Mensch full of ❤…

My friend since 1998, Mr. Scott Steinberg

Back in May I wrote about the dissolution of my friends marriage and the subsequent awkward experience I had at his Ex’s wedding dinner (We have not been invited over to visit Nadine and Rich since that dinner).

My friend started a downward spiral. The apartment he was now living in was a dark dank dump. Even though he spoke that he was better off, his body language said otherwise. He began to ignore my phone calls and texts and I was about to write off the friendship. But it didn’t feel right. So I held onto his phone number in my little address book. Yeah I am not someone that stores everything in their phone.

I met Scott in late fall of 1998. I was 28 and he was 43 and we were both working at a record store in the mall. He had an equally weird sense of humor as me and a major love of films. Out of the blue he mentioned actress Tura Santana to me and was trying to remember what movie she was in with John Carradine ? It blew his mind when I said The Astro-Zombies. After that exchange we became fast friends.

Staying pretty tight after we both moved on in jobs…me to digital archivist, him to Borders Books as a manager. A job derailed from worsening back problems and a business going bankrupt.

Between 1998-2004, Scott and I wrote a terrible juvinile delinquent film called High School Stooge, a film meant to showcase his burgeoning rockabilly band the Whoadads. But it never took off (in hindsight it was a godawful script anyway). Scott was dating a teacher and was engaged but the relationship fell hard, he then found himself dating and eventually marrying his friend (groupie ? Literally the only connection was that Scott sang in a Rockabilly band), definitely an orange and a lemon relationship that quickly moved into marriage but shouldn’t have. Perhaps Nadine was desperate for a father figure for her son ? Who knows.

I’m not the richest person in the world, but I figured if I could find it in my heart to help fellow blogger Beaton all the way in Zimbabwe, when he was down on his luck. I could do the same for my friend of 23 years who lives but a town away.

Despite the fact that his last words to me were “My life is a shit show, just don’t bother calling me again!”

That hurt me. After I felt the need to cleanse myself with a personal atonement, I reached out to him again. I had to know how he was doing ? I wanted to take him to my art opening on the South Bethlehem Greenway which is a short walk from his apartment.

He got back to me, told me he sold off the last of his record/movie/memorabilia collection (when he lived with Nadine in their house, the collection filled the basement floor to ceiling) and despite it all he was flat broke, destitute and facing bills he couldn’t pay.

So I asked what he owed and he told me, he can’t afford to make payments but he had blood work for $328 and a dentist bill for $750…I have money in savings, so I decided (and with my wife’s approval) to pay off the dental bill for him. I’ve never done that kind of gesture for anyone in my life until now.

He received the check in the mail today and texted me the following:

I don’t know what to say . I’m truly blessed to have such wonderful friends . You’re gift is far beyond what I have given back to you . I’m ashamed as to how I have been . You’re a real mensch Matt . A kind hearted and wonderful human being . Blessings to both you and Jess.

I told him not to feel ashamed, to not sell himself short. What he gave me and continues to give me is the gift of friendship. 23 years is quite a gift.

24 thoughts on “Mensch full of ❤…

    1. I personally think it’s a long road for him. 66 and jobless for medical reasons and flat broke are sadly going against, the best I can do is get him out into the world now and again. I hope someone else steps forward to help with mounting bills.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I hope your selfless gift is the tuning point for your friend, and he gets his life back together. So many would have given up on him and walked away, but you didn’t. You are a true friend and wonderful human being.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve had to give up on a couple of people whose friendship I treasured, when after trying multiple times to keep the relationship going, they showed no interest, just let it fade away. I think they were ready to move on for one reason or another, so I quit pestering them. But like you, I cherish my memories of them.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I had one friend that became very far right involved in the 7th day Adventist Church. It was impossible to have an everyday conversation with him. I recently heard him and his wife and child and his Mom left America to live in Guyana as missionaries. All the power to them.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Far right are far left are both impossible to reason with…there’s no middle ground for them. In my opinion, that’s a lot of what is wrong with our country. Our elected officials in government are too divided to work together for the good of the people.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I hope so too, everyone deserves a decent life. Sadly when his Mom passed a few years back he fell into a lot of money but his wife was facing bankruptcy and his dogs were sick, all the money went there.

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  2. I remember the post you mean, written in late May. That was when I began following you. I’m so so so glad you could help him. That’s such a kind, noble act. Still an understatement. God will find ways to repay you for this noble gesture. 🙏

    Liked by 1 person

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