The Fall

So, here’s the short but sweet – well, you get the idea – version of what happened yesterday evening around 5:30.  I had a pretty bad fall at approximately .68 miles into my run.  I was supposed to do a little 5k to be in a sort of solidarity with a student I tutor, because we had to miss tutoring yesterday due to her mandatory participation in a 5k with her school.  (She is neither fan of outdoorsy things nor of running.)  I had already run just over that on Thursday, and I didn’t necessarily feel like getting out to run and do a whole workout (core upon return to the house, of course), but I’d told her I would do it on Friday, and I knew I always felt great after such a workout anyway.  So, I headed out.  It was an amazing start to the run, and the weather was great.

However, when my eye was caught by a mother doing a sort of super-protective stance between the road and her small child, possibly as a means of preventing his sprinting suddenly to the street when a truck was passing, that great feeling changed quickly.  Since I was caught off guard by her stance, and, of course, I had to process what I was seeing before moving on in life, I was mentally focused on the mother, even though I turned my head back to the road ahead of me.  And, though, I was looking at the road again, it was not quite enough time to process that one of the manhole covers a step and a half ahead of me, while it was supposed to be flush with the road around its rim, and concave for the actual cover, the indefinite-looking roadwork of the street turned that flush edge into a lip.

And yes, I did trip on that lip.

Put simply, I flew forward.  I got another step and a half-ish under me as I began to fall, but I was already turning Superman, and I knew I was not going to recover my feet.  I had a brief thought of not wanting to fall simply so as not to freak out the poor onlookers – it has to suck to witness someone fall hard or be part of some accident… I regularly think of how terribly frightening it must have been for that angel driving behind me when I went down on my scooter on the road that night last year.  Nonetheless, I saw before the thought even finished that, oh, well, they were just going to have to witness it, and I was just going not to worry about it, and to do what I needed to do for my own health and well-being.

And so, I went down, and I went down not just hard, but with a hard forward slide.  Man, it was like I were Speedy Gonzales or something, because there was no way I could have been running very slowly to slide that hard and that far, and so quickly.  And I always thought my longer running was slow.  Good thing I’ve been working on improving that for myself… it really paid off yesterday evening.  Not.

(Note: I’m not at all bashing improving one’s skills or athletic abilities – not at all.  I am merely having a fun thought and play at how, in this particular instance, being better at the sport actually made for a worse situation.  Think, I might not even have fallen, if I hadn’t been going so fast.  However, that changes nothing in my plans to continue to improve in my running.)

Anyway, so I went down, and I knew people saw, and I had slight concern for them, but also didn’t care and didn’t have the mental space for almost any thoughts aside from dealing with my own body’s safety and survival at present.

It really sucked.  I immediately rolled to my back.  I was just lying in the street then, tears pouring from down my temples and upper cheeks, as I quickly examined my hands.  They were a total mess.  Gashed terribly, tissue fluid and blood already everywhere, and grainy gravel bits of all sizes and dark colors everywhere on them, mixed in with the blood and peeling skin and tissue fluid.  My knee was stinging slightly, and I had a feeling it was much worse than it was letting on, hidden beneath my spectacular running pants – I could look at that more later, perhaps when I got home… it only would get worse once I let my attention turn to it.  The pants had held up, so I knew they would hold in most of the bleeding that likely was underneath.  Not that I spent more than a moment of thought on my knee… I just glanced and moved on mentally.

My hands… oh, my hands needed help.

While I was dong this self-evaluation and feeling growing intense pain, crying somewhat calmly yet entirely uncontrollably, the mother was talking to me from her spot back on the sidewalk.

Was I okay?  Did I want them to call an ambulance?  Did I want them to call somebody else for me?  I answer with obvious shaking of my head to all of them.  I was grateful to hear, when the husband was trying to move along, the wife (mother of the little kid) said pointedly, “No, she’s not okay. She’s really hurt.”  Though, I only slightly processed it, what with the pain and my own mental focus at the time.  When she asked if they could get me anything, I managed, after another several seconds of gasping-like breathing, to ask, “Do you have any water?”  After which I resumed the intense breathing.  The crying, of course, never paused.

