Friday, November 20, 2009

nathen has left. dammit.

for the last almost 2 weeks, i've had a young friend from back east staying with me. it has been a delight and an education.

meet nathen.

(he's not really scowling, just not awake yet.)

nathen is 21 (i said young !), damn smart, talented, courageous, and funny. he's a musician, street performer, and actor. he learns faster than the speed of light-not just technical stuff, but emotional stuff too. which is good, since the man has been through more wretched crap in his short life than many of us go through in 3 times that many years. i've known him since he was 15 or 16 (i think). we both worked for several years as instructors for the same autistic boy (whom we both love dearly). and for some reason, nathen and i clicked. we have similar musical tastes (eclectic and wide-ranging), we learned to dance at the same time and with the same person, we both don't like nuts in things, or fruit in non-fruit dishes. we share curiosity about damn near everything, and wickedly irreverent attitudes about damn near everything.

nathen got here by bike. that's BICYCLE, not motorcycle. from philadelphia. with a couple of train/bus passages, but mostly by bike. i regret not getting a picture of his bike, 'cause it is
formidable. steel frame, kinda beat up now, he paid $50 for it, used. a low-budget trip, spanning over 4 months by the time he's done, and chock-full of adventures!

las vegas wasn't originally on his itinerary. due to some not-so-fun adventures in san francisco, he ended up with a bunch of time and no place to be before his next stop, so i won!

and we did have some fun. we didn't get to do as much as i would have l
iked. my work day is chopped up into weird chunks. nathen, being the amazingly self-sufficient being that he is, did a bunch on his own. on his bike. (i tried to warn him about drivers here, but he didn't truly believe me until he motored around some.)

however... we did get to the neon boneyard, which was on nathen's list of 2, maybe 3, things he wanted to do in vegas. i took a ton of pictures, he learned a ton about vegas (thanks to a very well-informed tour guide), and a good time was had by both.

i'll do another post about the boneyard sometime, mostly pictures.

at one point this week, it was beginning to look like nathen wasn't ever going to get out of vegas. rides fell through, the bus and train wouldn't take his bike. he needs to be in arkansas by monday or tuesday. arrrggghhhh! finally, another ride appeared, details were arranged, rearranged, and then rearranged again.

he left this morning. i miss him already. i don't know if he knows how timely his visit was. he was a face from home, at a time when i was feeling bereft of connection. he told me stories of outrageous events, people, conversations. i told him i better see a book out of this-he's got enough material! he also spewed crumbs wherever he walked. don't know if i'll miss that!

see ya, hon. come back sometime, and we'll do all the stuff we didn't get to this time. safe journey.


  1. Nathen seems like a pretty well together young man. I happy you had time to spend with him. Friends, old and new are marvelous.

  2. yeah, he is. nothing beats friends, old and new!

  3. How marvelous to feel connected to such an interesting fellow. I would love to see more of this neon boneyard. I think it was in some futuristic movie with Melanie Griffiths.

  4. kass-the boneyard post is in the works. gonna take me a day or two.

  5. ...catching up on my week-end reading. Happy to read your 'shadows' thoughts...enjoyed your very human reaction to nathen's leaving (and staying).