I have loved only once, but OH! how I have crushed...
There have been some real corkers too... of course I can't and won't post about all of them - then I would have no secrets - but one of them came to mind this evening, while I was watching Donnie Darko on SBS.
I've had two crushes who've named Donnie Darko as their favourite film. The first, was and still is, posthumously (no he's not dead, but to me yes) referred to as "CD BOY". But the thing about Cd boy was, not only did he enjoy Donnie Darko the film, but he was very much like Donnie Darko, the protagonist; slightly murky, coy but also cheeky and a touch melancholy.
You may well ask why he was called CD boy.
When I was a teenager, I caught the northshore line from Gordon to North Sydney daily to get to school. As I caught the same time train everyday, there were regular customers who also alighted at my stop. One of them was CD boy. I don't think I paid much attention to him, until one day I noticed him limping up the stairs. Who is the boy with the limp? As I walked [not stalked!.. ahem] behind him through the shopping centre which leads to the mainstreet of North Sydney, I discovered he worked at the cd shop in the middle of the centre.
The cd shop was not so much of a shop, as a market stall. It was really just a bunch of cd stands in the centre of the tunnel with a cashier desk. And to get to school, I had to walk past, if not through the shop everyday.
I guess I 'watched' him for a while, but then one day I actually wanted to buy a cd [the givegoods, for those who care] and couldn't find it in the shop, so I went to the counter and asked if they would get it in for me. CD boy, hero of the day/year said "I have a friend who works for [insert important record company], and they've given me a free copy - do you want it?". I took up the offer, and he said he would have it the next day. And he did.
Yes, this boy had me smitten. Not only did he work in a cd shop [somewhat of a dream for every music-obsessed teenager] but he had a similar taste in music, was generous and had powerful friends!
I had to thank him.
So, I think I gave him a chuppa chup [no not sure why, on reflection]. But after this point, if I was walking through the shopping centre and saw him, we'd have a chat. He used to recommend cds to me, and give me others free. One was Youth and Young Manhood by the Kings of Leon - still one of my favourite albums. To thank him for that I made him a mix tape, with Joy Division and Syd Barrett on it - risky, but impressive. I was so nervous. I remember the utter thrill when he said he'd been getting back into early Pink Floyd, and loved Syd Barrett... haha I was a goner.
But it wasn't as if I walked to and from school, alone. No, i had train buddies. The afternoon walk became a game of tactics and strategy and school notes were pervaded with stick figure cartoons depicting unrealistic unions. Everyone know about CD boy. There were even suggestions I should ask him to my formal. and can i just say >THANK GOODNESS THAT NEVER HAPPENED>
So all this was going on over quite a few months, and I was in year 12, about to sit my final exams and thinking how I would never see him again. On one of my last walks through the plaza before my HSC he noted how I would soon be leaving school and said we should stay in touch. He wrote his phone number on the back of a receipt and gave it to me. This was the worst thing ever. I had to do the calling, ME - do the calling. What a shirker! For any boys reading this, do NOT give your number to a girl... take a girl's number.
I don't really remember the order of events, but I do remember 2AM before my first HSC exam receiving a good luck message from him on my phone. I don't remember how he had my number... but a few weeks later, after my exams, I plucked up the courage to ring his landline. MISTAKE. His dad answered! I had to say who was calling and for whom... apparently CD boy was interstate... so, I left it, mortified I had spoken to his parents!
I called again about a month later, and actually got onto him. But you know the sad twist of fate was, I had started dating someone else since leaving school.. so I had this plan to casually drop in a reference to my boyfriend, and keep it at friend-level with CD boy, even though I secretly still pined after him. My brilliant plan went as such:
S: "So are you going to see Radiohead in April?"
CD boy: "I'm not sure yet."
S: "I'm definitely going, hoping to drag my boyfriend along."
The whole tone of the conversation changed. It was horrible! I am horrible! HOWEVER he gave me his number, so it was all his fault ;)
The conversation pretty much waned from then on, and we hung up, and I felt awfully unresolved about the whole matter.
A few weeks later, I saw Kings of Leon were playing with The Strokes, and I messaged him and told him I was going, and if he were too we could meet up. He said that would be excellent. I never heard from him again. And nor did I contact him again! But... I have seen him since... at numerous music festivals [Newtown festival and Cockatoo Island, to be specific], wandering around in aviator sunnies, like a Tim Rogers-esque ghost from the past.