Thursday, September 29, 2022

Misplaced names


Was she in a class I took over at UH? Was her granddaughter on a local soccer team? Clearly, we know each other. Her husband's from Michigan and had some MI friends over the other day. "Trump should have fired everyone--military, civilian--everybody," one had said. His mistake was he wasn't a politician. She had to leave the room. Her husband voted for Trump. What did he find appealing about him? She doesn't know. Her dog Sophie tried hard to play with Lilith, but Lilith's a bit skittish around puppies these days.
Sangha called. His work involves a lot of driving, and he likes to call while he's driving around the DC area. "Mom, have you ever been to Rock Creek Park?" he asked one day. He'd seen a deer from the car and knew he'd passed the zoo. He's reading a book about Virginia ghosts, many of whom lurk around old battlefields.
I saw my baseball fan friend coming, so Lilith and I crossed the street. He's the one who worked on Air Force 1 under Reagan. Turning 61 tomorrow, he said. He relayed some baseball information his son told him about the Dodgers and the Cardinals. I mentioned that I'd found out that Aaron Judge was adopted. "I was in 32 foster homes in California," he said, "after being born at Tripler." He'd worked on farms in central Cali, picking grapes and other fruit. They took the Hispanic kids out to work on farms to keep them out of trouble, he said. Ran away from his last foster home and lived in the Oakland Salvation Army for a while. Worked his way through school. Played football, baseball, ran track; really kept him focused. 22 years in the Air Force. Then he became a teacher on the Big Island (his wife's from Hawai`i; her family calls him a "coconut"), and a principal. "You must have been good with the kids," I said. "I worked with them, I did. It felt like my obligation to help." I told him about my attempts to give back to young people suffering depression.
I'd misplaced his name. It's Daniel.

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