Saturday, October 13, 2012

Baited Breath

I've been noticing you all week. I know I haven't hinted with my furrowed brow and deadpan expression, but it is nothing against you. I've endured too much of life as the chubby girl with no attractive feature but a sense of comedic timing, and have too far ingrained the idea that no one, from looks alone, would ever pick me out of a crowd. Forgive me for living as though I'm not noticed, and responding to those I notice as though they were as invisible to me as I to them. But I've been noticing you all week. I caught you looking, but did nothing about it; I was just getting on the bus. I stare down the new arrivals too. It doesn't mean I'm fascinated with the idea of mating with them, though I will admit I am constantly aware Prince Charming could board at any moment. But that's a daydream; I'm over hoping boys on buses will touch my trusses. It occurred to me today as I caught your eye with a blank slate that this could be the last I see you. That is not my normal bus, and save my professor should skip town again, I would have no way of boarding it. I thought perhaps you'd say something, as I faced front and opened my breakfast bag. Perhaps you'd close the gap of the aisle and speak. You didn't. I took a nap. I quickly took my favorite seat on the bus for home, ready to finish my leftover breakfast as a make-shift lunch, ready to put in my earbuds and tune out the sounds, when I met your eye. I decided to delay the music for a moment. I abolished all notion of eating, regardless how starved I was. You couldn't think I always only ever ate. You sat behind me. I felt anticipation seep through my pores. I was going to make a show of picking what to listen to, though the DJ in my head was already set on TP. You were going to watch, and comment about my music. But you beat me to it. I couldn't even plug the buds in before you spoke. You asked about my iPod case, said it was amazing. I answered the way I should have looked at you all week. I opened, unfolded, spoke freely, though scared. I'm bad at eye contact. I regret how often I turned around, I fear that's why you put your own buds in. I didn't want you to, but you did. You cut me off as I was fabricating a way to ask your name. That's what I hate you for: I have no name for your face, for your surprisingly tenor yet unbelievable voice, for your green jacket and you smile. I never remember eye color, even my own. I have my days. But your eyes were something. Perhaps inhabited by the light of your smile. I faced front, rejected, my eight earbud empty and waiting for you to change your mind. You didn't. I took a nap. Or, rather, attempted. If you did as you did to leave an impression, to deny me that "first kiss" on the "first date" to keep me coming back, you succeeded. I couldn't look pass that you could be watching me--that I wanted you watching me. I felt your Spanish-speaking phone call was a ploy to impress. Maybe it was, maybe it wasn't And maybe it did, maybe it didn't What pacifies me, stranger, is that as you left you looked back. And I smiled, the way I should have all week. And the way I will when we cross paths again, whenever that may be. I'd prefer soon. I feel we're headed somewhere besides the bus route.

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