There’s this guy at Starbucks that I have a big crush on. Every Monday and Tuesday, before I head to work, I see him.
Most of the time, the extent of our conversations are if I want sweetener in my latte, or honey with my tea.
Once I tried to strike up a conversation with him. My heart pounded in my chest, I swore he could hear it, and I felt vulnerable, bare, and stupid. We just talked about sprained wrists.
Whenever I see him, I wonder if he feels attracted to me too, or if I’m just spinning fantastical fairy tales in my head as I’m prone to do, or if I’m just a regular customer to him, another face in the crowd.
He remembers my name.
But that doesn’t mean anything.
He looks so calm, cool, and collected. So it makes me want to play cool too.
Yet to what end? Here I sit, here many of us sit, chewing on our feelings, putting up a “cool” mask, holding back for the sake of social propriety, saving ourselves from the risk of being vulnerable because it fucking sucks to hurt.
I wish I didn’t have to hold back. I wish I could just fearlessly say what I really feel. I wish vulnerability wasn’t seen as so ugly or scary in society, but seen for what it really is: real, genuine, and beautiful.