If you’ve read any bit of the mythology section of this site, you know The Big A, Adam James Lis. Who, as you can see by his photo with me, is not at all a myth. He’s pretty much as good as they make ’em. But I’ll leave the gods out of this. We can summon them later.
We met at fat camp when I was only 14 years old. I suspect you’ve heard my stories about how the couselors used to smell my breath before bedtime to ensure I wasn’t sneaking chocolate, how King Size Snicker’s bars cost you 5 bucks in the fatty black market, and how Domino’s phone calls were made sighting a nearby house as the delivery address, where campers would sneak off to meet the delivery man at the random mailbox for the goods. Since everyone was fat, everyone was promiscuous. After a drought at home, you came to Kingsmont to get fat flooded. Fat boys, boys with man boobs even, were breaking up with girls because they wouldn’t give them head. They had expectations at camp. I could write a book about it. Oh wait, I am.
Adam calls me “Klein” not Stephanie. Over dinner with Jen and Marius at Blue Ribbon Sushi, Adam described why:
Jen: “I love that you call her Klein.”
Adam: “I call her Klein, I guess, because when we were younger, I might have accidentally called her Stephi.” Then Adam makes the sound of a gun safety being turned off, the gun is ready to fire. Chkt. Chkt. in his pocket. “You don’t want to piss her off. Klein was just safe.” Then he smiles so big you could fit wheels of sushi rolls in there. What? I’m just never going to be a Stephi. It’s so not me.
I guess I can be a little abrasive. A little? He reminds me that I broke up with him one evening because he smelled faintly of cigarette smoke.
“Did you smoke today?”
“No, Klein, I didn’t. What’s wrong with you?”
“You did too.” I smell his clothes. I make him kiss me. “See, there. I fcuking taste it, you liar.”
“Awe Steph I…”
“Don’t even. You lie to me about smoking, who knows what else you will lie about. I won’t date a liar.” Then I turned and left poor Adam crying on the dirt road, which divided girls camp from the rest of it. It was dark as I walked up the hill alone, and all I heard were his sobs and a faint, “Oh Klein, please.”
Despite that, Adam was my best everything for a long damn time. We all have that person, or sometimes people, in our lives who at one point or another had a monumental influence on who we are today. I mean, we’re all photo collages, each snapshot of life makes us the who you see before you in a green sweater and glasses at her desk drinking her Starbucks. See he knows all my faults and somehow still things I’m the shite. And I’m the same way. And it’s really nice to have friends in our lives who love us despite our tragic flaws, love us in part, even, because of them. These are the people that help me laugh until I snort at myself. So now I’ll summon the gods, and say, please watch over him all the way over in Boston. Kiss him on his sweet head and guide him on his long ass journey through Harvard and medicine and chemistry. He’s good damn people. Simply put, he’s fabuLIS.