A Bad Place Full Of Bad Jerks
A Bad Place Full Of Bad Jerks
Illustration for article titled I Made Eye Contact With A Woman. Now What?

I am the tall, sensitive boy of tomorrow. I am riding the bus. Look at my jacket and understand that I thought about how it would look on my body. You can’t get it in stores. Where is it from? My grandfather died in this jacket many years ago while riding a motorcycle along the coast. Which coast? Ha. That’s another story.


I see you on the bus. The world is sloshing around us in splotches of color. You can hear the taxis honking if you try. The world spins and we share a moment together, two deer (one male and one female, a doe, in other words - the doe is you) standing still in a blizzard, but the snow isn’t snow - it’s cars and buses, you see? Your head rotates on its axis (“spine”) pulled by an ancient, unavoidable gravity (me) and we lock eyes (horns? no, you do not have horns, but I do.). Think of the part in Harry Potter where Harry and Voldemort have a wand fight and their wand beams touch together and there’s all this kind of liquid light and heat fizzing and flaring. Think of that but then think of the two deer in the blizzard and the beams are coming out of our (the two deer) eyes in the same kind of way. But we’re on a bus. Together.

I see the way you look at me and I know everything you want and need in that moment. You begin to turn away, distracted by the maelstrom we call “life” that is raging around you. I scramble up the aisle of the bus using my body to plow people out of my way. People like an old woman and people like the sweating man. You needed me. So I came. I barely hear the what the sweating man is shouting at me. I barely hear anything. Except for your heart, which is beating in time with mine. If someone had a machine that could measure that type of thing I’d prove it to you on the spot. But it’s just me, my jacket, your eyes, my eyes, this bus, the sweating man, taxi horns, the world, plenty of shouting, and, of course, you and I think I also mentioned there were deer here maybe, but I can’t remember if that was all in my head or not now.


I’m not a normal guy. I’m not one for pickup lines or cheesy one-liners. I don’t understand humor or jokes and I sleep inside the basket of a hot air balloon that was scuttled in the dead branches of an oak tree in Queens. No, I’m not like any guy you’ve met before. I understand you. I know what you want. I know what you need - a poem written on a napkin. You looked right at me and this is a reasonable response.

After I pick myself up off the filthy bus floor (I fell when I pushed the sweating man and tried to leap over his body), I gently grab your delicate female shoulder with my claw like hand. Before you can say anything, I reach in the pocket of my dead grandfather’s motorcycle jacket and romantically shove it near your face. You’re leaning away from me now. You haven’t read the poem and that is why, surely. You begin to flatten out the napkin just as I’m done screaming “I WROTE A POEM FOR YOU.”


Has the bus stopped? The bus has stopped, but that doesn’t matter.

You read my poem. It says:

Women are
soft potatoes;
never burn them

And then there’s a drawing of a potato wearing a dress. And that’s you.

Your eyes soften as you look up from our poem. A poem that I wrote for us before we were even dating. Some people don’t believe in destiny. I know I do. This moment, the moment when you looked at me and made me realize you were ready to read our poem, was always going to happen. You looked at me on a bus and now I am fairly certain that we are dating. It’s truly amazing to think about.


I have to go now. The bus driver is holding me with his body and carrying me out into the world, away from you. But you will find me. You made eye contact with me, after all.

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