New Friend Friday #23

New Friend Friday #23

In honor of Kurt Vonnegut, I bring you this weeks New Friend Friday devoted to all the people without a country.

I’ve been back in Reno now for 8 hours. I can’t sleep, I can’t think, but I’m beginning to find myself in the tiny recesses that I forgot existed. I biked under the old arch, watched as they tore the last brick from the Mizpah, and then made friends with a handy-man, a mechanic, an all-American. Except this all-American wasn’t Tim the Toolman Tailor but a Romanian named Danny.

Danny looks really solid with his arms crossed over a generic t-shirt tucked into his jeans. He’s packing up blocks of wood and plastic trees into a badly painted red, black, and white trailer. It’s sunny. I’m thinking about how big his arms are and how easily it would be for Danny to strangle me. But he just shakes my hands at this point.

Here are the stats. Danny is 38 and likes traveling. He moved to America when he was 18 to work and be with his girlfriend in Chicago. Since he is Romanian, it was mandatory for him to enlist in the army. He explains that he was one of the first soldiers to have ‘boots down’ in Kuwait. This was back for daddy Bush’s war. Danny not only fought in Kuwait for the Marine Corps, but in Somalia too. He then was stationed near Palm Springs in California and slowly made his way to Reno.

Danny then became manager of a motel off Wells Ave. While whipping his tenants into shape he was propositioned by a company across the street to run their motorcycle promotional events that happen all across the county. He accepted and here he is, throwing shit in the back of a trailer prematurely packed for Milwaukee.

I wonder how many strange clicks are in our towns social-tapestry. Danny, whom I just met out of pure luck describes other Romanians, Hungarians, and Russians living here. My curiosity is swelling like a well-roasted marshmallow and I’m so involved in the conversation that I just keep my stick over the fire. But as any good sex-ed counselor will teach you, pulling out is just not good enough. However, as your New Friend Friday instructor I highly suggest that you keep your little sticks over the fire until you smell something hot.

So until next week, keep your eye on the prize but stop to smell the flowers.