I met Paul on my last day in Colorado when I was visiting my best friend Monica last summer.
I look at the rocks he found on the trail and gave to me to hold while he gave me a backrub, and then told me to keep them in memory of him. I look at the pictures of him, and wonder what he looks like when he shaves. I imagine dancing with him again.
I remember lying in his tent, as he gave me a back rub, and telling him that I loved Shakespeare. Paul turned to face me and started reciting the balcony monologue to me from Romeo and Juliet, from memory.
I remember sitting in the hot springs with Monica, just watching him, and then getting out of the hot pool.
I tripped, and Monica goes “I would’ve laughed so hard if you fell.” And Paul looks at us, smiles and says “I know CPR.”
I remember asking him why he became a manager of the hot springs if there was so much extra work. He looks at me and says “because I got a dollar an hour raise.” “Well, was it worth it?” “No.”
And giving Monica and me reflexology, telling me to relax, and I’m thinking ‘well, it’s a little hard to relax when a gorgeous guy is basically giving me a foot massage.’
I remember hiking up the trail and stepping in the creek and Paul freaked out a little and I asked “What, do you drink the water?” “No, but you got your shoe wet! And it’s so uncomfortable, and it’s never going to dry! Why are you wearing ballet flats, anyway?” “Well, it’s not like I knew in advance I’d be going on a hike with you, otherwise I’d probably be wearing jeans and actual shoes.”
“Oh, you live in a tent? I’d love to see it! I’ve never been to this part of Colorado before; would you be willing to show it to me?” I am awesome. This ranks far above “How do say ‘kiss me’ in Spanish?” and “Oh, you’ve never been in my dorm before? Well, now’s the perfect opportunity to check it out.”
Eating thimbleberries, talking about how much cooler rocks look when they’re wet, him telling me about the semi-wild cat he feeds.
Him singing the Beatles’ ‘Come together’ to me, Paul singing jazz music to me and dancing with me on the trail. Paul saying “Just show up at the hot springs. Pretend to drown in the deep end so I can jump in and save you and pretend to give you CPR but really just make out with you.”
Paul telling me “Can you just stay here forever? I’m going to miss you.”