Shane used to have long hair. I remember seeing him constantly rockin’ it back early on in the days of film school. That’s why I started talking to him. I felt that us long-hairs oughta stick together. He was surprisingly shy, however. Either that or he was taken aback by this random dude he barely knew just waltzing over and talking to him like they were old buddies. Shane and I had a very casual sort of friendship during our time down in Florida, and I was honestly surprised when he joined up with myself, Jordan, Chris, Scott, Carlos, and Brooks in the NYC movement.
Shane had a great vocabulary. I found that I could sit and listen to the way he talked for hours. Often that’s what we did in many nights grilling out on Carl’s roof. Shane was always willing to stay late in the night while we discussed light philosophy in the midsummer night’s breeze. I regret not drinking until he was on his way out. Shane would have been a great drinking buddy. He was also ready and willing to give his opinion on matters at hand, regardless of what other people thought. I found that admirable. For a half year Shane, Chris, Jordan and myself all worked at a place doing closed captioning for music videos, which I personally still think of to this day as the single greatest job I’ve ever had, and I’ve had a lot. Shane and Chris worked second shift. Jordan and myself came to change guards around 11. For some unknown reason I was able to complete an astonishing amount of music videos per night, which led to me feeling like I could slack off a little, which turned into a lot. One night I decided that my sexual urge had gotten the better of me, and the strip club a block away from work was just too damn tempting. I arrived, clocked in, and told Jordan “I’m gonna go down to Ray’s and get some pizza.”
“Wait a minute.” he said, “I think I might go with you.” I stood in the doorway, crossing some invisible fingers. Jordan froze while he entered his mind, then shook himself free, “Nah. I’m good.”
I nodded and turned to the door. “Yo, hold on.” Shane said, throwing his backpack over his shoulder. “I’ll walk with ya, it’s on the way to my train anyway.” We walked and talked about minor things, one being Shane’s distaste for train arrivals late at night, claiming how if he missed one he always had to wait thirty minutes for the next. We said our goodbyes and I made my way to Ray’s as Shane walked downstairs. When he was out of view I swerved toward Lace, a naughty strip club right off Times Square. “How much?” I asked, already ashamed. The bouncer spit on the ground.
“Twenty dollars and you have to buy at least one drink.” I handed him the cash and made my way down the stairs into the blasting music. I took a seat and ordered a Coke (which counted) and sat at the booth, waiting for one of the sharks to spot my bleeding leg. A lovely blonde from California, or so she claimed, sat on my lap and offered a dance. In the midst of my session with this woman who allowed things they “shouldn’t” allow, my phone buzzed. I ignored it and continued with my dance. When I felt I had been tortured enough for one night, I thanked the young lady, paid her and walked back to work. I pulled out my phone to see a missed call from Shane followed by a voicemail message.
“Yo, how’s the pizza over at the titty bar!?” was all the message entailed. Apparently Shane had missed his train and came up to hang out with me in vain. He saw me crossing the street and entering Lace, probably in a shady fashion. By the time I got back he had already told Jordan. All Jordan could say was, “What if I had gone with you?”
“We would’ve gotten pizza.” He simply laughed and I began my work.
Despite being older than the rest of us, Shane loved to dick around just as much as the next guy. We inhabited NYC during a severe snowstorm that swept in the day after Christmas, covering the entire city in at least four feet of snow. Naturally this resulted in Shane, Jordan, Chris and myself deciding to go to Central Park and build a giant penis. Halfway through the attempt began to look more and more atrocious, and we decided its best just to give up. Defeated and down, we walked away. Jordan saw something buried in the snow. “Hey wait!” he said. The rest of us turned back and he pulled out a mail crate that had been abandoned out here. “Guys.” Jordan said, voice quavering, “We could build an igloo with this.”
“No fuckin’ way.” I said. Shane and Chris lit up. They may as well have jumped for joy as they ran back to the open area. “That’s not gonna work.”
“Don’t be so skeptical!” They said, almost in unison. Their plan was to pack the snow into the box and use it as a mold for igloo blocks. “The second you put another layer on there it’s gonna collapse.” I said. They ignored me and continued in their excitement. I shook my head the entire time they eagerly put it together. Shane went to put the second layer on. “It’s gonna fall.” I said. He placed the box upside down and pulled the box up. It worked. “Let me help.”
For four hours we worked on our own little igloo, piecing it together little by little and with no prior building experience. The sun was on its way out of the sky when we completed our masterpiece. It was beautiful. People gathered around from all over the park in awe at our creation. We were the kings. People would go home and tell their friends “We saw an igloo in Central Park today!” It was one of the greatest days of all of our lives. To this day Carlos still asks “Why the hell wasn’t I invited!?” We didn’t want to leave it behind, fearing its inevitable destruction. We had to part ways, unfortunately, but that little white house was burned into our brains for the rest of our lives. “I built and igloo once.” I’m sure we all say to strangers we meet on occasion.
Shane was the second person to be defeated by New York. I had just broken up with Misty and was on my way out, but It was unbeknownst to me. With no place to stay I turned to Shane in his last month, who allowed me to crash and I attempted to be courteous in paying him half the rent. He was gone by the end of June and by the time Thanksgiving was rolling around I found that I died fighting the cost of living and heartbreak in the greatest city in the world. I figured since I was traveling all the way down to Florida that I may as well give a nice visit to Shane in Maine! He told me to come up and stay through Thanksgiving; an offer which I accepted gladly. I traveled eight hours north and was greeted by old Shane and his family. The next few days were spent showing me the sights of Shane’s old hometown, which included a house where Shane said he and his friends would steal Baby Jesus from their nativity scene every year and replace it on Christmas Eve. A harmless and hilarious little prank. Much better than my Fire in the hole days.
One morning we had to wake up early to set out for a hike up a mountain somewhere close to Orrington. I lay asleep on the floor in the spare room until a pounding stirred me. “Yo!” Shane shouted. The classic Shane Yo. Preceding the days of Breaking Bad, it may as well have been Shane’s catch phrase. Every time I hear someone say Yo, the involuntary thought triggers and a random memory of Shane enters my brain.
On a stormy poker night with the guys in the future, the power will probably go out due to lightning crashing. We may be left simply listening to the sound of the hail on the windows. I would probably want to get up and take a look out at the night sky. While walking out and watching the storm, my friends notice that the hail is getting progressively larger. I hear one of my friends from the house. “Yo!” I will turn to him, and a golf ball-sized hail will smash my temple at an undetermined speed, collapsing me to the ground. A hemorrhage will end my life, but I will die thinking of my great buddy Shane.