“I love you, Jules,” Paul says, bright-eyed.
I beam. “I love you too, Paul.”
At this point I’m facing him. His back is to the wall, mine is to the dancing people. Paul moves his left hand to my right waist and just leaves it there. I don’t fully understand it but it seems to be almost a comforting motion, and I must admit I certainly don’t mind.
Paul leans in and kisses me. I feel as if I’m floating on a cloud—a Paul cloud, as the smoke surrounds us from the room and the slow song begins to end.
“Whoa-ho ho,” I hear a Liverpoolian voice say from behind me moving to sit across the table.
Paul and I turn to see John and Lydia now sitting next to each other, facing us. Lydia’s blushing again, which always gives her an interesting look to contrast her pale skin, black hair, and blue eyes.
“Hey Macca, you naughty boy you. You should be ashamed of yerself, kissing in public. In my day we didn’t have kisses, and we didn’t have publics either—“
“Oh, come off it.”
John continues, “When we were near a girl, we did it right. See—“
John then turns to Lydia and kisses her. But it’s just not just ‘a kiss,’ it’s almost as if he’s attacked her, full body and mouth, and I begin to wonder if he may suffocate her.
I gape and start to laugh. Paul turns to look at me and joins in. Finally, John stops, turns to us, now out of breath and finishes with, “See, let be a lesson to you.” He smiles at Lydia, who is now beaming and blushing.
I’m not sure of how to react. Am I supposed to be upset that I just saw John kiss another girl beside Pam, my supposed ‘best friend’? Am I supposed to feel pity for Cyn? Am I supposed to be rejoicing that Lydia’s ‘innocent’ dream is being fulfilled? Or am I supposed to be jealous myself?
No one says anything but John continues his triumphant grin and Lydia still looks utterly surprised, yet still smiling.
I turn to Paul, who has a half-smirk on his face, eyes still fixed on John.
Eventually we begin a discussion and the attention is pulled off the subject of kissing. When conversation becomes a bit boring, we decide to dance.
I fast dance with Paul and can’t help but laugh at his winks and hair tosses. Paul has a way of bringing out the giggly teenager in me.
A slow song starts and I throw my arms around Paul’s neck. He places his arms at my waist and I turn to look for Lydia. I glance past a clump of people and spot John and Lydia, dancing, smiling into each other’s eyes.
Lydia’s in heaven. But what about John? Is Lennon in heaven?
Paul follows my eyes to John and Lydia.
“Think it will last?” I ask.
Paul sighs. “I hate to say it but chances are slim to nil. You saw what happened with Pam.”
”Pam?” Paul speaks as if John and she are no longer seeing each other. I know he had mentioned some problems between them but never said anything about their current status together. But when I had first spoken to John on the phone on Valentine’s Day, I had mentioned Pam and didn’t he say he’ll ‘discuss that with me later’? This is quite puzzling…
It’s strange, I wonder about Lydia and John’s relationship lasting but have yet to question my own? Yes, Paul loves me. Yes, I love him. Yes, we were both in absolute misery without each other. But isn’t just as likely his relationship with Jane was similar? They’d miss each other, love each, see each other, be happy, and then, there he went, got bored with her and cheated. He’s says it was one of the worst mistakes he could have ever made and regrets it. I’m supposedly ‘special.’ John spoke of Paul going out of his way to be loyal when I still wouldn’t sleep with him. But, will it last? Could it possibly? I couldn’t picture a time not loving Paul and despise the thought of him not loving me. But then what is the status of our relationship? Eternal loving? Eternal dating? He clearly loves me now and I love him and it doesn’t seem there is a moment when either of us might even consider being apart but where does such folly stand in the long run? Is marriage realistic? Realistic—with a Beatle? “You feeling alright luv?” Paul asks gazing down at me worriedly with his soulful eyes.
I smile. “I feel wonderful.”
I soon find Paul and me just staring at each other. He’s looking down at me and I’m looking up at him. It’s incredible how much you can say to a person without ever uttering a word. John approaches, Lydia in hand. “Sorry to interrupt you two love birds, but I was wondering if we might switch dance partners—just for this next dance, that is.”
I look at Lydia, she’s grinning ear to ear and her blue eyes are so bright that I wonder if they might explode from excitement. I smile back at her and before I know it, she’s dancing with Paul, and John is facing me.
Another slow song plays.
“Quite. Seeing you guys was one of the last things I expected. Every night I had hoped to see you guys in the audience but you didn’t come. I guess I had just sort of given up.”
