Thursday

It Couldn't Have Been More Perfect Had I Meticulously Planned This for Months

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The other day I told a friend I've been experiencing some writer's block in finishing my book and that there's this chapter I just cannot finish because it feels like it's not good enough and I have no idea what else to write about and I'm kinda losing it, guys.

Her advice? Online dating.

Me: What does online dating have to do with anything?

Carla: Everything. Do you know how much material there is in those websites?

Me: But the dudes in there are mostly weird and stuff, no?

Carla: Exactly my point. Just sign up for a few, chat it up with some guys, and in two weeks you'll have enough juice to make a blender of books.

I apprehensively made my foray into online dating (yet again) last night in the hunt for "book juice." It was almost bedtime and I was just browsing profiles and laughing a little at the guy who wrote, "You are really beautiful and hott and gorgeous you are."

Um... I guess "I are" if makeup is applied adequately and I brush my hair. Anyhow, I was about to go to sleep when I get a notification stating I have a message from "CubanBarber." Just from the screen name I already knew this wasn't going to go anywhere, but as I looked at his main picture of him boxing I was all, Hmhmm, I know this guy from somewhere. I began to browse through his pics and what am I hit with on the third? This shit:

And you know... it really would not have been a big deal that a guy on a dating website who's twenty-six and a barber and from Miami and whose interests are "my bike, haircuts, casual sex, and my dick" to have a naked picture of himself with a hat over his junk. At the end of the day, I hear girls are into that sort of stuff and 1/10 times it works. What is weird, is that this gentleman, is the same precise gentleman who texted me a picture of his penis on my last post after I declined his breakfast invitations. Which only leads me to the following things I already mostly knew:
  1. There are no available men in this town and I'll have better luck in Alaska mating with a polar bear.
  2. Thank Lord Jesus I didn't go have pancakes with this psychotic exhibitionist.
  3. Carla was totally right about online dating.
I think I've found the official end, of everything.

Tuesday

Oh-My-God Enough With the Dick Pics Already!

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I'm not sure if I'm blowing this out of proportion but, I'm sensing a growing trend here with the gentlemen of this age and their overzealous desire to send someone, anyone, pictures of their dicks. Maybe because pictures have become readily available at the touch of a button, or maybe because they actually believe somewhere in their minds that penises are attractive. But really, what the hell, guys?

The other month (I know I'm totally behind on blogging and I'm truly sorry about that) I went out to a bar with my best friend, Britt. A guy approached me and started a conversation. He was an alright looking fella, intelligent in thought and not stingy with the drink buying which always helps when you're a single woman paying bills. We must've chatted for about forty minutes and then parted ways. While I held my conversation with him, Britt played wingwoman by talking to his less-than-attractive friend, who was very persistent in getting her number even though she told him she was married and not interested in any men that were not her husband (a lie, of course).

The next morning when we woke up for brunch Britt was all, “You have to see this.”

Me: What is it?

Britt: The guy from last night sent me a picture of his ding dong.

Me: How do you know it was the guy from last night.

Britt: Because it’s an unknown number and a huge coincidence that I gave my number to a complete stranger to then get this on my phone the morning after.

Me: What did it say?

Britt: Nothing. I just opened up my phone and bam! Dick pic.

Me: Christ. What'd you say to him?

Britt: "Um... Who is this?" And you want to know what his reply was? “Sorry, wrong number.”

It was unsettling to me that morning just how hilarious I found this to be. How do you say “wrong number” after sending something like that to someone you don't know? But I’m guessing the more pressing question is, would it still have been a wrong number had Britt replied with, “Gimme that sausage!”

A few weeks later we went to the Blue Zombie and I confess to having exchanged numbers that evening with one too many fellows I hardly remember speaking to. Before I’d crossed over to the dark side though, I had a convo by the bar with a cute Cuban dude that kept insisting we should “go to breakfast.” Maybe he just really liked pancakes or was a coffee aficionado, but I agreed in my tipsy rage knowing good and well I’d never attempt to see him again. The next morning, Cuban dude texted me to find out if we were going to breakfast. I told him I was tired and had a nail appointment so “maybe tomorrow.” Ten minutes later he asks me to send him a picture, which I promptly ignore and resume my TV marathon. Soon after I receive a picture of him, shirtless, in front of the bathroom mirror.

