To the Boy I Eye Fucked in the Coffee Shop
Hi, spicy cheeks! It's me, your charming future girlfriend!
You know -- the one who gawked at you from 50 feet away and morphed into an unblinking, unspeaking automaton. Then, realizing she'd forgotten Chapstick, licked her lips while only staring deeper into your soul. It was all very sexy serial killer. Or baby doll without eyelids. Guys like that, right?
Let's back up. Perhaps you aren't sure if I mean you? I do this sort of thing regularly, so I understand some confusion.
(Just yesterday I blew a bubble as I locked eyes with a middle aged man holding his daughter's hand. Like a bad silent film, the wind popped the bubble, gum splattered all over my lips, and I licked it off. Direct eye contact maintained LIKE A CHAMP.)
Our fairytale started when you sighed, "next please" followed by, "yes. You. Please, come on. What can I get for you?" Ah, love at first sight. You looked like the child of 2001 Josh Hartnett and a skater boy in Airwalk sneakers, so I mean... hello, eighth grade sex prodigy.
And that face. Come on, dude. What was I supposed to do besides fantasize about it on my face? You really should have thought of that before you picked out your genes.
(That's how it works, right? Little Human Tadpole sets out on a shopping adventure at the Great DNA Costco and purchases the least problematic double helix? SCIENCE! Wait, no -- that can't be right. I think the face situation is on your parents? Is there a number I could call? Or an email so our meet the parents exchange isn't me relearning a speech impediment because I am the world's worst phone talker? No? Okay, I'll settle for carrier pigeon if you insist.)
You seemed like the Charismatic Nerd prototype I'm all about, and like you've filled the 13 months and 2 weeks since Chloe dumped you with writing songs about her new boyfriend who owns a Subaru. Gross confession: your music could be the murder of Subaru Bro set to an acoustic guitar and I'd still swoon, "yeah, but your voice is SO LOVELY."
Oh, who am I? Because this happens to you a lot too? How meet cute of us! I'm a troll who's skilled at tricking people into thinking her hometown isn't Depths of Society, USA. I'm Inferi in Harry Potter, or a book in Fahrenheit 451 that absolutely refuses to burn. I keep coming back, clawing my way into coffee shops and town squares. Is it annoying? Yes. Is it unwanted? No, don't be ridiculous. The heathens love me.
Now that I've cleared up our identities: hi!
I opted for "just a hummus sandwich, please" and spied my enemy: a sign stating a $5 minimum for credit card orders.
Excuse me? What? We're past medieval times -- do you know how often I carry cash? Way less than we land on the moon. It's only when a) I time travel and am not paid in check or Venmo, or b) I steal from children.
(I'd intended B as a joke because what kind of monster steals from children? Then I reached inside my pocket. Crumpled up was a $1 bill that I'd confiscated from a 7-year-old because he was being a dick.)
My sad sandwich failed to meet the minimum. OH NO. I needed to flirt. No way you would've just forked it over. I'd clearly violated the rules! If we don't have rules, we're just... Lord of the Flies.
I cocked my head and half-whispered, "you have a $5 minimum, right?" It was very after school porn special. (I'm incapable of flirting when my survival's involved -- only when it's with my drunk great-uncle at a wedding.)
"We try to but whatever." Ugh, man. So erotic.
I swiped my card; you scribbled on my sandwich box until a mannerless woman popped in line behind me so you couldn't finish. Hey, not unlike my sex dreams!
Settled into my seat, I admired your doodle. Looked like Frankenstein and an empty speech bubble.
EMPTY. WHAT WAS THE PLAN THERE, BUDDY? Your phone number? A sweet reminder to "adhere to the minimum, bitch?" A quote from the Macarena in grammatically correct Spanish?
It wasn't like I could've asked you. What was I supposed to do, cut the line and demand knowledge? The scene writes itself -- me, clotheslining toddlers and pregnant women. Wheezing and raining sweat onto the counter like a sprinkler in the vegetable section of the grocery store. Clinging to the tip jar for dear life, my damp fingers slipping off and my head bobbing out of sight. And you, recoiling from the horrors of my breath. As romantic as that sounds... no thank you.
BUT THEN, a tap on my shoulder. You! Fate.
"Hey, I'm closing the shade."
You could've taken the flirting down a notch, dude. We were in public.
This was it! My chance to charm you with words and raw, animalistic fashion choices!
Normally, no problem. Cute, normal, fine. Except I forgot a tiny detail: my headphones blasting music. My cute, normal, fine, "hi" sounded more like a burly lumberjack bellowing through the forest as a warning to the entire state of Alaska: "HI!"
No. In a fit of maturity, I scuttled off to the bathroom and there, before the mirror, I witnessed the real nightmare: hummus caked on my cheeks. Thickly chilling there. Like I'd done my makeup in the dark and instead of foundation attempted to apply an entirely new face.
Maybe you didn't notice? No, there was no way you could've missed Hummus Joker.
Boy, I'm sorry for eye fucking you with food on my face.
The least I could have been was clean. But hey, I come with snacks?