Slim wrote me last week with a correction. He said that he didn’t go to Boulder right away like I wrote in an earlier post. So here’s the skinny on Slim:
Slim was one of my best friends in high school. He introduced me to Aldus Huxley, parallel skiing, and e-brake doughnuts in his moms Toyota. We usually started every drive with a joint and an AC DC anthem cranked to distortion.
For Slim, things were either cosmic or boring. Even in my freshman year, he would walk around pointing out the cosmic side of math, drug deals, and financial institutions. He got me into the number 23 and introduced me to his friends who thought deep thoughts, took psychedelic drugs, and read cool sounding books like The Dancing Wu Li Masters and Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance.
Slims treasure was a shirt he had screened of Micky Mouse as the wizard in Fantasia. Against the black T shirt Micky is waving his wand with what we all understood to be the power of transcendent experience through drugs.
One night while we were out on the town, I pocketed 100 dollars of Slim’s money. A guy we all called Bruce Lee fronted Slim an ounce of Psilocybin mushrooms and the Ben Franklin owed to him for the exchange ended up in my pocket. At the time I didn’t even know I had it. While we drove around town high on Bruce Lee’s mushrooms, Slim sweated anxiously over where the money he owed for the goods had gone.
The next morning when I found the money in my well-worn levis, I decided I would keep it and let Slim get a few nun chuck slaps from that oriental drug dealer. Bearing guilt alone is tough food, so in order to better digest it I included Lizard in my adventure by telling him and asking him to keep it a secret.
Lizard of course told Slim later that summer while I was out on the Parks highway getting a sun-tan under my grow lights. When I came to town for a visit that fall, they drove me out in the woods and said I had to fess up and come clean. I decided there and then to stick with my lie and told Lizard he was a liar and that I was the clean one here. Acting indignant I got back into the car and demanded to be taken back to town.
They knew I was the fiend and to this day I am surprised Lizard didn’t just deck me in the nose. He has a violent temper and stands head and shoulders taller than most mortals. Not a boy to be messed with.
In Dante’s vision of the afterlife, he wrote that the innermost of hells concentric circles was reserved for the very worst sort of sinner. That sin as described in the Divine Comedy, is the betrayal of a friend. That was me. The betrayer. The worst guy in hell.
After Slim left Anchorage he went to Fairbanks to finish classes in Physics and calculus at UAF. He was determined to figure out the cosmic nature of things and applied all his wit to the task. Ironically, he finished his studies in none other than Boulder, continuing the adventures with Lizard and Mooch, then going on to work at the human genome project.
These days Slim hurls himself down precipitous mountains on his mountain Bike in the summer and skis in the winter. He trades futures and sits severely upside down on real estate deals gone South. He is a soulful brother still and seeks for God in the cosmos just like he did back in 84. I asked for his forgiveness when we reconnected in 2004 and he claims to have forgotten my betrayal. I feel grateful to have such a good friend.
Slim, call yourself Buddhist, Hindu, Christian, or Krishna. After it all, we are and will stay brothers and in the end The Lord will reveal Himself to us both.