Monday, August 30, 2010

Outstanding minds of the well traveled and overly clever

Up here in the the season is starting to turn. The slowest red flames engulf the trees and things under your feet begin to crunch. I was fifteen when I met my friend from Israel, in the breakfast line at our boarding school. Somebody came up and gave him a package from home which was addressed in squiggles. I looked up at him and said, "But you don't have an accent." It was the beginning of the semester, this time exactly, when the light travels from straight up to sideways.

And ten years later here he is to take in the last of summer with me. Yonton is a good boater and a good business man but even better, he knows books. He can read them backward and forward. Two years ago I had time to kill during a very stinging winter. In the mornings I waited tables and hid from the beer delivery man who would always try and bite me on the ear. In the evenings I'd sit in front of the wood stove, poking at the logs with an iron poker and listening to Yonton read out loud over the phone. We share a love for Foer, Helprin, Murakami, Keret. He introduced me to a book called The Nimrod Flip-Out and tries to explain Hebrew double-entendres as I scratch my head and say, "wait, what?"

On his recent trip to Vermont we fought over lyrics, dreamt of stardom, debated pop music and went over yet again what a bad speller I am. We went out to a movie and then sat at a bar and I got all woozy off a shirley temple, played it off like I was drunk. We scribbled down ideas and rhymes into my gold-lined notebook from Bar Harbor that I keep in the glove compartment. And, of course, we went outside and looked around.

Yonton lives in the searing, overly crowded, garbage strewn, crime ridden, run down, decrepit city of Asheville, North Carolina. I believe he needed this rural getaway just as much as I needed someone to play with.

When we hiked to the top of Dear's Leap near Killington, we looked across at Pico ski resort and spotted the curving alpine slide that runs down the entire face of the mountain. We sprinted down the trail and bought an endless pass and split the rest of the afternoon between chairlift riding and full throttle-ing it down the slide.

So here's to decade of friendship to the boy who has introduced me to: the chocolate lounge, The Mighty Boosh, extreme buoyancy, the sublimely botched English of Everything is Illuminated, Israeli short stories, central park bouldering, and much more.

No, maybe that's it.

I think of you every time I wet-exit or read.


Abby! said...

that's not how asheville is! it is much nicer than you describe!

Melina said...

It's practically a war zone.

rachel.dudasik said...

come visit this awful city please!