The America I Know


The America I knew was won through war

From gallons of bloodshed to conspiracies deeper than the Atlantic

A kingdom of dirt was turned into a white stoned democracy

The America I knew had expanded through trades and finance

Without considering those who were originally there

An entire people were murdered and displaced in the process of other people’s growth.

The America I knew was made from labor

And from the crack of the whip, millions would be dehumanized

while laying the groundwork that made this nation grand

The America I knew was challenged by innovation

So when all found the industrialization of a nation so fascinating

It is important to recall the workers and children who weren’t given many other opportunities outside of the factories

The America I knew always brought in foreigners

No one said, though, that they would be treated respectfully

And for that reason, a cycle left generations, heritages and cultures hardened in their soul

The America I knew used to take a gilded position

And convince people for an entire decade that everyone could be rich

When really no one could afford it, eventually leaving everyone poor and powerless

The America I knew would find itself entrenched in policies

While forgetting what its greatest forefather had said

Government has forgotten in a countless number of situations that being a politician didn’t always mean their work was political

The America I knew sometimes mixed their wars with racism

Causing thousands to millions of deaths of people of a foreign land

When really they were civilians who had no say as to whether war was their desiredchoice or not

The America I knew has made many wonderful inventions

But they were turned into killing machines that would revolutionize

And leave devastating results in the century to come

The America I knew would claim itself, a countless number of times for that matter,

To being the free democracy of the world that paved the path towards freedom

When really people within the country of “the free” were oppressed by unjust traditions of their own people

The America I knew would compare itself to other nations and governments

And selfishly act in order to gain the bigger stick of power

So that other governments and peoples could only look to America as a legitimate source

The America I knew would find itself toppling entire governments

and in doing so would have the nerve to find itself satisfied with holding a militarized stronghold

On various parts across the world

However this weekend makes history. Granted, this weekend doesn’t fix all of the mistakes and scars cast upon this nation but it certainly gives hope that all can find a sense of resolution and happiness. Yesterday, I stood proud within the crowd  of beating hearts that set the new standard for the future. A new sense of equality was established among the land allowing all U.S. citizens, no matter what their sexuality was to  marry under legal contract. I was among the crowd and I helped contribute to history. In many ways, this new sense of love will change many things. I know it.

The America I know is one of much diversity and change

Everyday, I see it coming closer to its goal

Given that just yesterday a groundbreaking moment in our history took place

The America I know is one that tends to contradict itself

But despite others efforts to terrorize and oppress

The voiceless are becoming more vocal and effective

The America I know is facing a new reality

And in seeing so they have been able to unionize, globalize and conquer the task at hand

While allowing everyone a fair say in the matter

The America I know may be made with a bunch of stereotypical hicks

Who deep fry their oreos, bacon wrap their milkshakes and commercialize this shit out of food

But we still love ’em, don’t we?

The America I know just completely changed its image

It redefined the fundamentals of the legal contract of love

And from here I see a spreading chain of progress

People look at the country in a pessimistic light which is understandable yet sad. They don’t see any hope or any realistic answer to any of the problems facing our nation. From politics to morals, the challenge seems so great that no one strong enough dares to stand up  to them and those who do are no prepared. But people forget the common pattern of human knowledge:History shows that when humanity looks to the metaphors in nature we learn the best. The Wright Brothers looked up to the sky one day and saw the aerodynamics and structure of the bird. From this, they created the airplane. Scientists observed how light was captured by trees and plants thus creating their inner life that leads to their existence and they ended up creating the concept of solar energy. This list goes on and on and if you really wanted to hear a series of these metaphors just watch House of Cards. Kevin Spacey delivers them so well that it becomes a motif throughout the series. The one metaphor, however, that applies most to America is how as you climb higher to the top of the mountain the air becomes thinner and more windy. Everyday, we face the traumas of school shootings, natural disasters, car accidents, murders, political setbacks, network hacking and many other tragedies. It’s easy to get depressed these days but in a weird way I believe it means progress. To every great checkpoint there are a series of setbacks that often appear greater than the very goal accomplished. These tragedies are setbacks and gay marriage being legalized was the checkpoint.

