My date last night is further proof of the theory I have about Peru and maybe about life in general. Happiness comes from the unexpected and spontaneous. Nothing great happens from the planned.
Do I sound cynical? Sorry. I’m trying to avoid being negative because when I think about it, I should actually be happy.
I met a girl at a nightclub on Friday night and we decided to meet again late last night. Her expressions like calling me ‘baby’ and phrases such as ‘I love you’ in Spanish made me uneasy. But I thought maybe it was a clingy Peruvian thing.
I left my apartment nervous and excited all dressed up. I was happy. All I wanted was to feel a bit special. I wanted to see myself through someone else’s eyes. I wanted, for a moment, to make someone sparkle.
There was an odd thought I caught myself thinking early on. “How long is it going to be this time before she finds out I’m weird and loses interest? How long until I stuff it up?” But I zoned that out as much as I could.
I was prepared for the cultural differences like the expected assumption I would have to pay for everything. We arrived at a nightclub and we stood at the bar all night drinking and occasionally dancing, but she seemed distracted. When we wanted to talk we used the translator on her phone.
Having an entire conversation with someone written down reveals much about yourself and in this conversation I knew for sure that I project my inadequacies too much.
“I’m sorry I’m a bad dancer.”
“Sorry. I’m a lightweight drinker.”
“I feel embarrassed I can’t speak Spanish.”
And so on and so forth. ‘Wow,’ I thought when I figured this out. ‘That’s got to stop in the future.’
Halfway through the night we looked in each others eyes and I saw something there. Her eyes were beautiful, smoky, angular, but hard. They watched me without any feeling and I thought to myself, ‘she would use you if she had to, and she wouldn’t feel guilty about it because she is cutting herself from feeling. What has she seen? What is she blocking herself from?”
In the taxi on the way home (we were going to our different homes) she complimented me. “I would like to see you again,” she said. “You are such a gentleman.”
And then she asked me something else. She owed some department 100 soles and asked if she could borrow it from me.
“I knew, I knew it was too good to be true,” I thought, and froze her out to stare out the window to avoid looking at her eyes. She kept trying to get me to read the translator. Eventually I did.
“I would not ask again.”
Of course she wouldn’t ask again if she didn’t see me again.
“You must think all gringos are stupid,” I wrote as the taxi arrived at her house. “It’s quite transparent what you are doing. I am a foreigner who is vulnerable.”
As she got out the car she let me read her phone one last time. “I do not think you are silly. Good night.”
“Buenas noches,” I said, still not looking at her. The sound of my voice seemed harsh. The noise of the car door closing was soft.
If my love life could be defined in a song it would be Kill The Director by The Wombats. I dream of one night singing it badly in a karaoke bar drunk on whisky.
“Carrots help us see much better in the dark
Don’t talk to girls, they’ll break your heart
And this is my head and this is my spout
They work together, they can’t figure anything out….If this is a rom com, kill the director please.”
My love life is cursed. It never goes how I plan or hope. But I can’t take it personally. I’m not a lesser person. Sometimes when I try to make myself feel better I think it’s karma. There have been plenty of women that have reached out to me over the years and they are probably the right women, the good people I could have spent my time with, and I never felt right about being with them. I can’t believe I’m quoting Taylor Swift here when I say “boys only want love if it’s torture”. Maybe I do. I guess I’ve been indoctrinated by the media to work hard in return for love.
I’m not going to stop dating. I’ve learned so much and it was still a fun night, and cutting myself from everyone only makes me the loser.