"'Cos everybody needs some love / shooting from the stars above . . . 'Cos everybody wants some hope / something they could barely know. . . . 'Cos everybody needs a dream / something they could barely see."
Along that theme, I remember one story. An apocryphal story stated that when baby Jesus was born, a poor drummer boy journeyed to see him, along with the famous magis of course. The drummer boy, too poor to match the gifts of the magis' gold, frankincense and myrrh, gave to his lord the only thing he had: a song from his heart. One that was echoed through his snare drum.
This is the story of watching two people see that need for love, hope, and dreams by coming together.
I met Joshua, the 16 year old boxing kid, after finishing my boxing training, which left me sweaty, exhausted, and high on energy. He tried to get my attention by asking me annoying questions: "Hey, do you shave your legs?" He would ask. "What about your arms?"
I replied, "I'm Asian. I don't have much hair."
"Haha, Bruce Lee he would say."
Is this kid for reals, I thought. He was a punk. I could tell. Plug, huge spike earrings that went through. Hyperactive to the bone. I could tell he ditched school, and I had to keep asking him if he was going.
But as time passed, I warmed up to him. I watched his behavior once at Starbucks with the other boxers and asked him, "You're hyperactive aren't you?"
He said, "Yeah."
I said, "Oh yeah, so am I."
He gave me a high five. And I thought, I never thought someone half my age would connect to me like I was the same age as them. I thought life was over when I turned 30.
He complained once that the teachers at his ghetto school sent him to the principal's for stealing lunch. I felt bad and wondered why didn't the bloody teacher just buy him the $1 lunch.
Then there was the time I was working on an assignment at the local Starbucks, late, late into the evening. Someone tapped me, while I was focused on my work. I looked up and saw Joshua. I was shocked. And he said, "I saw your car. I wanted to say hi." He had a smile that lit his face joyous. I'm sure I returned the sentiment.
In any event, I had the perfect idea. I had just bought a rock crab, heavy and yummy and all and asked my mother to make me crab soup. It's my favorite soup of course - for it has a rich, oily, and sweet unique depth of taste to it.
I asked Joshua, "You ever eat crab?
He said, "No."
"You want to."
I thought to myself about my mother - burnt and broken inside. The divorce left her shattered. Then there was the younger son - her favorite - who left her for marriage. Although it's what men do, it's what she was denying would ever happen. The events she reaped in life only calcified her heart more and more, leaving it with layers of deposited bitterness.
I thought of Joshua. He told me that his mother was stuck somewhere in Mexico, and you could tell the kid wanted her back.
Before coming over, I asked Joshua, "Do you have any money?"
He said, "No."
"Here's five dollars. When you go to Asian people's home, you hafta bring them something. Go get my mom a flower."
"What kind of flower?"
"Anything. It's from you. Not me. So pick well."
He skateboarded somewhere around town. I was working on my assignments. He came back with a white rose.
I took him to my house. I said, "Mom, hey my friend has something to give you." I knew she would fall in love with him instantly. Her young boy gone. My younger brother used to have the same plugs in his ears as this kid. He had the same quirks and ticks as me at his age (and maybe now) because of the hyperactivity.
He walked into my home. He held it behind his back, like he was going to give it to a girl on a first date. She came back into the house from the backyard and met him in the dining room. He popped out the white rose from behind his back. It took her less than a second to register what happened. Her face lit up with kindness and joy and for an instance, her face looked like a young girl's again.
She said, "Oh - but you didn't have to."
He smiled back, realizing the power of giving a gift of sincerity. She hugged him. He hugged her back.
I took a step back and was a member of the audience, watching the show. I knew this would happen. It's true: ""Cos everybody wants some love, shooting from the stars above. 'Cos everybody wants some hope, something they can barely know. 'Cos everybody wants a dream, something they can barely see."