ulises and gi joe

the following post is in english

when I was 6 years old I met my best friend for a while (at least until 5th grade). I don't like complaining, but I think I did not socialize much with other kids because of my parents' rules on going out. ulises lived in front of the elementary school (the second one I attended) and lived with his mother and two younger siblings. his dad was in an unspecified place in america (I don't know what kind of job he had). this is very common in guanajuato, but of course at the time I had no idea.

very early on our friendship I invited ulises to play after school. since my mother was at work, I always stayed with my grandma a couple of hours until she came back. in retrospective I think I should have asked first if it was okay. ulises briefly entered his house to tell his mom he was coming over and then we left for my grandma's.

apart from my own house, I knew my grandma's place, my aunts' place and that's about it. I did not think much about things I do at my house that might not be common for others. however, it's not that I did something weird, but rather my grandma's place was not exactly normal.

for starters, there were always animals inside and the air was quite stuffy. my grandma had at least two dogs, a cat, various birds and very poor ventilation. the kitchen was right next to the living room and there were lots of car parts just laying around. my uncle's favorite pastime seemed to be "fixing" cars (whether he was successful doing that is another thing).

my grandma was not happy with the idea, but she asked my cousin to bring a box with toys from one of the rooms upstairs. we had a selection of toy soldiers, cars and dinosaurs. after what seemed like 30 minutes or so, we had dinner and then ulises went back home. he let me play with his toys (he brought a couple action figures) until the next day, when I returned them at school.

I don't remember the exact details, but my grandma asked me not to invite him again so that was the last time I had a friend over for a playdate (excluding my birthday, which of course was celebrated at my house, not my grandma's).

I said ulises was my best friend until 5th grade because that's around the time I met miguel, a transfer student who quickly became very popular and also my rival in school. he was way cooler than me and since he was a regular kid (he didn't have helicopter parents) he could go most places I couldn't after school. that's how ulises became way better friends with miguel instead (understandable).

in sixth grade I spent some time with my friends' friends. "special needs children schools" as they were called then, were scarce in my city. a deaf kid whose mother was a nurse in the nearby hospital, alan, was ulises' best friend during elementary school. alan and ulises spent a lot of time outside, rollerskating (it was 1998) while I was wearing my skates inside and getting scolded by mom for doing so (going out to "be a punk" was not her idea of fun). I was jealous, honestly, because I couldn't skate backwards as good as them (or at all).

after elementary school, ulises and I went to the same middle school, but I was in the "morning shift" (public schools in mexico have morning and evening classes, but are independent from each other) and since he was in the evening shift we rarely met at all. I think the last time we ever saw each other was when I was 12, 13 years old.

now, alan and I were in the same class. he was very kind for a "big kid" (because of his situation, he had to wait a couple years to get into school) and sort of protected me from bullies when he was around. too bad I changed schools that first year.