Yesterday it was, this little anecdote of my life floated up to memory. My first teacher crush.

How should  I begin now that I don’t even remember his face, but that he was a tall man (and that speaks for nothing in particular as I’m not an especially tall person myself), and that he was Asian – which also says nothing because I was still in China so that means I was anything under grade 4.

He was my art teacher, and I do bravo myself on the artistic good taste, an interesting man he would’ve been had I gotten the chance to know him I’m sure. One of our very first exchanges was when he complimented me on my ability to rub and melt different colors together to create a smoother effect. I believe the masterpiece was some palm trees and all the colors of the rainbow as the sunset. I rubbed til the friction between the page and my finger tips created more brown blotches than it did smooth transitions. I was taken. I believe also the skill was copied learnt off my sister, who was never that happy with the nosy younger sister who routinely wanted to imitate everything she did – arts or otherwise. Thankfully, he never knew my sister, so my first crush was all my own.

The hardest part was the mandatory facial exercises we had to perform every few days. The saddest coincidence was that it landed each week on the day he taught class with us.

The facial massages requested of perhaps 4 different techniques, and the entire class had to count aloud the number of times we repeated in the Chinese way – 1-1, 1-2, 1-3, 1-4… A total of eight it had to be, as in 8-8.

Luckily, the first two positions was with our heads bent downwards, towards our respective tables. We took the side of our forefingers and gently swept it against our brows or our brow bone – never mind how great it might’ve been for any chances of stretching our eyelids – but for the most part I liked it cause it felt nice. And because we didn’t have to do work, and that the boys in my class would shut up. Obviously, boys were irrelevant compared to the divine being I called my teacher. Thus, It never was too bad until we reached the third position perhaps, when we had to put each index fingers against the apples of our cheeks and just rub in circular motions, with our face turned up. All the while, for the entire length of this activity our eyes were to remain closed.

There I was, a potential candidate for her first romantic interest, with her face turned upwards, rubbing none too attractively, her baby cheeks with her two fingers. The process kept coming to my head like – mush, squish, mush, squish. It seemed like some far fetched animal kingdom romance, the female this time, trying to convince the male that she is in fact very lovable beneath and amongst the crowd of youngsters rubbing their cheeks innocently towards him in appeal.

Sometimes, I squinted surreptitiously to see whether or not he was coming my way, and when he did I would shut my eyes and let the scarlet flame my cheeks. Maybe he inwardly thought it was charming. One could only hope.

Afterwards, I don’t quite remember his presence anymore. Maybe he got fired, or left of his own accord, or maybe there was a scandalous situation between a certain tuttee, I wish I could say without some revolt. Sadly, none whatsoever.

That’s my brief plug in your life of a young girl with big dreams. Don’t even get me started with my first boy crush.