"I dig your smile! Looks super warm and broad!"
How did he react?
He nodded, then smiled. I said, "Right there! Yeah, that one!". He answered "Alright, okay... You have a great smile, too! In fact everything about you is great!"
How did I feel?
The grocery store. After three hours of sleep, 8 cups of coffee, 12 hours of awake time and 100 tons of freshly swallowed Spanish grammar that is not my place of choice. But an empty fridge needs stocking so I quickly stopped by the supermarket after school-- and ran straight into Dino's smile. Our eyes met, I wearily lifted the corners of my mouth and SWOOOOSH!, he gave me a triple smile back. The sun shone from his face. At the same time there was serenity and calm. Looking at him my grin grew. I took a breath- and suddenly those 1000 tons of grammar dissolved, my shaking from the coffee turned into a subtle dance and the three hours of sleep were forgotten, at least for a few minutes.
When I approached Dino he seemed a bit unsure what to think of me and my project, and that compliment. Then he cautiously smiled again and I told him, "Yeah, that's what I am talking about."
We chatted for a while. I learned that today was a special day for him: The first one at his new job! Dino works as the store's security guard. Later on I saw him here and there while gathering my goods and I could tell: He took his job very seriously. I admired his ability to walk through the store for 8 hours (that's how long he'd been there when I talked to him) and still seem very focused and wholehearted. I congratulated him on his start and asked if I could take a picture. He said, yeah, and posed. I like the picture a lot, even though he is not showing the full on version of his smile, for I can see the open and yet quiet person I met. Thank you, Dino, for that moment which made a big difference in a long day. All the best for your job! See you next time.