In a funny way, gay marriage, or just marriage now, put my faith in humanity and our nation in a better place. I am proud to say that I stood among history and will continue to do so as America progresses in the right direction. Today, I am proud to be American.

Chasing Things


When people ask me whether I’m a cat person or a dog person I automatically tell them, without hesitation, that I’m a dog person. Know, though, that when I answer this it is not to say which I prefer more but instead how I act more. So yes, I’m a dog person. Does this mean I skid my bottom onto perfectly roughened carpets on my spare time? No. Does this mean that I bark in the most over acted manner possible when the doorbell rings? No. Does this mean that when food is in my presence I begin to beg by eyeing your food while simultaneously treating you with better behavior? … Actually, now that I say it… Yeah, I do. But that’s besides the point.

Have you ever seen a dog chase after a vehicle? Neither have I, but in theory that’s what they do according to urban legend. That’s what they’re excellent in, is chasing. Indeed, I have seen dogs chase other things; squirrels, toy balls and even their own masters when playing with them. Go to the dog park and even more than a dog playing fetch, you’ll see dogs chasing other dogs.

So why does the topic of chasing things matter so much to me? That’s all I do these days is chase things. I catch myself in the dilemma of chasing things all of the time. It’s almost a practice of self torment. But why do I do this? It simply feels innate like the dog’s instinct to chase after cars. When a dog finally catches that car it does an awkward pace back and forth, sniffs its catch and walks away to the next interest. In other words there was no plan. There was never anything to be accomplished in chasing it. It was merely a temporary taste of enjoyment. This rather dull practice is gilded. It covers itself in glory and beauty when really there’s nothing behind it. I’m doing that a lot these days in the sense that I sometimes have the tendency to look back too often. I chase after something long lost that I miss and realize that in doing so I’m not to expect much result from it and that hurts. For the most part I’m a forward thinker always looking towards the future in the most optimistic way possible. Still, this is a nasty habit of mine.

When I make this post, though, please don’t worry about me. I recognize the fact that one, this is natural, and two, I really don’t do this as often as it seems. I do this from time to time in phases. I really am chasing the right things these days for the most part. Only once in a while, I look back and chase what is pointless but beyond that I’m on track and from this point on I know I’m unstoppable- just as unstoppable as a dog’s will to catch that damn car.

Deja Vu

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Today I faced a new fear and I know so because I realized it was indeed the newest of my fears right as it was happening. One would think that being able to experience this is great or really just natural but in my imaginative mind, the one that jumps to conclusions, a part of me feels that the answer is at least more comforting than knowing of its existence and not saying anything. So I write about it.

Frankly, though, its incredibly difficult to describe because the way my mind processes words and the way I write them, I intend on them becoming more concrete with actual imagery when nearly everything the mind does deep down is so mental that it can’t be painted… but let’s try, shall we?

The fear is deja vu. Big whoop! Who cares? Well, let’s consider why I fear it. The way my brief episodes of deja vu work is that my mind somehow remembers events that haven’t happened yet. Let me repeat that- “remember events… that haven’t happened yet.” Maybe its that I had dreamt of it before or maybe its that our minds are capable of telling the future and that we, as humans, haven’t harnessed the capabilities of  using the remaining 90%. Neurologists and other students devoted to the study of brains (and quite frankly unqualified peoples such as myself who create wild theories on a daily basis) speculate that the day we become capable of engaging 100% of the mind we will have superpowers. I feel that one of them will be the power of telling the future.

In the meantime, at least for myself, my brain dreams up something that I forget as I wake up. A picture or moment becomes forever lost deep within the archives of my scattered brain and what is set before my eyes completely takes over my mindset for the day to come. Then suddenly, the reality I see will miraculously, without warning, match up with that picture or moment lost from the dream. I know for a fact that these events are incomparable because my memory doesn’t recollect events like these happening with certainty. I don’t know how this happens or whether or not I am even seeing these situations clearly but what I do know is that I’m lost in why these happen in the first place.

So I begin to make conclusions to help calm my nerves:

Maybe if I’m seeing more Deja Vus it means that something phenomenal will come to me?

