I’m Good At Platonic
“I’m good at platonic. It’s my default sexual setting – after nervous.” Jonathan Ames, Bored To Death
Here’s the thing about me: I’m good at being in relationships but really bad at starting them. If I like you, I will do everything in my power to make sure you see me as a friend.
My go-to-move in matters of love and lust is to employ the ghost protocol. This basically consists of me pining for you deeply but instead of trying to woo you I will desexualize myself, put my worst eccentricities on display, and generally disappear into the background. Here’s what happens when I should be flirting.
I will think about how arrange my limbs and end up slouching with my hip thrown to the side.
I will ask you questions in such a way that the conversation turns into a job interview.
I will poke fun at you for something I actually find adorable and forget to use my sarcastic voice. I’ll come off like a total asshat.
When I respond reflexively to something you’ve said and then realize it didn’t make sense, my words will echo in my mind and I won’t hear anything you say for the next five minutes.
My face will turn red, my voice will crack, and I will look up and to the left when answering your questions. Eye contact with someone I am secretly crushing on makes me really uncomfortable.
I will not find a charming way to edit my life story to show a mix of vulnerability and strength.
I will not throw you a look that makes wonder how I’ll look in the morning light laying on your pillow or what you’ll say to me when we walk to get coffee.
If I suspect you like me I will question your intelligence or flee in panic.
I will try to set you up with my favorite friend because I think you are so awesome that I want you to be with someone better than me and because I have to find a way to stop thinking about you.
If I really like you, like suspect I might love you like you, I might pretend that I’m going to do something about it this time. I’ll watch you across the room at parties, stealing glances when I take a swig of my drink. I’ll intentionally not talk about you even when other people bring you up. I’ll do awkward shit when I’m drunk like graze-punch your shoulder to say hello or rest my hand on your arm for a beat too long when you tell me a joke, as though the laughter racking my body is making it hard for me to stand upright without support. Maybe I’ll text you random, ironic observations about something “funny” that just happened in a misguided attempt to let you know I think about you sometimes a lot sometimes.
It’d probably better for my mental health if I just said what I meant when I had the chance. I might have known you sooner. I might have found a way to have you. But I’m good at platonic.