Tag Archives: madrid

columbian charm 

the joint of your fingers entwined and rubbed against mine as we stood outside the door to your flat, like flint, there were sparks surging through my bones ignited by your touch


i, admittedly, wasn’t used to this —


openly, more obviously clumsily, holding hands with someone


a gesture, I find to be very intimate


so I stood nervously behind you, clenched jaw, the tension locking up my body


i felt the squeeze of your palm and you looked back at me with your wide, beautiful smile, the sunkissed wrinkles around your eyes radiating curiosity


“has anyone ever told you how soft your hands are?”


my lips pursed into a half lined smile as i gazed into your liquid brown eyes — as your door creaked open revealing the inside of your livingroom occupied by a few people — your roommates


i introduced myself, the introvert within growing anxious with anticipatioin, the extrovert side of me displaying my natural wit and winning the room over with laughter.. a first go to social defense mechanism


i had become more accustomed to Spanish, now able to communicate my humour in ways i couldn’t before


as always though, I can never shake the first pangs of anxiety when walking into a room full of strangers, I let the dominant side of my personality take over, and put shy Trinh in cruise control


it’s always really impossible for people who get to know me to believe I am actually very shy


a shy confidence, i’spose


you noticed, as you pulled me away to your room, the coy laughter of your roommates fading into the background


greaaaaat, i thought to myself, as if I wasn’t nervous enough, I’ve somehow managed to luck my way into your intimate space


i cocked my eyebrow and sighed, as i flopped my body onto your bed — jokingly antagonizing you, “it’s barely our second date and you’ve already brought me home.. a little challenge por favor.”

your back to me, I heard you laugh, you probably even rolled your eyes and shook your head — i’ll honestly never know as you pulled your shirt up over your head and threw it at my face shielding my view


we had come to your flat for a change of clothes — i had been having a drink at a bar after work with some friends close to your university, and rather than meet up later, you asked if I wanted to meet up when your class was done and just come over while you got ready for our night out in the city


drunkenly, i agreed — wine is my best wingman


but i had sobered up already now, sitting on your bed watching you


i slid your shirt off from over my head after being intoxicated by your fragrance


i kinda have this thing for scent, if it attracts me, i am hooked


i’d even go as far to say that my own personal favourite compliment is, “you smell good.” i can’t help it, i’m a sucker for chemically inducing smells


and so I was pleased that your light scent fit you, fun and hardly over-bearing — your smelled like summer, warm and inviting, friendly, lovely


lost in thought i hadn’t realized you had stripped down to just the essentials of bra and underwear


either you were paying attention on our first date to when I said red was my favourite colour, or truly the universe is chaotically filled with lucky coincidences


the red lace hugged your hips delicately, your back still to me, you stepped into the middle of your chosen skirt and bent down to shimmy it up over your waist


my eyes traced the small birth spots on your right shoulder, to your spine counting each fragmented vertebrae, like stairs, my eyes were stepping down your back to the two dimpled cusps above your waist


i caught your eye in the mirror, watching me watching you, and looked away embarrassed — Madrid had accustomed me to openly gawking at someone without it being rude, it is just the culture where staring is not considered impolite — at least not in general


but now, here, i felt very soberly intrusive — “will you zip me up?”


flustered I nodded and got up behind you, taking hold of the top part of your skirt with one hand, and using my other to casually pull the zipper up


huh, i thought to myself, you could have easily done this yourself without my assistance —


i relished the view though, you were enjoying this as much as I, and that calmed me immensely — I don’t know why, but sometimes it’s hard for me to realize that maybe someone could want me as much as I want them on whatever level that manifests itself; emotional, physical, spiritually


you thanked me anyway, and swiped your waterfall of black hair away from your back to the front of your body fully revealing your naked bare shoulders

we paused for a few silent moments, our bodies inches away from each other, our gazes locked within the mirror in front of you

you turned around, playfully brushed your lips momentarily against mine, and nonchalantly shrugged on a shirt


for the next 20 minutes or so you put on your make up, and i sat on your bed advising you of what eyeshadows to blend and what lipstick to choose


i liked this about us, that i could simultaneously and mutually be interested in your friendship too


i am more than certain we had a great date afterwards, but it was the before part that i remember the most


the simple joy of experiencing someone doing normal things and having that intimate connection — the realization of the vulnerability to be allowed a glimpse of someone’s personal universe




Things don’t have to be extraordinary to be beautiful, even the ordinary can be beautiful.


Northern light. 

I fell in love with you unexpectedly, unwarrantedly, unapologetically — my second time around, more carefully. 

But I couldn’t resist your humour, nor your kindness. 

My friends told me I was crazy — hell, love makes you so. To be in love with someone who would never know, who I’ll probably never tell. And that’s how I want it; a simple and untainted memory of love; an experience worth every mile and ocean in between. 

Because honestly, it was the best thing to ever happen to me after being heartbroken for so long. To explore someone, unselfishly. To want to know someone, but not want her for my own. And I think that’s what I loved about you, about us, more than anything — the no expectations, no past or future, only just the moment. 

