I don’t know if that’s your name, but it was the song that was playing on my iPod when I saw you and, well… once you read below, you’ll know why I needed to give you a name.
it’s a long story, so I thought I’d throw it [the song] in here while you read. if you read. it’s a good song.
[Bon Iver - 'Beth']
I just wanted to say…
I’m no good at this.
you can probably tell by my ill-advised posting of your photo that this is not my area of expertise. I didn’t show your face ’cause I wanted this to be a confession of sorts. me to you. for quite a few things…
I suppose I should start for apologize for being anything but subtle this afternoon.
I’m sorry for staring.
I’m sorry for taking pictures of you without your consent.
and I’m really sorry about the note.
trust that I meant well… even though I told myself that if I couldn’t find a way of passing it to you – without him seeing – that I was fully prepared to go back to the office of the boat company and bribe the guys there for the passenger manifesto.
oh my god, that’s even creepy to write.
I’m glad it started to rain this morning. I’m glad because otherwise, I would have stayed up top, instead of coming down. I didn’t expect to see you, but then again, I don’t know anyone who wakes up and says ‘I’m going to sit across from a girl so stunning that she makes me embarrass myself’. you were there, with the guy and with a girl. you have no idea how much I hoped he would have a lisp or would have looked just like you, but you were really nice to him the whole way – sharing your iPod, smiling when he talked – and that should have been reason enough for me to just go back to pensively looking at the water, but I couldn’t help it. there were 2 Swedish girls on the boat with us – do you remember? I tried to force myself to look at them [I mean - they're Swedish, after all, it shouldn't be too hard], but it didn’t stick. you had your hair up and a slightly crooked smile with your Chuck T’s laced up differently and I was so thankful when you pulled out the English version of the South American guide book – for no other reason than it was one step closer to me being able to talk to you…
but I didn’t.
for many, many reasons – one being I don’t know how to approach someone like you. the second being that you may or may not have been with your boyfriend, and the third factor of you being one of the most striking girls I’ve ever seen.
so, no. there was no way.
I’m sorry for staring.
we got to the island and I really hoped that when I stood up, my penis wasn’t showing through my shorts [I don't wear underwear], that my white shirt wasn’t accentuating my man-boobs [for some reason, I still insist on wearing white shirts] and that I hadn’t accidentally sat in water and it have looked like I might have pooped myself [middle school kids can be so mean] …
thankfully, none of those things happend.
you 3 walked ahead and I was able to not freak out about walking ahead of you. my knees were already heavy.
we passed a few times in the little harbor town – I don’t know if you saw me or not. I quickly got some water for my tea, an egg sandwich, and started up the only trail I saw. after about 10 minutes, I was all by myself and realized that things like this – like you – don’t happen that often, so I veered off the path, headed up the mountain [which is hard, by the way - the altitude almost killed me], found a road, and then started walking back.
this might seem a bit strange to you, as we were all on the full-day tour, meaning you start hiking at one end of the island and then get picked up on the other… but while I was walking, I realized that you 3 might have chosen the half-day option, which meant that you would be leaving from the same place we arrived at, meaning there was a chance that I wouldn’t have been on the same boat as you going back…
and that was something I needed to do, Liz – be on the same boat as you. even though I had no fucking clue what I was going to do…
probably stare some more.
I went backwards down the path – you might know this, as I passed your big group. maybe you didn’t see me, but I saw you. the smart thing to do would have been just to follow your group, but I was already bordering on creepy and making an 180 after seeing you would put me into an immediate stalker status.
so I walked back to the town and got on the boat. it was me and a bunch of old people who couldn’t hike. even the boat driver made fun of me and I didn’t have enough Spanish to explain you to him… although he must have seen you, and I’m sure would have understood.
the boat got there about an hour before your all’s trek was done. I was freezing, sitting up top, but I forced myself to keep my jacket off, since it didn’t match and I wanted my outfit to coordinate for you. but you all weren’t there, so I went up to one of the restaurants on the cliffs and had some fish and some beers.
as you can tell from the above, my mind already is a bit off to begin with, but when you throw booze into the muddle, it gets even worse.
