this will be a post dedicated to Alyssa.
I’ll be clear. I don’t know you very much simply because we haven’t known each other for a long time. However, you’re like the older sister I’ve never had. Still, I’ve always felt a great connection from you. Maybe because today was your birthday or because we’re approaching International Women’s Day. No matter the reason, I feel the need to write you a quick note. So here we go.
Hi Aly. I hope you’re enjoying your day in Dominican Republic. I’m here in New York, not the in Queens, nor in Brooklyn or Manhattan, but in my campus room in Long Island. You know I don’t like much here. You know, especially during these last months. It’s cold here and I miss the sun.
You said that I should care of myself. That’s what I’ve always done, but it’s been a long time I stopped doing it. I have been sad, really sad, and confused.
See, the first time we met it was almost a year ago, in Brooklyn, at a Williamsburg function. That day I had run off Long Island and spent the night at a girl’s apartment in the financial district in Manhattan. The next day I made it to my History class still dressed with the previous night’s dress and make up. I didn’t recall speaking to you, but once we met again in Queens at Vee’s crib you recognized me from that night. You remembered me mostly for my curly hair.
The second time you met me I was in a totally different state of mind. I was happy. I was genuinely happy and felt all the blessings in the world. With hindsight I’m realizing that I didn’t have that much. Well, for me it was everything: an apartment in NY to be shared with two cool roommates, many fashion and creative events to attend, so much writing to do. It was the time I’d always been claiming to experience and live at my fullest.
I got to know you very slowly. At first you seemed so distant and I instantly thought that maybe you were not very interested in knowing me. Then we started talking about boys and love and relationships. I asked you, mumbling:
“I don’t know if it’s too soon, but should I say him those words?”
You replied, probably knowing what I was about to say:
“What words exactly?”
“I love you.”
You smiled. I had told you about my whole situation, about my values, about my school life.
“If you feel it, I think it’s the right time.”
“I’m afraid he won’t say it back. Probably he won’t. I realized that I love him, but I want to wait the perfect moment.”
You said, always smiling:
“There will never be a perfect moment. If you feel it, say it. You got all the rights to say so.”
Then you met him. You didn’t smile too much, because you know how boys are. You’re older than me, you know the drill. You kinda studied him and for the first time I looked at you like you were my older sister: I felt somehow you were taking care of me, making sure he was not one of those type of boys. You didn’t say much, but somehow you approved him. This behavior happened in other occasions too. When we would hang out in Queens. That cloudy morning when we modeled in the Bronx. The time we went to that video shoot in Brooklyn. That evening you showed me how to do that face mask I never got the chance to make it on campus again. And so many other little moments. You would give me tips, in a very straightforward way. But if you were not sure about something you would recognize it and say it: “I don’t know about this, but I would do that if I were you”.
The nice thing about you is that for me you are a role model, not just a fashion model. You are humble, because you acknowledge your mistakes as well as your wisdom. You share privately your richness and not everyone is able to see that. In a city of millions of people, you’re one of the very few people whom I am happy to call as friend, a real friend. Whoever is close to you should feel blessed.
I hope to grow with you, whether I’ll stay in New York or in another locations. I hope to make our friendship a solid one, even if we will fight, disagree, laugh, dance, talk trash about men (or should I say boys, since… you know, are not men yet), talk sweet about the same men. But I mostly hope to live the present with you, because the present is the only thing that we know for sure that remains and evolves, becomes past and leads to the future.
Buon compleanno Alyssa, ti voglio bene!