Anthrocide is the official website for D.L. Hamilton, author of several Christian novels and essays.

Archive for July, 2020


How did Pam and I meet? Well, it was in a sociology lecture hall. I remember when I first saw her. She was sitting on the aisle as I looked for a seat, and when I spotted her, my very first thought was, Man-o-man, what a knockout! It took me two class sessions before I was able to time it well enough to get the seat next to her. I’ve never been very good at making small talk, so I only managed to say, “Hi,” as I sat down and that was it. She just smiled politely, but that beautiful smile was enough to send me into orbit. She had a light sweater that she hung on the back of her seat just as the lecture started. When it ended, some girl from a couple of rows down came over to talk to her and mentioned her name, Pamela. I pretended to be tying my shoe while trying to think of a way to meet her, but they began walking down the steps to head outside. I saw her sweater still hanging on the back of the seat, so I grabbed it. I caught up with her just outside the door as her friend was saying goodbye.

“Excuse me,” I called, while holding out the sweater toward her. “I think this is yours. You left it on the chair in there.”

“Oh, yes; thank you,” she said.

I handed it to her. “Pamela, isn’t it?” I said. “At least, I thought that’s what I heard your friend call you.”

She seemed a bit nervous, too, as she said, “Yes. Correct. Pamela; well, Pam.”

“I’m Ryan; Ryan Williams,” I said. I hoped I wasn’t coming across as creepy, but apparently, I did okay.

She flashed that beautiful smile and said, “Nice to meet you, Ryan.”

Most of my life I had been pretty much a flop when it came to meeting girls, but I managed to step out of my comfort zone for once and said, “Would you like to maybe have coffee with me over at the campus center?”

She hesitated a bit and then shrugged and said, “Sure.”

She found us a table and I bought two small coffees. After I sat down, she took a sip and, well, never one to hide her feelings, her face showed exactly what she was thinking.

I said, “You… don’t really like coffee much, do you?”

She shook her head and told me she’d never even tried it before. I went and got the cream pitcher and four sugar packets. She used all the sugar and enough cream until the liquid was a light beige in color.

“Mmm, now that’s not bad,” she said.

I smirked at her and said, “Not if you like coffee candy.” It was at that exact moment that it hit me. I mean, just like a cannonball. If she’s sitting here having coffee with me, I thought, that means, inexplicably, this gorgeous woman is not already in a relationship with someone. I might actually have a chance with her!

And so I did. For the remainder of our college days I hovered around her like a moth at a porchlight and I guess she couldn’t find a way to get rid of me. The day we both graduated, I took her out for dinner afterward and surprised her with an engagement ring. Well, it really wasn’t all that much of a surprise. And, of course, it wasn’t all that much of a ring, either. But she understood it was all I could afford and gushed over it like it was the Hope Diamond.

We were just starting out in our careers and her folks were not wealthy, so our wedding was a pretty low-budget affair. I remember how scared I was standing up in front of all those people. As you can tell, I’m a bundle of nerves in front of people. But somehow, I managed to squeak out my vows to her and our journey together began. Our honeymoon was basically just a camping trip. Our first apartment was tiny, and every single piece of furniture we had was a castoff from our parents.

Yes, we didn’t have much in those early years. Except, there was one thing we had in abundance. Love. Love that eventually carried us through raising three wonderful children.

I remember the first morning we were in that little apartment, she made coffee for me. Now, remember, she knew almost nothing about coffee. Anyway, she brought it to me, and it almost curled my hair.

“How is it?” she asked.

I blinked several times and said, “It’s a bit strong. How much coffee did you use?” She told me she had looked up how much to use for a pot. I pointed-out to her that she had only made half a pot, though. We laughed about it, but for the next 36 years, as she brought me coffee every morning, she would stand and wait till I took a sip.

“Is the coffee okay?” she’d ask.

“Perfect,” I’d say.

That’s the kind of person, the kind of woman, the kind of angel she was. And now, she is literally an angel. And I shall miss her with all my heart until that day when I go to be with her. In the meantime, I know my coffee will never again be perfect.

I want to thank you all for coming. I’m sure that, this very moment, she’s looking down upon us all with that beautiful smile. Pastor?

A Short Circuit 

No comments