By Jeffrey Zable
So I’m coming out of Trader Joe’s in Daly City when two men
approach me with surprised expressions.
One of them says, “Mr. Zable. . . it’s great to see you!”
Looking at both of them, I have no idea who they are, but am
curious to find out.
When they tell me that I was one of their favorite teachers, I try
to recall when it could have been.
Drawing a blank, and feeling a bit embarrassed, I say, “Wow!
it’s good to see you guys. It’s been a long time. What are you up to?”
One of them says, “I’m an electrical engineer,” while the other
says, “I’m at Stanford studying to be a doctor after being a nurse
After they tell me a bit more about themselves, they mention
the names of a few students who were in the same class.
Recalling a few of the names, I realize they were in my 5th/6th
combination class, which was my first teaching assignment in the District.
After shaking their hands and wishing them well, I walk to my car
asking myself why I couldn’t remember their faces, as it couldn’t
have been more than 35 years since I last saw them. . .
Jeffrey Zable is a teacher and conga drummer who plays Afro-Cuban folkloric music
for dance classes and Rumbas around the San Francisco Bay Area. His poetry, fiction,
and non-fiction have appeared in hundreds of literary magazines and anthologies.
Recent writing in Remington Review, Ink In Thirds, Defuncted, The Mark, Fewer than 500,
Former People, Rosette Maleficarum, Tigershark, Spelk, Alba, Corvus, and many others.
In 2017 he was nominated for both The Best of the Net and the Pushcart Prize.