Sitting outside of the Air and Space Museum, we were surrounded by a boisterous group protesting Obama's use of drones as a means of assassination. Despite the chaos around us, in our eyes, Camila and I were the only two people in the world. She, a Chilean communist leader with light angelic eyes and a round face that combined the cuteness of a three month old baby with the sexiness of an inmate's first nude woman in 26 years.
What attracted her to me, I cannot say. I can only presume. It could have been my leftist beard. It could have been my outrage at all injustice, no matter how slight. It could have been my sense of decency. It could have been my unapologetic bluntness. It could have been a physical attraction. Whatever it was, I was more concerned that it existed than why it existed.
We sat on a bench turned towards each other Her bent left leg on top of my my bent right leg, which was resting on the bench. Her right hand was in my left as a stroked her palm with my middle finger. My right hand continuously brushed her hair out of her face with the sole purpose of stroking her cheek. He left index finger and thumb fiddled with my right earlobe. Our eyes gorged on each other as if coming out of a three-week Gandhian fast.
I didn't dream of the future. I spent too much energy enjoying the present. There was none available to waste on analyzing our relationship. A week and half later, we were sitting across from each other at a restaurant, both seemingly ecstatic to be with the other. The bubbling of something more made its first appearance.
"Camila, you have the most beautiful eyes." Her cheeks grew pink. She titled her head and batted her eyelashes. "David, don't."
I was knocked off balance. 'Don't? Why not?' I thought. The conversation continued at such a pace that silence couldn't get in a word edgewise. We laughed, discussed serious topics, our families, our hopes. Everything seemed to be going wonderfully. At the end of the meal, we hugged passionately, our cheeks kissing each other before our lips took over. We vowed to meet again as soon as possible.
Two days later, I called Camila. No answer. "Hi Camila. I had a wonderful time with you the other night. Let's go out again this week. How about Wednesday? Give me a call when you get a chance." Two days later, I received a text. "Sure. 6:30 good?"
I had spent the previous two days slightly concerned. But all doubts melted away with that text. I could not contain my anticipation. At 4:30 on Wednesday, another text came. "Have to cancel. Sorry." Disappointment filled the gap in my heart where excitement had made its home.
I told myself that it was ok. Don't get too emotional with every interaction. Two days later, I called Camila. No answer. I left another message. Two days later, nothing. I waited a week and called again. No answer. Two days later, nothing. I texted. No response.
What had happened? I was confounded, dumbfounded, and brokenhearted. I thought she liked me. We had good chemistry. We enjoyed each other's company. We had a lot in common. Things seemed to be going well. Why all of the sudden? I didn't get it.
Over the next couple of months, I tried again here and there and either got a rejection or was ignored and finally decided to give up for good. I suppose the combination of not understanding what had happened and my imagination of what could have been forced me to try so much.
Stories tend to have happy endings or at least closure. But life cannot always be packaged neatly into a story. Life poses questions that will never be answered. We must accept that reality, learn what we can from our experiences, and move forward.