Much like the 90s pop diva Mariah Carey, I am often lost in a sweet, sweet fantasy, baby.
In a word, my daydreams are cinematic. I’m talking epic, $100,000,000 budget, Baz Luhrmann directed blockbuster extravaganza kinds of shenanigans. Have you ever seen the movie The Secret Life of Walter Mitty? Ben Stiller’s character is so caught up in his imagination that he often misses out on real life. They could do a reboot starring me: The Secret Life of Marjorie Whitlock. All of the books and movies I’ve inhaled over the years have rotted my brain, y’all.
Honestly, this happens to me every single day. Take Sunday, for example. After church, I stopped by Starbucks to catch up on some paperwork whilst people-watching with an iced chai tea latte. (Besides, in my bold red lipstick and new dress, I looked way too cute to go home.) As I grabbed my drink from the counter, I noticed him.
The guy was adorable. Tom? Jim? I didn’t have my glasses on. I couldn’t read his cup! I know there were three letters, so let’s call him – JOM. Anyway, Jom was this cute, hipstery artist dude. Intelligent blue eyes framed by sexy nerd glasses, dark hair perfectly disheveled, ideal amount of stubble, and the BIGGEST NOSE I HAVE EVER SEEN ON A HUMAN MAN. The boy was the flesh and blood hero of a modern Disney Pixar animated short.
Guys, it gets better. Scattered across the table were some kind of fancy colored pencils and a sketchbook. He had taken a break from drawing his amazing artwork (because of course he was talented, duh) and was deep in conversation with a precious little girl. She was maybe five years old, and she was clearly in love. I don’t know if she was more taken with the cartoony amazingness of Jom himself, or of his actual cartoons. I took a seat at the table across from him and began shamelessly eavesdropping. (Let’s be real, you’d totally do the same thing.)
At first I thought they must know each other, but the girl’s parents soon emerged from the line. For over fifteen minutes, Jom indulgently answered the kid’s questions about his “crayons” and even let her draw in his sketchbook. Finally her parents managed to pull her away. Before the family left, she asked Jom for a drawing. Her mother replied, “Sweetie, the nice man already drew you a picture!” Finally they were out the door, the draft rustling the pages of his work magically.
Aaaaand that’s when my imagination kicked into hyper-drive.
(Is “hyper-drive” a real word? Whatever, it seems fitting.)
Jom and I lock eyes across the room. I blush and fumble with my papers. I try to focus on my work, but I can’t help but notice that he seems to be noticing me, too. Intently he works in his sketchbook, glancing in my direction every few moments, his long fingers scribbling furiously over the paper. After a time, he stands and packs up his supplies. I watch disappointedly as he zips up his beaten leather messenger bag and heads toward the door. But wait – what’s happening?!? He’s coming to my table… HE’S COMING TO MY TABLE. This is not a drill. I repeat, THIS IS NOT A DRILL.
“Hey. Um, I hope you don’t mind, but I just had to draw you. You’re so stunning – I had to try to capture it on paper,” he mumbles awkwardly adorably. Then he hands me his sketch. There I am, captured in reds and blues and yellows, smiling demurely from the page. At the bottom is Jom’s name and phone number. Iron and Wine begin singing “Such Great Heights,” and so begins the start of a great adventure…
Except, no. Because what REALLY happened is that I watched Jom say goodbye to the precocious little girl, put on his ginormous headphones, and get lost in his art. After a time, he stood and packed up his supplies. And I watched disappointedly as he zipped up his beaten leather messenger bag and headed toward the door. And he kept right on walking until he was gone. At that point I finally snapped out of it. With a sad little smile I got back to work.