I wondered if you were headed to La Paz, or Chile, or Argentina.
I wondered if I would find a way to talk to you.
I wondered if you’d be open to buying an old car with me and driving it until it broke.
I wondered if you’d look at me like you looked at that guy someday.
I wondered what your real name was, Beth. I’m sure it was something pretty.
I wondered a whole lot of stuff.
the whistle blew, so I headed back to the boat, hoping you hadn’t sprained an ankle in those Chuck Taylors.
I sat up top again, but this time because it was actually warm.
you weren’t there, so I decided to look for you that evening – walking around town that night, poking my head in every bar until I saw you again.
the Swedish girls sat by me.
the captain began chewing his coca leaves – which, as we know – meant he was about to start up the boat.
and then I saw you - the 3 of you, actually. but I only saw you.
you came walking down the dock and you looked at the boat and whispered something to your friend.
I know you didn’t see me, but I couldn’t help but wish you were saying ‘there’s that cute-and-in-no-way-creepy-guy’, but you were probably talking about the captain chewing his coca leaves.
and then you sat right across from me.
I started staring again.
the trip back was long, everyone was tired.
you went down below after an hour, probably because that 6’4” guy slept on all of our shoes.
after you had gone, I pulled out my little notepad and wrote you a note:
as you can tell, this one stayed with me - I gave you the second one.
see, this one only had my first name and I thought ‘well, Queen – if she is, even the slightest bit interested, she wouldn’t be able to just find an ‘Aric’”, so I wrote the same thing, but with my last name.
[btw - I am painfully aware that the first note was a stretch, but for it to have been revised and re-written is reason enough for a court order. I'm so sorry.]
the next 30 minutes were spent figuring out how to get it to you. I almost asked your friend quietly to ‘give this to her if/when the appropriate time comes’, but that would have required a whole lot of talking, which would have been hard, as my throat wasn’t completely working.
I could just walk up to you, but that could’ve been awkward if you freaked out… as we were on a small boat in the middle of one of the world’s largest lakes.
there was really no way to do it, I told myself, and I was beginning to worry I might miss my chance.
it began to get cold up top, so I came back down. you were asleep on the little bench, which meant my hopes of even attempting some eye contact were screwed. so I sat there and listened to Otis Redding… which, if you know anything about Otis Redding, was a mistake.
the boat docked and I saw you wake up, Elizabeth. everyone else began standing – as people do when boats stop – but I hung back, which was weird, seeing how I was the first in line to go. but I took a chance and stayed back and almost everyone else left the boat [including your friends/friend and boyfriend], leaving only about 5 of us left.
the rest you know – I waited until you were behind me, turned around, refused to look at you, handed you note v2 and said ‘I’m really sorry if this comes across inappropriate’. the worst part of that was that I was trembling when I said it and was hoping to impress you with my great voice.
you took the note – as people tend to do when handed notes – and I turned around [hoping, again, that my bottom wasn't wet] and tried so very hard to calmly walk away. it didn’t go so well, as I slipped a little when walking down the jetty. I tried to picture the scene behind me – if you read it, if you hid it, if you laughed at it – but I never turned around. no way. I walked to my hotel and chain-smoked for half-an-hour, trying to calm down.
I forced myself to stay online until the battery on my computer died, hoping you all would have already taken a bus out of town or had eaten early.
when I walked into town, I kept my head down. I ate my fish, I drank my wine, and I prayed you 3 didn’t walk into the same restaurant. you didn’t, for which I am thankful - so I don’t know if you’re still here or not…
nor do I know what I would do with that information if I had it.
so… I guess what I’m trying to say is:
I’m sorry about the note.
I’m super sorry about the photo.
and I’m really sorry about this – one of the longest blog entries I’ve ever written.
I just really thought you were beautiful.