Love Trips: Plugged In
My past loves have been like human blenders. Their structures provide a function of torture and leave every piece of me soft and mushy. Not soft and mushy like a yummy chocolate frosty, but gooey and stinky like when your momma makes her special, green, sicote smelling “cure your illnesses” concoction. Yes. That’s how they leave me. Gooey eyed from crying myself to sleep, and stinky cause when I’m emotionally devastated the shower is used for sobbing, not bathing.
Kurt was the first to chomp me up. He was durable. Fully made of cold, hard glass and stainless steel. I called this Jewish player the Blender Dreidel 800. And I, at only 19, was as pure as the Vanilla from the botanica. The one in the simple and user friendly plastic bottle with the small flip cap and the Dominican banderita pasted on the side. That was me, and he took full advantage of my sweetness.
For 3 years, off and on, Kurt grabbed my heart and threw it in, along with a kiss or two, put downs about my being too thin, and even a wandering side eye that was skillfully used to glance at my friend’s sister. Then he pressed the mix button, and oh Lord were my emotions jumbled. The side eye hit me first, stabbed me in the aorta, but then, suddenly, a kiss lessened the blow. But not for long. The insults swirled around my weakened heart and then Kurt pressed Crush. He pressed Crush and my heart stopped surviving and started weeping.
The waterworks continued with Elijah, my boyfriend at 26. At first, he simply stirred my heart. The froth of my emotions rising to the top of the lid, spilling over with fantasies of our future wedding and trigenito Sujeiritas and Sujeiritos. But as soon as I envisioned myself walking down the aisle he crushed my dreams and spilled them all over my lacy, white dress. Elijah flipped the switch on his Colombian blender used for cafecito blends and ponche. He sniffled as he added a pinch of understanding, half a cup of his anger, half a cup of martyrdom, and two gallons of his ex-girlfriend. A lethal mix for my hopeful, beating heart.
My heart took a while to recuperate. Once it’s been used and abused by sharp words and even deadlier acts of rejection and abandonment it’s difficult to pump it back to a place of positivity. So why did I allow Elijah’s new promises sway my heart from a place of skepticism to one of faith? My friend Ceylin’s death. It caught me off guard. Both her death and his third-time around reappearance.
Ceylin lost her 7 year battle with metastatic breast cancer at age 29. I was in Massachusetts leaving for home after a weekend of crying, reminiscing and paying respects. I was speaking to my friend Eli about how short life is, how I wanted to stop being afraid, when I blurted:
“I’ve been thinking about Elijah. I think I’m going to call him.”
“Do what you want, girl. Like we saw with Ceylin, life is too short,” Eli replied somberly.
“I was thinking about calling him on the bus ride home…” I admitted. That’s when my cell beeped a single beep. I dug it out of my purse and looked at the screen.
“How are you?” read the message. It was Elijah.
I looked at Eli in awe. My heart beat sped up like I was in The Cocoa Blender all over again.
“That was just him. I’m going to call him,” I expressed to Eli. I highlighted his name and pressed “Send”. The phone rang and rang. No answer. I hung up, discouraged. No message left. My cell beeped again.
“Cant pick up…at work. I wasn’t sure if you’d answer. I’ve been thinking about you,” he text. I exhaled and let my heart open, just like I had the first and second time around with Elijah. My fingers typed quickly and eagerly. I told him everything: Ceylin’s death, cherishing life, thinking about him, missing him…
“I’ll come to Jersey to see you,” I stated boldly. The Lawrence NY Transportation bus raced down the highway now. We had been texting for over an hour.
“I would love to see you but you don’t drive. Don’t come down if it’s a hassle,” he replied.
There it was. The warning sign. The crunching sound of the blender’s engine reared in the background, harmonizing with the hopeful rhythm of my heart and the speed bumps ahead. I paused, wondered if I should pull the cord all together and just unplug. No. Not yet. My heart took a leap of faith as the bus slightly flew over a speed bump.
“I’m sure. I’ll come down next weekend.”
I couldn’t unplug just yet.