Not About Love, ch. 6: at first sight

I can still see it: Class is about to start, I’m sitting– well, I say “sitting” but that’s really only in the technical sense that my butt is touching the seat of my desk. “Fidgeting” or “squirming” or “is possibly on drugs” (take your pick) would probably be more like the way my 12 year old body was attempting to contain the prepubescent tornado of hormones raging through me. But of course I was excited, it was the first day of junior high! So I’m waiting for class to start– head on a toothpick swivel, tinker-toy legs doing their best impression of a spider wearing tap shoes– when she comes bounding into the room.

I’ve thought about this for years now, and as far as my lexicon extends, “bounding” is still the best I can do. She definitely didn’t walk through the door: can you imagine her ever doing anything so literally pedestrian? Not then, and not ever; she was always so much more than ordinary could possibly fathom. It only took one moment, one instant watching her bound through the doorway– its very frame beckoning her through as if not a door but a great red opening curtain, the world as her stage– to know she would be the most special person I would ever know. I was wrong.

High School, junior year; for the life of me I can’t remember the exact day. But I remember her. She came through that doorway (yes another doorway, where else are dramatic entrances supposed to happen?) beaming with light. I know it was just the sun behind her but I’ve never in my life seen sunlight play so familiarly with another soul. She was clothed in it, wrapped in it; the sun’s splendor embraced her as kin and became her own. She was light. Not the blinding kind, but the golden, warm kind– the kind of light that makes the textile pages of a book so inviting, the kind of light reminiscent of summer meadows and light breezes. Soft but compelling, one second basking in her light and I knew I was going to marry this girl. I didn’t.

I’m in my first year of college now. I’ve just arrived at a party when across the room I see the most gorgeous smile I’ve ever– you know what forget it. Saw her smile, fell for her immediately, didn’t work out you get the point.

You’d think I would learn my lesson, but honestly it’s happened about half a dozen times in just the last year. One look, one word and I’m jello. I’m convinced there’s no “right way” when it comes to finding The One, there’s just what works and what doesn’t. But since my way clearly isn’t working (and is also incredibly painful every single son-of-a-mother-ducking time) I’m inclined to conclude the whole “love big dream big” gag might be slightly misguided. Or maybe I just need to stay away from doorways.

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