I admit. It has been a while. Years, even.
But I will never forget that first time.
My expectations? I didn’t have any. Nobody had ever told me about him. Not even in school, which is odd, school being Gossip Central for unexpurgated and unadulterated speculation on subjects like that.
Right from the start, however, he intrigued me. What a wealth of knowledge! How interesting! How funny! How witty, insightful, delightful. His way with words. His scrupulous fairness … always advising when a thought that made me drool with envy at its elegant symmetry had originated, not with him, but with some giant on whose shoulders yet another giant stood.
That first night, though. I couldn’t stop. And he? Well, he seemed to go on forever. His keen brain thrilling and urging me on to more ... always more.
“Never had I more excited, passionate, fantastical imagination, nor an ear and eye that more expected the impossible.” (William Butler Yeats)
His cool wisdom cautioned me.
“The better part of valor is discretion.” (Shakespeare)
His wit amused me.
“I believe a little incompatibility is the spice of life, particularly if he has income and she is pattable.” (Ogden Nash)
He was always able to firm up the gone-jelly substance of my spine.