By Wes Janisen | September 10, 2012
I didn’t think about you once today, for the first time since I met you. When I woke up this morning, my first thought was simply that it was too cold to get out of bed; I did not wish that you were there beside me. I went to the closet and got dressed without thinking about whether or not you liked the shirt I was putting on, didn’t think about whether you’d already seen me in the sweater I layered over it. I skipped breakfast, as I always do, and I didn’t hear your voice chastising me in the back of my head, “Breakfast is the most important meal of the day.” I just glanced at the clock, grabbed my keys, and shut the door firmly behind me.
I didn’t see anyone who reminded me of you on the train to work. I didn’t hear anyone who had your laugh, didn’t see anyone sporting the same shoes you wear, didn’t catch a whiff of anyone wearing the same perfume as you. I just sat there quietly reading my book, never once wondering whether or not you’d enjoy reading it, too. When the automated voice announced my stop, I got up and stepped out on to the platform without turning around to wave goodbye to you, or anyone, as the train whizzed off down the tunnel behind me. I simply headed quickly up the stairs toward fresh air, toward daylight.
At the office, I answered phones, got coffee, checked emails, sorted paperwork, chatted with coworkers, spaced out, got stuff done, all without interruption. When my boss handed me a bunch of work right before it was time to leave, I didn’t have to suppress the urge to text you and complain, didn’t even think back to a time when something like this would have made me late to have dinner with you. I made it home eventually, and when I got there I called up a friend and asked if he wanted to come over and watch television with me. He did. We laughed, we made popcorn, we had a great time, and not once did either of us mention your name.
I went out for a late-night run with my iPod on shuffle, and I heard a song we danced to together at our favorite bar, the night you wore a dark gray t-shirt and I ordered my usual, one shot too many. It started playing right as I crossed Ocean Boulevard, my feet hitting the pavement in tune with the beat, but that memory of you didn’t accompany it this time. As I traveled down the sidewalk, I looked out across the water to the sparkling lights down on the pier, and I didn’t care that you weren’t with me, didn’t care that you were missing out on such a pretty sight. I just kept on running.
As I’m lying here in bed, about to close my eyes and drift off to a place where I will not dream of you, this is when I realize I haven’t thought about you today. Some might say this realization ends my streak-of-not-thinking-of-you, that I’ve inadvertently let your ghost return to haunt me once again, but this is not true at all. See, in thinking about how I haven’t thought of you, I’m not really thinking about you at all — I’m finally thinking about me. You’re just an idea now, a shadow, something I’m only considering as it relates to my own evolution. I’m recalling what I used to be like when you were all I ever thought about, when you seemed to own my thoughts morning, noon, and night. I’m thinking about the tear-stained pillows and empty wine bottles that decorated my room in the time I spent trying to get over you. I’m remembering how badly I longed to free myself from your spell, but secretly believed that day would never come.
And yet, that day is here, that day is today, the day I did not think of you, and I cannot help but smile, for I am finally free. Everyone said it would happen eventually, and I’m happy to report they were right (as they almost always are). I’ve moved on, as we all seem to do eventually. The best part is, I doubt I’ll be thinking of you tomorrow either.
All I want in life is someone who will watch Precious with me while we drunkenly laugh and eat coconut-based ice cream. Then spoon. Obvi.
If you are absolutely head-over-heels for someone, what better way to let them know than by refusing to acknowledge their existence? When they come around, make sure to feel your entire body clam up and start sweating, until you’re essentially a giant armpit of discomfort and desire. Be unable to make eye contact with them, get extraordinarily nervous when you hear that they’re going to be at an event, and spend an inordinate amount of time getting ready beforehand when you know they’re going to see you — only to spend the entire time awkwardly avoiding them around the room. Crumble in on yourself with silent passion.
If absolute silence is not your M.O. when it comes to expressing your budding love, you can always change it up and become completely disconnected from your own brain function. Suddenly become a sputtering diesel engine of cacklig laughs, mistimed jokes, and endless overshares. When they make a joke (which is actually funny, as they are perfect), try to laugh in this terrifying, shout-y squawk that you quickly try to cover up with a cough. If your’e telling a story, have no concept of what you’re actually saying, and realize far too late that you’ve been talking for seven straight minutes about that time you thought you got rabies from that raccoon you tried to domesticate at summer camp. Don’t stop talking until you can see them feeling around their chair for an “eject” button.
Do everything short of hiring a private eye, and leave no internet-stone unturned in your search for information about them, their exes, their family, their favorite elementary school teacher, their plans for the future, and their shoe size. Don’t stop until you feel that you know them better than their own family, and consider suicide when you accidentally let slip one of these horrifying morsels of ill-gotten information in front of them. Essentially get a Doctorate in Shit About Your Crush You Found On Google, and consider coming back to the school to become a professor.
You know what your friends, family, coworkers, exes, mailman, barista at Starbucks, dentist, and complete strangers in the street want to hear about? Your crush! It’s best to filter the knowledge of your love for them through several rounds in the unforgiving rumor mill, and the only way to ensure that is to make sure that not a single person exists in the tri-state area that hasn’t heard you go on about your crush’s eyes, sense of humor, adorable way of wearing tee shirts, dimples, family history that you found on Facebook, or the amazing way they don’t even know you exist. Tell them all!
If someone is just not getting the point about how much you love them, all you need is a little Death Cab lyric, and you’re good to go. Just put “I need you so much closer…” in your status, hit enter, and call it a day. If they don’t know that your message was meant to cut across the static of the internet and reach them directly, well, they’re probably just a little too obtuse for your tastes, anyway.
Pull them aside when you get the chance — either at an opportune moment in a social gathering or in a meeting of your own arrangement — and just let them know. Look them in the eye, tell them how you’ve been feeling, ask if they’d like to go out with you sometime. Be respectful and not too pushy, but say what you mean, and don’t let them walk away with some misunderstanding about what exactly is going on between the two of you. Even if they end up not reciprocating your feelings, you can always walk away okay, knowing that you did the right thing and gave it a shot, but that you can’t force someone to feel a certain way if they don’t want to. Feel good about the way you’re progressing in your romantic life.
Oh, who am I kidding? Go comb Google for more possible links to old pictures.