Sometimes You’re The One Who’s Wanted
Sometimes you’re the one who wants. You pine and you preen and you — dare I say? — pray for your target to choose you; you keep your eyes glued to them like your hungry gaze will sustain you but oh, if they’d only let you feed… you clock and mock their every decision, their every move because they don’t know what’s best for them, you know what’s best for them and what’s best for them is you so why is she with him or why is he meeting her parents or what’s the long face for, someone perfectly fine is right in front of your face loving the hell out of you, moron, you’re being completely illogical.
But sometimes you’re the one who’s wanted. Sometimes someone is watching as you fall in love and in laps of people who maybe don’t deserve you but who keep you happy enough and all the while, your spectator watches from the sidelines, the antithesis of a cheerleader, the audience in a theater yelling, “NOOO, DON’T DO IT.” Sometimes, there’s someone observing you, taking notes, discussing your delusions with their friends over coffee as they pore over notes like, “He is never going to commit to her” and “Seems to be attracted to flakes.” Sometimes you’re the one who doesn’t know what’s best, you’re the one who’s being illogical, you’re the moron, moron.
From time to time, it’s you who silences your admirer as you go on and on about how unloveable, how hopeless, how fucked you are. Part of them wants to cut you off in the middle of your self-pitying sentence, tell you to wake the hell up, tell you that you’d know how badly you’re wanted if you were willing to accept the people who want you — but they won’t. They will let you believe that you’re unloveable and hopeless and fucked because that’s what you want to believe and they want you to have what you want.
Admit that occasionally, an ex of yours resurfaces, looks at you with them big, dopey, rose-colored eyeballs and reaches out for a reconciliation and you’re all, what are you, insane? Because don’t they know the two of you don’t fit, don’t they know it’s so over that it’s up for debate whether it ever really began, don’t they know that the person you are now could never love the person they are now? Has this person been isolated on some island where time does not pass, where people do not grow, where the very obvious realization that your entire relationship was a mistake has not yet come to pass? How do you explain to someone that their wanting you is unjustified, uninformed, unrealistic? How, indeed.
There are just these quiet, misled people wanting you sometimes, like they know some secret you don’t, like they know exactly what is missing from your life and how they’re the ones who are going to provide it, they’re going to be the ones to complete you. These silly, silly people quietly yearning from outside the walls you’ve built up to keep people like them out, infatuated and optimistic fools who deign to scale mountains without maps. Sometimes people just want and want and want without knowing what, exactly, they’re wanting. Sound familiar?
Yes, sometimes you’re the one who’s wanted; when you’re not the one who wants.
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If you’ve been looking for a chance to say something then this very well could be it.
I wish to God I’d had a list like this when I was 23.
Answer phones better than anyone else has answered phones before. Relay messages so brilliant, they bring people to tears. Turn the coffee run into the choreography of Swan Lake. Become best friends with every intern and every underling and every taxi driver you encounter.
I remember taking the pen and notebook from that woman outside the courtroom, flipping to a clean page in the book, and writing, JESSICA IS SAD in big, bold, uncoordinated letters. “My sister is going to be a good writer someday! Look at how nice her lines are!”