The Great Paul Hunt
Anyway, so, rewind to when I was maybe fourteen years old and a grunge suburban witch practicing her craft in her friend’s living room—it’s imperative you picture the Smashing Pumpkins t-shirt, the floor-length black skirt and the pastel baby barrettes to get the full effect. Kai, my legitimately psychic friend, was reading my tarot cards on the coffee table, as per usual for a Friday night. Why leave the house and talk to actual boys when, instead, you could have your friend do several complex Celtic cross spreads about when you’ll finally talk to some boys?
Since we had a lot of time on our hands (basically from 4:30 when I showed up after school until, you know, I left for college) we were in the middle of an extraordinarily long and in-depth tarot card reading about my entire lives. She was in the midst of telling me what I would be doing in my twenties, information that has long since been forgotten, when she mentioned this one thing that came back to me really vividly just recently. When she mentioned a boy, you know, like The Boy For Me, with implied vocal capitalization and everything, she said, very nonchalantly, “His name’s gonna be Paul.”
“Paul?” I said.
“Definitely,” she said.
Like I said, I’d forgotten this until maybe a month or two ago, and Kai still can’t remember it happening even after I told her about it coming back to me. I didn’t really think much about it until Jes, a friend from long after my teen witch days, had this kind of insane dream involving me, and her, and a scary dog, and several guest stars from my stupid life. We were all at a rooftop party in the middle of a blizzard, though none of us seemed to mind the cold. I got a phone call.
“Paul’s here!” Dream Me said, all excited, to Dream Jes. “He’s downstairs, I gotta go!”
Dream Jes knew that we had just started hanging out, but that we really liked each other. Real Jes also has a history of semi-prophetic dreams about my life, so when she told me that Dream Me was hanging out with Still Fictitious Paul, I was kind of excited.
Thus began the Great Paul Hunt of 2008.
I can recall knowing only two Pauls in my entire life, and I’m not sure if I ever had an entire conversation with either one of them. One rode my bus in elementary school, and the only thing I can remember about him was that he lived somewhere on Colonial Street. The other was in a writing workshop I absolutely hated in college, and our one interaction was me watching him accidentally spit a green Skittle (possibly an M&M, but I’m pretty sure it was a Skittle) across the room. No one else noticed but me and then we couldn’t stop laughing about it, silently, so as not to interrupt the painstaking dissection of student fiction. He was definitely cute, but I’m not willing to bank on him being The Paul given our one smidge of history that is, actually, kind of creepy I remember at all five years out.
I’ve asked around. I've even checked MySpace friends of friends of friends, and no one seems to know any Pauls. My friend Brian has volunteered his friend Paul to be The Paul, and so far I dig the only thing I know about him, which is that he is an “amazing badass Aztec/Native American.” But Brian lives in Santa Fe and I’m not sure if I’m willing to long distance my star-crossed Paulationship.
Anyway, so, I figured I’d put it out there. Paul? I know we don't, like, know each other very well, especially considering that I might have made you up and, even if you are real, you are a stranger. But seriously. You should call me.