I love a good surprise. Not of the “psycho rips through the shower curtain with a knife” variety. No, no, that’s not my style. My favorite surprises hinge on unanticipated happiness. Catching someone at just the right moment and seeing their face transformed with the excitement of experiencing something unexpected and utterly delightful. Yeah, I dig that. So I couldn’t resist taking advantage of a perfectly opportune moment to surprise the wonderful Ms. Mikelle Learned.
After being absent from Colorado for a while, I decided it was time I paid a visit to my friends and family living the high-altitude existence. Mikelle Learned just happens to be one such very good friend, and there was no way in hell I was going to tell her I was coming home. Surprising Mikelle, I have learned, is far too much fun to miss.
Nearing my upcoming mile-high drop-in, I pitched a line to our mutual friend, Adriana Carlson. Being the playfully mischievous wench that she is, it was indubitable she could be persuaded into aiding with the set-up. And, of course, she most certainly was.
So that’s how I found myself on a mid-August afternoon passing time with the dumpsters in an alleyway just shy of Dazbog coffee, awaiting the arrival of the Divine Ms. M, who was making her way that direction. Mikelle’s only expectation? To see Adriana and her cute little munchkin Leila.
And, when my cell phone buzzed with a cheery “she’s here!” I was ready. Maneuvering as stealthily as a somewhat sedated warthog, I bounded over to where Ms. M sat and caught her in one of my favorite Mikelle hugs, the behind-the-wheelchair embrace.
The expression on her face, of course, made everything worth it. Like watching a visual crescendo of happiness spread across her features. Everyone has those friends that could never grow old, no matter how much time has passed. Mikelle’s smile will never age, its youthful luster I know is immune to time, and it gives us a glimpse of something even more radiant that lies within her core, and will similarly never deteriorate. That was the smile she gave me, the kind the sunshine envies, and it couldn’t have been a better homecoming gift.
Once the mood calmed, Mikelle and I settled right back into that cozy friendship we’ve enjoyed for so long. It was a regular shindig by that point, with Katherine, Jose, Adriana and Leila, all sharing in that rejuvenating energy that comes from the meeting of compassionate hearts. And at the center of it all? No other than the Divine Ms. M. She does have a talent for bringing us together.
So, in other words, it was quite a successful surprise, a perfect kick-off for a fabulous reunion. Mikelle is unquestionably one hell of an outstanding individual, and it’s nice to know that after five solid years of friendship, I can still provoke one of those famous, extraordinary smiles of hers. What a fortunate woman I am, to come home to such a friend.