After the spring sun set across the water, taking the breezes with it but leaving the heavy, humid air hanging just off the palms, the island came alive. Wearing little more than a cotton dress and sun-kissed skin, she made her way to Gusty’s, accompanied by a housemate. The two found a table on the deck, overlooking the island below while the dj spun club beats to the revelers on the dirt dance floor inside. Sweat hadn’t yet formed on her glass when he made his way over and introduced himself. Through a thick accent, they exchanged introductions and she accepted a dance inside. One dance led to two and only after they cleared the dance floor with “Bailamos” did they retire back to the deck.

Like dancing, one rendezvous led to two which led to moonlit walks on the beach and dinner with family in the islands, and a reconnection a few months later in Chicago. And then he sailed again.

People come and go in your life. Some leave a lasting impression. Others are so fleeting that their acquaintance is nothing more than a butterfly’s life. And some stay for a while. But there are some still whose memory refuses to be shuttered.

I have one of these.

Pierre’s memory doesn’t fade. It is nearing 10 years since we met, but hardly a week goes by when I wonder what happened to him and where he is now. I learned early on that his name is common in Pretoria (yes, he’s an Afrikaner), and that any search invariably turns up a rugby player, a professor, and the Minister of Health…none of whom are him. In law school, a friend introduced me to Craig’s List and the Missed Connections section. I’ve never written anything.

But I wonder. Should I let my fairytale memory be just that? Or should I post something on Missed Connections and hope against the odds that someone somewhere … ? Do things like this ever work out? Would this be considered The One That Got Away? I generally hold to the theory of “if it’s meant to be, it will be” and more frequently to “everything happens for a reason” … so can these be reconciled with wanting to find someone from another time, another place?

Part of me resigns to letting the fairytale sit. Afterall, it will be a fun one to tell my daughter one day, when she’s old enough…


2 thoughts on “Loud Memory (or, Where Art Thou?)

  1. I loved this, beautifully written as usual. I’d be torn also on whether to attempt contact or let it be. Sometimes it’s more beautiful when we leave it as a pure, simple, and perfect memory.

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