Allyssa and I met two summers ago and became good buddies pretty quickly. Over the past couple years, we’ve experienced some very magical moments together. They’ve really strengthened the bond between us, so I wrote these little stories, illustrated by Allyssa, about each one.
The first time I ever saw Allyssa was at a Patti Smith reading at a bookstore two summers ago. In June of this year, we found ourselves sitting on a blanket at Fort Tilden listening to Patti sing “Pissing in a River” while the sun set on the beach. A baby with a missing sock danced next to us.
After a wonderful, nature-filled weekend in upstate New York this past winter, Al and I were taking the bus back to Manhattan. We were eating the most mediocre, sad bagels of our lives when the clouds parted and the sun shone through in most magical way, like a little pocket of heaven saying hi.
One evening in October, we were walking across the Williamsburg Bridge. I was telling Allyssa about how my grandpa wasn’t doing well and I was pretty sad about it. Suddenly, fireworks started going off in the distance. It was a little sign that there’s light and love everywhere. My grandpa passed away the next day. In my heart, those fireworks were for him.
Allyssa and Olivia had a housewarming party at their apartment last August. Al and I stole away for a bit and went on a night ride, holding hands as we skated, gliding down the empty streets of Bushwick in the warm summer air.
Most nights, we find ourselves at Veselka, our favorite diner in the city. We each almost always get one potato pancake and one banana pancake. Al drinks a cup of coffee and I have some tea.
Al and I showed up to a sold-out Justin Bieber show at Madison Square Garden in November 2012 with no tickets, but a lot of love. Out of nowhere came our guardian angel, Sad Dad, a balding, middle-aged man who gave us two $100 tickets for 20 bones each. We screamed “OH MY GOD” and started crying out of disbelief. When we got inside the venue, I was so stoked that I kept having to go to the bathroom, like an excited pup. Needless to say, Al became one of my best buds after this experience.
This summer, we went to the Strand and saw a series of books about princesses called The Royal Diaries that we had both read when we were younger. I pulled out the book Isabel: Jewel of Castilla and said, “I remember that page 32 had something on it that made me feel weird.” We opened the book to page 32 and the words transported me back to my red-faced 12-year-old self. Al and I laughed in the bookstore for a long time—what made us crack up is just between us two. ♦