Taking a Leap of Faith: My Life After Graduation and the Decision I Made for Love

I had purchased a colorful cotton bedspread, a hammock that hung outside between the awning poles, a blue enamel pot for us to cook on the brick fire, and two matching blue enamel bowls.

Puerto Escondido was a fishing village and a surfing spot, but I did neither. The waves were so daunting that I didn’t even go in the water. Everything made me uneasy. On the beach, some young people were selling roasted iguanas to eat. In the adjacent area to our cabin, two horses grazed, often with huge erections, while I laid in the hammock smoking Mexican cigarettes, trying not to look.

Before I arrived, we had written letters to each other: mine tried to be literary, provocative, and romantic, sent to the general mailing list of the cities he would pass through; his was a travel journal with the dishes he had eaten, the markets he had visited, the people he had met, bird sketches, and a wooden box he was carving. I scrutinized his words hurriedly, hoping for something that would make my heart pound, and I was always disappointed. In one of our scheduled calls from a payphone, he said to me, “I really like your letters, but I can’t speak like that.”

I didn’t speak like that either; I was just trying to get something out of him, some sign that I had captivated him. I was smart, confident, and could come up with a joke on the spot, and I could even consider myself attractive in a Virginia Woolf kind of way, but I didn’t feel dazzling. I needed him to be dazzled.

Because him… wow, it seemed like everyone wanted him. From the moment he stepped foot on campus, it felt like everyone knew who he was. He studied art, had enough talent to get a sculpture studio as a second-year student. He was seen biking around town, sitting upright with his hands on his thighs or gracefully hanging by his sides. No one looked as good on a bike. And how his hair fell over his beautiful face.


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