In an instant, without warning, a feeling of unrelenting suffocation drops in the pit of my stomach. An intense twisting and turning, swirling like a category five hurricane. My breath shortened, gasping, looking for a means of escaping this internal agony. My head aching, pounding, pulsing like an underground rave of unwanted thoughts. To what extent do I deserve this punishment? You may question my morals or ethics, a man deserving of such conditions. It is I who has self-inflicted these wounds. It is I who chooses to not deny these feelings, but in contrast, I welcome this pain, as it is a pain of love.
I pondered my day as a dull pedestrian, a feeling of benign existence. Reacting to life, but not feeling it, like a sort of dark matter surrounding me, dictating my path but engaging very weakly. Trying to find warmth again, trying to find any sort of substance that can nourish my appetite for fulfillment. Existing in the world but never really living in it.
It is this pain that makes me feel alive again, it is this pain that gives me hope. It is this pain that breaks the chains that have held my joy.
Across the Atlantic waters, 10,000 kilometers away, lies the birth of my suffering. A distance seemingly alien, a distance that has sunken my hopes before. Waters that erode away any resemblance of my last true moments of stupid blissful love, evaporating into the ether as the cycles of nature do. Ever so often to catch glimpses, echoes of a lost connection, in faith to capture the untenable. Thinking of her, thinking of what it was, thinking of what it could’ve been…
Munich winds feel like hot glass peppering my frozen cheeks. A cold this Guatemalan boy from LA is not welcoming too. But I brace, not showing any weakness, must march forward. The ground with a thin layer of old European wetness, cute storefronts with ancient-looking store keeps. A charming site but my shivering bones not allowing me to embrace it. We cross the heavily trafficked street of Prinzregentenstraße, (couldn’t pay me to pronounce it), to an orange and tan-colored bakery. Very busy, as the morning clock ticks for those heading to the office. All I want is some damn coffee for the heavy jetlag. Behind the window plate, across the choco croissants, and Apfelkrapfen(apple fritter) I see this chocolate sponge-looking thing with beautiful black spots like a diabetic leopard. It was a chocolate marble cake. I guess I had to try it.
Oh my... Oh my indeed. This union of yeast and chocolate is a perfect combination of tempered chocolate with a center of sugary swirls of lightness. A coffee not too exciting, but adding to my experience nonetheless. Time becomes more and more irrelevant. The juxtaposition of a grey West Germany cold front with that of a warm, bright slice of layered goodness. This was heaven, and across from me was the woman I came to visit. Covered in an alpaca green, sleeping bag looking jacket with a Devo red beanie. Smiling, talking about god knows what. Words weren’t important, but rather a feeling I had not yet experienced. Who knew that this moment of a seemingly uneventful breakfast was the moment I fell in love. A moment that I replay in my mind. A moment that those waters of the Atlantic have not sunken. It was a perfect balance of harmonic rhythm and taste.
Love is a fucked-up verb. It cannot be described, only felt. You cannot draw it, you cannot smell it, all you can do is let it thrash you around like a hungry bear before the winter. What is left is a mangled body of whimpers and tired eyeballs. But if you survive it, what emerges is the meaning of life itself. To connect, to feel, to try, to create moments and memories. It is these memories that paint the picture of our lives. Things will come and go, possessions are merely the garnish, the real meat and potatoes are the moments in time we create. The game is not to have the most points, the game is to have fun playing with the people we love.
As I navigate the rest of my life, looking across cafés and bakeries, trying to find the same chocolate marble cake, I fear that I will not find it after all. Maybe the cake wasn’t so great, maybe my mind made it so, in order to put me in a position to fall in love. My taste buds were in a stare of ignorant bliss. Sometimes in life, we are given glimpses, slices of a storybook romance, and we try to hold on to these. Trying to forget them because they could never become true again. I’ve tried to erode these, tried to push forward because they bring pain when I reminisce. For years I pushed this beautiful moment out of my existence, but I have come to a recent realization that I must embrace it.
In order for me to truly live and not exist, I must feel again. This numb state of emotional purgatory must stop. I was happy, I was in love. As agitating as it maybe be, I would rather trade my bland existence for a painful, teary-eyed, schoolgirl hysterical, ice cream eating, John Hughes watching genuine life! This is the only way I could taste that chocolate Marmakutchen again. The only way I can sense things again, for a life to be driven you must be willing to accept that you will crash sometimes.
Brace for the adventure.
Brace for the danger.
Brace for the failure.
Brace for the pain.
In order to find life, accept all and be bold!
Or die in quiet desperation.