Crushes: simultaneously wonderful and awful, powerful and weak, illuminating and shortsighted. They are entities that have a symbiotic relationship with love, that often camouflage themselves as love, that have the potential to open the door to it—but most often do not. Sometimes they hurt like white fire.
That is to say, occasionally they are unicorns that lead you to romantic comedy-like bliss, but most of them are puppies you don’t get to keep. And they’ve shit on your floor.
I have been trying to figure out why I enjoy them so much. I must be a romantic. A sarcastic, scarred, cynical, bitter, and pessimistic romantic, but a romantic all the same.
Crushes used to be crushing for me. They used to involve long days and nights of wishing fiercely, desperately. They used to involve hours, days of making mix tapes (actual tapes, folks), writing godawful poetry, obsessing. But then pragmatism set in. The realization that I am always going to be surrounded by beautiful, crushworthy people could have led to a certain amount of despair. Instead, I decided to enjoy them (and to learn to make mixes for friends).
I love noticing the inconsequential details that crushes bring to light. The way she moves the hair out of her eyes, the way she cocks her head when she thinks, mutters to herself when looking at recipes. I enjoy the way my eyes want to rest on her for longer than is socially necessary or acceptable. I enjoy those moments when I can make her laugh or smile, make her eyes light up. I enjoy knowing that, while all of these details remain—as will my appreciation for them—, the feeling they create in me is temporary. And that if I play my cards right, she may never be a lover but she could always be a friend.
In the end, I get to play with the puppy. So what if it isn’t housetrained?