Café and Closure

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The first time I met O.D. Churroman was at a Salsa Festival where Willy Chirino was playing.

From the outset, café a lo cubano had been a huge part of our relationship.
After our second date, he demanded I invite him inside and prove my cafecito making skills… or there would be no third date.
In fact, for the longest time I was not allowed to touch his cafetera; he was in charge of the café making at his place.

We had entire conversations about Cuban coffee and, to hear him tell it, he taught me “how to make it better.”
We would send daily pictures of our espuma.
Eventually I graduated to being allowed to make my own cafecito while waiting for him to wake up.

And then he disappeared from my life (just after Labor Day 2011). It took me a long time to recover from being dropped so abruptly, but time heals all wounds and I eventually stopped keeping an eye out for him every time I was in LA. I stopped wondering what I would say if I ever saw him again.

And then there he was.

It was January 10, the night before my brother’s wedding at a Cuban documentary screening. He had to get up and greet me when his cousin, an acquaintance of mine, saw me and came over to say hello. After an awkward hug and exchange about how my dark hair “looked good”, the lights dimmed and the movie was about to start so we all went back to our seats. I didn’t see him after. It felt like a cruel joke from the universe.

And then it was Mother’s Day.
And his birthday.
And I HAD to say something.
So I sent a happy birthday email and appreciated that he wrote back.
I counted it as closure.

And then there he was.
Again.

It was the first time I’ve ever been to the free Cuban Festival in Echo Park because I’m usually in Miami for the weekend closest to 20 de Mayo.

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Since I have dated my fair share of LA Cubans, I usually expect to run into a few exs at these types of events that I’m still friendly with, but I never expected to see HIM.

There was no escaping the moment; we were heading directly for each other.
A polite greeting, a Cuban hug and kiss on the cheek, and the moment was over.

And then he walked by again, “The line for café is ridiculous!”
“I know! ALL the lines are stupid long! Bueno, have fun!”
And he walked away.

And then he walked by AGAIN, “I’m going to try again.”
“Dale! Bring me one, too!”
He stopped. Turned. Called me over to him and asked, “Excuse me? What was it you called me the other day? Joven?”
“Sure! Yes! Joven! Definitely not viejo!”
And he continued on and I wasn’t sure if I was getting café or not… so I waited to see.

And then walked by again.
And he handed me a cafecito.
And he walked away.
And, with that, our story came full circle.

Salud, chico.

3-D Wedding

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My brother is getting married.

My opinion is irrelevant. He is going to do it.

I am choosing to be Switzerland. I am neutral (mostly).

My job is 3-D management:

  1. Date – I need one.
  2. Dress – I need one.
  3. Drinks – I need more than one.

So, my goal for the next few months is to find a dress that I look not terrible in (nobody is supposed to care what I look like anyway, I just can’t look too terrible for the two pictures I need to be in).

I also need a date to this thing. Someone who is fun and distracting. Someone who will keep my cup full and not judge me on any of my behavior that day (so they will need to know me well enough to know how cool I am regardless of how not cool I behave that day).

I will need drinks. Swiss people drink, right? Chocolate won’t cover it.

The wedding is March 23rd so I have some time to work all of this out.

Yes, I joined a dating site.
No, I had no patience for it.
Yes, I have met a couple of interesting people… only one of which I consider an actual viable option.

Naturally, I can accept that whomever I ask to be my date to this wedding could turn in to something more, but that is not the original goal. It would be a happy side effect.

Because I have all these verify specific goals, I think my word for the year is going to be “Intentional”. That is the only way I can see this working.

I’ve been BRAVE, and it was amazing.

Now that I’m BRAVE, I need to be Intentional.

So, let the dating begin!

Enter Stranger

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Halloween night 2010 was Kaima’s going away party.
To say I was a hot mess would not begin to cover how I was feeling.

I remember plenty from that night, including meeting a rather good-looking individual and being struck dumb by the way he said my name. “Kiki. Wow. That’s an interesting name. It’s nice to meet you, Kiki.” Beyond that, I remember him spending the rest of the evening talking to a brunette. Not that it mattered much, Kaima was leaving and my heart was broken.

As I struggled with the pain of losing him and moving on with my life (Enter A Certain Stubborn Bear), I forgot that moment when a stranger said my name.

Exit A Certain Stubborn Bear.

Enter fresh loss. And pain. Enter being BRAVE. Enter being alone. Enter YOLO.

And one day, while serving at church, Enter Stranger.

He said my name again. We might have talked for all of 5 minutes max, but I was again struck.
This time I went hunting for the Stranger on Facebook. To no avail. He was hidden from me and, apparently, lost forever.

Off and on I would remember to look for him at church, but that was more off than on and he again faded into a dim memory.

And then I decided to be Intentional this year.
And I decided to start dating.
And Facebook decided to send me an email, “Do you know these people?”

And there he was: The Stranger.

I thought about it, and finally decided to send him a message. I asked if he wanted to be friends. I mean, who WOULDN’T want to be friends with ME? However, he had never found me on Facebook and, let’s face it, I’m pretty easy to find so I had to check first.

Of course he wanted to be friends (he’s not an idiot).

 

Timbales Practice

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Two weeks ago I was about ready to give up. I wasn’t progressing as quickly as I would have liked (which is code for almost not at all). Granted, I wasn’t practicing nearly as much as I should have either (which is also code for almost not at all). With the help of some friends being driving inspirational motivators, I accepted that quitting was not in me. But something had to change. So I made up a personal challenge: To practice every day for at least 20 minutes. It wasn’t easy. I had to put off my start day because I got super sick, but that only made me more determined. So my first day of my challenge I practiced my timbales while fighting a splitting headache. Water became my best friend. (Hydration is important!)

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(Yes, that is a frog tattoo. Yes, it is real. No, the one on my arm is just a henna tattoo.) My instructor had written out the first minute of a song for me to learn and I am beyond thrilled to announce that, after just 5 days of practicing, I can hold my own with the song! THAT was the kind of progress I was looking for! Hello, my name is Kikita, and I am a bad ass drummer chick! 😉