I met the funniest man in Peru, O. Till this day, I haven’t met anyone as funny as he was. He was lazy and loved to sleep while holding me tightly. O was fascinated by the tight coils in my hair, my bossy nature, how I screamed out Reggaeton hits from the bathroom even though I constantly messed up the lyrics, the way I danced only with swift movements of my waist, and, of course, my seemingly unquenchable libido.
Before we became lovers, he told me about his ex-girlfriend who invited him to her wedding the summer before I arrived in Peru. This man looked me dead in the eyes and asked, “how could she do that?” I laughed so hard in his face I thought he would cry.
You ever laugh with someone and feel a flame of happiness in your chest? That was O’s effect on me. It was comforting.
After we became a temporary couple (I was only going to be in Peru for two more weeks after that), we would have regular dinners with his best friend, A, and his girlfriend: a double date. A was beautiful. Maybe the most attractive man in all of Peru and he knew it.
One day, A picked me up from my part-time gig as a front desk associate at a guest house to take me back to O’s. As we drove past the angry waves hitting the shores of Lima, he looked over at me, flexed his muscles as he tightened his grip on the steering wheel, and said, “I don’t know how you are with O. He can’t handle the woman you are.”
It took everything still pure in me not to betray O’s trust that day. I think I became a woman that afternoon.
My last blog post talked about my grappling with loneliness in China but I must include how seen I felt for two days out of my time there.
There was a boy who held me while I cried and made jokes about heartbreaks. I told him about my home and the boy I loved and he listened. One night, I knocked on his hotel room door, drunk and in need of a companion, and he let me in. He made me a hot bath and watched me fall asleep in the bathtub, surrounded by warm water and his arms.
The next morning, he left China.
I am not writing this blog post to encourage indiscriminate sexual activities. I, more than anyone else I know, is the most careful person you might ever meet but I love recklessly. My hedonist nature pressures me to explore every emotion my heart could possibly muster and obviously, the thrill of being a stranger in a new city adds to the recklessness.
So, to my readers who have decided to travel more: go out and fall in love with people who make your heart sing. And when you leave each city, leave your love behind. Do not try to extend your romance lest it all turns sour. Instead, leave each city or village with a story your grandchildren will write down in their journals before they go to bed.
I know I will never see O again. He came to New York a few months ago but I made sure to be “busy”. He made me happy in Peru and taught me loyalty but that is all we could ever be: a love story in the time of wanderlust.
And I have no regrets.