Elijah and I decided to room together at the Dov Charney Washington Square Studiodrome, the new N.Y.U. dorm built where there used to be a park or something. No one understands me like him or him like me. Also, we get a discount on housing costs because the construction is crazy, which is a good thing since we need all the help we can get. My dad Josh and Uncle Neal say that since they became empty-nesters, the writing assignments have slowed to a trickle. And so I must contend with the clamor of jackhammers and the conversations of the rough-necked construction workers. Elijah counsels that one must needs be patient with the proletariat. Though they lack taste, he says, they do have souls. But frankly I find their patois poisonous. How am I to read Baudelaire's divine verse against a background of coarse and vulgar words?
Tonight we're sporting on the town to live low: Off the Wagon, a bar for the people, and then to Smalls, the jazz club. This was Elijah's idea. I'm going to ask to accompany us the cute Ghanaian girl from 5D with whom, during orientation, I have listened to Bob Dylan's early albums and smoked opium. Elijah's dad let him use his ID. (How cool is that?) Howsoever Elijah—who weighs around 70 pounds and suffers from alopecia—can pass for the hirsute obese and lonely 62-year-old Neal is a source of constant amazement to me.
Today was our first day of class. Elijah and I are in Bobst. He's been in the downstairs men's bathroom for so very long! What is he doing down there? No one knows. Anyway, this morning when we walked into Conversations of the West and looked at the syllabus, we both came upon quite a shock. There, under a section of ancillary reading for Turgenev's Fathers and Sons, we saw Sundays with Mordy: A Divorced Father's Lessons from His Prodigal Son by Joshua David Stein and I Kid, I Kid: The Hilarious and Often Embarrassing Contretemps of Elijah Pollack, from the year previous, by Neal Pollack. Mortifying! Will we ever escape our parents?
And it's worse for Elijah, believe you me. That part when Elijah is like to his high school girlfriend, "I'm a virgin," but she thinks he's saying, "I'm a version," and she's like, "Version of what?" And he's like, "Version of sex!" And then Neal, who was in the family room and listening in, clarifies through the speaker system he set up through the house: "He said 'VIRGIN,' like he's never had sex before!" Oh, hilaaarious! And then both Neal and Elijah blogged about it!
Of course I don't come off well in my father's book either. That time when I was 13 and on the bima when I said, "Smegma, Yeast is real" instead of "Shema, Yisroel" and the rabbi got soooo very peeved with me!
Everything about us is interesting!
The only annoying thing about living with Elijah is that his dad calls like five times a day to check in. "Eli, I'm out of stuff to write about. Quick, what are you up to?" But all's well though, because Elijah puts the calls on speaker and they are totally hilarious. Oh wait. One other annoying thing about Elijah is that he refuses to eat at the dining hall. I told him that he should have no qualms. After all, it is catered by Dean and Deluca. (Joel Dean is the Dean of Client Services. We call him Dean Dean!)
But Elijah, despite his populist leanings, says his father raised him as a turophile and he's not about to break bread and spread brie with uncultured co-eds. He'll be so utterly flummoxed when he finds out that I have switched the Azeitao he was keeping in the fridge for Garrotxa. Oh, I really like college!
Previously: My Son Mordecai And I Read Proust