I’m thirteen years old. My first big crush is the cutest guy in the class. He’s the first chair trumpeter. I have a direct view of his beautiful face from my chair in the flute section. Travis’s eyes hold a gaze that resembles sunlit honey. The way he crosses his leg and perches his trumpet on his knee is a perfect pairing of corduroy and brass.
One day Travis and I are in the instrument closet all alone. It’s my opportunity to let Travis know I exist. I’m wearing dockers, a button down shirt and topsiders. My bangs hang over the tip of my eyes. I’m sixteen pounds overweight. I’m about as sophisticated as Jabba the Hut.
“Do you like Chuck Mangione?”
“He’s okay. My favorite is Miles Davis.”
I lie: “I love Miles Davis!”
“Really? What’s your favorite album?”
“I can’t think of it. It’s the one the radio plays all of the time.”
“He doesn’t get radio play.”
“Well…Chuck Mangione gets radio play. I saw you and your mother driving down Jamestown Road two Sundays ago. I was like, hey it’s Travis and his mother.”
Travis walks away. I go home and put on my father’s only Miles Davis album, Kind of Blue. I eat two big bowls of Breyers mint chocolate chip ice cream and mourn the loss of a relationship that never was and never will be.
Travis and I are friends on Facebook.
One night after many drinks I draft a message to him that says, “I lied about Miles Davis in eighth grade but now I’m a huge fan. My favorite album is Bitch’s Brew. Also, Chuck Mangione is lame. Your former big-time crush, Kathy.
Thank Jah, Buddha, the stars and the moon I did not hit send.