Maybe if I’m seeing more Deja Vus it means there’s a parallel universe where this exact moment happened and somehow our identical spirits communicate when something matches up?

Maybe if I’m seeing more Deja Vus it’s a message from God saying that the end of my life is near?

Regardless of how wild or different these speculations are I notice that there is one thing common with every single one of them- They all derive from personal superstitions. To any rational person this all seems crazy but what happened today was quite the trip.

Today, I was pursuing my 3rd adventure for geocaching, a great way to see more of the city around you while doing treasure hunts in the modern day setting. In other words, it’s treasure hunting for adults without the plentiful amounts of booty. The specific place I went to was under a bridge at this lake right across the street from my school. Here I went around the lake, went to the checkpoint that happened to be under this bridge in dead center of the lake. Underneath the bridge was the geocache which I concluded was a black suitcase filled with Playboy magazines, hair straighteners, nail polishers, cigarettes and other sketchy items including a note that made no logical sense besides the word “Help!” Next to the geocache suitcase was a pair of black high heels. Around the area were other remnants to some skimpy outfit including a leather skirt, a tomboyish-looking shirt and a bracelet dangling from a bush. To be honest, this geocache felt more like the murder sight of some hooker that society neglected, abused and forgot about. I didn’t know what to make of it.

Satisfied with my find, I logged the geocache on the application on my phone and decided that since I am encouraged to be adventurous that I walk the other way opposite of the trail I had arrived from in order to see new things. In doing so, I found myself walking towards the school but through the private golf course next to the lake and school. Learning the hard way, I found out that given the barbed fences there was no way to hop the fence or cut through the golf course to get to the school . The only way to school was all the way back which would have been a 3-4 mile trek back the way I came. Knowing I did not have the energy in me to do this I quickly asked a group of golfers for a ride to the entry but was rejected due to their tight schedule by the club’s regulations. Luckily a sweet and kind girl driving one of those mobile service bars was doing rounds on the golf course. When I stopped her and asked for a ride, I didn’t expect to make the connection I had with her. Next thing I knew, this woman and I rode the cart to the bridge where we talked about our lives and got to know each other a little bit. Aside from her looks I liked her a lot for the fact that she was easy to talk to and seemed open minded which was very calming.

Before I asked for her number though I went through the Deja Vu. In telling her about geocaching we made a dead hooker joke and in that instant I connected reality to a long lost vision that was somewhere deep in my unused 90% of the brain. With a trick of the mind I knew that somehow I would segue that into asking her for her number and before I even knew the conversation I knew it was going to happen. Somehow this dead hooker joke led perfectly, as the deja vu had predicted, into me getting her number. Then, I looked down and in doing so I knew that I would receive a text from a brother in my fraternity in the process of pulling out my phone to write down her number. This very thing happened. Then I began to look up only to see her face so pure and still in a blurred background the way that a soft focus shot would be filmed for a movie. The golf course was now a giant mooshy blob of green nothingness and the only thing I saw was this familiar face that seemed so untouched and recognizable. That’s where the deja vu ended. Walking away, I was proud of getting the number but I also became weary and more aware than ever of this reoccurring instance.

So why so scared, you ask? The truth is, I’m not entirely sure. All I know is that something is coming and that there is no way of telling whether it is good or not. What will come of it? Does it mean anything? Do these instances have anything in common? Do they happen to anyone else? Is my fear rational? These are the questions that keep echoing in my mind. When the day comes where I have the answer I will let you all know what it means. Until then, does anyone else speculate anything?

Hugs are Stupid

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Hugs are stupid. Yes, they really are. One moment someone tells you how much they love you and you’d think that would be enough. Then they go as far as to physically express it? What is it? Here let me mesh my body by wrapping my arms around your torso while you do the same. It’s not sexual or anything. I’m just trying as hard as I can to put my bare open chest onto your bare open chest. Yes your excuse is so that our hearts can touch but what are we really doing here? No it is not sexual. It’s expression It certainly isn’t since I want to keep this particular friendship clean. Shit, well, here it goes. I’ll hug you I suppose.

