Ginger Snaps

25 Nov

I met Ginger Snaps on the train to the Netherlands, where I frequently go to see my long-term boyfriend with whom I have a stable and (recently) open relationship. He, his quirks and my love for him deserve a number of blog posts alone. But for now, I want to focus on Ginger Snaps because he’s been on my mind this time.

I get nervous before I travel. It doesn’t matter that I’ve done this route for at least forty times over the past couple of years, I still get nervous. Due to my travel jitters, I almost never sleep the day before I travel. This day was no different.

My travel routine involves getting a big cup of coffee and some pastries from the train station. Having gotten my order misheard, I ended up with a machine-brewed cappuccino (yikes) and a strong black which I usually get. Cappuccino was free of charge.

With my suitcase, my bag of pastries (you know you never get just one) and two paper cup things of coffee in a holder, I went into my train and sat on my usual seat, the seat with a table, facing the direction of the train.

It was end of spring, but it was still quite cold. A guy with a green coat, blue jeans, and black Le Coq Sportif sneakers claimed a seat across my table. He took off his coat, and underneath he was wearing a navy blue zip-up hoodie. His hair was strawberry blond, and his beard light auburn. Both a little disheveled, clearly the morning was far too early for him. He put down his ticket on the table, it said Berlin – Hannover. Which was only halfway of my full route. He sat down and tried to find a socket for his phone charger. I showed him where it was, since he probably was not too familiar with this particular train. This route uses an older train that has a different layout than the regional and national high speed trains.

He nodded and said thank you. Then after a moment of hesitation he said:

“It’s a bit early isn’t it”

I was taken aback, as he didn’t seem the kind to make small talks. Neither was I, normally. I said,

“Yes, it is early.”

In my state of shock, I was hesitating between telling a joke with a punchline that involved cocaine, Berlin party people, and a famous techno club Berghain, but I refrained. He was looking at me, clearly expecting me to say something more because I looked like I was about to say something. I decided to offer him my unwanted cappuccino, as he clearly needed it. He accepted the cappuccino and said thank you. He then put on a pair of thick-rimmed standard prescription glasses and pulled up a computer, an old MacBook white exactly like mine. I looked at him and was going to excitedly tell him about my exact same computer, then refrained. It was too much excitement too early in the morning, and I decided to retreat into my own little corner with my book.

About two hours later, after furiously typing into his computer, it was time for him to get off the train. He nodded and thanked me for the coffee. He beamed me a smile, and I see a chipped tooth. I said no problem and he wished me a safe journey.

It was early summer, a few months after that encounter and I was bored. So I re-downloaded Grindr and saw who was online in my neighborhood. I saw a familiar face, marked at 759 feet away. Ginger Snaps.

WHOA.

I was deciding whether to say anything, when I received a few messages. The usual Grindr creeps…someone interesting, and

WHOA!

Ginger Snaps messaged me. An aloof hey, how’s it?

Long story short (and also because Grindr conversations are rarely worthy writing about– it’s a quick hey how are you, tell me more about yourself, your photos etc) we finally (well, I came up with it mostly) came to the recollection of how we had met before. Then we exchanged phone numbers and agreed to write some more.

After a week of writing, we decided to meet again for a beer. We decided to bike together to this beer garden in the neighborhood. His English was not 100% and he would say things that would be cringeworthy, but my German was also not 100%. We agreed on me speaking German to him and him English.

It was a nice encounter, though cut short by his must to return to work. He works for a national TV company. He turned 34 this year and was at an awkward stage between leaving early adulthood and actually going into serious adulthood. He was charming.

We saw each other again twice, for a run to the park and for a swim.

On September 4th, he invited me over for tea. We hadn’t seen each other for a couple of weeks because he had been traveling. I brought a dark chocolate bar I knew he liked and two bags of my favorite tea (Yogi Tea, ginger and hibiscus). We sat down on his couch and talked. It was an especially warm summer day, so we decided to share a bottle of beer. For health.

Though barred by the language barrier, we managed to talk about a lot of things. Friendship, philosophy, politics, and our secret guilty pleasure of watching campy horror films. About two hours into the conversation, we decided to make ourselves more comfortable. We inched closer to one another, little by little in an obviously unnatural and uncomfortable way. We both were outgoing introverts who were far too scared to make the first move. But after a number of excruciatingly painful minutes, we were close enough to be sitting shoulder to shoulder. He was two inches taller than me, with a medium build. We kept on talking. I saw flecks of yellow in his blue eyes. I noticed his short and straight eyelashes, thin and blond. His beard, auburn and brown and strawberry blond, his pronounced lower lip – pink and dry. I smelled a whiff of shower gel and his deodorant, and I was close enough to smell the beer in his breath. It was a wonderful mixture of smell, between fresh soap, wheat, alcohol and a hint of sweat.

He leaned in closer and put an arm around my shoulders. I rest my head on his. He took a whiff of my hair and told me I smelled like coconut. I did indeed. He played with my hair, as it was a little longer in the summer. I put my hand on his lap, gently stroking his knee in a caring way.

I looked up and a kiss was about to happen. My heart was beating a million times a minute I was scared he was gonna notice. But his was too. We kissed and it was a beautiful, gentle introductory kiss that turned very slowly into an exploratory kiss that turned into passion.

And us two boys, we had mad passion. And chemistry. It was possibly one of the best first times I ever had. In the middle of it, we took a break and just cuddled. He kissed me, pulled away and told me that I was “so geil” — a German word that could either mean extremely cool or nice, or simply hot. I smiled. He gave me a huge Cheshire cat grin. I saw his chipped tooth again. I pulled him close and kissed his forehead.

Passion, more passion, sweat, and when it was over I didn’t even need a cigarette. We took a nap for half an hour or so on his couch, spooning. We went to his balcony and finished our beer. He put on a white v-necked shirt and grey sweatpants. He sat on a chair in his balcony, grinning like a madman. He looked pure bliss. I asked him if I could take a photo. He handed me his phone. I took one, and damn, the way the sun hit his pale head — angelic. We made tea, while we waited for the tea to brew, we took a shower.

