02 april 2000 | back | archive | forward | girl | sign | e-mail

we were in line for high fidelity when i saw him. i was surprised i even recognized him. it had been a few months, at least, and he was across the crowded street. but i could tell by the way he walked, his perfectly mussed hair, and his angular nose. he crossed the street toward us, toward the movie theater, and that's when i was positive. it was him.

"oh my gosh," i whispered to claudine. "i went out with him."

he was with a girl. she was tiny and adorable, of course: hair in a bob, jeans cuffed and dangling a leopard-skin printed purse around her wrist. i, on the other hand, was a mess: sand in my dirty hair, wearing some old t-shirt and jeans and sporting sticky, sweaty skin leftover from a day outside (walking on the beach, window shopping and eating a lazy lunch on a restaurant patio).

it was just like a movie: i was the girl who had been left by the boy, and here we were months later running into each other unexpectedly. except no words were exchanged. not an "oh, hello" or a "how've you been?" not even a furtive glance.

they walked right by us while we were standing in line. if he looks at me, i'll say hi, i thought, but if he doesn't turn, i'm not going to say his name. he didn't turn his head. they just walked on by toward the end of the line.

in the theater, he was sitting on the other side of the theater, across the aisle from us, two rows in front and five seats over.

"she's laughing," claudine said. "he's making her laugh."

i rolled my eyes at her as if i could care less, but really, i didn't need her to tell me, because i had noticed, myself. twice before the movie, i thought i saw her turn to look at us. claudine said he turned, too. i felt myself talking loudly and laughing a lot, and i kept thinking, this is so stupid, it's not like i even care, i didn't even like him anyway, but i couldn't really control it. i wanted to look happy, just in case he looked over. i knew he wasn't going to, but i had to be prepared, just in case.

to clarify, he didn't really leave me. we only went out a few times, and it's debatable whether they were actually dates. we had been set up, i thought he was cute, he seemed interested, so we hung out. i say i never really liked him, and i don't mean that in the neener-neener-neener sticky my tongue out with my hands on my hips kind of way. i just don't feel like i got to know him, and i know i didn't let him get to know me. i was trying so hard to be a girl who wore the right things and smiled the perfect smile and told the funniest stories and called at the appropriate times that i didn't have time to be myself. it just sorta fizzled. he was too busy with things, and i was too tired to care. he just wasn't interested, i told gina, but maybe i wasn't interested, either.

after the movie, claudine and i went outside to wait for joel. i moved through the crowd to the far end of the entrance, where i knew he wouldn't pass. out of the corner of my eye, i saw them cross the street toward the parking structure. i didn't see their faces, or their hands, just their heads bouncing along, like they were happy together.

joel came out of the theater, and the three of us wandered down the street toward our parking structure, a few blocks away. as usual, claudine was bumbling about, joel was making funny faces and i was cracking jokes. i'm sure there was part of us that secretly wished we were walking down the street with some kind of significant other, instead, but at least we had each other -- and that was enough company to keep us happy.

i broke out the colored pencils today and started sketching. i keep forgetting how good it feels to run a pencil's tip across a blank sheet of paper.

one load of laundry down, three more loads to go.

craig, of the wonderfully whimsical flipflopflyin.com has done it again, with the mini museum of modern art. go on and get your daily dose of mini culture.

"my head hurts and i want to crawl into my sister's bed like when i was little and couldn't sleep because the vastness of the universe scared me, and my brain would always be too small. but there is no bed i can crawl into anymore that'll take this full-grown horror away." -- tomato rodriguez, in flaming iguanas, by erika lopez, a new hero of mine.

whipped cream does not belong on regular coffee.