It was my freshman year. New city, new school. People would say they were astonished by the way I had adapted so easily, but truth was I missed home terribly. Don’t get me wrong. Things in San Antonio were great; I was getting a much better education, I had a beautiful house, and my family and I became much closer. The hardest change I had to go through was learning to live in a different city than my dad, but I knew that to live the life I was living, I had to get used to only seeing my dad on the weekends. I kept trying to convince myself that I was accustomed to this new life, but in reality I was avoiding emotions and losing sight of who I truly was. There came a point where I honestly thought I was someone who I wasn’t. Once my parents realized the truth they knew that the only way to get me back on the right path was to have better communication and to reassure me that I wasn’t alone in this new city.
“I would do anything to get you to where you want, even if it means that I have to take you to the moon and back. It will always be us against the world,” my dad said.
That day I realized that like the moon, even if I didn’t see my dad everyday he was there one way or another. I was slowly learning a new was of independency while knowing that my family is my biggest support.
I was back on track.
The smell of fish and paint flowed through the room. I stayed behind after fish printing to help Kumu pick up. It was near the end of my school’s Marine Biology Hawaii trip and during the first week I became amazed by the Hawaiian culture. Mahealani and I were talking about designs for a tattoo I was itching for. I had always wanted something to do with the sea and my family.
“Do you know who Hina is?” Mahealani asked.
“No, who is she?” I asked.
She began to explain that stories say that Hina became tired of living in the crowd and fled to the moon, then becoming the goddess of it. She is connected with the sea, she is a symbol of communication and independence, and she is known for positive energy. When I got back to my dorm with my roomie, Tess, I began to research Hina in depth and I came across a chant that read:
“Hina, Hina, Goddess of the Moon
I have a problem and it looms
Transform my problem and make it right
This negative energy should take flight
And when it returns back to me times three
Only positive energy shall it be.”
Then it clicked.
I was finally allowed to rest. Three weeks of fashion school, an average of four hours of sleep every night, four school credits accomplished. My sister picked me up from the airport in Miami and took me to the apartment.
As I was unpacking she ran into the room and said, “We’re going to 78th street tonight.”
“What’s that supposed to mean?” I replied.
“Don’t worry, wear your maxi dress. You’re going to want your camera for this,” she said.
I sat in the car on our way to 78th street wondering why my sister was so excited. We parked on Collins and began to walk towards the shore that met 78th.
Drums beating, people dancing with fire, couples doing tribal dances around bonfires and a peculiar light embodying the ocean; everyone was doing their own thing, yet it all seemed to be in unison.
I spotted Fabian, a local musician and a close friend, he ran up to me and said, “This is what I mean when I said we never waste a full moon, welcome.”
It’s been two months. Two months since I’ve been to my hometown, two months since I’ve had to say bye to friends that were going off to college, two months since I had seen him, my best friend Gabe.
After spending a day at sea, I found myself sitting at the edge of the boat listening to a playlist that he had made me before I left for my busy summer. We had agreed we would let each other live what we had to without having to worry of being in constant communication. Summer was coming to an end and I guess one could say things got awkward. It was taking so much in me not to text him so I began to distract myself by walking around the deck. The moon touched the horizon and I began to get lost in memories of Gabe and me, wondering how many more we would have if we had spent the summer together.
I started to play “I Miss You” by Incubus in my head, “You do something to me that I can’t explain. So would I be out of line if I said…”
I quickly realized the song was ringing on my phone. The only person that had that ringtone assigned was Gabe, so I ran to the other side of the deck anxiously.
“So I’m at South Padre with my family having a midnight cook out on the beach. I need you to go outside and look up. This reminded me of you and I just wanted to let you know that I miss you,” I read.
I opened the attached file and surely it was a blurry picture of a moon in the sky.
We were so close yet so far.