Be lonely. Be looking for someone just as lonely as you are but not someone who is lonely because of physical deformities or offensive body odor, simply someone who is alone because he or she wants to be alone. This person claims he can’t tolerate most other humans, but secretly looks at every girl who walks by and imagines that she’s the one he will be able to tolerate, and he’ll tolerate her forever in every circumstance and in every weather. This person tells her friends she hates boys and has no time for them because she’s so busy with school and ballet and her family obligations, but she falls asleep at night with her arms around herself wishing they could be someone else’s, wishing she could be someone else’s. Be so consumed with being lonely and thinking that the ideal counterpart to your loneliness will walk up to you at a bar and introduce himself/herself that you end every night by going home alone and listening to understatedly sad music on your computer while half a joint burns listlessly on your night table.
Be smart. Be smart enough to devise clever plays on words but not smart enough to major in anything that takes serious, focused brainpower like chemistry or engineering. Look for someone smart enough to banter quietly with you while you drink coffee together in the morning or to reference a Wes Anderson movie in exactly the right situation. You will find this person to be sitting in the back of the classroom reading a library book before class or at the grocery store on a Friday night stocking up on pita chips in preparation for a solo movie marathon. Exchange knowing glances because you are doing the same thing and silently hope that this person will want to fuse his/her low-key night with yours. When trying to talk to this person (if, and here is a monumental, galaxy-sized IF, you ever actually decide to open your mouth and form words) you should be mindful of the conversation topics you choose. This person will not know about sports unless by ‘sports’ you mean obscure track-and-field statistics or anything about rugby, so you should not try to talk about sports. Other topics that are off the table are Wiz Khalifa, Ron Paul, and anything that requires you to whip out your Steve Irwin impression. Too soon, too soon. It’s best just to let your collector’s edition of Where the Wild Things Are peek out from your backpack and go from there.
Be indecisive. On a given day you don’t know what you want to do for dinner, what kind of shoes look right with these pants, or what type of toothpaste will taste the best. You will change your mind eight and a half times before finally settling on the first option, or maybe not settling at all. This pervasive hesitancy has plagued you your entire life, starting in middle school when you couldn’t decide whether or not to try out for the soccer team (you didn’t), following you to high school when you thought about beating the ass of the boy who took your dream girl to the homecoming dance (you didn’t), and traveling with you to college when you considered raising your hand in film class to refute that arrogant fuck’s comment about Marxist undertones in Pixar movies (you didn’t). The only thing you have decided is that you need to find someone just as indecisive as you are, someone who will lie in bed with you for hours while you figure out whether to cook breakfast or whether to go out, someone who will stand at the supermarket with you for twenty-five minutes while you pick out beer, and someone who will wait patiently while you choose the right Yo La Tengo album to put on so you can dance together in the living room. You may never decide, but I think the band would have wanted it this way.