would i? would i?


this entry is dedicated to the top ten moments starring my only female jewish friend, toby:

10) toby and i had father leigh's eng 120: masterpieces of literature class. one day, while discussing a particular story in class, toby raised her hand to speak. "does anyone remember that one story about that green man who was in the woods?" my classmates and i started to chuckle, since the random question carried her signature high-pitched voice and southern accent. nevertheless, she continued to find the answer she was searching for: "you know, that story about that guy. and he's looking for his wife?" by then, the laughter had surged to a new level. father leigh only shot her a puzzled look, and then he continued on to something else.

09) during our senior year, toby and i went to go see sonic youth at the showbox. throughout the show, she continued to pound back some cocktails, maybe some rum and cokes. i remember being shocked at how such a small, skinny girl could handle so much booze. she drank more than anyone, and it was the most plastered i had ever seen her. after the show, we got out into the cold street, and her eyes were swimming around in her head. "what'd you think?" she asked. "it was good," i said, "but i wish they played more stuff from dirty and their older albums." she shook her head in disagreement. "nah," she said, "it was the best set ever!" and then she climbed onto andrew's shoulders (andrew was at least 6 feet tall) and triumphantly declared to first avenue: "sonic youth! sonic youthhh!"

08) through toby, i was always meeting seattle u's weirdest guys. for some reason, she had become temporarily interested in this guy named dave, who i didn't like from the moment i met him. first off, he was at least five, if not ten, years older than us, and he acted like such a normal, boring guy. i don't know what it was exactly. instead, i preferred the company of his big, dumb sidekick, a sixth-year senior/soccer player named ben, who carefully maintained his prince valiant haircut. he was much funnier. for instance, after the four of us went to watch the matrix: reloaded (i think that's what we saw), toby took her sweet time using the ladies' restroom. when she finally came out, ben said, "you didn't tell us you had to poop!" toby frowned. "i didn't poop," she said. then, as we walked down broadway back to the dorms, i made some comment about terrorists, or something, and ben shushed me. "only positive thoughts," he said, zen-like.

when toby finally realized that she didn't want to have anything to do with dave, she handed me her cell phone. "listen to this message he left me," she said. i held her cell phone to my ear. dave left a long-winded comment about being in the library and studying. he ended with, "give me a ring-a-ding-a-ling when you get this." "what the hell was that?" i asked. "a 'ring-a-ding-a-ling?'" we had a good, long laugh at poor dave's expense.

07) somehow, toby managed to hate my roommate more than i did. the three of us had father leigh's english class, and my roommate, anthony, took every chance he got to ridicule her for comments she made in class. he wound her up by imitating her southern accent, after which he would wrap his arms around her, and say, "i'm just kidding. you know i love you." and then he would pretend that he was in love with her, which, in truth, he probably was. toby would break free from his grasp, and i would think, so this is what it would be like to have little brothers and sisters. after toby got away from him, she would say, "i hate you, devil. i hate you." in future conversations, she continually referred to him as "the devil," even when we were among people who didn't know who anthony was.

06) as a native from california, i didn't have the first idea about how to dress for the cold. during the winter, i bought a flimsy green jacket from old navy, one that i thought i could wear over my amoeba sweatshirt to keep me warm. i thought my layering was fashionable, and i was brimming with confidence as toby, the devil, and i walked down pine street to the amc theaters. "how do i look?" i asked. toby took a step back, sized me up from head to toe, and said, rather bluntly: "you look like a refugee."

05) the two of us had dr. brown's philosophy 110 class. dr. brown asked us to bring in jokes, and each day we started class with a joke. the purpose was for us to recognize that moment of insight, that moment the punchline was delivered. this exercise was supposed to help us wonder about our ability to communicate and receive information. i didn't really know any good jokes, so i didn't tell any. toby knew one, though, and she delivered it in class one day.

the story goes something like this: once, there was a girl who was very self-conscious about her hair lip, also known as a cleft lip. the girl went through life thinking that she'd never find anyone because of her condition. likewise, there was a boy at her school who had a wooden eye. both were equally lonely, and they were loners at the school dance. when the boy with the wooden eye saw this girl with the hair lip, he thought that he would ask her to dance, since no other boys seemed to go near her. he walked over to the other side of the room, and he asked her if she would like to dance. to this, the girl replied: "would i? would i?" and the boy yelled back, "hair lip! hair lip!" toby nearly screamed the punchline.

04) during our senior year, toby was really excited to see the final installment of the star wars prequel, episode III: revenge of the sith. i invited jacob because i thought they might bond, the two of them being jews and all. we attended the premiere screening, a midnight showing, and we had to drive all the way to a theater in bellevue. when we finally sat down in the theater, toby asked jacob if he would buy her some candy. jacob asked if she was serious. "yeah," she said, "some starburst or something." jacob said he would buy it if she would eat it. she said she would. so, jacob went to the concession stand and got some candy. when he offered it to her, she had decided she changed her mind, and she didn't take any. jacob and i ate all the starburst candy. then, an hour into the film, during an action-packed sequence involving light-sabers and explosions, i looked over at toby. she had fallen asleep.

03) for christmas and for my birthday, toby always gave me books. on the inside cover of each book, she included an inscription. for example, for naked: "happy 20th birthday! i'd like to introduce you to another person....meet david sedaris. he's really fucking funny and you two should get along pretty well. xoxo, toby." any time she was serious about something, she wouldn't hesitate to drop the f-bomb. "you need to listen to marquee moon!" she insisted, "it'll fucking change the way you play guitar!" another time, while walking through a capitol hill neighborhood, we stumbled upon a garage sale. she found a hardcover copy of up the down staircase, and bought it for me. it's a really fucking good book.

02) in the u-district, toby found a quaint coffee shop that showed old movies. the first time that she, tiffany, and i sat down for coffee, toby made us swear that we wouldn't tell anyone else about it. "because then it'll get really trendy, and it'll be full of annoying people." we swore that we would keep our coffee shop a secret, but then broke our pact shortly thereafter. still, the shop and theater served us well during the short time we kept it under wraps. the three of us watched the birds and let my puppets come, a musical xxx comedy featuring puppets.

01) we usually met up in the cafeteria, where i'd find her wearing the colorful scarves and caps she knitted herself. she cut the fingertips off her gloves. "why'd you do that?" i asked. "it's easier to pick stuff up," she said, "and it looks cool." she sipped her tea, and flipped through the pages of that week's edition of the stranger, not unlike a fastidious older woman. we exchanged sarcasm, talked about music, people we knew, and other, small things that had happened to us. "over christmas break, i went to a grocery store in nashville," she said, "and i started talking to the bag boy. i asked him if he was in college, and he said he already graduated. then i asked him what he majored in. he said, 'english.'"

"we're screwed, jimbo," toby said. "we're screwed."

1 comment:

blog said...

a) the story i was describing in fr leigh's class was young goodman brown, and that a-hole should've known about it.
b) i really didn't poop that night.
c) i did eat the starbursts!!

you have a bit of a revisionist history going on in this blog, jimbo!