A couplefew months ago -- when it was still pretty warm and I was happily spending my days in capri pants and flip flops -- I met a friend at Perk, a new-to-me coffeehouse in Broad Ripple. It was sort of tucked off to the side in a little house on Cornell Avenue. Pretty easy to miss if you don't go to BRip often, like me, or spend time on the Monon. Also like me.
It was a cute place. Very orange-y warm and cozy, thanks to the wall color, the size of the space, and the natural light that was coming in from the east side of the room. I didn't especially like what I ordered, so that soured things a bit, but clearly a not-great latte is the biggest of first world problems. Aside from my yacht which is simply too big. I mean really.
My friend and I chatted inside for a while, but had accidentally planned our meeting for 30 minutes before closing, so we ventured onto the Monon to keep talking, the sound of sliding deadbolts echoing in our ears. We ended up sitting on a railroad tie and watching people run, bike, and walk on the trail. I watched people moving much faster than I think I would even if I were on fire. I wondered what it would be like to incorporate that kind of routine into my life. The need for a jog before or after work. Plugging headphones into my ears before starting a bike ride that would take me miles through the city. Walking with a friend on an afternoon off, or strolling slowly with a curious toddler.
My friend and I got caught up on our lives, talking about things you'd expect: relationships, jobs, school. My brain nagged me to plan another get-together before homework consumed whatever free time my friend had available.
What sticks with me most about that day is the memory of my beautiful friend, on whom I have had some semblance of a crush for several years. It's never been something to act on; she's been unavailable most of the time I've known her. Even if she'd been single, I'm not sure I could risk hearing the 'I only think of you as a friend' speech. Having heard it once years ago from someone else, it's just... well, it's like walking into a door. You don't need to do it a second time to remember it sucked.
I might ovary up someday and say something. I've told people before that I was attracted to them. I'd guess I've only said it three or four times in my life, but it has yet to result in a fierce make-out session while the background music swells. (I'm a, uh, fan of romantic comedies.) I know it's better to be courageous and risk hearing the dreaded friend zone speech, or stammer through a few awkward moments as I watch the object of my affection run screaming down the street.
Or maybe things would get smoochy. That would probably make up for that yacht thing.