Nice, I thought, and still ignored his dumb ass.

Eight hours later this animal texts me yet again with, “Guess not." You can guess what I did.

My cell had a barrage of messages the following morning from friends wanting to know about my Super Bowl plans that evening. I only replied to my nearest and dearest letting them know I hated football and intended to sleep all day, allowing the rest to float in text message limbo. Two days later - because I am OCD - I began to clean up the text message conversations from all the people who’d filled up my phone that Sunday, when I saw an unread message from Cuban dude. When I open, there it is, a picture of his inflated penis, which he was holding proudly like a sword called to battle. Of course I texted Britt to share that this time it’d been my turn to be on the receiving end of this virtual catastrophe.

Me: I just got a dick pic from Cuban dude.

Britt: The guy who wanted to take you to breakfast?

Me: Yes. That douche.

Britt: Had you asked for it?

Me: Um, no!

Britt: Was it big, at least?

Me: It was huge. Disgusting.

Britt: Ha ha. Stop pretending like you didn't want to see it.

Me: I *do not* want to see that. It's not pleasant to look at. Why would anyone think otherwise?

Britt: Well, what did he say?

Me: Drum roll please... “Morning wood.”

Britt: Oh God. Forward it to me.

Me: Ew. I deleted it, you creeper.

Britt: You should’ve posted it on your blog.

This is the part where I apologize for not saving the picture to post here but I’m certain that like me, no one wants to see that. I asked my guy friends about this odd behavior and they said it’s a hit or miss situation that happens quite often. “Nine out of ten times it doesn't work,” one offered sheepishly, "but there's always that one. So if you didn’t take the bait, some desperate chick out there did.”

And so whenever someone else asks me why I'm single, I will direct them to this blog post and accept no further questions about my relationship status. Ever. Again.

Wednesday

Is This How It's Supposed to Feel?

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Because we’re single and proud, my best friend and I often act as stand-ins for the potential significant others we clearly don’t have (minus the sex). This Valentine’s Day, I decided to be romantic and buy her flowers which I sent to her office with a note declaring my non-lesbian love for her.

Sidenote: I have to take off my hat for men during Valentine’s Day who are trying to get laid or husbands who’ve been bad and have to purchase flowers. $72.00 for a bouquet of roses and carnations?! I hope they came with a stripper.

Anyway, as a gesture to return my sweet display of love, my bestie bought me a full body massage which I happily redeemed this weekend. My masseuse was a rather large girl of about 300 pounds which is awesome because I’m into that sort of thing and figured she’d be strong and meaty in her grip. I entered the tiny room and undressed while Beefy waited for me, quickly getting under the sheet and asking her to come in. I apologized and told her I’d be listening to my i-pod while she did her thing, seeing I hate elevator music and that’s what they were playing at the spa. Beefy said she didn’t care and stood in front of me as I faced down and got ready for my relaxing experience. One minute later she was bent over me rubbing my back while simultaneously massaging my head with her two large breastesses, rubbing them rhythmically against my head and shoulders. I’m not sure if there’s a polite way to say “I’m not enjoying this” or if this is part of her technique, so I remained silent while being attacked by two pounds of flesh on each side of my ears.

Suddenly the bed began to vibrate violently and I initially thought it was part of the treatment, but later realized that every time Beefy had to move around me the table was pushed in the other direction. When it was time to work my legs, Beefy placed the sheet under my panties in the customary fashion, then went on to tuck everything up my butt crack and violently massaged my cheeks like giant balls of ground beef being molded for a meatloaf. I wanted to say something but every time I turned off my i-pod to speak up, I heard her heavy breathing and got scared. Did I mention she poured an entire bottle of baby oil all over my body and hair?

