It’s only been a week and five days since I arrived in Buenos Aires, and I have already gotten five proposals for dates. Even though I am not comfortable here yet, I have never felt more beautiful or desired by the male sex. Although, most of the proposals were weird. While on my way to find Easy (Argentina’s version of IKEA), I stopped to consult my map for the correct street that led to the store. A young guy on a bike stopped next to me.
I was instantly attracted to him. He was just my type: tall and slim, with medium-length brown hair that framed his face. The two dimples on either side of his cheeks called attention to his chiseled chin. He introduced himself as Diego and told me he was twenty-eight years old. I warned Diego that my Spanish was extremely bad, so he attempted to speak in English. We ended up going to a huge park called Palermo Park. At the entrance huge palm trees met us. The ducks that ran around the park were bigger than turkeys. I chose to sit on some steps that lead out to the water surrounding the park. Diego and I discussed simple things. It was hard to have an intellectual conversation with Diego because of the language barrier. He did seem like a nice guy because he was not immediately trying to feel me up like some other guys I had encountered. So I passed my number along to him.
Just when I began to have fantasies entitled How I Met My Latin Romeo, Diego said, “You me a go to a hotel.”
Then a sound went off in my head, like when a music record stops abruptly. I told him no and said that I should really be on my way to Easy. He offered to accompany me and help me take the stuff that I would buy back to my apartment. I said no and that no one would be in my apartment but me. I noticed him staring at my lips, and I knew what was coming.
“One kiss, Jennifer, please.”
“No, no, no!”
“But you are a sexy.”
“But, Jennifer, I love you,” he said with a serious, sad puppy-dog face. That’s when I knew this guy was nuts and parted ways with him as fast as I could. I was really upset that this whack job had my number but was relieved he did not know where I lived.
For days after, Diego would call me in the morning. My head still buried in my pillow, my fingers blindly searched for the phone, which now began to violate my sleep. I answered. It was Diego professing his love. Over and over he would say, “Jennifer mucho mucho amor.”
I would reply by hanging up the phone. Eventually I recognized his number and stopped answering. The evening after I met Diego, I accompanied my friend Christina to watch her boyfriend’s band play. The event was in a place called Palermo point. When Christina and I approached the door. I was met with a bunch of introductory kisses on the cheek. I went inside and found a place to sit. The first thing I noticed when I walked in was a painting of a couple engaged in a Kama Sutra position. The waitress brought me a menu, and I decided to finally taste Argentina’s famous Quilmes beer. As I drank my beer, a guy who I had previously met outside came and stood in front of me. As he began to speak in Spanish, I stated my familiar line of how I spoke very little of the language. He then spoke to me in English and hit his glass of wine to my beer bottle and said, “Chin chin.”
I knew this was supposed to be a toast.
He then said, “Why do we chin chin.”
I said, “I don’t know.”
He said, “To the beauty of you.”
I thanked him for his compliment, and he sat down directly in front of me.
“What is your name?”
“My name is Nicholas.”
Nicholas reminded me of a short, Argentine Jude Law. Especially Jude Law’s character Gigolo Jo in Artificial Intelligence. He was also twenty-eight years old. Now that Nicholas sat closer to me, I noticed he was drunk. He told me he was a painter and passed his business card to me. He invited me to go see his paintings in his artist space sometime. My conversation with Nicholas was the most awkward conversation I had since coming to Buenos Aires. What made it awkward was that Nicholas would sit there, rubbing his finger and wine glass across his lips, and stare at me. Not to mention that everyone was watching the spectacle unfold and could see how piss drunk Nicholas was.
“You have very beautiful skin.”
He hit his wine glass to my beer bottle for the seventh time and said, “Why do we chin chin.”
I cut him off and said, “For the beauty.”
“Yes, for the beauty.”
I began to look for Christina and turned away from Nicholas, which made him say, “When you turn and look that way you are very beautiful.”
I giggled at his observation and said, “Wow, you are thinking like a painter.”
He continued to stare at me intensely and said, “Your eyes are very beautiful.”
I thanked him again for the compliment.
This went on for about half an hour. I was happy when Christina came and sat next to us. I escaped the conversation with Nicholas and started one with Christina. When Nicholas walked away, Christina taught me an Argentine slang word, “canchero,” which meant smooth-talker. That is what she told me that her friends said Nicholas was trying to do to me.
We went downstairs once the show started to watch the band play. Nicholas sat in the front row, screaming, “Argentina!!!!!!”
I bumped into him a few times during the night. He would grab my hand and say, “Que paso.”
I would quickly say, “Nada,” and run away. When I went to sit back down next to Christina, a guy from Spain began to flirt with me. I wasn’t attracted to him at all. He was more adorable than sexy. He had a round face like a cherub and a Caesar. We shouted back and forth over the loud band. He told me I was beautiful. He said he would love for me to teach him English and he would teach me Spanish. After the Diego incident I was not about to give him my number. So when he said he would give me his at the end of the night when the band stopped playing, I left it at that. The end of the night came, and everyone made their way back upstairs to the bar. It was close to two in the morning, and the front gate to the bar was pulled down. The owners lifted it halfway so that everyone could leave. My friend Christina offered to help me hail a taxi. We ducked under the gate into the cool night. The streets of Buenos Aires were still and silent. With each person that emerged from under the gate the silence turned into echoed laughter that bounced off the concrete. As Christina and I waited for a taxi to hail, Nicholas emerged with his friends, then came the guy from Spain. They watched me intensely, as if contemplating their next move, but I did not give them a chance to execute it. As soon as the taxi came, I jumped in without hesitation. I watched the disappointment on their faces as the taxi drove off with me in it. As I made my way home in the taxi, I smiled to myself. I knew the attention I was getting from men was something I could definitely get used to, and mischievous thoughts of seduction began to run through my mind. I was like a rare piece of imported chocolate that the Argentine men wanted to devour. This made me feel both powerful and sexy.
I can feel the naughty buried deep within this good girl stirring. I know there will be an Argentine man who will rub me the right way, and if he is not a nut job, I just might let myself be devoured.