It was pure, unfiltered, uncontrollable friendship. 

Once while we were deliciously drunk, you wanted to kiss. In your boyfriend jeans hugging your hips, with your black leather boots. The white sleeve of your shirt hanging off the side of your shoulder. The city lights of Madrid pouring brilliantly down your dark hair, matching the tint in your eyes. 

It was the first time I had ever thought someone else looked flawless. I never fathomed I’d feel this way again.. perhaps it was just the wine. But I was absolutely enthralled with the person standing in front of me, wanting to capture this mental image in my head. 

I, unenthusiastically, declined your tempting offer. It would complicate things. At least on my part. 

“I know you want to.” You laughed at me while you stepped closer; I, struggling to keep my composure. The scent of your body filled my lungs, I was intoxicated. 

But you were right, I did want to. 


Loving you made me a better person. Not a better lover or a better girlfriend, just a better human; for myself. 

I won’t settle for anything less again. 

And maybe I’m still not ready, and maybe the timing won’t ever be right — but I know now what I want, and what I don’t. 

Madrid, Spain

Tone deaf. 

I held her hand throughout the ballet, whilst the soft melody of the piano turned the auditorium into a gloomy music box swirling with anticipation. A casual exchange of smiles passed between us in the darkness; and at that moment, my body felt like a burial ground and all my zombie like hairs were arising from their pore graves. I could only muster a tight clenched jaw and a polite nod back in her innocent direction. Happiness touched her bright eyes and and all warmth faded from my body. The experience of hypothermia of the heart is quite an exhilarating emotion.. because you feel none. 

But what I lacked in the perception of touch, I made up in far superior heightened hearing. Because of this I was accustomed to experiencing life in a much different way from others. Where they felt failure, the sound of opportunity called out to me, vibrations against my ear drums from a spinning fan in a living room annoyed me to no end on a daily basis, and simple sounds that soothed the soul like raindrops kept me on edge like gunfire shots. Perhaps that is why I was struggling to control my fright and excitement sitting here next to this devastatingly beautiful creature that I was about to ruin, holding her hand knowing I was going to destroy her smile.

Could you blame me, haven’t you too, ever wondered what sound a broken heart made? 

You became my Renaissance. 

I lacked the courage and the inspiration to become a great pianist, and perhaps laziness has played a fault in my decline of musical aspirations. It’s funny to me, I’d rather be surrounded by the successful and bask in their glory and accomplishments. 

Because being part of that meant everything to me. It meant being allowed in their presence sufficed my mental state of failure. The triumphs and prosperity of the company that allowed my presence enveloped my being with envy. 

My organ was just beating for the sake of motion, and my mind played tricks that I am victorious by association. A toneless instrument I had become before your harmony. 

And so when I met you, realize you came into my life at the most darkest of times in my composition. If my life were sheet music, I’d be the tone of minor; dark and melancholic. You, with your strong affirmation of living — my major. I was merely a shadow of the person you desired, and there are no words for the mask I used daily upon your grazioso. 

It was as if I celebrated Halloween every fucking day of my life, and let me tell you, dressing up for an unknown audience gets really old after awhile. 

So you began my change of tempo. I cannot tell you how grateful I am for the feeling of vulnerability. The idea that everyone is in love with, but is too scared to actually feel — because it’s the most frightening experience of your life. To let someone control every thought, every emotion, every breath of your being and hoping they don’t wrap their hand around your throat and suffocate your last dying breath of optimism, but instead — to feel the warmth of their palm against your steadying beating chest, and for once in your life, your mind can’t fathom the physical, musical response of your heart, if it’s slow or fast.. you just know you’re on a high, and while the world is spinning in allegro like a merry-go round, you take the advice of Snow Patrol and forget everyone around and life becomes adagio.. but us. 

I like to hide beneath the name brands of clothes because they make me feel like I’m more than just a mannequin — and no one questions what’s underneath. 

But you — you make me feel naked, and I can’t remember the last time I loved the laziness of my bed more than when you are in it.. because there I am successful; it is there that my fingers perform my greatest works of art. 



Stripping down to the bare essentials. 


I know what my coworkers think of me. Innocent, and naive. Prude, to be more exact. 

But sex nor nudity shocks me. On the contrary, I love sex. Crave it, even. I am human, with an unquenchable desire for physical pleasure. I do not shy away nor deny my libido — though I’m often mistaken for having none.

Because I try to save intimacy for someone who has touched my heart first, before I give of my body. A personal rule I hold for myself and myself only. 

And often times, especially within this last year, I found myself envying people who could give so freely of themselves without any emotional remorse. To enjoy the presence of someone simply on an atomical level of colliding forces. 

But, I have realized that is just not the kind of person I am. And I either need to accept it, or change it. Needless to say, my attempts at changing this aspect of my heart have been utter failures.

Anyway, they’ve made it their personal goal to, for lack of better words, get me laid. 

Friday night, I was ushered to a strip club. 

