Rodney had a dark cloud stalking him. He could feel it in the car there with him, going down Belmont, and then up 49th. He was scared it was the precursor to an unhappy ending. The rainy streets and late afternoon December gloom felt like ecstasy. Not like regular ecstasy, but the old meaning of the word. Like experiencing all possible emotions at once. He knew what was happening, he was all hopped up on the feel-good. Is love just another drug? He wondered, but didn’t really care either way. It was just so…..good.
He had given up on all that shit a long time ago. Ain’t no such thing as love, we’re all gonna die alone, might as well just get drunk and fuck whenever you can, that had been his philosophy the last 10 years, his truth found through understanding. The last few years all he did was work his graveyard shifts at the terminal and read dusty old books when he got home. He’d given up on the booze AND the pussy. Isolation grind. There was a certain kind of contentment in it after awhile. Look at me now, he thought. He found a beautiful woman ten years younger than himself, his dream girl in fact. What he always wanted in a woman, inside and out. Sometimes it felt like a dream. He entertained the notion that she didn’t really exist, was just a fantasy, a psychotic break from reality. It seemed almost as plausible as something good actually happening to him.
He’d had women before. Even loved a few of them. But never like this. This was a whole new world opening up to him. He loved her more deeply, more completely than he ever knew was possible. And in his heart, he knew she loved him too.
Lulu was a first generation Irish Gypsy, new to the area from Los Angeles. Movie star good looks, and a perfectly voluptuous figure with the kind tits that make even straight women stop and stare. She was like a wild horse, strong minded, free spirited, and smarter than a pretty girl had a right to be. She could have married a millionaire or become rich herself if she’d chosen, but she was too smart to spend her energy chasing after the dollar bills. Gardening was her hobby, her passion in fact. She spent many hours feeding and fertilizing and watering her plants. She even named them and talked to them. Freddy the fern, Ricky the rose bush, etc. It was touching to see her tend to her yard with such love. The whole yard was one big garden. Watching her there on her knees, beautiful even in old jeans and a wide brim hat over her yellow hair, Rodney silently ran all the angles over in his mind. The only thing that added up was that she really did just love him.
One Friday night, after a few drinks at the neighborhood bar, Lulu asked, “Do you want to try some molly?” Rodney looked up into her pale blue eyes and answered, “Isn’t that one of them dance party drugs?”
Later that night, as they laid naked in her bed, rubbing each other’s faces, breathing the other’s breath, nuzzling and stroking each other, Rodney lost himself. The music on her stereo seemed to have been made just for this moment. Pure love. Pure intimacy. The universe seemed like a white light shining directly through his soul into hers. He’d never been so happy in his entire life. He tried to ask what the name of the band on the stereo was, but could not speak. His eyes rolled into the back of his head and he felt like he was leaving his body.
The next afternoon, in her wide brim hat and old jeans, Lulu looked down at her newest plant with the love of a mother. “Rodney, you know Rhododendrons have always been my favorite. Those pink flowers are going to be so beautiful come spring time.”