turn and face the strange....
I found Martin on a forum I visit from time to time. He mocked me for being less than 12 feet tall. Naturally, I'd invite him to stay with me when he came to perform at the Maryland Fair.
He's spent most of his adult life doing ONE THING, and doing it amazingly well.
But that's not what I found interesting. It was his writing that was the hook.
He's got that nasty sarcastic exterior which is a red flag for me, indicating a Sensitive Person beneath.
Perhaps the degree of sarcasm is directly proportional to the sensitivity thereby concealed. Because Martin, master of acerbic, is so tender as to approach rawness.
Small wonder, then, that I would adore him unrestrainedly. Unashamedly. Despite weird looks I get from people, despite the sneer in the voice of a loved one when he refers to "the stiltwalker." And there's nothing between us, romantically, sexually, whatever. There are bonds that are forged without sexual contact, stronger because of their platonic nature.
I was reading this red flag by age 18, systematically looking for cracks in the nasty shell to find the sweet that lay underneath.
I did this so effectively with a boy I met in Georgia, and we forged a bond so strong that when we met again a few years later, both our spouses (or significant others, which they were then) were sure we'd slept together.
Hawk therefore forgave me for something I hadn't done, which was at once petty and generous.
I've lost touch with this boy, which may have been deliberate on his part, as he married his suspicious girlfriend.
I lost touch also with the boy who introduced me to this concept, when we were both fourteen years old. He didn't know he'd done it, of course, but it's affected my life dramatically.
And now I've found him again.
How amazing to think that lost friendships can be found, and reclaimed.