I was still lying on my back in the road, and it had been at least a minute at this point.  Granted, I was to the side of the road, but I was definitely entirely in the road, at least a yard or two from the curb.  So, I ask again about the water, figuring out how to get water, if these folks don’t have any, and she answers to me that they do.  A few moments later, I hear someone begin to approach, and a hard plastic cup being set on the driveway next to me.  I say next to me, because it was perpendicular to the road, st the specific spot where I lay.  It was not, however, actually very near to me.  It was at least three yards away from me.

“Honey, just bring it to her, ” I hear the wife say, followed by the husband’s hushed, “No.”  Her response was borderline furious, and something within me felt like there would be a rage in their house tonight.

Alas, there was water, and I needed it for my hands.  There was no possibility of my getting up from my spot in the road, so, I stuck my hands above my head, Superman-y again, and rolled two-ish turns toward the driveway.  I then forced myself to sit up – though I’m really not sure how, seeing as my hands were no real use at that point.  But I grabbed the little blue sippy-type cup, and started carefully tipping the limited, precious water onto one hand at a time.  And it hurt.  And I knew it wouldn’t be enough – there was far too much blood and dirt that wasn’t going to come off by just dripping a single cup-full of water onto it with no real rubbing.

Not that I wanted to rub my hands…, but I needed to do it.

A truck driving past as I fell, – the one from which the mother had possibly been”protecting” her child – backed all the way up the block, and stopped even with me in the road (in which I am still sitting, of course, but I’m by the edge now).  It was, for lack of better descriptors, what I would call a Mexican work truck.  Likely, the guy had been working on building a house somewhere down the road – one of the new builds I had passed on my way there, perhaps.  The driver exited the truck and was doing something with the truck bed for a minute.  I was almost certain what would come next – it’s just a part of the culture, you know?

After a few moments, I finally comprehend that the guy is standing near me, setting down a bottle of water.  He then hands me a white piece of cloth and says, “Clean.  I’s clean.”  (That’s “it’s” without the t, by the way.).  I could barely form any words in any language, though I knew he spoke Spanish and possibly almost no English.  I believe I thanked him then.  I set down the sippy cup back on the driveway, and picked up the icy cold bottle of water.  This will hurt, I think, but I know I need to do it.

I struggle for a few moments in my efforts to open the bottle, but I cannot manage it – this simple task is impossible for me in this moment – and so I set the bottle back down on the ground.  Within seconds, the guy was back at my side, picking up and opening the bottle for me.  He then holds it out in a way that I know he is offering to hold it and pour for me, and so I extend my hands and allow him to pour.  I cough out some tears at the pain of it, but we can both see that it is helping clear away the mess.  When I’ve wiped away as much as I can tolerate, I nod and thank him a couple or few times, as I press the white cloth into my hands, absorbing what excess still remains, and shooting pains into my hands at every press.  I was barely able to see his upside down face through my tears.  But I saw him and thanked his face, even if I couldn’t see his eyes.

Meanwhile, the couple stood with their child on the sidewalk, watching, mumbling.  As the Mexican guy stepped back into his truck, a white Mercedes that had been briefly waiting, with the guy and me in full view on the side of the road, and his truck parked in the middle of it – keep in mind, this is a neighborhood road, not some throughway or anything – decides to squeeze between me and the truck, now that the guy isn’t standing next to me anymore.  When the mother on the sidewalk commented with fury at the fact that the woman had seen us and easily could have just gone around the block – and these are tiny blocks, by the way, in a traditional square arrangement – I genuinely agreed with her.  Though, I also felt sad at the driver of the Mercedes.  How miserable must one be to be such an a** during an obvious “situation” of someone sprawled in the road?

Anyway… I really liked the wife/mother.  Not so much the paranoia of the husband, though.  Which, by the way, he picked up that cup after I set it back down to give it back to them… Just saying.

