Archive for PR

Tropicalia

Posted in 38, family, friends with tags , , on January 15, 2012 by ana
I’ve been struggling with this post. Truth be told  I’ve been struggling with posting in general. The last few months of 2011 were kind of dark for me. There were lovely highlights,  lots of truly sparkly moments but underneath I have been trying to sort some stuff out. For as much as I naturally seek the beauty and the joy in everything, for as much as I see the glass always half-full, a part of me leans heavily towards the blue and nostalgic. The stuff I have been working through has to do at it’s core with trust. There is a conflict of emotions that I don’t know yet know how to put in words. I can’t yet connect it to the narrative of my life. I need more distance before I can write about it. So before everything gets smooshed up I’m just going to post what I’ve got.
I just got back a few days ago from two weeks in Puerto Rico. It was a very mellow Christmas by Puerto Rican standards. There was a lot of crime and violence this past year. More than there has ever been. I think that probably contributed to the quietness of the holidays.  Of course, mellow here could be considered full of reverie in most places. Christmas season isn’t completely over until the feast of San Sebastian, which starts this weekend. That said, after staying in and spending New Year’s eve with my mom, I woke up thinking my days of being wild and young were officially done. (Let it be known they did not go down without a fight.)
This vacation was really good for me. I feel replenished. I feel different than I did before. It’s was good to be home, to spend time with family and friends. It was also the perfect place to embrace all the experiences of 2011 and step into 2012 with an open, valiant heart. It is so beautiful there- breezy and warm. The skies clear and full of fluffy clouds. Cumulus clouds, my youngest sister, who will turn thirteen next week and is now as tall as me, reminds me. There are large iguanas, one sadly dead in the middle of the road, and tiny lizards. Everything is lush and green, and like clock-work at least once a day, if not twice, the rain rolls in and washes everything clean, and then making you aware that you are in an island, promptly rolls out.
Each day home was its own sort of lovely. I took a twenty-four hour Brady bunch-like trip to Saint Thomas with some of my younger sisters, my dad, his girlfriend and her daughters, and went snorkeling for the first time. I walked with my mom to the ocean early January 1st. I went to the beach with my sister and then after drank sweet, cool papaya shakes made with coconut water, cinnamon and vanilla. I went to the beach with Anouk and drank lots of mojitos while we talked about life and love. I bought tuberose on the street and filled my room with their perfume. I ate my favorite breakfast, a baguette toasted on a press and cafe con leche, with my sister Lili, played with my niece, saw most of my cousins, had long, lovely meals with girlfriends that I’ve known almost as long as I’ve known myself, and sat in the glow of multi-colored Christmas lights on my mom’s balcony talking late into the night. I heard lots of Puerto Rican Christmas music, ate all sort of fried things filled with cod or crab or beef, and drank plenty of Medallas, the world’s best shittiest beer, alcoholic water really, and the absolutely perfect thing to drink in the hot, humid weather. I baked for my family, read Joseph Campbell, and got lots of rest.
The end of last year had me climbing walls. Since the moment I decided to move to Paris things seemed to move at a snail’s pace but now that my departure date is getting near time is really speeding up.  I started this week a little heartbroken (more on that later, I think) and jet-lagged but at the same time I felt very light and full of love from my trip. Today I keep getting jolts of excitement and also waves of sadness for all that I love that will stay in LA. As I finish writing this I am sitting on the floor with the entire content of my closet around me. I’m sorting out what I will take , what I will sell, and what I will give away. All the paperwork for my visa is on the bed waiting to be sorted and a long to do list, that includes selling my car, looms somewhere in  my bag.  The coming weeks are going to be crazy but in a good, exhilarating way.

 

PR / NY / LA

Posted in 37 with tags , , , , on May 16, 2011 by ana

Why do I feel guilty when I wake up late? This is something that annoys me about myself. There is no reason I should feel this way, specially on the mornings after I worked late, but I do. It’s one of those things that ties along with how difficult it can often be to be kind to yourself. I meant to wake up at eight and go to a workout class but instead slept ’til ten. I was so tired when the alarm went off, and I felt congested and groggy. It’s allergy season, well it’s always allergy season in LA because something is always in bloom. Whatever is blooming right now is not my friend.

