Millennial Schlemiel

“Good morning!”she says with a soft but detached smile–one that has clearly been rehearsed for this precise occasion.

“Good, thanks! How are you?” He replies. I can’t believe I just said that to my boss… what was I thinking?–a frequently reoccurring thought.

Later, that same day, a couple of guests arrive for a meeting. He greets them with a hearty “Good morning!” But, of course, the morning has long since passed, so he corrects himself saying, “or, I should say, good afternoon!” Good save.

After fumbling around for a moment, he guides the guests to the conference room and offers an assortment of beverages, “May I offer you some coffee, water, tea?” The guests decline the polite gesture, but he goes to the kitchen and returns with water anyway. Upon returning, he gently places the glass cups filled with water on the conference room table in front each guest. One of the guests is pulling out their business cards, and, mistaking the situation, he reaches his hand out to grab the card. You’ve got to kidding me, why in the world did I just do that…what was I thinking? So he schleps back to his lonely desk at the front of the office, and resumes his work.

Now, At first glance, you would think he’s “normal.” He’s a college graduate with what many would consider to be a useless liberal arts degree, but he managed to find a job–one that he is mostly content with. Compared to most men, he is slightly above-average in the appearance department, though his slender-but-fit frame seems to balance him out a bit, with the capability of fitting in or standing out–whatever he happens to feel at the moment. Generally speaking though, it appears that he has his life together.

Like most people of his generation, he embodies Millennial characteristics, but he is unlike any of his generational counterparts; he is an old soul. Though an old soul he may be, a young heart he has, and young hearts break harder and fall into much smaller pieces than someone who has weathered the pain once or twice before. There is a certain je ne sais quoi about the innocence–or, perhaps, recklessness–you find in a young heart that simply makes you smile. As much as you want them to succeed, you, ultimately, know they are doomed to fail.

His love life is nothing special either. He’s been in several short-term relationships, so he’s not particularly experienced. What he lacks in experience, he makes up with his intuition and charm.

The girls he usually falls for are so far out of his league–and for whatever reason, they usually fall for him too, but never for long. Each relationship ends more tragically than the last. His first girlfriend cheated on him with one of his best friends at the time, broke up with her, got back together, she broke up with him, and left him to pick up the broken pieces of his heart. The relationship lasted one month. Five years later, he met the next one, and pretty similar to the first, but this time, he simply gave up. The relationship ended after 3 months.

The third was the most important, you see, after each failed love affair, he learned something new about himself, and that changed him at the core. It was as though everything in his life had been preparing him for one moment, one person: it is (and was) all for Her.The most heartbreaking relationship is still fresh in his mind and in his heart, and even though the relationship ended around a year ago, he still thinks about her everyday. Despite how broken his heart is, the mere thought of her manages to bring a smile to his face. It is for her, that he tries so desperately to understand love. He has never, in his life, worked so hard on something before. I wonder what I could have done better, I wonder what I did wrong, I wonder what it would have been like if we stayed together–a reoccurring dream and his favorite subject to think about on sleepless nights. Why did it feel so right? Why is my heart so tight? Is it telling me to fight? Ceaselessly pondering “what is love?” This question transformed into “Do I love you?” and again “Do you love me, like I love you?

He always wanted to say the words, but never being able to say them, he writes them instead.

Cursed for being born in a generation in which he doesn’t belong. Lost in a world of hate with nothing but love to give. Blessed with delusions of grandeur that keep him moving forward. This boy never had a chance.

JCH

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