First Impressions

This is an excerpt from a journal I kept in 2001.

February 12, 2001. Monday. 12:40am.
Just got back from Cheryl and Moshe’s wedding…Amir Lopatin drove me home. Met first time New Years 1998. Like him. Super smart. Constantly thinking/analyzing. Seems really good-hearted. Helped carry my bags. Spent last year and-a-half in Utah as computer programmer. Interesting. Said he missed close Jewish community and was excited to be back. Is cute and wouldn’t mind getting to know him better. Wonder if too cerebral for me…Is definitely funny. Has amazing pale blue eyes. Appears to have little filter…Makes me feel like I know him well and can say anything to him.

Amir remembered

From: Mimi Kessous

“Action is eloquence”
-William Shakespeare

Amir was perpetually in motion. I realize this now as I reflect on each memory that has flooded my thoughts of him these last days. In each snapshot of my mind, he stands with those striking blue eyes, his hair slightly a muss, his jeans and t-shirt a bit disheveled just following an afternoon Ultimate game in Central Park or an evening bike-ride from work up the West Side Highway (even in winter, my favorite tree-hugging buddy commuted daily by bike). Did he ever sleep? He accomplished more before noon than most could in a week.

He was certainly happiest when he was moving. Once, at an arcade in midtown, Amir actually refused to leave after discovering a game that had been hidden in some far-off corner—the one where you try to follow the dance steps as they get progressively faster. Intent on mastering the game, he was enthralled. Now anyone who has ever met him for even a moment knows that Amir was a brilliant boy, a beautiful boy, a kind-hearted and even athletic boy. But a dancer…he was not. This minor fact, however, seemed incidental to Amir. I can still picture him standing before the machine, eyes aglow, jaws clenched, legs flailing about, pockets brimming with quarters. The challenge, the intensity, the speed of it all simply captivated him. “A-Lo,” as I aptly called him thereafter, was undoubtedly a man of action.

Even when sitting silently, although infrequent, one could see in Amir’s eyes that his mind still raced with ideas, analyses, theories. He worked actively and passionately to understand his surroundings, to learn from others’ experiences, to improve himself and the world around him.

Though we hadn’t been in touch the last few months, I will forever feel at a loss knowing that Amir is no longer around. I will always remember him with fondness and with pure adoration. He was the guy who chatted with the waiter. Who smelled of soap and Clinique’s “Happy.” Who loved making me chuckle. Who gave a compliment exactly when you needed it most. Who saw beauty in the basics. He was honest, playful, optimistic, profoundly affectionate, and warm-hearted. A truly unique and gentle soul.

Thinking back, I can remember, Amir would sometimes refer to certain people he deemed particularly accomplished as being “out of his league.” How ironic as, in reality, those around him felt so blessed to be part of his. His enthusiasm for life was contagious, his energy was boundless and his dreams had no limits. I am undeniably a better person for having known him.