Finally, it’s done. Another person less that I have to worry about hugging. Again, hugs are pointless. You know where the hug derives from, right? They derive from the optimist. Did you know that? Why of course, think about it:

Optimist: Primarily uses the right side of the brain. And what do these optimists love? Feelings. That’s right. With all of these feelings they do everything they possibly can to express themselves in every way, shape and form. First there’s writers. Writers think they know everything but they don’t as they create fictional worlds to feel powerful and godly. Then there’s singers. Singers thought, “Well talking is one thing but say if I spoke to a rhythm while basing all of these things called notes into an A minor key signature while elongating certain notes to a vibrato ending I could call it singing thus calling myself a singer,” and thus it became a thing. Fucking brilliant… and a good waste of time. Then you have the actors who are so sick of being themselves that they decided they must be everyone else now. One month they’re a damsel in distress and in the next  month they’re a kick ass super soldier who wears skimpy clothing to affirm their sexiness… that they’re insecure about of course. Ugh, despicable people.

Yep, that’s my definition of them. Again, they are rather disgusting people and pathetic excuses for adults. One could literally be trapped in a burning plane as it falls from the sky at 300 knots and somehow tell itself that everything is going to be okay. He or she will repeat it over and over until their satisfied with the situation- Death.  However, if there was a left brained person as myself in that situation, someone who understand the necessary need for cold and decisive instinct and planning in situations as such, would  search for the nearest exit and parachute by pushing myself though the zero gravity atmosphere concealed within the fuselage  and at least try to force myself out of the horrific tragedy thus avoiding it. Result – living. See my point?

Again, optimists are stupid. Same situation goes for the zombie apocalypse, for example (By the way, the zombie apocalypse was something written up by optimists to tell a good story. Can you tell?). Say the flesh-eating monsters that were construed within the walls of the optimist capital, Hollywood, became a real living crisis within today’s world. Yes, the human numbers are shrinking and the zombies’ appetites are growing. The last people alive to defend themselves, find each other, unite and repopulate will be the pessimists- those who didn’t tell themselves and their children that it will all be okay. Did you say okay? Does Grandma getting her brains eaten out by some Hollywood made creature sound okay to you? That’s what any logical mother or father would say to their naive child in order to strengthen him or her for such an event that it is not going to be okay. First they would have made a bomb shelter. Then, they would have bought as many guns as possible. Then they would have defended themselves and moved on to find better resources and in the end, would repopulate the Earth. This right here is the perfect family.

Now what I have said thus far is not cynicism. It is all purely fact which us left brained people have a knack for foreseeing. We’re political, calculated, business-oriented, aware and sharp thus making us the superior being. We use the part of our brain that is real and important. We set aside the right brain because let’s face it… hugs are stupid.

So what’s my focus? I sit in my cubicle and I make the world a better place. I am the best worker on my floor due for a promotion in July. I’ve have the best sales and make the better deals. I know how to manipulate your right brained psyche into buying my product and I certainly know how to get away with better commission than the average Joe. How do I do that, you ask? I can’t tell because this room is social darwinism and that is how you survive in the wild jungle of business. It’s all politics really. I’ll laugh with my bosses and tell them crazy stories of the things I did in college, but let’s face it. I’m doing this for that promotion. So after I tell you all of these jokes and stories and laugh it up to create the subconscious awareness I get back to the cubicle without any hesitation and begin to type ferociously onto the keyboard. I analyze the numbers and charts, percentages and  monthly records. Type, type, type, type, type and just like that I make the world a better place by sharpening my left brained skills.

After all of these closely evaluated details within my life are speculated it is time to sit back and relax for the evening. The sun is about to set and everything seems perfect. I suppose once in a while it is fun to look down at the world below and laugh at the optimists who ruin it. So I sit down on my couch (which isn’t too soft and isn’t too hard- perfect for doing paper work on for casual days) and turn on the television. Flipping through channels I find several different stations full of optimists who are busy making their lives into optimistic heavens. You have writers writing fake lives for actors who got the role by singing in an audition. Look at that! All three so-called talents derived from the right brain. So many silly and useless emotions to make fun of. The only emotion I feel for them is… well humor I suppose. I mean look at them! Just what are they doing with their lives! Obviously nothing except for telling themselves that it is okay to be making lies to the public on what supposed parts of the world are like. It is so laughable.

