Heroes come in all shapes and sizes. Pity the hollow man or woman who has no hero; that’s a helpless state of being. We can all point to the craven men and women who were once something special. They are easy to find on the nightly news. The mighty, the popular, the beautiful, the rich and famous… and shallow. When adversity sands their veneer off, you have only swollen pressed board sawdust and glue staring back at you. It’s smarter to select your hero from a large body of solid work not just one rocket flare hit song.
So I am getting to my point. I have a new hero in my life. Two years ago I did not know he existed. My lovely bride and I danced with his parents in our ballroom dance class and club. We got on well and spent time together after class and in between the club dances. We did not know they had a single son, a very single son. Somehow the two moms conspired to each show her child to the other. Ours was 26 year old Jessica, my iris apple youngest daughter whom I have written about in earlier posts. Theirs was 30 year old Zach, the tender hearted techie punflower.
They met at Zach’s parents’ Halloween party. As fate or parental contrivance would have it, Jess needed a little help with her microphone and amp. Lo and behold, Zach stopped cooking the tenderloin and stepped up to the technology gauntlet, reeking of competence. “Boom, boom, boom”, as Van Morrison sang, “and when you walk across the room, you make my heart go boom, boom, boom.” I love that line. She sounded so lovely and fun on that special night, and I believe Zach was smitten like a little kitten.
The amore match was struck slowly along the gritty striker plate of mundanity. PSSSsshhhhh. All that was needed was a bit of dry kindling, some paper opportunities, a twig of conversation, wood chips on fluttering eyelashes, and some sappy squaw wood dates. And that’s what came along slowly but methodically. Focused attention like sunlight through a magnifying glass… and a fire was born. One night at the Army Barracks dinner/auction/dance in Carlisle, Zach’s folks could not make it but did not want their tickets to go to waste. Shazzam, Zach rolled in dramatically at the last moment and sat with Jess. And danced with Jess. And drove Jess home below the winter star field. The deal was sealed with epoxy.Well, from that point on inseparable is not too strong a word to describe their bond. I dubbed them the cuddlefish as they cuddled nightly on our sectional couch. Zach showed up for dinner, and soon we did not remember a time that he was not eating with us. Which proves the validity of the signs at Sea World when they tell you not to feed the cuddlefish.
This alone is enough for hero status in my book of heroes. He was/is the man God sent to care for my precious daughter, who had been tryingly lonely for three long years. Zach gets her. Enjoys her. Adores her. But wait! There’s more. It was Zach who saved me from computer death last week. He saved and transferred my files from the old demolished computer onto a sleek new one he purchased on my behalf. He cued up Microsoft Office as well, and hand delivered the laptop to me in my dining room.
Now I did offer incentives via texts. I offered him my daughter’s hand in marriage again plus a llama if he could save my old files. If he could not, no llama. He did salvage 97% of the files, but since you cannot exactly give someone 97% of a llama, lamentably, I had to renege on the llama offer. I’m not gonna give a good man a three legged llama or a llama that needs dental work. Nope, not even a surrealist Dali Llama painting without a frame. That is not who I am. C’mon, I know you heard that coming. Unspeakable puns are fair game in Burritoland.
So Zach is an avid Burritospecial reader. I cannot in good conscience hold that against him. Recently he did a megasearch for all my blogs that mentioned Jess like a devoted basset hound. He read them all. See what I mean? You have to love him even if you don’t want to. In a similar way that I assess how others react to Jess, I feel if someone does not like Zach, I’m immediately suspicious of their hollowness. When sterling beauty and profound integrity are right in front of you, why would you go for rhinestones and spray painted silver bling? Uh, because you, sir, are hollow.So there we have it. Patient, nearly geriatric love that is joining in holy matrimony this fall. Somewhere in my associative neural pathways I am reminded of the story of a landed English gentleman who lost his only child in World War I. He grieved deeply and then began collecting Old Masters oil paintings from all over the world. He had quite a renowned collection by the time of his death. He left instructions in his will that all the collection should be auctioned off. Quite a lot of buzz surrounded the auction. Collectors from Japan and Australia, Canada and Russia, Belgium and France all came to bid on the precious pieces.
There was one strange command at the start of the auction. A portrait of the dead man’s dead son was to be auctioned first. The portrait was done un-remarkably by an unremarkable local English artist, far below the greatness of the remaining masters. Yet that was the old man’s will. No one bid at first. At the point of awkward embarrassment the old man’s personal assistant bid a few pounds without competition and gathered in the painting. He had known and loved the son and the old man in his years of faithful service. He had a place in his heart for both of them. The rest of the crowd were glad to be done with the unremarkable portrait and anxious to get on with the high value items. That’s when the auctioneer read a second statement to the crowd. “Whoever bought the portrait of my beloved son gets the rest of the collection. Period. The auction is over.”
Yeah, it’s like that. Zach wants my beloved daughter for all the right reasons. Whatever treasure I possess goes along with her, except for the llama, as detailed in paragraph seven.