Wednesday, February 21, 2007
NEW YORK CITY COMICON
Back From Hell
I told you that I was going away, I just didn't anticipate to be out for this long. Look at all these comments, it's ridiculous! I neglected this blog big-time, I have treated her like an ugly girlfriend, shame on me!
Truth is I missed this blog soooo fuckin' much, it's pathetic already. Well, what did you expect? this is my only refuge from the evils of the outside world.
The Trouble with Mariela
Treating my blog, my friends and loved ones like shit is nothing new to me, been doing it for years! When I was young I did the same thing to Mariela. This was a girl I met while walking one day with my friends on an empty street, exactly a long time ago to this day, in fact, yesterday was the anniversary of our first meeting. "Bullshit! What do you mean exactly ?, How can you be so precise?"
Well, yeah, exactly that's what I meant to say. I'm pretty sure because it happened on Mardi Gras, OK!
We were walking around and having fun in the middle of the road on Tuesday afternoon, the last day of the carnival.
I was a shy boy then, no more than 15, my eyelashes were the longest and curliest, even for women's standards—I don't know what happened to them, at this point they're barely noticeable— but don't let me get off topic, I'll tell you more about my eyelashes and the role they played in this story, later.
My friends dared me to "release the hounds" sort of speak, on this group of 4 girls walking opposite us, half a city block away to be accurate. It was a scene reminiscent of a civil war battle; Kurosawa and Tarantino come to mind, picture, if you will, two groups of warriors in perfect horizontal formation, heading straight at each other, bound to meet in brutal, bloody, one-on-one combat.
Not unlike a field general, I broke formation and left the troops behind. if I had a horse, it would have been spewing white foam from the corners of its mouth and exhaling thick white smoke through its nostrils; actually, I was foaming at the mouth, myself —for different reasons of course— but I digress. I was determined and steadfast in my pursuit, zeroing in on the cutest of the bunch—this is not to say that the others were ugly— but Mariela was a great looking girl, dark and tall with a long, straight indian mane, thin strands of dark but shiny brown hair flowing freely in slo-mo, slashing the stale wind, left and right, like the girls on those herbal shampoo commercials, where everything around them is standing still —'cept for the dancin' hair—
She looked like Pocahontas, a cute Pocahontas that is, her nose was fine and curved like an eagle's beak. You would think that such a feature would make her look manly and unappealing but you would be fuckin' wrong because on her, that nose shone like the hood ornament on a '51 Pontiac. Nothing but class!
I was out to prove my friends wrong, my manhood was at stake, my good name questioned. True, I wasn't much of a ladies man then, I'm still not but it doesn't matter now, I'm married. It did matter then, however, very much so. You would have to get deep inside the brain of a horny-male-teenager to fully comprehend the importance of this ritual, this moment frozen in time and buried in hormonal sand. It was a question of pride (and peer pressure).
The group of 4 beauties, who were holding hands and giggling like school girls —that was because they were school girls— saw me heading towards them and disbanded, as to let me pass through, as I got closer to them I slowed down the pace, turned around and grabbed Mariela's hand and the hand of her cousin, a gutsy call which could have resulted in facial realignment, something I believed they found either cute or so daring and stupid that it was funny-cute.
Mariela looked into my eyes and said: "Why, You have the longest and curliest eyelashes, I've ever seen on a boy!", I replied: "I am not a boy". . ."I am a boy and a half", she smiled, victory was mine! —and apparently so was Mariela— This was a line I heard Alex (Michael J. Fox) say years later in an episode of the show "Family Ties". Now, I'm not suggesting they stole it from me, but isn't it obvious? They did change the word boy to man but c'mon!
Damn it! I should have followed my instincts and copyrighted that phrase! Fuck!, double fuck!, fuck again . . . and again!
Sorry about that outburst, now back to our story already in progress: Everything happened so fast, my friends were in disbelief, that disbelief turned to joy once they reached the group of girls. See, I had already broken the ice and the girls were now receptive to my idiot friends' advances, who wasted no time in getting acquainted with their prey. As for me, I pulled Mariela by the hand and ushered her away from her cousins, lagging 50 feet or so behind the main group, where I was positive romance was to blossom uninterrupted.
Mariela became very fond of me, and I really liked her and her nose but I missed my old girlfriend, so I was never fully inmersed in her pool of charms, which was at least 8 feet deep. I kissed her on the same night we met —quite a feat, given the nature of the folks in that small town— none of my friends scored that evening so after disappearing with Mariela into the warm night I returned to a hero's welcome, someone even gave me a high-five if memory serves me well. We dated for about a month and a half, I took her to the movies the week after our first encounter and we nearly went "all the way" if you know what I mean. If baseball would have 6 bases instead of 5, I would have safely slidden head-first into forth (ain't sports analogies great?). She was the craziest kisser I had know in my entire life, she did things with her tongue that would make a shy kid like me run and tell the police but I liked it, so I didn't.
