I was a little more than 16 when I first saw him. Actually first I saw his pile of books, neatly arranged and clearly ordered volumes on Freud. These books added a certain context to my obviously disorganized and toppling stacks on anything and everything to do with Jung. I was doing a report on dream symbolism or archetypes or something like that and I was using a skill closer to dead reckoning than actual research to amass and arrange my bibliography. This is a skill that over subsequent years I have honed: the ability to use intuition to gather an almost haphazard variety of reference materials that somehow always manage to give a sense of "breadth" to my research instead of disorganized desperation. I am not sure why it works but it works and there is always a certain organic feeling about it that makes me feel like I am riding some sort of academic jet stream. Skipping stones through rivers of knowledge. Anything but systematic.
Looking at his stack it was quite certain he was doing his due dilligence. There were notes and outlines and even a sort of improvised personal card catalogue. I didn't know who this guy was, but there were...methods to his methods, and I had chosen to share that table partially in a mocking gesture to exhibit the glory of my madness. I didn't know who this guy was, but he was clearly a geek.
He returned while I was on another pilgrammage through the psychiatry section. When I walked up his head was down and his brow was furrowed as he tried to find a book that I had swiped from his pile to use in my own research. After all, Jung was a deciple of Freud and various passages from that book would make it look like I had gone beyond the call of duty. The book was sitting in plain sight on my side of the table and when he noticed it he got up, shook his head in annoyance and went to grab the book. Then he seemed to think better of it and paused, clearly examing the propriety of the situation, perhaps questioning, when he saw my books, whether it was an accident that I had grabbed his book (a possibility completely unlikely as it had been half way down a pile of books right next to his chair) or whether, maybe he had been mistaken in the assumption that he actually had ever really grabbed that book in the first place. I could see other questions passing in his head. Maybe he was wondering if two wrongs made a right. If it was really okay for him to grab that book back even though I had evidently stolen it.
I describe these impression in hindsight realizing I am completely and utterly misrepresenting my first impression of this man. Of this boy. Pride keeps me from describing my impressions in their actual order. Because my first impression was that he was one of the best looking people I had ever seen. My first thought was that he was hot. Not not hot, beautiful. My first thought was that he was an asshole because he was so goodlooking. And my next thought was that I would need to move, because I would not be able to get any work done and I would spend hours catching glances at a man who would never give me a second look. That any instinct I had been using would fly straight out the window only to be replaced by lust and awe. My first impression was panic.
But in order to move my books I was going to need to go back to that table.
He was involved enough in the moral quandary of it all that he had not noticed me approaching.
He was standing over my pile of books and kind of grinning at their conteent by the time I got to them. He was tall. Not kind of tall. Very very large. I am short so most men are contextually tall compared to me, but he was towering. I would later learn he was a hair above 6ft6. And he was proportioned. A little lanky, but not that awkward composition most men when they are that tall have that makes it clear how huge they are from a distance. You know, most tall men are either kind of hefty or quite skinny. Longish, coltish. Strangely sized hands and feet for their height. This guy was like a perfectly proportioned average sized man. But not.
I was completely slain.
I apologized and told him he could take the book and made up some lame excuse about borrowing it quickly because I had been looking for that book and noticed he had it and he flashed me a large smile which completely threw me off because guys that hot don't usually smile like that. He looked at me very closely and that also thew me off.
Understand, as extraordinary as this man standing before me was, I was ordinary. And I knew this without a hint of doubt. Short, but not exactly petite. Buxom, but at that age still uncomfortable with that fact. Dark, but not exotic. Your basic slightly weird fuzzy haired highschool outcast. Completly clear on the lines highschool had drawn for me. Which included the undeniable fact that guys who looked like that would only give me a second glance in my most far fetched fantasies.
But here this guy was looking at me pretty closely and I couldn't read his reaction and he had blue eyes so dark the iris almost blended with his pupils. And he had a tiny blue streak in his black hair to match them and I was going to die.
I sat down and buried my head in my now useless stack of books and he went and did the same.