Tuesday, August 12, 2008

A Story

You met him a few months ago, and somehow he managed to seep into your subconscious like that "take my breath away" song. Just like you have no clue who the hell sings it, you don't know why he's there. But he is, whether you like it or not. You can’t change that. You know his cell phone and his address. You can dial his mom’s office (where he works) faster than you can peck-out 911. But he doesn't know.

His screenname, that generic one with his first name followed by three to five random numbers, has its own category at the top of your buddy list. Not only do you know what a "Buddy Alert" is, you've rigged your computer to play "Crazy in Love" from "I Think I'm In Love You" every time his screen name changes from gray to black. Then his away message comes down, and you have a decision to make. To IM or not to IM? These are the ridiculous games that you play on a daily basis. But he doesn't know.

He's it. All right, so maybe not "it" it. Not necessarily Mr. Right, but closer to Mr. Right-up-there-with-Brad-Pitt-and-Johnny-Depp-on-your-list-of-people-you'd-give-anything-to-be-stranded-with-on-a-broken-down-elevator. But it's about more than that. When is it ever about more than that? Never. Not like stupid girly fights, overpriced purses, embarrassing grandparents more, but closer to brand name purses, two brand new cds, a twinkie and a movie you have no interest in seeing more. But he doesn't know.

He's gorgeous, but gorgeous is an understatement. More like you're startled every time you see him because you notice something new in a "Where's Waldo" sort of way. More like you can't stop writing third grade run-on sentences because you can't remotely begin to describe something ... someone ... so inherently amazing. But you're a writer. You can describe anything. That's what you do: pictures to words, events to words, words to even better words. But nothing seems right. More like you're afraid that if you stare at him for too long, you'll prove your parents right: that yes, your face will stick that way. But you wouldn't mind.

You wouldn't mind that the questioning, "Hello?" on the other end makes you want to smile and throw up at the same time. You wouldn't mind worrying about what to get him for his birthday and spending $300 when you only have $17.50 and a gas card to your name. You wouldn't mind that he left his cellphone at your house the night before ... because it gives you a chance to check what icon pops up when you call him. You don't mind that you've slipped up twice when you were hammered and hinted at how you feel, but he was too drunk to remember. So he doesn't know.

Sure, he's hot, but it's about more than that. You two connect. Anything you throw at him, he can throw right back. You figured out what's going on in that predictable head of his in under five minutes, but something tells you his heart would take about five years.

You remember everything he's ever said to you, and when that freaks him out you blame it on your photographic memory (which is a lie). You can't remember your cousin's aunt's name, and you can't remember that your english paper due four days ago, yet you remember the middle name of the kid who tripped him in fifth grade and gave him that cute little scar on his shoulder. Maybe it's because you actually listen when he talks. When do you actually listen? Never. But he doesn't know.

But he has a girlfriend. The girl is a model, and you are not. She has no redeeming qualities, and you have about 38, even when you're hung over. You could kick her butt, and you've never been in a fight in your life. She treats him like crap, and you would treat him like the prince he believed himself to be last Halloween. But he loves her.

She wouldn't know what she had even if he slapped her across the face and dumped her, but somehow he still loves her. And somehow he still doesn't know.

Then, out of nowhere, he dumps her. His half-smile as he talks almost makes you feel ashamed that you're the only one around who gets to witness it. It looks like he might realize that all girls don't deserve to have rocks thrown at them.

But nothing changes. He doesn't know. You get that elevator feeling in your stomach that he'll never know. You get that feeling that you'll be forced to write a cheesy column about him that makes "Sleepless in Seattle" look like "Girls Gone Wild."

You go to sleep. You wake up. He doesn’t know. You’re not in love. You’re not obsessed. You blame it on the fact that he makes you wanna LaLa, but still, it’s about more than that. It would just be nice if once in your life, things worked out the way you wanted them to.

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