Jul 19, 2006

Solidarity


Yatzik is a guy I met twenty five years ago. He was dragged into my life by my roommate at the time, Darcy. Yatzik was an alcoholic homeless street person. He was thrown out of Poland thirty five years ago. He was a well known poet and journalist who was railing against the communist government at the time. They couldn't stand him anymore just as I would come to not stand him either. He would show up at our apartment everyday just as dinner was ready to be served and I do mean everyday. He would drink all my beer and liquor, help himself to everything in our fridge, and I would catch him sometimes wearing my clothes. Not once did he lift a finger, and offer to do the dishes or even clean one dish. He never so much as brought over a can of pepsi in the ten years he mooched off us. But, he had one amazing quality and it was a strange one at that. This quality was the only reason I put up with him all those years. Whenever we would be invited to a party we'd always bring him. It never failed, there was always an incident which would result in him being thrown out. For some reason, these incidents made me laugh my ass off. He was hilarious. Many times there were fist fights. The best kind of parties where when we didn't know the people too well. Especially those parties at someone's parents' fancy uptown apartment. Sometimes it would take a while but you would only have to wait and then all of a sudden there would be a commotion. I remember once seeing a huge fifteen foot houseplant go down. There was a big crowd and sure enough there was my man right in the middle. People would always yell, "Who brought this guy?" We would never answer. We always pretended to not know who he was. I recently ran into him again. We have rekindled a friendship. He stopped drinking so he's more tolerable. It is fun to reconnect with people from our past. He's like the crazy relative that no one can stand but he is family. So like any family we are stuck with each other and we are going to make the best of it.