BeliWhenever I refer to her I say, “My friend Belinda, from Costa Rica…”. It’s so rote at this point, though, that it comes out, “MyfriendBelindafromCostaRica…”

It’s not really true, though, is the thing.

I’ve known Belinda since Junior High back in Redlands, CA; which, though the O.C. hates to admit it, was the Original 714 (long before it became the much-maligned 909, Land of the Dirt People). My long-term crush began when we were band geeks together I was a band geek, and she was a hot french horn player. The hardcore band geeks hated her because she was:

a) really hot
b) really hot
c) on the front page of the local paper, playing her french horn, when a seemingly bored reporter took some pictures of us practicing. He knew where the money was.

At some point, she quit band, and went on to bigger and more popular things.
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Belinda and I got a little closer in high school, and then much closer when we went to college together (coincidentally)… where, incidentally, she started belly-dancing, and I started chewing on my fist, a lot.

All of this, you might have noticed, did not happen in Costa Rica.

During the summers, and for maybe a semester or two, though, Belinda did go to Costa Rica to save the world, which was the beginning of the end (of her US citizenship).

After college, Belinda moved out, inexplicably to Kansas, to hang out with her parents for a while, and work in a hospital. It was just a breather, though, because she moved out to Costa Rica soon after, and has remained there, more or less, ever since.
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Whenever she comes back to The States, I am on her short list for visiting (as you can see), and as you know when you have a crush for over 15 years and never almost never do anything, it becomes a Really Good Friendship, which I’m cool with…marginally.

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