by Eric Ginsburg
Standing in the kitchen of his Lindley Park collective house, eyeliner stabbing outwards from the edges of his eyes and a man-bun perched on top of his head, Yahya grabs a handful of ice to put into my cup.
“I call this the High Point Iced Tea because High Point is kind of the Long Island of the Triad,” he says, as he pours pre-made Long Island Iced Tea liquor mix onto the ice. “There are a lot of poor people, a bunch of super-rich people, and nobody goes there unless they are from there.”
Yahya and I are old college friends, and he’s making the seemingly inevitable move to Philly come July 1. This is his going-away bash, a weekend-long affair that he dubbed a “living funeral” as his send off from Greensboro. He’s been in and out of the Gate City for work since graduating a few years ago, but in many ways this goofball embodies what has made Greensboro, well, Greensboro for me over the last decade.
Exhibit A: The ridiculous, Guilford College-style dance party with a synergy of Bonaroo-esque hippie dancing fused with club music blaring right now in his living room.
Exhibit B: Overheard conversations throughout the house tonight about new tattoos healing, racism in a Facebook group for Glenwood neighborhood residents, genital piercings and the High Point human relations director who is currently on leave. It’s the perfect mix of punk subculture, social awareness and radical proclivities.
Exhibit C: Yahya’s clever and uninhibited spirit, as evidenced by his witty explanation of the drink he’s making and his unconventional attire.
The High Point Iced Tea is actually very similar to the classic LIT, subbing Cheerwine for cola and adding grenadine to the sour, tequila, vodka, rum, gin and triple sec. It’s better than it sounds. And by that I mostly mean that it tastes like Cheerwine, with a disguised alcohol flavor.
I have to be up early and am exhausted from being outside in the sun all day, but I need to pour some out for this Greensboro great who is moving on. I knock two back, give my old friend a bear hug and wonder if I’ll ever make it up there to visit.
It’s a fitting sendoff to my occasional partner in Catan and fellow worker, an enthusiastic adventurer, co-op organizer, Elsewherian and jokester.
Cheers, Yahya. This one’s for you.