I didn't fall in love with her until the second time I saw her. I had been jealous of her before, irrationally angry at her being. She was what took my husband from me on occasion, and I had resented her for that. I tried to resist her on our second meeting as well, but could not.
She was too beautiful, too elegant, and too dignified. Her features that had not made impressions upon me when we first met because of my stubborness, now made them tenfold. Her grace and bearing put all around her to shame. She was incredible. How could I have ignored that before, even through the filter of my foolishness?
We watched her leave that day, watched the strong tugs pull her from her berth and into her realm, open water. To watch such a sleek mammoth move so effortlessly was humbling. As the tugs released their lines and set her free, her soul-deep horns shook the city around her... she would not leave unnoticed, not even by stoic New Yorkers. She was the Queen, by god, and she would be given her due respect.
As that grand lady slipped out of New York's harbor, I watched, and was awed by her. By everything about her, her size, her beauty, her grace, but mostly by something not given well to explanation with mere words. She was a piece of the past, an era passing quickly of elegance and opulence. And she assumed the role of caretaker of that elegance with such perfection. There were none like her anymore. I was moved by her...
and I was in love.
Pictures from that day at Pier 90, New York City... 1997 (all
photos © Nancy Smith)