The Passed Note Issue 8 October 2018 - Page 58

I ask her how she's doing on the big paper for GS342, and she says, fine, and I ask her what she's doing it on, and she says, Betty Friedan, and I say, cool, and then we don't say anything for a few seconds because, really, what would we? Someone changes the song before it's over, and something top-40 that I can't quite make out at first fills the room.

My stomach tightens because I'm nervous, and I want to say something, but I don't know what to say. I recognize the song, finally, but then my brain seizes up, too, which doesn't help because now all I can think about is this song that I don't even like in the first place instead of whatever it is I should say to make this go well. But what do you say to the most beautiful girl? When all you can think about with her right there in front of you is how gorgeous she is, and how her hair is amazing and like the hair you've always wanted, but never had, and you can smell her shampoo and it makes you feel squirmy, and how her hand would feel so nice in your hand and so right? And that song. But you can't just say all that to a person. She'd run away. Or worse. So instead I make fun of the song in the air.

She laughs. She laughs! I can't believe it. I don't even know what I said, but she laughs, and that's my chance -- that right there -- and I miss it. I don't realize it then. I don't realize until the next day. Instead, I freeze -- her laugh! -- I am stunned and the