Okay, so everyone moves on.  I have my keys and my phone again, and I roll myself the rest of the way fully onto the driveway.  I lay there a handful of minutes, still crying.  I hear a dog collar approaching on the sidewalk behind me, and am unconcerned.  Minus the tiny hope that the owner won’t be too distraught at the sight.

It turned out to be an older guy, out walking his dog.  He asked if I was okay, and I carefully told him that I wasn’t but that I would be – I could talk now.  Kind of.  He offered to bring me bandages, saying that he lived just right nearby, and I said that that actually would be really great.  His walk turned into a cautious jog of concern, as he raced around the corner, heading to his unseen home.  I hardly even knew how he looked.  I still couldn’t process such details.

And so, when her returned a couple minutes later, I sat myself up again, and got to work.  I poured the hydrogen peroxide on my knew first, then my left hand, and both were okay.  It hurt a bit, but it really just foamed and mostly was okay.  The guy was surprised at this.  He’d even said he would look away while I poured the peroxide, clearly indicating that he didn’t want me to be embarrassed at my likely reaction of intense pain.  An old man had approached at this point, and was asking questions.  I had already worked hard enough to answer them for the first guy – what happened; yeah, I’m definitely hurt; I’ll be okay, just not yet; I live about .62 miles that way – so I let him answer them for me.  He didn’t seem to mind, once he saw that I clearly wasn’t up to it.  Then, while they chatted, I poured the peroxide on my right hand.  And that, my friends, was the exact memory I had had of hydrogen peroxide from my childhood, and the reason I was terrified of it as an adult.  I had used it a couple times recently, and couldn’t understand why I’d been afraid of it.  My mom had given it to me last year (?), saying that alcohol burns, not hydrogen peroxide.  And it had been true so far in my adult life.  Until this moment, in a stranger’s driveway with two older guys chatting about me and my present situation.

My body took over control as I convulsed and wailed, and even more tears poured from my eyes, the rate increased significantly from the original fall’s.  I felt bad for this pour girl on the side of the road.  I couldn’t imagine how the onlookers felt.  (There was a secret onlooker across the street in the apartments, who had clearly been considering off and on whether to come help.  She, too, looked hispanic, and I fear her concern was one not only of COVID-19, but mostly of a fear of not being able to communicate.  I don’t exactly exude Spanish (or any language other than English, really), so I get it.

Anyway, so that really sucked, and I had to pour the painful cold water on it to make the pain go down at least somewhat – I couldn’t take it anymore.  Funny how that cold water was suddenly not so big a deal anymore, right?  Eventually, I blew my nose a bunch more with the rest of the paper towels the guy had brought, and I put a compress on my knee.  I had raised the pant leg while still in the street, and, aside from the clear layer of skin that was plastered to the fabric, my knee didn’t look like it needed too much immediate attention.  So, after the quick rinse of water and the peroxide, it was good to go, in terms of germ-prevention and safety until I made it home.

Now, all this time, I had been evaluating how I would be getting home.  No family lives anywhere near me, so that was out as an option, if I couldn’t walk it.  I considered a high school acquaintance who lived nearby.  I was rather sure he would come get me and drive me home, if I really needed, but I didn’t want to turn to that except as a last resort.  So, my options were really either to walk or to run home.  If I ended up being able to run, I knew I would end up finishing the 5k.  It was a slim chance, but it wouldn’t’ have surprised me.  However, walking was the most likely of the three options.  And, at this point in time, I noticed that I still had not felt that moment of, Okay, let’s get up, that we always get at some point after a fall.  And, so far as I could tell, it was nowhere nearby either.  I wasn’t going anywhere for a while.  I mean, I hadn’t even fully stopped crying at this point, and it had been ten minutes already.

I had started “chatting” with the younger of the two older guys, during the times that I could use my words, and, after I had finished all my dressings,  he offered yet again to drive me home – “We can put the windows down, be safe…” – I said, at last, “I think that would be a very good idea,” nodding and speaking with obvious effort, pinches of tears falling.  He hopped into action, and took his first aid kit and hydrogen peroxide and, even, the trash back to his home.  A couple minutes later, a Jeep came roaring around the corner, windows down.