Dim lighting, and the smell of cigarettes circulating the utopia of lust. Men in suits, and men in baggy jeans — women in stilettos, and women in casual autumn wear — all lining the stages, hungry eyes fixated on the pole, lips wet from alcohol — inhibitions being lowered, imagination being let free from the chains of responsibility. 

There wasn’t just one type of person sitting in the Victorian red velvet cushioned chairs. And I think that’s what people like to think about strip clubs — that only a certain type of people go there. So far from the truth, as my eyes scanned the crowd, heavily avoiding the performers. 

I was nervous. Why, I’m not quite sure. I’ve been to strip clubs in Greece and Amsterdam, and there the performances are — much more hands on. 

Perhaps because it was my first time at a strip club, without being in love. Maybe subconsciously I was afraid that my own desire would supersede my own moral compass. That maybe my own preconceived notions about people who went to strip clubs — were wrong. And that I would soon join the ranks of mesmerized eyes. 

Yet again, I found myself doing something solely for the experience. Not realizing the impression it would blazen across my mind. 

My coworkers all looked at me with curiosity, no doubt they didn’t truly expect me to show up — but they’ve got one thing wrong about me, an event in my name, I will daringly always be present at. 

Reminding myself, boundaries of comfort are meant to be broken. 

A cherry vodka sour was pushed into my hand. I’m not sure if the cold water searing through my palm was from the contents of the cup, or my own nerves had worked up quite the  drench — either way, I guzzled my first drink down. 

Our table wasn’t at the front of stage. It was off to the side, where people with prying eyes but empty pockets sit. 

This nerved my counter parts, so they bribed a waitress to move a solo gentleman sitting at a table of 5 to move elsewhere, so we would have front stage. 

Not gonna lie, I panicked at this. I knew I would be expected to engage in the stage performance at such close proximity. 

And coerced I was. 

I found myself standing directly in front of the stage, the stripper’s smoldering green eyes and fluid body making her way to me. Her fingers clasped my shirt, her head dipping towards my chest. 

Naturally and instinctively, I objected with a smile, and a raised hand. 

She laughed at me playfully, a hint of empathy hidden behind rose stained lips, as did most of the crowd behind me — I was embarrassed, a feeling I tend not to encounter often. 

I sat back down, and shrugged light-heartedly looking at my coworker to the right, his impatience for me had run out. It had been his grand scheme to bring me here. 

He had heard my tales of transatlantic relationships — and didn’t care. 

“You are waiting for love, but it isn’t waiting for you,” he once told me in one of our first conversations about matters of the heart. 

I have become really great friends with him since, despite our often opposite views about love, sex, and everything in between. 

So at his request, I came. But physically being at his choice of establishment  wouldn’t be enough. 

I think he recognized just how awkward I felt. He returned a coy smile, got up and placed himself at front stage, ones in between his fingertips. 

A different stripper now, grinded on him. The heel of her stiletto draped carelessly on his shoulder, revealing to him every angle of her chiseled body. Indeed, I was impressed at the ease of which she performed. An easy 10$ she made in the 30 second dance. 

He was showing off, doing what I couldn’t do. Again, a tinge of envy in my heart being suppressed. It was okay though, I was me and he was him — And that made all the difference. I needed to accept the fact that there will be some things others will be better at that will render me incapable. Stupid superiority complex. 

The night went on in this fashion. My other two female coworkers joining in on the seductive fun. They were letting loose, bypassing responsibility for a little fun. I understood this concept all too well. I didn’t think any thing less of them though. 

At the end of the night, my male coworker actually bought me a lap dance. He had grown tired of my “noble” habits. Funny, I never thought of it that way, nor did I want to be noble; connotation of holier than thou. 

The girl led me to a back room. I kept my eyes up, I felt like an intruder ransacking a holy pyramid. 

She sat down on the couch, and hesitantly I sat beside her. Boldly speaking through a shaky voice: 

You don’t have to do this, really. We can just talk. 

Yeah, I went there. I was the type of person who’d rather converse than get aroused. 

So we spoke, about what I was doing home. Where I’ve travelled and what wines I’ve tasted; what she dreamed of and what she was scared of losing. We shared laughter like old friends. 

I think what struck me as the most peculiar thing was that she liked her occupation. She has been dancing for 3 years, and just kind of got stuck in the motion; the access of ever flowing money from bottomless pockets. But she respected what she did, and held dignity in funding her education. I admired her courage for believing in herself and what she was doing — even if it wasn’t conventional, even if societal norms dictate it immoral; who was I to judge another person’s journey? 

The song playing above head started fading out, signaling the ending of our encounter, and she said something to me I won’t forget:

It’s rare to see kindness in a place like this, thanks for not judging me. 



Temple de Debod

Madrid, Spain

I have befriended lonlieness in a way that to be alone with my conscience is enough judgement to evaluate the meaning of my own existence and how I put my life to use. 

There is enough struggle and pain and heartache in this world. Be kind, always. Remember that, even when being kind is the hardest thing to do.