A lot goes through my head whenever I talk to people. For some reason, sometimes it makes me wonder if we’d be a good match. I give it a couple of seconds of thought, picturing us as a couple. Sometimes it happens a lot, sometimes I give it one shot. I don’t know why it happens, and I just decided to coin it up to a very active and strange imagination. I don’t do this for every person, either. It usually has to do with attraction or just how nice I think they are.
So there’s this young dude who just randomly decided to talk to another classmate and I one day. He knew the other guy I mentioned a post or two ago, and we started talking to him because he sat down and talked to us. Jaclyn, the other classmate decided to rule him out. I decided to be nice. He took both our numbers. She didn’t answer. Pretentious Guy says that this younger guy has a crush on her. This was “confirmed” when he tried to hug her. It’s a running joke that their “shipment” is imminent. (I’m not sure exactly how funny the joke really is, though.)
I decided to answer the call because the kid seemed like a nice young man. He’s 18, soon to be 19. Fresh out of high school, and taking lots of art classes. I decided to answer the call because I know what it’s like to be strange, artistic, and barely have friends. Maybe I’m wrong about him, but I get the feeling that his circle isn’t a huge crowd of people. So we’ve had some long conversations. I mean, two hours full of geek-dom, nerd-isms, and full on Blerd commentary. We are Black Nerds and it’s pretty awesome.
So I’m pretty sure there no attraction to me, like there’s none for him. I just don’t see him that way. I don’t think he’s ugly or gross, I just see him more like a soon to be friend. However, between and during phone calls, I find myself imagining what it would be like to be with him. Which, mind you, would be laughable. I’m an old bear woman of 29.5 years. He’s turning 19 this Friday. It’s a huge leap, and I don’t really like younger guys anyway. I don’t know what he likes, but I guarantee it ain’t me. So, these images are strange. Purging them doesn’t help. They don’t make me uncomfortable, but it’s just…silly.
These thoughts aren’t that out of the ordinary. Lots of chill time, couple of smooches. I think it only started to get weird around the time of the bar trip after finals. When Pretentious Guy started saying that I’d be “perfect to turn that kid out”, that’s when things shifted. Again–not interested in this boy. The ongoing mystery that is my brain briefly explores it. It’s like three second clips of a movie that should never be. I brushed of PG when he said it, laughing all the way. He needs someone his own age.
I plan on being his friend. Not his first time, not his…anything aside from being a good friend. I like him, you know? But not like like. That’s just wrong on so many levels. I think it’s interesting and endearing that he’s so eager to text me and talk to me sometimes, but it’s more of a “you’re pretty cool so let’s talk all day and kill moments of silence and boredom” type thing. It’s the kind of thing lonely and awkward Blerds tend to bond over. Someday he will grow up and over me, and I can only hope that our friendship was a great stepping stone for him. Or, if we do not grow apart, that we remain the best of friends. I just felt like being that nice person in a sea of cliques and judgments was the right thing to do. Why not? How many friends do I make, when most people find it better to avoid me?
I appreciate the people who look past my lack of fashion and beauty to find the person within. Or, at least tolerate whatever I may happen to be. I’d also like to be that kind of person. What are looks and clothes when there’s people out there who’re absolute gems? What do shed-able skins of pretense and fakeness really mean, when there’s people out there who need us to dig deeper to get to the good stuff? This kid is an artist who maybe needs a kind word or a laughing voice in his head. Maybe he’s someone I’ve been asking for. I keep writing and writing that I want to find friends. What if we’re two artists who’re meant to come together in our youth so that we grow older and collab in adulthood?
(But at this point, I’m already an old fart, lol.)
Maybe it’s all too much. I try hard not to be “that person” who shoots for the moon when folks are still gathering their bags for the trip. I scared off a great love (I think) when we were due to be friends by doing that. I don’t want to scare off a new friend by going into my usual habits of excitement and long essays about who we are. I like how long we talk, but let’s not get crazy.
Once my dad kept talking about the shortness of life, forgiving people on the other side of burnt bridges, a lot of things came up in my head. While I stopped myself from unblocking (because hell no, we ain’t doin’ all that!), I started to feel good about where some of my newer friendships were going. Life, as molasses-like as it is for me, isn’t all that bad. Deciding to give Johnathan a chance felt like a good thing to do. He’s a sweet guy.