It’s safe to say I will never buy my best friend flowers again, nor go to any spas for massage treatments purchased through Groupon.

And this is why women should never attempt to be romantic.

Tuesday

The Dinner Tab Debacle of 2013

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Last week, my friend Glenn asked what I’d done the night before via email. “Well, you’re not going to believe what happened,” I started.

“Yes, I am,” he replied. “It’s you.”

I sent the following email to Glenn in an effort to shed light on the previous night’s event. It is important to note that A) I had already been on two dates with my little holiday fling and this had never taken place before. B) He lives in Russia and the possibility I will never see him again is high. C) I am Latin, and sometimes this makes things a little tricky when you're also a feminist. D) My dog had been vomiting all day and I was stressed and then I had to take him to the vet to shell out a few hundred dollars in hopes we could figure out what was wrong with him.

We didn't.
 
Now for that email:

Glennie Pooh:

So… He changed his flight to be able to see me. That’s one. Two! When I got home, my dog was sick. He’d thrown up all over my bed (5 times), and multiple times on the floor and couch. Blood everywhere. Had to wash everything and dry it. Then clean my room and couch and all the other places he’d vomited. Anyway I had plans to see him around 6:00 p.m. and I had to push it back all the way to 9:30 p.m. He’d already slept over a couple of times before he left on that ten day cruise, so we agreed to go to dinner and then back to my place, then I’d take him to the airport this morning. He’s been between Miami and the cruise and Orlando vacationing here with friends for about a month (fuckin’ rich kids). The point is!

We go to dinner, right? And he’s telling me how they spent like two grand each on the cruise and how he couldn’t believe it and blah blah blah. Dinner’s swell (that word is so ridiculous but yes, I use it), and then it’s time to go home. I’m so tired by this point I cannot even begin to think about having to drive him to the airport the next day before work (mind you, I’m kind of sick, so I’m grumpy as hell). When the bill comes, this CHILD asks me if we can split it. Now… I know you’re an American progressive male and you may think this is ok, but to a Cuban woman of thirty (me), this most certainly isn’t. Especially when he has lots of money and just spent a gazillion dollars partying it up on a ship somewhere in the Atlantic. I told him, “Yes, I did mind,” then I went to the bathroom to do a bit of Woooosaaaaaaaaaaaah breathing exercises because I felt like slapping his beautiful porcelain face.

I came back with a little pasted-on smile and he paid for dinner and we left. Then… I promptly drove on, but instead of to my house, I dropped him back off at his hotel. This poor child was freaking out. Like, “Oh my God why are you being like this and I’m so sorry and this isn’t such a big deal and in my country people do this all the time and yada yada.” I’m all, “Please just take your bags out of my car,” to which he refuses because he’s so flustered as he’s trying to get me to accept his apology. So in the middle of this wind storm I packed all his bags out while my dress is blowing in the wind and my underwear is probably showing and was all, “It was nice to meet you,” leaving him there at his hotel door.

On the upside, at least my poor animal hasn’t thrown up anymore. $360 dollars worth of vet bills later… I get home and I have about ten messages from this kid apologizing and it got me thinking… Did I overreact? Because in spite of everything, I don’t think I did.

Glenn’s Reply:

A few things…

1. This is why I never want to have fucking animals!

2. I didn't know you two already had a.... "relationship" before last night’s date.

3. You are correct that as an American male, as a progressive male, as a FEMINIST male, I do not believe in the man treating the woman to dinner as a default option. However, I am also a class warrior and if he has a lot of discretionary income he's spending and he's on vacation, it's not unreasonable to think he is going to pay. SECOND HOWEVER, you, as a modern woman (Cuban or not) should have laid this out to him if it was such a big deal.

4. Was it an overreaction? Who the fuck cares! You don't know this guy. You will (probably) never see him again. AND he's a twenty-two year old child while you are a GROWN ass woman.

5. You’re going to be single forever.

Wednesday

Twelve. Twelve. Twelve. (Also Know As, I Am Thirty.)

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A friend once told me life is an inevitable rollercoaster of highs and lows mastered only by those who manipulate the lows as gracefully as they embrace the highs.

