Yo, are you even watching, Chevy says throwing another bottle cap at the side of my head. It rings off the arm of my glasses, plastic against metal. Fingers tighten around my shoulder and Chevy lurches up to see my screen.
She’s there again. I don’t know how. Must’ve been autopilot. It’s been happening a lot recently. Zone out and be gone ye conscious mind. When I come to she’s there smiling from a bathroom mirror weeks away. I wonder if she can tell whether or not I’ve been looking at her profile again– probably.
This girl though. Wow. Bananas. B-A-N-A-N-A-S.
Y’know how some guys, will ask you a tits man or an ass man before laughing into another can of Miller light. Well, I can appreciate hips that sing siren songs. But I’ll melt at a smile.
And this girl’s smile may not launch a thousand ships like Helena of old, but damn if it doesn’t send my ship into orbit. Those little creases by her eyes, and the little bit of gum you can see right above her top row of teeth.
But wait there’s more: a nose ring. Not one of those septum piercings– I wish. Just something modest and cool. A little silver ring. Hoo. Turn on your love light.
Looking at her again, dude? He says. Chevy’s eyebrows say it all. The high arches of judgement. What is this the French Revolution? Robespierre showing me the arches of his triumph before my beheading?
Why don’t you just talk to her, or you know, message her again? He asks.
The nonchalance in his voice is irksome. Like I haven’t thought about doing just that, multiple times, in excruciating detail down to the small creases next to her eyes after I say something witty and funny.
Cue Rod Stewart playing in the background and I say: Yeah girl, how about you and me get drinks and fuck. For some reason I’m wearing a gold chain and she says nothing, just giggles and nods along.
Bam. Autopilot crashes straight into douche mountain.
I sip my beer and back out of her profile. Goodbye for now. Wish it were that easy, Chevy, I say and sigh.
I’m just saying bro. Staring at her profile isn’t going to send any signals out there, he says waving a hand in the dead air between us and football. She isn’t going to message you first, so just do it. You already know each other.
I shake my head and pocket my phone. Nah, I say scratching my head. Maybe later.
He huffs. You won’t do it later.
Let me do it, he says. His hand hovers under my nose as a wicked smile slithers across his face.
Judas, I want to scream. I swat his hand and take another swig of warm beer. No, I say.
C’mon man. He persists. Just let me message her for you.
My thin veneer of patience is shattering. Should I tell him. No. Definitely not. I can’t.
I want to tell him. The messaging isn’t the problem. It’s just. She makes me anxious. I see her and my throat tightens. Like her little smiling wrinkles have force choke power. Her midichlorian count is off the charts, baby. Uhhh, uhhh Hi, I might meek out through my mouth paralysis. My hands shake and I can feel my heart in my ears.
But I won’t tell him.
No dude. Fuck off. I say standing up brushing the salt and vinegar crumbs from my shirt.
Alright fine. He says.
In my own time, I think.
A small part of my brain says carpe diem dude. No regrets. This part of the brain is too stupid. He’s naive. I hate him, but I love him. He won’t stop smiling.
The rest of the cerebral chorus sings a sadder, safer song. Watch wistfully and wait. This side knows alliteration– I’m listening to them.