Age, race, personality; “opposites attract” can refer to any number of traits. But as Desiree Browne’s sly and self-aware essay illustrates all too well, sometimes it’s a different kind of disconnect that drives people apart.

He told me he was a bus driver for the city; I told him I was between jobs but was mostly a writer. As we talked, away from the roar of the party, I watched his desire over the top of my champagne glass, and I started drinking that in, too. He matched the pace of my quips and my laughter was real. I gave him my number because it was another night when it seemed like anything could happen.