Here is the girl I fell for, as she looked just a few seasons from when I first met her.
Still using the Brownie box camera her grandmother gave her, I captured this image of Francine leaning against the rail at the bear den at the Columbus Zoo. We must have been nineteen years old. The image is damaged, but her beauty still fills me with longing.
Her hair exuded a pheromone carefully crafted to attract only me. If I ever smelled it again I am sure my heart would stop beating to suspend the moment. I caught her romantically, she caught me chemically.
I had to fight off other less deserving suitors for this lovely creature. Young men who wanted her for the wrong reasons, I assumed. Unlike those bears who would have quickly resorted to their claws, I used diplomacy, fate and luck against them.
But claws were always an option.
At least one member of my family will blush at this entry.
Relevant song: And I Love Her by The Beatles.