I remember when I first saw him. He had such a magnetic personality. We were on a grey hound bus going from New York to San Francisco. He was possibly the happiest person I had ever met. He was the type of person who you meet and find your self dying to know what their story is. Most of the people on the bus were exactly the opposite but Saul seemed to be so comfortable on the road. Warm and friendly he was talking to anyone and everyone. Hearing their personal stories and sharing his own. I got the impression that he was a professional traveler. The type of person who owns only what they could carry on their back. The type of person who doesn’t waste time taking pictures because they aren’t on any sort of trip, they’re just living. The type of the person who was only at home when they were blowing in the wind. You can never know where a gust of wind starts and you’ll never know where it will take you. Though those people only exist in movies. He was…movie like I guess. Almost too exciting and genuine to be true. Forest Gump with a high I.Q. He had a fresh, wind swept face but old blue eyes like he had been to the ends of the earth and back. The more I heard him talk about his life the more I thought that he had.
He said that he had been moving from place to place since he graduated college. He never stayed in one place for too long. He said that he would get this eery feeling after spending more than a month or two anywhere. When I asked if he thought he’d ever settle down he paused and after a few moments said that he’d stop when he knew he was home. He said that he’d never really been at home anywhere; that he would have to know more about himself before he knew where he could be at home. He thought that he could only be understood in contrast and context. He thought a lot of things.
The trip to San Fransico was almost a week long. During the week I think I told him more about my life than I had ever told anyone before. Saul would listen intently to all the parts of my life, both the exciting and the mundane, before telling one of his own. It was give and take story telling at its finest. Saul was an all around master storyteller and certainly had a lot of tales to spin. There was one story that I think stuck with me the most though. It was the one about the girl he met in New York. Apparently she was the reason he was going to San Francisco in the first place.
He said the girls’ name was Lola. He had just graduated from college three months before and, armed only with his quick wit and a B.A in B.S., the wind took him to New York…by way of a 747. Once in New York he was lost in the whirl of the city. He wandered through the streets day in. day out drinking it in. New York was at the time a gate way for free souls; as if Ellis Island was renovated in order to process all the spirits of the twenty-some things that came its way. Those young spirts were spread out all through out the five boroughs. So Saul was intent on sweeping through the city to look for some company and a place to call home. By his account he found quiet a few characters during his stay in New York but didn’t find a home.
The first person he met in the city was Sean, Sean Lees. He and Sean were on the same red-eye flight from Dallas. After striking up a conversation on the plane they realized that not only were they searching for the same thing, they both had no clue what it was. So these two strangers hit it off and started travelling around the city jumping from one rundown hostel to another. They would read the local indie-magazines for possible leads in their investigation of their city/selves They went in and out of different cafés and open mics, searching for what ever it was that brought them there. They would soon find out that they were not the only bohemian scene hoppers around. Eventually they found their own circle of young, misguided misfits. He said after a while he had found a group of twenty-something punks ready, willing and able to take the city by storm.
It was in a poorly lit back room of the little known theater called “the underground” where he first met Lola. Right away he knew that she was a firecracker and a heart-breaker. She had these amazing blue eyes that turned lavender in the shade. Saul said that was the first thing he noticed about her, eyes as intense as his were. She stared at him coolly as he entered the small room. She had been sitting on one of the sofas writing in a journal. She seemed to be a little irritated at the interruption at first but soon ire turned into intrigue when their eyes met.
They fenced with their eyes for a few minuets, one daring the other the walkover and break the ice. Too stubborn to give in they both just sat there with their mysterious and sly smile starring until a pale girl shook her head and told Saul go over and introduce himself. As Saul stood up and started to walk over to the other side of the room Lola’s sly smile turned into a victorious one. With Saul being quite possibly the smoothest boy in town his opening line was a lady killer…
Lola: That is quite possible the stupidest series of lines anyone has ever said to me. Please tell me that has never worked for you in the past.
Saul: (sheepishly) Of…Of course it has.
As Saul told it he quickly recovered with something that was so amazingly suave, so disgustingly cool that he couldn’t even remember it. He did remember however, that after she gave him her number and they went out the next night he has never had another shy moment.