I had to then go home and get ready for work. We texted for a while. We agreed to definitely meet again as soon as possible. I made him a Spotify playlist. He was traveling to another city and we listened to the playlist together, remotely. We texted again.

I told him I had a boyfriend. He went cold. He went really cold. I assumed he wasn’t looking for a relationship either. I wanted him as a friend and I thought that was what he had been after too. I gave him time and space.

Two weeks passed. I got hospitalized and was put in isolation for a month for having contracted Tuberculosis. He heard and asked me if I would be okay soon. He told me to tune in to his small news report in the evening news at 18:53. I tuned in to his report from the TV in my hospital room. It was about some new concept clothing store. He smiled and told me “feel better” — it was common for small news reports before the sports section came on to be informal and to send greetings to people. But he said that and he said it to me.

We kept on texting, but it was technical. Was I getting better, should he get tested. As a part of the isolation and containment of the contamination, I had to make a list of people I had been in close contact with. I asked him for his postal code. He texted me his address and wished me better health.

I got discharged, and a few weeks passed until I gathered up the courage to text him. I wanted to invite him to a Halloween party my roommate is hosting. But he couldn’t, as his aunt was visiting. I sent him a photo of my costume. He sent me a photo of him and his aunt, and told me he would drink a beer for me.

Weeks passed, and I wanted to spend time with him. I asked him if we could see each other again. He asked for what purpose. I asked him if we could try to be friends. He said we could try. So we planned on a hiking trip that never happened as he was called up to do a coverage of the Paris attacks. I asked him if he wanted to go see a movie or something when he was back. He said yes.

A few days passed. He added me on Facebook. We chatted for a bit. Then he left. Then we chatted intensively. Things got really flirty. And really serious. We chatted for a couple of hours. He was away in his hometown. I thought I had lost my shot at ever getting anywhere with him ever again. I was wrong. He told me he was just thinking about our time together and was reliving the experience.

The next day, the chat continued. More intense and still flirtatious — then just dirty. We agreed to continue where we left off. He told me he was really looking forward to it. I was as well.

Then complete silence. He is literally seven-hundred-and-some feet away from me. I wrote long messages and he would respond shortly, if at all. This has been going on for two days now. I’m getting impatient, and he is being a jerk (or is genuinely busy, which is unlikely to be the case because I can see him online on Grindr).

Hey, Ginger Snaps. You won’t be reading this, but I think you’re being a fucking tease. You know we are amazing together. I don’t know what your deal is, but I just wish you would tell me. If you’re just not into it anymore, then be a gentleman and just tell me. But what you can’t do is to play me. You can’t just tell me that you have been thinking all day about how you missed the way I *multiple verbs* your *multiple nouns* – vice versa- and my kisses and then disappeared and turned cold and aloof. Let’s get together again. I miss the freckles on your shoulders and the way your ginger beard tickles my chin. And your stupid grin with your chipped tooth. Don’t be scared if I get too intense. I’m just an intense person. I’m not falling in love or anything. I’m pretty sure I’m not. I’m not.

 

Salted Caramel

4 Jul

Hello again.

It has been quite a while since my last blog post. A lot of things have happened, many of them good, some bad.

It is true what they said that good things come when you least expect them. At least good things happened to me when I least expected them to happen. 

It was a Friday night. I had just broken up with the guy I had been seeing for about two months or so. Things were moving too fast for me. This guy I had been seeing was not very interesting. I did not see a of future with him. He wanted me to spend more time with him. He even offered his apartment key. I could not do it with him. I broke up with him.

 

A funny thing happened. I went on a job interview a week later for a media company in Berlin. The interview went well. Very well in fact. I was well prepared and made a really good impression. The boss and the HRD person were very impressed and they said so. I was pleased. However, due to my busy university schedule I would not have enough time to work for them. So I did not get this job. 

However, I became friends with this HRD person. She was a 28 year old Rice graduate from Plano, Texas. I thought it was funny because I went to camp in Plano when I was younger. She is very well-connected and she is a fun person to hang out with. We had coffee and went out for drinks with a couple of her friends.

One of her friends works at a media/broadcasting company and brought up someone he worked with. Plano girl also knows of this guy that they thought I should go out with. This guy, let’s call him Salted Caramel (because that is his favorite ice cream flavor from Häagen-Daz) was a bit (well, a little bit more than a bit) older than me. He was fifteen years my senior. 

Having just broken up with the guy I had seen, I reluctantly agreed to this set-up proposal. I did not expect much because I thought we would not have anything in common. I told them they could give out my number to Salted Caramel. We texted and agreed to meet in front of the Irish Pub in Hackescher Markt.

I came ten minutes early. I was very nervous because I had never been on a blind date before. I was walking around for what seemed like years because time just refuses to pass when I am nervous. I walked back in front of the pub about two minutes before we were supposed to meet. He told me he would be wearing a grey jacket and jeans. I walked around in front of the pub and a man came up to me and asked whether I was AJ or not. I said yes and asked why he knew. He said because of my ears from my WhatsApp photo. I do have quite distinctive ears, they compare to Dumbo’s probably. 

As the pub was very crowded (imagine Friday night in an Irish bar with Irish and German people who love to drink) we decided to take a stroll to find a quieter place to have drinks. We decided on a Mexican restaurant a few blocks away. We sat down and we ordered our drinks. I ordered a Mojito and he ordered a beer (something that I later found out was alcohol-free beer because he was driving).

We started talking. He told me I sounded like an old man because of my opinions. I was not sure whether to be offended or not. We talked about North Korea, whether or not Republic of China was a country or not (obviously it is not, duh), and beliefs. He and I both identified ourselves as atheists. We had a very interesting conversation, and he was surprised that I was not what he thought I would be. He was expecting some airheaded teenager who liked video games and was not expecting much from this setup date.

