For this post to make sense, you might need to read about how I spent my last Earth Day and met Melora Love.
Melora and I met for drinks last night, now that we have an official standing date to meet for drinks each and every Earth Day. I suggested we meet at a tiny, quiet bar in Midtown called the Hourglass Tavern. I heard her before I saw her. “There you are!” she exclaimed from behind a cluster of people. Her subtle Mississippi drawl had me smiling instantly. “Excuse me, excuse me, pardon me,” she boomed as she worked her way through the narrow space between the bar and the wall, making her way to my table.
She arrived in blur of energy and color, even more striking than I remembered. She wore a flawless black suit that complimented her long, swinging gait. A brilliant red shirt with thin yellow stripes spilled over the lapels of the suit, a perfect nod to her internal fire and uniqueness. Glints of silver jewelry winked from beneath her brown hair and collar. Bracelets clanged and rings clicked as she effusively told me she’d been looking for this restaurant for years. When I’d originally suggested the Hourglass, she had expressed excitement at trying a new place. As soon as she walked in however, she recognized the dining room having had the best chicken soup she’d ever consumed in that very spot.
No really, I’m not exaggerating.
The bartender came over to take our order, a stunning young black woman with bright eyes and high sleek ponytail wearing a dark tank top, showing off her well toned arms. As she turned to walk back to the bar, I noticed her tattoo. Elephants. On her bared arm. Linked as they marched in single file.
Seriously, I can’t make this shit up.
After several toasts, she patted the bracelet (by far her favorite I’m told) and said, “The blessings continue. I swear this thing brings me such luck.” I squinted slightly, momentarily blinded by her bright white smile.
“I can’t tell you how happy that makes me,” I drawled. Somehow her Mississippi twang brings out my Carolina accent.
“To me, it represents my new decade. I fee like God had to tear me down to a place where I could rebuild. You and the elephants were the beginning of things starting to change for me.” I had to look away from her earnest eyes for a moment and regain some composure. “…and to find that story,” she continued, “…however many months later, was such a wonderful surprise. I’d never googled myself before!” She paused to pat her bracelet again. “My friend Donna has a printed copy that she keeps at her desk. Whenever she feels blue, she pull it out and reads it again.”
“Seriously?” I asked incredulous. Melora nodded.
I can’t begin to tell you how my heart soared at those words. Someone printed out my words to re-read them over and over again?!? I made a complete stranger smile? That made me feel almost as heady as the bottle of wine we’d nearly finished.
A few rounds later, her friend Donna joined us. “I’ve heard so much about you,” she effused as she climbed onto her stool. Her dark eyes danced behind round, rosy cheeks. Everything about her was rosy really – warm, welcoming, soft, and beautiful. Her luminous cheekbones reflected the soft light of the room, like moonlight captured in a droplet of water resting on the curve of a petal. She positively bloomed when she smiled. Immediately I could see why Melora was enamored of Donna.
As it turns out, her last name literally translates to “1000 roses.” I know, even I am starting not to believe me but I SWEAR it’s all true.
“I love that story that you wrote,” she continued. I registered her mild Jersey accent as I blushed.
“I heard. Thank you. I love that the story happened.”
“I sent it to a friend of mine just today. He was really down. I knew it would help.”
Seriously. It’s like she opened my heart, fished around for the words that I could only dream of hearing, then spoke them aloud with all sincerity. Between the wine, the compliments, and the Disney-esque levels of mutual affection at that table, I had to hold onto my stool to keep myself from floating out the open window and up into the cool night air.
Inevitably, Melora left briefly to visit the restroom. Donna immediately leaned forward conspiratorially. “Whenever she gets down, I quote you to her. I simply tell her you’re ‘a fantastically tall and gorgeous woman’ with ‘perfect teeth.’ How bad can it be?” We both laughed and clinked glasses. “And she loves that bracelet. She wears it everywhere – even to garden. I’m always fussing at her to be careful with it, not to loose it. She says, ‘It’s magnetic. It won’t fall off. I won’t hurt it.’ and wears it anyway.”
Really that bracelet couldn’t be in a better place than with it’s twin, Melora – both of them long, sleek, magnetic, and strong.
Man, I love Earth Day.