This afternoon I saw an old classmate from grade school. Her name, "E." She has a son, I didn't notice the kid since she still had the prettiest smile. We recognized one another and exchanged a smile with a partial nostalgic hand wave. I've seen her a couple of times in the past 2 or 3 years, though its the first time I've seen her son. Its weird because today E looks like a mom, like an adult woman walking her son home from school but when she smiles I see her at about her son's age back in first grade in 1988.
I had a few crushes in grade school, E was never one of them but I always thought she was pretty. In first grade we sat at the same table. One day I thought I'd cheat on my writing exercise, we were suppose to work on our letter Ts, so I figured to make things easier I'd write out a series of vertical lines, like a bunch of lower case Ls and then in one long stroke, I'd pass a horizontal line through all the lower case Ls to transform them into crossed Ts. Of course when Mr. Cohen made his rounds and came upon my desk he didn't find it as clever as I did, in fact, he said I had to do it over. E and the other girl at our table thought the humiliating correction to be hilarious. I wasn't too fond of either girl much after that.
I also remember that E had a thing for the Dirty Dancing soundtrack as well as Locomotion by Kylie Minogue. Everyday after recess, Mr. Cohen had us lay our heads down and he'd play music for ten to fifteen minutes, whenever E got to pick the playlist it was a sure bet, Hungry Eyes, Time of my Life, and/or Locomotion. E was a dark puerto rican girl with long dead black hair, she looked like a native american princess dressed like a mini Molly Ringwald.
Mr. Cohen by the way always reminded me of Tom Hanks.