Thursday, February 11, 2010
The first few weeks went by much smoother than I thought they would. The selection process was a breeze. He likes football. I like football. He likes wrestling. I like wrestling. He has been having some trouble at school. Not so much me. He lives with a single parent. Not so much me either. I was nervous when he greeted me at his school. We exchanged glances and after that I think it was a mutual decision to continue on together. A nod would have been uncomfortably appropriate. He was jumpy. Couldn’t sit still through the chaperoned “first encounter”. He was angry too. He told me so. Its okay I said. That’s why we play football. That’s why we hang out. A tour now. I got to meet his favorite teachers. Two of them. Both calm and effortlessly patient. Both easy to talk to and eloquent and soft spoken and lovely. I understood why he loved them. They were motherly. He toured me around his school. I felt like a dad being welcomed into his son’s life for the first time. A dad who thinks the lamest things are cool like the home-ec room or the paintings on the wall or the English room with Twain quotes everywhere, all over the walls. I would have to suppress these feelings, I felt, if we were to become friends, the friend that we both needed. He loves to play video games. That’s going to change I said to myself. Not very productive if you ask me but I wouldn’t tell a friend that would I? For the first day I would oblige him. I showed him a team game I knew online. I didn’t let him win. I thought of it as a first lesson. He laughed though; He’s already different than my eternally competitive friends. We played until the clock hit three and he would have to walk me to the front office. I had to sign in and out with an unpleasant lady, the definition of a practiced smile. Like taking your senior pictures when you’re grumpy. That smile was lame. I told him to think of activities for the next week. I couldn’t think of anything cool to say. My armpits were sweaty. I think he saw them. He’s a good foot and a half shorter than me, of course he saw. With an exhausted conscience and a wet lower back we said bye. At least I didn’t call him Jobin or something. First impression in the funniest sense: A blind man-date that went very well. First impression realistically: Astoundingly heart wrenching and powerful. I’ll be back next week.