Oh boy. Oh boy, oh boy. You know those reflex tests where the doctor taps your knee and you can’t help but kick? Or if you’re asleep and someone pinches your nose shut, you can’t help but open your mouth? Thinking about Henry Mills is kinda like that for me: no matter what, a smile just comes.
As Beyoncé Knowles once said (yes, seriously), “You are who you’re around. If I don’t want to be like you, then I don’t want to be around you.” The positive side of that aphorism: surround yourself with people who not only impress you, but also inspire you.
Henry and I met in the summer of 2006, volunteering in New Orleans with the Common Ground Collective. I still can’t believe my luck in running into him. Henry is the kind of person you want to be around. Especially in the following situations:
> walking in a quiet park or garden
> cartwheeling in the rain
> getting juggling lessons in your Uncle John’s basement
> reading children’s stories aloud in a giant used bookstore
> brewing ginger tea
> mourning a loss
> driving in a fantastic lightning storm
> gettin’ down at a great show
> making your own great show
Another great situation to share with Henry (and I hope he won’t mind my saying this) is a kissing situation.
Henry is the only man who has ever straight-up asked for a kiss from me. In a culture that often defines sexiness as “knowing what they want and giving it to ’em,” eroticizing consent is a radical act of love. Plus, it’s super hot.
Ok, enough public embarrassment. Henry’s extraordinary splendor, while grounded in interpersonal caring, extends to lots of brilliant organized activity in his DC-area community. He is an incredibly talented visual artist (stencil/tagging), poet, and musician. He rocks it out with his band, Lonely Are The Brave (LATB), and lays it down with his poetry group, TerPoets. He organizes on issues like immigration, men stopping rape, and the recent massacres in Gaza. He teaches poetry and English to middle-schoolers. Yeah, uh huh.
To friends in and around DC, take my advice: link up with this man! Join his actions, check out his shows, let me know if you want me to e-connect you. He is, in my mind (and in the minds of all my DC aunts and uncles, who once met him at a family dinner and now ask, every time I visit, what happened to my very nice friend, the poet), the epitome of “good people.” And here’s a tip: if you really want to win him over, bring him a watermelon in the summertime.
when i saw beyonce mentioned, i was sure the quote was going to be “if you like it then you shoulda put a ring on it.”
i didn’t actually click on this post until today.
well, i’m not in DC, but…
hell yeah, e-connect a brotha!
I’d kiss Henry :P
You’re such a wonderful blogger, you inspire me…
See you soon!
Haha — Stefan, I love you. Sorry I’ll miss you in the ‘bridge.
BK, today — I promise!
And jen, yes, it was a good guess. :->)