She’s spent the last hour combing her hair and highlighting each of her eyelashes with the color black from a plump bottle of mascara. So when you lay eyes on her and you get this overwhelming feeling that butterflies are starting to weave through the spider webs of your stomach or your heart is all like excuse me, but I may pop out of your Brooks Brother shirt and grab on to this fine, fine lady. Tell her this: you look beautiful tonight.
She’ll dazzle you with this long-winded story about how she used to love to go to the beach at night in Florida and draw patterns in the sky with stars. How she never knew which stars were which or the formation of the constellations, but she’d spend hours gawking at them and wondering what could be. Listen to every detail: the rambling, the repetition, the part where she uses the word Refute but really means Refuse. And then, someday soon after, climb up the stairs of your building to your rooftop with her and take out your phone. Show her the app you downloaded called Star Walk. Watch her unravel into the shine of what she finally can begin to understand.
Suggest to walk her home at night. Let her try to charm you into thinking that she’s okay; she knows these streets inside and out. And when you notice she’s begun walking west when she needs to be going east, tell her it’s your pleasure to rattle the streets of this mildly amusing city with her. Grab her arm as she rushes through the flashing red Do Not Walk sign and tell her to look up; for the city that never sleeps always unveils its beauty underneath the warm air of a June night.
Call her after you kiss her. Does this freak you out? Are you ready to minimize your screen on me and be all like ‘Jen, there’s no way’. Do it. It will blow her away. Do it the next day. Do it the day after the next day. Send her a text message that justifies her squishing her bean bag lips onto yours. Let her know you can’t stop thinking about her. That you can’t wait to do it again. Call her after you kiss her–call her for no reason at all.
Locate her biggest flaw: her eyes look squished on her forehead. She doesn’t eat meat. Her favorite author is Thoreau. Recognize that this, crazy, little thing is what makes her character pop. Understand it, process it, and then tell her that it’s okay. Don’t try to change her, ever. Remind her that everyone has something. Mushrooms give you goose bumps and you sleep with a night light — you’ll struggle to admit.
When she drops her overflowing glass of Pinot Grigio onto the floor and the mini- kaleidoscope pieces of glass surround you, watch for her to try pick them up and then, pick her up. Look at her straight into her hourglass eyes and laugh, laugh until the sound bounces off the wooden walls and you are officially the loudest people in this overpriced bar. Then, hold her close and tell her you absolutely adore her and her gorgeously clumsy ways. Tell her that you’ve never met anyone like her in the world; and mean it. Mean it terribly so.