Something about milestones…
Yesterday, I found this picture of me celebrating my 5th birthday as I looked at old photographs my aunt gave me the last time I went to Cuba. In it there’s a young girl with a mischievous smile standing behind a cake decorated with swans. She wears a girlie dress full of ruffles in shades of pink and yellow and blue. A bruise on the side of her face incurred from a fall down the stairs is being hidden from the camera. You also miss the hole on the cake where she stuck her fingers and quickly shoved them in her mouth as her grandma scolded her for being a glutton. Her mom is on the other side of the camera next to the photographer, looking horrified and praying that things turn out alright for her clumsy baby.

The girl is thirty today, and although she’s not as fond of swans or pink as she used to be, she’s still quite familiar with falling and picking herself back up. Bruises aren’t always obtained from stairs but the marks they leave no longer make her cry hysterically nor last very long. She will make mistakes and apologize to no one. Her mom will be horrified and resort to praying. If she’s lucky she’ll blow many more candles and release wishes of the best kind to the universe. After that she’ll stick her fingers in cake and rejoice in the rush of sugary sweetness that is sometimes life. It will taste exactly like she planned and the next day she'll go on a diet and curse her tendency to over-indulge. Highs and lows will go hand in hand. Embracing and manipulating will as well. She wouldn't have it any other way.

She wouldn't have it any other way...

Thursday

But Alas, I'm Not That Kind of Girl.

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I'm guessing when you live in a city where casual encounters are the norm, the odds of meeting someone without a hidden agenda are like winning the Powerball on an unsuspecting Wednesday night.

Enter him.

You hear men of his kind only exist in Cary Grant movies and Johnnie Walker commercials, yet there you are anyway having a conversation about the Middle East once he's bought you and your friend a round of drinks. He wants to know more about you, what kind of work do you do and the things that ignite you. He listens attentively to your friend and tells the bartender to "bring her whatever she likes." It doesn't go unnoticed he's attractive and wearing a watch that cost more than your car and furniture put together. You find him intriguing and surprisingly funny despite the fact he's probably closer to your father's age than your own. You've never dated a man much older than you and truth be told, you've no intentions of starting now. You exchange numbers as a courtesy, wondering what life would taste like in a world where money isn't a subject of worry.

Over the next few days he rings you up and leaves funny messages. You answer on one occasion and have a light conversation about your favorite foods and why you refuse to eat duck or veal. He sends you flowers to work and you're relieved to find it's an art form not yet extinct. You eventually stop answering his calls and figure he'll soon get the hint, knowing you probably passed up your only opportunity at an elite gold digging experience.

On a Wednesday he calls and you answer by mistake, feelings of guilt washing over you as soon as you hear him smile on the other end of the line. He invites you to dinner at a restaurant where soup is thirty dollars and movie stars go to be photographed pushing their food around their plates. You toy with the idea for a nanosecond but respectfully decline, offering that you twisted your ankle at the gym. He doesn't believe you but says he understands and hopes you feel better.

When the line goes dead you know he will call and he knows you won't answer. The rat race will continue and you'll probably never get to try a bowl of lobster bisque that goes for thirty dollars. Later he will find a girl whom he'll take to fancy dinners and whisk away to Greece for the summer. You sit there quietly, stretching your perfectly okay ankles on your second-hand couch. Eventually you get up and convince yourself to go on a powerwalk. On the way home you stop by the convenience store and buy a Powerball ticket with a can of lobster bisque. You don't end up winning the lottery that night... Yet your soup, just like life, is fucking amazing.

Wednesday

... And This Is Why I Need to Leave Facebook.

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Sometimes you are human and you're bored and you fall prey to the jaws of Facebook in an effort to kill time. It is in these trying occasions that people you hardly know message you in an effort to also kill time (by getting in your pants).

I wouldn't usually throw people under the bus like this but it was really too weird *not* to share.

Then I went ahead and blocked Ismel and Albernay and his imaginary girlfriend too, but not before saving all this since no one would believe me if I ever tried to explain it to them over dinner (in an effort to kill time).

