Sunday, October 03, 2004

running into old "friends"

The other day, I ran into an old "friend'. Well, we were friends for a bit and we hung out a lot for a few months in college and I got really "into" him, but he didn't feel the same way, so I had to walk away, a bit embarassed for having "exposed" myself emotionally to him. That's the background on that. Anyway, I ran into him maybe 9 years ago, and I really couldn't talk to him then, though I was polite and walked away as quickly as I could. But now was different.

He recognized me and stopped me. My mind suddenly swirling through databanks trying to figure out who he was, but I knew who he was. His hair was shaggy, was picking up a few tickets to a concert. We chatted. I asked him how he was, what he was up to, how his family was, and he asked me the same.

11 years ago, I had barely picked up a kali stick, had just gotten involved in maganda and poetry performance, didn't even declare a major, still drove the mustang. He was a couple of years older than me, a geography major, drove a noisy clunky jeep, and was in a band with his cousin. I don't remember what we ever talked about, but he must have been interesting for me to be so interested.

Though I've had only a handful of declared "boyfriends," I had often fantasized about my "guy" friends, wondering what would it be like if we became more than friends, and from there if we spent the rest of our lives together, where would we go in our lives. Who would we be today 11 years later? And like most of them, there was never really an opportunity to go beyond "friends," but it was fun to fantasize.

I told him how I teach kali now, still do poetry performances, get published now and then, and am getting married next year to someone I've been with for 7 years. And as I told him all this about my life, I realized that if we had chosen a path together, my story would have changed completely. This would not have been our life together. Maybe I'd be a saxophone player in a band with him or composing music. Maybe not even teaching kali. who knows, maybe.

In any case, I realized that to those I love and to those that allow me to love them, I give the world. I realized that what I love to do for the people I love, is help them make their dreams come true, to allow them to achieve the happiness they deserve. And yet you wonder, aren't I doing the things I love? teaching kali, writing/performing poetry? What of my dreams?

Ah, and there's the kicker. Standing on a street corner in Berkeley, speaking to a man from my past about my present, I realized that the one who loves me and the one who I've allowed to love me, does the same exact thing, he gives me the world.

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