That Rugged Irishman

**Note this has been edited – for some reason I remembered this man as being Welsh and originally wrote it as such. I have since been corrected by no less than three people. Seems their memories out number mine – so here you go with the update 😉 

So I was thinking about the whole possibility of one of my youths having a crush on me, and you know… I guess it’s not that big of a deal. As long as it would stay a normal teen crush and not progress in a way that might otherwise hurt my reputation. I mean, we already have a couple of “twelvies” even a “whatever-slang-we-use-for-a-fifteen-year-old” that have obvious crushes on Leroy – who is a young adult. Didn’t strike me as not normal…

Then I remembered some of the crushes I or my friends had when we were younger. While the majority of the older men I liked were either in legal age limits or celebrities and thus much further out of reach anyway… I do recall one teacher that I had a bit of a something for. I imagine he would have been of the same mindset of me – not thinking it would even be possible that a younger woman would even be interested in him.

To be fair, at the time he was my teacher I was already 18-19 so the only thing that would have been frowned upon if something should have happened would have been the teacher-student relationship. Regardless, I had a little crush for at least part of that year.

He was my drama teacher at Kungsholmen – I found him talented. Artistic talent in a man draws me in, I must admit. He was also a gruff take-no-shit Irishman. The accent didn’t hurt either… though I’m not one to be attracted solely based on that. I don’t recall him being really old per se. I seem to remember he was mid twenties… perhaps as old as early thirties, but honestly can’t recall for sure. If he was any older than that, he aged well. The reason I think he likely would not have given a second thought to if I had any attraction was that he had a large scar across his face.

I recall asking him once how he got his scar. He mumbled something about a bar fight. I don’t even know if that was the truth… but it seems to me I must have always had a penchant for bad boys, and a man that gets his face scarred during a bar fight would fit into that category I suppose.

One day he was filming me and a friend do something for a multi-media project the class was working on. I was in a bed, sleeping initially and then waking and stretching… that was about the extent of that snippet that would be on screen… As he shut off the camera he said to me “Dawww, you are so cute.”

… … … I laughed it off and said thank you. I wasn’t sure what to make of that. On one hand I wanted to believe it was something more. On the other hand I knew that was unlikely and I didn’t want to be a girl that ruined somebody’s reputation regardless – so I didn’t ask.

At the end of the year I did my final examination while he sat in the front row with his clip board. I may have mentioned this before… Only two of us were allowed in the auditorium at a time since we all had to do an Antigone monologue, a Bedbound (by Enda Walsh) monologue, and then a Moliere dialogue together.

I knew how to make him laugh. I didn’t purposely set out thinking I’d attempt to make him laugh… but he laughed nonetheless at my quips and whatnot. As I prepared for the dialogue – we did that first to get it out of the way before we each had to get into our more serious mindsets of an ancient lady left to die and a polio-stricken girl screaming obscenities at her surroundings – as I prepared the stage and myself, he asked me what I was doing. I told him, making some kind of hand gestures at the same time. He laughed out loud, then snorted as he hung and shook his head.

Wonderful, he was in a good mood.

In our school, grades ran F = Fail, P = Pass, VG = Very Good, and Ex = Excellent…. Both my partner and I got Ex grades on our final. We were both some of the better students in class, yes… but apparently no one else in the class got an Ex. Sounded like most people otherwise got a P, some barely… some not even that high. That surprised me, especially for some of my classmates.

I just assumed whoever went in after me must have pissed him off and I was grateful I did mine first. …but you know, the adolescent buried deep down wonders if it was not just my talent, but perhaps… maybe… he liked me too?

But if he did, he certainly didn’t let on and I wasn’t the type to risk his reputation even if he had.

On the other hand… My Australian PE teacher that year had no qualms asking female students out for drinks… While he left his wife and newborn at home. That dude was fired by end of year.


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