This is another difficult post that I’ve been putting off until today. Writing about the people who you are closest to is worse then racking your brain for their perfect Christmas gift. You want it to be deep and significant to show how much they mean to you, but the infinite feelings you have for this person along with the complex relationship that you share cannot be represented with just one gift nor can it be described with a few simple words.
You cannot simply say, “Merry Christmas Kim. Remember that one time…when I was babysitting…the boys and I made green Rice Krispie Treats…and I accidentally broke your spatula? Yea…sorry about that. When those marshmallows start to cool you really have to get after it! I got you a new spatula, the edgeless kind. The kind that I love. The kind that are a cinch to clean because there are no crevices to scrub around.” (True story.) I’m so glad that Weston and I do not exchange birthday and Christmas gifts. Our lavish relationship along with my over-analytic tendencies would make gift-giving a complete nightmare. Instead, I’ll just continue to randomly pick him up a can strainer at the Dollar Store or football-shaped bottles of Dr. Pepper and he’ll stay happy enough. (I know that he hates ridding black bean cans of their juices.)
Rather than struggling to explain who he is to me, express what he does to me, describe all that he means to me, attempting the impossible, I’ll just begin at the beginning and share my earliest childhood memories of Weston.
My earliest memory of Weston takes place when we were in kindergarten. Our classroom had a cork board designated for students who had recently lost teeth. I was incredibly jealous of him because his name was always on the board for losing teeth and I had not even lost one. In second grade, we got to individually perform a dance or talent to be recorded on camera. The little performer in me perfectly executed my own routine and mentally critiqued everyone else’s. I couldn’t understand why the teachers laughed and laughed at Weston’s song, when I thought he clearly could do without the locked knees and incessant grapevining. See for yourself.
Eliminated in practically the first round of our 2nd grade spelling bee, I had to watch from my seat as Weston correctly spell the word “pencil” after several students before him had attempted and failed. I. Was. Impressed.
Weston has always had almond shaped eyes but elementary school was when they were particularly squinty. I sometimes would wonder how he could even see and thought if he ever decided to take a nap, no one would even know.
As third graders, we performed in the annual America on Parade show which included several patriotic songs and historical scenes. Everything from the discovery of Penicillin to the Wright brothers’ first flight was demonstrated in some way throughout production. I, the second grade ham, was paired up with squinty rigor mortis boy to begin the show. Weston took his role as Christopher Columbus very seriously. As his “first mate,” I followed his lead when he marched out very
robotlike businesslike and we did our best to give the audience what they deserved, a phenomenal duet. I like to think that everyone fell for his intended character and dismissed his little Chinese soldier look. All kidding aside, he looked damn good in his captain’s hat and nautical uniform.
During middle school I had a crush on Weston. Although I tried to subtlety let him know that I thought he was cool but not too cool, funny but not too funny, and that I liked him but certainly not like liked them, I normally chickened out and just dodged away whenever I saw him coming near. Middle school memories with Weston are limited since I was trying so hard to conceal my interest. But I did pick up on the interesting way he licks lips. If you start with a closed mouth, stick out your tongue 50%, pull it back in 25%, stick back out 50%, then pull it back in completely as fast as you can, you can mock his lizardly lick. I also noticed the girlish way he covers his mouth when he laughs suddenly. It’s just an observance, I’m not making fun. Total crawl-in-a-hole-and-die embarrassment if I was caught staring but bonus points if I nonchalantly brushed my hand against his while passing back worksheets. Ahh…swoon…
I was always on the lookout for legitimate reasons to interact with him. For example, paper-passer-backer… pick me, “did she say when the test was,” or “do you have change for a five?” You understand. Once, in high school, I had a bag of individually wrapped Dove chocolates in my locker. I wanted to give him one so badly, but naturally I had to offer a few to other people before I could carelessly say, “oh, Weston, do you want one too?” This sneaky deed happened during algebra for about a week until my bag chocolate was gone and so was my excuse to talk to him.
I cannot begin to describe how difficult Weston was to read. He was and still is often emotionless and subtle during normal conversation. Weston’s calm, confident, and coy demeanor was an incredibly fascinating combination to me. I distinctly remember telling my friend that I wished I was the one who knew him best. But I wondered if he even liked people like me, a person who probably does more talking in one hour than he does all day.
I feel like I’ve barely introduced Weston at all, but it’s a start. Maybe that’s because it’s too hard to explain who he is to me, express what he does to me, describe all that he means to me. I’ll try another day.