Dear Ryan Gosling Lover

By Alan Semrow

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I saw you. The way I was positioned in my chair, it was in exactly the place it needed to be for you to have a direct view of me, and me of you—straight on. It felt close, yet miles away—you were all the way over there in the orange chair, overlooking the mouthwatering lake.

Over beers on that hot, hot day, Jack was bitching to me in his loud, loud voice about something he found significant. And, I assume, I probably delivered mundane little comments back that made it clear that I felt whatever he was complaining about wouldn’t matter in a year—that he should turn down the volume.

As he continued on, I kept glancing at you—right over there—every once in a while, coy. You and I were both shirtless and wearing sunglasses to protect us from maybe the truth resting in our eyes. Your body glistened in the sun, your long-ish blond hair reflected it.

And I got the sense right there. How your Ryan Gosling face kept turning away from your friends who were speaking. While you were not. You looked at me. Jack kept talking. I fell to nodding and laughing to myself that this—that you—were probably something that was happening right now. Whatever I was supposed to be hearing, I no longer did. I looked at you. You looked at me. I looked down and then at Jack as he said all those things, yet nothing at all.

Eventually, it was just: “Bitch, let’s just go then if you’re not going to listen.”

We downed our beers and made a plan to head to another location. I put my shirt on, making a point to ensure that you could see me do so. I lifted the sunglasses from my eyes and onto my head. Jack began walking and I stood, feeling thankful that he chose to walk that way.

I saw you. As I passed, I gave that little wink. Just because. The danger in doing that, the thrill of it—I suppose it hit me right where I wanted it to. You smiled.

Goodbye for now.