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My students began petting my ankle length skirt as though it was filled with ions that were opposite of those that filled their hands.  They were asking, quite desperately, “Kru Taylor, Kru Taylor score? Score?”   I giggled to myself because I mistook their desperation for fondness.  I hadn’t even walked through the office door and I was already being bullied for their test scores.  But they did it in such a likable way I couldn’t be frustrated with them.  I simply smiled and said “not yet.” And they let me pass. In class once again the pleas came quite vigorously.  I smiled again and they knew what the answer was.

Her pace was quick as she made her way through the maze of tables and benches to ours.  Her small thin hands were scrambling to grip the three fruity drinks we had ordered.  From faraway she looked pleasant,  dressed modestly in a skirt down to her knees and a denim button up shirt covering the skin that her tank top left bare.  When she came closer her pleasant look turned into beauty.  Her face was covered in a beautiful smooth, olive skin that was splashed with freckles.  She had delicate innocent features that lit up when she smiled.  Her smile revealed two slightly slanted front teeth.  Her denim button up left exposed a distinct chocolate morsel right along her collar bone.  When she spoke I found  that her soft, calm voice matched her relaxed exterior with her hair swooped up into a  thick headband with loose hairs swaying in the breeze, as to say she didn’t want to deal with it this morning.  As one of my lunch mates began teasing her in a way that showed recognition and comfort she walked away shyly and sat at a nearby table with three other people, the regulars, awaiting her next customers.

And so our lunch began.  We began talking, or listening I should say. They began their stories with those from dairy farms and bluffing bulls and moved on to cities they have visited in Thailand and Lady Boy shows, and then moved to stories in other countries and those countries lead to the disclosure of more vulnerable parts of themselves such as past marriages and children and insecurities.  By listening I learned the little quarks in my new friends’ speech.  The way Malcolm rolls his r’s so exaggeratedly or the way Brett speaks with such enthusiasm about the most boring subjects.

The details are what make each day different.


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