When I got home that night, I noticed the smiling jack-o-lantern in my front yard was crushed. This was a special pumpkin. It had been voted “best of party” at a friends pumpkin carving party just last week. Despite feeling depressed I forced myself to carve a smiling pumpkin. In fact, that little pumpkin lifted my spirits. My friends voted it “best of party”. I told myself that it was because they felt sorry for me but I knew it was true — it was the best one at the party! And now, like my life, it lay smashed into little pieces in my front yard.
I tried to ignore it and went inside the house. The rest of the night was like so many of my nights lately — lonely and despondent. Why don’t people call me? Why don’t they return my emails? Even the homeless people don’t ask me for money. I feel like I’m flawed and that no one likes me. That little pumpkin and its glimmer of joy are like my life — smashed.
You see my girlfriend broke up with me and moved out three months ago. She told me I wasn’t ‘gregarious’ enough. A month later I found out she was fucking a coworker. I went ballistic, called her and went off. She told me I was terrible in bed, messy, no fun, lazy and not that good looking and then hung up on me. That was it — silence and the echo of not good in bed and ugly — ringing in my ears. My friends tried to console me — she’s wrong, not worthy of you, selfish. None of this stuck. She was the woman of my dreams: good-looking, smart and a ton of fun. All my friends secretly wanted to sleep with her. She knew it. Maybe they did? Last night I was left alone with a smashed pumpkin the yard, watching countless episodes of Downtown Abbey on Netflix as I consumed a quart of ice cream.
I woke up this morning and the sun was shining a Saturday with nothing planned. I decided to clean up the pumpkin mess in the front yard and then hope I didn’t sink into oblivion. I opened the door and facing me at the edge of my front porch was a replica of my smashed pumpkin. The pieces of my smashed pumpkin were gone. Under the new pumpkin was a note: “Hi, my name is Andrea. I live down the street. We’ve talked with each other a few times at the grocery store and on the street. I’d like to get to know you. I’ll come by with Lattes later this morning and if you aren’t busy maybe we can go for a walk? Just turn the pumpkin around so it’s facing the street and I’ll know it’ s ok for me to come by. BTW, anyone who can make a pumpkin smile must be special. “
Andrea, energetic….. pretty ….great smile….here we go again. Please God don’t smash me to pieces this time.