Monday

Holy Shitballs, Serial Stalker!

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While on vacation in Houston, Olivia met a super hottie named Tony the night before going back home. Some time around five in the morning a group of us went back to the hotel to continue the debauchery somewhere in our room or lobby or wherever they allowed noise and the unlimited flowage of vodkaseltzers.

I'd met a guy that night who wasn’t too excited about taking Olivia and this strange dude in his car, but finally agreed after some coaxing on my part, also known as purring-in-his-ear-and-empty-promises-of-great-things-to-come. When we finally stuffed ourselves in Jason’s Charger, seven of us were on the way to continue the fiesta. Upon arriving to the Westin, Olivia simply told Tony that it was great to meet him and kissed him on the cheek. She then proceeded to get out of the car and leave us all there with our mouths wide open as we wondered, What the fuck are we supposed to do with this fool now?

After Jason dropped off Tony at a friend’s house and returned to us, the virtual stalking commenced. Before reading the following, you should note that:
  • Olivia had just met Tony that very night.
  • We have no idea what “hhh” means but have deduced it’s “ha ha ha” or “lol?”
  • You have to read this in a middle eastern accent because Tony is from Israel and his English not so good.
  • Olivia is really glad she didn't give him her name on "the Facebook."



After she finally got Verizon to block his calls, Olivia was in the middle of downloading an app for blocking texts when she received this very last message from Tony.

"Ohhhhhh Gooooohhhhddd."

And huf, Tony. Those are my sentiments exactly. Hhh.

Thursday

Yeehaw, Bitches.

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My homie Ryan says that all you have to do in order to add emphasis to anything you're trying to articulate in life is to add the word "bitches" right after.

"I just quit my job, bitches!"

"I lost ten pounds, bitches." (I wish).

"I'm breaking up with you, bitches!" <-- Maybe that one doesn't quite work because it kind of sounds like I'm some sort of lesbian polygamist but you get my drift.
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My friend Britt says to me the other day, "Why aren't you writing anymore?"

Me: What do you mean?

Britt: You used to write about stupid shit all the time and it was funny and interesting. Now it's like, one post every six months when you have something philosophical to say. You're like, overthinking it, dude.
Me: I don't know. :::::Sad face:::::: I think I lost my mojo.

Britt: Don't give me that shit. I see you every day and your mojo is intact. Just fucking write! About anything. About how you picked your booger in a political meeting. About how you missed Bill Clinton's speech because you got your period in the parking lot and had to run to a bathroom. About how you haven't had sex in six months and wet dreams are as common as brushing your hair.
Me: So you mean, just write?

Britt: Yeah. Just write.

Me: Ok. I can do that. Just write!
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Here's a picture of my feet.
I was sitting on my couch this morning waiting for my mother to take me to the airport and figured, what better time to "just write" than now?

So I bought those shoes online which I rarely ever do and regretted it as soon as I tried them on. They're made by Beyonce's House of Dereon and it was sort of lust at first sight when I laid eyes upon them that fateful Thursday. I thought, I could so wear a pair of shoes that high and look fierce like Beyonce.

Um. No.

It's like walking a rope on stilts while under the influence of horse tranquilizers.

This post is kind of all over the place and so........ My friend met a guy on Twitter a few months back and suddenly decided she wanted to see him up-close-and-personal (brilliant idea, I assure you). The dude lives in Houston and I thought it would be fun to tag along and drink margaritas while she and Twitterati boinked for the extended weekend. It turns out Twitterati has a girlfriend who lives with him and my friend's plans have gone to the shitter but seeing we already booked our hotel and plane tickets, off to Houston it is.

I don't really know much about H-Town, per se... Only that there's honky tonk bars and lots of Asian people. I like country. And I also like Asians and BBQ food. So there's that.

If you happen to have any suggestions about Houston or live there and want to drink with me, leave me a comment. I haven't had intercourse in almost six months so in an effort to "just write" and be honest I'm kind of hoping some lost soul feels sorry for me and wants to fornicate.

