There used to be this thing where I’d always get a tiny fleeting crush on any guy in a Ramones T-shirt and Converse. This was back in my early twenties, before people dressed their toddlers like this, before you could buy faux-stressed “vintage” band shirts at the mall. Ramones guy, I wanted to hold his hand under the lunch table and fall in love with his mix tape.
Now I have a thing where I get a tiny fleeting crush on any guy in an authentic Misfits shirt. Earlier this summer, in line before Repo Man, we passed a tall skinny guy in a big faded Misfits shirt, and I told Roy about my little automatic secret crush. He looked at the guy and said, “How do you know that’s authentic? Maybe he bought it at Hot Topic.” And I said, “It’s all faded and big, like back when guys wore their T-shirts large, not tight. It’s authentic.” And Roy said, “Maybe his older brother passed it down to him.” And I said, “Roy, just let me have this, okay? Let me have my one-minute crush on the Misfits guy.”
Misfits guy, I want to sit in his basement and listen to him fight with his older brother and ignore me until later, when we make out passionately in his beat up car in an empty elementary school parking lot. Later he writes me an incredibly heartfelt letter and it’s so raw I’m embarrassed to read it. When I break up with him he clenched-jaw cries and punches his steering wheel repeatedly.
I realize my relationship fantasy is still stuck in the teen years, but now it’s more like sixteen instead of fourteen.
Look at me, growing up.