Sunday, March 12, 2006

An ode, of sorts

Today was really interesting. I went back to my highschool to share my senior project w/ the minority students' group and while there, I ran into some pretty interesting people.

I saw my 9th and 10th grade English teacher, Mr. Lamotte. Mr. Lamotte is a middle aged white man with thinning hair and spectacles. He has a love for birds, nature, photography and all things Poe. Our meeting today was strange. I am 10 yrs older, a woman now-- he, a man on the verge of the twilight years. We chatted about law school, my time in college, but the entire time his eyes danced around and about. I too, did not want to catch his gaze. What he knows and what I know is what very little know, that as a young girl he offered to comfort me. I remember sitting in his office while he closed the door to talk about my new life (I had just transferred to private school) the journals that I had written for class exposing my secret hurts, wants, my needs. I knew even then that what we had, what we shared, was not normal. I knew that if anyone saw, just for one moment, the familiarity, the ease in our voices, they would know too.

But it all ended one day in the hallway as I was standing outside preparing for a presentation. He came up to me, I was scared and nervous, he offered to comfort me once more. He put his arm around me, paused, and as I was talking to him he reached down and kissed me. I was stunned, overwhelmed-- I looked up to see him rushing down the hallway. From then on, things changed. No more conferences in his office with closed doors. He no longer inquired about my life, he went away. I would soon learn that he was going through a nasty divorce and me, being ripped out of all that I knew-- needed something, someone to care. So...today, I give an ode to him, in a way.

The 25 yr old me standing in his office today, with the door opened, proudly displaying the beautiful woman that I have become. And he smiled, yes he smiled, because he always saw her in me.

And though I will probably never get to tell him face to face, I shall tell him only in this way, thank you, dear man, for your mark.