first i fell in love with this man's smile
then his photographs
then his mind... and beard.
and here's how it happened:
2 years ago, on cinco de mayo, this boy appeared.
i'd gone to college with him a year and a half before. i'd taken a photo class with him, he was chief photographer on the photo staff i was on at the college paper. yea, there might've been a slight crush, let's call it a mild appreciation for his beaming smile, but that was about all.
he reappeared at such a strange time in my life. a time perfect for his re-arrival.
since i'd first met david, i have always been drawn to his eye. he sees color and light like no one else i know. i love that we'll both see the same beautiful scene in such different ways. he was my favorite photographer i knew, mostly because he shoots in a way i don't and can't.
anyways, i was living in a very small town, working more hours and assignments than i ever had -- sometimes without time to eat, and with no friends. one day, weeks, maybe a month or two, before cinco de mayo, he called me. it was actually quite strange and out of the blue for him to call me. since college he'd called me only once, about a year before, to ask about becoming a vegetarian. and that was it. i'd bumped into him at a party a little before the phone call and the smile was even brighter. but that was it. the random phonecall, the one out of the blue, was such a brightness. we ended up talking for hours. he told me the next night that he'd never talked to anyone on the phone that long. he hated phones. yet, he called me again. every night. he'd go into his backyard in the dark and call me, under the stars. i started calling him. more. more. loving his sweet sensitivity and his easy laugh.
then i suggested he come visit. a trip to the beach was in order. (thank god there was a beach near that sosmalltown.)
he was in athens, over 8 hours away, growing tired of the familiarities there. i was starving for company, a break in the stress and a fellow photographer who was equally passionate about photojournalism.
my memory of his arrival is just like a movie.
which is strange.
my memory is usually more of snips and snapshots.
i don't tend to remember moods or motions very vividly.
but this memory is different. maybe exaggerated. maybe not even completely true.
certainly not something i could wholly describe, no, not the way it fondly plays in my head.
after hours on the interstate, crossing two state lines and secretly stopping at a gas station to buy me pinwheels, he told me he was turning onto my street. i told him i'd go outside and wait. (let's be honest here, i was anxiously awaiting his arrival since he'd surprisingly announced he would visit.)
i was so nervous.
i had no idea what him eagerly agreeing to come meant, but welcomed any familiar face to my lonely town.
wearing my ratty hot pink slippers, i stood in the dusky evening on the sidewalk, peeking down the street.
he pulled into the gravel lot across the street. his tires grinding against the rocks instantly became second violin to my pounding heart.
i tiptoed to the middle of the street.
heart racing. standing on the yellow dashed lines.
(it's racing now. just remembering.)
he got out of his car, walked right up to me, in the middle of the street, and hugged me.
as if that was something we'd always done.
two years ago. cinco de mayo, 2006.
he was mine. just like that.