So there's this couple I know. Made up of two delightful, compelling, deeply entertaining people. Their names, curiously enough, are Starlight and Hitman.
Hitman also happens to be my big brother. He saves me from various and sundry frightening encounters with reality. He has volunteered to murder people in clever ways, and since his family is involved in retail, he vouches for the fact that the body will never be seen again. He is tall and intimidating upon a first encounter. Well, he is tall. I highly doubt he turns on the intimidation factor. I first met him at the Rav documentary which took place last year. It was at this point that Hitman informed me all about his techniques for charming girls. He also pointed out that he knew who I was, giving me the dubious title of "the only girl who writes for The Commentator." He made me laugh, which I appreciated. And later, he helped me when I cried, which I also appreciated.
Acting as my brother, Hitman also presses me to eat full meals, something which as many of you know, I hardly do. He refuses to hear of my consuming chocolate bars and candy for lunch, and prefers everything to be healthy. However, in the rare instance that I am in the airport and therefore cannot locate anything healthy even if I wish it, I take gleeful pleasure in calling him only to hear the verdict that I must locate and consume food of any kind, even if it be particularly caloric and unsatisfying. Hitman teases me all the time. We have already ascertained that I am a corrupted individual, in the terms in which he means the word, anyway, which means that any references to rope, nooses and other forms of death are quite entetaining whilst in our company. Hitman is a beautiful, kind, loving person. He is one of the people who notices when I fall off the face of the earth and is not pleased by this occurence, inviting me to rejoin the human species and human interaction.
But what of Starlight? Ah! Let me introduce Starlight to you. Starlight, as her name implies, radiates light, something pure and shining, white and beautiful. Starlight is a curly-haired, golden goddess who enjoys acting as a powerful, confident and assertive woman. She owns checked vests, business suits that accentuate her lovely form and also indulges in more creative attire; everything is marked by her own personal flair. She is articulate, opinionated and an English major. However, I did not meet her in this capacity. My first interaction with Starlight came about on account of the play, as we were both involved in the Stern Dramatic Soceity. We starred in the ill-reviewed play of yesteryear, namely "Made Up." Starlight was one of the three talk-show hosts near the beginning. At play practice, I immediately ascertained that she was outgoing, gregarious, determined, strong and very set on everything working out and being beautiful. She made an extremely skilled talk-show host, acting the part to a T.
Starlight is a person with whom it is very easy to be friends. She is open, willing to be sweet and welcoming to you assuming that you are able to speak with her, and that you have something of some intelligence to say. Not to suggest that she is arrogant or dismissive, for that is not the case at all. However, she enjoys discussing topics which others might shy away from. She enjoys controversy, but at the same time is quite able to laugh at herself when she believes it appropriate to do so. She takes the joy in life and makes it hers; she converts it into a kind of energy, color-filled and radiant, and transmits that joy, vivaciousness and pleasure to others in her very conversation. Even when she is down, her manner of talking is at once so droll and playfully vindictive that one cannot help but laugh at the circumstance, trying to figure out a way in which we might effectively save her from whichever painful situation she is enduring. As many times that is class itself, that can be quite saddening. However, Starlight is a trooper. She comes to class, makes it a party, entertains herself and moves on.
There is something particularly affecting about a woman of such slight form having the courage and spirit to wear combat boots, dominate discussions, express herself clearly and without reserve and in all ways come off as a fiery feminist. She is well-liked for being herself, for having the ability and passion to do that. There is also her kindness. I particularly remember one time when I was invited to join her upon an escapade involving her friend Batya's birthday. We went off to My Most Favorite Food, and Starlight, being a classy individual, insisted upon ensuring that the lady have the full birthday experience, candle in her wonderfully expensive (but delicious!) slice of cake and all. At the same time, she refused money in the presence of others, claiming that we would pay her back later; she is not the kind to do something so crass as have us pay in front of the birthday girl.
I particularly remember that evening walk back, as I was allowed access to a different part of Starlight's personality, her worries, concerns and ideas for the future. Starlight is an English major, but she is much more than that. She had gone on Mach Hach to Israel, and returned to the news that her favorite English professor here at Stern, an absolute role model for her, was killed in a car crash. This news deeply affected her, as she respected this woman and desires to teach in the manner that she taught. She speaks openly about this, desiring for Professor Schwebel's memory to live in, and wishing us all to learn a little more of her. In addition, Starlight has served as a counselor at camp (and I would assume, has been well-loved in that position.) She is the sort of person who engages in many different activities, giving of her time in many different capacities. She is also an excellent organizer. Having taken Rabbi Kanarfogel's class with her, it was Starlight who doled out and assigned articles to each of us, making sure that we would return our pieces/ reviews to her in time. She demands what's best from each individual, and works to accomplish that goal. As a Writing Center tutor, she is able to be clear and explicit in her expectations, and then is very able to help others achieve them.