I struggled to find the least painful way, and managed myself to my feet without too much disruption.  But, oh, did it hurt to use my right leg/knee…  The guy opened the passenger door for me, and I struggled my way into the seat.  I fumbled for a while, throwing in involuntary cries of pain, getting the seatbelt on myself and shutting the door… I just couldn’t use my hands almost at all: no pressure on them from the outside, and no muscle flexing within them.

We chatted on the brief drive back that almost-three-quarters-of-a-mile path, exchanged names, and wished one another well as we arrived and I struggled my way out of the Jeep.  I thanked him over and over again, both during the ride and at the end of it.  And also before it, too.  And then I slowly and painfully stumbled up the walkways and stairs, managed to unlock and open the door, and get myself inside.

I had sent my mom a couple photos after the first group had left, before I lay back down on the driveway, and then had called her when the guy had gone to get his Jeep.  I had known that she was driving before then, so I waited to call when I knew she would be able to see the photos.  At my first, “Hey,” she knew something had happened.  “What happened?” she asked, concerned, but not freaking out.  She probably had figured I’d had some terrible interaction with someone mean – that’s usually the answer to What happened?.  I told her to look at the photo I’d sent her.  She looked, and understood immediately.  I told her the present situation and that I thought I would be okay.  Now that I was home, I called her again, just to let her know that I was there, and also to see what she recommended I do to help myself at this point.

She prescribed me some time with an ice pack of sorts and an elevated leg, a shower, and then just before bed, rubbing gently hydrogen peroxide into my wounds with a Q-tip (cotton, you see), since I couldn’t get all the dirt off my hands.

The shower was long and hot and extremely painful at first, but it helped significantly by the end of it.  The hydrogen peroxide left me, yet again, wailing involuntarily in pain, pouring tears, and practically shouting half-comprehensible phrases and annoyances.  By the way, blowing your nose with a tissue and non-usable thumbs sucks.  That’s to say the least.

When I woke up in the middle of the night with a need to pee, I not only had to detach my palms from the sheets (painfully, of course), due to sticking tissue fluid, but hobble down the stairs, squat down to the toilet seat, and then attempt to wipe myself with a clumsy and burning left hand (the right was a solid no-go).  This repeated itself when my alarms went off at five forty-something to get me up for test proctoring today.

Today, my knee hurts. More like my upper shin than my kneecap, but it still hurts.  It’s kind of like a super bruise feeling, but the skin doesn’t really hurt.  My hands, however, have been bad. I still have no opposable thumbs for the time being… if I try to use them, I involuntarily wail from the instant pain in my lower palm. The right is the worst.  The left, starting this evening, has actually started to come around a bit.  They were both still producing tissue fluid 20 hours after the incident, but have since mostly ceased.  But any sharp movements or pressure, and they resume it.  They felt like fire last night period.  Tonight, they only get that feeling when they are either bumped or wet.  Or, of course, I attempt to use my thumb for any kind of grip, or clench my fingers in an attempt to grip anything.  (I almost couldn’t get out of my room this morning, because the doorknob is very thin and takes a lot of pressure to get open…)  In fact, it is extremely difficult even to type this right now.

All in all, that totally sucked, and it still sucks now, but I am mending safely, it seems.  And I am grateful for that.

On that note, I shall sleep.  But first, the photos:

This was yesterday, after rinsing off and rolling into the driveway.

This was the darned manhole cover with the “lip”.

This was after my shower last night.

I had to set the phone timer for this one.

And these were this evening, about 25 hours after the fall.  I had to set the timer on these, too, because I couldn’t both hold the phone and click the shutter button… no thumbs, remember.  (I tell you, it is one thing just not to have opposable thumbs.  It is something else entirely not to have them in a world designed for opposable thumbs.  I am having to learn drastic new ways of completing the formerly simplest of tasks[!!!].)

