Five years ago you would’ve asked me where I saw myself in the next five years and my mind would’ve gone wild. The future then was a blank page waiting for my creative splurges. I was an artist with a brush or a writer with a pen. Take me back ten years and it would have even been wilder. At some point I wanted to be an astronaut. The only thing I knew about an astronaut was how to spell it, I didn’t know who Neil Armstrong was or anything about the Russian Sputnik or Yuri Gagarin.
I remember this girl I knew – I am using the term know very loosely – she had flush chicks and luscious black hair. She had the brownest eyes I’d ever looked into. Looking into her eyes did make me feel like an astronaut staring into the galaxies and marveling at the glowing balls of burning gas. Looking into here refers to me stalking her Facebook profile and gazing all day long at her photos. She had a warm smile and the cutest little depressions for dimples on her fair flawless yellow brown skin. I knew so much about her it felt as if we were dating. The thing is I observed from a distance, never sending her a request, never liking any of her pictures and never bumping into her accidentally when she went to the salon at exactly 5.30 PM every Saturday for a manicure.
Her clothes hang on to her body gently. They trusted her, they didn’t need to cling on for dear life. Her dresses would majestically flow ending right above the knees – always above the knees. Her legs were smooth, her knees missing the scars characterized by rough play – she was a delicate flower and she knew it. Her hips curved their way into my heart and I’d think about her every night before I went to sleep. She would be the first thing on my mind in the morning and I’d imagine what it would be like to send her a message first thing and wait for her reply.
I toyed with the idea of talking to her, letting her know the burning desires of my heart. I wanted to be corny and use all those cliché lines girls say they don’t like but secretly fall for. But I never did, I loved the idea of her just the idea. An idea I had created and molded over time to fit my needs and wants. Talking to her I might find out she is a different person. Maybe she has a heavy accent, maybe she is a bad conversationalist, and maybe she thinks the world is flat. You cannot live with someone who believes the word is flat, she will probably also write letters to Santa Claus and put candy on her pillow for the tooth fairy. There’s nothing as bad as having your expectations shattered. So I kept my distance, her world remained flat and mine in my head – perfect.
But sometimes you like this girl and she likes you back. She stalks your profile and even sends you a request. You begin to talk and she looks like she’s everything you’d ever imagine. Then one day you’re having a picnic and talking about love and maybe books. She talks about the funniest book you’ve ever read was an atlas. You give her a suspicious look, you ask why it’s the atlas. She sits up and her brown eyes stare down into yours, her smile dissipates and she gets this serious look on her face. With all the confidence she can muster she says
“Because it says the world is round. Can you believe that babe? Round!”
That’s what the future does to you, it lets you have all these ideas of what it can be and what it should be – it tempts you with promise. Down the line it’s not what it seems. It’s that pretty girl that thinks the world is flat.
There’s nothing wrong about loving a girl who thinks the world is flat. It might actually be fun, she might bring in a different perspective to your whole word that might fire up your creative juices. You can try and argue why we don’t fall off if indeed the world is round. You’ll say gravity and something physics related and she’ll laugh. She’ll ask why the only thing that can explain your theory isn’t tangible. You’ll front all the theories you can remember and say “circumnavigation”. She’ll ask what that means and you’ll explain it’s when you start from one point and walk in a straight line you will ultimately end up in the same spot. Again, she will laugh and ask you if you’ve ever tried it and you’ll obviously say no. You’ bring up your own argument and ask:
“How do you know the world is flat?”
“Have you ever slept on a round ball?” she’ll reply
“How was it?”
“Nothing like laying on this grass right? You might say the grass is like a bed right? Beds are flat right?”
You will laugh to yourself and let the argument die and you will talk about something else, maybe Santa Claus.
You realize things didn’t turn out so bad and you find yourself missing the yellow skinned girl and her luscious hair. You wished you had sent that request and sent her a message. You wish you had bumped into her accidentally at the salon on a Saturday at 5 PM as she went for her manicure. But she’s gone or grown or both. Chances are it’ll be harder to get her attention now or you just don’t want it. Now there’s someone else pearl white teeth and an infectious smile. Short hair, dancing eyes and a bubbly voice. She’s where you see yourself in the next five years. But before that you want to ask her one question:
“What shape do you think the earth is?”