And this, my dear people, is where the story begins.
On October 30, I was in our famed Kushner Cafeteria when I ran into Starlight. Having recently spoken to my brother, and having heard that he had discovered and scared her to death in the Uptown Library, I gleefully echoed this news to her and added that this is something he does all the time, as he has a desire to frighten me by surreptitiously discovering me and then calmly saying "Chana," causing me to whirl around in excited confusion. Starlight was entertained; we spoke with one another for a bit, and as she was leaving she turns around, looks at me and says, "Chana, very rude question, but are you and Hitman" and makes this motion with her fingers. So I stare dumbly at her fingers, highly confused, and then I comprehend and go "Oh! Oh no, no, we're just friends."
Deeply amused by this conversation, seeing as Hitman is so much my brother, and in no capacity could be anything of the sort she had described, I report back to him. This is more entertaining in light of the fact that other people have asked me this question before, and now it is simply confirmed yet another time. Hitman, in true brotherly fashion, was much more excited about my presence in the Cafeteria, which suggested I was eating a meal, than the entire dialogue. Or at least, he diverted my attention in this manner, and stated that we need not fight for his affection, as there is enough of him to go around. I chastised him and informed him that he should want no one but the smart blonde-haired beauty.
Hitman and Starlight met through an online forum, but not the sort of which you are thinking. They are not Frumster matriculees, or an eHarmony match. No, they met through the YU Observer. Yes, that's right, The Observer. So if you wish to be matched up with your perfect guy, come write for the newspaper of Stern College...just joking. But the point remains, Hitman commented upon a piece that Starlight had written, then proceeded to defend her from the stabs and jabs of various raucous young men who disagreed with her, and then determined that he ought to meet up with her. Of course, all this was unbeknownst to me at the time that Starlight and I had our eventful Cafeteria discussion.
Starlight and I were studying in Schottenstein at a later date, specifically for Rabbi Kanarfogel's test, when I received an interesting phone call. Starlight had left the room for a moment, and picking up the phone, I realized that I was being invited to Starlight's surprise birthday party, and that her mother had somehow located my phone number! Astonished and glad to have been considered one of Starlight's friends, I happily responded that I would certainly come, and informed her that I was currently studying with her daughter. Her mother proceeded to shower me in compliments, one of them being that she rememembered me from the school play, and that in various ways I remind her of her daughter. There is no greater compliment from any mother! I confess that I felt myself to be very flattered.
And so it was that all of us gathered at Circa on November 9, but only after I had had a very peculiar discussion with Hitman over AIM. I had informed Hitman that I had to go purchase a present, and he had replied, "For Starlight's birthday party?" Surprised, I asked him if he was coming, but he declined to answer. Slightly confused, I set off for the birthday, awaiting Starlight's arrival in the back of the dimly lit restaraunt, mingling with various and sundry female friends, and having been embraced and praised by her glowing mother. Fudge was sent out as sentry, and once she had informed us of Starlight's imminent arrival, we all quieted down, shouting "Surprise!" as the lady herself entered with her sister.
Starlight was incredibly surprised and charmingly, could not stop laughing. She was impressed by whoever had managed to collect so many of her friends, due to her knowing so many people! She relayed her thoughts as she had entered the darkened restaraunt- "Why are we going in here- there doesn't seem to be anyone in here-" and as she caught sight of the platters of food- "there's some kind of Modern Art showing going on in here and we are intruding! Let's go!" Only Starlight would mistake her birthday party for an art showing...but there you are, and so it goes.
This is when her mother chose to relay the story of the fact that Starlight was supposed to be going on a date tonight, and that The Lady in Pink had called up the man in question in order to inform him that he should break the date and reschedule. None of us could stop laughing, and I, flashing back to the AIM conversation with Hitman earlier in the evening, knew precisely who the man in question had to be. The Lady in Pink and I met eyes, and I could do nothing but smile uncontrollably. Oh, what a conversation that must have been! How priceless! How perfect! And what an excellent story it made for!
