I remember the first time we met.
You extended your hand and introduced yourself after a deep conversation as to the pacifistic qualities of a solo cup and the timelessness of a good salsa mix-tape. I remember you were dressed all in patience and wherewithal- Your bright hippie sundress with Cleopatra sandals making time with the eyes of every stranger in the room.
We didn’t bother ourselves with the predictable manifestations of a cocktail mixer exchange. In other words, we didn’t bother flirting, thanks mostly to the fact I was with her and you were with a different her. And that was good, because it would have been a shame to break that peaceful flow and that smile of words we had going. I’ve always liked to think that the small places feel better because they mean better, and we really had one going on that night.
Your crazy Irish hair wouldn’t become a melody blanket thing for me until some time later, starting with that night when you called me up and asked if I was free for a drink. You were all a mess and needing that friendly voice for the less complicated moments it might afford.
So it was that we spent the better part of a couple hours, getting drunk on vodka martinis as we tried to deconstruct the logic to such an illogical thing as love. You’d broken it off with her, and I was bitching about my last try, so we were vagabonding it with solutions that didn’t have to make as much sense as the company did.
And that’s when the looks we gave each other changed for the first time, from friendly passing glances into a curiosity.
You asked me back to your place, and in doing so you changed the hours and the meaning of each one of them. We ended up laying on your living room floor, emptying the last of your Bombay and listening to Bowie play out against the walls. Releasing the chances, until the only thing left to worry about was breakfast.
And since you first began remedying my swim, I’ve filled up the negative space with the need to learn again and some more, and differently. You have helped to guide my hesitant chops into more confident strides. Back to a place I sometimes thought I wouldn’t try reaching again, not on the meanest sort of dare.
Maybe you’re right. Maybe some day we’ll just have to rob banks together. And we’ll jam to Bowie in our getaway ride to some place sandy, and we’ll argue over my inability to get along with your GPS to save my life. And you’ll teach me how to curse in French and I’ll explain to you why the greatest player in the history of baseball was Willie Mays. Less complicated and more available to the crazy chances. Like that.
And yeah, I remember this song . . .