I surprised him. We had a lot of things to talk about. We talked for hours, I was carefully sipping on my Mojito slowly, I did not want to drink too much because I did not want to make a bad impression. I really liked this guy and we had a great time. He knew that I was uncomfortable with public display of affection  because I kept looking at other tables to see if others were staring at us. He put his hand on mine, and looked at me as to say that it was okay, that we were in Berlin and people would not care. I felt very comfortable. We finished our drinks and we asked for our check. The waiter asked if we wanted separate checks, I said yes. I always pay for my own drinks. Apparently he was supposed to pay because he invited me, but I would not hear of it. 

He asked if I wanted to hang out at his place and talk some more. I said yes because it was not too late yet at the time we finished our drinks. We walked to his car. He asked if he could have a cigarette. I am usually icked out by people who smoke, but I did not care because I had such a great time. I had not had that good of a time in a while. 

We got into his car, and I looked at him, and he looked at me. I asked him if I could try something. Actually, I told him that I wanted to try something. I leaned over and kissed him. He kissed back. It felt very wonderful. It was the kind of kiss that just felt right. You know how sometimes you wish a kiss was a little bit like this and that? It did not happen at the time. It felt absolutely right and I was very glad I kissed him. I was very surprised that I initiated it. I do not usually do that.

We drove to his place. We stopped by at a grocery store for drinks and snacks. I told him I wanted a banana. He laughed and thought it was funny and he asked why. I told him it was after 7pm, so I could only snack on fruits and vegetables. I guess old habits die hard, something that I carried over from my gymnastics days. He bought two bananas and water. We went to his apartment.

His apartment was on the fourth floor, so it was a long way up. The place smelled nice, a combination of new furniture and soap. A distinctive smell that I would never forget. We sat on his couch and talked some more. Then he kissed me. It was a gentle, long, caring kiss that lasted for a long time. It was the kind of kiss that made me want to freeze time. It sounds cheesy, but if I could freeze time I actually would.

He was very gentle and he did not try to do things with me I was not ready for. We just kissed. I do not usually sleep with people after the third date, let alone on a first date. At this moment, I was very comfortable with him that I broke my own rules. I initiated it. He would not go through with a single thing unless I expressed my consent. Not even to unbutton my shirt, he asked my permission for it. Not with words, but with actions.

Anyway. We slept together. When we were finished it was 1 am. I wanted to put my clothes back on and go home, but he would not have any of it, he said it was late and I should stay. I expressed some faked reluctancy, but at this point my inhibitions were out of the window I guess. He gave me a loose shirt and some pajama shorts. They smelled like him. He hugged me and I slept. I had not had such a good sleep in a while. I woke up with a smile, and he kissed me again. He told me he had such a perfect night. We had breakfast. Then we had lunch, and just spent all day on his couch. Kissing. I went home at 8pm after dinner, which meant that we spent 24 hours together.

At that point, I was already enchanted by him. I went home. I texted him when I got home, and asked how he was feeling. He told me he was feeling great because he just had a perfect 24 hours with an amazing guy. I told him ditto. He asked if we could see each other anytime soon. I said yes, because I had a perfect 24 hours.

So we saw each other. A few more times. We texted each other almost everyday. We spent almost all weekends together. I would go to his place for lunch in between classes. We had dinners, lunches, and breakfasts. We became very close. A week after our first date, he asked me if I was seeing other people. I said no and asked him the same question. He said no. I believed him.

Until one day, he asked me again if I was seeing someone else. I said no, because I was only seeing him, and I only see one person at a time. I asked him if he was, and he said no. He asked me if I wanted to see someone else, I said no. I asked him the same question, and he said no. 

A few weeks later, I woke up in his arms. I kissed him. He woke up and smiled, and kissed me back. It was perfect. He told me if I wanted coffee. I said yes. He told me to wait in bed. Then he came back with coffee. And then he asked me what my favorite country was. I did not know what to say. So I randomly said Norway. Then he booked a weekend trip to Oslo. Just like that. I was not very pleased. I was very touched because of the romantic gesture, but I do not want to him to pay for it. He told me he did not pay for it, as he used his free miles. 

So we went to Oslo. The trip was wonderful. We were both tired because I had a rough week and he had just gotten back from work in Singapore for a few days. We explored. We ate. I paid for meals as to contribute to the trip.

I went home happy. I thought taking a trip together would be a big step in a relationship. Things were moving a bit fast for my liking, but I did not care because I really liked him. 

He then went to do some work in South Korea for a week. We texted each other everyday.  One day, I dreamed a really bad thing. In my dream, he was sleeping with a guy who was not me. That was a nightmare. I texted him and told him about the dream. It bothered me really much. He told me that he would never do that to me. He told me it was never going to happen. I calmed down. The dream was very vivid and felt very real. I counted the days until he would be in Berlin again, because I missed him very much. He came home. We saw each other that weekend. It was good, as usual. But I noticed that something was wrong. I could not put my finger on what was wrong, but something was wrong. 

In the morning, we went to IKEA because he wanted to buy a new bed. When we were there, someone called him on Facetime. I asked him who it was. He said it was a female colleague (because the person who called had one of those sexually ambiguous names). I asked him why he did not pick up, he said it was not that important. I sensed that something was wrong. I did not say anything but he noticed that I was being detached and had a quiet anger, so he told me to stop overthinking things. I asked him if he was seeing someone else, and he said no and he told me to stop asking me this question.

Things went back to normal. Until one day he left to work in Singapore again, this time for 14 days. Which was very long. Usually when he was working he would text me everyday. He did not do that. He usually would call me on Skype before he went to bed. He did not do that because he told me he did not have internet. I sensed that something was wrong again. My intuition was telling me that something was wrong. I did not know what it was. 

We finally talked again on FaceTime. I was disconcerted because I felt very strongly that something was wrong.