Friday, Stevie and I watched Modern Girls and drank Gin & Tonics. Gin has never been my thing but the drinks she made were so yummy and refreshing that I think I’ve had a change of heart. Modern Girls was one of my favorite movies when I was twelve. When I was growing up there was a video store on the corner of my dad’s street. We could rent movies there and they would bill my dad later. From sixth grade until about ninth grade I would rent five or six movies every weekend. Often I would rent the same movies every weekend. In Puerto Rico at the time there was little access to a lot of music and stuff that wasn’t completely mainstream. Cassettes that had been copied two or three times would pass from friend to friend but for some reason video stores often carried a bunch of really cool stuff. I rented Sid & Nancy, Liquid Sky, Suburbia, Dogs in Space and Mondo NY from that store along with a lot of other eighties movies. Modern girls was one of those movies that I would watch over and over again. All those movies, along with some other things, I think contributed to why I am somehow not exactly, fully typical puerto rican. Of course, that’s all changed now. You can get anything on the internet. It’s funny to go home and see a girl wearing a shirt with Siouxsie Sioux’s face. That would have been such a prize for any of my friends.

Saturday, I went to the beach for a friend’s birthday. Before heading there I stopped to buy some little cakes and sweet treats at a bakery. I left my bag on the counter when I realized I hadn’t put any coins in the meter and ran out to put some money in. So I think it’s official- any drop of New York blood left in me has now been sucked out by LA. Not too long ago Milly and I had stopped to get coffee before going on a hike and as we were walking out I pointed to a table where someone had left a lovely Prada bag and an ipad while they odered coffee or went to the bathroom. “Can you imagine if someone did that in NY,” I said to Milly. “Her stuff would get swiped right away. Who leaves their stuff laying around like that?” The answer is me.

I headed west a little aghast. The drive through Malibu Canyon was beautiful and endless. I think I’ve been to the beach six times since I moved here, usually because someone who is visiting wants to go, and that may be why. Well, I also have this aversion to the beach in California because it feels too cold to me. From the time that I was three until I was ten I lived two streets away from the beach in Puerto Rico, and the water is very warm there. But I love the ocean, and it seems silly to live so close and never go. When I lived in Brooklyn I would sometimes take the train to Coney Island just to sit in the sand and look at the water.

Posted in friends with tags on April 21, 2011 by ana

Today was one of those day, unavoidable, probably necessary. I wanted so desperately to see Leo. It seems so strange that I haven’t heard his voice or seen his face in almost five months. There was a moment today when I thought I would find myself driving to his apartment and knocking on his front door. I texted Nai that I missed him because if not I was going to end up texting him. And he already knows that I do. Just like I know he does me. And it doesn’t change anything.

I felt so heavy. I couldn’t get that sad song from last night out of my head. This break up is probably the first time I have tried really hard not to wallow. I can remember sitting in my apartment in Brooklyn listening to sad, sad songs late at night with a pack of cigarettes and a bottle of wine crying over some love more than once. I have tried as hard as I can not to go there because I am afraid I would want to go back. Nai asked me if I regretted my decision. And I said no. But it seems incomprehensible at times that we will never again sleep side by side.

But then while at work trying my best not to think of him, but being unsuccessful at it, I remembered how hellish it was to travel wit Leo. How he always made me late. How he never respected my boundaries, how his needs, his believes, his family always came before me. Then I remember the good stuff. How no matter how many times I hugged or kissed or wrapped my arms round him I always wanted more. How freely he told me he loved me. How much he respected my creative opinions and encouraged all my endeavors. How generous he was as a lover. I remembered going to the movies on Saturday afternoons, meals shared, driving while listening to songs we loved, the feeling of being happy and fulfilled. Then I remembered how his religion, his family left me no room to be me. How I had respected his views but mine did not receive equal treatment. I thought of surreal moments where the way I did things and the way he did things was so different and bipolar that I felt like reality had stepped into a twilight zone.

Nai asked me if something had set me off and I said, “not one thing in particular.”

But it’s probably the shadow work, the dance class, how happy my brother and his girlfriend are, and thinking of the beginning of last year- how Leo took off work and flew seven hours to be with me for 48 hours in San Juan because he wanted to be with me for my stepfather’s memorial and my grandmother’s funeral.

I thought about how happy I was April of last year. We were back in San Juan. And even though I try not to I keep seeing Leo and I swimming in a pool one morning. He was in Puerto Rico for work and was staying at a hotel with a pool where you could see part of Old San Juan and the ocean. We’d gone swimming in the morning before checking out and going to my mom’s. He’d been there working non-stop. I had flown in for my mom’s birthday. I was so happy that Leo, who had been driving around all week, really knew my city. We’d gone to a party for the Billboard Awards, which is why he was there. We had gone out until two or three in the morning. Every party and bar filled with people. Ashford Avenue buzzing with cars and people. Life had felt like it was heading in one particular direction. But in retrospect went the complete opposite.

