My Favorite Smile, Ever Received

I can still see it in my mind’s eye today, almost a year later, and in spite of this being a person whom I have never, and will never, meet.

I shall start with considering the question – which is intriguing to me, as well – “why is this one my “favorite”? For numerous reasons, but there is one of these reasons which is, I believe – as is so often the case amongst multi-reasonary phenomena – the keystone. The keystone which holds the image together in my mind; just as the actual object from which the metaphor is derived holds together a stone-arch bridge, over a rocky-bedded stream.
Setting: a narrow, dilapidated paved road in the woods, in the mountains, in California. Northern California, to be specific. A world-renown, “touristy” spot; Lake Tahoe, to be specific. It involved two cars, and the people inside of them: I, driving, with my mom in the passenger seat. Driving her new (used, for honesty’s sake) car, a black Toyota Rav 4. The make of the car doesn’t, I believe, play a factor (why I even feel it necessary to point this out you will see). It is a nice-looking car – not luxury, or upper-class, but nice. (I am focusing way too much on our car, here; I never intended on even considering it at all before. So that is interesting. I only began to describe our car when I was about to describe their car. Go figure; I won’t bore you anymore with my labored “figuring”). Their car! OK. Their car was a key aspect of the story, yes. It was a white, somewhat beat-up (but not thrashed), somewhat old, very plain – but still respectable, if that is even a question; which it was not in the moment, to me – except maybe unconsciously – mini van. Probably a Dodge? I do not know. Maybe a Toyota, but I doubt it, considering the history of these people’s relations with Japan. And I say “these people” not knowing for sure – how could I?? – that they were … Chinese. But I would be willing to bet $100 that they were; and I am not a rich man.
… well, I will have to save this for later. I look forward to continuing it – to getting to the beautiful moment – but I am honestly just wanting to “chill” a bit at the moment. And I don’t want to not do justice to this theme! It is so important – to me, and, I believe, to all of us – us people. On this rock.
I am going to post this rough draft (and unintended teaser) now, and come back to it later.


Hello, readers. (One day I hope I will actually have some!) I have re-visited this memory again today. I wrote what was a free-write form of brainstorm, which does have, I believe, some worthwhile aspects of it – some glittering moments, I hope. I am going to be lazy, and just copy and paste it here. Part of the re-telling of the scene is redundant, but slightly different. I plan on coming back to it later, as I am a bit preoccupied with other obligations right now in my life. Here is this morning’s free write of, again, a very resplendent moment to me. I am most happy to share it with you, reader.  …

3-14-18 writing, of a scene from about a year ago.
I can see her still, sitting in the back seat of the van, arms beside her – pressed up against her – sitting upright and still, very proper and plain, dressed in a white shirt, I believe: white as the family mini van. The van was very humble. It was not a beat up, trashy thing, by any means; but it was very modest and humble. Yet that just added to the respectability of it; it gave the impression of … lost that strain/didn’t get it. moving on …
The fact that she was a teenager is important. She was attractive, and it could even be said that she was sexy, however, she was clearly very innocent. And that made the smile *true.* There was no competition in it, which, I believe women – feminists – have these days. Perhaps because everyone is selfish, and they don’t believe in love, they don’t want to risk themselves – their hearts, their pride. And so people are aggressive about their sexuality. I have never really even looked at it through such a lens as this – that I am doing now – however. And I don’t want to; I don’t like it. I would like to just get back to the way I was then. Because it’s difficult to analyze what it was that made this smile “my favorite ever received” in this current frame of mind, that is colored by the sick hues and shades that pervade everyone else’s minds these days. It really is a sickness. It would *not* be such a sickness if there was nothing to lose. And I believe that is part of people’s ruse on themselves, these days: they need to not know about what it is they are losing: they need to not know the stakes. So I will just say that it was the pure goodness of the moment which made the smile so lovely. It began with an act of pure courtesy on my part. (Not to brag, but may everyone brag of their courteous acts to others! Now *that* is the kind of competitive society I want to live in). We were driving along dirt road in a region famous (around the world, really) for its scenic beauty. On the right was a long, meandering meadow in the sun, run through with splayed out fingers of trickling streams, for there had just been a span of rainy weather. Today, however, it was sunny. The dirt road was pretty narrow. There was enough room for two cars to pass one another, but at many points, just barely. There were also many very deep pot holes in the road, so wide and deep that they were dangerous to any car that wasn’t an enormous truck, practically built for the off-road. However, that was not the crowd that wandered down this scenic road for mild pleasure and adventure in the outdoors. At any rate, I was driving along when I noticed a mini van approaching. It was a point of the road which was rather narrow, and what’s more, on their side of the road was one of those vast and troublesome pot holes. On my side of the road, not only was it smooth and free of pot holes, but, to the right, there was a free space (not quite a parking space, but almost that large). It was out of the way, I remember, though I forget just *how* out of the way. But the act of courtesy was there to be taken, so easily. I suppose they always present themselves this way. I had the option of traveling along as normal – no one would have thought anything “wrong” with *my* actions: I was merely holding to the course, to the flow of life, as if the road were a river, and I a helpless clinger-on to a log floating down the current. However that is not the case: we *do* have the capability to make choices of courtesy, yes? I chose to make the life of the other easier. So that he would not have to drive his van through the pot hole (which was covered over in a puddle, by the way, making it all the more treacherous, because you don’t know how deep it is: it could be a few inches, or it could be a foot deep. Certainly, a vehicle not a truck could have become stuck in it). I pulled off the road to let the other pass. That is the common phrase. I honestly don’t remember if the man driving the van waved in thanks, but the girl in the backseat, right behind the driver (her father, no doubt) smiled so brightly! I have never known a smile that could be so plain and subdued, yet also shine so bright. You see, it was the purely good and courteous, compassionate *nature* of the entire moment that made it so beautiful. And yes, a major part of the entire scene was that they were a Chinese family. Perhaps there is a bit of “animosity,” one might say, between China and America in this current era – but certainly don’t harbor it. I have met several Chinese people, and they have all been lovely. (I was actually rather in love with a Chinese woman recently). They are a fascinating and respectable civilization, to say the least, and I hope America and they always get along in the most amicable of respectfulness. (None of this is nearly as bureaucratic as I am sure it sounds – believe me, O reader!)

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