I Need To Be 18 For a Minute.

“I may have struck out, but at least I stepped up to the plate.”  I think that is going to be my new motto from now on, or at least the words I am going to try to live my life by.  Fat chance of it happening, but it sounds good, right?  It’s time to tell a story, and when I start to tell stories, they usually have crappy endings.  I’m just warning you now.  It’s two o’clock in the afternoon on a Monday in December.  The majority of respectable Americans are at their jobs while a disgusting percentage are at Wal-Mart or Target buying Christmas presents.  I am in my kitchen.  I wouldn’t mind sitting in my kitchen if I were to have the opportunity to re-live the previous 15 minutes of my existence.

I had been sitting here since about noon as it were.  I leave work at 11:00 on Mondays and have the remainder of the afternoon to do as I wish.  I grabbed a bite to eat from the Puerto Rican restaurant a block from my apartment and enjoyed some steak and onions over a helping of yellow rice and some beans.  Good stuff.  I committed myself to at least attempting to learn a few words or phrases in French so I could at least say I made the effort.  I put in a half-assed attempt last night and I figured two half-assed attempts were almost as good as one good day.  I was getting sleepy, a result of working 11 hours Sunday and then dragging myself out of bed at 3:00 this morning.  It annoys me that I have the whole afternoon should I want to do something productive, yet due to my fatigue, I often end up laying on my couch, dozing off while Spanish soap operas play on my TV.  Today, I resolved not to let that happen.  As soon as I noticed my eyes getting heavy, I decided it was time to go get a cup of coffee and some donuts.  Now, I have nothing against Dunkin’ Donuts, but I feel slightly traitorous going there, as they are my jobs competitors, and honestly, their coffee isn’t anything special, however I justify it by getting donuts or a bagel or something we don’t offer at McDonalds to make me feel better.

In any case, when I first moved into my apartment about three years ago, instead of making myself breakfast, I would often stop at Dunkin’ Donuts on my way to work for a quick bite while on my way.  There was an employee there who I found quite attractive and she had gotten so accustomed to seeing me there, she would have my coffee ready and my bagels in the bag by the time I got to the counter.  Now, I do the same for my customers at McDonalds all the time (often because the less time I have to deal with them the better), but of course in my silly little head, I was certain she and I were developing a little crush on one another.  She stood about 5 feet tall, meaning she would come up to my shoulders just about, she had curly brown hair, adorable dimples, freckles, and to top it off, she clearly spoke Spanish naturally.  Of course when looking at me, she would only speak English, as I certainly don’t appear to be the type who would know a single word of Spanish. (Something I at times use to my advantage.) In any case, I was very much attracted to her but was always too shy to say more than please and thank you during our morning exchanges.  I’m not sure how, but the subject of her came up at McDonalds one day long ago, and one of the employees told me she knew the girl I was talking about.  I had no reason to doubt her, as the hispanic community around here is very linked together, and I was hoping somehow I could work this out so that I could meet her outside of the realm of Dunkin’ Donuts.  Of course before I had the chance to plot my next move, my employee quickly pointed out that my Dunkin’ Donuts girl was already spoken for.  This too did not surprise me terribly as all the smart hispanic men grab up the girls as quickly as possible, leaving few cute, dimpled, freckled Spanish speaking women for me.  I was not terribly heart broken, but I was dissapointed that I had to put an end to my dreams of perhaps sweeping this young woman off her feet and making her my little novia. Looking back on it now, I suspect the McDonalds employee may have purposely discouraged me, as she and I ended up not having the best of relationships at work, but that’s in the past regardless.

