The Second Look

“But does she love you back?” N asked.

“No,” I said in reply. “She made it perfectly clear that she doesn’t.”

“Is that why you keep looking okay? You’re going to meet her later, aren’t you? That’s why you can’t stay with me past nine.”


“It’s okay, I understand,” N stood up from her bar stool and I caught her form a grimace. This flash of disappointment moved me. At that moment, I felt attracted to her. Strands of her hair fell clumsily in front of her face.

I suddenly had the urge to put my arms around her. Instead, I froze as she took cash from her wallet and offered it to me. I raised my hand up to decline.

She sighed and made her way for the door. I waited for her to turn her head, but she never did.

Later that week, I thought of N at the gym. Would she count on my second look? What would it be like to see her again? If I started to tingle for her, would we try to warm our beds? People are so unreliable. I’m unreliable.


I spent a lunchtime in a coffee shop carrying a book written by the Dalai Lama. It was a nice book to carry around because it had the word Happiness on it. I haven’t read a sentence of it. I was playing an app on called Draw Something while waiting for the text. The object of this game is simple. You draw something and one of your friends online try to guess it, then you take turns. It was my first time guessing today. I felt embarrassed upon realizing that it showed you the entire drawing process at the end of the round. I recalled in several drawings I made, I cleaned the slate countless times. I guess real life is like that if people keep track of your moves. Wouldn’t it be great to flawlessly conjure the final output? Yet, people will have to see you fumble through a drawing as in life with all these awkward strokes.

When I do manage to draw something, it’s still open to interpretation. Or misinterpretation.

So what about the Dalai Lama? I got tired of drawing and nobody seemed to want to play with me, so I stared at the cover of this book about happiness. Something about it daunted me. I bought it on a whim because I thought I could use a few tips on how to become happy. Which doesn’t mean I’m unhappy, just that I could use some more happiness.


It was a warm afternoon. I wondered what she’s doing or thinking of doing. I thought of how I could eliminate all my pining. I urged myself not to use the internet when these thoughts occured to me and to restrain myself from harmless stalking. I take that back. No stalking is harmless. 

Ah, what does it do to your brain to gratify such curiosities? I was acutely aware of how my brain recycles material to scrape up dopamine and reward bad habits.

I guess the trick is to occupy myself with benign habits. Fill my mind with ideas that crowd out unnecessary thoughts. And so I foolishly sat in front of the computer to read up on psychological findings of this and that.

I thought it was therapeutic…at first. I’m one of those people who go through an emotionally charged period like, “I don’t understand what I’m feeling” then set myself up to relive such emotions as a mode of investigation.


Over dinner, my brother asked me if I’ve ever been on a roller coaster ride.

“You know, Six Flags?” He then proceeded to show me a two minute Youtube video of a roller-coaster ride which made me want to hurl. I can’t stomach amusement parks, roller-coasters, tunnels of horror, and mazes. I also have a fear of deep waters and dying in some freak accident.

“Promise me!” He begged.

“Go ahead and do it.  That’s your high.”

“It’s totally safe! After the first ride, you’ll be ready for the rest. You’ll keep coming back.”


“What are you so afraid of?”

Dying. Literally dying.

As the night grew closer to midnight, I stared at my phone waiting for it to light up.

I picked up my phone and started up the Draw Something app.  Let’s see if someone can figure this out.





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