You may have seen me, perhaps amid the stacks of a familiar bookstore or sidled up to some magazine rack that had momentarily beckoned me out of a forgotten errand, silently consumed in the glossy pages of a travel magazine. You may have wondered in that instant what new journey my mind was embarking on or what cherished memories of past adventures were being stirred as I stood there, swallowed up in the alluring imagery.
You may have noticed the well-loved t-shirt I wore, displaying the faded emblem of some foreign place I'd visited, or the hand-woven bracelet around my wrist that I'd bought off a random, roadside peddler. You may then have followed the line of tattered denim down to a pair of old boots that looked like they themselves had a few stories worth telling.
You may have entertained the notion of interrupting the reverie to ask about my escapades, knowing first-hand the rare thrill an interested audience can be. You may have imagined how my heart would quicken & my smile would stretch wide as eagerly I obliged. You may have pictured how I would try to coax a laugh or simply a raised eyebrow with my anecdotes of crazy misadventures.
You may have discerned how I would want to hear your tales & how I would bask in your excitement as you detailed some excursion to a place likely on my bucket list. You may have anticipated my rapture in hearing you describe the way a particular song always transported you back to that moment when you reached that breathtaking waterfall after a long hike or the sensation you felt as your hands explored the stone relics of some ancient civilization. You may have sensed how I would delight as we discovered our mutual love of rock & roll & of the magic of music in all its diversity.
You may have, in that moment, recognized in me a kindred spirit, a fellow traveler on life's endlessly unpredictable road - a road we both know can only be trekked armed with a ready laugh & the wide-eyed curiosity & hunger of a child. You may have envisioned how we might one day, hand-in-hand, explore some new place together, pausing in silent awe & clinging to each other as we drank in the wonder around us.
You may have understood even then that rather than hold on to a man like me, you let him go & go with him (just as he'll do for you), & that a man like me respects that you too have grand ambitions of your own. You may have noted that it is that keen sense of self that would ultimately unite us. You may have appreciated that, while I was a man whose feet desired to walk many paths, my heart only ever desired one woman to be there walking next to me through it all.
You may have pondered how I would live present in every moment with you & how, no matter where we were, I would always make you feel the familiarity & security of home. You may have mused at the predicaments we would undoubtedly find ourselves in & how I would calm your nerves & even get you to smile as we were about to miss our flight or as our rental car blew a tire miles from civilization.
You may have guessed that a future with a man like me promised adventures of all sizes & that the certainties we clung to would be different than those others rely on.
You may also have perceived in me a man who, despite his lofty aspirations & chronic wanderlust, comprehended the immeasurable value of people & of experiences over possessions; of a life rich with relationships & quality time spent; of easy conversations with irreplaceable, childhood friends; of home-cooked meals that comfort like a hug; & of the unparalleled joy of coming home to the uncomplicated & incomparable refuge of one's own bed.
In that simultaneously isolated & infinite moment, you may have glimpsed a tomorrow abounding in possibility & contemplated whether this man standing before you, thumbing obliviously through his magazine, might have a place in it, & you may have realized that his shoulder was only a virtual arm's length away. All you need do is tap...