February 11th, 2005

Frou Frou

Not a Pretty Boy

Last night at dinner, I met a girl. She was someone I'd seen around at pharmacology seminars, but I didn't know. It turned out she was an undergrad working in one of the labs, and now she was applying for the grad program. This is our recruiting weekend.

There is a certain type of beauty, at least in my system of aesthetics, I've found is quite rare. Off the top of my head, I can only think of two other girls I've seen who have the look. It's a look of serenity, the face of a girl in a Renoir painting. Features not sharp but lightly smoothed. The kind of face the lilt and flow of the word "lovely" was made to describe.

As I said, I'd seen her before, and she had intrigued me then, but now that I was talking to her, and the pretty face had a person behind it, I got an Instacrush that superseded my previous crush on a classmate with Black-Rimmed Glasses of Total Sexiness.

I steal glances at pretty women. Supposedly, this is very stalker-ish of me, but I'm only admiring from afar. A smile can slay me. I try to be discreet.

Once at Starbucks, a cute barista was chatting with her co-worker, and she said, "I know what anaerobic means." Because science is hot, I smiled in her direction. Then she saw me and smiled back, and I, confused and startled, quickly averted my eyes and awkwardly walked away.

Your appearance is the first thing someone notices about you, and perhaps I'm overly fixated on it. It's what draws the eyes. I'm frequently drawn to women, as the Biscuit might say.

And I wonder whether I have that effect on anyone. Does anyone ever steal glances at me? Do I look like a painting to anyone? Does anyone go home and try to visualize my face so they don't forget it?

Before you discover my rapier-like wit, pop-culture knowledge, and rudimentary grasp of the English language, you have to get past my exterior, which evidence suggests is at least reasonably attractive. But not attracting. Enchanting, alluring. I don't think I have participles working for me.

I'm not allowed to complain, though, am I. Because this is a world where it's the guy's responsibility to make the first move, and I've only ever asked out one girl in my entire life, and it was for coffee, over e-mail, and she never got around to responding, but when I ran into her again she informed me she meant to e-mail and tell me that "she couldn't," because she hated coffee, or she hated me, or she hated e-mail, or I have no idea. I've never been so bold as to use the word "date," though I've been on countless non-dates.

I am crippled by my absolute certainty that no girl is seriously attracted to me. But there's more to it than that. I've noticed that often when I steal my glances, I immediately give them back, my eyes reverting to their previous position. As if I'm not worthy. As if I don't deserve it.

It's possible I need a therapist. I went to a counselor at Rice once, though, and I was really uncomfortable talking about myself to a complete stranger in that setting. It kind of soured me on the whole process.

It's possible I'm too introspective for my own good. I can induce a sharp, cutting pain running from my heart to my stomach.

I'm not allowed to date anyway. If I did, I'd just get to lie to my mom even more. Besides, I'd be a horrible boyfriend. I'd be needy and overprotective and jealous and I'd ruin everything. Plus, I'm not sure how my soul would deal with the idea of a girl I liked liking me back. My being is too wrapped up in the word "unrequited." I'd have nothing to complain about.

Now, I just stop everything before it starts. I can't ask, because I'm afraid of what happens if she says no, and I'm afraid of what happens if she says yes.

It's possible I'm more afraid of what happens if she says yes.

I think that was the first genuine epiphany that came out of writing this.

I ought to watch Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind a dozen more times until my subconscious realizes the correct answer to "What if it doesn't work out?" is "Who fucking cares?"

It is time to wind this entry down, with a quick reminder that I met a pretty girl last night.

I keep some fortunes in my wallet, fortunes I like especially that I'm waiting for to come true.

Someone special admires you.

With loose definitions of "special" and "admires," this one could be said to be true, but not in the way I'd like to interpret it.

The near future holds a gift of contentment.

This one did come true in its own way after I received it. I'm still waiting for more gifts, though. I'm greedy.

Today, at lunch, I got another fortune worthy of the wallet.

There's a secret romance blooming! Go for it, in spite of your hesitation.

I hate when life fucks with me like that.