Twenty years ago I sat in the offices of my college newspaper and stared out the window behind my desk. It wasn’t a good time to get lost watching the girls walk, bike and skate by.
We were on deadline but my mind was in far away places that had nothing to do with newspapers, writers, editors and editing. Since I was already distracted it didn’t take much for another distraction to catch my eye.
I don’t remember what made me get up and walk out of the room but I remember why I stayed outside. She was my height, had long dark hair and was wearing some lotion from Victoria’s Secret that worked like Love Potion No. 9 on me.
All of my deadlines and work responsibilities were forgotten. All I wanted to do was bury my face in her neck. It took a lot of restraint not to, but I didn’t. In my experience women aren’t especially fond of strange men touching them, at least not without an invitation.
Fortunately she was standing with a friend of mine who introduced me as “Jack, her slackjawed friend.” In other circumstances I might have had a smart comeback to that but all I managed to do was mutter something like “you sure smell pretty.”
If it was a movie Cary Grant, Bogart or whomever was playing the cool lead man would have slapped me silly for being so…uncool. Remember, this was in the time when being a nerd was less cool than it is now.
When I regained my composure I apologized for staring and told her why I was staring. She smiled at me and said that if I wanted to smell her I could. Decades later I wonder how I didn’t crack up then, but I simply nodded my head and walked over to her.
“I am going to hug you for a moment.”
She smiled at me and when we embraced I felt her hug me back. I am guessing that she broke away before I did, but I really don’t remember. What I can tell you is that I said thank you and that I was grateful.
Instead of walking away she wrapped her arms around me again and gave me the kind of hug that made me think interesting thoughts- but we’ll save those for a different time.
That is because I want to focus on gratitude.
The reason I shared that story with you is because earlier today I heard a set of songs that I associate with that time and I caught a whiff of a scent that was very similar to hers.
I don’t know about you but I am amazed by how certain smells are memory triggers. When I came across it today I couldn’t help but think of her and that moment. It made me smile on a day that was had some significant rough spots.
And for that I am grateful.
I am grateful for the members of this community who responded to my request to help me figure out what was going on with the commenting system here.
I am grateful for my family and my friends.
I am grateful that at 43 my body still allows me to push it to do things that others can’t.
I am grateful for my blog and the opportunity to do more than dream about becoming a writer.
I am grateful for new friends who aren’t aware of how much their support has meant.
I am grateful for good food, good books and good movies.
A Moment of Music
Some of you will want to know what songs sent me down this path so I am happy to share some of them.
Gratitude is a gift and I am grateful to have been given it.