We didn't see each other for a while, although we did talk over the phone on a couple of occasions. I decided to stop seeing her because I had heard from a friend that my old girlfriend wanted us to get back together.
Mariela and I stopped talking for about three weeks since the last time we met, mainly because I never called her, she never called me either so I assumed that she also wanted out of our romantic escapade but I was wrong.
I was now back with my old gf and right at this point things got stupid. Mariela called the house one day and I picked up the phone, she was quick and to the point, she said right off the bat: "I just wanted to know why you haven't called me and stuff", I said "I thought you wanted to see other people and stuff, you never called me either", and then she said: "I don't want to see other people, I love you, I've been waiting for you to call me and stuff" that freaked me out, but I was quick on my feet: "But we rarely see each other anymore and stuff, how can love grow under such adverse conditions?", I thought I had cleared the puck away from the red zone but she answered my question with another question, that's when I knew I was in deep shit: "Am I your girlfriend?. . . and stuff?" There was a long awkward silence . . . . . . I grabbed the ball in mid air and rebounded like LeBron James swinging my elbows from side to side: "I like you a lot, but I am positively not ready for a steady girlfriend and stuff, I can barely wipe my own arse". . . Well, of course I lied, I still couldn't wipe my own arse but I was definitely ready for stuff only not for another official girlfriend, that seemed like way too much work. I got off the phone claiming my aunt needed help with her hair dryer. "Phew! close one" I thought, but I was wrong again, naturally.
I avoided Mariela's phone calls like anchovies on a scicilian slice of pizza. She became more and more agitated and eventually the unthinkable took place. I had noticed that every time she called, my cousin Thomas picked up the phone —Thomas was a certified asshole— him and I were both 15 and our voices were pretty similar over the phone. Mariela always got our voices mixed up, she would call and say things like: "I know it's you, Danny, why do you keep saying you're Thomas?" and my cousin had to go to great lengths to convince her that it was truly him and not me pretending to be him. I refused to pick up the phone and instructed my cousin to deal with Mariela.
This situation went on for a while, until Thomas grew tired of me using him to screen my calls and making excuses for my not coming to the phone. All of this, despite my tireless efforts to raise the amount of the bribes I was paying him.
One fine day he took it upon himself to break up with Mariela on my behalf. He kept telling me he was going to do it and I didn't believe him, secretly, I wanted him to do it, but when it actually happened I felt horrible —but relieved— It wasn't pretty, she was convinced she was talking to me all along, she cried like Mary Magdalene on the phone, begging him (me) for an explanation and asking him (me) to take her back but he was ruthless.
She never did call back after that episode. We saw each other in passing a few times in a span of 3 years or so and things seemed to be cool between us.
I met Mariela several years later at a party, I was already living in New York and was in town on vacation, she had a boyfriend and had moved on to bigger and better things. We chatted amiably for a while and after the party ended, our group decided to continue drinking and Mariela came with us, we drove to a liquor store and picked up 2 bottles of Stolichnaya, which we proceeded to consume at Marco's house. She got drunk silly and started crying and telling me how much of an asshole I was back then and that if I knew how much she loved me I would have never done what I did to her, she passed out but not before vomiting all over Marco's brand new VW as we drove her home. That was the last I saw of her and her fine nose.
Secret Project/Xmas Presents
I've been working on a secret project. So secret, I don't even know what it is! Go ahead and laugh, but it's true! Let me tell you something, man, when you work on a secret project that no one can't tell you squat about, you feel like you're working for the CIA or the FBI or the TGIF, or even the BB King. I wish I can tell you what this is about, but I can't, 'cause I don't know.
What I can tell you about is my Xmas presents, Check it:
My friend Kasra sent me this gorgeous book called Latin American Drawings Today
Here are some drawings from the book:
Claudio Bravo (Chile)
Jorge Alvaro (Argentina)
Enrique Grau (Colombia)
Jorge Damiani (Uruguay)
Ramón Alejandro (Cuba)
The lovely and super talented Maria Loor gave me this: Latin American Graphic Design and a bunch of amazing postcards designed by Maria herself.
Btw: Kasra and Maria don't know each other, the 'Latin American' books thing is strictly coincidental.
El Gallo Rojo went above and beyond Xmas, this is what he sent me:
Thank You, fine people!
New York Comicon
This coming weekend: February 23rd to the 25th, My best buddy in the whole world Stephen Silver and this humble servidor will be at booth 939 at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in my hometown of NYC, next to us we'll have Bobby Chiu and Kei Acedera from Imaginism Studios in Toronto. Stop by and say whazzup if you dare.