“I’m sorry you felt that way, luv. We just wanted to come and surprise you on this last night. We’re staying until the 31st.”
Wow, I have five days to spend with them. Five days to spend with my good ol’ friend Johnny. Five days to spend with the one man I love more than anything else in this world. Five Days.
“Yeh well, we hoped to stay longer, but we’re needed in England so we have to go back.”
“It’s better than nothing.”
“I must agree with you, it’s just the sleeping arrangement that Paul and I can’t agree on.”
“Oh really?” I ask.
“Yes. You see, our transportation here had to be kept completely secret in such a short amount of time, so good ol’ Eppy got Paul and me a small hotel room that’s a bit further from Greenwich Village than we might like. What Eppy didn’t tell us was that all he could find was a one-bedroom suite meant for honeymooning couples. You know, red heart-shaped bed and all.”
“Epstein. Brian Epstein. Our manager.”
The thought of John and Paul sleeping in one heart-shaped bed makes me laugh yet wonder where else they could possibly stay.
My apartment is tiny. As it is Lydia has to sleep on the couch and I only have a double bed—maybe enough room for Paul…
…but what about Lydia? Paul and I couldn’t do anything with Lydia there…
“Neither Paul nor I particularly care for the situation, but considering it’s only five days here we figured we might as well rough it out…”
“I’d offer my apartment, but you’ve seen it. There’s no space—“
“It’s alright luv, I understand.”
John says nothing but presses up against me. I’m surprised by his action but suppose it’s just something he’s used to doing when he dances. I then notice that his pants are no longer wet. I comment on it and he smirks.
“Yeh, Lydia did a good job of fixing it for me.”
“Yeh, you know, fixing it. She took me into the bathroom, closed the door…”
“…and turned on the hand dryer to dry my pants…”
He cackles mischievously. “What did you think I was going to say luv?”
I feel my face burning and turn away. He continues to laugh. “You know, you’re a lot like Cyn used to be.”
Sort of startled by the comparison, I look up.
“She always used to blush whenever anything vulgar was said around her. She was all upper crust and well mannered and all. We had fun teasing her.”
“A bunch of old friends from the art institute. But luv, I must say you do seem a bit stronger than Cyn. I doubt you’d take the same shit she does.”
I wonder at John’s meaning but am left with no time to think about it because the song ends and before I know it Paul and Lydia are standing beside us.
Lydia speaks, “John and I had been thinking about walking around New York a bit more. You know, I’d show him around.”
I send her a questioning glance. She doesn’t answer with her eyes but as we all walk out to leave says to me, “I’ll be sleeping in my flat tonight.”
“Are you sure about this?”
“Absolutely certain. Relax. You don’t have to worry about me. Besides, wouldn’t you like some nice time alone with Robert?”
I smile and John and Lydia break off for the night. As they walk off in their separate direction I am reminded how cold New York can get at night, even in late March.
I shiver. The streets are pretty empty. One or two couples, a few loners, some of which who look stoned, and a man mumbling and muttering angrily to himself pass by.
Paul turns to me. “I want to make the most of these five days as possible. I want to spend every day with you. Jules, I don’t know what I’m going to do when it comes time for me to go home.”
I know exactly how he feels but know it’s the last thing I want to think about right now. Now I just want to enjoy the time I have.
Under the veil of darkness, I search Paul’s face for his eyes. A light streams down from a street light and streaks his face. “Paul, I love you. I can’t picture life without you. But for now, let’s not speak of your return. Let’s just enjoy each other’s company. Alright?”
Paul smiles and kisses me.
I feel a sudden pain inside me knowing he’ll be gone again in five days. I pull him close and he holds me.
He laughs. I look up in wonder. Smiling he says, “You know, we act as if it’s the end of the world. As if we’ll never see each other again. Luv, I will never leave you, you will always be in my heart. Jules, life without you means nothing at all. We’ll stay in contact every day. I’ll write, I’ll call, hell, I’ll sing if I have to!”
“Well, why not?”
I grin. “Why not indeed.”
He looks into my eyes as if I was no older than a six-year-old on her grandfather’s lap. “We’ll work something out. No matter what. We’ll work something out.”
I nod and we walk back to my apartment for the night.
I awake with the feeling of being watched. I open my eyes and look up to see Paul staring right back at me.
“You know Brian wasn’t too happy about John and me coming out here to New York just to see a girl,” he laughs at the thought. Paul brushes a hair off my forehead. “You never met him, did you?”
He smiles. “You will. You definitely should.” He looks towards the door a second. “You have a phone I might use?”
