I Think I Was In Love, Once
by Noise Pollution
There’s this girl who lives out where I used to live.
She’s pretty much the best human being there is, I think. She’s one of the funniest people I’ve ever met in my life. She has the same kind of dark sense of humor that I do. She gets all of my fucking weird jokes about being depressed, even the ones that went over the rest of my friends’ heads. And not only does she get them, she cracks the fuck up at them.
She was always really nice to me. She would make me feel important in ways that no one else ever did. When she was a part of my friend-group’s festivities, I generally always had a good time. Even when things weren’t exactly going my way. She was more fun to be around than my girlfriend at the time. I don’t think I realized it then, but I think I liked her more than I liked my girlfriend. Not that that ever really manifested; my girlfriend always had priority when it came to my attention. Thinking back on how much fucking time I wasted on my ex makes me wish I hadn’t been quite so kind, but at the same time, I can look back on those days and know I was a good person. So I don’t actually regret it.
Her, my best friend and I were the only people who ever really went to dark places when we got high or drunk. That’s how I know she was one of the only people who really got it. I was far too shy and socially anxious, even when under the influence, to ever talk seriously with her about depressing things, though I still get the feeling that she understood what I was going through. I don’t know what she was going through, and I won’t pretend I did. I never once visited her house, or met any of her family members, or knew all that much about her personal life. I don’t know if it was because I didn’t care, or if it was because I was too afraid to ask. If it was the former, then the reason I didn’t care was because I was chasing tail throughout pretty much the entire stretch of me knowing her, and she was off-limits for almost that entire time. And even if she wasn’t, I don’t think I had the confidence to ever let her know how I felt. I don’t think I even had enough confidence to admit to myself that I had feelings for her. It was way easier to see her as a longtime friend and nothing more than it was to allow myself to pine for her. Did I think she was out of my league? I don’t know. I don’t think that’s really it, though she probably was. I think I didn’t know how I felt about her, and shuffled her into a “friend” category because I was too afraid to pursue her romantically.
I’m really struggling to put this into words.
What I’m trying to say is that I had so little confidence in myself that I couldn’t even admit to myself that I liked this girl.
I don’t know if that makes any sense, but it’s the best I can really articulate.
She was really cool. I remember the first time she took mushrooms. It was me, my best friend, her, and her best friend, and we were all wandering around our suburban turf at some ungodly hour of the night. I was not having a great time, but it’s because the drugs just didn’t hit me. I don’t know why, but for me and me only, they did nothing. I was pretty irritated. She was having a goddamn blast though. Looking back now, I think part of the reason I was so annoyed is because I had so little to contribute to the conversation due to my undesired state of sobriety that I wasn’t talking to her much. I was dating a girl at the time though, so I wouldn’t have ever admitted that that was the cause of my frustration. But anyway, I wound up smoking a fuckton of cigarettes that night. Partially in hopes that the nicotine would flip the “get real high” switch in my brain that had stubbornly stayed off that night, and partially because it was an excuse to stay quiet. She eventually asked for one in spite of the fact that she never smoked cigarettes. It pissed off her friend, who didn’t want her to pick up the habit, but I happily obliged.
Smoking a cigarette while high on mushrooms is literally one of the best feelings in the entire fucking world. The earth stops spinning, time slows down, your body melts into a puddle before reforming into something better than it was before, and you feel like a fucking star. If you’ve ever seen someone who you think is cool, calm and collected, you can rest assured that they probably don’t feel quite the way they look. This feeling is what you imagine those people feel like, times a thousand.
Watching her enjoy the hell out her cigarette was awesome. My memories after that point are pretty vague, but we all slept at my best friend’s house. I didn’t sleep much, if at all. There was just enough buzzing in my brain from all of the nicotine and psilocybin that it just wasn’t going to happen.
I remember one of the many nights we spent drinking together. The odd thing about this particular night is that I actually didn’t drink. But anyways. That night me, my best friend, her, and my second best friend were all hanging out in my best friend’s basement. This is all going to get confusing, so I guess I need to assign names to these guys. My best friend’s name is Jake. That’s his actual name. The girl, we’ll call B. The other friend of mine, we’ll call T.
