"Did you ever feel like you were a million miles from where you'd though_ou'd be when you grew up? Like you thought you were heading for a weekend i_egas, but ended up in Mongolia instead?"
Lulu was lying across the three wooden garage sale chairs they kept up fron_or customers. Her arm hung down and a lit American Spirit between her finger_ointed at the floor illuminating the scars on her arm with a faint red light.
"Sometimes," said Spyder. "But then I remember the scariest truth about bein_ grown up: that no one really knows anything. Maybe where most people want t_e is as wrong as where they end up."
"We've been taking our happy pills, I see," said Lulu. "Know what we never,
ever talked about: What did you really want to be when we was kids?"
Spyder stood up and stretched, saying, "That's easy. A private detective. Yo_now, a Sam Spade thing. The whole world'd be in black and white and th_treets would be slick with rain and lit like a film noir set."
"Sam Spade was always lonely and miserable, least in the movies."
"But at least he knew something. That makes him the exception."
"When I was a girl, I wanted to be Mary Magdalene," said Lulu. "The most hate_oman in the world, but Jesus saw her true heart and loved her for it. _anted that so much. To be hated by the riff-raff, but loved by that on_erfect, bright-eyed soul who knew me from the inside out. I used to jerk of_o the picture of Jesus over my bed. He looked just like Jim Morrison befor_he alcohol bloat." Lulu took a drag off her cigarette. Spyder still wasn'_ure how she was able to smoke with no lips. "When I realized I liked girl_ore, I jerked off imagining Jesus fucking Mary Magdalene. I was Jesus, o_ourse. I wonder, does that make me narcissistic?"
"No, you're more like Mother Teresa."
"I'd have fucked Mother Teresa."
"You'd have fucked Nancy Reagan if she'd of held still."
"If she was in that pink Jackie O outfit she wore to Ronnie's secon_nauguration, hell yes. I'd've bent her over the big desk in the Oval Offic_nd slipped her the high hard one next to the Bible Ronnie had Oliver Nort_ive the Iranians. Hell, I'd have bent Ollie over, too. Gotta love a man in _niform."
"You're a damned pervert, Lulu."
"What's Dennis Hopper say in Blue Velvet? `Don't toast to my health, toast t_y fuck.'"
"I wouldn't be Dennis Hopper," said Spyder. "I'd be Orson Welles. He can act,
write, direct, he married Rita Hayworth and you know, deep in his heart, he'_ stone killer."
"That arty fuck never has happy endings. He's always dead or betrayed."
"Yeah, but we all end up there if we live long enough. I love the guy'_ertainty. He was willing to ruin himself for whatever he was doing. That'_he definition of balls." Spyder checked the door again to make sure it wa_ocked, then turned on the light in the studio. Lulu shielded her paper eye_nd softly said, "Shit."
"So, what happens now?" asked Spyder. "Do we open up tomorrow like nothing'_ifferent?"
"Things are only different if you act like they're dif-ferent."
"Bullshit. Everything's different."
"I've been exactly what I am for years and it didn't affect things. Why shoul_hat change now?"
"That was before," Spyder said, groping for words. "I was going to say th_orld has changed, but it hasn't. I'm changed. And I fucking hate it. I tak_ack what I said about Sam Spade and knowing things. I enjoyed my ignorance.
Give me three wishes and that's what I'd ask for first."
"Reality sucks," said Lulu sitting up on the chairs. "But, if you wait lon_nough, everything becomes normal. You'll see."
Looking out the studio window onto Haight Street, Spyder watched the peopl_utside going through their happy, blind lives. Couples were going to dinner,
ducking into bars. On the corner, a girl with blue hair was kissing a boy in _op shirt and vinyl shorts. Softly Spyder sang, "When I'm lyin' in my bed a_ight, I don't wanna grow up, Nothin' ever seems to turn out right, I don'_anna grow up." He looked at Lulu. "Know that song?"
"Tom Waits. Jenny gave me the CD for my birthday."
"When I see the price that you pay, I don't wanna grown up, I don't ever wann_e that way, I don't wanna grow up… " For the first time, Spyder was glad tha_enny had left him. He couldn't imagine trying to explain all this to her.
Where was she right that second? Was she happy? He hoped so.