Sunday, March 04, 2007

M.

M. was in Yeshiva with Air for the first two years of high school and a very unworthy eight-ball opponent to me. There was some bet, thirteen years ago, about who would buy whom a drink in a bar. I won a White Russian in a really seedy bar called the Blue Hole or something, on Yoel Solomon. A couple of years later, I went to Chicago to hang out at a friend's house, and he and Air both showed up. We all spent time together, and M. ended up sleeping over in the basement of my friend's house because the video of the Family Ties Finale didn't end until 3:45 a.m. Being from a Haredi family, he was completely freaked out that someone would see him there. He skulked out of the house at 6:30 when no one would be out.

He got married a year later, just two months after Air and I did. I drove in to Chicago with Air's brother for his wedding, and was instructed to introduce myself to the Kallah as Air's wife and nothing else. OK.

Fast forward almost twelve years. A friend of mine R.K. had a baby boy last Shabbos, and we went to his house in RBS to celebrate the baby's Bris. (They named the child after his Zaidy Irving and also the dad's childhood best buddy. But that's not what for this post.) Over Shabbos we realized that M. lives in RBS also. But R.K. informed us that M. told him we must never to look him up or call or anything. Because of me. Hmmm, I guess he doesn't want to confront his past.
Tonight we found ourselves in RBS again for the Purim Seudah. Air suddenly was obsessed with finding M. He mostly wanted to see his old friend's reaction to seeing me. After the Seudah, we looked him up in the directory and found his address. We showed up as he was heading out the door to go to a friend's house for a drink. He looked at Air and it took him a few seconds to recognize him. He was clearly very excited to see Air. He kept glancing at me.
And then the moment came when two and two became four. He realized I was who I was. He had known I was married to Air, was even invited to our wedding, but his memories of Air do not include me at all.
M. was really glad we were there. He invited us all in and introduced us to his wife and friends and kids. He was all M from the old days. He was laughing, young, fun and all smiles like we remember. I have no idea if this is the M. of today, but today he was the M. of old.
Although he didn't mention his past friendship with me, he did noticably recognize me and speak to both of us in front of everyone. He also said he was so happy we came and that we should feel comfortable coming by any time. He inscribed one of the Sfarim he wrote and gave it to Air. He mentioned everyone in Air's family and spoke with fond memories of them when he was a Ben Bayit in their house for two years. When his wife left the room, he asked me if I'm happy here and if Israel is working out for me personally. It was almost like old times.
All in all, the whole experience was fun and worthwhile. And when I told M what R.K. had warned us, he tried to deny the whole thing, but...maybe.

8 Comments:

Anonymous The Shver said...

They named the baby Porky???

March 04, 2007 3:08 PM  
Blogger Veev said...

LOL...

March 04, 2007 4:03 PM  
Anonymous The Shver said...

BTW - It was (is?) the Blue Note; I knew it well. Their specialty - Long Island Iced Tea!

March 05, 2007 7:10 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I heard that Boomer saw you over there the other night, and was reporting you to Rabbi Rotman

March 05, 2007 1:36 PM  
Blogger swiftthinker said...

Irving on a baby. That's good news. baby porky? wouldn't that be his roomates baby. and the Blue Note, I knew it well....

March 05, 2007 10:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

March 06, 2007 12:10 PM  
Blogger Air Time said...

yes

March 06, 2007 12:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Veev- M would have that same uncomfortable moments with multiple married folk here in D-Town. Wrote a sefer... well there is hope for all then

March 06, 2007 1:49 PM  

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