I’m From Imperial Beach, CA.

by Cameron Stewart

State Satellite overhead image from Google Earth 2022

After moving to West Hollywood, CA it had become apparent that there was a weekly tradition of Sunday/FunDays and I wanted so badly for my visiting San Diego boys to partake. The group of us started with margaritas in my complex’s pool around noon and after getting sun tired and water logged, we decided on a change of venue.

I had met a cute boy at a bar the night previous, and after some flirting we went to exchange numbers…until we realized we had obviously met drunkenly before; we had already had each others names and digits in our phones.

I had such a good feeling about him, and I kind of wanted to get my boys’ opinions of the guy, so I invited him along with us to the popular Tex-Mex restaurant down the street. We stopped at a liquor store to grab mini white wine bottles to consume on the small trek there, law be damned. I remember the weather being so amazing, with a lasting cool breeze and a pleasant July temperature.

That early dinner was light and filled with laughs. It was pointed out that we hadn’t realized we had ordered the same exact meal of a bottle of Corona and a ceviche cocktail (after all, it was bathing suit season we joked). The first graze of my leg happened during this meal, and our amount of eye contact made it clear to everyone that we weren’t about to end the day there.

We decided for another dip in the pool, and some of my neighbors had decided on the same plan. But this time, an iPod dock with classic rock was blasting, cans of Coors Light were being passed around, and a rather loopy tenant was offering swigs from her bottle of whiskey as her legs dangled into the pool.

He and I decided to use some floaty neon noodles as chairs, and would find that the currents we created with our egg beating legs always pushed us just close enough to each other to touch an arm or a back. That is when my San Diego Nick called out to us to “KISS already”.  Feigning embarrassment, we pulled each other closer and pressed our lips together. It was a simple, appropriate one, and we both pulled away with shit-eating grins.

We never let go of each other the rest of that afternoon; singing through Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believing” (as only ill-tuned inebriation can sound), the setting sun drawing large shadows across the apartment courtyard,  well into the night where I left my bedroom sliding patio door open to catch the cool breeze in my curtains.

We spent all night talking and kissing, my Boys having left shortly after sundown. We spent every day over the next couple of weeks seeing each other, sharing and exploring our pasts and futures.

In time, as with most young intense relationships, he’d come to break my heart. But no matter that, because this sweet summer memory still reminds me of how beautifully and simply love is started. How every detail is burned into your brain, and how being lucky enough to be open with myself allows me to be lucky enough to feel those gifts that only humans are able to grant one another.

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