It is difficult to experience magic as an adult. We are skeptical, untrusting and always looking for truth behind the smoke and mirrors. Who can blame us? We have experienced so many things that have challenged our views about the world. At some point we stopped believing in magic to survive.
My office crush, some of you may remember, began in February and ended a few months later after much flirtation but no action. And that was okay because I never thought the crush was reciprocated. It was a fun, fleeting, office distraction.
He moved out of my office (his company rented space, we never worked together) and we stayed in touch occasionally via gmail chats and email inviting each other to happy hours, birthday parties, and friends' BBQs both knowing that we were never going to show up. It was all very New York-y full of false promises and mostly bullshit. My crush was long over, so I did not care.
Then one day in August he initiated a Gchat and asked me about my vacation to Berlin. I'd like to hear about it, he wrote. Since I like to test people (one of many endearing flaws) I suggested we get a drink sometime "soon", to which he responded: Sure how about next Tuesday?
I had to re-read the message several times because it was that 4pm office time time when I drink stale coffee and search for chocolates in my desk drawer that I know I already ate two days ago. I read it again. Tuesday. A day in the week. The beginnings of a plan, I wondered? But this is a man who doesn't make plans.
I reply: Sure, Tuesday sounds great. He said I must remind him next week, and I thought I shouldn't have to remind a man to hang out with me. My other thought was that this meeting won't really happen, but if it does it is up to me.
Tuesday arrived and after a busy day at work I wanted a cocktail with a tall, cute boy. So I reminded him via email and he responded promptly. I picked a time and a place still wondering if he was actually going to show up. He did. Suddenly we were two humans sharing the same space at a bar talking about Europe. He looked adorable. But I already knew he would. That was how my crush began in the first place.
To any outsider this would look like the makings of a date. But he showed no signs of interest in me as more than a friend, and when his guy friend joined us at the bar, my suspicions were confirmed. But it was summer and I was drinking cocktails with two cute boys so I was content.
The night came to an end and the three of us stumbled slightly drunk out into the unusually cool August night. His friend said goodbye and walked away. Office crush and I, being the total Brooklyn nerds that we are, unlocked our bikes from the bike stand. I strapped on my unattractive but necessary helmet and turned on my red blinking back light.
I thanked him for all the drinks he bought me and I reached up to hug him (did I mention he's incredibly tall like 6 '5"?). I kissed him on the cheek replicating our greeting earlier that night. His face was close to mine and I began to pull away but he didn't let me go. He kissed me on the lips and said, "Just putting it out there."
What I wanted to say but didn't was: WHAT THE FUCK is this? Where was THIS months ago?
And then I realized it didn't happen before because I wanted it too much. And when I stopped wanting it, there we were: two dorks who rode their bikes to a bar standing in the middle of the street making out like teenagers with our bike helmets on, chin straps buckled and all.
And so we kissed and kissed. In the street and then on the side of the street to avoid getting killed. We let our bikes fall on the sidewalk. We unclipped our helmets and threw them down next to our bikes. Passionate roadside kissing ensued. In the middle of it I jumped up and wrapped my legs around him just because I could. Because that is something you can do with tall men that you can't with less tall ones. My red back light never stopped blinking.
I rode home smiling. I kissed my crush and it was better than I imagined. It was magical - not in the sense that I thought he was going to be my boyfriend and we were going to get married and tell our grand kids about this night. No, I'm too old to believe in that kind of magic.
It was magical purely because it was unexpected and we both surrendered to the moment in a way that I haven't done since I stopped believing in that kind of magic. No thinking, only feeling, touching hair and lips and tongues and embracing and grabbing and pulling and wanting.
We get older. We change and grow, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't believe in magic. We just have to recognize that it has also changed and grown and become simpler than before. Magic is a tiny touch, a kiss, a small insignificant moment on the side of the street on a summer night. Be ready for magic everyday. Ready to see it; to embrace it; to not question it, only remember it.