Then he came home on a Wednesday. We met on Thursday. We did not have sex because he was too tired. We met again on Friday. We did not have sex either. We did not even kiss that much.

We did not see each other on Saturday because he had a barbecue thing with his colleagues. We planned on a lunch on Sunday. We went to lunch. We talked a lot about how I felt and how he felt. 

The talk went extremely well. We managed to talk about our relationship and where we were. He said he was not ready for a commitment yet because he has been very busy lately. If he wanted a relationship he would make sure he could give it his all, a hundred percent. I appreciated his honesty, even though I wanted a bit more from him. But I did not want to not be with him, so I told him that it was okay for me to not be absolutely committed and to have what we have as long as it is exclusive. He told me that we had been exclusive since day one and he did not want to see other people. 

I calmed down, and I thought things would be a bed of roses from this point forward. We slept together. Then he went out to smoke, and his iPad that was lying on the table next to the bed lit up and made a sound. A message showed up on the screen.

“hey bb hows ur sunday been, just woke up frm nap now will watch modern family, love you n miss you xxx”

 

This message was from the “female colleague” who called on FaceTime. Sparked with curiosity and the sense of betrayal that was overpowering, I opened his iPad and saw the exchanges that they had. It dated back to last year. It was quite intimate from what it seemed. And familiar.

My heart broke. To pieces. I could not believe what I read.

He came back from his smoke. I asked him if we could talk again after lunch. He said sure. I asked him if he was seeing someone else. He immediately said no. I told him I saw a message on his iPad. He looked at me in disbelief, then told me that I just did something very bad and it was a crime. 

I could not believe what he said. I took my clothes and ran out in tears. I called a couple of my friends and asked them if they were at home. I came home, crying all the way on the train and the bus. Two people gave me a hug and tissues. 

I cried again when I told my friends the story. Salted Caramel texted me when I asked him why he would do something like that to me. He told me we were never in a relationship so he did not cheat on me. He told me that I did something criminal and what I did was worse than what he did to me. I could not believe what he said.

I was looking at our old messages and I started crying again. Funny, because it has been three weeks and everything about it still makes me sad.

He said many hurtful things, like how we were never in a relationship and how bad what I did to go through his messages. I apologized. I wanted to tell this other guy all about it to hurt Salted Caramel and the other guy. I did not. It was not my place to do that.

Then we talked again over the phone. I cried and asked so many questions. I wanted to know everything. He refused to answer because these things did not concern me. He boiled down this to his lies, and he told me the only thing he did wrong was that he lied to me about our exclusivity and he was sorry for everything but he could not make things unhappen. We talked for three hours. He kept telling me to not overthink and to not make the wrong conclusions. He refused to tell me details about their relationship.

He called again the next day because I felt angry and sad again. We talked about the same thing. He still refused to tell me the details of their relationship. He apologized, he sounded very sincere and desperate. He told me he was powerless. He was wrong since the very beginning. He told me he did not expect us to work, but we did. We surprised him, especially after a few weeks when he started having deeper feelings for me. At that time, he had already lied to me about not seeing other people. He had been “seeing” this guy for a long time.

He became selfish. He wanted to have me, but he knew if he told me I would be hurt and I would leave him. He never told me. I had to find out this way.

I asked him if they had sex when he was away in Singapore. He told me they did not “really” have sex. He told me to stop asking questions. I started crying again. It hurt really bad. He told me he was powerless and he wanted to end everything and start new. He told me he was thinking about selling all his stuff and move somewhere because everything became too tangled.

Then we met the next day. We took a long walk. We talked. I asked him about the nature of their relationship. He said it was complicated. I said that I was not stupid, I could understand complicated things. He told me that he did not even know what they are. They only see each other a few weeks of the year and never talked about their relationship. He assumed their relationship to be open as they never talked about it. He said that they were both “old”, and being gay is illegal in Singapore. He said it was complicated. He said he did  not even know what they were. He apologized and told me I might have overreacted a little bit. I was hurt by that comment because even if I had overreacted he had no right to say that. He told me I needed to stop thinking about the past because I could not change it. He told me he was very sorry and if he could feel my pain, he would take it away from me. He told me he never meant to hurt me and he did have feelings for me. But hey, the road to hell is paved with good intentions, right?

It does not mean whether you meant to hurt somebody or not. If you hurt them, you hurt them. Regardless of the intention. 

I felt better after the walk. We had lunch. I asked him what should I do to feel better. He told me to not think about it. I asked him whether we should stop talking to each other forever and lose each others’ numbers. He said he made a mistake so he did not have a say in this decision, he left it up to me. But he said that if at some point I wanted to talk to him again over coffee he would be very glad. I said that I will think about it. I asked him if this could ever happen again between us. He told me he did not know and it was not his decision to make, it was mine. He told me to take one step at a time. I texted him after lunch, I told him that I was going to delete his number because I needed time apart from him. He told me he respected my decision, and told me to message him on Facebook anytime if I needed anything. I have not talked to him for three weeks now. I wrote him a letter and sent it. He should get it within a week or so. I asked a lot of questions and I told him I miss him.

I really miss him. I still do. He is all I think about at the moment. I cannot yet imagine my life without him. I miss his kisses and his hugs. I miss everything about him. I do not think it is a good idea to give him a second chance, because I do not know if people can change. But for now, I am willing to give him a second chance. But I will wait until the end of the month, because I am going to the Netherlands for a few weeks to work at the Youth Olympic Festival. It is going to be busy and I will meet new people. Hopefully I can stop thinking about him and what we had and how he hurt me.

I still feel pain every now and then. I have good days and bad days, sometimes both on the same day. 

I still do not understand why he did what he did. I probably never will. I was sad, angry, and betrayed. Now I am just sad and am missing him. So much it hurts.

Hopefully it will fade sometime soon. But for now, I feel like whatever I do, I will still feel a pang of pain no matter how busy I am or how happy I am to be having such a cool summer job. 

