How to Love Backwards and Forwards

I’m not one for facts. They just make a mess of simple things. You start with a look or a touch and you’re golden. But add facts, and, in short order, you’re strung up on the cross of proper etiquette. Nevertheless, the facts, the first foundations of the story, were clear. When I walked into the coffee shop that first morning, she was dressed in sweatpants and her hair was unkempt. She turned to me, or turned to the opening door, fixed her hair and smiled.

The next day, she had on cigarette jeans and a sheer blouse, one of those sea foam get-ups that you wear a black bra under. Her hair was combed or brushed — however girls manage to get their bob looking sufficiently shaped without sacrificing the suggestion that they’ve come from yoga or sex or a jog in the park. Her aspect had changed. Again, she turned, responding to my tremendous slamming of the door, and smiled.

The third day she was working hard, hunched over a MacBook, hunting and pecking out a PR letter. My first entrance provoked no response. Such a busy bee. So, I stepped out, kicked a hole in the glass, and started screaming in pain.

Now this got her attention. She ran over and began shouting for someone — I assume one of those coffee bartenders in the skinny jeans and Meowtallica shirt — to get help. So I looked up at her and just laid it on the line. “I know we have something special. You’re not as pretty as the normal girls I pull (mostly 10’s and up) but there’s this energy about you.” She looked shocked but then she started to blush like one of those blushing emoji and her eyes shrank into these tiny points. “Is it crazy for me to think that I might feel the L-WORD for you?”

I was overjoyed and bleeding out. Franken — or whatever the fat baristo should have been named — strutted over with his hand towel. “Do you need help. Is that your female-er-al artery that’s cut? I’m not a doctor but Criminal Intent tells me that’s the bad one.”

But I didn’t really hear his question because I’m making out with the girl of my dreams. (She actually was a 10 but I figured she’d heard that her whole life. I only had one chance to make her swoon with self-doubt, then stagger lovestruck and self-conscious into my safety).

So she was kissing me and I was dying and I thought, “Isn’t this just great? I find the woman I’m meant to be with and I’m about to die. Guess that’s life.”