"Soft" is the word that comes to mind when I think of Michael.
Maybe it's the hair.
I met Michael salsa dancing, then later stumbled upon him at Starbucks on campus. He holds the unique perspective of knowing me as a social dancer first, then as a student. Perhaps unaware, he knew the softest place of my heart, before learning the tougher aspects of my being. His dancing lead is soft, his eyes look softly, his hair is soft to touch. It is so rare to find.
Michael is fascinated with the human brain. Its plasticity amazes him: how the brain can grow and branch out beyond itself. When he talks about his studies, it's less about hard-fact science, but leaves an impression of awe and wonder. He likes billowy cursive writing from an inky pen; words weigh with meaning in his mind.
He's a Guatamalteco, but he doesn't claim much attachment to his ethnic roots. Micahel is aware that many people are tied to their heritage emotionally, but to him, "It never really helped me."
Rather, he enjoys spending time alone. Although not actively involved in any social groups, he cherishes the time he spends with individuals. Michael's picky for the right reasons: he values his time and energy.
"I come, but then I leave."
His commute from Seal Beach to UCI is a bit of a hassle, but it's worth it. One can find him in the Ayala Science Library, backpack at his side. When he's not studying, he's working as a kids' soccer coach.
Michael likes having long hair because he can do different things with it--it can be tied up, let down, or hidden under a knit beanie. It doesn't threaten his masculinity. What matters is underneath, anyways. If the brains come first, beauty comes naturally after.