Post-a-day 2020

Remember to breathe

A dear friend reached out to me again today, sharing with me photos from her life lately. I wasn’t quite sure how I felt about it, nor about her having reached out yesterday. Two days in a row, unsolicited…

I would have been overjoyed at this fact six months ago, or a year ago…

The thing is, she has felt more like a memory than a friend for rather a while now. I’ve grown so accustomed to the ache to know what she’s up to, that it has merely become white noise in the background of my life. I don’t even have the full thought anymore of, “I wonder how she’s doing.” When she comes to mind, I kind of just give myself a mental shake, and I move on to something else… I would be bothering her, is the thought that has always stopped me from reaching out to her, either to check in on her or to share with her about me. I already stopped a long time ago sharing things with her about my life, because she never seemed to have the time or mental space to reply to any of it, and it always kind of hurt or put a negative tinge on the happy events I had relayed to her. I only felt like it was okay to reach out in something pertinent or that was an emergency. So, I only ever did when I really needed some extra prayers on something – when I was getting desperate in life, and severely needed a friend. But the day-to-day of our friendship has been rather nonexistent for quite some time.

When she had a life change this year, and she said she needed to focus on that, I even stopped reaching out for the prayer help or friend guidance… this summer held some of the most miserable moments and events of my recent years of life, about all of which she knows nothing – I didn’t want to interrupt her life…., because that’s how I have felt recently, that I am interrupting her life whenever I am in touch with her.

And I know now that that really doesn’t work for me. It probably doesn’t work so well for her either, but I don’t know, really, because we’re never in touch in the first place.

So, I want to talk with her (though it is all too likely just to be text messages, because that’s how it’s had to be for reasons of time limitations in recent years), and sort it all out. I need to communicate lovingly and effectively that our current relationship doesn’t work for me, and what would she like for our relationship, and can we establish something that works for both of us? Because I know that it would be better to let go of the friendship and allow the space it opens up to provide for a new friendship in my life, than to keep it as it has been recently for me. But I don’t think that would need to happen – I think we both want this friendship to remain. It just needs to be re-established.

It’s still a bloody scary conversation to enter, nonetheless…, but I’ll do it. And likely this week. 🙂

Post-a-day 2020

Struggle for love

Some miserable stuff went down today, where one party was absolutely irresponsible regarding its actions and how they affected those immediately involved in the situation, and that party also acted from an irrational and ego-centered place of anger and misplaced hurt.

Naturally, I was the party who found itself utterly unable to breathe normally, was gasping for breath through tears and a fully red and wet face, and who almost actually puked several times from the intense crying… it was very rough and very rough.

But why I share about this is because of one part of one party’s exchange with me…

She said, “I wish you could un-hear all of it.”

I asked her, “Is that what you recommend? That I un-hear it, if I can?”

“Yes.”

And something about that idea was beautiful to me…

What’s more, now, hours later, I’m doing rather well, allowing my psyche – is that who handles these things? – to release the words from my memory, and free me from their harsh, un-loving attack that hit so hard and hurt so much at the time of their issue.

It is, basically, the opposite of going over a past conversation in my head continuously, analyzing it over and over again… I, instead, allow myself to let it go, and to focus on the love I received from the party who wished me the ability to un-hear such mean reaction… I have been able to embrace the love of the scenario, and to release the rest…

Just as my tears and intense sobs released something powerful of their own – my eyes are actually still tingling, though they have been dry for hours – and my body relaxed at the rubbing of my back and the cool water in my mouth and throat, so my mind has been allowing the bad to release itself slowly but surely, and the love to take hold and envelope the mind.

Anyway… please, remember to love, okay? A threat of any kind can go much further for the person receiving it than we might ever imagine… please, be kind and act with love… eve if that only means that you pause before responding, so that you do not shoot out fear or anger as the immediate response, but you can respond with composure instead… and, therefore and ultimately, with love.

Sending love to you all tonight especially. 😉 May you love yourself truly, such that you are able to learn to love the world around you, no matter who is there in it.

