Paul Oceans

by ani castillo

I was 18, had abandoned art school and started a new university program where I felt a little bit out of my element.

Then I met this guy, his name was Paul Oceans.

He wasn’t in my class, he was a couple semesters ahead of me (mature! experienced!)

He was completely bald and had the greenest biggest eyes I had ever seen (interesting! hot!)

He wore those big thick glasses that everybody wears now but at the time he was the only person I ever saw wearing them (brave! original!)


By now you probably know; I started developing a little bit of a crush on him.

But at the time my crushes weren’t the peachy dreamy kind, no.


They were more like full blown burning passions. The dramatic kind!

Where the body physically suffers from the consuming blazing flames of all those feelings!!



And although falling in love so stupidly could sound like a big waste of time, the teenager me used that kind of energy to fuel my creativity.

I wrote a lot, painted a lot, sketched a lot, took a lot of pictures, made shortfilms…

(Paul Oceans made an appearance on those pieces more times that I would like to admit!)


We used to talk about things that just got me so excited.

He knew about all independent movies and music and art and he enjoying discussing his theories about the human soul and the reason for our existence on earth (that kind of stuff I like,  fun and sexy I know!)

He used to bring hot chocolate to school and shared with me on a couple occasions.

Everything was so magical and awesome!!!


Just one little problem…


not even a problem really…


it all depends on the perspective.



He was very


very short.


Like, extremely short.

Shorter than most guys I know, actually. Maybe the shortest.

(and as I’ve mentioned in an earlier post, I’m probably the tallest Mexican girl that ever existed).

And since I lacked the confidence to imagine a future where I would take romantic walks with my tiny husband or where I would have to bend almost all the way to the level of my bellybutton in order to kiss him, well, I just ignored my feelings and kept doing my thing.

* I know there are happy couples on earth with a short guy and a tall girl but at the time I was so self conscious and uncomfortable with the basics of being me, that I just wasn’t ready to add another layer of mundane discomfort to my daily existence *

One day after a long break from school, I saw him walking towards me, first thing in the morning, he seemed all fresh and happy. My heart started racing and my ears got really hot.

He told me he had something for me and took my hand with his little hand.

He dropped some tiny circles, they looked like translucent paper.

At first I had no idea what they were.

Then he told me he had been playing his bass (musician!) a lot during the break so he developed blisters on all his fingers.






Then, the blisters fell off and he let them dry out.



for me.

Words (or drawings) would never be able to explain the feelings going through my body on that chilly morning.

I felt this obsessive infatuation with the guy and here he was, giving me actual pieces of his little body!!!

I didn’t know how to react, should I put them in my pocket? should I just eat them and then we would be together forever???  FOREVER???!!!!!

Then I looked at him, didn’t want to look like I loved him or anything. I gave them back and said “eeeeww!”

Weakness. Betrayal to one’s self, sometimes it happens!





I didn’t see too much of him after that. Some weeks later I went out with my friend Elsa.

She’s cool and brave and awesome!

We were at a street music festival in Chapultepec. That was my favorite night of the year! they were bands playing all kinds of music genres on one of the nicest streets in Guadalajara, there were thousands of people everywhere. We were drinking some beer out of styrofoam cups so nobody would notice. Mwahahaha. (legal age to start drinking in Mexico is 18. Which I think is a terrible idea!)

It was the first or second time I had beer so I was pretty out of sorts. But feeling spunky!

I suddenly saw Paul Oceans and decided I should declare my love. I’ll blame it on the beer.

I don’t remember what my words were, it was all pretty blurry but I remember he responded by saying something like I was too tall….




Me!? Too Tall!!?? Sorry Paul Oceans!  my bad!

I looked down and noticed that something about that statement was true.

He was standing on top of a step on top of the sidewalk just so we could have straight eye contact.

It totally made sense.


I was standing there trying to savor the scorching pain of rejection but couldn’t feel too much.

I blamed it on the beer…

Elsa and I walked away into the crowd and the darkness where I met the guy who would become my first serious boyfriend for the next couple of years, although I didn’t know that at the time.

Then we called my dad and faked being sober when he came to pick us up.

The next morning I tried to feel sad in my room, I really gave it a go!

I was numb and didn’t have the beer to blame anymore, I listened to sad songs and everything, they didn’t work!

It was impossible to feel bad about anything. I found the whole situation kind of ridiculous and funny and nothing made me overly emotional about the outcome of this experiment.

In the next couple of days I developed this theory:


Maybe I wasn’t so into Paul Oceans?

Although I couldn’t deny I enjoyed living through his chapter in the book of my life…


(Or maybe I was already daydreaming about the next chapter!)