“How I Met Your Mother” creator Carter Bays paid tribute to the late writer Ari Behn on Twitter on Thursday, recalling a chance meeting in Morocco in 1997 and a week-long whirlwind friendship.
“He had knocked on my door just to be friendly and introduce himself,” Bays wrote, describing their first meeting at Hotel El Muniria in Tangier. “And by the way, who does that? Who knocks on a stranger’s door in a hotel? He wasn’t trying to rob me, or sleep with me, or convert me to some religion. He just wanted to make a friend, because that was his way.”
Behn, an author, artist and playwright best known for his short-story collection “Sad as Hell,” died by suicide on Christmas Day.
Bays described how he and Behn bonded over being writers and staying in the hotel frequented by the likes of William Burroughs and Allen Ginsberg. At the hotel bar, Behn proclaimed themselves the “Red Generation,” set to write the next great American/Norwegian novels.
“I know it’s corny, but in the moment, it was intoxicating,” Bays wrote. “He named our generation and canonized the two of us right there on the spot. I have no idea why he picked “Red.” Maybe there was a red curtain or lampshade in the bar? Red cushions? There’s lots of red in Moroccan decor.”
“We hung out for a week, and it was one of the most romantic weeks of my life. We drank G&Ts. We stumbled down alleyways. We met Paul Bowles! It was a feverish, fast friendship,” he said. “Then we parted ways. I got on the ferry back to Spain, and he headed south to Marrakesh.”
The duo reconnected one more time, in New York City, later that year, and then never saw each other again.
“Ari was a person who would talk to and befriend anybody,” he wrote. “Every woman he met fell in love with him. He was one of those magical characters who had no limits. And when I knew him, he was only 24 years old. There was no question, a great story lay ahead of him.”
Read Bays’ full thread here.
My heart goes out to his children. I hope they know how cool their dad was. I bet they do.
RIP Ari Behn. The Red Generation remembers. pic.twitter.com/6dUjsxPsms
— Carter Bays (@CarterBays) December 27, 2019