To the boy who keeps liking my Instagram posts. I hope you never read this. That would be embarrassing.
It's a dangerous thing, typing this, sending it out to the internet at large. I feel safe here on this blog, like it's a sort of secluded, out-of-the-way spot where few people ever venture (and if they do, it's most likely because they're lost on the way someplace else). But the fact remains that the internet is technically "out there," and if it's not set to private or password-protected, anyone might find this if they choose.
It's an interesting thing, opening an app on your phone (an app that only a year ago you were convinced was an utter waste of time), seeing that someone has "liked" your post, and lighting up like a Christmas tree.
Is that cheesy? Yeah, it totally is. But it's also the most accurate word. It's a warm-fuzzy-happy-bright smile-for-no-reason feeling. Except there is a reason, and it's going on and seeing your profile photo pop up on my feed.
I don't know you. I saw you at an event we both attended. I admired the way you seemed to be everywhere, and always with that camera to your eye. I wanted to see what you were seeing. So when I found the link to your profile by chance, mentioned in a repost of one of your photos by the event coordinators, I thought, "Aha! A chance to glimpse some of the moments he captured." So I followed you, and for some reason you followed me back, and the rest is history.
I did the internet stalker thing. Sorry. I looked at the website listed in your bio, read some of the posts and watched a couple videos. All I know is your first name, and that you like video games. Well, that, and the images you capture of the world.
There's a girl that shows up consistently in your photographs, so I'm pretty sure you have a girlfriend. And her smile is so kind and her eyes so alive - she seems so genuinely wonderful - that I can't even be mad at the universe for allowing me to find you and form this unreasonable yet unstoppable crush on you only to discover it could never be.
There are lots of reasons it's not to be.
We've never met.
You might not like me.
I might not like you.
We might have nothing to talk about.
You might find this blog post somehow and be super weirded out and think, "What kind of odd person obsesses like that over a stranger? Get a life!"
I'm pretty sure there's a literal ocean between us.
And lots of other things that basically add up to the fact that all of this is just a daydream in my head.
(Snap out of it!)
(But I don't want to.)
So you post pictures, and I click the little heart. Then I post pictures and you click it back. It's gotten so that I go on every day now, where before it might be once a week.
I'm so stupid, but I don't care.
I put a quarter in a fortune-telling machine at The House on the Rock five years ago and it gave me a card. All the things on that card have come true, save one: "You will find one who loves you. That love will be returned by you. The first name of the person begins with the letter M and you will be introduced at a place of amusement."
I am not joking. I carry the card around in my wallet, along with several other small, portable souvenirs from past adventures. I don't believe in that kind of thing normally, but it's been fun to watch as one by one the things it says - even oddly specific statements - have come to pass.
When I saw your name, I thought: M. M? M!
And I first saw you there at the convention, "a place of amusement."
But we were never introduced, and this isn't love.
We just click heart after heart after heart on Instagram.