You weren’t bad-looking, but the closet emotion that I couldn’t identify was liking you as a friend. You can’t expect an 11-year-old me to notice male humans. You were, what? 30? I knew you were around that age and I thought I was a pretty cool kid getting to hang with someone who, in my 11-year-old language, was an adult acting like a Big Kid, even if you were my parents’ friend. You stood out because I didn’t feel like a little dorky 11-year-old girl around you trying to study for the SAT by studying the GRE like my father made me do. You disclosed to me that life has a fun side, something I never knew existed.
You came over to our house so you could attend the Friday night meditation sessions. You always talked to me. I don’t know if you did it out of obligation or if you actually enjoyed talking to me, but you made me laugh and that put a smile on your face. We had this pole in the middle of the basement. You knew how to make your body perpendicular to it and I remember my jaw dropping when you showed us. I wanted to learn right away how to do that, and so became obsessed with the pole promptly after. I never did; the best I could do was climb the pole like a monkey and dance around it.
You taught me how to get into position for meditation. I didn’t know how to properly sit, so you told me to sit down, cross my legs like I usually do when sitting, then you decided there were no more words left capable of describing the right way to sit. So you used your hands and lifted my legs and weaved them into place. It’s because of you I know how to get into position for meditation.
You were getting married and as soon as I found out, I knew our closest emotion that I couldn’t identify was about to come to an end. I felt sad, an emotion I could identify. Of course, our family was invited. My mother made me wear a white dress and when we showed up at the house, I noticed you had a lot of guests. You didn’t see me at first. I don’t even remember what your fiancé looked like. I remember she was Chinese like you and it was the first Chinese wedding I had ever been to. You had this game only played at Chinese weddings where an apple was tied with a piece of string and dropped down from the ceiling and you and your fiancé had to bite the apple at the same time while your hands were tied behind your backs. Everyone was laughing, and kind of like my jaw dropping moment, I just wanted to watch.
But you saw and said in Mandarin, “Little kids can’t watch this!” After that, I never saw you again.