This of course doesn't apply to people who read my blog. That would be hell'a weird.

Back next week, bitches.

Wednesday

I Live.

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Ay, you guys. I don't even know what to say... I realize I've taken a bit longer than expected to publish the second half of the chapter but with a dreadful bout of insomnia that's taken over my nights and a shit ton of work and a hurricane that kept me locked indoors for three days and way too much ZzzQuil, I've been nothing short of a hot mess.

It's okay to give up on me (I totally deserve it).

If you haven't or won't though, here's the second half of what I started a month ago (if you didn't catch the first part, click here).
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The Age of Annah-Sense (Part II)

My sudden distaste for his lunches did not go unnoticed. My father and I walked home in silence one Friday afternoon when he finally raised his concern. “Annah, what exactly is the situation with you not eating your food lately?”

I was caught off guard. “Nada, Papa. I’m just tired of pork, I guess.”

He suddenly stopped walking and pulled my hand firmly. “Let me make it very clear that some kids would kill for your lunch,” he said in a tone rarely used in our household. “Don't forget where you live.”

That evening he took me out to dinner for a treat at his favorite restaurant. I recall that night as if it were yesterday, the rough napkin scratching my legs as the waitress recited the menu by heart. The cool breeze on the outdoor patio overlooking the park and a sky filled with stars. The boredom I felt while anxiously sipping lemonade as my dad listened attentively to his dining choices. The drool practically coming out of my ears by the time he finally made one.

“We’ll have the chicken fricassee with white rice and beans,” he finally said. “And Maria, could you bring some of that house habanero please?”

“What’s house habanero?” I asked once the waitress left.

“It’s a very spicy sauce they make here but you're way too young to try. Maybe after your quinces."

I opened my mouth to argue but suddenly Maria was back with a plate of ham croquettes and I forgot all about habaneros and spicy sauce and guys with a penchant for stupid girls.
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While Johnny romanced Dumb Dumb, he had the audacity to pretend we were still best of friends. I in turn, pretended I didn't want to gouge his eyes out with my tiny love sick hands in a dark corner of a classroom. As we played besties and Johnny resumed eating my sandwiches every afternoon, an uncontrollable hunger began to grow within me: the literal type. Fucker was eating my lunch and I was no longer interested in winning him over. In fact, poisoning him seemed the only viable option to regain my confidence in life.

Eventually I started taking my lunches in the girls' bathroom and resolved to forget about boys altogether. My father was delighted to see I'd resumed loving his food and one day over dinner couldn’t resist indulging me. "I’m going to let you try a little bit of Casa Grande’s sauce with your chicken. But just a tinge, Annah. Es muy picante."

Oh-my-God what was that? I could feel the wheels turning in my head as I took that first bite of habanero douced chicken. Hahahahahahahahaha.

After dinner, I pleaded with my father to make me a pulled pork sandwich for school with just a little bit of the hot sauce and cheese. I forlornly looked at the meal he was so carefully preparing for me and weeped a little internally at the thought of not eating it. I stayed in the kitchen pretending to sip my cafe con leche as I spied on my father. The habanero sauce was placed right next to the mayo in the fridge.

I awoke at my usual time of four to use the bathroom, making a detour to the kitchen and drenching the insides of my pork sandwich with habanero while everyone slept. I went back to bed and guiltily plotted, wondering if maybe I should just dispose of the sandwich in the morning along with my plans of wicked revenge. It really wasn't a big deal, I thought, then immediately fell asleep.

Classes dragged by at a snail rate the following morning, the clock on top of the board resembling an hour glass whose sand had stopped running. When the bell finally tolled at noon, I braced myself for my very first devious move in the name of love. Johnny and Dumb Dumb sat by side-by-side at their usual corner, laughing at something one of our classmates was saying.

“Hola, Johnny,” I faked a smile and waved a little at them both.

“Anita…” He let his voice trail off. “How are you?”

