Sunday, November 20, 2005

I used to think you were hot, but now I know you

This seems to happen to me a fair bit. I hear, either directly or through the grapevine, the magical phrase "You know, I/he/she used to have a crush on you." The unintended codicil being that I've somehow lost my mojo.

Don’t get me wrong: I'm flattered and I take my ego stroking wherever I can get it. But in the end, this statement does leave me a little deflated. I’ll roll the compliment around and feel all special for a little while, like I just got a tiny, new, shiny toy for my birthday. For an afternoon, I'll take it out of my pocket, rub a thumb over the surface and smile into my reflection, looking damn fine if I do say so myself. But then my sweat oils the sheen and I start thinking "What, so now I’m chopped liver?”

My favourite example of this trend was Justin Haynes. Now, JH is a funny tall skinny beaky musician-type, which is to say, generally my type of boy. The first time we were introduced (by a different funny skinny beaky muscian boy I'd already tried to bed), JH was cute and displayed charmingly flawed social skills. Mrowr. The second time we met, he was in town for a Black Sheep show, dropped by Venus Envy to say hi. We stood close and chatted for a bit. I remember the sunlight coming in through the window behind him, his light hair a halo; his head cocked to the side, looking down his nose at me, with dust motes floating by. And he invited me to his show. "Would love to go," I said "but don't have a car." He offered to find me a ride, gave me his number and said to call if I was interested. Sure I was interested. Funny. Tall. Skinny. Beaky. Musician. I’m a goner for even any two of those words strung together. Well, he didn't call back, and I figured, enh, a misread situation. Rented Nurse Betty or some other crappy movie from the corner store and stayed contentedly alone in my room that night. No biggie. Smallie.

Fast-forward two years. We run into each other at the Aloha because he's back in town and visiting his on-again gal, a lovely lovely woman I'm always pleased to pass the time of day with. I'm a little surprised she's with Justin, cause, well, she's so damn nice and he's so damn odd.

And as I'm thinking this, as if to illustrate my point: we're chatting about what we've all been doing, it's loud, we're all kinda yelling but still can't quite hear. There's a lull in the conversation and JH shouts out "You know, I used to think you were really hot," to me, in front of my friend and his gal, "Cause when I met you, you were working in that store and everything and then you're just, you know. But it's gone now. Not anymore." I must have looked a little shocked at first, judging from the lovely gal's bemused reaction to my reaction, but then I laughed, the knee-jerk laugh that makes my mouth look big enough to swallow a small horse.

"Well, Justin, I'm glad you don't think I'm hot any more. I hate it when people are attracted to me."

I will always appreciate him for not calling me that summer day. The fucking would have been awkward and complicated, the story: sleek with simple lines. And so, JH, I thank you.

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