The highest compliment I’ve been paid was something small, maybe something meaningless, but at the time, it meant everything to me. It was after a show, and we were all outside in the parking lot, drinking and talking. The boy I loved was across the lot from me, carrying on his own conversation, and I was immersed in my own. I looked over at him, and he had stopped talking, and was just staring at me with wide eyes. Such a look from someone who was rarely ever shocked. He made his way to me and leaned in, whispering, “The wind was blowing, and I could smell your shampoo all the way over there.” It blew me away that I could be so close to someone, that he recognized my scent, and that it stopped him in his tracks.
Nearly a year later, we were drunk on his bedroom floor, and he looked at me through eyes that I couldn’t read anymore, and he stated, “You are like a character out of a play.”
It took me until we had long forgotten the scent of each others hair to realize that the last thing he said was meant to be an insult.