The summer of 2013 is a collection of meaningful memories, memories of traveling to Pittsburgh, and the Black Hills of South Dakota for friends' weddings, and such.
Pittsburgh is home, and will remain home until no one volunteers to scoop me from the airport. Zach pulls up in his Honda Ridgeline, and lets me crash on his couch for five nights. He pours me coffee in the morning until I figure out how to insert a pod into his Keurig. He takes me to Gabe's house, picks me up from the country club and makes me walk his dog, Sidney, who for some reason I call Pippin.
We stop at Zach's family run can factory where he introduces me to the 38 year old Yinzer wearing a sleaveless tank performing manual labor. “This is my buddy visiting from California who grew up here.”
“Zach's my daddy,” I tell the guy.
Zach later tells Ross that his employee thinks he's a queer.
Brad, my best friend, drove up from Virginia. I was awaiting Brad's arrival so we could run five's at the JCC hoop court. I told Brad, now a doctor, that I could use an MRI for the soreness in my leg. To which he texted me, “How about a tampon?”
I don't know what kind of medicine is prescribed down in Charlottesville, but I doubt a tampon will heal a strained calf.
I spent two nights at Brad's house to upgrade from a couch to a bed. There I met the new family dog, Bandit, a German Shepherd with two different color eyes. Brad told me that Bandit knows right from wrong, but he doesn't listen. A gate was placed so Bandit couldn't get up the steps into my bedroom. Bandit managed to leap over the gate and barged through the bedroom door throughout the night. He sat and cried. I couldn't open the door because I didn't want to wake Joan and David, Brad's parents. The next morning Bandit took a shit and later peed in my bedroom. The following day Bandit ate my socks.
Before Goldstein's wedding Joan took a picture of me and Brad outside by their fishpond. Bandit was so bad he photo-bombed the picture. When it was time to leave I said goodbye to everyone except for Bandit.
Ross didn't tell his girlfriend he was going to the wedding. It didn't make sense why, he just never did. He lied and it was too deep in to tell her the truth so he made Zach defriend his girlfriend on Facebook so she wouldn't potentially see any pictures from the wedding. Zach said that once, while rummaging through Ross's sock drawer, he found a chicken wing.
Brad, Zach, Ross and I sat with Weinberg, Weiss and Gumberg at table 7. “If I wasn't sitting at my table I would want to sit at table 7,” said Goldstein.
Who knows if he said that to table 6. Goldstein, always sincere, danced with his bride, Maggie to the Lumineers song “Ho Hey” as if entering the Color War dance competition.
Before it was time to lift Goldstein in the chair, Zach and Ross started shouting “Kah-Kah! Kah-Kah!” like the mating call of a blue bird. This was our signal to lift Goldstein, and later my own personal signal to start a mosh pit to the hit track “I Don't Care I Love It.”
I saw old friends like Ad Rock, and Rudkin and met kids who favored local pizza shop Aiello's over Mineo's, representing a new generation of misguided youth.
Uncle Steve took our family to a new diner out in Robinson Township. As a chief of the health department, he is so revered that once at PF Chang's a waiter spilled water on his pants. Moments later the manager came to our table with a brand new pair of pants, tags and all. Uncle Steve is so beloved I wouldn't be surprised if waiters tip him. I sat next to my grandpa who at 91 still tries to make a buck, however he can. At the end of the table he tried to sell me disability insurance. “You never know what will happen. It's best to be safe.”
“I'll have the sirloin,” I responded.
Uncle Steve met me for breakfast on his way to Washington D.C. It was nice spending some one on one time with him. For the first time, I paid for his meal. I now only him about $4,000 worth of food.
Before I left I spent the afternoon with my grandpa. I helped him with his computer and snapped a video asking questions about his life.
“What happened in 1948?” I asked him.
“Marc was born,” he said. “I wasn't sure whether to name him Marc or Mistake.”
Not sure if I'll see my grandpa again, but if I don't that's a great way to go out. A nice memory, one I always have when I'm in Pittsburgh seeing the my same friends and family who never change in the best possible way.