All right, kid. Listen up: once upon a time…
Ugh. Why do you start all your stories like that?
Quiet you, and pay attention. For two weeks
you’ve been begging me to tell you about the
woman in New York City. What do we know?
Ummm. She met a little man with a little
motorcycle. Mmm hmm. And where was he from?
Minne-ha-ha? Close. Minnesota. Duluth,
to be exact … or well … he was coming from
Chisholm, a town up in the Mesabi Range.
Oh! I know that one. Mesabi is an old
Ojibwa word meaning … oh crap. What is it?
Land of the Giants. That’s right. Good job, kid. I’m
impressed. I am depressed. Go drink some wine, then.
You’re too stressed. You’re overworked. You are too. So?
That’s life. Don’t let it get you down. May I tell
this story now? Do I have your permission?
I’m not the one talking. No, but you will be.
You will be. … I hate when you talk like Yoda.
I’ll be downstairs listening to Coda and
quaffing large amounts of alcohol. OK.
Bye. Have a nice night. Tell John Bonham hello
for me. And por vouz, the rest of the story.
So … the birthday girl and the biker boy talked
and talked, and talked and talked. She mentioned Tommy,
by The Who. He countered that with the theme song
from The Love Boat, which he sang like Richard Cheese.
Who’s that? He’s a lounge singer. Honey? Yes, dear?
Why’d you leave the keys upon the table? Ha
Ha. Very funny. Thank you, Meg. You’re welcome,
Jackass. I’m begging you, please. No more false starts.
Tell me about what happened after they got
off the train in … where’d they end up, again? North
Carolina. They used the money they pooled
to build a small cabin beside a lake on
a hill in the middle of nowhere, almost
like Jimmy Page and Robert Plant at Bron … uh …
something. It was a shack in a forest in England.
They wrote some killer songs out there and got to
know each other as people, the way I think
it must have been for Van Gogh and Gauguin – two
artists growing together as people and…
Did they have sex? Probably. I don’t know. I
wasn’t there, but it was the seventies and
those two did a lot of drugs, so … who knows? It
doesn’t matter, does it? Had they not hung out
in that godforsaken elven forest, there
would be no Stairway to Heaven. That’s a fact.
Jack? What? Get on with it. Oh. Right. The story.
So these two crazies are in the woods. The blonde
from New York sits on a thick Persian rug near
a crackling fireplace, guitar pick between
her perfect white teeth. Her face, full of color
and free of makeup, scrunches as she strums the
six satin strings of her acoustic guitar,
filling the air with a siren’s melody.
The Midwestern boy puts down his pen for a
moment and closes his eyes to take in the
peaceful vibrations coming his direction,
then opens them and stares at her side of her
face for several seconds before turning
back to the words in his blue spiral notebook.
What’s he writing? The story of life before…
Before what? I’m not sure yet. I haven’t quite
gotten that far myself, you know what I mean?
What if she puts down the guitar and he puts
down the notebook and they go out exploring?
That’s not a bad idea, actually.
Did it snow? Of course it snowed. Will they make snow…