Sunday, September 17, 2006

Yours Truly and Lauren

A while back I met the woman of my dreams. She was working as a hostess in a public house I used to frequent, back when I could afford to be a hopeless alcoholic. The first time I met her, I had her pegged as just another cute young hostess. I introduced myself, and she told me her name was Lauren. I liked her name enough to remember it, and I liked her self-assurance and insouciance as well. In other words, I thought she had a nice ass.

The next time I saw her, I said by way of greeting, “Lauren, light of my life…”. She promptly responded “…fire of my loins,” accurately finishing the first line of the novel Lolita. To say that I was surprised is like saying that Patrick Roi was a goalie, or that George W. Bush is an ass – that is, a dramatic understatement, if you don’t follow professional hockey or American politics. On inquiring further, I learned that Vladimir Nabokov was her favorite author, and that Ada was her favorite novel. At this point you should know that Nabokov is my favorite author, and that Ada is my favorite novel, so you can imagine how thunderstruck I was. I had only ever met a couple of people who claimed to have even read Ada, let alone that it was their favorite novel.

So of course I promptly fell madly in love with her. It had nothing whatsoever to do with the aforementioned nice ass, or her sultry smile, or her smoky eyes, or the tattoos on her languid arms. (If she ever reads this, she’ll like the “languid arms” part, guaranteed.) Now, falling madly in love is something I do about every twenty minutes when I’m out in public and not at the YMCA, but this time it was special.

As it turned out, not only was Lauren beautiful and well-read, but she was a fellow Scorpio (except that she was a girl). We Scorpios know what that means: we are the best lovers ever. Just ask us. And to top it all off, she had a sense of humor to rival mine (shut up).

For some examples of her humor, consider the following:

  • She told me she had at some point subsisted on "...a diet of alcohol, flank steak and shrimp cocktails."
  • She thought it was funny that her lease “precludes pernicious behavior”.
  • Her nickname for me was “Mr. Consummation.” No comment.
  • We picked out our children’s names in advance, my favorites being Lascivia, Libertina, and Old Joe. Okay, my real favorite was one I came up with, Demi Pamplemousse.
  • On scapular medals (she had to explain to me what they were): "... then I decided I wasn't superstitious anymore and could get rid of some of the saints."
  • Apropos of socks: "All my socks are black!" I’m not sure why I thought this was funny, but I did, and so did she.

So what happened between us? We became friends, dammit. I hate that. I also understand it. Fate was cruel enough to me to create her about 30 years too late to do me any good from a “Relationship” point of view. (She was not even 21 when I met her.) If it had been 28 years, or even 29, I would not have eaten or slept until she was my lover. We would have left the U.S. to live in Andorra, she would have changed her name to Adelia, I would have been a successful novelist in my own right, and we would have had all the kids we talked about and more. Ignore the acrimonious divorce and subsequent custody battles.

Alas, another slap in the face from Dame Reality was that while I knew her she usually had at least two lovers going on at the same time.

Also unfortunately, she was enamored of Marcel Proust, a taste I have never acquired. I subscribe to the “life is too short and Proust is too long” theory.

But God willing, Lauren is still out there, wanting to be the kind of person who drinks lime blossom tea but in fact being the kind of person who drinks scotch, albeit good scotch.

And of course I still love her, if a little more platonically than I would have liked to be the case. And as you might suspect, I often judge other women by her, and the other women nearly always fall short in the comparison.

- Hulles

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