Sunday, July 15, 2012

The Te Amo Bomb

My vacation was over, the holidays were over, my birthday was over and a long, dark, cold winter was in full-swing. The January-February slump is never an easy one but this one was proving particularly difficult. I was constantly restless and unsatisfied. I blamed Canada, it was too boring, too rule-bound, too uptight, too cold...too white. I decided I needed to go live abroad again. After scouring the internet for jobs, volunteer positions, aid missions to Cuba and coming up with nothing, I resigned myself to the fact that I wouldn't be moving to Cuba. This did not slow me down though. I looked further afield to Latin and South America. I considered Costa Rica, Ecuador, Peru, Argentina. I joined and started chatting with Spanish men and women from all over the South. I felt that if I took my feelings for Cuba and my feelings for him and spread them around to new countries and new people, I'd soften them somehow, keep the passion but lose the pain.

Despite the fact that I had about 100 new Spanish pen-pals and was taking weekly Spanish lessons, with a couple other newly-converted Cubaphiles I'd met at the resort, language acquisition was moving at a snail's pace. And my attachment to Juan was not weakening. With each new lesson, I'd send him an email or a text, testing out my latest turns of phrase in the style of The One Semester of Spanish Spanish Love Song...

Though my skills were limited he seemed to appreciate my attempts and always told me how impressed he was. He even started writing bits and pieces of his emails to me in Spanish (which with the help of translation software I understood). He signed off one of these messages with Te Amo. It slipped past me at first. I was still on greetings in Spanish class. But after I'd already written back it hit me...I LOVE YOU!

I wrote back again, a rambling message about how I'd been hurt too many times to trust and love quickly. How I'd given my whole heart to my last boyfriend only to discover he was already harbouring a girlfriend of 6 years in Montreal. How my relationship before that had also ended due to the discovery of cheating. How I now felt that people who jumped too quickly into love jumped out of it (or into other, simultaneous, loves) just as quickly. How I liked him but didn't know where this was going or if it could go anywhere. How I understood that resort life was different than my life, that lovers and relationships came and went quickly, that it didn't necessarily mean anything. How I wanted to keep going but I wanted to go slow. How the word love made me question his sincerity. How I wanted us to really know each other before we jumped in to saying things we couldn't take back. I ran it through Google Translate to get my point across in Spanish too. I hit send.

He was having none of my overthinking nonsense and replied simply, 'Don't worry, honey. I am waiting for you. I ---- you so much!'

I felt a wall crumble as I wrote back, 'I ---- you too!'


  1. It's so funny...cause it's SO true!!

  2. I want to learn this song by heart and serenade A!

    1. We should start a band...and only sing this song over and over