April 18, 2015

Birthday Boy, Part 2

On Amir's birthday last week, his girlfriend Joleen sent me an email describing how she planned to celebrate him. Reading it soothed me on a difficult day and I've been meaning to share it:
"Last night, before I went to sleep I talked to Amir for a while. I shared memories and told him about what I was going to do today and then I started talking about stupid shit, just like I used to with him and he'd listen and give advice.
7 am this morning I went to Kornblatt's for breakfast and got the eggs benedict (on a bagel, with salami not ham). This was Amir's favorite Jewish deli. He also liked Kenny & Zukes for their chicken matzo ball soup and bagel dogs, which are beef hotdogs baked in bagels, similar to pigs in a blanket.
Last year, we went to Kornblatt's on Sunday. This morning, I sat there all alone for almost an hour reading the paper and trying not to devour my breakfast too fast. I was trying to do it like Amir. He always took his time and we could easily spend over an hour eating.
[Later], I plan to walk over to the Hollywood District and go to the vintage mall. We discovered it back in August/September one Saturday. Neither of us had ever been in it but all we had was time that day so we went in and ended up being there for 2 hours. It's an IKEA style vintage store. IKEA, in that it has tons of rooms and corners all decorated, but with all this old shit. You can't help but touch and look at everything. We separated at one point and ran into each other an hour later. He said 'This place never ends, you turn a corner and it just goes on and on.'
We couldn't get over how awesome this place is. So, I'm going there next! For lunch, I think I'll go to Ole Ole for a steak quesadilla. We went there on our third date. He loved that place. He loved quesadillas a lot."
Just pretend it's a grilled cheese
I told Joleen how much her email had made me smile, thinking of Amir taking an hour to finish a meal, often reading the newspaper while he slowly chewed and contemplated every fucking thing. He was always the last person at the table to finish his food, typically lingering for hours in a restaurant, rarely skipping dessert. 

Also, I have no doubt that Amir's undying love for quesadillas was inevitable given his childhood obsession with American cheese slices and, later, grilled cheese sandwiches. Grilled cheese was his first love (after his sisters, of course). You could have thrown that kid into a tub full of thumbtacks and he would have been just fine, so long as he had a grilled cheese.

April 7, 2015

Birthday Boy

Amir would have (should have!) turned 39 today.​ I'm heartbroken that he's not here to receive my card or my call. He is so very missed. It's raining and grey and gloomy here in New York, which is apropos of how I'm feeling and yet it makes me smile because Amir loved rain.

When he turned five, Amir had a birthday party at Farrell's Ice Cream Parlor, complete with an R2-D2 cake. There's a smile for ya!

I hope all of you who knew him and loved will think of him and remember him today by listening to a song he loved or doing something he enjoyed doing or spending some quiet time with a special memory of him. You can laugh or you can cry. Just remember him fondly and raise a glass, if you're so inclined.


April 3, 2015


"I'd be lost without you and Amir, truly." That was part of a Gmail chat I had with my sister less than two weeks before my brother died.​ And that's how I've been feeling these past 4 months since Amir died. Grief comes in waves and the sadness and emptiness roll in at seemingly random times, while other moments seem almost normal. I'll never be sure I'm navigating my grief correctly or even if I'm dealing with it the way that's best for me. I just go with how I feel, day to day.

I haven't posted anything here in a while, but I have been writing. I often post on Saturday mornings. That's by far the most difficult time for me, when my mind returns to the minute before I received that awful phone call. During the week, I'm kept busy with work and other commitments, but it's the weekends when I find myself struggling the most--just being home can be difficult at times.

Turning the calendar page to April a few days ago, I felt a pang of sadness, as April was Amir's birthday month and (to me) marks the true beginning of spring, a time of rebirth and renewal.

Tonight, I'll be celebrating Passover with my aunt and cousins, which will surely bring back memories. Amir was the youngest at our table for so many Brooklyn seders. He was the cutest little blond thing--sitting on pillows or phone books to reach the table. I love thinking of him and remembering him that way, though that's not the Amir I miss the most. It's who he was these past few years that will stay with me, as I think he would have wanted. He was a friend and confidant to me, as well as a joker and a playmate of sorts.

My thoughts are mostly incoherent today, but I wanted to mark this special month in some way. I may write more this weekend.