Freshman year I had sort of a thing for this guy Calvin. We had a class together that was notoriously difficult with a professor, Dr. Graham, who was notoriously difficult. We read a book called Cane by Renaissance author Jean Toomer. Not long after the class ended, Dr. Graham retired. I think that’s all the backstory you need for the following texting conversation:
Me: I’m applying for an internship and I have to send them my unofficial transcript and this forced me to reread the personal evaluation Dr. Graham wrote about me all those years ago, and as usual it gave me a mini existential crisis.
Calvin: The man cane in, he caused trauma, and then he quit.
Me: Was “cane” a typo or an allusion?
Me: He cane, he saw, he conquered.
And he never replied. I might come across as kind of amusing on the Internet, when I’ve had time to reflect on what I want to say (and then backspace it about 90% of the time and say something else instead). But my real-life sense of humor is pretty groan-worthy. I think it’s obvious why this relationship never took off.
I have had a smattering (okay, okay, a copious amount) of real, actual crushes on real, actual people. (Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Cough.) But I also frequently develop those massive obsessions with fictional characters that are only slightly less attainable than JGL. Come on, this is the Internet. We all know that feel.
I present to you that list:
1. Sirius Black
2. Fred Weasley
3. Kartik (from the Gemma Doyle trilogy)
4. Bernard (from The Santa Clause. I went through this phase from approximately the ages of 10-16, and I never truly grew out of it)
5. Jack Sparrow
6. Flynn Rider
7. Sayid (from Lost… until that last season, he was literally the only character that didn’t throw all logic out the window at the slightest provocation. Also those EYES)
8. Rudy Steiner (The Book Thief)
9. Sawyer (also from Lost. Good God)
10. Sam (Dulé Hill’s role in Holes… I don’t know why I picked the most obscure minor character to develop a crush on when there were loads of perfectly good juvenile delinquents to choose from, but the heart wants what the heart wants)
11. Finny (from A Separate Peace)
12. Enjolras (from Les Misérables)
…And what do they all have in common? They all (spoilers. Seriously, turn back) DIE, in some form or fashion. I didn’t even realize that until I was about halfway done with this list! Jesus! They all die! What’s up with that? With the exception of Bernard the Head Elf, because The Santa Clause would have taken a bit of a dark turn if THAT had happened. But you know what? I consider him dead. He’s dead to me, because where the hell was he for The Santa Clause 3? Scheduling conflicts, my ass. Scheduling conflicts TOYING WITH THE HEARTS AND MINDS OF IMPRESSIONABLE VIEWERS, more like. Thanks, Bernard. You’re a god among men. (No, really. You are. I didn’t mean any of that. Let me love you?)
Now that it’s summer and I’m home from college, it’s my job to pick up my brother from school every day. I don’t mind, because I’ve missed him this past year, but I also like waiting in the parking lot so I can gawk awkwardly at the high school dramas playing out before me. It’s like a bunch of mini soap operas conveniently located in the general vicinity. Sometimes I buy food on the way there so I’m literally sitting in the parking lot, snacking and eagerly watching like it’s my favorite TV show.
This whole scenario presents its own set of problems, though. The high school parking lot is where it’s at. People chill on the hoods of their cars long after school gets out. Even on the weekends, people meet up there if they’ve got a big group and only want to take one car. I cannot stress this enough: it is the epicenter of our lives. That’s why it’s somewhat awkward, because now I’m seeing every guy I ever had a crush on. Today I saw Spencer. The other day I saw Ace. And what do I do? Say hi? Wave? No. I almost run them over with my car out of sheer alarm.
Last year’s football players who went off to college are starting to trickle in. It’s only a matter of time before I see That Guy and fall in love with him for the 76th time since junior year. But I’m not going to squee. I’m not. I’m not even thinking about him and his luscious hair. (GOD, HE’S PRETTY!)
Oh my God. Oh my God. I need an outfit. I need to write conversation topics on note cards. What the hell am I going to do with my hair?
Okay, okay. So it’s not like I have a date with the cutie I regularly eat breakfast with or anything like that. But you know That Guy? The guy I had a magnitude-ten crush on in high school? The guy who raced me to math class? The greatest human being in the entire world? (I might be exaggerating. Maybe. Probably not, though.) ANYWAY, he’s off playing college football and being amazing, and I was kind of counting on never seeing him again.
I forgot to factor in my brother, Alex. He played football with That Guy last year, so they’re buds. I think That Guy was the older brother Alex never had. (I did my best, but there are only so many times I’ll consent to wrestling in the living room.) So Alex has an away game that brings him out to my neck of the woods, and it’s one of the few games I’m able to attend. And get this… Alex just talked to That Guy, and That Guy is going to be attending, too. AHHHH! The probability of us actually exchanging more than a few words is slim at best, because I’ll probably catch one glimpse of him and collapse into a puddle of hindering social awkwardness, but STILL. He’s just beautiful to behold. Even if it’s just a “Hi, Elodie,” I will so take it.