But a few weeks ago, a young Peruvian lass sauntered into my classroom and proclaimed to the world, “Hank, I love you and I’m going to make you mine.” Or at the very least that’s how I remember it. In reality, it probably was a bit more like I walked into the classroom and this random girl was there and I never was entirely sure who she was but I learned her name was Patti and she was ‘”timido.” Google Chrome keeps telling me I should spell it Patty. Screw off Google. Patti is probably the worst guess after Patty and Pattie but this is my story and I make the rules. The teacher, my original teacher who has since left, made me promise that I would at the very least be amigos with Patti. She seemed to make a point to say at the very least. I wasn’t sure if she was hoping for wedding bells and yet that’s how I took it. Why not? I’m a white man, I’m hugely successful, I have the body of a younger Ryan Gosling, and I volunteer in run down areas on my own accord. She would have been making a great choice. She still could. I just think that the passion that used to be unspoken is still unspoken, just even more unspoken. Had we actually spoken since the teacher left? A few words here and there, a greeting, an asking for some paper, a silent nod of desire. I could see it in her eyes when I glanced upon the room at her and saw her not even looking in my direction that there was a burning fire of romance brewing. However, every rose has it’s thorn. Does that make any sense in the context of this? No. It doesn’t. But Bret Michael had one good song and I wish to celebrate it from time to time. Reading this I know everyone is wondering, “Hank, why are you talking about this era like it’s over? From what I’ve gathered, Patti is deeply into you and your silent courtship is going along flawlessly. You’ll be married in no time.” Sadly, you just may be wrong. This week Patti was moved to a new classroom. 2 years old. Me? I’m with 4 year olds. I was shocked by the news. Devastated even. I walk into the classroom to find this Rosie in her place. How could they do that to me? I wasn’t even consulted. Who is this Rosie? She doesn’t compare. She doesn’t have that vibrant youth of Patti where she’s confused from anywhere from 14-18. She’s 20. It doesn’t matter anymore. When I look at Patti now, I see a dullness in her eyes. What used to be bright and brown is now…dull and brown. The passion for life, the passion for me has disappated. Has she told me this? No. But her body language does. I see a dejected, defeated woman. Does she smile more? Does she seem to be enjoying her new area? She does. Only I seem to know it’s a mask she wears to hide her true sadness. It’s okay Patti. I still care. I apparently don’t care enough to have not given up on us but I’ll never forget you. You are my one and only Patti. Or you were. Now I’ll just have to move onto girls I meet from the internet or something. I guess that can work out too if you find the right person. We’ll see. It was a tumultuous love affair but all affairs tend to end one day. It was good while it lasted. So it goes.
P.S. Yes, yes, I’ll chronicle the wall painting experience some more tomorrow once we complete it. I’ll describe all the kids putting their hands, big and small, and making our efforts their efforts with their own contributions. I could go on and on about how cute it is. I will. Eventually. I just had to write this ode to Patti, because dammit, she deserved it.