Several years ago I used to go to the Folger Shakespeare Library in Capitol Hill at every opportunity. I was gung ho about research and learning and I enjoyed being surrounded by some of the most brilliant people in the business. I was in nerd heaven.
But to be completely honest, there was another reason why I liked to go to the library.
A very special, friendly, tall, cute reason--who stood gaurding the Supreme Court building.
Sure, there were other ways to walk to the library, and going past the Supreme Court was a little out of the way, but every extra minute in the cold was worth it.
The first time I saw him, it was really cold. I was wrapped up in new black coat, and I looked like every other person working on the Hill. I had a great red wool wrap and a red hat to match. That made me seem less legislative (at least in my mind).
I was still in awe that I worked so close to a place where so many life altering decisions got made. I made a special trip around the building and stood and stared at the edifice. And then I turned to make my way to the library and I saw him looking at me while I looked at the building. He looked at me with a puzzled expression. He must have thought I was some kind of court worshiper. I wasn't really.
Then every time I walked past the building I saw him. Later that day, the next week, the week after that.
I managed to squeak out a hello one time. I wasn't sure if it was appropriate to speak to someone as he was on the job so I mostly smiled.
One day, I was headed to the library to do research with my friend E (who, consequently is about to get her first book published! WOOO!), and I dragged her around the building just in case he was there.
"You see, E, he's like super cute and I don't know if he's working today, but I like to walk this way..." I was not speaking in the sotto voce that one should in these circumstances.
And there he was. Smiling.
And what did I do? Smile and say nothing. E said quite candidly, "He's super cute. Go back there and say something. "
Did I? No.
And then the next week? He was gone. :(
So, wherever you are, Mr. Supreme Court Police Officer, I thought you were adorable and interesting even though we never actually had a conversation.
Happy Valentine's Day to you, and to all of you!