Black

SG was talking about her dating life the other day and how she wasn’t sure if she was actually attracted to someone. She generalized this and said that at first she frequently doesn’t know. (She figures it out, sometimes months later.) She thinks they’re cute or interesting or into her (or all three), but she isn’t sure if she’s actually into them.

When I don’t know if I’m interested, it means I’m not. There’s a very obvious moment when a person goes from “someone I know” to “someone I like.”


(This title is a reference to “My Moment” by Rebecca Black, which is even more insidious than “Friday.”)

I am, in reference to myself, using the terms “interested” and “like” pretty loosely.

Sometimes these momentary interactions are pretty dumb. There was this guy at a party who said that Teen Titans is his favorite DC series (this conversation happened in 2008), and I knew I was taking him home that night. While I am no longer in the practice of taking people from parties home, the ridiculous triggers are there.

Sometimes these are things you could extrapolate from: someone is a bike messenger, uses the term “free” instead of “open,” dumpsters, wants to live in a structure overtaken by plants, plays mandolin, fiddle, or banjo, has a favorite tree, abandoned building, bridge, or bike route to the ocean. Generally, the kind of people who have a favorite tree–either specific or species–notice trees enough to have thoughts and opinions on them probably cares enough about trees to care about other things I think are good or just notices things enough to have a favorite one. There is also the parallel that could lead to possible negative extrapolation, such as “is Russian,” that still hit the “attractive” switch.*

There are also these small, intimate moments and when we’re in them, something more changes. A person isn’t just appealing, they’re a person. Liking Teen Titans is not actually very meaningful in any particular way. I could argue that it is, but it doesn’t also cause the transition to show that someone is more than a like of a particular comic I also like.

There are moments when I’ve seen people smile like I’ve never seen them smile before. When they open up about something that they’re giving to me in confidence. When we have an experience together.

Once I was making dough with a friend of mine. We’re been mostly quiet during the process. He was kneading dough on the counter. His sleeves rolled up and flour covering his hands, specking his lower arms. He looked intently on his process. He closed his eyes, testing the dough with his hands, feeling the smoothness and tension. At that moment, I knew I was lost.

*This is meant to humor and offend friends of mine, not Russians at large.

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