a stranger

I remember the first time I saw him. On the street corner - the intersection with the library on one side and the Dunkin Donuts on the other. He was leaning against the wall of the library and I fell in love with him a little bit for that. I thought of how perfect it must have been that I was there while he was there and amongst so many people in such a hurry, I saw him in the background of it all.

I slung my bag back over my shoulder and hurried across the street. Amidst the noise of cars, the clanging metal of the trains, and the private conversations of people made not-so-private in such a public setting, I was wondering what his voice sounded like and how many times we’d kiss before he said “I love you”.

The train platform was filled with people, and felt very lonely. I called my girlfriend and she asked why I was sad, so I told her I’d had a dream I couldn’t shake — I was taller than anything but as light as a feather, and I leapt on the rooftops and walked all over the world. She remarked that she loved my spirit and couldn’t wait to leap with me. I said I loved her and she kissed the receiver.

That night, and many a-night since, I dreamt I was a giant who slept atop the library, and he stands on the corner, sometimes leaning against me, sometimes only ever looking across the street. Every night he is steadfast. Every night I retreat to my world of memory where he and I exist together, alone.

I never saw him again.