Do you remember that scene in Good Will Hunting where Robin Williams’ character, the sweet, wise psychologist, recalls how he met the love of his life? It’s the typical Hollywood bullshit in many respects: guy sees girl who captures his attention, then he pursues her with relentless obsession, which borders on harassment. In the case of Williams’ character, he bailed on some significant baseball game in order to do so. Which is meant to make us think, Wow, what a champ. Good for you. We don’t think, Why didn’t you leave that woman in peace, you fuck? Because it’s pretty standard for guys to do this. Nay, we consider it “romance”. But can a girl take the same approach and not get labelled a psycho?
A few weeks back, I heard a DJ’s voice on the radio and, well, let’s just say it did something for me. On a sexual level. I figured this was my Good Will Hunting moment, so I called up the station to talk to him. He picked up. “Hey man,” I said. “Just wanted to let you know that I like what you do.” Pretty sweet line, right? It worked inasmuch as we ended up having a nice little chinwag about music and I got sufficient details about his life to be able to track down his whereabouts. Not that I planned to break into his house; I just wanted to catch his next DJ set. Which I did.
I walked up to him at the turntables and said, “Hey man, great set.” I had no other material. At this point, I guess I should have started bragging about myself or saying any old shit. But I couldn’t. I was in crush-mode. He rambled, which was great, because it gave me the opportunity to stare at his gorgeous elongated face. He handed me a record to have a look at, and I had that moment where you realise that you’re touching something that your crush has touched, which brings you together through the power of germs. Oh, what germs I wanted to share. I handed the record back, thanked him for his existence, and left.
My next move was an email. Little bit ’90s, retro, he liked it. We set up a date and I wore my clothes that stank the least. I don’t remember saying anything that deep or funny, but I must have made an impression, because two beers in, he started telling me about his childhood traumas, which I figured meant sex was on the cards. At no point did I get over how cool I thought he was and saw no reason to hide the fact. Standing next to him in a crowded bar, I shouted, “You’re cool, man.” He looked concerned. “What am I supposed to say to that?” he shouted. I took the painful silence that followed as a cue to hug him, clinging to the side of his body the way those little toy koalas snap onto the side of a rear-view mirror, and not letting go. He laughed and kissed the top of my head, like I was a child that needed to be put to bed (I did nearly fall asleep in this position), and we later went home.
For the record, sex never happened. Not even on date number two, which he organised. Instead, he stood in my kitchen, massaging his face, while stressing out over my Good Will Hunting level of enthusiasm for him. “I don’t understand why you sought me out,” he said. I blinked. “Because I have a crush on you,” I said. He still seemed confused. At some point, you just can’t keep repeating yourself or saying, “Cool, man,” lest you become an animated GIF, so I had no choice but to drink the rest of his wine and leave things at that. Now, instead of lifelong romance, all we have is weird memories. I blame Hollywood.
Image: Lukasz Wierzbowski
This article first appeared in frankie magazine issue 71 (May/June 2016).