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OP-ED: A Letter to the Mask and Wig Boy Who Offered a Flyer to the Girl in Front of Me on Locust, but Not to Me


Photo by Pawel Kozera / CC0 1.0

To the one that got away, 

There you were, 100 feet away, nervously standing in the dappled sunlight of Locust Walk. Despite the freezing weather, your somehow still-sweaty hands clutched a stack of flyers: invitations to your beautiful soul. I was walking fast on my way to class. Was I playing hard to get? Perhaps. However, I thought you were determined. I thought maybe this could work.

I picked up my pace, matching its rhythm to my beating heart. You extended your hand longingly to each passerby, only to be rejected. “No thanks,” they spat. “I’ve already seen the show.” And they hadn't even seen the show. You poor, lost man-child; I too have been broken.

I sped up again, imagining the precise moment when we would meet. Through the crowd, our eyes would lock. With a final reluctant volley, throwing your hopes and dreams into the void, you would call out “Book... of Mermen?” And I would take a moment to nod, that single action both absorbing the pain of your past existence and committing to our new, happy future together. 

Yet, she appeared with 10 feet to go. Her eyes met your gaze. Her ear heard your Juul-crackled voice. Her hand brushed yours as she accepted your flyer. With that single exchange, your purpose was fulfilled and our fate was sealed. I only hope her future salary will support your half-baked acting career. 

By the time I walked by, you were packing up your sign. I know you might not read this, but to the one that got away: I can only hope she makes you happy. 

P.S. She threw away the flyer.