Wednesday, March 20, 2013

2/13 The Beginning

It was December 2006. I was in the storefront window at J. Crew in Santa Fe, NM. At that time I was 21 and in charge of the window display. Arizona Muse, or “Zoe” as she was called at that time walked right by the store before opening hours. She stopped right in front of me and our eyes connected, with a thick sheet of glass between us. She had long, curly, blonde hair. She walked to the door and attempted to enter the store. I told her to come back later when the store was open.

I had forgotten about the girl I’d seen earlier that morning… but several hours later she came back to the store. I was dressing a mannequin and she walked right up to me. She said, “I had to come back, I couldn’t stop thinking about you.” She was cute, her laugh was adorable, her big smile. It appeared to be love at first sight. I don't think it was though, we were so young. Looking back, we were just stupid kids, who needed affection... looking for something that didn’t exist, if that makes sense.

I asked for her number and called her later that night, we made plans to hang out. I’m not sure of the date, but I was sitting at the bar at the Hotel St. Francis downtown. I gave her a call and she arrived half an hour later. At that time I wore blue contact lenses, it was very obvious I was gay. We talked about my boyfriend, and to my surprise I found out she was just 18. I don’t remember, but she must have had a fake ID.

She didn’t have a problem with me being gay… We totally hit it off, I can’t describe it. I ended up getting a room at the hotel and she spent the night with me… We didn’t manage to get much sleep and ended up going to her Dad’s house very early in the morning, did lots of cocaine with him and his friends. It was the first time her Dad and I met, I’m sure he had no idea we’d end up together. 

Arizona was a senior at SantaFe Prep, but spent most nights at my house near the plaza. We started dating immediately. My friends were confused, and when I broke up with my boyfriend whom I cared for dearly, he was devastated. I felt badly… but when I met Arizona, I no longer had the same feelings for him.

The house I was renting had been on the market, and two or three months after Arizona and I started dating it sold. I’d become very close to Arizona’s family… so rather than renting another place immediately, she invited me to move in with them.

I lived at her mum’s house for about four months, and shortly after Arizona graduated high school, I found a rental downtown for Arizona and I.

Arizona deferred from University and decided to pursue a modeling career and moved to LA. I wasn’t happy about her moving, but I encouraged her.

We decided to have a long distance relationship, but about a month after her move I found out she had been seeing someone else. I was hurt, and told her never to contact me again. It was over… I was sure of it.

I called my best friend. He was and still is this tattooed, macho, womanizer type, but the most considerate guy I’ve ever met. He came over and took care of me. We snuggled at night, LOL, and even had a three-some with a girlfriend of mine. He was by my side the whole time. He forced me to get off my ass and out of the house. The next few days were fueled with cocaine and vodka.

A few days later, to my surprise, Arizona showed up to my place. She had driven all through the night from LA to Santa Fe. She apologized, and begged me to take her back. I didn’t invite her in. I guess she spent the next few nights at her mum’s… I finally caved, invited her over and we were back together, but it wasn’t the same, not like before.

She soon headed back to LA, I was fine with it… I didn’t miss her as much this time. I was going out a lot, having lots of parties… and one night invited her best friend over for a few beers. I had a feeling he was gay (not going to mention his name), but wasn’t out yet. Long story short, we hooked up that night. Subconsciously, I must have done it to get revenge, but never told Arizona. However, she told me a few years later she knew about it, he had told her, but she kept it a secret from me.

Manuel Quintana

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