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136# Moon of my life

Updated: Mar 9, 2021

I saw her today at the reception,

A glass of wine in her hand.

I know she would meet her connection,

At her feet was a foot-loose man...

Cramped taverns are the gems of Las Palmas. I sat on the corner, ordered a glass of red, and opened my book by the light of the candle. Nervous, I read the same paragraph four times while frenetically scanning the door. The last time I saw her was after a cold, resentful argument in Mexico. I still could not believe it. Ten months later, Alicja apologized.

She arrived. We hugged and did the usual small talk one has after a fight. She was funny, smart, and annoyingly gorgeous. Alicja had recently moved into a large rooftop apartment and was delighted by it. I looked at her while she talked, drinking her words with my eyes. The Moon of my life.

After the tavern, she wanted to show me her new apartment. We walked to her place, poured another drink, and set up in her terrasse. Conversations got deeper. I told her how appreciative I was of her apology. She smiled and dropped her eyes, still surprised by her own maturity. Wrapped in her embarrassment, she was cuter than a wobbly puppy. As I leaned in to kiss her, she stopped me and said, “I’m seeing someone”.

The blow hurt like a punch in the gut, the kind that leaves you gasping in a fetal position. The guy she was seeing was like me in every aspect, but better. He was a doctor and could offer something I could not: stability. We called him Dr Raz. I left her place, dizzy and sad, to wash off my feelings on the beach. Mick Jagger was singing in the back of my head. You can’t always get what you want. ♪

She-who-cannot-be-named and now this. My dad spoke the truth about my straying career, and all my goodwill and efforts were desperately pointless. Tipsy and morose, I texted Alicja that I'd rather not see her again. She called me childish and said it was a shame. She was right, but I was in pieces. After a long lonely walk, I started a therapy.

Between therapy and work, I found time to go surfing with friends. On a crowded session, I crashed into another surfer and hurt myself. I was sharing surf injuries when my friend repeated the words of a Hawaiian old-timer, “Pain is part of the deal. If you can't accept that, don’t surf”.

His words resonated. They applied to all walks of life. I had made choices that led where I was: broke, broken, and bitter. I could bury my head in the sand or take responsibility for my actions. My dad was right. I had to dig my well now; I was already thirsty. I swallowed my pride and borrowed money to last for a few weeks until I sold the van. It was painful but also the only choice. Twenty-six months later, La Chichona Life was over.

Acceptance gave me courage. I had a few days left in Las Palmas and chose to enjoy every hour with the people I cared for. On a moment of clarity, I texted Alicja, “You were right. I changed my mind. Let’s hang out.”

We had several dates and they were all wonderful. Before my flight, we went for one last drink by the beach. As we hugged each other goodbye, Alicja had tears in her eyes. “Don’t be so dramatic, I’m sure you’ll be happy with Dr Raz”, I said laughing. Her lips were shaking. She mumbled, “He doesn’t love me…but you do.” We left it at that. Goodbye Moon of my life.

I waited for my plane in the empty terminal of Las Palmas airport. I was eating my sandwich diner when the song Let her go from the Passengers played next on the playlist. The lyrics cut deep. I kept it together until the chorus, then I started crying. Tangled in sobs, snots, and mayonnaise, I remembered James Franco's swing scene and laughed at the pathetic picture. A sour and salty laugh, but a laugh nonetheless.

You can’t always get what you want.

You can’t always get what you want.

You can’t always get what you want.

But if you try sometimes, you just might find…

You get what you need ♩

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