Thursday is the day I pig out. It has been for years.
Nathan and I used to go to this little pizza place down the road from our apartment after school, run by a guy named Teddy, who didn’t seem to mind us playing his pinball machines and arcade cabinets for hours after we’d finished our slices. I was really damn good at Asteroids, while Nathan was the unconquered king of Ms. Pac-Man, a title which remained plastered on the hi-score screen in the form of “NRG” for at least a decade.
We grew out of our pizza-and-games phase by the time we went off to college, but our schedule never changed. Right up until he disappeared, we’d routinely go out for dinner together almost every Thursday, which gave us both the perfect opportunity to bitch about work or reminisce about the good ol’ days. In fact, it was the day I looked forward to the most.
But we don’t do that anymore, obviously. We can’t. And we haven’t for three long years. This really hit home when I got off work today, and simply couldn’t think of anything I wanted to eat. That was, until I got a craving for pizza. So partly out of sheer hunger but mostly out of nostalgia, I decided to take a cab down to Teddy’s, to grab a slice of pizza and see if anyone in Williamsburg had beaten Nathan’s score.
But it wasn’t there anymore. Teddy’s was gone. Closed for several years, in fact. It had been replaced by a tacky-looking music store, which seemed to double as a hang out for this new generation of trendy, eyeliner-wearing teens. So while the manufactured adolescent angst of poorly-composed music boomed through the outdoor speakers, I felt strangely at home, and yet assuredly alienated. Part of my childhood had died.
So I took the cab back home, thought about this a while, and decided to give our friend Thomas Levi a call. And, not surprisingly, he didn’t know anything. In fact, he had cooperated with the authorities when my brother disappeared and was just as clueless as I was. He did, however, know the name of the event referenced in the letter: “Mind = Matter.” Apparently they went, and had a good time.
This narrowed down the possibilities a lot, as my brother had quite a few brochures and pamphlets littered throughout his office. So here it is:
As you can see, there’s not much to it. It’s a little strange, I’ll admit, but I’m not sure if it will really lead us anywhere. But it’s all I’ve got, so it’ll have to do.
But am I wrong in feeling a little bit helpless?