My friend Cassie is gorgeous, with thick blond hair and the confident gait of a pole dancer. She was modeling a pair of pants the other day, and the subject skittered from torso length (hers long, mine short) to height (hers towering, mine diminutive). "I'm five-eleven," she said, and... suddenly I was transported back to high school. Five-eleven. I caught my breath. This is a story about a guy.
I asked Cassie if she had any old flames. You know, unrequited loves she thought about from time to time, whose memory brought back an arresting pang of loss. "Not really," she said. "I did pretty well." I guess that shouldn't be surprising, given the way she wears those pants. But--really? Not even a speck of unconsumated infatuation? Incredible. I can't imagine my life without unrequited love. Which, now that I've said it, seems a little weird. I've certainly enjoyed more than my share of reciprocation. But I kind of like that I loved and lost. I'm grateful for the fierce crushes that never came to any good. Though ancient history, they still shape my life and fuel my work. I'm not sure longing has made me a better person, but desire is certainly a great motivator. It's why I'm typing right now.
I had a couple "someones," when I was younger. Their names have too much power to type in a blog. I am stopped in my tracks every time I remember them, and I never know what will bring it on: a certain smell, a slant of afternoon sunshine, five feet eleven inches.