I’ll Never Forget Her Tears

* There was this girl in fifth grade (Avondale College Primary School) who liked me. I couldn’t stand it so I tortured her. I used to leave tacks on her chair.

When she sat down, she’d scream and start crying.

On other occasions, I’d kick her.

One day she said to me, “One day you too will love someone who’ll kick you.”

* I was at a singles lunch at my Orthodox shul in 2002. We had to introduce ourselves by saying two things we love.

“I love sarcasm and irony,” I said.

“That will really make people want to be close to you,” said my therapist later.

* It was the fall of 1987. I was taking my second Political Science class at Sierra Community College with my favorite teacher — Larry Wight.

There was a good girl in the class who liked me. She was blonde. She was cute. But she wasn’t slutty. She was just a good girl. A genuine girl. And she sat up front.

I sat in the back as was my habit. I was sarcastic and provocative. I asked questions in class that I thought demonstrated my great learning.

“I never understand what you are talking about,” said a friend in the class.

Anyway, this good girl was sitting up front before class. She had her head resting on her books. And I came up behind her and deliberately startled her.

She started crying and through her tears, she reached for me. I held her. We started talking. She said she was transferring to U.C. Davis. She wanted me to come too.

I let her go. I wonder what happened to her? I don’t even remember her name. I just remember startling her. I remember my deliberate cruelty. And I remember her tears and her reaching for me for comfort.

It’s not something I can forget.

* I took a Biology class at Sierra in the summer of 1988. I’d had Chronic Fatigue Syndrome for four months. I’d had to reduce my class load from 25 units to 15 that Spring semester. I’d had to cut my work hours in half.

I could no longer flee from myself into hard work. I had to just lie there and pray for salvation.

This hot blonde sat next to me in Biology class. She had pure spotless skin and looked good in her tight white outfits. Best of all, she had this girly breathy voice. Oy, my yetzer hara was revving up (and I didn’t even know what a yetzer hara was at this time).

I became really hot for this girl. We started to get close. And one day, we’re sitting in the back of the class passing notes back and forth and getting increasingly close.

Then my anxiety kicked in and I wrote something sarcastic to her that brought a tear to her eye. She wrote back to the effect that one genuine compliment is worth 100 smart ass remarks.

I got an A in the class but I never saw her again.

I don’t even remember her name. But I’ll never forget her voice (it was similar to that of journalist Michelle Goldberg who profiled me for Salon in 1999). And her tears.

* The other day, I met a nice girl. A good girl. A genuine girl. A great writer. I sent her a sarcastic note asking for her phone number to discuss lofty moral issues.

I didn’t get her number.

About Luke Ford

I've written five books (see Amazon.com). My work has been followed by the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, and 60 Minutes. I teach Alexander Technique in Beverly Hills (Alexander90210.com).
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