My knees desperately needed shaving.
But the stranger with a soft, faded black Smashing Pumpkins t-shirt.
Who sat beside me.
Didn't seem to mind.
I met him while camping.
Just after I ran back to the car for a flashlight.
I was on a road trip with a friend and we'd been shower-less for days.
Our hair in messy braided pigtails.
And we were only slightly bored.
The good sort of slightly bored.
So decided to take a late-night ghost walk through the national park.
Led by a plump ranger with white socks up to his knees.
We knew it was going to be cheesy.
What I didn't know is that I'd meet a guy my age from Detroit.
That he'd offer to share his flashlight with me.
That we'd eventually grow tired of the cheesy tour and head off into the wilderness to find our own way back to camp.
Eventually say goodbye beneath Tennessee stars.
And promise to write.
Which we did.
For two years.
He reminded me of Huckleberry Finn.
With his devilish grin.
Jeans rolled up.
The arm he offered me to latch on to.
To keep me safe from the bumps and the bears of the night.
He liked my braids.
Said I reminded him of a 1967 Jane Fonda.
And when he found out I loved Nick Drake, sang me his favorite song.
A week later, I was in Grand Cayman.
He, back in Michigan.
And so we wrote each other.
Long, handwritten letters filled with such banter.
It was lovely.
One of those wonderful crushes.
And I love the fact that in my most recent trip back to those campgrounds.
I saw him in the trees.
Those smoky stars.
And on my prickly knees.
And I wonder...
Will I ever remind you of a certain place?
A certain spot?
Will you think of me when you see the way a tree branch goes up then out then up.
When you see a stranger sip their drink a certain way.
When a wave hits your toes.