I climbed Las Tres Cruces this morning. I had a new personal best time. I was up in 35 minutes and down in 28. I’m pretty happy about that. I stopped on the way down to get a photo of a couple on one of the large boulders. I thought it was a little odd that the guy kept looking at me. But, I’m used to that when I’m photographing people. When I was done and turned to head down, I heard someone yell, “Hey, Greg, what’s up?” I turned and looked closer at the pair and recognized and realized that the guy was Javier, my friend and trainer at my gym. We yelled greetings to each other and compared our climbing times. He said he was up in 20 minutes. That’s hard to believe, but I have no reason to doubt him.
Besides the beautiful views and the exercise, climbing the mountain gives me time to think. And, I think a lot. Today, I was thinking about relationships and friendships I’ve had with women here. I’ve been in Cali over 4 years now so I’ve see friends come and go. I still haven’t had a real girlfriend, just lots of woman friends. I’ve gotten close to several, but things went bad for various reasons. One woman became a good friend. I trusted her and then, once, she told me she needed money to buy some equipment for her store. She said she would pay me back in monthly installments. She was faithful for about half of them, then stopped. I never did get the rest of the money back. I gave up and considered it a donation. Then, months later, while I was in the states, I received a call from her out of the blue. She talked awhile and then asked if I would marry her. She wanted her daughter to be able to live and go to school in the states. I said that was not going to work. How could I be married to her and then explain that to my other woman friends. Besides, by then, she had pretty much ruined our friendship. Over a year later now, just recently, I learned that she just got married to a Colombian man. What is strange is that he is the ex-husband of a neighbor whose daughter I used to give English lessons to. It’s often a small and strange world. Loaning money has not been a good idea. I was good friends with another woman. When she asked me one time if I could loan her money to pay her rent since she was in between jobs, I said of course. She was a good friend. After I gave her the money, I didn’t hear from her. She didn’t call or write for a month or more which was unusual. She had gotten what she needed from me and that was it. I decided that she must not need me as a friend anymore. She had used our friendship to get money and photos. I eventually had to keep asking her for the money until I finally received it. We haven’t talked since. Another friendship gone.
I’ve now been back in Cali for at least 6 weeks. There are several friends that I still haven’t seen. At least, I thought we were good friends. What I hate is when women say we’re going to meet or do something, then at the last minute, they come up with an excuse for not being able to. Then, I don’t hear from them again or at least, for a long time. With one friend, we’d planned to get together a couple of times. I waited for her both times, not planning anything else for those evenings. Each time, she had told me that she was going to meet me after she arrived home. Then, each time, after waiting until late, I got a call saying she was too tired to leave the house. I was blown off twice in a row. I lost faith in her and we haven’t spoken since. I do have one friend, still, that has been loyal and faithful for over 4 years. We have a good friendship. We have done a lot of things together, including day trips, movies, concerts and meals. It’s a good relationship, but she’s only 27, almost 28. Seriously, I’m too old for her. I’m thankful for her friendship though. It means a lot to me. So, by now, I have only about 4 more months in Cali. I’m tired of the disappointments, the lost friendships. Again, I find myself thinking that I may not return to Cali again. But, I can’t say never. I would miss my best friend. I would miss my friends in both Siloé and Bocas del Palo also. It would be very hard not to keep coming back. Yet, I think I need to spend some time in Mexico, preferably, along the coast. I miss the ocean, the beachs, the sunsets. More things to think about on the next hike.