Here, enough of this nonsense. It is time to watch something intellectual- The News! (The News being of course the only station in the universe worth watching for the virtue of awareness) But wait, what’s this? A crisis? Here in America? The news anchor frantically reports thus, “The notorious Area 51, thought by the public to be a fake location in America, has gone awol as scientists and staff working on the facility have not been seen for over a week. One camera crew made it in and out alive to tell the story as to why they could not reach them.” The station then inserted raw footage onto the screen. The camera is shaking frantically. Back and forth, back and forth, the camera man couldn’t hold the camera steady as he ran for his life screaming. In the back, a series of ominous moans echoed from behind him as he ran through the dark and shallow corridors. Suddenly, a light shows at the end of the corridor. An exit! He runs in dear hope trying to flee the unseen source until he turns the camera around to find himself being chased by tens of hundreds of deformed human-like beings. Their eyes are bloodshot. Their skin is half torn off. Blood runs off of them as their bloody foot prints scar the floor with infested diseases and fluids unseen before. “Yes, this secret facility has been overrun. By what? We’re not sure. ‘The Monsters’ as General Smith has described them are vicious man eating creatures that spread an infected virus while violently dashing towards their victims to gather more meat for their appetites. General Smith suggests that all citizens should remain calm and keep their doors locked as to remain safe from such a situation. Although they have broken through the first line of defense the General is confident in solving the problem and aims to rid the crisis down to the last monster. “They are vicious, they are relentless but are more than stoppable with our advanced military. We ask that you remain calm and keep those that you love closest to you during these times. Everything is going to be okay!” says the general. “This is reporter Angelina Right reporting live from The News.” I am speechless.

Surely, this can’t be happening. Man-eating? Did I just hear that correctly. I begin to flip through the news channels skeptical of such a report. I can’t believe what I’m seeing though. This can’t be real. Each report relevant and correlated to the next of an impending spread of some sort of monster invasion. One report says that almost all of Nevada has lost its power and has no connection for communication. Wait a second. Area 51 is in Nevada. Even worse, my family is from there!

Quickly, I pick up the phone and call my parents cell phones. Their phones ring and ring and ring with no answer. The only thing I hear of their voices are their answering machines. “Thanks for calling! Please leave a message after the beep. Beep!” They joke and laugh like nothing is wrong with the world and cut the message to voicemail. How could this be happening? A zombie apocalypse? I must go out and get my survival necessities. Come on left brain work! Water! Yes. Wood! Yes! Gas! Yes! Food! Yes. Matches! Yes. Guns! Yes. Wait, shit! The General said  to stay inside with doors locked. Quickly I run to the window facing my neighborhood to see whether it is safe or not. Outside I could see people running in the streets like a riot out of hand. With zombies chasing for bloody human flesh and planes flying vertically down at 300 knots crashing down at top speed into dry mountains that spread fire, the California I once knew turns instantly into the apocalyptic world I’ve seen in Hollywood films. Shit. It’s all real. Oh, how stupid it was to never call my parents because of work-related excuses. Oh, and how  stupid it was that I didn’t make any friends at the office so that maybe I could shelter up with them and be safer in a more resourceful atmosphere. Oh, how stupid it was that I didn’t listen and never prepared for the worst. What seemed fake was now real and what was once so far was now here. I am going to die. I know this quite clearly. My house isn’t a bomb shelter. It’s merely a suburban house with a small piece of metal called a lock to stop intruders from breaking in. But they won’t enter through the door. They won’t enter in any proper manner. They will enter through the windows and through the roof if they can manage. Fuck! I’m a business man, not a creator. I don’t know how to board up walls and windows with wood let alone the fact I don’t have any. I don’t know how to turn my house into a defense vessel!

I’m going to die. I know it. So I begin to tell myself the only thing I could possibly tell myself: “It’ll be okay. There will be a rescue team out to save me. It’ll be okay.” But I know I’m going to die. I have no one with skills necessary to sustain my life in such a place. I am going to die…

I need a hug.

