Wednesday, August 30, 2006

The highs and lows of Elul (Institute reunion and other craziness, pt I)

Several personal crises have me quite distracted. But not so distracted that I will wait any longer to talk about ecstatic/stressful/crazy blur that was this weekend.

Really, it all started Thursday night. Thursday night, met up with SC, JM, and J from my activist camp and we went out for drinks... this particularly drinking excursion was to the Gin Mill (good onion rings) for JM's 10 dolla' all you can drink law school partay. Being that SC and I arrived late (and I promised SC a ride to the JMZ later) we didn't partake in the "all you can drink" aspect, though J and JM did their share to keep the costs of our bartab down. Lots of great music to get people singing and jumping up and dancing and whatnot. Mix of 80s, motown, it was good stuff. "We took the midnight train to anywhere". Dropped off J and JM, and as SC and I were about to split the gas station, she has a (what usually is my) surreal nyc moment; where she meets an old acquaintence from HS, who's randomly getting married to someone he's been dating for a few months. They are eloping to AC, and seem totally cool with it. Not jumping up and down happy, mind you, almost resigned to it. SC and I catch up some more, talk about the space and distance between high school and current life (which I'm a little ashamed to say is a much wider gap for me than SC). Get home to sleeping Knucklehead's around 3ish and collapse. I'll just sleep in...

...OH CRAP! No I won't. It's Rosh Chodesh Elul, and I'm cosponsoring a minyan at Knucklehead's place. No sleeping in for me, as the crew will be here for minyan momentarily. We are surprised by BK being our first visitor! Had no idea he was coming in for THE WEEKEND, but glad he made it; he had tales and photos of Bellar-ness. The minyan files in, and BZ leads us in Shacris, including a couple new tunes (I've davened with this guy how many times in the last three years, and he's always got some cool new tunes for me); some rooftop stylee hallel (where we have someone who facilitate the prayer to keep it moving, but anyone can pick a tune) which was great; I also had the privellege of davening alongside AS, who I'm excited has joined us here in NYC. JJ leyned, and then I ran like hell to move Brain to a new spot. Got back in time for bagels and bentching.

After lunch, I thanked knucklehead profusely for taking on massive amounts of cooking so I could go see Don in the hospital. I run to the store to pick up what he needs (phone card, beverage, lunch), hop a series of buses over there. I get up to see him, and he's not in good spirits. Hoping the meatball marinara will help cheer him up, I pass him some lunch. Of all the times I've seen him, this is the most disspirited. He's been over a week, and is still dizzy and nauseous. He barely held down a bagel for his breakfast. He still has the juice to talk about his book, his poetry, the Yanks and a long overdue steak dinner, but something's not right.

Knowing that I still need to get going to get ready for Shabbas (and KZ/TLS II, electric bugalu), I force myself to leave. Knowing I left late, I think cab, but my wallet and the presence of a nearby bus told me it's bus time. Apparently, the driver is leaving his route after years on this specific route (don't they make movies about people who have bad stuff happen to them on days like this? i think to myself as I grab a seat near the front), so we ride up. I sprint into Knucklehead's house to get ready for Shabbas...


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