Everyone is looking at you looking at him.
Everyone can tell. He can tell. So you
spend most of your time not looking at him.
The wallpaper, the floor, there are cracks
in the ceiling. Someone has left a can of
iced tea in the corner, it is half-empty
I mean half-full. There are four light bulbs
in the standing lamp, there is a fan. You
are counting things to keep from looking
at him. Five chairs, two laptops, someone’s
umbrella, a hat. People are talking so you
look at their faces. This is a good trick. They
will think you are listening to them and not
thinking about him. Now he is talking. So
you look away. The cracks in the ceiling are
in the shape of a whale or maybe an elephant
with a fat trunk. If he ever falls in love with
you, you will lie on your backs in a field
somewhere and look up at the sky and he will
say, Baby, look at that silly cloud, it is a whale!
and you will say, Baby, that is an elephant
with a fat trunk, and you will argue for a bit
but he will love you anyway.
He is asking a question now and no one has
answered it yet. So you lower your eyes from
the plaster and say, The twenty-first, I think,
and he smiles and says, Oh, cool, and you
smile back, and you cannot stop your smiling,
oh, you cannot stop your smile.
On The Discomfort Of Being In The Same Room As The Boy You Like, Sarah Kay