I looked over at Dumb Dumb searching for signs of impatience or hatred, but she just sat there smiling up at me, her perfect blonde curls bobbing in unison as she nodded for no particular reason. I once again considered backing out, but then that meant coming up with another reason why I was standing there.

"Want to trade lunches with me today?” I finally said while turning to him. “I’m kind of craving some rice and beans.”

He shot me a perplexed look and shrugged his shoulders. “Sure,” he pushed his plate in my direction and stretched out his hand. I promptly placed the sandwich in it and stood there like a creepster. When he realized I wasn’t going anywhere, he opened the sandwich and took a greedy bite.

I couldn’t help but revel in the sweet satisfaction of my triumph ahead of time. “Her dad makes the best food,” he said to Dumb Dumb in between mouthfuls. I waited for hell to be unleashed but he bit the thing again without even blinking, his face showing no signs of discomfort. And yet, was that his nose wrinkling?

"Yummy, right?” I asked with fake interest in the boiled egg I’d just stuck a fork in.

“Delicioso,” he mustered while slowly reaching for a bottle of milk, his fair complexion reddening ever-so-slightly. I saw Dumb Dumb reach for the sandwich and thought how lucky I’d be if I killed two birds with one stone. Whether from pride or fear of Dumb Dumb choking half to death, Johnny finished his sandwich in three bites and feigned satisfaction. “That was great, Anita.”

But I knew better.

My vengeance carried out, I pretended to wave at someone across the courtyard and bid my farewells. I sat down with a friend and enjoyed my plate of revenge served bland by Johnny’s mother. It never tasted as sweet.
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I sat in class two hours later reading a Jose Marti poem aloud when I saw Johnny’s hand shoot up out of the corner of my eye. Knowing good and well Ms. Lopez would not allow for an interruption during poetry, I continued my interpretation of A Sincere Man I Am. As I paused at the end of a stanza, my teacher nodded approvingly, Johnny’s hand still up and ignored still the more. My poetic rendition was interrupted without warning by a loud noise that could not be confused for anything other than a shart.
Oh, Johnny.

Despite my wishes to disappear, tearing my eyes from the scene unfolding before me was like not eating cake after a bout of strict dieting. Johnny’s hand went down as all eyes focused on him. His ears a tomato scarlet that gave away what just transpired. “Excuse me,” he whispered at no one in particular as he shuffled towards the door and a ghastly smell followed him. I heard the girl next to me gasp and someone snicker in the front.

“Johnny…” Ms. Lopez began, then quickly decided against it.

I looked up to find his uniform shorts wet on the right side, the same leg smeared in poop that slowly trailed down to his sock. The overwhelming need to help him clean up took hold of me, impossible as it all was. After going to where I presumed was the bathroom, Johnny never returned to class. Nor did he the next day or for the remainder of the week. When he finally showed face six days later (yes, I counted), his eyes were perpetually glued to the floor, Dumb Dumb his only loyal companion.
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My imaginary romance with “Yohnee” ended that fateful afternoon of ill-timed sharting and pesky bowel movements. Much to my dismay the whole fiasco only deepened his bond with she whom I'll no longer mention. I developed new crushes that year and each subsequent one after, but I never shared my food with anyone else nor did I ever exact revenge on guys who did me wrong. I figured that if someone took the time to hurt me on purpose I'd better stay put and let the universe do its thing.

(I also held back the urge to slash their tires in the middle of the night, as they'd surely die in a car accident or something as a result of my childish fury).

My parents and I eventually moved to the United States and started a new chapter of our lives away from Castro and boiled eggs. I stayed abreast of all the town gossip via telegrams from my grandma and letters that left Cuba in January to reach my hands in May. Johnny married his beloved right after high school and moved to a city close to Havana soon after. Last I heard they had two daughters and a boy on the way they would naturally call Johnny (or Carlos).

I guess some forces in life one really cannot contend with. At the end of it all I couldn't keep those two apart with all the sandwiches in the world.

Johnny and Dumb Dumb ended up with each other.

I ended up with habanero sauce.

True love always finds a way and in my case, it's that of the eternal kind.