23 May Kristin Deasy

Let me describe my sister to you. The thing that immediately strikes one about Kaitlin Deasy is the incalculable weight of her presence. This is a felt thing — the edges of the room curl up to greet her blazing smile, anticipating her sharp wit — a charisma she rarely makes conscious use of, which is why she is probably reading this and thinking, yeah, but doesn’t everyone’s presence change a room? To be sure, but there are many people in this world for whom existence is, sadly, a barely-grasped thing and are therefore only capable of sending the tiniest rivulets across the surface of a newly-encountered public space, rather than riding in on a rich wave of personhood, as she does. I can just see her sweeping into a cafe, to meet her friends, let’s say, carrying her tall, wild beauty with the confidence of a woman accustomed to upsetting America’s sick, nymphet-like preference on the matter. Her Mediterranean coloring, which takes on Terra-cotta tones in the chilly, Northern California spring air, is adorned with a full head of glossy, walnut-colored hair. Used to working outside, she smells of frosty Old Man’s Beard and soggy hills riven with upstart grasses that briefly cast them in a sheen of neon green. She takes a seat, tucking layers of variously-textured clothing underneath her, and cracks a self-deprecating joke while meeting the eyes of each of her companions, inviting them into the careful, easy flow of her presence and conversation. It’s as if she instinctively knows to offset the magnificence of her being — which could (and does) intimidate some — with a certain studied casualness of demeanor. The table begins to take on her vivaciousness, to glow and expand in this new energy, causing other diners look over for a second, pulled by the contagious presence of a beautiful woman whom, at the tender age of 26, has learned how to live life so fully. Happy birthday, Kaitlin. Here’s to you.