Sunday, May 9, 2010
It was 1979 when I first laid eyes on Blowfish.
I was a college student pursuing my dream to one day be an interior designer.
I had a three hour morning studio class on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Midway through the class we had a 15 minute intermission. To get up and stretch, to walk around and see what was happening on the other drawing boards, to fetch a cup of caffeine. One of those mornings I walked out the back door of the resources room and saw a bunch of boys enjoying a pick up game of basketball half a quadrille away. One of those boys was amazing.
He could fake out the others and zoom dribble to the basket in a flash. He could block boys much bigger than he and he could steal the ball and head the other way almost quicker than the eye could follow. Amazingly, no matter how surprised the other players were there was no yelling, no cussing and a whole lot of laughing. I have no idea if he was the best player on the court but it was clear, even from a distance, he was the guy having the most fun. Watching the game was a nice diversion before the trip back inside to the drawing board.
Bout a week later, I was rushing to cross a street when around the corner came a little brown MG Midget , top down and with so many bodies in it I thought it was a clown car. I just missed getting smished but before I could yell out my wrath the driver was looking over his shoulder, saw I was fine, smiled ear to ear and blew me a kiss and a wave. Instead of feeling fury I laughed out loud at that basketball playing fool of a man. Go figure.
Later that same afternoon I was stopped in traffic with a full view of the tennis courts at a condo complex where a couple of men were having a major volley. One of them was the basketball guy I had seen on campus. As I was watching , his opponent hit the ball to a position I knew could not be returned. To my utter astonishment this guy threw the racket to his opposite hand hitting the ball to perfect position winning the set. I could hear the joy of his laughter above the traffic. So there he was smiling in the sunlight, hair shining like a commercial and really cute knees.
But I was in that town for a purpose and it did not have anything to do with ambidextrous
athletes with shining hair or cute knees or what was clearly a buoyant tendency towards joy.
The following morning he walked into my first class of the day and announced he would be the substitute instructor for the balance of the semester. And he wasn't a boy. He was a forty something who had not lost his joy. Go figure.
So that was a long time ago.
If you read the' Signs' post ( 05-07-09) you have a pretty good idea of how things worked out.
Now there is another anniversary to celebrate. And Blowfish, while certainly not unchanged,
has retained the ability to truly enjoy fully life's simple pleasures. Joy and knowledge continue on as his two most favorite things to share. He still needs to exercise the body to clear the mind. As a bonus, he still has hair shining in the sun, is well muscled, trim and those knees are still cute.