Tuesday, April 05, 2005

(a Hiroki, but not my Hiroki)

Years ago, I had a little boy in my class by the name of Hiroki Tanaka.
I loved that little boy.
He was odd in a very lovable way.
Often he would come out with pearls of wisdom out of left field.
Like he was some old guy squished into a childs' body.
He had the way of speaking of a child who speaks another language at home..a very slight Japanese accent, and a way of phrasing his sentences so that you knew that English was not his first language, even though he was born in Canada.
Hiroki wore his pants hiked high around his waist and he was always pulling them up, showing three or four inches of socks while he did it.
A little Spock haircut and ready smile.

I loved that little kid.

Hiroki was a bit of a practical joker and I’ll always remember the times that he would hide only to jump out and scare me, and then he'd giggle and giggle.
He was successful (more than once) of scaring the shit out of me as he jumped out from behind a bookcase, or from under a table, or from his cubbie.

He was my Kato, I was his Inspector Clouseau.

One time I did him the same by hiding behind a door and then jumping out as he was coming in.
I surprised him.
Did he cry?
He said,( in that cute little accent of his) “Mrs. M., you scared me….ALMOST TO DEATH!!!”
And promptly fell into a fit of giggles.
In the one panoramic photo the school took, he searched the crowd to find me and when he did, he hugged me with force and love.
The photographer snapped the photo at that moment.
I have that photo somewhere….

I think about Hiroki every so often.
He must be about 16 now.
Please still be extraordinary wherever you are.