Author Archives: arieltoraya

8 years ago: Another Day

Day 2: Why is it that I accepted this invite to hang out with a group of Mormon young adults? I know I am going to feel awkward during the event. What am I going to do and say? It would have been easier to just decline the invitation again. But let’s stop worrying about it, because you accepted.

I had some pretty weird dreams last night. I have been staying up very late. It is hard to feel that life isn’t passing me by. I have this idea that somebody out there is living my real life. I imagined that I had been kidnapped as a child and taken down to the jungles of Central America. Somehow I was replaced with a kid that looked close enough to my real self that it convinced my parents. Maybe they know about the whole thing.

So the real Ariel Aron Toraya is living an adventurous life amongst the guerrillas in Chiapas, or the ancient Mayan tribes in Guatemala. I can almost see myself swinging from vines in the jungles, with a machine gun strapped to my back. I am covered in tribal tattoos and I have a big Cuban cigar in between my teeth. I either have a parrot on my shoulder, or a chimpanzee that follows me everywhere. I know chimps are not native to Central America, but anything is possible in these adventure stories. I could have a kangaroo for all insane purposes.

What about my replacement: Me? I am working out my non-adventuring days with hard work in the current oppression of self-satisfied United States of America…land of the withdrawn. There is no chimpanzee at my side. I am not seeking for the lost treasures of Cortez or the ancient Maya. They don’t even let me legally smoke Cuban cigars in this country! Arrgh. As they say in these parts: “Thems the Breaks.”

I don’t know why I let myself get invited to Daniel’s church party. I am getting some anxieties about it. I feel that I am going to get there and everyone is going to say, “Who invited the long-haired, tattooed stranger. He’s not one of our kind. Let’s all see if we can make him feel uncomfortable.” I suppose that is a common feeling when treading into new territory. I sure hope I can get through this one night. I just have to keep telling myself that it won’t be so bad.

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A day eight years ago

19440_721667141279_17815059_39671911_4188911_nDay 1: A close friend has invited me to church activities for several months. What does this mean? Why is it that he finds it important to keep inviting me even when I have declined time and time again? Well, here he is again and there is a campout/dinner activity…what to do?

I’d like to say that I had the greatest of days, but what is the point in that. Life can be depressing sometimes. It was the worst date I had in a long time. Well, it was the first date that I had in a long time, and it also happened to be the worst. Nothing seriously went wrong with the date. We went to the Olive Garden and the food was great. I even was intermittently funny. I think funny, or at least fun, should be the top priority of a first date. She smiled and talked about her job. This for a few moments is okay. Talking about work for too long is not good conversation. Well, maybe if you are a magician who trains marmosets to perform in plays the likes of ‘Dancing in the Rain’ or ‘Wicked’. Even then you would have to have the little, stinky monkey with you on your date to really make it entertaining. Other than that, talk about work drains the life out of the listener within 20 minutes.

We talked about the usually “getting to know you” subjects. I asked about her family or if she had any siblings. Hey, sometimes people can have interesting stories about their family they are willing to share. I have a whole slew of conversation material that I have about my brothers. I am not sure if those topics have ever led to any other dates. Actually I can state that they have, more than likely, left my date entertaining the idea of having my siblings play with her children.

Maybe I should have avoided the family questions altogether. You never know what will come of it. Some families are great and some families are bad. The conversation got seriously dramatic. Drama leads to bad dates. The spiral just got tighter and tighter until the check came. There is just no recourse to the brother with drug problems, the sister getting a divorce and the dad on the third wife.

I tried to turn the car around, but the accident was in full effect.

Crash!

Luckily, it was a lunch date and we both had to get back to work. I really thought she was very pretty. Over the past few weeks I had put a bit of effort making it known to her that I was interested. Oh well, there is always tomorrow. Yeah, a lonely tomorrow!

Daniel stopped by again. I guess he was just in the neighborhood looking for someone to invite to another of his church’s activities. He was just here three days ago trying to get me to go to play volleyball with his church friends. I could always count on him having some place to go to whenever he comes around. He was on the opposite side of the social spectrum as I was. I was in social limbo and he was doing the limbo two to three times a week.

Daniel was always good to hang around with. He had a way to make you feel that everything was funnier than it really was. We talked about the girl he had been seeing and I told him about the disastrous date I was just on. He made me laugh at myself for being so serious about the little things. He smiled.

“I have got the perfect thing for you. For both of us,” he said.

“There is this dance that is going on tomorrow night. It will be great.”

I had to laugh because he always had found some way to invite me to his Mormon single activities. “Let me guess, your church is having a singles dance.”

“That is just the half of it. A bunch of young singles from the area are going up the canyon to a great campsite. They are going to have a dinner. You can just hang out and dance with a couple of ladies. It will be fun. Much more fun than that Olive Garden thing. I am bringing my tent and we can hang out, play some games, or if you want I will bring you back down after the dance.”

“I’ll think about it,” I told him. I really thought it would be great to just do something a little different. Maybe this camping thing would put my ‘mojo’ back in to gear. Anything was better than nothing, right?

We talked for a while before he had to go. I walked him to the door and he once again asked if I was interested in going out and having a good time. My eyes shifted sideways as they always did when I was debating over something. What was the worst that could happen, I asked my self. I visualized going up the mountain and finding there was this great, big, fortified commune where non-Mormon residents of Utah were taken to be programmed. I chuckled on the inside. If that was the case, then maybe it would be more exciting an adventure than I imagined. Hold on, I was imagining this already.

I nodded and agreed to join him.

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A Beginning of Words

I am sitting up writing. It is friday. I will update later

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