Here is another compliment to Starlight- she is an incredibly thoughtful, caring and charming individual. She knew that I was to accompany Hitman to the Metropolitan Museum, or perhaps that I had already done so; I forget the timing, and was in part concerned by that. Basically, she went up to me and asked whether I was secretly in love with Hitman, even if perhaps he didn't know, because she would hate to go out with someone and break my heart. She cared enough to worry about my feelings, despite her clear preference for Hitman, and was concerned enough to want to ask me about them. I truly believe that if I had expressed that I loved the man, she would have declined to continue on with him until I had cleared up that situation with him. Is that not incredibly impossible? And yet that is the kind of person Starlight is...Anyway. I soon clarified that Hitman is my brother, and that Starlight should feel free to love him completely, as I had nothing to do with standing in her way.
After that party, I returned to my room and immediately IMed Hitman, telling him that I was deeply happy for him and the current "Starlight and Hitman" couple. "What Starlight and Hitman couple?" he questioned, seeming to believe it was too early for me to link their names together in such a fashion. "Oh, go on," I as good as told him, and delightedly danced about my room. I couldn't believe that two of my favorite people had not met before, and was glad and pleased for them about the current situation.
And so it went on, and Starlight and Hitman went off on various adventures. There was the time that Hitman opened up an entire cafe in order to make Starlight a smoothie, various car rides, phone conversations, interactions and so on and so forth. Hitman and Starlight are both deeply beautiful people; one of them is my brother, the other my friend, and how could I not love and adore them and wish them all the best? My whole heart is full of good tidings for them and of them, and all that I want for them is for them to have the happiest, most beautiful, fulfilling, wonderful life together. I know that they both care intensely; they are extremely passionate people. Hitman is going to be an excellent father, when the time comes for it, as we have had many discussions about children and he loves them very much and cares for them. Starlight is going to be super mom as well, since she has this incredibly vivacious, outgoing, sparkling, beautiful personality, always up for the experienced, the adventure, living life to the fullest and loving every moment of it. There is no dull moment with either of these people; they are radiant and whole in every capacity. All of them is bound up with being, consumed with their ideals, beliefs and all that shines within them.
Recently I was going through a rough time, and not only did Hitman call me and leave me numerous missed calls and a message, but he wrote me the following gorgeous email:
I have been trying to get in touch with you all week. Are you well? It’s been too long since we have spoken and we still have oh so much to talk about. Hope to hear from you soon. Are you going to be in Stern this Shabbat? I will be. Maybe we shall see each other then.
Your big brother,
How can I feel anything but love and respect for such a person? How I love Hitman, my brother! I wish him all the world, all that is wonderful in it; I want his happiness and for everything to work out well for him.
I once had a conversation with Hitman that grieved me, though he did not know it at the time. We were talking about loving people, and loving people unconditionally. "I'm sure you love some people unconditionally," I said, "say your parents or your siblings," and he qualified that while of course he loves his family in that way, it is limited to them, for it is difficult for rational people in general to love that way, as it is illogical. And I was unhappy for him for a while, only because there's so much that's beautiful in him, and I wanted him to be able to love someone else like that, even if it is illogical and irrational and in some ways difficult. While it is true that Hitman very much appreciates any form of sincerity, and that he has said "I appreciate sincerity and intelligence above all else," that is not the same as being able to love people completely, or it is a different kind of love. And you see, Hitman means so much to me, because he is beautiful and kind and hilarious and entertaining, and one of the very few people whom I can call to cheer me up or to make me laugh, and whom I can talk to about anything from flirtatious popcorn to issues in the Jewish community, and so I want only good for him.
And you see, on March 2 I was informed that Hitman and Starlight are engaged, and shall be wed to one another in the summer, and I am so consumed with happiness for them that I have no words; there is nothing more that I can possibly say! I love him so much, and Starlight is an incredibly beautiful person as well, radiant and shining, able to feel deeply, at times down but always the sort to pick herself back up and begin anew, willing to try new things, to experience, to grow and to live in every single way- what can I do? Here are two wonderful people, and they shall be wed to one another, and they are so happy, and in a way, the world was made for them today. Each person is a world, and it is difficult to find the person who is your world and whom one sees as completing the other, and yet they have managed it and I am glad, so glad for them!
Mazal Tov Starlight and Hitman; I love you both completely and wish you all the happiness in the world. May you be blessed, may you both become excellent, famous and wonderful teachers and Professors in your field, may you lead the happiest lives in the world, and may all the beauty that you bring into the world, whether it is through your compassion, your sweetness, your honesty or your sincerity be given back to you tenfold, no, hundredfold! You are beautiful people and you are true. I only hope for your happiness in every way. How glad I am for you, and how glad, by extension, our mutual friends! May you know nothing but good.