“The whole search is for the unknown,…We’re always looking…”
“Are you coming?” Alex asked. He was tapping his knee as he waited while half humming/half singing “gonna give you my love….” that must have been playing on his Ipod. Impatience: the top of the con list. Incessant Zeppelin listening . Leanna wasn’t sure if that was pro, negative or neutral.
She remembered 1979 as the year of Three Mile island, Candies cork sandals, “Stairway to Heaven” and her late husband who would have crossed the street if he saw Jimmy Page or Robert Plant.
Jason, her husband was a protest singer/songwriter without a cause to protest. They had their biggest fights over music. He liked Pete Seeger. She idolized Clapton.
Once she almost threw a milk glass vase at him. She aimed low, too because his musical taste was blasphemous.
People would say they were really fighting over his inability or want to find employment. It really didn’t bother her. Her job writing training manuals and training the trainers was lucrative. Their tenement fifth floor walk up on East 6th Street was cheap and actually nice. They were probably the only people on the block with a cleaning woman.
As Jason only got out of bed during the day to pee, replenish his beer and eat, she couldn’t figure out how he could mess up the apartment so badly. She had a tendency to throw her clothes wherever. Her only household skill was cooking.
Every Thursday evening and Sunday afternoon they had an open house. A Polish girl from the neighborhood came three times a week. Leanna was called a JAP and uptown girl slumming for her use of household help. Jason couldn’t say anything as he benefited, barely worked, and thought cleaning was her job.
The night would end like every other night at Kenny’s Castaways, Folk City or Max’s. Jason didn’t usually like the music at Max’s but he liked free drinks.
Jason’s albums were reissued on CD eighteen years after his death. Leanna had met Alex when he emailed her to pitch a movie based on Jason’s life.
There was an instantaneous attraction. Alex didn’t dream. He acted. He written and directed some of her favorite movies. Of all the people who pitched a movie based on Leanna’s memoir, he wanted to remain closest to her truth.
Somebody finally understood that she really had loved Jason despite his complete inability to do anything people considered productive. And he had written songs that lived on after his death. Good songs that talked about more than protest but tragedy and love. Their love.
Leanna came with a loft in Tribeca she had moved to in 82 after Jason’s death. At 30 she was too young to call herself a widow. But she was. She had been married twice since Jason’s death. Neither marriage lasted more than three years.
She gut renovated before moving in, after the marriages, and once just because she wanted to. The only things she had from her marriage to Jason were books, albums and Fiestaware in all colors.
Leanna wasn’t sentimental. Twice a year she emptied her closets with the precision of the ultra-obsessed. Some time ago she had stopped throwing clothes around. It just sort of happened
During both marriages she kept the loft as she needed an easy exit.
Alex lived in a new building just south of hers. She thought she would hate mostly glass walls but was entranced by them. She liked listening to him play the grand piano while she wrote. They bounced ideas back and forth. Sometimes they would think the same thing at the same time.
This wasn’t like any love she had experienced before. It was pure fun. She was as impatient as he was. Their impatience almost melded. When she thought of them as two high energy people who connected, it seemed like a good thing.
Leanna didn’t need to make a list once she realized that if she married Alex she could sell the loft.