I am in love with the memory of a man. Not the man because I don’t know him. I have met him and it is my memory of him that makes me languish in the essence of him. Am I foolish? Perhaps. I can admit that I have a history of being foolish. I am a woman and our ideas of romance fuels foolishness. But I consider this foolishness of mind a kiss from God. In that kiss is a promise of things to come. Now, because of this memory of this particular man I know of many possibilities that I was uncertain of before. So I shall cherish this memory. I will hold it close to my heart and I will call forth its beauty when I need it. When I need to be reminded of things to come. When I need the reassurance that this memory holds I will call it forth and I will languish in the beauty of its simplicity and I will raise my hands to God for this kiss from Him.
I can still smell his scent. Sitting next to him at the bus stop, it is what I noticed of him first. He wore it well. It suited him. I had never been introduced to the cologne he wore that day and I never want to smell that scent again unless I smell it on him. It was so intoxicating; I did something unconsciously that I never would have done consciously. I asked him about it. Without a glance in my direction, his eyes focusing on the cell phone he was texting with, he replied in a very serious tone “It’s called “Come and Get It”.
Spontaneously I threw back my head and roared with laughter. When I could contain myself, I had to ask him, “Does that work for you?” Surely, I thought, if that line worked on a woman, she would have to have a serious problem. “If it does, you better run in the opposite direction,” I said.
Laughter is medicine for the soul. Perhaps he needed it too because we were both laughing. For the next sixteen hours to Atlanta, our shared laughter was a common bond.
It was not the fact that we could so easily, being strangers, tease and laugh with each other. What I hold dear, what I carry in my heart, is his spirit. From the moment he picked up my bag and carried it to the loading bus, I, as never before, felt lovingly covered, lovingly protected, lovingly cared for. How could that happen? With a man I had just met. How could that be but for God?
How could it be that I could place my head on his chest as the bus took us to our destination and sleep peacefully in the arms of a stranger? How could it be that I could slip my hand in his and feel comforted by the strength of a man I did not know? How could it be that as I lie on his chest, breathing the richness of his cologne that it felt right and good and oh so precious to be in the arms of this strange man? How could I feel as I never had with another? Such simple peace.
How could it be that I could meet his gaze and soak in the gentleness and kindness of his almost black eyes and never want to look away? How could it be that I could look at the perfectly shaped lips of a strange man and want to kiss him as much as I wanted to breathe? How did I know with such certainty that if I kissed his mouth; I would never want to stop kissing him? Yes all of me wanted to but I did not. It is the one regret that I have.
All too soon the ride to Atlanta came to an end. We had reached our destination. Separate lives, separate worlds. He to his life, me to mine. But I had that moment with him. A stranger on a bus intrudes on a life that I have kept to myself for eleven years. A stranger, with a kiss from God, reminding me of the covering only a man of God can give a woman. Reminding me, that when it’s right, there’s an undeniable attraction, there is peace, there is joy and there is rest. With those moments, with these memories, I wait. It happened once. It will happen again. With him or with another, only God knows. But God has given me a glimpse of what could be. I have experienced the possibilities. I smile in anticipation; in love with a memory…of a strange man on a bus.