I don’t know whether this goes in “Brown” or “Stories.” In any case, this is just one example of how my time at Brown was made even more memorable by knowing Amir.
I met Amir early on at Brown (we being CS majors), but it wasn’t until our junior year that we became friends. We were both graphics geeks and I had the privilege of working with Amir on our final project for CS-224, one of those classes that makes geeks feel like blood brothers when they’re through. When our junior year ended, I was happy to hear that Amir had found a sublet for the summer right next door to my apartment on Governor St. There was a certain young woman that he was trying to impress so one day, he invited her and me (as wingman) to India Point to show off his sailing skills. He had been taking a sailing class and was now ready to brave the waters unsupervised. So the three of us hop in this little sailboat and Amir immediately starts ordering us around and telling us about the different ropes and doodads. After a few false starts, we’re off. Amir is pulling ropes, maneuvering the rudder. Then he says, “Hmm, this rope is tangled around the rudder. I’m gonna detach the rudder and try to fix it.” It wasn’t long before we found out that when you detach a rudder in open water, it’s nearly impossible to get it attached again. So Amir, looking slightly flustered now, says, “No worries, let’s just take down our sail. That’s the signal that we need help.” So we take down the sail, but there’s no sign that the boathouse employees are moving. The whole time, the boat is going wherever it wishes and we’re getting closer and closer to some pilings until !BANG! we crash right into them. We see the boathouse employees jump off their chairs and onto their waverunners. When they reached us, they looked totally pissed, but Amir just stood their calmly saying, “Didn’t you see me take down my sail?” Well, needless to say, that was the last time I stepped on a boat with Amir.
Amir, I can’t kick myself enough for saying, “Reunion’s coming up, I really need to get in touch with Amir.” You are sorely missed.
In Memory of Amir Lopatin