Once a long time ago when I was in the 7th grade I had a mad crush on a girl. I don't remember what her name was, but that is not important to the story anyway. What is important to the story is how I felt every time I was around her... Which was um... Befuddled.
And then it happened all over again, just the other day.
I was in a video game store in Des Moines looking for the original Mario Bros. game for my Nintendo 64. I wasn't having any luck, as apparently modern video game stores have deemed the 64 console obsolete. I walked up to the counter to inquire why such a kick-ass game system didn't get the respect it deserved when I came face to face with a real life MIDGET. Suddenly I had that feeling of euphoric anxiety that I had in the 7th grade all over again.
"Hey man, what's up?" he casually said to me as he filed video games into a sliding drawer.
"Not much there little whipper snapper... Just kickin' it old school... We should totally become besties and go listen to some speed metal or something..." is what I wanted to say, but all I could manage was "N-n-not much. Just looking."
"Cool man, if I can help you just let me know!"
I turned around and went across the store pretending to take another look for games that fit my console, knowing damn well that there was nothing even close to a Nintendo 64 item in the entire place. I stood behind a rack of PlayStation 2 games and peeked back to the counter. Little dude was still filing merchandise. There were a few other people in the store and I couldn't shake the anxiety that was building within me. One part of me wanted to approach him again, this time with a with a sense of coolness, but the other part of me which seemed to be stronger just didn't allow me the courage to do so.
So I just stood there and stared... 10 feet away... Like a puppy on a leash.
To make a long story short, I stood behind that rack for about 5-10 minutes before I just decided to leave the store. Little dude took me completely by surprise and had me in his web. I couldn't summon the guts to approach him, or even the words to say. I mean how do you approach a midget under the guise of just hanging out. It's not like I was out to exploit him or anything, just to hang out with him and expect him to want to always be by my side no matter what, and hope that he had some midget friends that would join us... It's hard to find words for that.
Knowing where he works I look forward to going there again someday, this time with a headfull of courage and the right words to say. Meanwhile if anyone knows where to find a working version of the Nintendo 64 Mario Bros., give me a shout... And if you know a midget or two give me a call.