TEMPORARY LOVE ON PUBLIC TRANSPORT(and other places)

Do you ever feel like maybe you could fall in love with anybody? Like, this is silly, but do you ever keep eye contact for too long with the person bagging your groceries? Or the man sitting across from you on a train, or a stranger walking past you in a park, someone a few tables away in the library? I do. I do it all the time. Sometimes it’s just a quick glance, but it’s enough, and I start wondering everything about the person. That’s not an exaggeration. I really wonder everything. I wonder what happened to them to make them how they are in this exact moment and about what they ate for breakfast and about all the things good and bad and beautiful and terrible things that brought them here. I wonder if I’ve ever seen them before and if I’ll ever see them again. I wonder what their parents are like and if they got their eyes from their mother or father. I wonder what the last thing was they cried about and if they need something right now (everybody needs something) and I wonder what it is and what if what they need is something I could give them? But neither of us will ever know due to the overwhelming fleetingness of the moment. Sometimes, if it’s more than a quick glance and I can tell they are sort of looking at me too, potentially wondering the same things, I call it eye sex; It’s not as vulgar as it sounds, really it’s not. I just call it that because it feels so intimate you know? It feels like they are letting me see something secrete, it’s vulnerable, and it feels like I’m sort of giving myself away to them, (not physically) just welcoming them to look and to wonder and they are doing the same and that’s usually about when I decide I could love them. I could love anyone who welcomed me in like that, not always romantically, but in some way for sure. It’s because no matter what I wonder and find out and whatever they let me see…it’s not what I see that makes me potentially love a person, it’s the fact that they let me see it. It’s the intimacy and trust and pure humanness of it, the mutual desire to be seen and heard and understood, even a little bit, even intangibly, even without words and even just for a tiny moment. It’s acknowledging that each other are human and more than just a blurry face on public transportation, or wherever, or a passing body in a crowd. It’s the connection that happens within the moment when two people realize the opposing stranger is more than a blurry face on top of an empty body. It’s seeing someone as a person; filled with fears, worries, memories, love, just like ourselves. It’s seeing a mind filled with hilarious stories, facts they have learned, faces they miss, secret desires, and ambitions for the future, unwavering opinions. It’s seeing a face and looking into someone’s eyes and noticing that there’s a story behind them, maybe many stories, and they aren’t any less special or important than your own. It’s so easy to forget that others are human. But I feel like I could potentially fall in love with anyone who reminds me of that.

Sometimes when it happens, I end up talking to the person to find out any amount of truth to all the things I was wondering about, and other times we just share the silence and get up when the train reaches our stop, or it’s time to leave, or the groceries are paid for, and it’s a forever mystery. Either way, I probably think about what it would be like to kiss the person, if we would get along, what their laugh sounds like, and how they take their coffee. I always think what if that was my soul mate and I’ll never know, or what if this is my soul mate and if we keep talking, I’ll soon figure it out. I probably picture our wedding and what our kids would look like. It’s sort of silly, I know. It’s not like I actually fall in love that quickly, it actually takes me quite some time for that. But I look for all the beautiful things in everyone I see and more often than not, I find them. And I don’t love them, but I see a world in which I could. I can feel a potential love for them. I think I could fall in love with anyone who showed me their soul. Have you ever felt that? Potential love? Or is that just me?

My friends will tell you it’s just me, that I’m too nice to people, give out too many chances to people who are “out of my league”. And first of all, what the fuck does that even mean. Nobody is out of anyone else’s league, none of us are more or less human than the other, we are all in the same “league” if you ask me. But anyways, my friends say that. They say I’m a flirt and that I settle, and sometimes maybe that’s half true, but I swear to you all right here I am the opposite of desperate or lonely. I think mostly I just look for connections and for love and that I find them, find it. I want as much love for as many humans as I can get out of this life maybe. Obviously, if and when I find the right person, I’ll stop looking, but why cut myself off and close my eyes and turn away and miss out on someone incredible? On something beautiful? I don’t know. I have only had a few “boyfriends”, but I have talked to a lot of people honestly and I have been on a lot of dates, I have had a life full of more kisses than I could count and I’m barely a quarter way through, hopefully. I have loved a lot. I like to think I’ve been loved too, in all sorts of ways, and never the same love twice. My friends talk about that too.

I have a few people from past relationships and they check in here and there and sometimes out of the blue one of them will miss me and tell me so, or someone will ask to see me again even just as a friend for a coffee or lunch, just to catch up, or better yet someone will try to win me back. My friends see all of that and they see the long messages on my phone from the person I have currently been seeing and they were there this week when someone entirely different who I haven’t seen in ages or barely talked to in my life asked me to get drinks this weekend just because he witnessed the scene I caused at Wholefoods the other day (I probably wont go, but still) and they found the letter my old lab partner wrote me when he graduated last month that said “I’m what’s right about this world” and that I’m “the type of girl he could see himself marrying, had there been more time” and they think it’s insane and they don’t really get it. “How do you get all these boys to fall in love with you, what do you say to them?” I can’t answer that because I say different things to all of them, because they are all so different. I just see them as humans before I see them as “boys” and maybe that forces them to see me as a human too, and maybe they just love me because I love them. And also, they aren’t actually in love with me at all…and a lot of times, besides a very special few, I’m not in love with them, they probably just see the same potential love as I do. Maybe I just am able to see the potential of everything and maybe I’m just especially curious and hopeful. A funny thing is though, none of them ever last too long. That doesn’t make them any less special or important. I always do want them to last and I really hope one of them does, that someone sticks around someday to be more than just potential. But until then, all I can do is experience people in the most human way I can, learn things from them, teach them things, touch them (not physically) in a way that they need, especially if I was right about the thing they need being something I could give them. I can’t stop loving. If that’s the worst thing people have to say about me, I think I’m doing alright, I think I’m ok with that, and I look forward to every future temporary love on public transport (and other places) and especially to whoever it is who becomes something more than temporary.

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