Flowers In My Peripherals

I was born with my eyes where my ears should be and my ears where my eyes should be. When I was a kid, my brother and I attended a festival with our parents. We left them and went off to the food tents where I spotted a girl standing to our right, smoking cigarettes outside of a corn dog tent and I pointed her out to my brother and he said, “Go talk to her! She’s looking at you.” “Go talk to her? She’s way out of my league,” I said. “Plus, she’s not looking at me because she likes me. She’s looking at me because my eyes are where my ears should be and my ears are where my eyes should be.” He laughed and told me, “That doesn’t matter! It’s all about confidence. She’s only out of your league if you believe she’s out of your league. Trust me.” It was simple, but I found it profound. It was inspiring. It was genius. I sidled over, turned to face her. I could see my brother motioning to me and mouthing: “Go for it.” I did. I said, with all of the confidence I could muster, “Hi.” And she said, “Let’s get a look at you!” So I faced her. She smelled like warm leather and laughed like a hailstorm on a flower patch.

*originally published in SOFTBLOW

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