You're playing golf with your buddies so Finn and I are hanging out this morning. He's napping and I am thinking about the first time I met you. That first night when I saw you at Rockne's when I came home from New York and met my brothers out. I was wearing a black hat with a flower on it I got in SoHo and you told me you liked it and I laughed because I knew it was a little bit goofy. You sat across from me in that booth filled with people and I caught you looking at me a few times and I was telling stories trying to make everyone laugh but mainly I was just trying to make you laugh.
You told me about your fishing and I pictured you standing alone by a creek in upstate New York. I pictured the trees bare and i pictured you putting your hands in the ice cold water to take the fish off your line. You told me you never kept the fish and I think I fell a little bit in love with you right then. I had a boyfriend and you might have had a girlfriend but we sat together at the bar until it closed and you told me you liked how I didn't have nail polish on my fingers and we laughed when I spilled a tall glass of water on my brother's lap.
Somehow you gave me your phone number that night and I put in my phone under your last name and I still have it saved that way. We never talked after that night but I thought about you more than once.
Then I move home from New York heartbroken and sad and I kept thinking about you and wondering about you. I wondered if you had married the girl you were seeing. I wondered if you were still in town or if you moved away to some town by water to be a fishing guide. I randomly asked my brothers questions until I knew the night when I would run into you and I showed up at your bowling league and you saw me and you threw a gutter and turned around laughing. After that night we talked every day.
It's funny the way things happen. It's near impossible to believe that things happen for a reason when you are in the midst of a breakup and a move back in with your parents and feeling so confused and so terribly sad, but then the smoke clears and you see the most handsome guy wearing a button down bowling shirt who smiles at you like he did that first night at the bar years before and you realize that yes, things do happen for a reason. And you also realize that your life will never be the same.
James, you make me laugh and make me good.
|giving my acceptance speech|