Okay, so a story.
Say there's a guy at your work, and you barely know him to say hello to, but you have a fellow feeling for him.
It's like, when you do happen to say hello, the hello becomes a kind of joke, and his eyes know the punchline, and he's looking to you to deliver it, and you're both about to crack up, just because of the word hello? That kind of guy.
Anyway, it's not your work. It's my work.
It's a rare writer can sustain a second person narrative, and I'm not she.
So I asked this guy his name a while ago, because I like to know the names of people who seem to recognize me without ever having met me before. Not like a, "You're famous!" recognition, but more like, "If only we had two weeks on a desert island, and enough food and booze and sunblock, we'd be GREAT FRIENDS IN NO TIME, but life doesn't work like that, but good morning anyway."
I greeted him by name when I got into work early.
"And how are you this morning?"
"I'm beautiful!" he said. Then added, "Well... At least, I feel like I'm beautiful."
I about near melted all over the place, and said, perhaps a little fervently, "You ARE beautiful!" and then said, "You know, I think everyone's just a little more beautiful in May?"
He thought about it, started smiling even more smilingly, then said, "You know, I think you're right?"
"Because," I told him, clapping my hands together, "it's French-Kiss Weather!"
"It's French-Kiss Weather," he repeated, laughing.
Then he went back to reading Vonnegut. And I went back to memorizing lines.
So, in my opinion, this term "French-Kiss Weather" should not be wasted on a chance encounter, no matter how delicious. In fact the chance encounter shouldn't be wasted as a mere chance encounter, hence this blog.
But wait. It gets better.
There I am, in a certain position at work that has a lot of downtime in between a lot of RUSH AROUND AND TRY TO MAKE EVERYTHING WORK AT THE SAME TIME kind of time. And in my downtime, I write this little poem called "French-Kiss Weather."
And all the while I'm thinking, "Do I give this to him? I mean, is there a non-creepy, non-stalkerish way to give this to him, that will indicate it's just a gift of May, that it means nothing except that he was there for when I thought of it, and anyway, the worst that can happen is a sexual harassment suit, but the second worse that can happen is that we'd lose this unspoken joke between us, which would be a real shame, but the third worse that can happen is not giving it and thinking myself a coward, when I'm not really, and haven't been since I was 23 and decided that the only thing to do with poems I write about people is to, you know, give them to them, because it's only FAIR."
And I came to the conclusion (it was more of a hope, really) that there was that in his eyes which would not freak out too badly.
I think it's called a sense of humor.
I trust people with a sense of humor. They allow for astonishment, but take it in stride.
I still had to think of a way to give it to him.
I couldn't just bring it to his workplace. There were too many of his co-workers there. Ew. NOT MY DEPARTMENT.
Okay, so I took my afternoon break in the staff lounge, checked my email, and LO! In he walks. Right into the staff lounge. Alone.
(Because the gods have a sense of humor too.)
And I called him over and brought my left hand up to shield my face from the rest of the room in case there were spies and lip-readers among those gathered at the far end (and also, because I saw one of my supervisors approaching in periphery), and I leaned in and whispered, "Would you be weirded out or offended if I wrote you a poem?"
And he said, "No! I love poetry!"
And I said, "EXCELLENT!" and dug in my back pocket and handed his to him.
And he said, "RIGHTEOUS!" and went on his way. (People who use the word "righteous" unselfconsciously but also deliberately are A-Okay with me. It's totally boss.)
I take a moment to exhale. I'm a little over-warm, right? WOULDN'T YOU BE?
Because, you know, sometimes it's just a little harder to breathe.
Even when you've done these things before.
My supervisor, who'd been headed in the OPPOSITE DIRECTION, turns around and comes back to me.
"Claire, are you that red because you've been outside all day?"
And poor sweet soul, he's REALLY concerned, I can tell. And it's SO RIDICULOUS that I almost laugh, but I don't because I don't want to get hysterical, so I just tell him, very seriously:
"Nah, boss. I made sure to wear sunblock today, knowing I was going to be working outside."
"Are you sure?"
"Sure, I'm sure. I'm red because I'm blushing. It will fade in a few minutes."
"Oh," he said, looking confused. "Yeah, it's already fading."
And that was that.
Life is so interesting.
Men are interesting. And there are more of them ABOUT than usual in my life, which is a pleasant change. I'm a little bit in love with all the world in May. I'm trying to enjoy myself, to control myself, and to not (split infinitive split further) control myself too much. Keep the avenues open, because the avenues are so beautiful right now, full of blossoms and bees.
And it's French-Kiss Weather.
And Stephen Sondheim DID say that a girl has to celebrate what passes by.