I would like for you to ask me on a date. And I would like for you to do it with directness, with certainty. I would like to know that you want to see me. I will ask you too, one day. Like little children on the playground, I am happy to be it. But I would like for you to start our game.
My whole life I have asked for what I have wanted; worked for what I have wanted. I have made my life myself, as simple as it is. I have built a second-story patio, hand sawed the wood and wrenched in the rails; I can carry 20 grocery bags, ten on each arm, up three flights of stairs; I have lain a floor. I am strong. I would like to be soft with you.
I have asked out almost every man that I have dated. When I see what I want, I am persistent. “You should ask me out,” I would say, and often they would, if only out of curiosity for this doe-eyed thing leaning against the door frame, admiring him in the office kitchen, or the friend’s kitchen, or the dating app named after food.
I know my tastes, and you know yours. We will know if we dine well together, if we should take or skip dessert, or plan to get drunk in one another.
I would like for you to ask me on a date. On it, you will “accidentally” brush my fingers so that I may signal that I am open to your touch. I will veer just a little closer to your body and, oops, my fingers bump into yours. We walk. I talk. You grasp. Our knuckles interlace like knotted roots.
I know my tricks and you know yours. We will know if we make magic, if we should kindle by friction, or matchstick, or drench it all in gasoline.
My whole life, I have made my life myself, as large as I would like for it still to grow. But I would like for you to plant this single seed, and I would like to nurture.
But I would like for you to ask me on a date. I am comfortable with alone, so perhaps we will be friends. You will ask me how my love life’s been, and I will drop my eyes and grin. We will chat about building homes and burning them with gasoline and how that hasn’t seemed to work. About friction between twigs and getting tired of waiting, so striking a match—a conversation to light the mind; about how groceries are easier carried with held-open doors, and how floors are the best foundation for cushion forts and sheet tents. So cozy!
And I might look up from our shared meal and catch your eye and wonder if our thoughts have connected like kids talking through tin-can telephones. I might want to say “Hey! You should ask me out”, but I will be a strong girl, softened.
Marisa Zocco, Elephant Academy Apprentice
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