Vansmack (not his real name, conveniently) is a new friend of mine, he and his wife -the charming doctor who'll look at your rash for free- being two of the fabulous Mrs. Griffwood has brought into my life. (cue doves, sunsets, flamingos.)
Over too much wine one night, Vansmack and I discovered a shared love of...shit...something.
Anyway, we got on the author Bill Buford. I am a huge fan of his recent book, Heat. And Vansmack is a fan of his first book, Among the Thugs. As you can read a coupla posts down, Van sent Thugs to my office.
After spending last night collapsed on Mel's bed at 3am wearing a "Proud Daughter of Vietnam Vet" t-shirt to sleep, I'm spending tonight alone at my folks, both absent.
Even at 30, I'm still a latch key kid.
I guess I'm old. I want to stay in, remain silent, take a lukewarm bath and go to bed at a reasonable hour.
And I've got this book, some vegetarian sushi and a bottle of Chenin Blanc.
For the past hour, I've been out on the deck trying to find some wind by my dad's "water element" while reading Thugs.
I am in heaven.
And more importantly, it reminds me of my old friend David. So much so, I had to get up and write a blog post about it (while listening to my dad's newly installed "iTunes" to go with his brand new "iPod").
The first official job I had after college was Beach Blanket and the first person I noticed there was David, the breathtaking 23-year old British Marine who decided to backpack around America one day and never returned to the Empire.
Fabulously, he met a woman on a cable car, offered her a jelly bean and married her.
I loved him instantly.
I was Member 548 of his fan club.
He was (is, I imagine) from Durham, England right on the Scottish border. Basically David was Billy Elliot, grown up and stunning, singing Police songs backstage and punching the walls whenever something went wrong. In my wide eyes, he was amazing. He was perfect. He knew all the words to the A-Team theme. He held my hand for 17 minutes. He gave me the occasional knowing look. He was nice to my parents and he'd make fun of my laugh. He was from some magical, charming, British man-planet.
Ask Zoe. He was AWESOME.
In the afternoon, he'd come down to the costume shop and say things like, "I was bored this week and meant to call you."
And then I'd want to collapse into the sea of sequined gowns at my feet.
He was the person I first really, truly adored.
And he adored football.
He loved it so much, he invited me to join him at 6am on our day off to watch soccer in a bar. I was probably up ay 4am, piling on red (as instructed) and begging my then 17 year old brother to come with me.
It was shitty. His team lost and he refused to hide his horrible mood.
I only loved him more.
One night at Martuni's, he kissed me. And another night, at Mad Dog and the Fog we had a long talk. One of those talks that everyone gets to have but it was my very first. I told him the shit that was the most personal, embarassing, horrifying crap I have to offer and he told me about the absolute horrors of being in a war and the time he was engaged in a sex act in his parents' living room and suddenly discovered them walking up the driveway.
David said things like, "I once had a cat named Smokey. Ironically she died in a fire" and "Ty, it's a good thing you last name isn't Pryter. Otherwise, your name would be Ty Pryter."
The level of my swooning was Guiness-worthy.
And every page of this book (I've now spent an hour hovered over) reminds me of David.
Who interestingly, left his wife, joined the American Marines and last I heard was in Bagdhad. In fact, the very last time I saw him was when a group of us all met up at the Midnight Sun and as I walked in, I heard a dry, British voice announce, "Speaking of gorgeous women..."
As a result, anytime I see a soccer ball, SWOON.
Can you blame me...