Floating In Playa Del Carmen


7 of November 2013

At first I had an overwhelming desire to cry. Just fall to the floor and sob and sob and sob until everything was washed away and I could no longer remember this week. Unfortunately, the world doesn’t work that way- the way which you can forget your problems and suddenly they all float away. The people and the place I fell in love with, will never be the same, because of a misunderstanding my friends in Tercero Secundaria refuse to acknowledge. They think I’m some kind of slut because a rumor is floating around that I was with many guys at the Tepeyak party. Now I feel suspended in the air on some perverse cloud that is not solid like I thought, but in actuality is evaporated water droplets waiting patiently to return to the earth. I’ve finally fell through that foggy facade, and my return to earth and reality has been a quick, painful fall. I’m taking a mental picture of the last three days, and all I can think is: this is not my life.

I loved that dysfunctional family my class had become, and now they’ve tossed me out as if they’d never given a hoot about me in the first place. No one will look me in the eye, let alone let me explain that what they’d heard about me “kissing six or seven, maybe fifty boys” wasn’t even close to true. Desperately, I wrote in big letters on the chalkboard today:




Then Sammy walked in, made a couple alterations to my message, and took a picture which I’m praying won’t end up on Facebook:


In the summer transition of second to third grade in 2008, I forgot how to read an analog clock. No matter how hard I tried to remember, I just couldn’t get it through my head that the 45 belonged with the nine; and does the big hand say the hour or the minute?; what on earth does “a quarter to six” mean? Why can’t you just say the numbers? So after I realized, in third grade, that I couldn’t tell time, I always assumed from then on that it was too much of a bother to get to learn it when they have digital gadgets these days anyways. All through elementary and even in my first year of middle school, I steered clear of the analogs because I take too much pride in being smart to have anyone know that I couldn’t do something as simple as reading a clock. My family always teased me about it, and finally Mum began to ask me to read a clock and tell her what time it was. Miraculously, I didn’t miss a beat. 6:30. 8:45. 1:27. It made perfect sense to me- why had I spent so long hiding from clocks when they were just common sense? If I had just put a little effort in it, instead of glazing over with a pre made remark that I can’t do it, I would’ve found that not only did I understand American time, I also understood military time- just as easily as if someone had asked me how many siblings I have. I fell in love with watches not long after that- analog watches only, ironically- and found that their timeless grace and historical significance of having always been a part of human life is intriguing. Even from the beginnings of creation, people have had a necessity to put words to the time of day, the passing of a month or a year, a second. You can tell time is running by the blades of grass stretching longer, longer towards the fading rays of sunlight; from the waning crescent moon and the rotation of the constellations. Time is something beautiful, I think.

But you know what? The best thing about time is that it never stops moving forward. Even if it feels like a moment is suspended in the air for years, or a bad day feels like a century, the truth is that time never gave one extra, fleeting second to the moment you felt lasted forever. It was only your imagination. Time has a way all its own, and I stopped feeling sorry for myself eventually because I came to the conclusion that my friends’ hatred will end. It may never be the tight-knit family I naively thought it to be before like it was once (just last week!) but time isn’t going to stop moving and keep me in the same rut forever. Soon, this whole fiasco will be long gone and forgotten and my friends will be back at my side, knights in shining armor.

Often I stop and ask myself, are you happy? And that’s one question I could never really answer. There’s too many answers. I could be optimistic Maia and say: look at the incredible place I’m living in, look at all I have. I couldn’t possibly have more than this. Of course I’m happy. Or I could be pessimistic-reality Maia and say that I’m feeling rather bland about everything. I do that when I’m worried or stressed out. Everything goes bland. I could try to make a confession to my unhappiness to see if that has any special effect on my outer cool, but it wouldn’t faze me. So which will I choose now? I’ll go with none for once and say that there are great things about my life right now and there are really crappy things. But who doesn’t have problems? I’ve recovered a Maia I’d long forgotten: Ruthless Maia. I’m going to shake off their words (or lack of) and keep moving forward, like time, headstrong and undeniably stable and confident in every motion. Wish me luck- I’ve had a rough week standing in exile at El Papalote.

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