Lost In Translation: Rom-Coms and Self-Loathing

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Gary Shteyngart’s apparats may not be half bad. The “fuckability” index is probably overkill, but being able to know when a girl is into you and if making a move isn’t going to leave you high and dry would be damn nice.

Til now, I have been an ardent follower of living in the moment, being spontaneous. But shit’s been rough recently.

Like tonight.

For tonight, I am pathetic. A coward. Whimpering in the corner of my bedroom at a half past midnight, with Letters to Juliet playing on a flat screen too big for my mess of an efficiency, my ears straining to hear what they’re saying on the tube ‘cause I have the volume down at a barely audible level. I don’t want my hip neighbors, grad students at the environmental school, with their two-week beards and skinny corduroy jeans having even an inkling as to what I am doing.

After dropping off my date, without as much as a kiss goodbye (we did, however, share a rather unpleasantly friendly hug), I went to my school’s library and rented the first romantic comedy that I saw on the new release shelf. Now, I am quite comfortable with my masculinity, but found myself downright embarrassed. So much so that I picked up my phone to the phantom ring of my “girlfriend” and promptly told her that, of course, I wouldn’t mind picking up a chick flick for us to watch before falling asleep. Yup, this is what it all came down to.

Now, this wasn’t the way I had envisioned my night a few hours ago when I set out into a gorgeous fall evening. I’m something of a romantic and autumn tends to knock on that bone pretty hard. I had, optimistically, hoped to be in a sensuous embrace with this breathtakingly beautiful girl I have been seeing for the past couple of weeks. But, alas, here I am, alone, spiraling down into a devastating hole of unrequited love. And I feel that this tumbling is more voluntary than anything else.

She has offered me these brief, passing moments in which if I had any strong sense of timing, I would have leaned in and we may have, dare I dream, kissed. But instead I would avert my gaze to the worn down leather of my gear shift or the near empty reading of my gas gauge, the light flashing an SOS to the crash control in my subconscious, yelling at it to put the car into first and drive me away from this god awful situation.