“Sure,” I grin.
As I move to get up I remember I’m not dressed and blush. Paul doesn’t seem to mind and stands, waiting for me. I take my magenta comforter and throw it around me as if it were a dress. Paul just laughs.
I lead him through the door to the kitchen and point to the phone on the counter. He thanks me and I go into the bathroom to take a shower, throwing the comforter out bathroom door.
I step in the shower and remember Lydia and John.
What happened with them last night? And, if both John and Paul came how will I able to spend adequate time with both?
I wash quickly and throw on my bathrobe. I walk out to see Paul still on the phone, still not dressed. I blush and hurry back into my room. I scavenge through my closet and find the blue, empire-waist dress that I had bought with Pam and the Beatle girls so many months ago. The one they commented, ‘Paul will love.’
I smile, close the door, and dress. I look at Paul’s clothes on the floor and mine not too far away. They makes me wonder at myself. It was not long ago I thought of sex as something to be embarrassed about, something only married people would do. How long ago did that change?
Was it Pam’s light attitude on the subject? Perhaps combined with the attitude of laid-back Greenwich Village? Or have I just realized that all you need is love?
As I face my mirror and brush my hair I begin to wonder what exactly happened to Pam.
Are we still friends? Was it truly betrayal? Should I call her?
Mid brush, I realize I still haven’t applied my make-up. I fix my eye shadow and lipstick and stare into the mirror.
I look no different. Do I? Still the same brown eyes, still the same long brown hair. My nose has not changed in proportion to my lips, nor has my chin moved its position on my head. But I feel different. In a way even I can’t describe.
When I had returned home from London my parents certainly could plainly see I was miserable. ‘The evil Beatles’ had destroyed their ‘innocent daughter’s’ life. I hadn’t even told them what happened and they were certain of the guilt of that group of ‘drug-using, sex-obsessed, rock playing rebels’ that I had so ‘stupidly’ gotten involved with. My parents are supposed to be open-minded but I suppose when they see their daughter’s heart broken they refuse to see any other side but that of ‘The Parent.’
I haven’t called them for the past week or so. I hadn’t mentioned John or Paul calling. I doubt they would have believed it. Probably would have thought in my depression that I had gone delirious or something. But now that Paul clearly a permanent member in my life and John a wonderful friend of possibilities, I will have to update them somehow, in some way that they will understand. How? That’s beyond me.
I continue to brush my hair and I hear a knock on the door. It’s Paul wielding the blanket, which he throws in, and smiling brightly.
I try to channel my glance to just his face but I can’t help but look below his waist.
He speaks, “Luv, you know where I might get in contact with John?”
I’m startled. “But Paul, you’re the one who knows where that hotel is you’re staying at.”
“Yeah, I called and he wasn’t there.” He smirks, “I wanted to find out the number to Lydia’s flat.”
I sigh nervously. They didn’t—they couldn’t have. “Here, I’ll write it down for you, but she shares it with ten million other people so if she’s not the first to answer the phone, don’t be surprised.”
He raises an eyebrow and I begin to wonder if he’s thinking what I’m thinking. Paul laughs, “John must have had a wild night.”
I roll my eyes and hand him the paper with Lydia’s number. He thanks me and puts on his pants hastily before returning to the phone. He then yells from the other room, “Oh and luv, I’ll pay you back for the calls. I’m sorry, I really must be running up your phone bill, but I have no where else to call from.”
“Don’t worry about it.”
“Believe me luv, I won’t have you pay for this.”
With that I hear him dial and respond to whatever unidentified voice answered the phone. I sigh and organize my room.
Paul returns, still excited. “Luv, you mind if we go to Lydia’s now? Listen, I need to talk to John. But Jules, we’ll go out later tonight. Just us, alright?”
I beam. “Alright.”
As I throw on my jacket, Paul runs quickly into the bathroom and gets hurriedly dressed. Within ten minutes we’re out the door.
I’d never cared much for Lydia’s place. Out of the ten lunatics she shares the place with I have to say only three of them are ever straight long enough to hold a discussion. More than half the time the rest of them just lie around, stoned.
After a bit of a walk we reach Lydia’s. Paul and I clamber up a long staircase and finally come upon the door. Knowing the buzzer doesn’t work, I knock.
At first we receive no response. But I bang loudly and scream, “OPEN THE DAMN DOOR!”
Finally, someone opens the door ajar, leaving the latch still on. It’s one of the guys I can’t stand, Sky. “Hey man, what digs?”
“I’m here to see Lydia.”
