Marcus was the one true love of Andy’s life. It often felt like he was still living in that little apartment with us, even though he’d been gone for two years. He’d been a brilliant pianist, and his notebooks and cassettes were still piled in the closet. His photos still hung on the wall. And Andy kept his ashes in a painted box on the dresser. Back in the eighties, Austin was much more of a hobo, hippie town, and that’s exactly the kind of couple they had been. They’d go on hikes, bike rides and swim in the river. They’d visit with friends and whenever they could afford it, they’d travel. There was one summer when Andy got hired to do some decorative painting on a guesthouse in Puerto Vallarta, and he brought Marcus with him. They spent a magical summer there. It was owned by a woman named Sylvia, and she gave them a free room overlooking the ocean.
Ionce visited a medium. She wasn’t how I expected her to be with a veil and a wart on the end of her nose. She was much younger and prettier. “I see a man in your life with long grey hair,” she said to me. I smiled. The hair was always the first thing people noticed about him. I was young and had not long moved to Austin, Texas. I got some work decorating an Italian Restaurant called Mario’s Pizzeria. I thought it would be a case of lash the paint up and collect the cheque. No such luck, they wanted a seaside mural on the wall and I could tell I was out of my depth. A friend recommended a local artist by the name of Andy. I reached out to him and invited him down to come and see the space they wanted the mural.