After I met Ruben that first time, I talked about how awesome the library poetry read was and how I was so lucky to have gotten out of almost all of my classes to go to it. I also told everyone how cool Ruben was and showed them where he had signed my notebook, and said that he was the best poet that had come to visit our library. I was simply gushing about him. But, because I was barely 15, young and in a hurry, I soon forgot all about him and focused on what was going on in my own life. Nevertheless, I did name him my new hero. Meeting him that day changed me more than I would’ve admitted at the time. I immediately gave up on readability of my poetry and let go of what inhibitions held me back. I stopped writing the four-line stanza poetry with the abab rhyme scheme and the obvious line structure, giving it up as bullshit. I stopped writing like I was a goddamn twelve year old with serious depression problems. I let go and began writing more for myself than the rest of the world, and I gave up my opinions of what I thought poetry was supposed to be like. After meeting Ruben, I truly understood what it meant for poetry to not always rhyme. It had a different definition to me.
In fact, here’s a poem from when I was 15, before I met Ruben. Please, bear with me, I know it probably sucks. Trust me, I know:
You Don’t Even Know
I stand here in the light of a lamp
Searching for you on the paper
You were talking to your girlfriend
You promised to call back later
But should it even matter?
Because you don’t love me the same
I’m fifteen and you’re nineteen
You just help ease the pain
You don’t know who you are in my eyes
Which, I’ve noticed yours are blue
You don’t understand how much you mean
You don’t see yourself as I see you
When we are talking on the phone
I let my true feelings show
But I feel invisible to you
Cause you don’t even know
Now, take a good look at it. Absorb it. Give yourself a minute if you must. Don’t feel bad if you’re telling yourself how ridiculous it sounds right now that you’re reading it because, trust me, I know, I’ve not only read it, but I’ve looked at it and wondered how the hell I actually ever thought I was good at writing. It’s not my worst though; it’s just a piece of what I could call my worst. And this isn’t me bashing my 15 year old self, this is me trying to get the reader to understand the difference between me then and me now. I had very specific beliefs of what poetry was supposed to be like, and I never wandered outside of that little shell I called my poetry. All of it had this exact line scheme, rhyme scheme, probably sounded quite the same too. But I’m not going to post a copy of one of my more recent poem from after I knew Ruben until much later into this blog. I just wanted to give you a good idea of what kind of girl you’re reading about. This is me at this particular point in my life. I’m acknowledging that fact and I’m staring it in the face and I’m saying “Wow, we have a hell of a long way to go.”
By the way, in case anybody is wondering, that poem isn’t about Ruben. I wrote it quite a bit before I met him, probably even just a week before I meant him to be perfectly honest with you. I wrote it about one of my close friends who I thought I was in love with at one point. I even called him drunk once telling him this to which he replied “I’m 19, I have a girlfriend, and I live on the other side of the country (I used to live in a small, northern town before I moved down south. I’m not going to tell you where it was though; just that he addressed this when I would not). It would obviously never work between us.” He said some other things too like that he never saw me as anything more than a little sister, and other things that I’ve forgotten because it was so long ago and I wasn’t exactly in the right mind when we had this conversation but I digress. This blog isn’t about him. Moving on…
So, that poem is an example of how I used to write. And judging by the way I wrote it, you can obviously tell a lot about what type of person I was at that time. But, like I said, though meeting Ruben that first time was amazing and I still remember it like it was yesterday, it soon escaped my memory, and my focus moved to other things that would impact me that summer.
Yes, the summer came. After all, it was already April when I met Ruben. I vacationed at my cousin’s house, begged to be allowed to live with them, and was dragged home kicking and screaming. Ha-ha. Obviously not end of story. There’s much more to this than that. After all, this was a significant summer in my life. I lost my virginity that summer. I also fell in love with a very attractive boy living in Mexico, a friend of my cousin’s. To be perfectly honest, I still have a few old pictures of him and myself together somewhere in a box at my mother’s house. I don’t plan on throwing them out; I find that there are some memories you should keep with you. He would be my main focus upon my return home, and again toward the end of July this year upon my knowledge of his death, one of the many inconveniences of living south of the border.
Once again, I digress. Though this blog is about the things that happened between me and this poet, I want to give my readers a good idea of who I am, who I was during the time that all of these things happened in my life. It wouldn’t be fair of me to only tell you the side of my story that doesn’t include things being a little fucked up on my side alone. I was pretty dysfunctional by myself. I won’t deny that. There are things about both myself and Ruben that I feel will be necessary in telling this story fairly.
So I returned in August for school when my mother sent for me, and it would be in September when I would see Ruben again. I had changed that summer as I believe one changes every summer. Many instances of one’s life change them as a person if even only the slightest, unrecognizable bit. I would be much different when I saw Ruben again…