Sunday, February 25, 2007


Diego's name could have been Oscar; it was my #1 choice during his first trimester.

Beware of telling people names you're considering for your baby before the baby is born. Besides being bad luck in some astral planes, it's also a pain in the butt to have to listen to people's personal associations regarding your choices. Although, to be honest, that's one of the reasons you're telling people; either consciously or unconsciously, you want to know their associations. Because love begins with a name. In a way. So does hate. So one must, as in all things, choose wisely.

Oscar was one of my first loves. Oscar Rosales. I met him playing AYSO soccer. One cold afternoon at practice, our girls' team scrimmaged his boys' team. It was nearing dinner, a cold dusk; coastal fog started drifting across the field. We had been practicing for an hour already before the scrimmage started. Oscar played forward and was considered the best ball handler in San Juan Capistrano. I played goalie. I remember the feeling of sheer dread I had watching him approach the goal, dribbling the ball deftly with his Adidas cleats. Our own forwards had followed him because we needed all our defensive forces to fight his formidable power. Normally, we had Leah helping me defend the goal box while our forwards fought midfield, but today, she was too busy running after Oscar to have a spare moment to gossip. Even with all our resources, it seemed he could not be stopped.

He approached, he drove, he kicked the ball. Slammed it. Pummeled it Fired it. You name it. The ball came at the goal like a cannonball. I had to dive for it. Miracle of miracles, I blocked his shot. For a moment after that, I couldn’t hear anything. The adrenaline in my blood was so high, it was muting out the world's sound. Or else, it really was quiet and frozen for a minute, time. Next, it was like the film started again, and my team was yelling and jumping up and down. My coach, clapping and pumping her fist in the air, said, "Way to go, Christa!"

Honestly, until that moment, Oscar Rosales was not attractive to me at all; in fact, he was sort of scary looking. He was short, almost squat, had black curly hair, freckles, lots of hair on his body. He had a mustache -- at fourteen!

I held the ball in my hands for a beat, soaking in the feeling of triumph, one of the first I ever experienced. Then, I lob-kicked the ball downfield. Before turning and running after it, Oscar ran over to the goal box. "Good save," he said to me. He smiled. I saw that his eyes were impossibly green, his smile wide and sincere. He smittened me. In one moment, I went from being freaked out by him to being obsessively in love with him; I remained that way for seven years.

Oscar had the same girlfriend throughout high school, Allison. She was nice. I hated her and she hated me. Because even though Oscar and I never so much as danced together, he was one of my best friends throughout high school, and Allison knew that I loved him with a passion that was unmatched by any other girl -- other than her, of course. Oscar and Allison got married within two years after their high school graduation. I'm sure they are still married.

His second trimester, my first choice for Diego was Oedipus.

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