This summer I didn’t know what I wanted. I was dating for attention, and dating people who — looking back — I would have never wanted a future with. You can’t control who you’re attracted to, but you can set your standards high enough to realize that attraction and compatibility are often disparate things.
My best friend didn’t like you, which I think made your unpredictable personality even more attractive. Aloof and slightly unapproachable in social settings, your confidence wasn’t the inspiring type. Routinely off to somewhere new, well-travelled and passionate about your work, you were just my type.
On top of all that, you rode bikes.
I wasn’t objectively attracted to you in the traditional way. There were no butterflies or dreams of walking down the aisle, but the way you moved through life like you didn’t need a thing from anyone was enticing.
When randomly we ended up at the same gala in Chelsea, I was thrilled when you noticed me, even without my bike helmet on. I also hoped you noticed how my long red dress hugged my hips in just the right way, unlike my padded bike shorts. As you made your way across the room to talk, I fell a little deeper into my summer infatuation.
We crossed paths a handful of times that summer, mostly on bikes in the early morning. The occasional post-ride coffee stop kept me wondering if you’d initiate a drink in the evening, but that never happened.
Underneath the superficial attraction, I knew we would never be together. Your attention was a challenge, but winning it was never very satisfying. I eventually scared a group of tourists at the 59th street entrance to Central Park with a waterfall of tears when I embraced the fact you were not going to be the man I didn’t know I wanted you to be. I never saw you again after that summer, but the lessons learned from that attraction I continue to revisit.