First Sight

I want to meet her while standing at a railing, the two of us looking out over a dark blue river, likely abroad, likely one of those old countries where half the roads are still cobbled and every building has stories to tell. We would stand there in silence for a while, me mustering up the strength to say something, her waiting for me to get there, and finally I would say, “Beautiful.” She’d say, “It really is,” but we’d both know I was talking about her.

I want to meet her in a tavern. Not a bar, but one of those worn-in places where folks nip in for a lunchtime pint and you can people watch through window panes stained with age. We would catch eyes from opposite sides of the counter. I would raise my drink in a toast. She would lift hers in return and accompany it with an assured smirk and a small wink. I’d finish my beer and order a fresh one, then walk around, through a room occupied with a handful of regulars but otherwise empty, and we’d talk. For hours. The topics would range from the personal to the inane and the sky outside would slowly darken until the street lights glowed from outside and the evening crowd filtered through the door and we smiled at each other over the lips of our glasses.

I want to meet her in a bookstore. It’s a small affair, privately owned. The shelves are stacked tight with used novels, dog-eared and broken-spined. The pages are yellowed with age and worn with love until a day came when there was no longer room in their home or in their hearts and the paperbacks are given up for adoption. I would walk by her and she’d whirl around and ask my opinion between two books. I’ll have not read either, so we’ll read the backs together and work out a list of pros and cons until a decision is eventually made. “If it sucks, I’ll kick your ass,” she says.  “Take my number so you’ll be able to find me,” I agree.

Or maybe I’ll meet her at a group dinner. It wasn’t supposed to be a double date. Just a group of friends agreeing to meet for a meal and a few of us hadn’t met before, but she and I suddenly hit it off and start having our own conversation off to the side, the rest of the group be damned.

Or maybe we’ll meet on a plane, seated next to each other by chance and conversing because of boredom, and the seeds are sown for what starts as a long distance relationship and possibly blossoms into more.

Or perhaps we won’t meet.

Or perhaps she’s someone I meet again, someone who has been or is in my life. A circumstance changes or a reunion is had, a random meeting in a grocery store that turns into a lunch to catch up.  Maybe I know her already.

Maybe I don’t.

My hope is I’ll meet her, our eyes meet, and I feel that connection again. The kind of current that runs both ways. That kind of tension that raises the hairs on the arm. That flicker downwards as we look at each other’s lips, wondering what that first kiss will be like, taste like. The kind of rapport that leads to a whole lot of nothing that feels like everything and simultaneously lasts a heartbeat and forever.

If she’s out there, I’d like to meet her. It doesn’t really matter how, I suppose.

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