I still care about him. But I really do not want to be hurt ever again. I gave myself completely. All my dreams, my fears, my worries, I shared with him. He helped me through rough times. He was not a bad person. He made a big mistake, but he was not a bad person. I secretly wish he would tell this other guy the truth and break up with him. 

I want him all to myself. It is very pathetic, I know. I know I deserve better and more. But for now my brain is not working, my feelings are overpowering my brain and clouding my judgment.

Hopefully I will not think about him anytime soon. Hopefully the train to the Netherlands I am taking tomorrow will take me to a better place, a place where I do not get sad over this. I really wish it would help. I am done with the pain. I do not know what to do.

Until later,

xx AJ

 

 

Haribo

13 Jan

So this is a story that happened way back in September. This person has made a reappearance in my life, so we’ll probably hear a lot more about him. We’ll see.

I met him at an ATM. I was taking out cash at 2am and he was totally drunk with his friend because their favorite soccer team just won or something. We were in Hackescher Markt and we had just left a strange bar with strange music and a strange crowd.

I was with this girl Woozy at the time, as we had Wednesdays free, so we spent Tuesday night out and about. These two guys talked to us, and they were funny. So we hung out with them. Haribo is a philosophy student at a renowned local university, and so we had a lot of things to talk about. Most notably, Kafka’s Metamorphosis and Trial. We spent about thirty minutes talking about the mistranslation of Metamorphosis (I obviously knew nothing as I don’t speak German). 

But he bought me drinks, and then he sat really close to me (I was practically sitting on his lap). We talked for a long time. When we got out of the bar, the sun was rising and he was sober. We made plans to see each other.

It never happened. We made a plan to go out on my birthday. But due to this unfortunate occurrence that happened with Warhead, I had to cancel on him.

Then Bagel happened, and I had to cancel for the second time on him. 

But over the winter break, he texted me again, wanting to meet.

Image

 

I said yes. We will see each other sometime soon. And I think it will be a good thing to meet him.

Anyway, this time around I’m free. So I can go on dates and just enjoy myself.
And I will do that.

 

xx AJ

Marzipan

12 Jan

It’s a short one. Basically, I met this nice German guy when I was a cow. No, literally, I was a cow. I worked for a campaign for Ben & Jerry’s and some other big dairy companies in Europe, and the job entailed me dressing up as a cow.

Image

Seriously.

Anyway. I was in a shift with these two German people (one guy and one girl). They were typical Berliners, being health-conscious, vegan, and environmentally friendly and whatnot. I worked for 8 hours with them, and by the end of the shift we were friends. They invited me to a party where the girl works — she works at this cool (Berlin cool, meaning it derives its coolness from its shabbiness) club. I went and it was great.

Then this guy (Marzipan) asked my number. I gave him, and we agreed to meet for a cup of coffee sometime. This was before Bagel. During Bagel, I wouldn’t look at any other guys twice.

Two weeks later, he texted me and asked if I wanted to have that coffee. I said yes, and we went to this nice cafe in Ku’damm (the nicer part of Berlin). He is 25, and is finishing up his masters. He is a typical lost-boy-in-Berlin, getting away from his small German village to party in Berlin. We talked a lot, and he kissed me on the lips when we said goodbye. It was not a kiss really, it was more of a peck.

Then second coffee was had. Then a lunch. It was great, and I enjoyed spending time with him. But then one night he invited me over to his place to have sex. I freaked out a little bit, thinking it was too early. I asked Bagel whether I should go or not (at that point I wasn’t in love with Bagel, at least not that deep). Bagel said that he sounded like bad news. So I said no.

Then he texted me a couple of times. I never replied.

Maybe I should give him a second chance. He was a good guy after all.

Should I give him  second chance?

Bagel

12 Jan

Love sucks. And not in a good way.

After a few months of being in a love-coma, I finally regained consciousness. It all started in September, a few days after my birthday. I went to a party with a strange and unexpected group of friends — strange and unexpected because the people I went with (except for one) would not be the kind of people to be seen partying in a club. We had a girl with OCD tendencies who would normally be seen in the reading room and going to bed early. We had a philosophical nerd who thinks that Kant and Nietzsche are gods and popular music serves no purpose whatsoever in our existence. We had a 24-year old masters student who reads all day everyday and sits alone sometimes at the cafeteria while reading his copy of some supposedly important book written ages ago.

I fell in love with this guy. I did not know why – I still don’t know why.

The party was fun. The music was great. We drank. We danced. I thought I was an awkward dancer, until I saw how these people danced. It was more like a series of electric seizures and weird arm flaps. I didn’t care. I had a little too much speedballs in my system that I was dancing for hours. Then I sat down with him (let’s call him Bagel — because he reads Hegel?) and talked. He saw me eyeing this guy who was dancing alone, and encouraged me to approach him. Being super-confident from this magic-Russian-potato-juice, I did approach him and asked him to dance. Turned out he was with his girlfriend.

Damn. I sat down and Bagel consoled me. Damn these Berlin hipsters, they all just look gay. Berlin offered to buy me a drink, I said yes. Then at 5am (after I harassed the DJ to play my song — Franz Ferdinand’s Michael), we went home.

Still a little drunk, I came up with the idea to go up to the roof and chill there. I lay down a couple of blankets, and me, OCD-girl, and Bagel sat there. After a few minutes, OCD girl left us two all alone. We started talking. I don’t remember who kissed whom first, but two kisses happened and they weren’t initiated by the same person.

I didn’t think too much of it. It was just a drunken act.

For some strange reason, me, OCD-girl, and Bagel started hanging out quite often. Almost everyday. We became good friends. My school was weirded out a little by this strange friendship. A 25-year old OCD-girl who is a first year student like me, a 24-year masters student who reads philosophical books for pleasure, and a recently-turned 19-year old who doesn’t really fit this strange group. Yet, strangely, I am the fuel to this little group. I am the sunshine that gives colors to these monochromatic people (their words, not mine). I am the pushing force that motivates these unambitious people. The OCD-girl studied Cello Performance for years since she was 8, but was never good enough to make it to a renowned orchestra. So she bravely enough started a new degree at 25. Bagel has a sister who excelled at Cornell and is on fast-track to be a CEO at 25, at a renowned international company. Bagel went to art school for a year, quit, and did liberal arts at a good, but not the best college in the states.

