[The beloved Moleskine]
When I was in my 20s and living in Providence I got my first Moleskine -- just your basic blank pages with the all-important secret back pocket. The first page is marked 3/22/03, Austin, Texas, and reads:
["Matel's one-room schoolhouse closed down and is now a Christian radio station." Hilarious!]
For me, the Moleskine was a catch-all for silly thoughts, story ideas, phone numbers, errant grocery lists, profound one-liners -- you know, the usual stuff. But, the idea was also to get others along the way to contribute to the book and my Moleskine followed me on my adventures throughout New England and the greater Northeast, namely New York and Boston. As my friends and I drunkenly met strangers or caught up with old friends I'd ask each to write whatever they wanted in the book. You could tell a lot about a person by what they chose to pen. Here are a couple of my favorites:
My friend Matel and I randomly met the comedian Dave Attell at a bar in Times Square. We partied with him and his friend Ben (now the host of Cash Cab) until after the bar closed (and in NYC, that's LATE, so I had a lot of time to see the real Dave). All along I figured Attell's surly stage presence was just an act, but after spending several hours with the guy let me assure you, he really is an ass. When I asked him to write in the book all he could think to write was, "suck it." Then he ran off to make out with a chick who had just barfed.
["Hey drunk chick! Let's make out."]
Ben, on the other hand, was awesome.
[If Ben were a real cab driver, I'd give him a big tip.]
“Dave Attell. I’m drunk.” Very clever. You can see why he's a professional comic.
My other favorite entry is from Chris Gaffney, a musician and a friend. This one was from a night Matel and I went to see Chris play with Dave Alvin in New York, then hung out afterwards. Chris writes, "If you take this to EBay I will have to ride you like a tiger." If that's not Gaffney's humor, I don't know what is.
Chris died suddenly last year. I can assure you I won't be selling that page on EBay.
[Miss you, Gaff.]
Those are only a few of the entries in my very first Moleskine. The rest are one-day story characters, forgotten memories, and images of me in my mid 20s being both smartly adventurous and stupidly wild. I'm tamer now, and hopefully a little less stupid, but the Moleskine -- it's awesomeness will never change.