Chapter 2: Elisha dies, Acher’s Inception
And [Jesus] said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath. Therefore, the son of man is also the Lord of the Sabbath.—Mark (2:26-7, NKJV).
Washington Heights, Summer of 2002.
People often wonder what caused me to become such a heretic.
There is no simple answer to that question. Many things spurned me on. It had been two years since I was makpid on davening every day. Or even putting on tefillin. I had dropped out of YU. The previous semester had been spent taking 2 classes at Brooklyn College, habituating in a basement apartment in Boro Park, and working part-time in a group home for severely disabled adults.
But my first foray off the median, I remember it like it was yesterday.
Chapter 2.2: To My Left, Gabe.
That summer, I moved back to Washington Heights. I was planning on attending City College that fall. I was planning on getting my shit together. I was still working at the group home part-time. The rest of the week was spent getting drunk, smoking cheap weed, playing video games, watching TV, and being completely unproductive.
I was sharing a 2-bedroom apartment with 5 people. They were good friends, so I didn’t mind. Stu was the first friend I made at Yeshiva University. Gabe was my favorite smoking buddy and a former coworker of mine. We worked the graveyard shift at the Caf. Store. When we were done, we would get drunk and high together.
Gabe was fun to get high with. He kind of reminded me of young Seth Rogen, only with a higher-pitched voice. My fondest memory: Winter of 2001 one night, our shift at the Caf Store was over, so we headed to my place to get high. Our friend N.C. was with us. I decided to microwave a Fettuccini Alfredo TV Dinner (munchies!). Gabe and N.C. raided my pantry to look for munchies for themselves. One of them found what looked like a bag full of potatoes. They asked me why I had so many potatoes. I didn’t know. I didn’t cook. My roommates didn’t cook.
I examined the bag closely. True. I was high. But I could still read. Those were not potatoes. They were deli rolls that had expired 3 weeks before. They were so mouldy, that they looked like potatoes!