Needless to say, ambitions did not run in their veins. Maybe they found spark in this 19-year old who still thinks that everything is possible. They were probably drawn by the ambitions that radiate from every inch of my skin. See, my attempt at making sense of our friendship is failing. It just happened, and I don’t know why it has kept on going until now.

Brunches, dinners, study sessions, and concerts were shared between the three of us. Being older, they have a more refined (yet still pretentious) taste in music. I don’t enjoy classical music as much as I enjoy listening to 27 straight minutes of Pink Floyd’s “Shine On You Crazy Diamond. They didn’t know this, but at some point I told them that I hated classical music. I felt like such a philistine for saying such thing. But honesty is a virtue!

These two people are very strange, I have never met people with such antics. They were sad quite often, and for such strange reasons. OCD girl is extremely self-centered, sometimes things have to only be about her. Bagel is just very sad at times, and does not care too much for the things I have to say.

Yet, my heart managed to just fuck myself over by falling into him. Way too deep. Maybe it’s the sadness and the fragility, when you see him one’s first instinct is to fix him. Maybe that’s it.

Bagel has a girlfriend back in the states, and they lived together for a year or so. I think this relationship is just an extended friendship, something safe and convenient. I don’t think they have sex. Bagel is quite an asexual being. Bagel told me that in college, he fell in love with a  guy and kissed him. He does not want to be labeled as straight.

Despite him being an asexual being, my heart just completely disregarded my brain and fell even harder for him. Stupid heart. My love for him grew stronger and stronger, until at some point I became sad. Very sad because I loved him a little bit (!) too much and it hurt me every day for not being able to admit it. It hurt even more because I could never have him.

Meanwhile, I sensed that OCD girl had similar feelings towards him. Things became more complicated. Jealousy was on the menu of my every day. Why does he listen to her so patiently and with full attention? Why is he going to a concert with her and not invite me? (Well, I told them that I hated classical music, but an invitation would still be nice). Why does he care so much about her wellbeing and her feelings more than he does me? Why?

At some point it got a little bit too much. I was sad everyday. I cried at least once a week. I had to see a therapist who prescribed me antidepressant medication. How could he have such an impact on me? I am probably the most happy person in this establishment, and if someone told me a year ago that I would need to see a therapist and take antidepressant, I would laugh so hard.

But this is not a laughing matter, unfortunately.

On a cold winter night, our school held a holiday dinner quite early in December. I drank a little too much. I told Bagel that I was sad he didn’t seem to care too much about our friendship and that he didn’t listen to me. We had a long walk, he listened to my semi-drunken speech about how he made me sad for not meeting me halfway. He apologized and told me that he is not an expressive person, but he is continually learning from me.

Then a few weeks later, three of us were hanging out. OCD wanted to go home because she was tired (it was only 10pm). I wanted to stay. Bagel could have stayed, but he didn’t. He took his coat from the coat hanger and tried to go. His reason was “I don’t want to be alone.” That upset me very much, as I was there. I was there.

I took my coat and stormed off. I have spent way too much time to please him. Little notes, mixtapes, goodnight texts, those seem to mean nothing to him. I was very sad. During this state of sadness, I was thinking of moving away. I e-mailed Dartmouth about the possibility of transferring in January. Then he texted me and asked me what was wrong. We met and talked. I told him I was sad. He asked me why I was sad. I asked him why he thought I was sad (it was meant to be a rhetorical question). He answered, it might be because I had feelings for him that are more than just friendship. He told me he had a girlfriend. I was so taken aback that I stormed off again.

Then in the morning, I woke up early to go to my class. We had an excursion to a museum. Bagel was there, even though he didn’t take that class. It was a medicine museum and it had lots of preserved organs and diseases and whatnot. He fainted. I panicked and ran to him. He woke up, his head was on my lap. I was very scared something happened to him. He asked me what happened, then he stood up. Then for the rest of the excursion, he was being cold to me. Bagel’s roommate was there too. Bagel and him are going to a Christmas Concert at the cathedral. Bagel’s roommate had an extra ticket and invited me. I asked Bagel if it was okay. He told me he would like to spend time with his roommate, but I could tag along. It was very cold of him.

Then after the concert, I asked Bagel if I could talk to him. Preferably at a cafe or something. He hesitantly said yes. Then we went to a cafe and sat down. I told him that I was going to say something and I made him promise not to freak out.

Then I told him that I was in love with him. Something that even I was unsure of. He was not taken aback at all. He looked at me and said that he knew I had feelings for him. I told him I needed him to do something for me. He said anything. I told him to look at me in the eyes and tell me that it would never happen between us and I need to stop this.

He hesitated, then he told me “I don’t think I could have the feelings you have for me.”

I thought that would be it — after I forced him to say that, my heart would finally stop being so stupid and listen to my brain.

But my heart didn’t stop. Not until a while.

We planned a 3-day Christmas vacation in Hamburg. Just the two of us. He was being a pain in the ass for the entire planning. He had many essays to write, so he kept telling me to wait until he is finished. It would literally take five minutes to book the trip. But he said he was too busy and had too much on his mind to think about other things. Then a day BEFORE the trip, he told me he was ready to book the trip. I was slightly annoyed, but I couldn’t get mad at him for too long. I was very excited about the trip. I wanted to talk to him about the plan the night before our morning departure, but he was nowhere to be found. He texted me “I need to go out to the city alone, talk to you when I get back.” I waited until 1 am. We were supposed to leave the dorm at 7am to make our train at 8am, but he hadn’t returned at 1am.

