When I was in college I visited a friend in Boston. I went to a party at his house. While there I went searching for the bathroom upstairs. The hall was very dark and dull, the window showed a dark sky with snow falling. A door was slightly cracked open with a bit of light peeking through. There was no one in the hall but I asked out loud where the bathroom was anyway.
The cracked door swung open bringing a bright light followed by an impossibly long sweep of jet black hair falling into the hall. A beautiful female face with a big smile was attached to the hair. She swung her head my way, pointed down the hall and said ‘thataway’.
Everything about that moment has stayed in my mind for three decades. But the center of that memory is the smile. That was the sword that stopped me in my tracks that night.
I made sure I met the person with the beautiful face, radiant smile and the long black hair. We became friends and still are to this day, though we often lose track of each other for years. She turned out to not be a big smiler, nor very much of a happy person at all. But the sword she wielded on that day still shines in my mind.
That is how it worked on me that day and, I suspect, on many others as well.
Drawing and commentary by Marty Coleman of The Napkin Dad Daily
Quote by John Ray, 1627-1705, English naturalist