I saw the most beautiful man this morning.
I had just dropped the kids at daycare. As I walked out and got in my van, my mind turned toward work and toward the day. I backed out of the parking spot and pulled into the street. As I did so, something caught in the corner of my eye.
Across the street from daycare is a lush park with a large pond with ducks and geese, pine and cottonwood trees and playground equipment circled with wood chips, and a runners’ path winding along the outside. There’s a community garden that this time of the year has tomato trellises winding up and over the wooden supports and flowers adding spots of color. The park takes up a couple of blocks worth of space and also has a baseball diamond and a skateboard park on the other end.
I glanced over and there was a man running fast. He was a young man in maybe his twenties. He wore dark navy long athlete’s shorts and running shoes with shortie socks but no shirt. His body was long and lean with sharply defined calves and broad muscled shoulders, a runner’s body. But what I remember most was the way his shoulders were flushed with effort and how his chest was thrust forward at the center, how his whole body seemed to be pushing toward that point, so much painful effort. He was running into the slant morning sun and so he body was surrounded by golden light, he was running into the light.
His beauty was not only because he was young with an athletic body but more so because of his yearning effort. As writers, we know that the way we get readers on board is to have our protagonist want something and try to get it, and this young man was putting his all into it.
And I was with him.