When I saw my wife for the first time, I leaned against a wall for support. She had just turned in my direction after stepping off the elevator at the far end of the otherwise unoccupied dorm floor hallway in which I was standing like the Scarecrow with dropsy.
I was twenty years old, and drunk. It was 1979. I had come to San Francisco State University after a year and half spent working the graveyard shift at the Wrigley’s Gum Factory in Santa Cruz, California.
The second I saw her I thought, “The wall! I should lean against the wall! I’ll look cool and stabilize!” So I jammed my hands into my jeans pockets, and with all the nonchalance I could muster let myself casually slump to the right.About half-way into my lean I became aware of how long it was taking me to actually reach the wall.
Too far away! I crashed against the painted brick wall so hard I practically popped a clavicle.
By way of recovering, I quickly assumed a posture that I desperately hoped would at least impress this exquisitely beautiful girl coming towards me with how cavalierly I was daring to test the very limits of gravity.
And then she was there.
And then I wasn’t drunk any more.
Turns out you sober right up when find the future you’ve always wondered about standing right in front of you, wearing a tan overcoat and ever so slightly smiling.