Meeting my Best Friend

Most people don’t remember him, but there was a shy and timid version of Chaz Volk- a short Jewish kid who walked weirdly with his arms swaying way too far away from his body like he was some sort of body builder (he still somewhat does that).

This Chaz Volk wanted to be both an architect and an author as he was attempting to write novels at the young age of 11 or 12. He thought he knew everything already and thought he could definitely write a book- especially a book in the genre of science fiction when really it was a reflection (almost exactly parallel to) his favorite video game Halo 2.The only difference was that the names were changed but what the most amazing thing about this is is that I didn’t realize this copyright until 3 years after the matter of the fact. The best part of this was that this Chaz had never really read a book on his own accord ever.  He also thought that architecture would be a breeze as it would consist of drawing with a ruler really cool building-like structures while keeping some simple maths in mind that involved multiplication, addition, division and the hardest part- measuring angles. Of course, this would not be the case as I would learn this much later but architecture still remained THE passion of the young naive Chaz Volk.

At this age Chaz went to Lost Children’s Middle School (no worries, that’s not the real name) where he would learn only more tolerance to bullying, at this time for just being fat. It wasn’t until 7th grade when I was bullied for being a Jew. He only had a few friends at the time and because of this felt somewhat lost and hopeless. Oh yeah, and he played trumpet too. Tooting his horn in the literal sense, he already was identified in the ‘nerd’ department of the school. Too ignorant to see who liked him, Chaz focused on impressing those who already didn’t like him. Yes, it is true, the Chaz you know today who is humorous, flirtatious and egocentric was just like this at this age. Middle school was not Chaz’s favorite period of his life.

One day, a friend at the time, who shall remain nameless, would take me to meet a new group of people. This group was known for switching off between soccer and tag during lunch time. Of course, this friend’s motivation for introducing me was being that he wanted to hangout more with this really pretty girl that he had a crush on. I was the perfect excuse to go approach the group again. Within this group I met Girl 1 and Girl 2 (who were best friends), Soccer Player 1, Soccer Player 2, and Soccer Player 3 (who was brothers with Soccer Player 2). The two other key characters included Grasshopper 1 (which I will explain why his code name is Grasshopper in a second) and Nick Benjamin (who is the first full name I’ve ever written on this blog- I know. Big deal right?). With that we instantly played and laughed our weird convoluted version of soccer that was conveniently placed within a tennis court. With the net still up we jumped over it and enjoyed our sweaty and high paced game of the worlds greatest sport (according to the misinformed). I couldn’t tell you how many times I fell and began bleeding because of that net.

Side Note: Next to the tennis courts were fences that stood as the end borders of the school. The property in between the school and the residential neighborhood next to it was filled with hay as it was an empty strip of land meant strictly for telephone poles that towered over us and left long shadows along the school towards the afternoons.

The bell rang and it was time to go back to our classes. We all started walking from our last positions on the field as we were all dispersed and uncaringly going back in no particular order. This is where Grasshopper 1 comes in.  Grasshopper 1, instead of walking back, mischievously went to the fence and gathered up as much hay as he could. Doing so, he walks up with strains of hay flying off one string a time in the wind. I look over my left shoulder to see this strange behavior taking place to find Grasshopper 1 has approached the unorganized group of my new friends. Grosshopper 1 looks over to Nick and Girl 1 and says ,”Should I do it?” They both say, from what it looked like, “Yeah. Do it!” “Grosshopper 1, to confirm that indeed that is what they wanted to see, excitedly asks, “Really? Should I go do it?” “Yes do it, idiot! It’ll be funny!” Of course none of this was heared. All this is what I thought I heard. Grasshopper 1 comes up in a devilish manner with his bundle of hay behind his head, clenched in both hands ready to be thrown. Before I can even conceive what was going to happened the equivalent to Julius Caesar’s murder had occurred as I was conspired against and hit first by Grasshopper 1 who splashed this armada of stringy, prickly hay into my clean, soft face. With red marks all over it and pieces of hay still stuck to my face I chased after him in a mad rampage.

