Getty Images News/Kena Betancur
By Enrique Grijalva


I had to be smitten, I had to be — it’s the only reason why I would’ve chosen to be with her. She was an older girl, a cultured and whimsical soul who had her fair share of experiences, and I was okay with that. At the time, I didn’t think it would have manifested itself into love, considering all the competition she had at the time. In hindsight, I felt that she moved majestically through the world — in a sauntering state of empirical bliss, for life. It was too hypnotic to ignore. I couldn’t let it slip away.

I had already spent Halloween and Thanksgiving with her, so it came as no surprise that I would spend my Christmas with her. It was a given. My family had known her for a while, and if I had to guess, this would be the only girl that my mother would approve of. To my father, it didn’t matter much, but that’s how dad ingested life. If we were happy, he was happy — plain and simple. No bullshit. My sister, however, would soon grow to hate her despite years of friendship. There was a falling out, like many friendships that involve people who don’t want to let go, and there was no looking back. As Nas once said, “love changes and best friends become strangers.”

I’d be lying if I said I remember every detail of that first Christmas. All I know is that I spent it with her and that’s all that mattered. She mesmerized me. Even thinking about her today makes me smile. But as relationships grow throughout the years, so do flaws, if they’re rampant in a person’s psychology. It’s obvious that when a problem is ignored and left to manifest, or even worse, when it’s coddled, nurtured, or encouraged, it will only strengthen with time. It’s in that time that shortcomings and idiosyncrasies alike will subdue you (and everyone around you) once it’s learned to outsmart you.

This girl’s problem could have been solved, but her problem was one of benevolence. She wanted to help everyone and solve their problems. She wanted to weave between the worlds of the rich and the poor, the blacks and the whites, the gay and the straight, the dicks and the pussies, and everything in between. She wanted to bring the few that she connected with together, hoping that both sides would communicate and see the similarities in their differences. I admired her for that. It’s for this reason that I loved her, because, as a hopeful soul with an ideal mind, I often find myself scaling the mountain of life, in search of the peaceful view of balance and equality. It’s the scenery that I yearn to see.

Years went by, seemingly in a blur, and as she matured, pieces of her cultured background began to fade. Conversations between us that were previously colorful, under the moonlight and surrounded by her illuminating eyes, soon became stale and predictable. Physically, her elegance and grace had surpassed any of my expectations. She was as beautiful as ever. I felt that her perspectives and goals in life had stopped growing, and ultimately they had changed altogether. Whether it was for better or worse, that change caused us to grow apart.

Her eyes wandered, looking for someone to replace me as I tried to pinpoint the problem. I hadn’t realized that I was looking for something to solve instead of just talking to her. Ironically, in doing so, I was avoiding the one issue that she had stopped trying to solve between people long ago — a lack of dialogue. The disheartening gap in communication, between people, at last, became the downfall between us.

In my mind, I like to think that we’ll always love each other, despite the dejected look we exhibit when our souls drown in the other’s eyes. Take this past weekend as an example. When I discovered that she was hosting SantaCon again, on a grand scale — despite the insurgence of people who were pleading for her to stop ignoring them — I realized that she was not only opening herself up to Bro Culture, but she was stating that this is who she is now. This is who she has chosen to spend the rest of her life with, which in her mind equals success, and it breaks my heart. She could have been so much more. Damn.

No matter what, I had a moment to breathe you in, but I’ve remained stuck in that moment for far too long, trying to convince myself that I don’t know where it all went wrong. I do know what happened and it’s partially my fault. Ever since I spent my first Christmas with you, I took you for granted, and I’m sorry.

I’ll always love you, New York.