Thursday, August 23, 2007

I Love Tall Men

My brother was 6'8". That's really tall. Taller than just tall. The sort of tall that made people stop him in the street just to quantify it. I was used to it, though. Like many friends and family of the tall, I just rolled my eyes with proprietary nonchalance. "Yup, he's tall alright. 6'8". Been that way for years."

Now, though, height seems precious, almost magical. My father's old friend Brian was at the memorial on Sunday. He's 7', and I couldn't get enough. I hugged him three times, touched his shoulder and chest, adjusted his tie. "God, it's nice to have a tall person here," I told him. Later, I learned that people came up to him all day saying the same thing, and then apologized for how ridiculous that sounded.

What is it about tall men? Why, now that we've lost ours, do we envy others' so much? It's something beyond their actual height, beyond the help they provide with vents and ligthbulbs and corner cobwebs. It's something in the line of their necks and their grace. It's the way they enter doorways and unfold out of chairs, their lanky giraffe walk and how they don't seem to distinguish between people who are 4'11" and 5'11". It's how they smile easily down at you, so used to having to reassure people, to convince them of their own harmlessness.

I walk the streets now looking for heads above the crowd. I want to stop every tall man I see, run my hands over his muscles like a horse's, make him hold me for a moment. I want to thank him for surviving so long.

1 comment:

didi979 said...

Mir - I've been doing the same thing. Especially if their young. I look at them and think . . .God, Ky was like that . . . and I want to talk with them . . . and then I realize that might seem odd, and then I remember that Ky's gone; not quit real and yet so real; he's gone.

I love reading your posts - keep blogging
Aunt Di