A short list of people I’ve had a crush on since starting this column: the bagger at Whole Foods with the body of a lumberjack, dark reddish hair pulled back into a slight ponytail, one strand fallen loose and tucked behind his ear. A scruffy musician I used to see at a Monday meeting, his forearms covered in dried paint. Joseph Gordon-Levitt (again). A guy in a baseball cap at the vet clinic. “Is your dog named Bubba?” I asked him, as he waited to pay his bill. He nodded. “My cat is named Bubba,” I said. This is the opening of a romantic comedy I will never write.
The thing about writing about crushes is that you start to see crushes everywhere. In line at Kinko’s, outside the Jamba Juice, driving the UPS truck with tanned, sculpted calves. Crushes are a well of good feeling that never runs dry. You can’t sell out of them; there is an endless supply. How convenient, how lovely for something so nice to be so easy, so free. Because love is hard—it takes commitment, and vulnerability, and honesty, and patience—but crushes are perfect, fleeting, like fall leaves that scatter around your feet, to be admired and, just as quickly, abandoned.