Wednesday, August 10, 2005

The Center of it All - Part II

I sat back on the plane and tried to relax. I had spent the previous evening going through old photo albums. As I looked at the youthful faces, I wondered what the boys in the pictures would say to me now. What would a 17-year-old me say to the 37-year old version. Would he be surprised at how things turned out? Would he push me around and ask how I could have lost touch with so many friends.

That boy looking back at me from the pictures couldn’t possibly understand the hand that life deals when you leave the incubator known as high school. When real life pressures replace those manufactured by teachers in the forms of tests and papers.

Over the past two years I had watched my wife pack up her things and leave our home. My business had fallen apart, in no small part due to my inattention and inability to focus after she left. My kids came over occasionally, and we played ball or video games, but then they were gone. I had spent more than one evening wondering what would happen if I ended it all.

I needed to discover what had happened to Yoni. But more than anything, as I went through Yoni’s life, I hoped to find out what happened to my own life. I needed to know how two boys at the top of their class could hit the bottom twenty years later. What were the invisible demons that haunted Yoni? Where they the same that seemed to haunt me?

I didn’t have a return ticket; there was little requiring me to be home. I brought a lap top on which I could work for the few clients I had left, a week’s worth of clothes, toiletries, and picture that we took our year in Israel. It was taken at the beginning of the year, and showed me, Yoni, Menachem and Yossi sitting and eating pizza. I didn’t know what we were talking about, but I couldn’t imagine it was anything more significant than news from home, or maybe some girl Yossi had met.

I wondered what had happened to Yossi and Menachem. A few years had passed since I last heard from them. From what I could remember, Yossi had moved to Miami and was a successful orthodontist. Menachem was a doctor in Brooklyn, divorced twice, and living alone. Maybe he should be here with me as well, I thought.

The Southwest flight was smooth, and stopped in Las Vegas on the way to Tucson. I was going to fly into Tucson, rent a car, and drive the two hours to Phoenix. I figured I would be at my hotel by nine, and do some Yoni googling. Maybe I could find a few clues about what he had been up to over the past two decades. Tomorrow, I would head to the hospital in the morning.

My flight was on schedule, and soon I was on US 10 in a 2005 Chrysler LeBaron convertible. The car was fast, and I watched as the landscape turned from city to dessert, and back to city again as I approached Phoenix. I was staying at a Holiday Inn Express, and eyed the pool as I checked in. They also had a workout room, and all rooms had internet access. A perfect base.

I went for a quick swim, the water felt good after a long flight, and sat in the hot tub for a few minutes before going back up to my room. I had work to do, and went up to my room on the third floor.

The room was immaculate. There was a queen-sized bed, a TV, some generic art on the wall, and a desk. I unpacked my clothes, and put them into the dresser, before opening up my lap top. I turned on GAC, and listened to country music as I began to search the web. I started with Yoni Winters, and wasn’t very surprised when I didn’t see anything. Then I typed in Jonathon Winters.

There were thousands of links. I hadn’t realized how common a name it was. It didn’t help that Jonathon Winters was also the name of a comedian/artist. I skimmed through a few websites, and didn’t find anything relevant. I added in Phoenix into the search, and it narrowed it down significantly, but there were still hundreds of sites that came up in my search.

I was tired, and ready to give up my search for the evening, but decided to try one more search. I added Voices to the search, and hit the enter key. The search was significantly narrowed. There were only about fifty items that came up, and I started to go through them.

And then I saw it. Thirteenth on the list, I knew I found what I was looking for. Butt Bunny, at the IMDB site. I clicked on the link, and saw the art on the cover of the video. Butt Bunny looked more sophisticated, more realistic, more professionally drawn than the bunny Yoni had shown me in shuir one day.

We were in eleventh grade, and sitting in the Bais Medrash. Rabbi Cohen had walked out of the Bais Medrash, probably to smoke a cigarette. Yoni had been drawing all morning during shuir. When Rabbi Cohen called on him, he of course knew everything that was going on, and asked if the Gemara was saying a person would rather have one thing that they made rather than nine things that they bought was an exact number, or if they were just throwing out a large number, but they weren’t giving an exact 1 to 9 ratio.

Rabbi Cohen always loved these questions, and spent the next minutes furiously flipping through the Meforshim in the back trying to find an answer. Yoni, meanwhile, went back to his drawing.

Now, with Rabbi Cohen out of the room, Yoni showed me the finished drawing. It was a comic strip with Elmer Fudd seducing Bugs Bunny. In the first panel, Bugs asked Elmer if that was a carrot in his pocket. In the second panel, Elmer’s pants were around his ankle, and Bugs was giving him a blow job. In the final panel, Bugs was bent over a rabbit hole saying “What’s up doc?” while Elmer took him from behind.

In a whisper, Yoni did the voices, and had me falling on the floor when Elmer was saying “you wascilly wabbit.”

Across the top, in bubble letters, he had titled it “Butt Bunny and the Magical Carrot.”

I focused my attention back on the screen. I read the plot outline. When Butt Bunny delivers a pizza to Elwood Fudge, you won’t believe what happens.

I scrolled down through the cast. Jon Winters had done the voice for more than half the characters in this gay porno-animation. He had written, directed and drawn most of the film as well.

Well, Jon Winters, I thought, as I turned off the computer before without the reviews, you got your wish. Voices and Choreo-Animation. I took a shower, and went to sleep.

The preceding is a work of fiction

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    Blogger Still Wonderin' said...

    just leting you know that I'm looking forward to part III.

    6:50 PM  
    Blogger swiftthinker said...

    how come none of the characters ever turn out normal with kids and a house and a job...

    9:24 AM  
    Blogger Air Time said...

    The same reason I won't play the Game of Life with my kids when they ask. I live that life. I don't need to write about it. Anytime I want to examine it, all I have to do is look in the mirror and see that balding area getting a little bit bigger.

    9:28 AM  
    Blogger AMSHINOVER said...

    Well, AIR, I thought, as I turned off the computer , you got your wish. creepy homo fiction.i need to take a shower,ughhh

    5:00 PM  

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