© 2010, Wanda L. Harrell
My laptop is a Brontosaurus, but knowing I’d be lost without a means of writing quicker than longhand with a pen on paper, I brought the heavy, bulky, slow moving creature with me on this vacation. Not having used my dinosaur for a couple of years, I browsed through saved files, both documents and photos. It was in doing that, I came upon a few pencil sketches I drew of a particular man eight years ago. One grabbed my attention more than the others, so I studied it for a while. That quiet action evolved into perusing all the photos of him that this relic holds. What is it about him, just from his face that makes him different from all the rest? Can his face tell me why is he the definitive love of my life? Are the eyes truly windows to the soul?
With the sketches and photos in front of me, I slowly studied his features while my mind pulled in memories, both distant and more recent. When he and I first casually crossed paths online nine years ago, he was half way around the world in Australia. After our email introductions, we both remained faceless beings for a few days. However, our getting to know one another’s personalities and histories was a concentrated endeavor, endless hours of questions, answers and sharing.
One day, he mentioned that we should know what each other looked like. So after I shared some photos of me, he sent one of himself. New to computers, he had only one scanned photo, a snapshot of his face. From it, I could not tell he was 6’ 4”, nor could I see his mannerisms or hear his voice, all of which intrigue me to this day. However, with that first photo, all my eyes could see was a grown man making a silly face for the camera, but that observation was the superficial part of the picture. There was more to the photo than one could casually observe. Oddly, it was much as it was today with the discovery of the sketches. It was then, and is now, what his face told me that day began my fascination for this man.
So you ask, just what was it just this man’s face told me? The first, most noticeable thing was that he was good-humored. Although thousands of miles apart, just seeing his silly grin brought a smile to my face. In person, he has contagious laughter, but if there is such a thing, he also has a contagious smile and a mischievous sort of grin that shows in his photos. As for the perfectly proportioned lips that surrounded his smile, just by looking at that confident smile, I imagined any woman who had ever known those lips dreamt of them and his kisses for the rest of her life.
However, with a closer look, my own eyes peered into soulful brown eyes that laughed, but also invisibly wept. They were eyes that had seen more joy and sadness, and more hope and disappointment than many would in ten lifetimes. His compelling eyes spoke of a man who is intelligent, possessing a thirsty mind, always parched and desirous for another tall drink of knowledge.
As clear as a summer sky, several things were clearly written across his face. He was a man who embraced living life to its fullest, not merely survival. Tolerant and understanding in most aspects, the deep furrow between his brows told his patience could wear thin very quickly when it came to fools or idiots. His round, yet chiseled chin told of iron determination and physical strength, but whispered of a tender heart firmly fixed if you know him well.
When we finally met several months later, I saw his outstanding face with my own two eyes. His eyes sparkled with excitement, and his smile was as I suspected, absolutely contagious. Every time I’ve seen him since, his face is what first captures my attention. That face! That wonderful, handsome, telling face never fails to speak to me without words. So mesmerized was I the last time I saw that face, I walked, ran, skipped, hopped, flew or something out of my door to his car, but I don’t remember the steps, so I am unsure how I got there. While eagerly awaiting a kiss from those perfect lips, I could not take my eyes of his face.