My wife’s a poet. And I met her at a reading. I was reading this short depressed (but funny) piece I wrote called The Green Roller Skate. And she said, “I loved your piece.” And I thought, Damn, she’s good-looking. I told her I wrote at Starbucks and did she want to join me sometime. “Yes,” she said. And I went all liquid inside. We met at Starbucks and just talked, for hours, and shared some of our writing. I read her a piece I’d written called Heaven Scent about a guy on a park bench wishing he had a special “ray gun” to make women want him. She listened, looking gorgeouser and gorgeouser, and said— and I’ll never forget it—“Your words are your ray gun.” Hot dang! We each had to go out of town and were apart nineteen days and wrote eighty pages of emails back and forth, each one deeper, riskier, and more romantic than the last. Around email three (she told me later) she thought--This guy could be The Guy. Thank God we were apart all that time. Otherwise, I would have blown it--coming over too often, wanting to show her my third-grade spelling trophy. I was sixty when I met Elya. And I’d given up all hope of ever finding “the one.” So yeah--words were our love language. And still are. Every day I make her a card. I draw her a picture and write a little vignette. I’m up to card two-thousand-seven-hundred-and-forty. They’re quirky, philosophical, poetic, funny. They’re me. Every night I tell her I love her as we kiss good night. And every time we eat, I say, “May our love grow.” Love takes work. But it’s not work. It’s not work at all. And I’m the luckiest guy on earth. What if I hadn’t read that time at Beyond Baroque? What if I hadn’t gone into the lobby at intermission at the very moment she was standing there all by herself pouring a cup of water? What if she hadn’t come out into the lobby seconds before? What if I hadn’t written The Green Roller Skate? What if she hadn’t liked it? What if she hadn’t said it was so real and funny and honest. Years earlier I’d written that someday I’d be speaking in front of a group of people and a woman in the fourth row back would see past all my clever defenses and see the real me. And that’s exactly what happened. Except, she wasn’t in the fourth row back. That was thirteen years ago. At a time when I’d given up all hope. But miracles happen. Words are miracles. Words turned my life around. And, now, I don't have to “believe” in God to know there is one.
© Jon Pearson 1-29-2023