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can totally make me cry hard core for a while… whatever the case, though, be is sticks or stones or threats or poems, I shall heal, and I will continue to love myself, and, thereby, the world, too. 😉

Post-a-day 2020

Día de Muertos dinner and dessert

Man who appears magically next to us: My girlfriend and I saw how you were dressed, and we were just at this party, and they gave us these cookies, and we wanted you…

He trails off, proffering a small, white papered bundle.

Said white bundle

Hannah: [Big and quick inhale] Are they calaveras?!? Are they skull cookies??

Man, smiling: Yeah, yeah they are.

Hannah: You’re giving us cookies?

Man: Yeah…

Hannah & Mom, slightly off from one another: Awww, thank you(!).

I accepted the package graciously and peeked inside at them, expressed another but of bouncy joy and expressed my gratitude again, both to him and for him to tell his girlfriend, and the man walked off, all three of us smiling.

Not so bad for dinner at a Thai place – my mom had wanted Mexican food to end the holiday, but everywhere food was, naturally, packed…, so, we just stopped for a warm meal at the place down the street from my house, on our way to take me home.

When we fully opened the package and took them out, we found handmade, adorable calavera cookies.

So, in a way, my mom got her Mexican food to celebrate the end of the Día de Muertos days, after all. 😛

Post-a-day 2019

Coffee and a smoke for the win (for once)

Driving one day, arriving at a red light, she noticed a woman walking on the sidewalk, drinking from a Starbucks cup in one hand, and then taking a drag on her cigarette in the other hand, preparing to cross the street.

She also noticed a man walking on the other side of the road who looked to have little or no money to his name, and who quite possibly was homeless.

When the light changed, and she was heading on her way again, she saw the possibly homeless man again: With a glint in his eye, he was now taking a drag on a cigarette in the one hand, while holding a Starbucks coffee cup in the other.

……

Yup… same cigarette and coffee…

🙂

Kinda makes you smile, doesn’t it?

People really can be quite silly yet sweet… let’s do more of that kind of silly love in life.

Post-a-day 2019

Happy Houston Astros Day

Today, as declared by our mayor for the city and our governor for the state, Houston Astros Day in Houston and in the entire State of Texas.  Cool.  Good job, Astros.  We’re proud of you guys.  We went to the parade and saw glimpses of the guys up on a fire truck or bus.  We’ll have to watch it all again, but on a screen, and actually see how things looked.  We knew we’d see likely little today, but we went more for the environment and togetherness and coolness of the event.  I heard my name called from a tree above me at one point, and I was invited into the trees by a student from a school where I once worked here.  And that was totally normal behavior for today. 

Oh, and we were on the news, and we didn’t even try to be.  If I had been all smiley, I likely would have been interviewed, too.  It was too hot, and the wait between the parade and the ceremony was too long, for me to be smiley naturally, especially with a drunk guy shouting and smoking right next to me.  It was a good day, nonetheless.  The ladies standing behind us filled us in on all the details of everything relating to the Astros, and one of them gave me an idea to help me with the bracelets I make (totally unrelated to Astros, but relevant for the two bracelets I wore today, and the others I’ve made and make).  I ate with some nice Venezuelans after all the parade stuff, and learned about the stars on their flag, and that tú is more common than usted, and that it is reversed in Colombia.  I shared my table with three young people around my age.  And I actually stood up to get their attention and to offer them the sharing of the space.  They were grateful, and I was happy to have helped.  We didn’t chat quite like the Venezuelans, who had previously occupied their seats, and I did, but that was okay.  They were still nice, and my mom finally showed up soon after they sat down, and I interacted with her mostly, then.  Yeah, it was a unique and good day.  After such a lame situation with our public transit as today was, Houston will take seriously the benefits of it, and make ours real, instead of minuscule and only occasionally somewhat helpful.

I went straight to bed when we got home around 6:30, and slept for about three hours.  Now I need to shower and go to bed for real, for the night.

