Just Out of Reach

Picking up where we left off from yesterday… I don’t have much to say in the way of anything else. I have an appointment with my therapist tomorrow, which I’m mega thankful for. While I’m feeling a bit better today, I’m still in a weird funk of depression. It is all consuming and overwhelming. I’m barely hanging on right now. Barely hanging on.

 

Continued from yesterday:

 

We finished perusing the other store and headed toward the kiosk. When we first arrived at the kiosk the Cute Pokemon Guy was no where to be found. I breathed a silent prayer of thanks as I made my way around the kiosk looking at cards. It didn’t take very long for me to work my way around the kiosk, especially since I had no interest in actually purchasing anything. The selection of single cards was impressive. I’d never seen them presented in that format. Normally all I saw were the packs of cards sold at the local grocery stores, it was kind of a neat concept that you could come and purchase the exact card you were looking for and that they were easily and quickly accessible. As I finished looking I stepped away from the kiosk immersed in conversation about a certain card that no one could find with Brooke the only one in our group that was even remotely close to my age. I had my back to the kiosk as Jackie and Addie the other two people in our gaggle of girls, finished their shopping when out of the blue I heard a voice ask: “Why do you wear those?”

 

I don’t know why I turned around, we were in a mall filled with people. That question could have been directed at anyone, but I turned and came face to face with my deepest fear: a conversation with Cute Pokemon Guy. He was looking directly at me as he pulled out several cards for Jackie and Addie to look at. 

“What?” I asked completely flabbergasted, and slightly offended that he was criticizing my wardrobe, as my face grew hot from embarrassment.

“Those pants. Why do you wear those orange pants?” He asked again, gesturing with a flip of his wrist at my pants.

“Because I like orange?” I answered more confused than anything, once again meeting those dark chocolate brown eyes with the penetrating gaze.

It had never mattered to me how someone perceived my clothes before, but sitting there, cornered by this boy and confronted with it stirred up something inside of me. I was one part offended, one part attracted to his directness and honesty. 

He watched me for a moment before he answered, “That’s dumb. The only reason some one wears bright orange pants is because they want attention. Not because they like orange, and orange is cool.”

 

At that, I scowled, rolled my eyes and returned to my conversation with Brooke as Jackie and Addie finished their transaction. He was wrong. I didn’t want attention in the least, but the reason behind my wardrobe choice was deeper than the surface answer I gave him. It was true, I did like orange, but the only reason I was actually wearing such outlandish pants was because my favorite character on a television show wore orange pants.

I idolized this character. He was everything that I wasn’t. Out going, smart, sassy. Everything I wanted to be. In my young innocence I felt empowered by emulating him with my clothes and trying so desperately to adopt the parts of his personality that I found attractive. 

 

At that time in my life I was just starting to figure out who I was, and in doing so striving for an identity separate from the one my mom had imposed on me since birth. I was still so young and living in my parents house and I couldn’t out rightly rebel in the classic fashion as my parents controlled everything from what I watched on television, to what radio stations I listened to, and who I was friends with. I felt smothered, my vibrant and outgoing personality hidden under this veil of secrecy in the guise of “acceptable” by my parents. This way, by buying something innocent such as orange pants I could rebel, but in an “acceptable” fashion.

 

Of course I couldn’t sit there and explain all of this to a stranger at the mall. I hadn’t explained this to anyone. It felt foolish and honestly kind of insane. No one was going to listen to me, it would only drive them away. So I reacted the only way I knew how to when confronted, indifference and anger. As Jackie and Addie finished their purchase, we walked away and I told them about the highly offensive confrontation with the guy. As teen and preteen girls tend to do, we all began to talk very loudly and passive aggressively insulted the Cute Pokemon Guy. I don’t remember what we said exactly, but it was something to the effect of being an adult working at a kiosk at the mall selling trading cards to children. Something we said I found exceptionally hilarious and let out a loud and genuine laugh as I tossed a seething glance back in his direction as we began to walk away.

 

Again, I caught his eyes. This time instead of an attractive curiosity, I saw something else in that fleeting glance before he returned to his work. It was a hint of sadness, and anger. His body language said that he wasn’t paying attention to anything we said, but his eyes said so much more. I immediately regretted being so cruel to him, but the moment had passed and we were on to other things. Still something stuck with me. I wanted to see him again. I wanted to be around him. I wanted to get to know him. It was a really weird feeling that I had never experienced before. Especially towards a complete stranger. This instant attraction and desire to be around some one. 

 

I had crushes on unattainable people before, but never had I been so close to actually pursing one. I didn’t know the first thing about striking up conversation with a boy that I was attracted to. Well a boy in general really, but especially one I was attracted to. Clearly in the case of Cute Pokemon Guy that wouldn’t be an issue since he took the lead in conversation. The more I thought about it as my friends and I parted ways, and I plugged into my portable cassette player before hopping into the passenger seat of our family minivan. I had never encountered some one so blunt and honest before. I was kind of socially behind for most people my age as I was enrolled in a small private school, and had always been unless I was being schooled at home. My existence was a lonely one. Mom had always tried to enroll me in one group or another to have some social interaction, but no matter how hard she tried I just didn’t fit in with my peers. In fact the harder she tried, the worse it got. When I was ostracized or treated poorly she became highly confrontational with other parents. Which created the unique circumstance I found myself in more often than not. Instead of being able to figure out how to resolve conflict on my own, I was always left confused and unaware that there had even been a problem between myself and other kids, or parents. I was never able to correct my bad behaviors because I didn’t know that I had any. No one had stopped to tell me, aside from this random guy at the mall, and it completely thrilled me. It seemed to be the missing piece of my life. That little part of myself that I was searching so desperately for. There he was, and I didn’t even know his name.

 

Several months went by before I returned to the mall again with Brooke, and we headed down the South Wing in search of the Pokemon Kiosk. I didn’t tell her why I wanted to find the Pokemon kiosk, but I had to see if Cute Guy was still working there. Knowing where we were going, I had dressed up in the most feminine outfit I owned at the time. A tight form fitting orange tee shirt, and a pair of bootcut jeans, appropriate since I was also wearing my first pair of high heel leather boots. My feet were killing me by the time we walked from the car to where the kiosk had been. Much to my disappointment it was gone. Replaced by a kiosk of sunglasses. My heart sank a little bit as I failed to see the trade mark bright yellow of Pokemon when we rounded the corner. It had been a foolish hope that I would both see and impress this guy again, I knew that going in, but it was still disappointing. Brooke and I continued on adventuring around the mall enjoying the little bit of freedom afforded to me in my adolescence.