Sunday, February 21, 2010

From the Archives: Seeing Bobak in Berkeley

Written maybe early 2009? Not sure.

Bobak. Like always you were willow-thin, with skin the color of almonds, and hair black and curly as a dark lamb's. You, the most polite of boys. You used to say, "Thank you, sir," to the referees when my father, your coach, subbed you into the back row at volleyball matches, but you laughed at your opponents through the net and from the bench, taunting them in the tongue of the shah. They could not understand you. That day, though, you were walking down College Avenue. Your shadow was long in the orange light, and it crossed mine, coming up the hill towards you. The air was warm. I had not seen you since we left high school, and after we said hello I took it upon myself to spoil your afternoon by telling you that my father died, believing, as I still do, that you loved him a little. When I told you, you were very polite in your condolence, as I knew you would be, and I still wonder why I told you. You would never have known otherwise, and your afternoon would have gone on warm and beautiful in the orange light in Berkeley.

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