Hers was the first face I found
freshman year at FSU.
I'll always remember that garish orange and green gator shirt,
and pin with the picture of a bulldog,
hanging from a noose.
I thought, oh Jeez, she's got school spirit,
and I shuddered at the image,
of cheerleaders, and sports stars, recieving preferential treatment,
but my first impression was far from the mark.
She had a smile for miles and eyes to match.
And a laugh that could shatter a frown.
And she laughed any chance she got.
The few pictures I have left of her,
she is laughing and smiling in each...
That big toothy smile,
and that magical laugh...
I remember the first time she kissed me.
I was playing my guitar on campus,
back when everybody did it,
not just pretentious *******
trying to show off.
She came up behind me,
and did the old hands over the eyes routine,
and of course I knew her voice immediately.
She turned my head and kissed me,
for the first time,
and I could hear the whispering,
and feel everyone's eyes on me,
and it felt pretty **** good.
How I wished someone had snapped a picture,
for the FSView, with the caption
" Future valedictorian kisses scruffy hippy freshman.
Entire student body baffled."
I was baffled.
She was the talk of the campus,
she spoke her mind always,
and she was active all over the campus,
doing this and that.
I asked her one day,
"Why do you make your life so complex,
when do you rest?"
and she said
"My life used to be complex, because I made it that way.
But believe it or not, with all I do around campus,
really my life is simple and fun. If I didn't love what I am doing
I would stop Will. Life is too short for complexity."
I laughed, and I thought to myself,
this woman is more complex than she lets on.
We went out for my entire freshman year,
but she graduated my sophmore year,
and she got a job in London, and she moved away that summer.
I said I would visit...I never did..
She said she would write...she did, once,
to tell me she was getting married,
she even invited me, but of course I didn't go..
She enclosed a photo of her and her fiance,
and it was clear what she saw in him..
he had a smile almost as big as hers,
and of course she was smiling too..
Of all the images burned into my memory
that picture is the one that hurts me most.
I wrote back, wishing her luck, and I told her I couldn't come,
I never heard from her again, but I prayed that night,
that he would treat her right, and if he took away her smile,
I prayed he would suffer, until he put it back.
Every time I close my eyes, I see that picture...
I hope she's smiling, even as I write these words.