Ah, Youth

I just took the train back to NYC, and ran into my friend Mizza on the way back from the cafe car. Apparently, I not only know everyone in New York, I also know everyone on every major form of transportation in the tristate area. Sweet.

Mizza and I hunkered down with pizza and sandwiches and told each other our same six stories. Then we started listening in on our fellow passengers. It started because we passed the stop for Conn College, and Mizza was concerned that we should wake up the kid across from us.

“He totally goes to Conn,” he said. “Look at him: Peach-fuzzy chin beard. Plaid shirt. Zippery backbag with tags. He’s an environmental science major, but he doesn’t know it yet. He’s, like, a little high almost always, and he’s really getting into jazz.”

As if on cue, Conn College started to rouse himself. It was a long slow process, with much eyerubbing and stretching, and by the time he was upright, Mizza was half-asleep. So I made sure to listen in closely, just in case I was the only witness to the conversation.

“Yeah, ‘lo?” He mumbled into his phone. “Listen, hi. Here’s what I need you to do. I need you to go the bank machine and take out … forty-five dollars. My friend Klara will come get the … forty-five dollars. Klara. K-l-a-r-a. Klara. What did I say? Spell it back. K-l-a-r-a. OK. She’s short. Yup.”

At this point, Mizza opened one eye and mouthed: “Forty-five dollars.” I attempted not to pee.

“Oh, yeah, something else. I need this girl’s phone number. Can you go into my Facebook account. My email address is JUNIPERJOHNSON@NYU.EDU. [D’oh! -JH] And my password is WEED! With an exclamation point. That’s W-E-E…”

Mizza hit me in the side, and whispered, “When I was in school? It was James Brown. We’d call each other up and be like, hey man, can I borrow that JAMES BROWN CD, for like FORTY-FIVE MINUTES?”

“It cost FORTY-FIVE MINUTES when you were in school? Man, you’re twelve and I always forget. When I was in school, you could get some James Brown for THIRTY MINUTES.”

“Nah, see, this was the REALLY GOOD JAMES BROWN CD. You know that one? The REALLY, REALLY GOOD JAMES BROWN. It’s usually about FORTY-FIVE MINUTES LONG.”

“Yeah, I went to UMass. You could get SHITTY JAMES BROWN for TWENTY BUCKS.”

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7 thoughts on “Ah, Youth

  1. I’m wise to you, Smash … I didn’t welcome you back fast enough so you had to summon me forth with a story about, uh, James Brown!

    You should use your mad editorial powers to publish a book on the merchant’s vernacular. Around here it’s anything from a cut or a slice to trail mix or “change for a”.

    Today $45 is about right assuming your not getting someone’s damp driveway clippings.

  2. we had a whole doughnut system worked out. 3 doughnuts, half a dozen doughnuts, maybe even a full dozen sometimes on very special days.

    so, if you’re stopping by the krispy kreme, maybe you could pick me up a few? oh wait, never mind–i am all grown up now and i simply need to make one little phone call and a scraggly-haired dude on a bike will BRING me my doughnuts! god, i love this place.

  3. we had the birthday cake code at Bradford- different slices and sizes of cake! ah those were the days…i loved this story!

  4. Yea…we used Chicken Soup, or just plain “soup”.

    The feds tapping my phone must’ve thought there was a booming black market in Chicken Noodle.

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