Nice to See You

Hello Mr. Magazine - - LOVE AND LET GO - Text by Adam Po­laski il­lus­tra­tions by Mark Ad­di­son Smith

Hey! It was so weird run­ning into you to­day. I can’t be­lieve I’ve never passed you on the street be­fore, even af­ter four months of liv­ing here, just eight blocks north of you.

I’m sorry I was act­ing a lit­tle strange. I was on a date. You saw him.

He was cute enough, right? Tall, kind of blon­deish, out­go­ing. He had a nice scarf. A nice smile. A nice jaw­line.

I’m sorry I didn’t in­tro­duce you. I guess I was caught a lit­tle off-guard. I guess I wasn’t sure what to say – about ei­ther of you, re­ally.

I mean, it was a first date. And it went fine. But fine in the way that, like, The Big Bang The­ory is fine. You can spend some time with it. It’ll make you laugh. It’ll re­late to some of your life ex­pe­ri­ences. You may even tell your friends about a par­tic­u­larly more-than-fine episode. But would you make a point to see it? Would you buy the DVD box set? Maybe if it were on sale. But any­way, you prob­a­bly didn’t need to meet him. I was mostly sure that I wasn’t go­ing to go out with him again.

Un­less he called me. If he called me I prob­a­bly would have gone out with him again. Be­cause he was fine and he lived down the block, and it would have been nice and con­ve­nient to walk down the block and cud­dle with a cute-enough boy and watch a movie and maybe make out. I could have even dealt with ask­ing him about how his work day at the Ap­ple Store was, and if he’s go­ing to au­di­tion for any shows that week, or what mu­si­cal the­ater sound­track he’s re­ally “feel­ing” at the mo­ment.

I would have gone to the com­mu­nity the­ater show he’ll prob­a­bly be cast in next month – prob­a­bly some­thing faux edgy, like an ur­ban, bo­hemian re­tread of The Sound of Mu­sic or a live-ac­tion ver­sion of Bambi. And I would have watched it and clapped and told him how great it was even if it was only good, or only fine, or pretty poor. Be­cause he was fine, and he was nice, and he was cute enough, and that’s what you do when some­one is fine and nice and cute enough.

But I didn’t want to in­tro­duce him to you. Be­cause I’m prob­a­bly not go­ing to see him again, and I didn’t feel like get­ting into a post-lunch con­ver­sa­tion about how you and I “used to date” or how we “were on and off for a while, but now we’re friends.” Be­cause we’re not friends. Are we? Maybe we are. Maybe we’re “friends!!!”: people who are too in­sis­tent on pre­tend­ing that we can go back and hit re­set and rewind through all of the bull­shit. That we can start at the be­gin­ning of the Choose Your Own Ad­ven­ture, and this time we won’t get trapped in that scary house where the man with the ma­chete de­mands that we trade our eter­nal souls for free­dom. In­stead we’ll just choose some­thing pleas­ant. We’ll wait in­side, in the liv­ing room, wear­ing only our un­der­wear, and we’ll put on some easy lis­ten­ing mu­sic, and we’ll do a puzzle. A fifty-piece puzzle. An easy, sat­is­fy­ing puzzle. A puzzle with flow­ers and sun­shine and Win­nie the Pooh and his pal Tig­ger.

Maybe you didn’t even re­al­ize I was on a date. Maybe you just thought he was a new friend I made in this new city. As though I’ve been go­ing to

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