a couple months ago, i met a boy. and it was nothing, and meant nothing, but in my imagination, it was something. something big. so big, in fact, that i told my friends of him in the way one envisions cartoon characters act when they fall in love, with tiny little hand drawn stars in their eyes that sparkle against the sketched out sunlight. and every single rational part of my body told me, don’t think about this, it was nothing, don’t think about it, it was lunch and nothing else. but in my heart, a tiny little jagged piece of hope poked its head out and said, maybe, just maybe.
fast forward a few months and i’m still pretty much where i started. he seems interested, slightly, maybe, maybe not. i could pluck the petals off of multiple daises and still not know whether he likes me or he likes me not. and yet that little piece of my heart wants to take a big box of hope off the shelf and dust it off and put it on display again, because maybe, just maybe, he likes me too.
it sounds so childish, doesn’t it? i’m embarrassed to be writing these words at the ripe old age of 27. but in a city like new york, you meet so many people. you pass them on the sidewalks and ask them if they’re okay when they trip over their shoelaces and spill their coffee outside dean and deluca. you fall into them on the 1 train as the driver jerks the car into the 14th street station. you meet their eyes over brunch, you walk home with them from a bar and lead them into your apartment where you strip down to your underwear in the dark. you meet people at coffee shops when you order your morning drink, at bars when you order your evening poison, at the office when you share your elevator ride, at the farmer’s market when you purchase overpriced arugula. you meet so.many.people. and none of them do anything for you. no one lights the spark.
and then you meet someone who does, and all of a sudden, it’s like your world is lit on fire. and you know you can’t think of it this way and every part of your brain is yelling, “don’t fall like this” but sometimes you just can’t help it, can you? so you imagine the time past all the bullshit, past the games and the players and fast forward to walks through central park, one gloved hand in another. you picture popping a steaming hot bite of risotto into his mouth and his awkward limbs dancing around the tiled kitchen floor because it’s too hot and why didn’t you blow on it first? you picture how his body will fit neatly into yours in bed, how maybe he’ll learn that you like your sheets to be cold and so he’ll turn over your pillow before you climb under the comforter.
and deep down, you know none of these things will happen and none of it will come true and that you’re nothing if not supremely delusional, delusional enough that they could check you into an institution for the type of fantasies you’ve dreamed up.
and then you go for drinks and when you stand to leave, he holds out the arms of your jacket like a true gentleman, and just like that you’re holding onto the hope again that maybe, just maybe, this will be something. something big. i think the fitzgerald quote above has it right: sometimes, you meet people, and it’s the beginning and the end and that’s all there is. and lord, do i hope that someday, when i meet someone and feel that way, they’ll feel the same. because i’d love not to have to put my hope back up on a shelf. i’d love to pull it down and wrap it around me, keeping me warm like a perfect summer day. and until then, well, here’s hoping my head wins out over my heart.