I was taken by the beauty of your cadence. The sound of you on the stage, coupled with the pitter patter of my heart when I saw you for the first time. I know I heard you first, and your words wound their way deep inside me, as they do even today. I was so shy then, afraid of the cute older poet boy. I didn’t want to take you to the coffee shop, I was sure you would judge me, my car, my size, all of the things our city told me were awful about me. She made me bring you with us to the post open-mic coffee gathering at the best greasy spoon in town (or at least in a five mile radius of insomnia.) I didn’t want to, you were so much older and worldly, I was terrified of you, of your voice and your hair. I knew that day I would be lost to you. And I was, for a while. I still remember the first time I saw you on that stage, backed by white windows and Elm St, through a haze of cigarettes and people. You were amazing to me, and you still are. A wonderful best friend, a great encouragement to my writing. And it all started in a smokey room with a voice that pulled me out of conversation and led me to my closest friend.