Is the weather nice?”
“Yeah, we’re in Austin. Got here about an hour ago. It’s probably 80 degrees.”
“Wish I could say the same for here.” I sigh. “Get this: it snowed last night. Like real, motherfucking snowflakes.” I’m trying to act pissed, but I can’t bring myself to it because I’m so happy to be talking to Gus right now. I know I don’t have long, so I need to make the most of it.
He laughs. “No way?”
“Yeah, it’s October. Isn’t snow against the rules or something until at least December?”
“You’re asking the wrong dude that question. Is it cold?”
“Yeah, I had to buy a winter coat today. Though for the locals this is probably still T-shirt weather. I swear Minnesotans have some sort of mutant gene that makes them immune to hot and cold. It’s freaky.”
He laughs again but then turns serious. “What about boots? Did you buy some boots? You’ll need boots.” It’s funny when he acts parental.
I over-exaggerate a full body shiver. “Stop. Buying the coat was bad enough. I don’t want to give in to the snow boots yet. I need time to work up to that. Maybe next month, or the one after that.” The truth is, I’ll need to buy the boots new, because used shoes skeeve me out, and I need to save up for them. That will take a while.
“You’re right, you’d better pace yourself.” He’s teasing me.
I tease him right back. “Need I remind you that you’re touring the United States this winter? That includes the northern frigid states. You’re going to need to buy a winter coat too, you know.”
He exhales through gritted teeth. “I know. I’m still in cold-weather denial.”
“It’s a nice place to visit, denial, but you can’t live there forever, dude.” Maybe I should take my own advice.
“Bright Side, are you quoting Confucius or JFK? That sounds so familiar.” I know without seeing him that he’s wearing this dumb, mocking expression that makes me laughevery time.
“Dude, I think it was Yoda, in The Empire Strikes Back. It was part of Luke’s Jedi training or something.