I think he works at the bar down the street. A young man, perhaps mid-twenties, though his tattoos suggest the weight of history. The sharp edges and work boots are offset, however, by his clean, bright smile. The boyish look that never faded, deep brown eyes against olive skin, framed by stringy shoulder length black hair, the kind that blows in the wind on the cover of a romance novel.

“How was work?” I asked.
“Work was awesome!” 
I wasn’t expecting such an exclamation, especially at this God-forsaken hour at the bottom of Rainier Valley. “Wow, ” I said. “Nice!” I was about to add, I wish everybody said it like that, when his enthusiasm tumbled out again:
“It was so great! Got to work with my crush.”
“Oh yeah?”
“Yeah, she started there two weeks ago, and OH MAN! She’s so much fun!”
I couldn’t help grinning. “That’s such a great feeling! Makes the night fly by!”
“Oh yeah!”
“You know it’s funny,” I confessed. “I got a similar thing goin’ on right now, where I just met somebody, an’ I dunno if it’ll turn into anything, but man, it feels good!”
“Totally, that glow!”
Usually I’m the one who uses that word. It’s nice to hear it coming from him. I said, “yeah, that amazing buzz of good feeling you get. I could ride that buzz for a whole day.”
“Me too!”
“And even if it doesn’t turn into anything, that’s not even…”
“Yeah yeah,”
“It’s still just that great good wave of good energy. Brings out the best in us.”
“For sure.”

I don’t want to situate this in time, or reveal whether it happened last night or five years ago. Let it represent every moment that perfect glow has taken hold, regardless of what joy or heartache came after; for the feeling was still true and good, in the early days before we knew the end of the story. It is still worth celebrating. That fluttering, the sensation of walking on air, the gentle surprise, in spite of all that came before, that you can still feel. Do you remember it? Don’t you love how it felt?

We hope you loved this article. If so, please consider subscribing or donating. The Urbanist is a non-profit that depends on donations from readers like you.

Nathan Vass is an artist, filmmaker, photographer, and author by day, and a Metro bus driver by night, where his community-building work has been showcased on TED, NPR, The Seattle Times, KING 5 and landed him a spot on Seattle Magazine’s 2018 list of the 35 Most Influential People in Seattle. He has shown in over forty photography shows is also the director of nine films, six of which have shown at festivals, and one of which premiered at Henry Art Gallery. His book, The Lines That Make Us, is a Seattle bestseller and 2019 WA State Book Awards finalist.