do is take your right hand and move the blanket off of your face." But I couldn't move. I felt lazy. Paralyzed. I'd give myself a pep talk. "Ok, the next time you inhale, take your right hand and move the blanket past your chin, or you're gonna fucking die a virgin!" Nothing.

Death suddenly felt imminent. I couldn't wake up to actually stop this. I couldn't even move my arms. Each breath was measured, and I began to imagine myself in a small container floating to the bottom of the sea.

Just as I feel like there's only enough air for three more breaths, I manage to wiggle from under the blanket. The cold air of night hugs my face, and I breathe the way I imagine a newborn baby breathes after escaping the womb.

It wasn't till years later that I built up the courage to actually ask friends/family/coworkers if that has ever happened to them. A lot of people knew exactly what I was talking about. Some looked at me crazy.
I'm convinced this is how some people die in their sleep.

Monday, May 10, 2010

iPod Time Machine

This little baby holds the key to the past. Walking home from work at 1am, I put it on shuffle, and brace myself for the unexpected. Most of the world [or at least the neighborhood] is asleep, and I'm slowly making my way to my own bed. A song will come on, and memories rush to the surface like floating bodies that refuse to drown.

A song I haven't heard in years will play, and I'll be amazed at how well I still remember the words. With each line comes a memory: Me sitting on the carpet in her living room. She's making tea. "Did she just say 'ecstasy?'" She asks me. "I doubt it. She's singing in Portuguese," I reply. I can smell the Yankee Candle she lit, and feel the pain in my gut cuz I've been holding this fart in since we got back from the movies. We'll lay on her bed for hours. Talking. Kissing. Enjoying each others company. Just being. Together. Those are the things I miss.

A new song starts, and a new memory plays in my head: Saturday nights. Bolero flowing from the speakers. Dim lights, the woozy feeling of 3 glasses of wine & the taste of a cigar on the walls of my mouth. Talking about subjects that nobody cares about, but subjects that would never be pronounced except for at that moment. Meeting interesting people that I know I'll never see again. Never wanting the night to end because I know that it would mean I'd have to return to my own reality. I need to have more nights like those.

Fast forward to the next song. I'm at the gym, on the treadmill. This song fuels me. I can't feel the burning in my legs, heart and throat. No. I CAN feel them, but the burning sensation propels me forward. In my mind, a silent film plays. Snippets of faces and places. I watch this and listen to the song as I go faster and harder. I'm a machine. I don't tire. I don't hurt. I just go. A bead of sweat rolls into my eye. It stings like a motherfucker. I go faster. Harder. The song reaches a crescendo. I go faster. Harder. I imagine a camera crew recording me. My peers are watching me. I go faster. Harder. I move in sync with the beat. I feel the calories melting away. I feel the air travel in my nostrils, thru my lungs and out my mouth. I feel invincible. Its 1am and I feel more alive then I did 12 hrs ago. I want to do push-ups. I want to call friends and go clubbing.

My iPod is the shit.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Otro Año

"I’m 25, and yet I don’t feel like an adult. I don’t think I ever will. I don’t think other adults feel like adults. Do I need to pay a mortgage? Will that make me feel like an adult? Do I have to father some kids? Is that the trick? I used to think having a lot of worries and having all the answers made you an adult. But I’ve worried all my life, and I now know that nobody has all the answers."

That was an excerpt from something I wrote on my MySpace profile a few years ago. Today I turn 28. I'm happy to tell you that I STILL don't feel like an adult.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Ghosts of Talents Past

At least three times this week I was reminded of what a quitter I am. I have to admit, that's one of my biggest flaws. I'm quick to quit. Don't get me wrong, quitting isn't my first instinct. Nonetheless, I'm a quitter. In recognizing that, I feel shame. Still, many times, it was because of quitting that better things became available to me.

A few days ago, a friend calls me and says she needs to hand in a poem for class. The subject: her. The due date: the next day. The time: 1:48 in the morning. I can't work with that kind of schedule! I can't write unless I'm completely in love with what I'm writing. All I'm thinking is how I haven't written a poem in years. How could I possibly be of help? She assures me anything would help. The only thing I have to give her is a link where several old poems are posted. She thanks me and goes to work. I'm left there to look over old poems and relive old emotions.

Another day, some time this week, a friend posts something on my Facebook wall. Its a friend I hadn't seen since 2002, when I dropped out of college, and recently got reacquainted with thru said site. Her post? The title to a story. I was taken aback. How did she know about this? She tells me she was organizing all her old papers and came across a print out with my name on it. I asked her if she was interested in reading more. The story had turned into 10 chapters since we last spoke. Upon emailing her, she replied with kind words which moved me to open Microsoft Word and reread a few pages.

Yesterday, a friend texts me, "I found the song u made and sent me a while ago. I'll email u the song later." Yes, I wanted to be a rapper back in high school. I laugh at the thought. Back then, it was all I wanted. I have my "demo" in my iTunes library, and I cringe with embarrassment as I listen to it. But don't get it twisted, I had skills.

I remember vividly as I chased each dream with the passion only ignited by the idea that you could do anything you wanted. Its what we're told as kids. "You can do anything you put your mind to." "You can become anybody you want to be." That may very well be true, but the cynic inside me thought it was a joke.

Watching a movie today, I think I realized what the adults of my past were trying to say. A child is like a clean slate. Our parents, teachers, after school programs, sports, books, movies, etc...ALL those things are there to show us the possibilities that are available to us. We can do any of those things. Its simply up to us to want to do it. My problem was I wanted to do everything.