Aviv, 34, shows up to our interview dressed to the nines. He’s wearing khakis, a blue chambray shirt and a plaid blazer. He’s wearing Gant — a label I like a lot. And I appreciate how fastidious he is about clothing. “When you work in video games, everyone around you is a nerd or geek. They all wear the same shorts and T-shirts. Two years ago, I decided to start dressing like a grown-up. I find I get compliments from everyone. I know what I like, and I’m very picky, so it usually just works out.”
He works as a video game animator. “I make them, but I don’t play them. I do it all day at work; I don’t want to do it when I come home. I prefer to cook or read a book.”
Aviv was born in Israel but spent most of his childhood all over the world. “I grew up in Africa, Italy and Portugal, so I was more exposed to Western culture and traditions and ways of thinking. In Israel, it’s very different, and I have a hard time fitting in there. [It’s] a very rough-and-tumble place.” Yet after graduating from high school in Nairobi, he went back to Israel to serve in the army.
He’s an intellectual. Growing up, he said, “My father insisted that there was an unlimited budget for books and knowledge. Know as much as you can, think, discuss politics and philosophy. It’s almost a sacred duty to do that. Epicureans are the most appealing to me. In America, we’re taught happiness can be bought; philosophy teaches you about friendship and the value of sitting around, talking and [eating] good food.”
He’s a small guy, but athletic. “People seem to love hiking here for some reason, but I consider it just walking.” He hikes to relax and takes Krav Maga to work out. “I like the pragmatic nature of it and the fact that I can hold my own in a fight if it comes to that.”
But when it comes to women, he was, in his own words, “a late bloomer. Maybe because I moved around so much.
“College was a very different experience here than what was expected in Israel. In Israel, it’s your time to start getting serious; here, it’s your last party before you start work. I spent all my time studying, working or being in the lab.
“I was married eight years ago in New York City. I met her through a friend in college. I didn’t take New York well. I was always stressed out and always on edge, and we just stopped spending time together. I wanted to get out and go somewhere else, and she wanted to stay in New York. I think one of the reasons we didn’t work out is because we didn’t talk to each other. We were different people, and we were stressed out and worried about jobs, and we didn’t take the time to stop and smell the roses.
“You can’t really appreciate something that’s [of] value until you lose it. My parents didn’t have a good relationship. They were always at each other’s throats, and the lessons I took from them was what not to do. And the lessons on what to do, I’m still figuring out. I think it’s communicating and spending time together. You have to take a day or two and turn the phones off and just talk. I spent a lot of time on my own, so I can appreciate being alone, but I don’t like it. I miss having someone to talk to.”
I’m guessing that after this article comes out, Aviv will have plenty of women to keep him company.
Seth Menachem is an actor and writer living in Los Angeles with his wife and daughter. You can see more of his work on his Web site, sethmenachem.com, and meet even more single peeps at mysinglepeeps.com.
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