A nature girl afterall

Posted in friends with tags on April 17, 2011 by ana

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on January 19, 2011 by ana

Last night I sat in my car and talked for an hour with an old friend. We talked about New York and Puerto Rico- what it would be like to move back to either place. In some ways I am certain I will move even if I feel uncertain about it. I love LA. If you give this city a chance it opens up before your eyes. It’s magic is the everyday kind which is the most special kind. It’s the smell of jasmine and the streets lined with purple Jacaranda trees in spring, the constant battle of nature vs. concrete, the canyons in the middle of the city, the snowy mountains at a distance when it’s seventy degrees in the city, and the desert so close by, and the old ladies that were once probably starlets, and Jumbo’s Clown Room, and twenty-four hour Korean Spas. Maybe I’ve read to many Francesca Lia Block novels. Last night I slept over at my friend’s house and when I left this morning and stepped out on to Beachwood I just had the most overwhelming love for the city. Maybe I just love cities. New York used to fill my heart with joy. Simply just being there was also witchy.

I miss Leo. He sent some of my mail and put a chocolate bar with it. I know he’s being sweet. I know he misses me. I know leaving was the right thing but I do really, really miss the constant joy I felt the last six years- give or take a dozen fights and all the crying I did before I left.

On the phone last night my friend mentioned that a mutual friend I’d had a romp with was engaged. All but one of the rascally boys I dated between my previous ex and Leo have gotten married or are about to. It doesn’t mean anything. I know whatever is right for me will come when it’s supposed to but the irony is not lost on me.

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , on January 5, 2011 by ana

I’m back in LA after a really sweet, fun holiday. The ups and downs have become more ups than downs though I suspect there are still some tears stuck inside me ready to spring.

I was gone for two weeks but it felt like a month. I haven’t had a Christmas like this one in eight or nine years. I came home last night and was glad I had moved all my things out of the Koreatown apartment before I left. The stuff that remains, the table, the chair, I’m still not sure what to do with. I’ve come back with a lot of plans filling up my head.

The time spent at home was exactly what I needed. The two weeks were filled by a three hour breakfast with cousins, and long lunches and dinners with more cousins and aunts and uncles. I spent time with dad and watched Pride & Prejudice with my mom. I bought tuberose on the street and visited my dearest friends. There were nights filled with champagne, and nights filled with rum. There were quick, and much desired, kisses after a birthday party at the beach, and auspicious New Year’s kisses as the sun came up on January first. It felt fabulous to be kissed to have a few boys pay attention to me.

It was cold the whole time I was there. I made it to the beach once for two hours and the tide was so high that there were only about 15 feet of sand to stretch out in. But the cold made it sort of special and cozy. I took a long walk in the rain on the first and stared at the beach in awe, falling in love. The sky in Puerto Rico always kills me.

And somewhere in that two week space I realized that I live too far from home. That I love my life in Los Angeles but I miss the east coast, and I miss Puerto Rico. That feeling was always there. I would often ask Leo if he would ever think of moving but back then it just didn’t seem like a smart career move. For him perhaps but maybe not for me. Things are really bubbling inside me. I’m giving myself sometime to think it all out but change is in the air and it’s exciting.

Puerto Rico

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on December 22, 2010 by ana

I’m home. It’s raining here too. I flew in last night. As I get older my internal clock gets so out of whack when I come here. It’s 4:30 am and I’m wide awake. I went to sleep at 11 and just woke up for no reason.

The flight here was long, ten hours with a lay-over in Dallas. There were lots of military men on both my flights. For some reason I was mesmerized by them. I kept looking at their uniforms, fatigues I think, wondering where they had been stationed, why they had enlisted, what their morning was like two weeks ago, where they woke up, what kind of underwear they wore, where they shaved. My mind almost can’t wrap itself around their reality. I could almost imagine the dust on their boots. But everything I imagined was just a collage of movie bits in my head.

I’m so excited to be home, to relax, to read, to eat, to go to the beach, to be with my family.

Cats and dogs

Posted in Uncategorized with tags on December 20, 2010 by ana

It has been raining non-stop in LA. When I got home tonight the air was clear and clean. It’s 1:30 in the morning, and I leave for the airport in two and a half hours. I haven’t slept, and I’m all packed. After work tonight I went to my friends house for a glass of wine. I had this weird feeling. Something was missing. I wanted something. And then I realized that for as much as I have missed Leo, have thought about him, have said I longed for him, I physically missed him. Not physically in a sexual way or in a the bed is too big without you kind of way but just in a simple desire to want to hear his voice or smell his smell or lock eyes. And it is to be no more, that desire will have to just be there.