Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Crushed: a short story

Ok, so.  I'm 33 years old and I don't get crushes anymore.  I don't get pimples anymore either, which is something I associate with crushes.  By "crush" I mean like when there's someone you encounter on occasion who you "like".  I'm 33 years old, for goodness sakes.  My twenties cured me of crushes, with its barrage of relational traumas, to the point where I'm happy being alone.  I have my meds.  I'm fine.  I live in a crush-free universe.

So then what's the deal with this server girl?  Why is it that when I go to this one local restaurant (which shall remain anonymous) there's this server who awakens long-crushed feelings and I feel like a stupid 14-year-old?  I want to look at her every time she walks by, but that feels creepy, so I keep stealing these, like, furtive glances and then staring back at my soup.

Why do I get intimidated when this big confident guy sits at the table next to mine and orders his iced tea with such confidence and masculinity?  And when she asks him, "Black or green tea?" why do I get pissed when he replies with confident non-chalance, "Surprise me."?  Why do I want to punch him in his stupid, confident mouth?  Why do I feel jealous of a guy like that?

What, exactly, is the deal with this server girl?  Her name is…wait…I won't write her name in case she reads this.  She is attractive in a way that that "surprise me" iced tea guy could not appreciate.  I mean, she's like really attractive.  Not in a fake Orange County way, but in a genuine, classy way that says, "I read books and I don't give a shit about what you think."  Actually she's way nicer than that makes her sound.  Or maybe she's not.  How could I know?  I'm just the guy who keeps looking up, then back down at his soup way more times than is necessary.

We've had a few little interactions, but truthfully I don't know what to say.  I get the vibe that she's into really interesting things, but how does one begin to find out while eating soup?  I can't just, like, call her over and ask for more bread and then just casually ask what she's "into".  That sounds creepy too.  Why am I even obsessing about this?  I've stopped obsessing over girls. 

I look at the old couple across from me, how they're just silently eating chicken wraps and how depressing that is and I think…He was once a man who was obsessed over this woman and look where that got them.  They're probably miserable.  He probably wanted to be a jazz musician or something and then he fell for this girl and then he had to get a corporate job selling computer parts or something and his dreams of jazz glory were crushed.  He'll probably go home and putter around pathetically on his little clarinet thinking…If only.

Plus, she's totally out of my league.  She's genuinely attractive and I have a pot belly from too much pizza and soda.  I eat like a Ninja Turtle, like a 14-year-old.  But here I order soup.  Did I order the healthy soup to impress her?  Damn this crush!  This is the kind of thing that ties your mind in knots and paralyzes you.  I was happy living like a monk.  Lonely, sure.  But I can handle loneliness.

But, now that I've left and I'm sitting alone writing, why do I feel that this loneliness might be too much to bear, like my heart is a neglected little unicorn who has suddenly peaked out through the bars of his cage at a larger world.  And why would someone cage a unicorn?


  1. This post describes exactly how I feel...about you. I've liked you for years and now I'm crushed. The server girl doesn't know how lucky she is.

  2. I remember that day. Your glances aren't shallow, they look past my eyes into the who of me. I am not as interesting as my eyes make me seem. Be hide them is a deep loneliness, the same that's be hide everyones. You are interesting though. I've seen your movie reviews, heard your musical taste, and I read your words. You look deeply into the world in search of the quiet beauty. You see and think about what a lot of people just glance over. This server girl does know what she's missing. You're interesting and a unicorn for sure BUT you're not supposed to call yourself one, you should wait till someone else does…I think you're wrong about something though. I stole this quote from the show Peaky Blinders (review of show…it's awesome), "Love is our only defense against the great void". I think that's what the older couple had, love. The kind that does't need to hide be hide bullshit. That can sit in silence and just be. We may never have anything beyond glances because most love turns bitter and I wouldn't give up the way you look at me. I am just a server but it's nice to be thought of as more. I still see you sometimes. It's been four years but I still appreciate the way you look at me, it makes my life just a little more bearable. You should crush, hard and often. Writer's crave experience. Your love's and your failure's are the greatest inspiration. I would hate to see someone who's made my life better make a cage out of fear. And you were right about one thing, I don't give a shit. Thank you.