By the time I realized stupid I had been, she was already in love with me. Not, I don’t think, because of anything I had actually done, but because of the circumstances. Because we talked in the rain until our bus almost left us behind. Because she fell asleep against me on the bus; and I could have moved- woken her up as I went to sit with my best friend instead, but that would have been rude. Right? In hindsight that would have been kinder, easier, simpler. She would have gotten the message. But I was exhausted and shortsighted and I hesitated, until I fell asleep too.
Because we sat in my car out of the cold and the rain until her dad came. And when she asked for my number I didn’t just say, “I would, but I have to hurry up and get home.” She would have gotten the message.
Because we watched a movie at her house with two of our best friends, who as it turned out were a couple. Four people. One couch. A three-hour movie.
But for all that I really did do everything I could think of- save telling her to her face I didn’t like her back- to try to lose her interest. I guess that whole saying that ‘love is blind’ wasn’t just the nonsensical child of some romantic’s right-side brain. That’s usually how I write off most aphorisms. Not that I can talk; if ever I can’t find my heart on my sleeve I start worrying it’s missing, but I digress….
Midas was almost as good as me at turning everything he touched to stone. And even though the girl he killed wasn’t a romantic interest, our two situations are still principally the same. We accidentally hurt someone we cared about, but with the best intentions. The difference is that for Midas, there was a time of perfect happiness when wherever he went, he made things better. His kingdom blossomed, his people flourished. On the other hand, I live in real life, and I was never rich. Or a king. But again, I digress.
Romeo Montague flippantly wooed an impressionable girl with tragic consequences. Namely, poison and a dagger through the heart. While my situation wasn’t nearly as dramatic and I tried not to leave an impression on the girl (who also wasn’t thirteen), her heart was still pierced and I’m still regretful.
The one thing I’d wish you would take from this is that a heart isn’t something to play with. It isn’t something to ignore but neither is it something to indulge. Doing so almost invariably leads to regret, which weighs on your steps, your pen and paper, even your dreams.
“Then Saul said, ‘I have sinned. Return, my son David, for I will not harm you again because my life was precious in your sight this day. Behold, I have played the fool and have committed a serious error.'” -1 Samuel 26:21