Monday, August 22, 2011

Then and Now 12 - Adam

Then and Now 12 - Adam
Time: Mid-2007, single and at the hostel.

Adam was another in a long line of internet friends that I met from my profile on the public computer. We first met up at a McDonald's, and I'll never forget our first hello. Everything about Adam screamed artist, from his beret to his thick rimmed black glasses. I was expecting him to be excessively critical and judgemental like the hipsters I knew back in college, but I've seldom met as friendly and approachable a guy as good ol' Adam.

Sitting down to a couple of hamburgers and fries, it didn't take long for me to find out that he was, indeed, an aspiring filmmaker. Another filmmaker from this country, who made it big on the international stage, was his idol. We had a great talk about his dreams in life and all the adventures I had had in his country by the time lunch was finished. We went outside to take a little walk, and Adam showed me a couple of his favorite clothing and department stores outside. That was about it for our first meeting. I definitely wanted to hang out with this guy again sometime, and I made sure to exchange numbers for a second meet-up.

The next time was for another lunch. We met up at the train/bus/subway station, and walked by tons of advertisements and little shops set up on the way to the train stop. He talked more of his dreams of making movies, and to be honest, his optimism and enthusiasm were quite contagious. When we had come out of the station and onto a wide open road up top, I was keeping a smiling, wandering eye on the many buildings around us, and trying to translate and decipher what the different signs outside of them said.

The restaurant was on the third floor of a very tall building. The window provided an excellent view of the throngs of people outside and the stores around them, and the walls were covered in beautiful traditional art pieces. We had some boiled vegetables and meat. I was a bit worried about the prices of the place because I was running out of money at that time, but Adam assured me that he would pick up the tab. While we were eating, he told me that he had written and directed a commercial that aired on local TV a while back. I was suddenly even more intrigued with this guy, like I was sitting across from a mini celebrity. I asked him to send me a copy of the commerical so I could watch it at home sometime, and he said he'd try to find one and email me later. After lunch was over, he had to get to school, so we parted ways and decided to meet up again later.

A few days later, he sent me an email with a resume he was planning to send to a local director, so he could intern on a real life movie being made. He asked me to check his English as a sort of cheat to help him get the position, so of course I helped him out. I guess I really proved myself to him during these past few meetings, because the next (and final) time we met up, he brought along his best friends with him to meet me. One was a taller local guy who seemed a bit shy, and the other was a pretty cute, but also shy, girl.

The four of us went out during the night to walk the busy streets and find stuff to do. We tried stopping at Adam's favorite restaurant to get something to eat, a little place in the middle of a dark alley sandwiched between two busy roads. But they seemed to be closed for some reason, so we just kept wandering down the road.

On that hot summer night, we walked past hundreds of other locals rushing up and down the street, and dozens of stores that lined the road on either side. After a while, we came to a tea shop that really seemed to be popular, so we all waited in line and got some good drinks to help cool us down. Adam talked a lot about the movies he wanted to make as we left, and we other three just kind of stood there and happily let him gush his heart out.

Our next stop was a local restaurant. There was no door leading in, leaving the insides completely open to the night air and bugs. It was cramped and hot inside, but with that many people around, I knew that that probably meant the food or service was excellent. Still, I felt a bit out of place because I didn't understand everything that everyone was saying or what I could eat, but my three new friends helped me out a bit as I struggled to understand the menu and what the cook said. I don't remember much about our conversations (other than Adam's love of movies, of course), or what I ate, but my memories really open up when the four of us decided to go to my three new friends' college campus so they could show me around.

It was an expansive, beautiful place. It didn't even feel like a college campus; I know mine back home felt like a fenced off mini-town away from the country, completely filled to the brim with political kooks. Here, though, the college felt like it was part of the town itself. Its winding roads went around and through fields of grass, then joined up with the wide and busy roads of racing cars all around it. The buildings were tall and windowed, allowing little peeks inside at people immersed in their studying or reading.

The four of us shot the breeze about unimportant stuff for a while, and eventually, we split into two separate groups: Adam and I, and the other two. He must have been feeling as open and free as I did at that point, because after a while, he suddenly looked at me with a big grin on his face. I smiled back and asked what was up, and he said we should rent some motorcycles and head up into the mountains to do some hiking and camping sometime. It sounded like a lot of fun, to tell the truth. I definitely wanted to hold off on the trip until I had some money to spend, which wouldn't have taken more than a month or two to save up.

It's too bad that that's the last I heard from Adam. I guess I was expecting him to call me up when he was ready to head out, and by the time I remembered I was supposed to be doing something with him, I had met fourty or fifty other friends and had gotten distracted by the fun we were having to remember to call him back. Nonetheless, Adam was a good friend for the brief time we knew one another. He showed me some cool stuff, I helped him out a bit, and that college campus was a sight I'll remember well.

And why did we never talk again? It wasn't because I had chores to do, work to complete or marital fights to endure. It was because I was so very busy with the many excellent locals of this country that Adam, as great a guy as he was, just slipped my mind. I know it sounds douchey, and I still feel bad about it, but that's just how great my life was going back then.

Sorry I never got the chance to take that trip with you, bro.

As for today...

I woke up at 9:30.
I watched internet movies with my son.
My wife and I went to the gym, then we went home.
I ate lunch.
I took my son out to see some diggers, then we went under a bridge and out into the countryside to see some ducks, then we went to the arcade, then we went home.
I went to work.
I taught students.
I came home.
I folded and put away dry clothes.
I hung up wet laundry.
I did the dishes.
I cleaned up the floor and table.
I watched internet movies with my son.
I slept.

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