Awkward Things I Say To Girls


The Indians weren’t that good then, either.

Part 4 of 5, Chapter 19

My whole world was just about complete.

Well, except for that HCE wasn’t actually really dating me. Yet. We went out on weekends and saw movies and had dinner, and we chatted online constantly and talked on the phone, plus we wrote notes to each other in class in the form of haikus where we told each other that the other one was cute. But, other than that, no. We weren’t dating.

Plus, I was busy limping out of school with the minimum possible academic performance. If collegiate (and subsequent) experience has taught me anything, it is this: if something comes so easily to you that you can rush through your homework and never study, which to you is a fantastic deal because you don’t really enjoy it much and want to get on to something else as soon as possible, that thing is not the sort of thing that you’d best choose as a major in college. “Wow,” you want to say of your chosen field. “I could listen to old people drone about this subject for hours! Then I want to rush to the bookstore and drop hundreds of dollars on hardback books about it that I will want to actually kind of skim!” If that is not you, then I hope you either prefer used books, or you are good at forcing yourself to do things that you find at least mildly unpleasant, which frankly is a useful skill that you wish I would acquire so that you could actually read this blog instead of refreshing it in vain. Well, college also taught me that wings and beer go great together.

Oh, there were other details. The Cavs lost a ridiculous number of basketball games. Winter in Cleveland aimed a few final kicks into Spring’s gut as she lay curled in pain on a Parma sidewalk before he took her purse, turned, and stumbled off, drunk, to sleep off another hangover. I was not getting any better at knitting.

But other than that, HCE was single, and I was single, and we spent all our time together, and so what could go wrong?

“I don’t think this boy is going to come make out with me,” HCE said.

Whoa. What? This wasn’t one of our typical conversations about ex-boyfriends, ex-girlfriends, sex, literature, movies, school, politics, activism, dating, the campus newspaper, the administration, public displays of affection, private displays of affection, music, our childhoods, sports, board games, liquor, parties, Cleveland, fashion, or anything having anything to do with what we’re doing this weekend. I was on new ground and completely lost.

“Boy?” I said, playing it cool.

“The one from our softball team. I told him I wanted him to come make out with me, and I don’t know what I’m going to do if he doesn’t.”

I can think of a few ideas that I’d like to try, I thought. The filter let it through. “I can think of a few ideas that I’d like to try,” I said.

“No, you stay put. How’m I supposed to make out with him if he shows up and you’re here?”

You’re not supposed to make out with him, you’re supposed to make out with me, a fact which I will share with him emphatically if he needs convincing, I thought. The filter caught this one. “Okay,” I said, confused. Maybe she needs a rebound makeout. It isn’t as though I’m going anywhere.

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