December 10, 2015

I woke up early, feeling stressed. I didn’t shower this morning. I had plenty of time, but just didn’t feel like it. I did everything else and really just wanted to get to my car so I could have my cigarette. I had my cigarette and I wanted another, but I didn’t have time for two.

I saw Diego only a minute before the train showed up. We sat together. Usually he gives me a granola bar or something. Today he gave me a scratch-off ticket. It was a $5 one. I didn’t win, but felt pleased that he would pick one up for me. It meant he was thinking of me. He won $30 on his ticket. It was amazing, just spending time with him seemed to disperse the stress fog that surrounded me. When we said goodbye, I felt happy, almost normal. Then I thought about that last statement. When did happy become normal for me?

I walked to work with a smile on my face and a spring in my step. It didn’t last long. When I got there, I had even more work dumped on me. I felt overwhelmed right away. The Kindergarten teachers requested a specific project because they wanted their students to wear antlers in their winter concert and they didn’t want to deal with making them with the kids themselves. That meant a lot more work for me. Then I got an email from my boss adding even more onto the pile. Then two of my classes were extremely difficult today. I found out later that one of the teachers had given them soda and candy not long before my classes. I actually yelled at one of the classes. Twice. For their blatant disrespect. I stayed late, but only managed to complete the tasks given to me today. I felt like I was running as fast as I could just to stay in the same place.

I got a text from Diego informing me he would be on the train before mine. I was disappointed. I wasn’t sure if it was because of that or the stress or the gigantic to-do list, but I was close to tears. I wanted, I needed a cigarette to calm my emotions. But I couldn’t. I almost wished I didn’t say I would be driving Diego home. I wanted one and I wanted it as soon as I had access to it. I didn’t care what Diego said.

Diego again stayed in my car for over an hour talking with me. His presence made the stress melt away. He told me more about his history in his home country. He was a business owner there. However, because he had money and so few others did, he was routinely threatened by a group of people, akin to a gang or the mafia. If he didn’t constantly give them money, they would kill him or his family. I now understood why he would move away from them to another country, illegally, at first. He did so to keep his family safe. It was an amazing sacrifice.

Diego also talked about why so many American women wanted Hispanic boyfriends (I didn’t realize so many did, but I let him talk). He talked about how American men would, after a long day, sit in front of the television set and not want anything to do with their woman because of their long day. What he said certainly resonated with me. I had been in several relationships where the sex petered out after awhile. The guy would spend his time in front of the television set, the gaming console, the computer screen, not wanting to be bothered with me and my wants. I always thought that it had something to do with me because it was a distinct pattern in my life. Diego continued to state that Hispanic men weren’t like that, that they wanted sex even if they were tired. When I joked about him spending the night with me, he said no because he knew he wouldn’t be able to just sleep with me beside him. He had never lived with a woman that he had dated, and I now understood why. I did need my sleep, but I wondered where the happy medium was between a guy who always wanted sex at the expense of sleep and the “American guys” who lost interest and never wanted it. It also made me feel better about my failed relationships. Maybe it wasn’t just my fault.

I also asked why he wanted me and not a Hispanic woman. He touched my hair and said he liked blond hair. He even said that I didn’t dye it. I told him I didn’t need to. We talked about hair dying and how some Hispanic women (and many others) dyed their hair blond. He also said his mother dyed hers to hide the grey. We talked about how we both looked young. Even though we’re both in our late 30s, neither of us has any grey hair. He has some smile lines at the corners of his eyes and mouth and I have a few lines across my forehead, but neither of us has the more pronounced lines that many people our age have.

Finally, I had to go to the bathroom so badly, I kicked him out of my car so I could drive home. It seemed odd that he never invited me in. I know he just rents a room and that it’s small, but why not let me at least use the bathroom? I got home with just enough time to eat a fast food meal and go to sleep.

Today I gave up my belief that only a cigarette could calm me down. Though I was a little afraid to rely on Diego to be the one to do it.

Today I’m grateful for the fact that I didn’t say anything I was going to regret to that class, for a week that is almost over, and to Diego for helping me melt my stress away.

I gave Diego a ride from the train station.

I spent 20 minutes in nature today.

I spent $5.75 on parking and $7 on food today.

I slept for about 7 hours last night.

I did not meditate today.

I exercised for 20 minutes today.

I did not follow my diet today.

I did not straighten or clean today.

I was not showered and I did not brush my teeth today.

My mood was all stressed with a brief interval of happiness. My temperament with my students could have been better.


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