I stand by two assertions - first that the geographical happiness of a person is pre-determined by the landscape in which they grew up, and second that people are mostly attracted to and will end up with other people who share similar facial symmetry with them.
Before we go any further though, I just want to make sure you noticed the delicate little museum fence around the above tree, which is North Carolina's oldest live oak, 467 years old, which is old enough to remember the dawn of forestry on the continent, and to somehow have survived and grown up despite being in close proximity to a busy little port town. So we honor it, because we do that sort of thing, we honor the survivors of our own massacres. The stuffed dodo bird. The herd of Yellowstone buffalo. Old trees.
Back to assertions. You guys have already heard me talk about how everything is predatory in the South, and kinda gay, and pretty. I'd like to add delicate to that list of adjectives, no not delicate - detailed. Everything is very detailed. The conversation is very full of purpose and subtlety, the colors and lines of plants are full of niches and contrasts, the light makes everything stand out. The trees and flowers are like lace here. Sometimes yarn, but mostly silk.
I wonder sometimes how I even stood it, living in Phoenix and being away from every color and landscape that makes me happy. When you grow up near water, you just have to be near water. When you grow up in hills, you feel unsafe on flat land. Mountainous altitudes make you panicky and stressed, quicker and tighter. Lowlands make you slow and blissful, a little less observant.
I was worried, when I felt this last phase of the homesickness come on, that I would really revolt against how small this town is. But when I felt the trappings of downtown getting closer and closer, I went out to this park, and everything was amazing again. No matter what else is wrong about this place for me - the smallness, the same buildings and roads over and over, I know I got the landscape right. I got the school right too, but even that is secondary to being able to get out on sunny days and feel at home. Lots of water. Lots of blue and green. Remembering that I live on top of a river valley hill now, that leads out to the ocean past marshes and sounds. It makes missing Erie and the Cuyahoga better. River Valley Girl.
So when I think about who I would like to fall in love with next, here is a mostly complete list of things I am looking for:
1) is a Sea person. I can't just say Lake Person, because those of you who have never been near a Great Lake don't understand that it's basically a fresh water ocean all broken up into pieces, one for each state. An ocean person is probably okay too. Large Body of Water Person. It's not that I don't love Hill People or Mountain People or Desert People (okay, I may not love desert people), but you're going to want to die in a place similar to the place you grew up, and I'm not spending my golden years suffering in the hills instead of on the beach.
2) Really good eyebrows.
3) One of the best compliments I've gotten recently was when Jim told me I had a way of squinting my eyes that was endearing. I think Tyra would call this "smizing". I want a guy who smizes. Blue Eyes Smizing in the Rain. Also, they should get that reference.
4) Wants to recite poetry because he loves poetry. I will also accept random quotes from fiction. The Prince calling me at 2am to recite Whitman has spoiled me.
Someday someone will quote Roald Dahl to me at a bar and I will be lost forever.
5) Wants to go see stuff he hasn't seen before. Just because he hasn't seen it. Because think of all these things in the world you haven't seen, and how little time you have to see them all, and think of all the things that you see every day, all the time, over and over, that maybe aren't even that pretty or impressive, and then think of how seeing these trees in person was nothing at all like you looking at these pictures nothing even slightly the same, and explain to me how it is in every town I go to, people would rather sit at a bar drinking with me than go out to a park in the middle of the day and see these trees.
6) Thinks those turtles sunning themselves on that log is the sweetest thing ever, but also immediately makes him think about dinosaurs.
7) Thinks about dinosaurs a lot, and the evolution of mammals, and the way we're all connected in a prehistoric landslide of time, we're just being pushed along in the mudslide of rocks and skeletons into the vast unknown blackness of the future, and it's huge and incomprehensible how long and short and quick and vicious and loving and all consuming the universe is.
2,3, and 7 might be the most important ones. I mean, 7 basically leads to 5 and 6 anyway.