so a bunch of people on the internet have declared friday to be international crush day. so harmless on its face, right? i mean, the crush is the first introduction we have to the wonder and mystery of love. most of us never give them up. i have a wicked intellectual crush on anthony bourdain, for example.
but i can't get on board with a full-on celebration of crushes. after all, it was a long-ago crush that started all of this with the other boy. the kind of crush a fourteen-year-old girl gets on a fifteen-year-old boy is a powerful force. i was, to employ an old southernism, over the moon for him. it was a pure, unadulterated, white-hot infatuation, the perfect mash-up of lust and innocence. i loved him in that way that's only possible when you've never had your heart broken.
and naturally, it was 100% unrequited. he never saw me that way. and as we dated others, had our hearts broken, and carved out our own paths through the jungle that is love, i let my crush go. or so i thought. it dawned on me, as i made changes in my life and eschewed patterns i'd developed in my relationship with the ball and chain, that i never fully lost the seed of that crush. i never leached him from my system in that way. even a period of complete estrangement didn't achieve that. in retrospect, it probably made things worse. i'd be lying if i said i didn't have designs on him, as the old 97's said.
and there you have it: a sweet little crush ballooned into something i can't even control. even though i recognize the serious flaws in my relationship with the other boy, i still hold onto it. hard. there's something so deeply satisfying about wish fulfillment. my teenage crush, so powerful, is finally satisfied. he's attracted to me. teenage me won. but what is that doing to adult me? i have no idea.
just a little crush? yeah, no. not so much.
Letter 70: Be Louder
4 weeks ago