I was thinking about the time when I was eighteen and worked at a retail store cutting fabric for my first job. That winter I developed a crush on a stock-boy named Bryan. He looked like Paul McCartney and he had this little rebellion thing going on so I was, of course, in love. You should know that at that time I was in the prime of non-conformity: long, dyed black hair, all black wardrobe, sarcastic phrases. I think Bryan thought I was a freak, but a funny freak. I was so wild back then. Not slutty, co-ed wild. More like a wild, artistic, psychedelic individual.
I was falling madly in love with Bryan. Every time he sauntered back to the fabric department we would have a nice little chat, and I thought that finally he had begun to like me--perhaps a little. I just couldn't wait any longer to find out. I wrote a note declaring my feelings, and handed it to him one evening. He seemed surprised, took it, put it in his pocket and left. All the rest of that evening my mind was filled with images of him asking me out, us going to the movies, talking, walking, kissing (and everything else that goes with true love). It would be beautiful. Work ended and I didn't see him. I made my way out to my car and there he was, parked right next to my ugly, maroon Chevy Cavalier. With a girl. In his arms. The short blonde from the shoes department. My heart fell a thousand feet and smashed into concrete. Oh, the pain. The terrible, horrible scarring pain of rejected love.
All that weekend I was in agony. That whole winter I lay awake at night and cried real tears. Every song on the radio was a love song and I started using my walkman so I could listen to political music instead. You never know how long night is until you can't sleep. Night is a whole day without light. Night is loneliness. I became a philosopher and tried to solve the world's problems. I watched Jaques Cousteau until three a.m. and read and read and read.
So anyway, Bryan had his cute little girl, and I had myself. Again. Naturally.