He looked at me the way that a man fresh out of the army would look at a sexy woman.
As fellow tech-averse bookworms with similar grievances, we e-mailed back and forth, eventually concluding that it would be easier to start our small press if we lived in the same place. The only way that was going to happen was if he moved to Mountain View and into the extra bedroom in my town house.
There was just one problem. I harbored a crush on Steven that had lasted nearly nine years.
Jack can have any girl he wants. A blond event planner who wears heels on Sunday mornings. A former fit model who looks great in Hanes white. A yoga instructor who makes him spicy tempeh wraps with steamed kale on the side. There are girls who make great Bloody Marys and there are good girls who go to church on Sunday with their families, but last night they were at Jack’s. There are girls who ride horses and lawyers and designers and tall ones and short ones, stacking their needs up across his walls and then saying those are not needs, they are shadows.
So why does Jack prefer escorts?
Ms. Millit leaned over to the woman next to her, a stranger from Saskatchewan, and after comparing Mr. Garin with a horse’s backside, added, “I think I love him a little bit.
I didn’t see him that summer, and by senior year we had stopped saying “hi” to each other in the hallways. I missed him and the dream I had of us being together. Because I was certain he hated me I retreated into my own head. Instead of talking to him about the prom — about anything — I ignored him.
He didn’t show up to graduation and seemed to vanish from the face of the earth. I tried to find him over the years, looking him up on Google, searching for where he lived and what he was doing, but he didn’t seem to exist in my world or any other.
Until that Monday night in Brooklyn 14 years later, when he walked around the corner to join me for some macaroni and cheese at Enid’s.
I think about nights I have, walking down streets after work when light hits the sidewalk in such a white yellow way, going along long and quietly, having to answer to no one, feeling tall as a building with a bursting weightless possibility alighted like a cracking match in my marrow. These times my life as is feels like a good decision, a nice place to be, and sits with a certain knowledge that there will be a day when it is different.
Ms. McConaghy, at her wedding, played “It’s Raining Men” in his honor. (Mr. Schumer loves the song — in the interview, he explained its message as: “It’s going to rain men, so you’re going to find somebody nice.”)
For 26 years my mother worked for the State Department as a consular officer in the Foreign Service, interviewing visa applicants, quickly determining whether they were lying about their plans, whether they would stay illegally.
“When you talk to several hundred people a day, you get good,” she said. “It becomes second nature.” She has won awards for her work, and she thought I should listen to her judgments of my romantic partners.
Instead, I became irate.