Anyways, we were at Jake’s house. We spent a lot of our “getting fucked up” time there until we had our own place. The four of us were in his basement, and his parents were upstairs. We had booze. Unfortunately for me, it came to light that B was going to need a ride home, so somebody had to be sober. Jake and T had naturally already started drinking before I got there, so the burden was laid on my shoulders. Poor me. I stayed sober, but I got pretty into the atmosphere and had a good time anyway. I put on this stupid-looking old-man mask and started doing an incredibly dumb dance. Everyone thought it was funny, but my god, B laughed so fucking hard. She would continue to tell that part of this story for years after it happened, too. T wound up throwing a shoe or something at me, which I managed to dodge in my state of sobriety and it hit something behind me that was made of glass. It shattered loudly. We all got really quiet for a second, as Jake’s parents were upstairs, and we were not supposed to be drinking. After a couple moments of holding our breath, we came to the conclusion that no one heard and all burst out laughing and making fun of T.
Eventually the night was coming to a close and B had to leave. I helped her up the stairs and into my car. She insisted on walking herself, but was in no condition to. She was really cute. I feel like at this point, I shouldn’t have to say it again, but I was dating someone at the time, so I wasn’t really able to process that very well. She had me drive us to our high school, as her house was less than a block away from there. I did, and walked her home. If I was single, and if she was single, that night might’ve ended a little bit differently. But we weren’t, so it ended a little awkwardly, but she still showered me with compliments. I flew to the goddamn moon in my head. I think that night was the night that I realized I had feelings for her. I tucked them away, though. Circumstances were not going to allow us to get any closer, and even if that wasn’t the case, I still had the barrier of my own lack of confidence to climb over.
The weirdest thing about our relationship is how… tertiary it was. She had a boyfriend for almost the entirety of the time that I knew her, though it wasn’t always the same one. Not that she was floating between people or anything. She was actually one of the most dedicated girls I had ever met. In the seven years I knew her, she had three different boyfriends, and the time she spent dating around in between them was miniscule.
And after her boyfriend, I think Jake was next in line as far as her romantic relationships go. She and Jake never dated, but they came close. B never cheated, but if she ever did, it would have likely been with Jake. Maybe I was upset about this, I don’t know. I had buried so many feelings regarding her at that point that I have no idea how I felt.
I don’t even know if I was next. I just knew (maybe) that she understood me on a level that few people did, even if we didn’t hang out that much, even if we were never alone together. I always had the feeling that if we ever were alone together… maybe we would have had a good time.
But I guess I can’t speak to her feelings. All I really knew is that whenever she spoke to me, I was doing fucking backflips in my head, and my heart would race around inside my chest. And this was always the case, even when I barely knew her, even when I was taken, she always caused this reaction in me. I don’t know how I didn’t recognize this as attraction. When I look back now, I don’t think I ever felt as strongly about anyone as I did about her. I’m pretty sure I loved her. But I thought it was something else, I thought it was just this light physical attraction I felt that didn’t mean anything, but there’s no way in hell that’s all it was. None of my girlfriends ever got that feeling out of me. None of the girls I chased who rejected me ever got that feeling out of me. None of the girls who chased me who I rejected ever got that feeling out of me. She was different.
And I’m probably never going to see her again. My heart is aching right now. Remembering her makes me wish that I had stayed, even if nothing ever came from our relationship. I think the butterflies in my stomach were enough, even if there was never any payoff for them.
I feel kind of exposed writing this out. These are feelings I never really admitted to myself, and might be stupid for me to have. I could be wrong about her understanding me, too. For all I know, if she ever somehow came across this blog, she’d read this and be totally skeezed out. She won’t though. Nobody from back then has really been in my life since I left. The only people I have any contact with are Jake and T. No one else has even tried, unless they were asking me for fucking money.
I wish there was a good way to type out a sigh. That’s kind of all I’ve got left in me at this point.