my thoughts shifted to 1978 and a souped-up baby blue nova. to the guy with arms the circumference of watermelons (maybe this explains the temptation of dan uggla), with demonstrative movements that roared "i'm the man"', azure eyes as intense as the grand canyon, and a compact body that rendered me powerless and weak in the knees. then, there was that smile, a sly, edgy slope of the lips that was rare, but spoke volumes of intent. i made excuses to be in the same room as he, and i found myself carrying a crush that would endure for years. he became an inferno not easily doused by water or common sense. long before i knew what a 'bad boy' was, i had my very own.
while my fire continued to blaze, he remained comfortable in the field. the choice of every warm-blooded young teenage girl who registered a pulse. in the end it became clear, there was no prescription to tame a guy like that. what was i thinking? however, there were a few moments when his resolve withered and good old-fashioned desire won out. it was nice. in fact, it was too nice. on one cold november night, he even seemed normal, just like the high school quarterback, offering a christmas gift of overly expensive earrings, opening the car door, and then, altering his sly smile to one of genuineness. then, on that same night, the bad boy met a bad girl, and i was history.
fast forward almost thirty-five years. there was an accident, a fiery crash on atlanta's perimeter, and it was his moment. there are lots of descriptors for bad boys; most follow the usual stereotype. and for right or wrong reasons, most labels include running into catastrophe, attempting to save the day, which is what he did on this day when he saved a man from a burning vehicle. he was labeled a hero by the man and a community. and in true bad-boy fashion, he abated his response, giving credit to instinct. to god. to his parents.
my knees buckled when i saw my bad boy, just as they had years ago. i hadn't thought of him in years, but i had always wondered what became of his cherished nova and about the girl that finally crippled his heart. from the on-camera interviews, i could see his sly smile had been replaced by one of compassion. from the neck up, he looked much the same. as for the rest of him, my imagination will have to kick in.
congrats to my bad boy. now, the world knows exactly what i know.