There's this boy that I kind of like. He's not actually a "boy", by which I mean that he's not under the age of eighteen, not that he's not actually a male, because I think he is even though I haven't officially checked or anything. After tonight, of course, I never actually will, because I ran into that boy that I like at the store, and managed to grind the conversation to an awkward halt in under a half dozen sentences.
I've been running into this boy, who I'm guessing is only a little younger than me, like maybe 30 or 31, at various events and meetings and things since about November or so. Whenever I see him somewhere, though, we always seem to be in passing. One of us is leaving while the other is arriving, or one has to go as soon as whatever is going on is over, or one of us is trapped in the corner talking to a needy friend who can't seem to take the hint that the reason why I'm looking over your shoulder is that the boy that I like is over there and now he's about to head out the door and you won't stop talking about your cat and your car and whatever the hell else it is that you won't stop babbling about while he's leaving yet again without me getting to talk to him.
Not that I would talk to him, anyway, other than to say hi or something, because I am horribly awkward around boys that I think are cute and they always have to talk to me first. This is what happens when you don't come out until after college. Everybody else got to perfect their flirting skills in high school, but you were busy trying to figure out how to pretend to be straight and never learned how to chit chat with boys. Instead, you just run into them at the store and manage to destroy any chance that you might have had to ever talk to him again in just under six sentences.
Here's what happened:
I rounded the corner of the aisle at the store, slowly pushing my cart and wondering if buying a bag of BBQ flavored chips for dinner was a good idea or a bad idea (I decided it was a bad idea, mostly because I was in such a hurry to leave the store and run home to finish dying a thousand deaths of mortification and embarassment that I forgot that I had ever wanted BBQ chips to begin with) when I looked up, and there he was! The boy that I like and never talk to!
O! M! G!, right? Since I'm bald now I no longer have to think, "Oh, God, is my hair ok?" but I did have a fleeting thought of, "Crap! Do I look dumpy in this outfit? And is it sexy dumpy, or homeless bum dumpy? Maybe I don't look dumpy at all? I have cute shoes on. Oh, God, please let him look at my feet," and then it was too late to think anything because there he was, and when he saw me he smiled really widely and his eyebrows went up and I probably looked like Veronica seeing Kevin with the little hearts exploding out of my eyeballs.
"Hey, you." Sentence #1.
"HI!" Overenthusiastic sentence #2.
"What's going on? I haven't seen you in, like, forever." Sentence #3 and #4. Also, you think about how often you see me?
"Oh, just, you know, doing some shopping. I need toilet paper, real bad." Sentence #5 and # OH MY GOD, WHAT THE HELL DID I JUST SAY?
There it is. I might as well have just told him that I carried a watermelon
and then just let someone put Baby in the corner.
As soon as I said it, the two of us immediately glanced down, into my cart, where the only grocery I had picked up in the entire store was a huge economy twelve pack of toilet paper. Because, you know, I don't just need to buy toilet paper. I need to buy it REAL BAD. Like there's an emergency at my house, the kind of emergency that makes you need toilet paper REAL BAD. And it's the only thing I need. There's nothing else in my cart but this huge pack of toilet paper that I need REAL BAD because not only do I need it REAL BAD but I need a lot of it, at least twelve rolls, and even that might not be enough, because I need it REAL BAD. Not just the regular kind of need that everybody has but the kind of REAL BAD need that implies that I'm going to leave the store and drive home as fast as I can so that I can use the hell out of this toilet paper.
He looked me. I looked at him. He looked at my toilet paper again.
"Well, I'll let you finish shopping. It was good to see you."
"Yeah, you, too." Also, I wish I was dead, but I'll leave that out, because I've said enough.
You just go on your way, trying to imagine why I could possibly need toilet paper REAL BAD, and I'll be over here trying to imagine why I said it.