In the middle of my grammar lesson, one of my students, out of the blue, asked me "Teacher, do you know Alex Rodriguez?"
A wave of heat rushed over me, followed by chills. Bizarre, romantic, and totally fun memories of New York instantly filled my head. Dancing in his dorm room while Christmas lights shifted from red to blue to green, inspiring trips to museums, playing on the beach on L.I., making things in my apartment downtown, climbing out his window, laying in the sun in the Botanical Garden, chilling in Harlem drinking beers by candlelight, laying in the tent pitched in my living room nude. I stopped and so did everything else. I haven't heard that name in... so long.
"HOW DO YOU [a 12-year-old Korean kid] KNOW ALEX RODRIGUEZ?!?"
"He's my friend from Philadelphia."
As it turns out my student knows a different Alex than I did years ago. He knows a 13-year-old boy who coincidentally lives in my hometown--not the brilliant, sexy, creative, Columbian guy (who owned a sewing machine and knew how to use it) that I once adored.
It was so strange to hear his name, to think of him unexpectedly, and I missed him for the first time in so long (just as he told me I would). I wondered if at that moment something had shifted in the cosmos and he was somehow thinking of me too.
Wow. Alejandro... where did you disappear to?