To my latest teacher-
Our first meeting was one of teaching:
“No, I’ve never played racquetball, but I’d love to learn,” I offered coyly.
You took me up on it two weeks later.
I’ll be honest, I don’t remember anything you taught me that time, except that you were patient with me, and smiled when I held the racquet wrong, and laughed with me when I missed the ball, and cheered when I made a point, and didn’t let me win.
Later, over Jamba Juice, you taught me the history of rock music, about the Ramones, Velvet Underground, Operation Ivy, Black Sabbath, Eminem
while I responded in kind with a lesson on Chopin, Beethoven, Liszt and why I love the piano.
Other lessons followed:
how to make the world’s best peanut butter bars.
how to appreciate the 80s.
how to properly capture a duck.
and how to play “Three Blind Mice” on the guitar.
One night, we stayed out until three talking about truth, and God, and trust, and snow.
And that was when I learned how to share myself with someone.
Another night, you taught me how to kiss.
“It’s really easy,” you said, cradling my face in your cold hands.
It was easy, but not so easy that we didn’t keep practicing for hours, weeks, months.
From you I learned to cry for help, to lean on someone else, and
let someone lean on me.
I learned to take chances, to put my heart in your hands,
to trust myself with your heart.
From you I learned to see the world not in black and white, but in living, vibrant color.
Your eyes, arms, words, taught me devotion, loyalty, sensitivity, caring.
In short, you taught me love.
I taught you a few things too:
the foxtrot, and basic music theory.
why I love to read.
how to find a pair of pants that fit.
and how to live with passion and optimism.
Like all classes, ours had to end
with the final lesson.
how to let go
how to say good bye
I won’t forget your lessons (how could I? they are burned in my heart) but I must be
My own teacher now.
I must teach myself:
how to heal.
how to keep living.
how to try again.
Until I find another teacher as great as my last.