Night to Bishop
When I sat up in bed, it felt like my head was still asleep on the pillow. The last thing I wanted at that moment was to have to be somewhere. And I knew that a hangover would be my unwanted guest for the entire day. The empty Heineken keg cans on the kitchen counter were looking at me as if to say, “I told you so.” But I’m back in Austin, so they were probably saying, “I told y’all so, hook’em!” I don’t smoke, but I smelled like cigarettes from the La Zona Rosa patio smokers.
I had to meet Morgan at Jo’s for lunch. It’s only a few blocks away and their tuna melt with chips is to die for. I popped two Advil and took a long hot shower with the fan off, so I would get the sauna effect and open my pores nice and wide so the alcohol could find its way out. I was letting the hot water stab me like tiny daggers while my memory began piecing together yesterday.
My flight leaving MSP International was delayed…shocker. But I had my Ipod Touch and Bright Lights Big City was posted in its entirety on Youtube. The entire 1983 movie posted in ten segments starring Michael J. Fox as a struggling NYC writer with a yearning for booze, cocaine, 501’s and desert boots.
Bishop was waiting to pick me up at Bergstrom. He still looks like the kid I grew up with, just taller. His parents emigrated from Korea and became devout Catholics – hence his clerical name. Bishop’s parents wanted him to be a doctor, but he wanted to be Stan Lee and paid for art school by bartending and doing airwalks, heelflips, nollies and other tricks in skateboard videos.
The morning we graduated high school, Bishop got two tattoos: the image of Peter Parker on his right forearm and the image of Spiderman on his left forearm. He’s never read a Harry Potter book, but he reads J.K. Rowling’s 2008 Harvard commencement speech nightly before bed as some sort of self-affirmation prayer. He survives as a graphic artist for now. text of rowling’s pretty sweet speech
We headed to the Brown Building so I could drop off my luggage. On the way, Bishop asked if I still talk to Amanda and I shook my head without saying anything. It was better than audibly sighing, “No,” which would give away that I still kind of miss her. “That’s cool,” he said squinting from the sun, “You’ll do better.”
Once in the loft, I washed up and we walked down to the Brown Bar. As we entered the bar, we saw Shipley across the street and ran inside so he wouldn’t see us. Shipley is perpetually on Ecstasy or about to drop Ecstasy. He’ll stay near a bathroom because Ecstasy supposedly gives you the urge to crap. Once the peristaltic wave reaches shore is when the high apparently begins. We raised our glasses and it was good to be in Texas.
We eventually made our way to La Zona Rosa. I don’t think Bishop’s parents fully understand or accept their son’s creative drive. In the pedi-cab, he said they occasionally tell him that the Postal Service is hiring. But I’m happy that he’s following his talent and doing alright. He shares a downtown loft and he’s flying to Las Vegas in two weeks to interview at Zappos.com. But I could tell that not being able to fully share his life with his parents bothers him.
I vaguely remembered standing outside La Zona Rosa at what must have been bar time. I told Bishop that I had recently talked to Amanda despite shaking my head when he asked me earlier. She’s living with her boyfriend – the guy she started dating two months after we broke up. They rent an extremely outdated condo and their combined salaries maybe equal mine.
That last remark came back to me as I started walking to Jo’s and I felt ashamed…it made my headache worse. Why should I judge Amanda and her boyfriend by what they earn? Hell, I’d probably trade places with the guy. He can have my salary and I’ll take his $35k per year and a shared bed with Amanda.
Even more pathetic is that it made me look like Mikey from Swingers. But I love how that movie ended, and I hope fate has a similar plan for me…