To the girl who rides the bus with me as I’m coming home from work:
You are very beautiful. I feel like I shouldn’t lead with that. But if I ever talked to you, that’s what I would say. It might go south because you might be a super independent woman who doesn’t need the affirmation of a man to make you feel loved and you might overcompensate by refusing compliments. It would be a risk I was willing to make.
I would tell you to smile more. Or I would try to make you smile. I want to see what you look like with joy on.
I would ask you about the books you are reading. I love books. That’s something you should know about me.
I would explain to you that this is not something I normally do. The last time I talked to a random girl whom I found attractive was never. You wouldn’t believe me. That’s cool. I would revel in the idea that you think I’m a player.
I would be a good conversationalist. The sincere kind. I would flirt, but I wouldn’t do that thing where I put you down just so you think I’m an asshole and so therefore desirable. I would ask questions. And hopefully I could coax more than one-word responses from you.
I would tell you about this movie I just watched – TiMER – in which the main conflict is that everyone has these timers that go off when you meet your “one.” I would ask you your opinion. You would tell me that the “one” is bullshit. And I would mostly agree. But then I would argue that “the one” is mostly a tautology. Successful partnerships last forever so of course those people believe in “the one.” For them, it’s effectively true. You would scoff at my theorizing. I would wrinkle my nose and ask “What?”
I would ask if you have a boyfriend. You would say yes. I would ask if you smoked pot. You would say no. I would say, “That explains it.” You would ask, “That explains what?”
I would laugh a little and then tell you my theory about how there are two types of people in the world: those who smoke pot and those who don’t. I don’t want to date those who smoke pot and the ones who don’t smoke pot don’t want to date me. You would say, “I never said I didn’t want to date you.”
I would laugh again until you figured out I had tricked you. You would smile and look away. I would be glad that you smiled.