I want to make someone fall in love with me. Someone random. Someone just walking past me on the street or buying a coffee or sitting across from me in the library. For no reason other than that they just do.
This is not creepy. I am not asking for much. This could be any person anywhere. I am really risking a lot here by saying that. Any person really means any person. A homeless person. A married man. Someone who likes karate. Anybody.
When I was five, my grandma would take me to what she called a "dime store" and she would ask, "What do you want me to buy for you?" And I would say, "Nothing. Nothing at all. I just appreciate having the experience of being in this store with you, Grandma. I want nothing more and nothing less. Just to be alive is enough."
Then we would sit at a counter top where a man with suspenders and a mustache would serve us little glass dishes full of vanilla ice cream covered in globs of hot fudge that we would spoon into our mouths off of little silver spoons.
I could very well sit down and eat ice cream like that with someone and make them fall in love with me. It would be different because the person would not be my grandma, but just a person like me.
My parents took me once to this huge store full of silverware and cutlery. It was seriously huge; sets of forks and knives and spoons lining the walls. I didn't know why I was there, but it took us forever to drive there. It was far, far up north and we spent hours upon hours walking along the walls, staring at forks, but we weren't allowed to touch anything. How would I know if I liked a spoon if I couldn't feel the weight of it in my hand? My opinion didn't really matter because I was only six, but I disagreed with their choice. For years I used spoons and forks and knives that I didn't agree with. They felt too heavy, too shiny, too bulky, too obvious.
"You are obviously a fork. And you a knife. And you, you are a spoon."
It really felt like we were there for days.
From that point on, the things that were supposed to be exciting became boring and all the boring things in life were suddenly supposed to be exciting. I hated it. I still hate it. I want to eat off of forks that strangers owned and spoons that have little winking faces on the end. I like eating cereal with little spoons because it takes me longer to eat, but that's a different story altogether.
I don't know. I feel like after visiting that silverware store, I was supposed to limit myself to only eating off of plates and out of bowls.
When people say you stop giving a shit after you get older, they are lying. They are really caring much more. You can see it in their little gold chains around their necks and how they always want to eat foods like lobster or drink champagne. "Oh we don't care how we spend our money," but oh, they obviously do. I never drank champagne as a child, did you? I went straight for whatever I could find on the bottom shelf, whatever didn't have a label, whatever got me closer to getting older, whatever was the cheapest and roughest on my body. Older meant less caring, less talking in my brain, less feeling, and maybe a job where I would carry around a briefcase full of whatever snacks I wanted to eat.
Things have been hurting more lately. You would think it would be the opposite. I don't mean emotionally, like oh my heart is broken or oh, I can never seem to stop crying. I mean physically, pain is happening physically, like tiny little martians are inside my chest squeezing my lungs and punching my heart with their tiny fists. They leave bruises all over my arms and scratches on my shoulders.
I'm sure you see it too.
I think sometimes I made up all these stories or they all seem like they happened to me on one day, when really they make up multiple days and years. But I can only remember one day and this is the day when everything happened. And a lifetime crammed into twenty-four hours is a lot for a kid to handle.
You know, I think that humans could do a lot of great things if they weren't so lazy. If they weren't so greedy, like if they didn't do bad things to get lots of money to spend on matching silverware.
I think I could do a lot of great things if I wasn't so scared. I think then everyone would fall in love with me. I don't mean that to sound wrong. I think if everyone was doing great things all the time, everyone would be so in love with everyone else.
If someone had asked me, "What do you want?" as we were slowly walking around the dime store, I could've gotten a lot of great things if I had said, "This. And this. And this and this." I could've gotten a new camera or some candy or a string of colored lights or even a new toothbrush.
But I am always feeling a little limited. What are you feeling?
Katie McMahon is a lady who lives in the North Hollywood area. She has a bachelor's degree that she keeps on her bookcase and looks at sometimes. She is getting a master's degree to put on her nightstand. Sometimes she takes pictures which you can look at here, but you don't have to if you're busy right now.