Memories Cast Over A Perfect Sunset

   
 
What’s in the perfection of a sunrise? Is it the majestic nature of the light rising over the horizon? Is it the promise of a new day promising new opportunities and new chances at redemption? I suppose for me it’s all those things but one thing specifically. The perfection of the sunrise serves to remind me of the perfection that is the woman I’m sharing that sunrise with. 

I wish I could say my last night in San Juan was this epic Hangover type of night where I dragged myself into the airport with red eyes and no luggage. Actually, I don’t wish I could say that at all. My last night was spent eating a dinner on the balcony, sharing a bottle of wine and going to sleep at about 10pm. Waking up at 3am to go for a stroll on the beach holding the hand of a woman I’ve come to realize I want to take a hundred of these trips with. Because she was working 90% of the time this morning in the pre-dawn hours was the only time I got to hold her hand on the beach and it capped off a magnificent week filled with travel tales, great food, cobble stone roads and an ocean that told me to keep believing that my dreams will come true. 

There’s no place like home. Texas Forever is in my heart but that doesn’t mean that there can’t be room for new places in my heart. New memories to be shared and cultivated that add not only to the man I am but to the man I drive to be. 

In my hotel there was a butler that was born in San Juan but moved to Philadelphia when he was just several months old. He was going to move to Victoria, Tx but couldn’t find a job so him and his wife settled on Puerto Rico. He told me, “We don’t have a lot but we live good. We have a stove, money to buy the things we need and a view of the ocean whenever we like. We even have a mattress; the temperpedic kind off the commercials.” Seeing his excitement about luxuries I take for granted every day made me smile. 

I’m sure I’ll take dozens of other trips in my life but San Juan will always be in my head because it was the first time I took one with her. It was the first time I let myself be free from the shackles of comfort. 

~ Demez F. White

4am Thoughts From San Juan

My First Night In San Juan
  
  

Coming from a city like Houston, Tx I’m used to noise. I live by a railroad track, the dogs barking, police sirens. Noise stops becoming noise and simply becomes a part of everyday life. Noise will never be the same to me though. I can’t sleep so I’m sitting on the 7th floor of my hotel balcony listening to the Atlantic Ocean crash against the shores. 

I ate dinner tonight at this restaurant right off the beach. I was literally the only person on the patio. The only person at the restaurant. Twenty feet away from me the waves crashed over a bunch of rocks. I thought to myself, “How do people get used to such beauty.” I had a meal of stuffed plantains with shrimp and beans and rice. I noticed two things quickly. Every meal comes with beans and rice and bananas and vegetables. 

After dinner tonight I changed and just walked for almost an hour. Careful not to get lost and taking my watch off and putting it in my pocket I wanted to just feel the city. There are no stray dogs though almost every other person I saw walking has one. Iguanas that are maybe 4-6 feet long walk around as though they don’t have a worry in the world. The bars are beautiful, almost all of them have some sort of view of the ocean. 

I’m 32 and I’ve never ridden public transportation. But paying 20 dollars every time I hop in a cab isn’t the most cost efficient way of traveling so tomorrow I’m hoping on a bus to Old San Juan. Sitting on this beautiful beach or by the perfect pool drinking mojito’s all day is appealing but culture and adventure await me! I feel like a child on Christmas Eve. Castles and Forts on the beach, 800 year old museums. I guess it would be cool to downplay my excitement but why front? 

I’ve never flew standby before so this morning I felt like I was waiting on a lottery as I watched the woman at the airport counter to see if she would call my name. It was the scariest feeling ever not having any control. And then rushing through the airport in Miami getting to my connecting flight with 2 minutes left. Sitting on the plane next to a black man from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania that has lived in Puerto Rico for 20 years. Talking his ear off, asking question after question. 

I’m not in my comfort zone and earlier that bothered me. But as the day has worn on I’ve found myself embracing it. My girlfriend is here working so our time together will be spent to evenings and maybe a lunch or waterfall if we can fit it in. I’m proud of her so it doesn’t bother me. What would bother me is if I didn’t challenge myself to do these amazing things on my on! 

Anyway. Today is only the first day and I’m already running my mouth. I have two more nights to chat with you all from my balcony in San Juan. 

5 Relationship Goals for the 21st Century Man 

  

  Relationship Goals 
1. It’s okay to be silly. Laughing at her if she thinks she’s cute and had lipstick on her teeth. Laughing at yourself if you are trying to be stern but your pants are unzipped. Never take yourself too seriously. If you can’t have fun with the one you love; who can you have fun with?

2. Traveling is to relationships what oil changes are to cars. I don’t care if it’s a bed and breakfast an hour away from where you live or a 5 star hotel over looking Amsterdam in the Fall. You have to call her, ask her if she’s free this weekend and just take a trip. Anywhere. Role play. Have her meet you in the lobby and give her a different name, let her be creative, imaginative. Overlooking a foreign city on a balcony in hotel robes is life. 

3. Find ways to work together. It could be either one of your passions but find a way to help each other build on a legacy. It’ll be hard at first, you’ll both feel like you’re right. She’ll be passionate, you’ll be calm. You’ll get angry, she’ll laugh. But once it all comes together you’ll have created something you love with someone you love. 

4. Overdress for no reason at all. I mean get gala fancy in the middle of July to go to a reverse happy hour. Everyone at the restaurant is going to think you’re coming from somewhere special but you know what? It doesn’t even matter what they think. Maybe you don’t have money for a 5 star restaurant or a 200 dollar a plate dinner. Let her put in a gown, you put on your best suit and eat hotwings and mozzarella sticks and slow dance in a parking lot with the radio being the DJ. 

5. Don’t let arguments go to waste. If you’re going to fight, argue, make sure it’s worth it. Don’t go to bed angry over foolishness. Don’t not hold her or kiss her over pride. We’re all only guaranteed so many days and nights with the person that makes our hearts skip a beat. Don’t waste those moments.