My favorite picture of Annie Shapiro.
By Shelton Bumgarner
For a long time, I was obsessed with Annie Shapiro, the woman I started ROKon Magazine with in Seoul in 2006. And even long after I wasn’t obsessed with her anymore, I did think a lot about her. It really wasn’t until I wrote Somehow that the fever broke. Yes, everyone got mad at me for writing it, but it was like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. Suddenly I had a lot of perspective on my relationship, or lack of one with Annie. I used to think we had some sort of cosmic bond, but writing Somehow apparently broke it. I just don’t feel it anymore. I just don’t feel that sense as though she’s out there somewhere, thinking about me, too. I can finally move on with my life and try to find my fate in America. Seoul and ROKon Magazine are finally the past.
So, now I find myself thinking about two new women — Julia Allison and Alexa Chung. These two women could not be more different than Annie or each other. But Annie was something of a kook, at least when I knew her, and I really liked that. And Julia Allison, especially, is appears to be a larger-than-life character. She seems like someone I could work well with as a business partner. I like women like her. While in the some of the interviews of her I’ve seen she’s been a little fucking annoying, I could tolerate that for the sake of a Website.
Meanwhile, Alexa Chung actually seems pretty stable and normal. She seems almost otherworldly in her grace. She’s probably one of the most stylish women in the world and the fact that I keep writing about wanting to start a Website with her is rather ridiculous, to say the least. But I only do that because, well, I enjoy writing about her and then seeing if anyone from New York City or London pops up in my Webstats because of it. That’s pretty much the only reason why I write about her.
For some reason, my gut tells me that Julia Allison might actually be a little bit within the realm of possibility when it comes to starting a Website with her. I’m being delusional, yes, but she is so self-absorbed that I could see her actually being interested in starting a Website that would allow her to talk about herself.
Anyway, I guess the point of this post is I find myself musing upon what my relationship with either Julia Allison or Alexa Chung would be in the context of my experience with Annie Shapiro. Would I become obsessed with them like I did Annie? Could I somehow not make a pass at them at some point? I find both women extremely attractive (for different reasons) and if somehow I managed to even be in the same room with them I’d probably flirt with them like crazy.
And, yet, I’ve gained a lot of wisdom since I was involved with Annie. I’m not nearly as the wildman I was when I was involved with her and ROKon Magazine. In fact, I’m kind of dull. I still want to change the world, I still want to challenge Gawker head-on, but I want to be slow and methodical about it. I don’t want to rush into it like I did with ROKon Magazine. I want to keep my head and I want to do it right.
But all of that is just a delusion and a daydream. I’m just spending my time thinking up reasons not to do what I should be doing, which is looking for a job. I just need to look for a job and then save up the money to attempt to maybe, just maybe, move to Brooklyn at some point in the future. That’s my goal, at least.
I’m just thankful I don’t care so much about Annie anymore. Finally, that era in my life is done. Finally, I’m at peace.