Have you seen this man?
It was during my sophomore year in college, I remember because I was in my bedroom at the Amar Court house, when I got a phone call on my land line, the only line I had. I picked up my cordless:
Short pause and then a timid voice asks, "Hi, is this David?"
"Yup, Dave speaking."
"Oh, hi this is Eric."
"I'm sorry, Eric who? I know a few Erics so..."
"Oh, yeah uh this is Eric from West High."
"What West High?" My brain starts working double time trying to recollect who this might be.....to no avail.
So the conversation continues and slowly everything starts to unveil. Eric was a freshman when I was a senior in high school. One random lunch period, I apparently walked up to him when he was sitting alone on a grassy field and struck up a conversation with him, opening with "hey, are you okay?" I honestly didn't remember any of this but it wasn't surprising to me that I would do something like that, I was gregarious then.... more for survival than anything altruistic. And even though I couldn't recall, he did and told me the entire story without leaving out a single detail. So that was the thing; that conversation which was so insignificant to me meant something to him. That one moment impacted him enough to inspire, 2 years later, the hire of a service to track me down to the point where he could call me at my Davis house.
We kept in touch at least for a little while. I even visited him at his apartment once when I was home for one of the holidays. I remember the gate I had to get through, and his nice, young, attractive Korean mom who really loved her only son, you could just tell. We sat there in his bedroom as he was sharing about the upcoming West High talent show and the beat boxing he was going to do. I was amused as he gave me an exclusive preview of his performance, it was funny at first but dear as he continued. He wasn't half bad. That's the last interaction I remember having with him. It makes sense, given I was drunk half the time, I'm almost certain that I wanted to keep in touch but like much of the things I desired to do at that point in my life, I'm sure it fell to the way side coming in a far 235th to my first love - boozing.
And when I think back I wish that I took the opportunity to be an even bigger part of his life, maybe a big brother to a fatherless loner, guide him from afar. I've been thinking about him for a while now. Wondering whatever became of him. Last I heard he was going to UC Riverside, he's certainly graduated by now. I've made a small impact on his life and he's made one on mine. He once sought me and now I wish to find him. I'd be willing to pay as he once did but with the advent of technology and virtual networking I'm sure it could be done without. His name was Eric Yoshizaki, but it's Kenneth in the yearbook. And he must be between 26-28 years old now. Korean/Japanese. Attended West High in Torrance class of 2000 and maybe UC Riverside.