A random memory just popped into my head. It was the last day of a class in college, Comparative World Religion. I remember disliking the teacher, she had a very, aren’t they silly? attitude about everything we covered. She was Christian, which is correct, obviously.
It was a small class of around twelve; we bonded over sharing personal views on the big everything, and rolling our eyes at this somehow narrow-minded world religion teacher. I had a buddy in that class, Laura, who had taken many philosophy classes with me.
We both held/hold the belief that all religions are right, and all religions are wrong. We agreed that all of these philosophies must stem from the same basic insights, and we’d try to find the cords that connected them all. It was good times.
There was a boy in the class that I thought was just amazing. He was very cute, but mainly I loved how he spoke. It captured me like I’d never experienced. He was very passionate, yet super laid-back. I could tell that he really cared about everything he spoke of, but it was with an easy detachment. I found him fascinating.
I wasn’t interested in him in that way because he had a girlfriend, whom he spoke about often…in his beautiful relaxed-yet-zealous fashion. I wanted him to know what I thought about him. I wanted to make sure that he was aware of this beauty he held. What if no one had ever told him?
I wrote him a note that summed it up, and near the end of class I passed it to him. I remember blushing like crazy. It was anonymous, and I wasn’t hitting on him or anything, but I felt embarrassed nonetheless.
As I sat there blushing and trying not to look at him someone tapped my shoulder and handed me a note. I wish I still had it. I have to paraphrase a ten year old memory here, but it went something like:
I don’t want to sound, for lack of a better word, “gay” or anything…I’m not hitting on you. But you hold such a beautiful grace, you are truly radiant. I just wanted you to know.
I was stunned. Who gave that to me? It was from a woman, ’cause of the gay thing. It wasn’t from the man of calm fervor. My friend Laura liked girls, was it from her? It didn’t sound like her. I wrote her a note:
I just got the most beautifully flattering note – did you write me that amazing compliment?
She looked over at me with bemusement and jotted a note:
No dude, I know you’re strictly dickly…
Now at least a third of the room was in on this flattering note confusion, I don’t know who the man of cool ardor told. There was a buzz in the room, like a silent nervous giggle.
As I got up to leave I made eye contact with a girl in the back who immediately started laughing.
“Ha, yer welcome!” She hurried out.
Laura and I walked out of the class, and I scanned the hall for Mister Intense-yet-Happily-Chill. I found him leaning against the wall, rereading the note and smiling to himself. Blushing.