The first time I saw you all I could think was whoa. It’s not just that you were hot; there was something magical about you that pierced through me. You were working at the fast food spot on campus and you caught my eye as soon as I walked in. There were three of you behind the counter, but I did that thing where you hope and pray that the hot one takes your order, where you count the number of people ahead of you and slowly calculate the odds that you will in fact get the hot one.
You ask me how I’m doing, my heart pounds and I immediately start thinking OMG DOES HIM ASKING ME HOW I AM MEAN THAT HE LIKES ME TOO?? I’m stuttering more than usual because I’m nervous that if I open my mouth, nails will fall out.
As you take my order I’m looking at you without looking at you. I steal tiny glimpses of you when your head is turned away or when you go to reach for the mustard. I’m paying attention to every aspect of your body that I can see. I’m thinking about how deep and brown your eyes are. Like, has any human ever had eyes so perfect? Probably not. I’m thinking how much I like your complexion. I love guys with piercings, and the cartilage in both of your ears is pierced. I’m observing how you’re preppy with a little bit of an indie edge. I’m wondering if we have similar interests in music and I maybe feel like asking if you’ve been listening to the latest Dan Deacon record, you know, to make small talk.
Even though I’m staring/not staring at you, I know I come across as being mean or standoffish, but it’s really just that I’m trying to play it cool. Having a crush on a stranger is a little bit like a celebrity sighting — you never run up to Gwenyth Paltrow on the street screaming and jumping up and down telling her how much you loved her recipe for Grilled Chicken with Peach BBQ sauce. You just let the celebrity person be, pretending they barely exist — Gwenyth who? — and then you text/call/Tweet everybody you know when the celebrity is completely out of sight.
Having a crush on a person you don’t know is one of the most exciting emotions you can feel because it always comes at you as a rush. You get so excited when you see them, in fact you go out of your way to make sure you run into them. You get so excited when you both stop in the hallway and have an intellectual conversation. You get so excited when you run into them on campus or at work and you think OMG THERE HE IS because he’s kind of like a celebrity to you — a real, actual person who is mediated and filtered by your brain.
And that’s the best part about having a crush on a stranger: that it’s really just a fantasy anyway, but that doesn’t make it any less fun.