I am 23. I leave town with very little notice or explanation to my apparent girlfriend. There’s a brief stopover in Toronto on my way to San Francisco, where Peter and I will start an adventure. I have a very fun week and don’t want to leave before the final Oh No Forest Fires! show, but the plane ticket is bought and I should slow down on the drinking anyway.
I arrive in California to the news that Peter won’t be joining me. It rains for several days as I depressedly withdraw from alcohol in a hostel. I need a change, so I head for Los Angeles. While listening to Sigur Rós’s “Sæglópur” on a southbound bus in the middle of the Golden Gate Bridge, I finally am again.
A couple of cities later, including a quickly abandoned idea of living in Las Vegas, I book a flight to British Columbia to meet up with some friends who are there for the Olympics. In Whistler, eight of us pile into a tiny basement room to sleep. Romesh is lying on the only mattress and snoring as he is wont to do. I somehow use the mattress as a blanket and occasionally plug his nose in the hopes that he will die or at least stop snoring.
With a mild sense of failure, I return home. Peter picks me up from the airport and we drive around discussing his abdication of our initial plan. He has a new girlfriend that he wants me to meet. She lives with a former Harvard professor who left his post to move to St. John’s. We stop outside their Bond St. house, and Peter stays in the car while I knock on the door. Since the residents don’t know me, the plan is to pretend I’m Peter and see how they react to the situation. Only Bruce is home, and he curiously asks me a number of questions over a cup of tea.