It’s true that you can’t go home again, but I tried. I took advantage of my very last weekend ever by visiting my college roommate and her husband. As recent newlyweds, they kindly gave up a bit of the honeymoon, and graciously gave me accommodations in their home. They live in Bloomington, Indiana: home of Indiana University, Breaking Away, Little 500, Bobby Knight, college bars, and lots of memories. Danise and I met first day, freshman year. We were phone mates. Each room shared a phone which swiveled behind a closed door with their neighbor. It had a dial. We had Word Perfect, too. Danise is the youngest of six; I’m the youngest of 5. It was a match made in heaven, and we lived together for the rest of our time at IU. Our last two years, we shared a house with two other friends behind the best bar: The Bluebird. Inevitably, there was always a knock at the door at 3am for use of our couch. The first thing we did upon my arrival was driving by our old house and then through the rest of town.
It came back like a flood: drinking yards at the Irish Lion, a transient roommate who worked at the Snow Lion, our favorite bartenders, restaurants where we worked, midnight Pizza Express. The house we lived in had a great kitchen, and occasionally we even used it. I vaguely remember making big pots of soup. Mostly, the stove was used to heat the hot comb of another beloved roommate, Cappy. If you had a really great date or your parents were in town, you went to Janko’s Little Zagreb. Nothing fancy or even romantic. Red checkered table cloths, vinyl seats on chairs, and exactly cooked steaks. Of course Danise and Mat are really great dates, so that was dinner destination for night one. At Janko’s comfort food is a state of mind. Meaning, it is so comforting when it is as perfect as you remember it. The next morning, we met up with another roommate, Marcy, for coffee and hangover cures. It took a lot of coffee, water, and bagels, but by noon we were coming out of it. It’s hard to have a hangover with Marcy, but in a good way. She is an easy person to talk to, mother to six, and a hilarious story teller. Actually, I think the stories were the cure. By two o’clock it was time to feed the husband. Nick’s has been a Bloomington institution since my much, much older brother went to school. Maybe even longer. Nick’s was the best match for the pouring down rain, and so was a Bloody Mary. I thought about a salad or something remotely healthy, but they are known for their strombolis. It was at that point I realized I was eating like a college student. We decided to order the bucket of fries—to share. Exactly when is it a good idea for adults to eat a bucket of fries? It really seemed like a good idea( they were great with the garlic mayo), but it was instant food coma.
It only took 8 more hours to have any bit of hunger so we went to one of their favorites, Upland Brewery. Maybe we weren’t even hungry, just thirsty. However; this brings us to the part of this blog where I admit to major character flaws. I gladly go to the brew pub, but was slightly shocked to realize they only serve beer and perhaps a bit of wine. I was looking for my friend, Vodka. Most people realize that breweries only serve beer, but I’m not that bright. I’m not sure the last time I even had beer. It was quite possible it was dollar beer night at The Bluebird, in the 90s and they served Rolling Rock beer. I asked our server which beer tasted like vodka, but she didn’t understand the question. I tried their wheat beer. It turns out, I like wheat beer. However; it does not taste like vodka. Don’t be fooled.
On the ride to the airport, Danise and I discussed cleanses, wheat grass, and going a week of just raw foods. My Bloomington Binge had gotten the best of us, and we were feeling the repercussions. The day was beautiful and sunny which worked in my favor. Danise couldn’t see the tears in my eyes behind the sunglasses. We had over indulged in food and drink, but the truth is, being with her fed my soul.