Crushes happen in the privacy of our minds, pretty much everywhere; at the pool, the conferences, the aisles of the supermarket, the book stores. The dynamic is always the same. Very little knowledge, indeed complete ignorance combined with a deep sense of knowing them absolutely and of being entirely certain they would if only circumstances allowed, be the ONE. It’s been going on since early adolescence at least –this madness, even now when someone should know better, it happens.
The crushes, they show off our capacity for knowing how to make the most of the smallest details, a wrist, a neck, an ankle, a pair of jeans worn a certain way. They instantly become whole people with whom we can imagine years of a life together, full of profound mutual sympathy, tenderness and laughter. This blessed person will, we know, understand us and all the secret complex, ignored parts of us.
This capacity we have for elaborating a whole personality from a few small details. The cynics say, its madness, this filling in the gaps. We’re just projecting wild wreck less fantasies. But that is too sweeping. We’re probably right to be delighted. It’s not just the whole story. Perhaps that remarkably thin wrist with the leather band around it really does belong to someone who is skeptical, alternative, delicate, intelligent and wry.
The error of the crush is to go beyond that insight; to think could ever be the whole truth about a human being. Knocked off course by the crushes power, we forget one central inviolable fact about human nature; that everyone is crazy and trouble to be around. Everyone has something substantially wrong with them. Everyone is extremely hard to live with. You can’t know what from an ankle or a wrist. But it will be something. Time will reveal it sure enough. Because life has messed all of us up, because we all grew up inadequately parented and have all ended terrified and anxious pretty much the whole time.
That said we should not give up on having crushes at any age. We just shouldn’t believe in what they appear to promise anymore. Of we haven’t glimpsed complete perfection. It’s just a pretty nice side or two coming to fore.
Love gives you wings. Icarus and the Challenger both had wings, and so did my first love letter, after I folded it up and flung it at my crush. –Jarod Kintz