This post is the second in a new series called “Frustrations,” an unplugged retelling of some of the difficult circumstances I’ve endured in the past year or so.
‘Twas the first weeks of December, and a phenomenon which may very sadly and unfortunately never repeat itself again took place – my grandparents traveled more than 2,000 miles from Buenos Aires, Argentina to come see me and my family in Miami.
Well, they traveled by plane but hell; it’s still a stretch.
They came to visit me at the worst time possible. Finals for my three pre-bachelor’s degree were going on, and the relationship with my lovely ex-girlfriend was on the sharpest of rocks.
Additionally, my aging and financially struggling Hialeah boss didn’t even think about giving me a week off.
But they came anyway, and I found time wherever possible, amidst the demands of a challenging romance and the absurdity of Miami traffic, to make time to see them and talk to them, having not seen them in nearly sixteen years. We had some beautiful times – a fancy dinner at a Coral Gables hotel restaurant, a frightening episode of our my car ran over an shockingly deep pothole … we also took pictures all over Miami and even delighted ourselves in an idyllic barbecue lunch by the water in Key West.
But my mind was elsewhere. It was coping with demands coming from every which way – many of those leading back to my ex-girlfriend. On the night of the barbecue, she drew her arms around me and kissed me with such delightful desire rarely to be felt again after that night. Literally a day afterwards, she stared me down with sharp eyes as she fought back the urge to curse me out and kick my ass from the Keys into kingdom come.
I blame myself. I should have said, “Hey, my grandparents are here. The people that made me mayonnaise sandwiches when I came home from kindergarten and watched me play with LEGOs for hours on end just traveled an unbelievable distance to see me and my family.”
Yet my own uncontrollable infirmity prohibited me from doing what was right. I should’ve put on my big boy pants and done something about it instead of comfortably calling it quits like a coward. But a coward I was on that breezy December when I told her we weren’t going to work out.
The cowardice ensued even as tears ran down her beautiful face during an evening meet at a coffee shop. Though she spoke of a future together where everything would work out, I so intelligently used Seinfeld to rationalize a breakup that would poke holes in my heart and soul for months thereafter.
Eventually I caught myself – at the Hialeah warehouse, in the freezing Rust Quarter, having done no actual work for hours because I was too busy gushing out gallons of tears over my greatest mistake yet.
The tale continues next week! Stay tuned.