I was convinced that he wanted to cancel the trip. So I went up to my friend’s room and drank with her. We had a bottle of something and another bottle of something else. Then I woke up to a text. He was looking for me and is now at the station. I brushed my teeth and went to the station. It was too late. The train left. He texted me he is at Starbucks at the train station and wanted to talk. He was angry. He asked me where the hell I was. I told him the truth that I thought he had cancelled on me. He was even angrier, told me that I was too much drama with no common sense and he couldn’t deal with me.

As if everything was my fault.

That hurt like hell. I told him that we had a good run and then walked away.

I was convinced our friendship had ended. Then he texted me a day later, wanting to talk. We talked. I gave in again for the millionth time. I would do anything for him. For some reason. I had two guys asking me out on a date, turned them both down. Because I thought he wouldn’t have liked it if I went on dates. For some reason.

A few days later, his sister came to visit. We didn’t talk for a few days. He told me he wanted me to meet his sister. That never happened. During this brief period of time, I went to a club called KitKat with some people. I was a mess — stories to come later. I was a total mess.

Then two days before New Year’s Eve, we flew to Barcelona to see OCD girl. I was scared about this trip, honestly. I was scared that I would be sad again. We spent New Year’s Eve together, we hugged and celebrated New Year’s Eve. I saw that he kissed her (or she kissed him) on the lips briefly. I was hurt. I decided to go to a club, pretending that everything was alright. I asked if anybody would like to join me to go to a party at this renowned gay club. They said no. I went alone, at 1am. I danced the night away. I didn’t drink at all. I met a great guy who deserves his own blog post (spoiler, he’s a retired Romanian gymnast). He doesn’t drink. We danced. We kissed. We had a great night. A great sober, innocent night. He drove me home.

The rest of the trip, I spent away from both Bagel and OCD. I explored the side of Barcelona that they didn’t. They went to museums and important historical buildings, I went to swing dance with locals, took the train down to Sitges and met interesting people. I had a great, solo trip.

Then at some point, my heart decided to be sober from this state of constant love-drunkenness. Bagel decided to stay in Barcelona with OCD and went to OCD’s hometown with her. I went home to Berlin.

The moment I stepped out of the plane in Berlin, I realized that I was free. I was indeed free. Not once in these two weeks have I thought of Bagel.

I am free. And holy fuck, it’s so liberating to finally be free.

Warheads

6 Nov

So, we meet again. I’m in Berlin, and things are good for the most part. College is as I expected it to be, that is stressful and academic. I find it challenging, but what is life without challenges?

I’m supposed to be reading Rousseau and Hegel at the moment, but I’m just going to distract myself by writing a blog post. It’s very therapeutic, especially if you’ve had three essays due on the same weekend. My life.

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So this is a story about my first encounter with a guy here. He is from the States, but is from a family with a strong Eastern European root. He is on a year abroad here at my school. At first I thought he was arrogant and cocky, but then I got to know him. He is actually quite amiable, sometimes. He’s basically on most people’s “to-do list” because he’s beautiful. Let’s call him Warheads.

It was after a dinner party (we have a bunch of dinner parties every month, cough cough hedonism). We went downtown with some people, but then on our way me and my friend decided to get off the tram and he decided to tag along. We went to a bar, got drunk, and went home at 5 in the morning. We sobered up, ate a little and hung out in my room. My friend left. It was just me and him. He told me about his life, about his family, and stuff. Then at some point he just leaned in and kissed me. I did not see it coming. But I wasn’t complaining. Things happened.

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The next day, when I woke up, he wasn’t there. I went to lunch. I saw him there but he didn’t say anything. I let it go.

Then another day, another party, another drunken night. We got together again. This time a little drunker than before. I didn’t see him in the morning.

Then came another night. It wasn’t a drunken night. We were both completely sober. We got together again. This time I confronted him. How come he always did this thing that makes me feel shitty in the morning? He felt  sorry (or so he said) and told me that he was conflicted as this was his first experience with a guy and he never thought of himself that way. I told him I understood. He then said sorry and told me that he’s going to take me out to dinner on the day after his birthday and before my birthday (his is on the 21st and mine is on the 23rd). I reluctantly said yes.

Then came the 22nd, I was getting ready in my room. I went to his room and knocked, and he told me he had to cancel because he needed to Skype his parents. He wanted to reschedule the dinner to be on my birthday. I said fine.

My birthday. Postcards, letters, presents. It was a good day. Until the evening came. He picked me up in my room, we were supposed to go to dinner, just the two of us, then go to a nice bar with a bunch of people. We missed our tram, so we had to settle for a doner and fries. Then we met up with people as we were supposed to go to this nice dressy bar. Never happened. A girl (let’s call her Woozy, because well, she is Woozy and drugged up and nasty) recommended this club and was so excited about it, so we said why not. We went to the club. It was awful. The music was shit and the drinks were not properly made and the crowd  basically people over 50. Really.

After half an hour, we were bored already. So we told people that we wanted to go somewhere else. We couldn’t find Woozy and Warheads. So we called them, and basically our night was spent looking for Woozy and Warheads. Woozy is an exchange student and she comes from this liberal arts college in New York, and she has a history of “partying too hard” i.e. overdosing, so we were a little worried. Especially because she was with Warheads. At 7 in the morning, we gave up and went home. They weren’t home.

I woke up at 12, the first thing I did was going to his room to check on him, and I saw them. Him and Woozy. Under the covers. I got a little angry. Then I realized that I didn’t have him. I never had him. There was no reason for me to be angry. He is conflicted, he is confused. But that’s his problem. I do what’s best for me. To stay away from him. He is bad news.

So that’s what I’m doing. Staying away.

x A

A Few Things

12 Jul

First of all, I got my permanent residence permit approved! Starting this August, I’m officially a permanent resident of the Federal Republic of Germany! How exciting is that?

Also, college is just 43 days away. It gives me butterflies just to think about it. And I’m constantly thinking about it! So butterflies all day everyday!