As life would have it, I decided that like other human beings on the planet, I would stop spending money on overpriced coffee and bagels and start making breakfast for myself in my kitchen.  Honestly, I don’t know that I set foot in my kitchen for more than the time it took for me to get a bottle of iced tea out of the fridge for the first year I lived here.  Fast forward to present day, and aside from a few late night trips through the drive thru, I had not been back to that Dunkin’ Donuts in quite some time.  Today, I decided to go inside, having totally forgotten my former love interest, only to find her waiting for me at the counter.  Ok, she wasn’t waiting for me, but she was waiting for the next customer, and I was the guy walking through the door.  She smiled her adorable little smile and I placed my order, knowing full well she used to take my order, but assuming she remembered nothing of me.  I would have gotten my coffee and been on my way were it not for her saying to me, “I remember you.”  Of course, my insides lit up like a poorly decorated front yard a week before Christmas, but I didn’t know what to say.  I smiled and told her that yes, I used to come in a lot, but it’s been a long time.  Then I added that I remembered her, as if my remembrance of her would somehow impress her.  I took my receipt and made my way to the door, fishing in my mind for a reason to turn around, to go back to the counter and talk to her, but I had missed my chance.  Another customer had come in to order.  Now, had I known she would have been there, it occurred to me I could have brought a book (Harry Potter in Spanish would have been perfect!) and I could have sat there and pretended to read while all the while hoping she would come over and sit with me when her shift was over.  Being the stalker that I am, I am fairly certain she gets out sometime between 2 and 3 (I know this only because I know she is there very early in the morning and that would be the time she would get out if she was working 8 hour shifts.)  She could have come over and joined me at my table and we could have chatted over my book.  I would have explained to her that I was learning Spanish and using Harry Potter as a tool and she would have laughed and thought how incredible adorable it is for a guy to learn Spanish with children’s books.  I would have added that I am looking to become involved in the hispanic community and help young children learn English, and so on and so forth and soon we would be planning our first date, our wedding, the kids college fund, and all that stuff.  Instead, I went in empty handed and was already out the door when I thought of it.  I wasn’t going to drive home, get the book and go back, that’s silly, and I wasn’t going to go back in the store empty handed either.  So, alas, here I am, alone in my kitchen, lamenting what could have been once again in my life.

To be fair, she may still very well be spoken for, but there was something about her smile that made me think, who cares, I can convince her I am the better man.  All’s fair in love and war.  I want to go back, but tomorrow is too soon and I won’t be free from my own job until 3:00.  I could go in Wednesday morning, but then I run the risk of not being able to find a seat to sit and enjoy my Harry Potter because of all the damn senior citizens who will likely be filling the joint.  I could wait until early afternoon and hope she has a few minutes to chat with me before I have to get to work, but I fear making her uncomfortable.  I know this is ridiculous, as there really is no reason to be planning anything at all.  A grown up (which I am supposed to be) would simply go in there for a coffee and if she happened to be there, would strike up a conversation.  I, on the other hand, sit here like the Unibomber, planning every step from my apartment to the parking lot, getting my hopes up only to have them dashed when I walk in and it turns out it is her day off or something like that.  My next concern is spending gross amounts of cash needlessly on awful coffee just so I have an excuse to see her again and again.  Damn, she may be thinking, “Why doesn’t that guy come talk to me?  I flirt with him everytime I see him?”  Or possibly, “Porque el no va a hablar conmigo?”  Whatever she may be thinking, I’m not doing anything to find out.  I mean, I hadn’t gone in there in almost two years.  If I make a pass at her and she tells me she has a husband, boyfriend, novio, whatever, I just won’t go back in for another two years.

What I find to be most amazing is that I can sit here and write about how much it sucks to be alone, only to have a golden opportunity thrown in my face and I totally blew it.  Ok, ok, I know, take a deep breath and focus.  She is one of billions of cute, dimpled, freckled, Hispanic women and I am sure I can find another if I can’t have her.  And what’s more, there’s nothing to say I can’t still have her if I have a little patience and just go back Wednesday morning to see if she is there.  I’ll find a spot in the corner where I can read and yet still watch her as she hustles and bustles between the drive through and the front counter.  (I love multi-talented women) When I see she is free, I’ll find a passage in Harry Potter that I just can’t make sense out of and I’ll go to the counter and say, “Excuse me, you speak Spanish, right?  Hablas espanol?” Her eyes will light up when she hears my exquisite Spanish accent and she’ll be drawn to me.  I’ll point to a line in the book, something planned out in advance, but she won’t know that.  I should find something overtly sexual between Ron and Hermione so she’ll blush just a little when she translates it for me.  I’ll thank her and make feeble attempts to talk to her in Spanish and we’ll both smile and soon I will ask, “Puedo tener tu numero?”  Yeah, that’s right, I’ll have her number and soon all will be right in the world.

Maybe I should have a few conversational phrases lined up, just in case.  I don’t want to be caught off guard if she speaks too quickly.  At least now I have something to look forward to Wednesday morning.

~ by James on December 12, 2011.

One Response to “I Need To Be 18 For a Minute.”

  1. […] so here it is.  Through a random course of events, some of which were inspired by the events of my last entry, I have begun writing a short story in Spanish and I have posted little snipets of it on my Spanish […]

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