Paul Mark and Craig Boisvert
are friends from high school. I haven't kept in touch with them
since graduating from said high school, so this drawing depicts
them as they looked back in 1996. Paul was the shorter and
stouter of the two. Craig was taller, thin almost to the point of
emaciation. Owing to their physical appearance, plus the fact
that they were always together, plus the fact that these two New
Hampshire white boys loved gangsta rap, people often referred to
Craig and Paul as "Snoop" and "Dre." And when
these lads addressed me, they used my own semi-ironic wacky
street name: "Zeus." This name was given to me not
because of my Greek ancestry or my ability to throw down
lightning bolts of enormous power, but rather, it was taken
directly from Samuel L. Jackson's character in Die Hard 3.
It is unclear why this happened.
On school nights, we would drive around aimlessly. I would be in my family's home, working on homework or reading a book or watching Star Trek: The Next Generation, and a horn would honk outside the front of the house. Occasionally, Paul or Craig would get out and ring my doorbell, but more often, they would simply shout "Zeus!" up at my window. And I, eager for adventure in the way that only a sixteen-year-old nerd can be, would throw on shoes and rush outside, where I would hop into the idling car.
For hours, we would drive around with no clear destination or purpose, repeating a ritual that has been taking place since time immemorial, when the first cavemen began driving their own cars through small New England cities. Occasionally, other people would join us, such as Pat Ball or Tinh or Joe or Ellrod, and we would search for excitement in the dimly-lit streets of Manchester, New Hampshire. We never found anything truly extraordinary, but it was through these repeated zenlike excursions through my hometown that I began to fall in love with Manchester. It's a good place. It's got good people. I like it.