I saw him standing in the back of the room.
He was wearing sunglasses…inside. What a tool. I laughed and took out my pen and wrote, “Too cool for school” one a blank sheet of paper. I liked his confidence.
The next day he didn’t disappoint.
He cranked the music and danced like no one was watching. I followed his example and we all danced our hearts out. As soon as the music stopped I found my pen and added, “shamelessly outgoing” to the previously blank page. His personality stood out to me.
Day after day I realized that I was looking for him. I’d spot him and try to figure him out from afar.
His style gave me hope. A dark blue, short sleeved button-up and maroon shorts set the base for his outfit that Tuesday. He wore Sperry’s and yes, Ray Bans found their home on top of his head. I rummaged through my bag for my notebook and added, “humble style” to this growing list. He never flaunted his looks or style but they were definitely a strong suit for him. He was just…different.
I tried to put my finger on what it was that made him so different but that wasn’t an easy task.
I began to think about it…
He seemed to live in a glass house by choice. His life was an open book simply waiting for a reader.
(And I’m always up for a good read.)
I needed to duck out of the building for a second and went for the door. I wanted to make sure that I was using the correct exit so I asked someone nearby. This person’s response was interrupted with a cheeky, “No” by this guy whose story I’d placed a book mark in. I laughed and pretended to shake off the sarcasm. Funny. I took out my notebook as I walked away and wrote down, “Class clown,” I need laughter in my life.
Time passed and I noticed that Joel had taught me a lot. His personality spoke even louder than his
words. He was fun to be around and nothing bothered him. He showed me what I needed to see and he gave me hope. From this list I had been making I could clearly see the little characteristics that meant something to me. Sure he had all of the strong and moral characteristics I have always looked for but he made me see that there was another level and that he had mastered it. Talking to him made me feel significant in some way, it was as if my time was more valuable to him than it was to me. It was like he looked forward to it. He made me feel special and for that I’ll always be in his debt. That Monday through Friday held some many memories that will never fade.
It is hard to sum up his entirety in words but I know this about him, Joel was a wonderful example of a thriving extrovert. He radiated a confidence that didn’t praise itself. He practiced a life of fun and carefree happiness and didn’t even entertain the judgmental questions of those who didn’t understand him. Joel put his heart on his sleeve and he held it there by the wet tears of laughter that filled his days.
In such a short time Joel taught me to keep my eyes open for what I want in life and in a man.
Thank you Joel, you’ve taught me a timeless lesson.

You taught me that even the little things matter.


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