Every day I look forward to receiving another writing prompt from Suleika Jaouad, creator of the Isolation Journals, a series she started to spark creativity in this time of crisis. On day one of the project, she asked, "Write a letter to a stranger-someone imaginary, someone you met once, someone you only know from a distance. Tell them any and everything: when you first noticed them and what has happened since, how you'd like your day to start and end, or what's been on your mind."
This prompt made me think of college, and how, for four years, I passed by the same people, whose names I didn't know, but recognized their faces. And then I thought about what a strange environment it is, to be surrounded by hundreds of people your age in such a consolidated area. This got me thinking about the strangers I'd never introduced myself to, but who I'd had an unspoken relationship with.
And therein lies the incredibly dorky stranger crush story I'm about to share with you.
I'm sure you have plenty of your own. Some of this is true, some of it is written for comedic effect. Laughing is greatly appreciated and healthy for your soul.
Dear Blair-Shannon Dining Hall Worker,
You and I have never been fully introduced. You might know my name, since I handed you my student I.D. card countless times every day for several years straight, but I'll never know yours. We always had an unspoken connection.
I was too shy to say hello or make conversation. We never made it past the stealing of glances, and somehow, there's comfort in the fact that it never became anything. There's comfort in consistency, a friendly face that stays that way, without complication.
I liked the way you noticed me, the way you looked at me, like I was important, like I was worth looking into, like I was different.
You didn't mind when I smuggled one, two, or three apples into my backpack. In fact, you seemed to find it rather amusing. And cute, or so I hoped.
You were there for me when the news about the rat found in the salad bar at Garst threatened my vegetarian lifestyle. You never said anything, but I felt your support from a distance.
I was surprised to find out you had a girlfriend; not for the sheer fact that you had one, but because you still looked at me when you walked by with her.
I wonder if you ever thought about me past the roll-up garage-style doors. Were you secretly taking notes about when I came in each day, and checking to see if your shifts aligned with my eating schedule?
Even though nothing became of "us" in the end, I'm glad to have met you and shared the glances we did. Your half-smiles were always much appreciated, as I made my way outside to trek across campus.
Wishing you the best,
Short dorky dining hall girl
If you're interested in receiving daily writing prompts for The Isolation Journals from Suleika Jaouad, click this link! http://suleikajaouad.com/the-isolation-journals