Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Do you like my hat?

For me, it's always an interesting story. Anyone's story. I like the order, the chronological path that brought someone to a place in time or space--but in its descriptive linear order, it's the sheer chaos of our universe and lives that got you there. So is our story.

In 1978 I saw what I thought was a foreign University student sitting in the hallway at our high school. Dark olive-skinned sporting several day's worth of thick facial hair growth, he sat with self-confidence and a smirk of amusement and was joined by several other students who I knew attended our school. To me, he appeared as a rather exotic visitor wearing a Saudi Arabian Kufiya.

If our first encounter were a scene in a movie, at this point the viewer would see an assortment of suburban teenage students in various stances of leisure and non-purpose at a folding table with several metal folding chairs, only two being occupied behind the table. The foreign-looking student in one, and another younger male in the other. The camera would pan out to encompass the corridor, as various students passed on their way to class with the typical cacophony of lockers, conversations, whoops, doors closing, and teachers urging everyone on their way. But then motion would slow, the camera becoming my point of view, and turn to the group at the table capturing the curious state of activity there. The headdress, the jet black hair, a spontaneous smile and quiet laugh bearing white teeth, all viewed in increasing slow motion. He looks in the direction of the camera--me, and smiles more brightly. Resume current time speed of filming and continue to class. Cut.

Turns out, it was just HAT DAY at the school and that was his hat of choice. The exotic foreigner was a student in the school--a year older than me--back home in the United States after spending four years in his father's home country of Cyprus since 1970. When the Turks invaded Cyprus, the family returned to Massachusetts in 1974. I'd never seen him before, but the first impression was a good one. And so our story begins.

1 comment:

  1. Such an interesting beginning. Makes one want to hear another story.