I have always been a big believer in bus seat eye contact as the best way to secure a lovely person.
My first ever real crush – you should have seen them, for-real stylish, with matted straw-like hair, sausage skin jeans, and a button up (only done up at the top) – was my first attempt at bringing theory into reality.
Success is a difficult concept to define – but for me, a wide cheeky grin – wow, what gums, I still remember that smile vividly – and a few snapchats during the twilight hours of 9 pm to11 pm were sufficient.
Still now on the bus, I try to grab people’s souls – not even just for romance, but more just for a thrill. This has ended in a few mid bus blow ups with intoxicated people, but my habit persists. I still believe (well at least, kind of – in the way a child believes in the tooth fairy, because it’s fun to believe in stuff) that this forbidden form of connection might just be the strongest.
I think that looking at your phone and seeing another person type – you know that notification that pops up, when you see their words bumping along three dots and you know they’re thinking it over – that’s the internet replica of making mutual eye contact. Seeing that they’re online, the instant you are, reaching into their brain. It’s the same heart shot feeling of, wow, they’re really here, that you get from the bus. It’s a moment.
Not so long ago, I was in love with a girl (a 28 year old girl? Is that a thing? It is in Melbourne…), and I went fully nuts. And we met each other on the internet. I have a small diary from the time we knew each other, and each entry is non-linear, but you can tell the timeline from how they escalate in derangement – “Your eyes- blue? Or brown? Or are they just exactly like mine?”
“The sun, The Wind, the bright open door
“I want to stay here forever,
“Just waiting to hear from you!
“But I’m too thirsty.”
The day after we first met each other I remember the sun penetrating my skull just like that, and looking up at her, and just being unable to stop myself from kissing her – but before I could, she bowed her long neck down to kiss me first. I was swept off my feet. I lived in Gippsland at the time – and I awaited our visits with feverish naivety.
Suddenly, embarrassingly, and horribly, like dripping afterbirth, she stopped talking to me. It was in hindsight lucky I lived so far away.
I was driven mental.
I deleted all our messages, photos, poems, and jokes. Even phone records – all the times she had called me for comfort – bitterly wrenched in my brain.
For a long while, I kept my online tendrils sunk in, each new bit of information rendering wounds in my extremely swollen and fragile ego.
I would check our Whatsapp chat sometimes, and though it was blank and cleared of all color, I’d see her on the other end.
Active 8.31 pm- only 9 minutes ago.
And I would wonder if her eyes were looking for mine, down that long bus aisle.