Tuesday, March 04, 2014

sammy, jerum din mubarako


a couple of weeks back i was sitting on the green benches in the compound of rlek in dehradun. though you never had the opportunity to visit, those benches and dehradun the town, always remind me of you.  it was back in march 2006 when i started this blog. i was 25 years old and you had just turned 22.  you had been sick for a year and i was half a world away, struggling to comprehend what i was doing, how you were doing and what this life was all about.

that month, i had made you a birthday video, with the help of the world's largest democracy, friends from dehradun helped me wish you a happy birthday.  many of them are still in dehradun, older for sure, some are in the same jobs, others have moved on.  families have grown larger and some have grown smaller.

that year when i lived in dehradun, i used to walk up to landour as much as possible, to get a glimpse of the high snow capped peaks of the himalayas far into the distance.  for some reason it helped me get a grip somehow on what was happening. actually, i don't think it really helped me get a grip on anything come to think of it.  maybe i just walked up those hills so i could see the immensity of the globe we live on and the powerlessness i felt at that time...

today you'd be thirty.  i often wonder what life would be like if you were still alive.  for some reason, i really do think it would be really different. i certainly don't think i'd be sitting in a house on a hill in new zealand. i mean, maybe i would be, but actually, i think right now i would probably be with you, laughing. i can almost guarantee it.  i have no idea where exactly we would be, but i imagine it would be a place full of love, full of family, full of happiness, full of warmth, full of beauty, full of everything that you gave me and more. these things are gifts i'll never loose, i just wish you were still here to share life from close and from afar.

it's cold here. autumn is setting in, here in the south.  no matter what month it is, the season itself reminds me of the colt vista and us - you, me, davey, momma and pops. it's a reoccurring vision of all of us and we're heading east, past corn fields, it's late late summer, early autumn, but still the ocean is warm.  the sun is setting and we've left nyc on a late friday afternoon. the windows of the vista are down, who would ever use the a.c. in that car.  the los incas album poppa bought in the subway has been on repeat ever since we passed laguardia. argyle is waiting. roller hockey. tennis racquets. boogie boards. quail hill. sarabelle and benje. round grilled cheeses.

what i would do to sit in that vista with you again. or on the couch downstairs. or work a clambake again...

happy birthday sammy. i love you and miss you and wish you were still here.

your brother, ben

love and health to all...


Anonymous Anonymous said...

well, that definitely brought tears.


9:30 PM  
Anonymous lis said...

love ya benny

10:42 PM  
Blogger Kink said...

you the man lenzos. So are you Sammy. Much love.

9:19 PM  
Blogger Kristina Ramnarine said...

Hi Ben,

You don't actually know me but I went to high school with Sam. He was two grades ahead of me but I met him on my first day. He went on our freshman retreat as a PAL leader. I think my 14 year old self fell in love with Sam Lenzner from the moment I saw him. Something about his smile and his good nature, I guess. From that moment he has always been That Boy, that one utter and definitive high school crush. Seeing him walk down the hallways with his backwards cap on was like seeing the sun. I don't know if you're familiar with the movie 16 Candles,but Sam was very much my Jake Ryan. Unfortunately he graduated before I ever had a chance to get my movie ending.

We didn't know each other well. We only had one class together, but it gave me a few moments to know him and even in those few moments he made an impact. I'm pretty sure I was embarrassingly obvious with the blushing and the giggles. I used to drag my friends to his football games and make them cheer for #33.

I always remember Sam when I think about High School or see Big Red gum. Over the years I've wondered about him. Sometimes when I feel nostalgic I have this silly romantic notion to reconnect with him, invite him for coffee, tell him "I had the most embarrassing crush on you in high school and I've never regretted it." In my thoughts, he's always successful and happy and has a supermodel girlfriend but he agrees to our coffee meeting because he's that good of a guy.

It was only today by chance that I remembered him again and found your post in my search. My heart is broken for the boy I once knew and for you and your family. I don't mean to bring up painful memories for you, and I deeply hope I have not, but I felt compelled to reach out and tell you that even someone who didn't know him all that well knew that Sam was a light in this world and that's the way I'll always remember him. He'll always be my 33.

Warm regards,

10:44 PM  
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9:29 AM  

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