I should’ve gone back.
There is a good chance I’m reading far too deeply into the situation. There is a very good chance of that. Perhaps, even if I had gone back in an attempt to spark some type of connection (I pictured some beautifully orchestrated moment that only occurs in the corniest of rom coms), nothing would’ve happened. Maybe you weren’t looking at me, maybe you didn’t smile at me, maybe I imagined all of it. Maybe I made myself believe that you might have actually felt the same as I. I’m not sure, but what I am sure of is how badly I regretted not going back to find out.
And now Halloween is over and we’re in our respective homes and I’m writing this and The White Album is playing and I still can’t stop thinking about you. Whoever you are.
Because I walked in, and Insomnia was crammed with people in costume, but the second I walked in I looked and I saw you sitting right there, right in front of my face and we looked at each other. It was tight but I stood by the door. The transparent glass door, and we were taking turns glancing back and forth at each other, and finally when your friends finished getting there cookies you got up and went to open the door. The door was between us but through that glass pane we locked eyes. It lasted an infinity and it was over in a second.
And you didn’t even leave the area! That’s what bugs me the most. You stood in front of the store and hadn’t even left yet, but I did, I left, and I should’ve gone back.
Or, I’m just like any other girl who over exaggerates their interactions with guys. But something in the back of my head keeps telling me “Not this time.” Never has it been like this. Never have I felt like this.
I’ve always lived by this simple rule, live life with as little regrets as possible. I’ve always encouraged myself to act on the right kind of impulse. To never watch an opportunity pass by because then I’ll have to live with that dreaded question the rest of my life.
I hate that question. I despise when I have no choice but to ponder that question. What if? What if I went back? I’m stuck replaying everything in my head, except, instead of telling myself it was nothing and instead of getting on the A train heading uptown, I go back to find out what if.
Before we crossed paths, I had convinced my friend to give Insomnia a try. As much as I love their cookies, I was full after stuffing myself with greasy Chinese food. I wasn’t even supposed to be out that day. I didn’t feel like leaving my apartment and going through the trouble of having to push through the crowds of people dressed up for Halloween waiting for the parade. We weren’t even going to get Chinese. We stopped at a Mexican restaurant before, but had to dash after we saw how expensive everything was.
What I’m trying to say is, if I hadn’t left my apartment, if I had gone to that overpriced Mexican place, if I couldn’t get through the crowd, if I didn’t find that insomnia cookie shop, I wouldn’t be stuck. The odds of me making eye contact with you are so astronomically out of my favor, not going back was a missed opportunity.
I have a hard enough time as it is getting myself to like guys, and in that instant I felt myself falling face first. I couldn’t even stop myself from looking away. I think my mouth (embarrassingly) dropped a little. I might recall hearing “Telephone Line” by ELO playing in the background (did you hear it as well?), or was that just in my head?
My heart stopped. I saw the faces of hundreds of guys that night. Hundreds of guys in passing. Some were wearing Negan costumes, others dressed as Pennywise, a few weren’t wearing any costume. I saw all their faces, and Manhattan has a lot of faces to see, but none made my heart stop.
As a matter of fact, I don’t think my hearts ever stopped like that for anyone, I was beginning to question if I even had a heart, I guess I do, and it stopped for you. I’d like to think that yours might have skipped a beat too.
Mine stopped for you, the random guy in the doctor costume, in an Insomnia Cookies shop, on Halloween Night, in the middle of Greenwich Village.
And now I’ll never know what music inspires you, what movies you love, what weird things annoy you. Maybe you like biking? Maybe you hate reading? Maybe you think that The Godfather is the worst movie ever made? I’ll never know. I never got to find out. I never got to tell you that I love The Godfather or that my favorite band is The Beatles. Or aliens horrify me, or that I want to visit Greece one day. You’ll never know, and I’ll never know.
So if I’m not crazy, and you did hear “Telephone Line”, and your heart did stop, and if you’re currently asking yourself “What if?,” I hope this finds you because looking at you felt better than a really good song.
That Random Girl in the Tribal Poncho and the Curly Hair That You Briefly Locked Eyes With at an Insomnia Cookies in Greenwich Village on Halloween Night