Perhaps I can explain my pathetic, sad, sorry (but still amusing) life better with an anecdote…
The other day I was getting some of my books and stuff out of my office where I used to work. I had so many toys and things that it’s taken several trips. This resulted in me overstuffing the cheap backpack I was using. But the bag was a freebie at a conference, so who cares, right?
So after a few subway stops where I was standing, and swaying unsteadily with the train’s motion due to the 30 pounds of geek books on my back, I thud myself down on an empty seat when one opens up. As ever, I was blissfully unaware of my surroundings, which meant that I didn’t notice the geeky-cute young woman across from me until I sat down.
Now I should point out that my teenage-dorkish tendencies towards crushes and awkward behavior have returned in full force for reasons that I don’t fully understand. This is important context.
So anyway, I’m sitting and thudding. I’ve got my headphones on, so does she. So far, it’s all a Levi’s commercial or something. I even hestantly smile at her and she smiles back. This is important, because to be a true moron geek guy, you have to understand that smiling at a random cute young woman on the subway will lead to a long-term, lasting, stable relationship and, probably, someday, marriage and kids. Just as long as I don’t ruin it by actually talking to her or anything.
Then, I decide that it’s too warm for a sweater and the coat I’m wearing, so it’s time to take off the coat. Alas.
The straps on the backpack had been pulled tight by the weight of the books, and my headphone cord was snagged in one of the little buckle things that adjust the straps. Not knowing this, I try to smoothly wriggle my backpack off. No dice. "That’s ok," I think, "I’ll just take off my jacket."
I’m standing now, my head pulled awkwardly to one side by my snagged headphones. My elbows are pinned behind my back by the stack of tomes I was toting, leaving my hands splayed widely like I’m trying to hug the whole world. My coat, half-on and half-off resembles nothing so much as the plumage of a particularly awkward bird in a truly unfortunate mating ritual. I’m leaning against the doors to the train so that I can free one of my trapped arms. Then, of course, the clasp holding the top of the backpack gives and the books topple out and slide across the floor. To her feet.
Suffice to say, there are times when I am glad that my brown skin does not permit me to blush. In retrospect, though, I probably should have just asked her out right then anyway. It’s not like it could have gotten any worse; And at least she’d know what she was getting into.
Oh, and you do not want to see what a book looks like after having been on the floor of a New York City subway car on a rainy day.