I’ve got a sore neck, a crippled bank account and a broken down dream. But tonight, I’ll set your soul aflame.
What. Would. Ari. Do.?
There’s a boy named Ari.
And I think he is a hero. He moved here from Albania with his parents when he was sixteen years old and did not know a word of English. He told me the story of his first day of school, and how it was by far, the worst day of his life. It’s quite inspiring, but for some reason, even though it wasn’t whispered, and it wasn’t sworn to secrecy, it felt private. So I’m not going to tell you his tale. Fast forward to eleven years later, and now he speaks perfect English, and has two more years before he will graduate from medical school.
Ari goes to school full-time, Monday through Thursday, and then works at our restaurant Friday through Sunday. He’s been working there for about ten years. My Dad owns the place, and I guess Ari’s father had heard that there were a couple of Albanian’s working there, so he came by, and asked if there was a position available for his son. Ari has been there ever since. I admire the familial bond the Albanian’s I work with still have, that Americans are severely lacking. That’s a topic for a different day.
Ari now tends bar for about nine hours on Friday and Saturday afternoon/nights, and works in the kitchen from 9:30am-midnight on Sundays. That’s about 33 hours in three days after a full medical school work load. And he NEVER complains. It took me asking him how much he sleeps, for him to ever mention to me that he only sleeps about three hours a night. Most people, if they go ONE night with only three hours of sleep, the whole fucking world knows about it because it’s their topic of conversation for the day.
Ari and I disagree on almost everything. First of all, he’s a Republican… so most of our debates stem from that in some way or another. Whether it’s a discussion about gun control or the Federal Bank or racial discrimination, we generally bump heads. But he’s good. Better than he knows. My kind of hero. The kind that over time will be forgotten, his name probably not mentioned in texts, but the kind of hero that if everyone were a little more like him, we’d probably live in a better place.
Although I have no history or romantic ties with Ari, I find myself deeply wanting his approval. The thought of him disapproving of me or my actions, or being let down by me in some way, stings my soul. I did something recently, that normally I would just laugh off, or fool myself into brushing off, but I can’t shake it the way I could before Ari was in my life. He has become my moral compass. I’ve known him for a long time, but only in the last few months have I actually began the process of getting to know him.
The day after my “mistake,” (which really wasn’t that bad at all) I saw Ari at work. Although I’m sure he had no idea of what I did, I could barely look him in the eye. It was as if he has become a tangible representation of my conscience. He grounds me, and I barely know him. I could count the number of times on one hand that we’ve had what I would consider to be a “real” conversation. I suppose he just sets a good example without words.
It’s nice to have someone in my life again who reminds me of what I do and do not want to do, and he is completely unaware of the moral direction he provides me. Maybe I’m putting him on a pedestal, but I’m okay with that for now. It’s nice to know someone who I can root for and believe in. If you are like myself, and going through a quarter life crisis, I advise you to find your Ari. He/she will remind you of who you really want to be.
Hi world. I’m here to give you the recipe to the only good pink martini. Typically, I’m allergic to pink drinks. My glass RARELY has ice in it, and is usually filled with brown liquid (whiskey, neat), or clear with a hint of green (gin martini with two olives). This is not because I am trying way to hard to be a character from Mad Men, but because if I get anything else, even whiskey on the rocks, or flavored martinis, I drink it too fast, and thirty minutes later I’ve downed a pint of straight liquor and we’ve got another “Heedless Sinner” volume on our hands.
I had to come up with a drink titled, “Spring Fling” for the bar, so I rolled my eyes, and embraced what I knew had to inevitably be a Martha Stewart colored drink, in order to properly correspond with the name. But! I did us all a solid, and came up with a friggen delicious cocktail.
First, chill the martini glass. Then, in a METAL shaker add rocks with:
2 parts Hendrick’s Gin
1 part St. Germaine liqueur
2 parts grapefruit juice
A dash of grenadine. A literal dash! This part is important! It should be less than a 1/4 oz. Nothing more or else it will be too sweet.
Shake! Shake! Shake!
Then strain into martini glass and top with a splash of tonic water. Again, this is just a topper. No more than a 1/2 oz. of tonic. But don’t forget it! You need the hint of tonic to compliment the gin.
P.S. Gin makes you sin… so have fun, my friends.