Incidentally, I’m typing on my phone. My laptop is broken and I don’t think they’ll be able to fix it. So I guess I should start browsing for a new one for college!

Hmm, what else. I was in a dilemma because weeks ago the guy I mentioned in my last post stopped replying to my message. I thought I had said something wrong, so after a week of getting no reply I wrote him a little “hello and what’s up” message, turned out he didn’t get my previous message at all! Apparently it was the app’s fault. Damn you iPhone app for making me worried!

Also, he added me on Facebook. And we’ve been talking frequently online. I mean obviously it’s no way to start a relationship or anything (right?) but it’s nice to have such a nice friend to talk to frequently. So for now I think I’ll just leave it at that.

Also, I find myself constantly worrying about my future dorm roommate. I mean I’ve never had to share a room with anyone else in my life. I just don’t think I’m that good at sharing. I’m actually very nervous.

Speaking of college, a bunch of future college friends added me on Facebook. They seem nice, and my BA class only consists of about 16-22 people, so it’s very small. I like small though.

So there’s this guy who added me. His first words to me were :

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It’s quite random. Haha but he seems nice. His cover photo on Facebook says “release your inner whore” which I think for him is for real because he told me that he is no stranger to the whole scene and that he is…very sexually active, with more than one guys?

So he offered to show me around Berlin and stuff. I’m not sure if I’m really into the whole scene though. But I guess I should check out some clubs or something. He asked me what type of guy I’m attracted to and I said “I don’t know if I really have a ‘type’ you know. When I like someone I like someone you know”

He said “I wish I could be as non-shallow as you are.”

So, I think I’ve made a friend. Ish. I’ve also talked to the other guys (one of them might be my roommate) and so far they all seem nice. A lot of students are older than me and I’m one of the younger ones (which is strange because I did a gap year!)

I’m very very excited.

I’ve also been exercising. A lot. I’ve also been eating more. Which shows. I think. I’m currently a few days break from the Insanity workout though because I’m sick. We’ll get to that later.

I spent four days visiting my sister in the city. My sister is four years older than me, and she graduated from college last year (on my birthday, how strange is that!) She studied computer science in college (obviously she’s more sciency than me) and now she works at this company that does finance/IB stuff. Of all my siblings I think I’m closest to her. She’s really nice, and she is such a good host (generally, I mean she can’t cook or anything, but we do eat out a lot — well all the time really). I really enjoyed my short visit. It’s so different now that she has a job. For some reason when she was still in college she had this belief she had to live the frugal lifestyle (which honestly was not very fun when I visited her then) even though she didn’t actually need to live frugally. I don’t understand. But now she barely cared when I decided to get two Paul Smith scarves instead of choosing one I liked the most. A year ago she would’ve given me the judgmental look.

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I mean the colors are SO pretty and they go with most of my outfits and Berlin is gonna be cold so I needed to get both!

It’s really weird. When I visited the city, I called a few friends to make lunch/dinner arrangements. So I went to lunch with this girl from my high school, let’s call her Nougat, and it was okay. I told her that I couldn’t stay for long because I had dinner with another friend that she doesn’t know. But for some reason she didn’t get the hint and kept talking and I couldn’t make her go away. She then decided to tag along to dinner with my friend and I was forced to introduce them. I mean the dinner was supposed to be a farewell dinner between me and my friend, let’s call her Toffee. Toffee is going to India and South Korea for a few months and she’s leaving weeks before I leave for Berlin so she won’t be able to say goodbye to me at the airport.

I don’t understand how Nougat could be so comfortable tagging along. I mean it was supposed to be our moment of peace and reminiscence and shit. Thank god Nougat left after dinner, so Toffee and I decided to grab a cup of coffee and talk. We spoke for hours and hours, until like 2am in the morning actually. The coffee was shit but the talk was okay. I mean to be honest she annoyed me a lot, because she kept telling me to shut up. I HATE it when people tell me to shut up. She didn’t tell me to literally shut up, but like the not-so-literal kind of shut up. Like when someone says something that’s OMG-worthy. I said relatively normal things, but she kept telling me to “OMG SHUT UPPP” as though I was saying that I just slept with Chris Evans. And that was annoying. Not the sleeping with the Chris Evans bit, but the shut up bit. However, she’s still an old friend. So it was still good to see her.

The next day I had lunch with another good friend (not from high school) at this really cool restaurant. The food was sublime and the drinks were great, and we even had a piece of strawberry cheesecake each. But the best part was the talk. It was deep. Like when I say deep I mean deep deep. Real deep grown up stuff. I felt so mature and everything. It was a good lunch date.

I’m yet to find someone who I can go shopping with though. That’s why I usually just go alone. My best shopping buddy happens to be all the way in the States and it sucks. She’s the only one so far that I can go shopping comfortably with. My other friends are terrible shopping companions, despite me being a good shopping companion. It’s so unfair. I have a feeling that when I take my friends shopping with me they’re not excited about it and they rush the whole sacred process of shopping and sometimes even they’ll make it all about them.

So that’s why I shop alone. I can take all the time I need. I can make it about me.

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Oh you know, just a dozen or so underwear that I can’t wait to wear.

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Socks: because even though people can’t see them doesn’t mean that they’re not important!

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Soft soft towels from BBB. So soft. So soft.

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And of course the compulsory visit to Zara. Didn’t find anything I like so I bought these two tees because they were on sale.

I also bought a handsome denim jacket from Dolce. It’s totally gorgeous. It’s the one I wear on my Facebook profile.

Hmm, that’s all for shopping. I still need to find a pair of jeans, more towels, and a winter coat. Maybe I’ll get them in Berlin or something.

Is it absolutely pathetic to watch movies alone in the cinemas? Because I totally did that. Not once, not twice. Four times. The Amazing Spiderman was so good, Madagascar was funny, Brave was good too, and Abe Lincoln was okayish.

I’ll write more regularly I promise!

xx AJ