Hello, Goodbye

Some memorable loves aren't forever. Some last only as long as a weekend in Vegas. I was pursuing a fantasy in the form of a musician with whom I'd developed some powerful chemistry. He was a bartender-singer-songwriter working nights in a Soho bar with me, a waitress-painter-writer. He'd gotten work in a casino show headlined by dead rock stars (plus Marilyn, a crossover star in any genre) and quit the bar suddenly, but not before inviting me to check out his Vegas mission: resurrecting John Lennon. And he was good, though maybe a bit too earnest about the kitschy drama of gunshots played over the last strains of "Imagine" during his closing number. I didn't care—I sat in the audience and imagined us back in his room after the show. In addition to his extremely green eyes (hidden behind John's classic round shades), he offered the irresistible promise of sex and fun, hot and temporary. At the time I was deciding whether to marry or leave the guitar player I was living with. It was hard work, and I needed a break. I came to understand the pull of groupiedom that night— knowing that I was the next act proved excellent foreplay. And I was not disappointed—our one night entangled with each other was athletic and a little wild, and came with a jacuzzi and room service.

Hot sex aside, what I remember now isn't the steam, but our dinner at the all-you-can-eat buffet with Marilyn and Elvis. I'd been briefed on their tumultuous association, but they were subdued that night, still recovering from a dressing-down by management over their habit of falling into dramatic quarrels in full costume—and in full view of paying customers. (To me, this sounded like an attraction rather than a liability, and I greatly regretted missing it.) As my very own Beatle ran his hand lightly up my leg under the table, Elvis simmered and brooded. Marilyn sighed deeply and cast her eyes tragically down to her untouched plate. They were splendidly in character. I was as content as a cat.

 
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