I passed this car, when I was walking to the bathroom and restaurant/store where my mom and I ate after the parade festivities.  The chalk was just sitting in a chalk box in the hood of the car.  These guys decorated a bit quickly, and then ran back to their car on the street (traffic was incredibly slow).  More people were walking up to the car as they left, and those people then began adding their own decorations to the car, using the provided chalk.  This was so Houston.


My new goal is to befriend someone on the team.  Think it’ll happen anytime soon?  😛

Post-a-day 2017

at night

“Y’all have a good night,” I sat in a casual, comforting, and somewhat raspy and deep, womanly voice.

“You, too… be safe,” they both respond, accompanied by a casual wave, a smile, and a dip of the head by both of them.

This happens as I walk out of the school, close to 10pm, after the theatre production.  These two men are the police officers on duty.

I love this…. these kinds of interactions.  The men would have been ignored in so many other places I have lived and visited.  They are sometimes ignored by people here.  But it is also normal for that little interaction to take place, especially around here.  

Yes, I love this, I think to myself with a smile, as I walk to the car.  I love living here.  I love the South.

Post-a-day 2017

A compliment to remember

About a year or two ago (though, I think it was two years ago), I received one of the most memorable compliments I have ever been given.  I was reminded of it today, as my mom and I drove around in the sunny daylight that was following our storm so nicely.  With all of the rain and flooding, many people have pulled out their trucks and boats, and gone to the rescue of those in need of water transportation in areas that formerly were roads (and which, I suppose, likely still are, just beneath all that water now).  For this reason, I was reminded of a particular friend of mine who has a boat.  (Or, at least, he did have a boat when we last were in touch.  Currently, I’m not so sure, because we simply haven’t been much in touch since I moved to Japan.)

This particular friend was a childhood friend.  In fact, he was one of the neighborhood kids. I secretly – or so I thought – had crushes on him and his brothers when we were all little, and we all would play together all along the street, the whole lot of kids.  Anyway, as everyone moved off to college and parents moved off the street, a lot of us rather lost touch.  Here in there, though, we each would see others briefly in life.  About two years ago, this happened for me with this particular friend and his brothers.

We were at a country-western bar/dance club in Houston, and I recognized them.  Sure, they were all massive men compared to the last time I had seen them, when they were all possibly in college.  Big and strong, burly men was an easy way to describe the guys who stood before me in this bar.  I was amazed, though delighted – I guess scrawny little boys can grow up to be big, strong men, after all. 😛

It was as I was talking with one of them that the memorable compliment came.  He said to me simply, “You’re gorgeous.”  And he said it multiple times.  I’m not sure how many times exactly, but I know that it was more than once.  What really stood out about it was not so much the words (though they were amazing), as how he said them.  I can still hear it, even, it was so impactful.  He did not say them in any condescending way – ‘How unexpected that you would be gorgeous,’ – or as though he were hitting on me – ‘Hey, let’s go to my place, gorgeous.’  He was simply stating something he believed, and earnestly, with feeling.  It reminded me of how girlfriends (true ones, not the fake kind) might talk to the girlfriend who has just found the perfect dress for something, and is thrilled, or who is all dressed up for a big date or presentation or her wedding – there is no jealousy or dishonesty, but pure love and honesty in the declaration of her being gorgeous in that dress.  He wasn’t being sleazy, but truly gentleman-like, and it was amazing. It really was.

And that was it.

Because of this brief interaction I had with this friend, he has remained in my regular thoughts these past couple-ish years.  Every so often, I am reminded of him, and I am grateful for him, and I wonder how he is doing (and I usually get distracted by something or other before I am able to send him any kind of message to check in, but I occasionally manage it).  This weekend especially, I have wondered how he is doing, over and over again, and I finally managed, after however many days this storm has been, to check in with him.  It was brief, but I made contact and found out that he and his family are doing okay.  They all hold special places in my heart, because of their various roles in my childhood, but he has an especially dear one, thanks to his beautiful compliment, whenever that was.

Post-a-day 2017