Fernando and I moved to downtown Davis in 2008 with plans of reclaiming the impulsive ways of our youth and landing 19-year-old Asian university-student girlfriends.
When our lease ended six months later, we were both in long-term relationships with more appropriately aged, mature women.
Here’s how our plan went array.
Our apartment was just two blocks from the university campus. Having spent the previous year spinning our wheels socially and doing nothing but work (me) and finish school (Fernando), we had big plans. We hit the social scene hard upon arrival, meeting our young neighbors and staying out late on Tuesday nights, suffering for it on Wednesday mornings. It was exhausting, but satisfying in its own way.
We had knocked the dust off our social lives, and that was the purpose of our move: Interaction with people, especially females.
About two months into our lease, I decided to throw a party on St. Patrick’s Day weekend, to which I invited a handful of friends from college. Bianca got in touch with one of them and invited herself on the trip. We’d spoken off and on for the previous six months: She came (late) to one of my band’s shows, I visited her on a road trip to southern California, we chatted online a bit, etc. I think she might have been subconsciously laying relationship-esque groundwork, sniping me out little by little. Don’t let her tell you otherwise…
“I’ve been attracted to more artistic individuals lately,” she once told me in an online chat. “Like writers and novelists.”
That’s pretty hilarious, in retrospect, considering I was playing in a band and writing for a newspaper at the time. I’m not going to self-dub myself the “artistic type,” but this remark was surely strategic on some level.
Everyone arrived on a Saturday, the night before the party. We drank a bunch of Coors Lights, played Foosball and Wii, and then hit the town. We downed several rum-laden drinks topped with Bacardi 151 (called Wiki’s) at a bar by the name of Café Bernardo.
Bianca recalls a moment in conversation in which I placed my hand on her arm. Shortly after, when I turned my attention elsewhere, my hand remained. I was probably talking to Fernando about The Big Lebowski or Fantasy Baseball at the time, so I don’t remember it.
Bianca, however, was anchored in the moment. When I announced a bit later that I’d be making a rum-induced early exit, she chased me down on the street and we walked home together.
She gave me a quick salsa-dancing lesson in an empty plaza before we climbed the stairs to my apartment, which was empty at the time.
Having had plenty of drinks, we took turns using the bathroom. And then, although this will sound kind of weird, we crossed paths at the doorway and kissed for the first time. Our friends arrived shortly after and joked playfully at our newly budding relationship.
Bianca threw a wrench in the life we had envisioned. In doing so, she made it one of the most exciting and life-defining periods of my 27 years.
When our six-month lease ended, Fernando moved temporarily to Nebraska for work, embarking on a long-distance relationship with Annie, who entered the scene around the same time as Bianca.
I moved to Chicago for school a few weeks, leaving my new girlfriend in California.
So, although things didn’t go according to the plan we initially drew up, they definitely went according to SOME kind of plan.
A much better (and less creepy) one, if you ask me.