Side Note: Grasshopper 1 is referred to as Grasshopper 1 because if his fucking legs. His fucking legs, at the time, went up to the top of my stomach. This fucking brainless ass fuck head escaped only because of his freakishly long mutant legs.

Before I knew it, Grasshopper 1, that dumb ass grasshopper legged shit head, escaped despite my powerful sprint -which yes was powerful even for a guy as short as me. Standing near the back entrance of my school, where I lost him, I huffed and puffed with my body hunched over as I had never ran so intensely in my life (probably). Nick came up right behind me. I could hear his foot prints hitting the concrete floor behind me as they ran in mere excitement and joy.

“Dude, are you okay?” were the first words that came from Nick.

Seeing Nick’s stupid fucking face made me madder than before. Seeing the rough, rigid wall, I stood upright, looked him square in the eye and shoved his puny self into that wall. His back hit the wall and slowly slumped down to the ground as I’m sure I bruised him somehow. All gentleness and respect was gone. Nick fucked up and for that reason I hated him… for that night after.

The next day I would see him in the same group, playing the same game with the same group of people (minus Grasshopper 1) and because I didn’t have many friends I approached the group to hangout with them. Talking to him at first, I remember being incredibly awkward. After all, what would Julius Caesar say to Brutus after killing him and meeting him in the afterlife? “Oh hey. Sorry about your back dude,” says Brutus. “Fuck off,” says Julius Caesar. And those were the last ears lent to Brutus from Caesar. But after I caved in mere guilt and said sorry for shoving him he explained what had happened from his perspective:

“Yeah, so what happened was Grasshopper 1 approached us with this random bunch of hay, which God knows where he got that. He says to us, ‘Hey I’m going to throw this in Chaz’s face. How funny would that be?’ I naturally told him, ‘No, that’s not cool dude. Please don’t do that.’ ‘No man, I’m totally going to do that. It’ll be funny!’ ‘Grasshopper 1, you’re an idiot,’ and before I could even say anything he ran up to you, practically punched you in the face with hay and ran off. Next thing I knew you dashed off like a wild gorilla released from the zoo on a rampage against the poachers and when I got to you you shoved me against the wall where you hurt my head.”

To be honest that gorilla part made me laugh. 

I felt horrible and said sorry for my misdeed. With that the rest was history! Our friendship would soon flourish from there as every weekend we’d have sleepovers and have deep talks over video games and eventually falling asleep. It was here that I’d learn of his passion for film- such a pure art form that combined every art ever thought of by man to the point where it could be universally recognized by everyone for its depth and visual content. Again, such a masterful passion. With that we construed the idea of NC Studios (Nick and Chaz Studios) as I designed the park using horribly sketched drawings (architecture) and Roller Coaster Tycoon 3 (again, architecture). It was perfect. We thought of it all as our minds became engaged and our friendship would become stronger. Our empire was completed and our future was set in motion already! Our plan: I write the scripts (author). He produces the films (filmmaker). I made the ride to make tribute to that movie (architecture). All of our passions were blended until I realized- Wait a second, I can write. Directing is merely just telling people how to take what I wrote and act it out. This is doable! On top of that, how hard could it be to operate a camera. It’s easy: Just point and shoot. Easy! So I changed passions to the point where my Bar Mitzvah was movie themed just like Nick’s (Nick is a year older and by the time I had met him his Bar Mitzvah had passed).

Ever since, Nick has continued to effect my life and continues to do so despite distance. We never went to high school together and will most likely not go to college together. Despite this, our friendship remains.

Side Note: At my Bar Mitzvah, I handed him a table decoration which looked and felt, based on its weight, very much like an Oscar Award. I gave this to him as a token to our friendship. Years later, August 22nd, 2013, the night before I left for my first day in college Nick hands me the Oscar Award. “Why are you giving this back?” I asked. “Because,” began Nick, “ever since you gave me that, I have had greater hope for success within the film industry. Whenever I get stressed, whether it is with film or anything else, I look at this fake oscar and remember how real my future will be. I’m lending this to you for 2 years. Return it then.”

Indeed, I returned it last week.