While walking along the boardwalk at the beach the other night, as I usually do in the evenings, I made my way through the sometimes-heavy maze of families with strollers and skipping toddlers, saw couples canoodling on park benches, and heard bicyclists whizzing by.
Eventually I made my way to the southern tip of the mile-long stretch, a lovely place to walk out to the point and watch the last of the day's orange light illuminate the white edges of the sea's chop.
The sound and smell are meditative and good for all that ails me, an unlikely panacea. I digress...
My point is that, while looking out over the ocean's frothy edge, I noticed a young man sitting on a picnic table (actually on the table itself, with feet resting on the seat, the way young men often do). He was reading a small book that almost disappeared behind his large palms. He was the guy I'd seen skateboarding up the coast a few moments ago, something that almost always catches my attention.
So, that evening, as I walked away from the boy reader I wished I was brave enough to interrupt, I wondered if perhaps he wasn't the perfect boy reader for me? A man (not a boy at all, really) of about my age who still skateboards (but clearly these days for his peaceful enjoyment rather than to showboat for girls) and spends the beginnings of his evenings in the shadow of a few tall palms at the end of the coastline reading a tiny jewel of a book no doubt full of lovely phrases. I wanted so much to read over his shoulder for a bit, to know those phrases.
For a moment, I felt as though I was in one of those movies in which two people, fated to fall in love, first encounter one another in an odd way at a strange place for only a second. And so, because they didn't really meet at all, they're forced to find one another again via the "Missed Opportunities" section in the newspaper's classified ads.
Life should only be so romantic. In the end, I'm pleased simply to know such people exist. It was a lovely night.