With his teeth fully visible and head slowly tilting forward, Erik’s dark, fluffy hair goes from looking slightly controlled and pushed back to being poofy beyond expectation and bobs in front of his forehead as his body shakes from laughter. His laughter seems to be a sort of hyperventilation, the regular ha’s mingled with gasping. His brown eyes aren’t visible because his cheeks come up so high that his eyelids are pushed together into a squint. Slowly regaining his composure and breath, he straights up to tell another story ending in laughter, to talk about his various, innumerable creative projects, or to pour his heart out about whatever is weighing on him or impassioning him. As his excitement flows into speech, his eye shine with renewed interest and curiosity. Even his stories of mold filled showers and clogged drains are filled with enthusiasm and joy, his voice growing quiet with suspense (or occasionally distraction) or bellowing with finality. He switches from subject to unrelated subject without seam or notice, and when finished or thinking, he stops looks to the left and sighs, contentment filling the sound.
Skyping him while he lives in Japan never fails to be an adventure. From his extraordinary array of flower print shirts and patterned ties to his learning another language and his ever-growing game collection, his appearance and stories never fail to impress me and brighten my day. He loves cooking with unknown foods and inviting me to help from half way around the world, while I tell stories of my day at the library or talk about my crochet and knitting projects and creations. I “learn” one or two Japanese words or phrases from my enthusiastic teacher which I forget not long after hitting the red phone button at the bottom of the screen. My thoughts linger on the conversations about God and his love and our beliefs and our discussions about our incredibly different, but similarly passionate, futures. This young Ted Mosby and I connected so quickly over our similar love for language and passion for creativity, though it took a several months to actually begin our friendship. A friendship that with hopefully last for years, if not a lifetime.
Prompt: Write about the most interesting person/people you met this year.
(I technically met Erik last fall, but we didn’t begin conversing or become friends until this spring.)