His voice changes to a whisper, “You carrying?”
I say, “No,” but he let’s us in anyway.
One might consider the place large if they didn’t consider the fact eleven people live there. It’s a rather empty space, one large bright window, and several blankets, pillows, paintbrushes, refuse, and a large canvas lie on the floor. Some light streams in through the window, filtering through the haze of smoke. I spot John and Lydia in the corner, fully clothed and chatting.
Paul and I walk over. This is ‘Lydia’s corner.’ She’s given full right to decorate it in any way she pleases and thus does. Psychedelic designs are painted on either wall and around her mattress are a series of candles, incense holders, and pottery. She’s been keeping most of her valuable possessions in my apartment, including most of her clothes.
They face us, seemingly surprised at our arrival. Lydia smiles and stands to greet us, John follows.
Paul moves toward John, “Hey, I gotta talk to you.”
Lydia questions me with her eyes and I shrug. Paul takes John aside and Lydia and I sit down. She’s even more laid-back than usual and I realize why. She picks up a stub from one of the plates holding her candles and offers it to me. I decline.
“Where did you get that?” I ask her.
She giggles a bit. “John.”
I sigh. “But Lydia, hadn’t we decided we’d never try that again?”
She continues to giggle. “Yes, but John explained to me how harmless it is. And he’s right. We were wrong before. You really can get high off it.” She giggles again. “It’s great.”
Over a year ago, Lydia and I had inevitably become exposed to the drug culture of Greenwich Village and college. Of course, there had always been the druggies at high school but we had always avoided it. Here, everyone seems to do it and so we decided we might as well try it. Someone gave us some pot and we tried to smoke it, but all we got was sick. I inhaled and automatically began coughing. Lydia and I agreed nothing could be that wonderful if after smoking it the first few times you have to get sick. But now, thanks to John, it seems Lydia’s philosophy has been altered.
“Lydia, we had agreed.”
She smiles dreamily. “Yeah, but listen. We were wrong. We were so wrong. Man, this stuff does wonders. You know they all do it.”
She giggles. “The Beatles, all the Beatles do it. Even innocent little Paulie over there.”
That struck me. Yes, I had thought of Paul drinking. Yes, I had thought of Paul sleeping with other women. But I had never thought of Paul smoking. It just never occurred to me. I know it’s popular but I just never thought of it.
I look over at John and Paul talking, both laughing and sigh. It’s his own decision. After all, we were always taught that its ‘not addictive,’ so if Paul changes his mind he can always stop. But maybe I could try to convince him otherwise…
“That’s great Lyd, but I don’t and I don’t intend to.”
“Oh come on, Jul. Don’t be such a baby.”
She sighs. “Fine. So how’d your night with Macca go?”
I smile. “Wonderful. And you? Did you and John?”
A mischievous grin comes across her face. “I said I would only live through my ‘innocent’ dream.”
I laugh. “But you also asked me to define ‘innocent’ and somehow I doubt smoking pot was part of it.”
She giggles. “Yeah, I guess not. Well, no, we didn’t—‘do it’—if that’s what you mean. Not like he didn’t try. I don’t know, I just didn’t feel like it.”
Well I have to give her credit for that, but I do wish she wouldn’t use these drugs. They seem fairly new and not much is known about them—something just seems wrong about them. Maybe I could talk to her about it at a later time—when she’s not high.
I look over at Paul and John again—they’re both smoking and giggling.
Great, now I’ll be the only one with any sanity left in me for a while. Chances are they won’t be able to compose a legitimate sentence without giggling for the next hour.
I sigh and they come back over to join Lydia and me. They offer me their smoke and I once again decline, now even a bit annoyed.
“Why luv?” Paul asks, leaning against the wall, half in daze.
“Because I don’t care for it.” I suppose that’s the best thing to say for now anyway. Besides, I’m in no mood to argue over it while they’re still stoned.
“Oh come on, Juli. Don’t give me the same bull shit Lydia did before. It’s can’t do anything to you. It’s completely harmless. Scientific studies even say it’s not addictive,” John says.
“Yeah John, but for how long have these scientific studies be going on? Hmm? Do you honestly think they know everything right now?”
“Well maybe not, but maybe the fact that this stuff has lasted for centuries might give you a clue. People used to use this stuff in ancient times,” John answers.
“Yeah, when their life spans only lasted until they were twenty five!”
“Oh Jules, calm down. You really need to take a drag. You’re way too tense. Believe me, it’s harmless. Would I use it if it wasn’t?”
“Yes Paul, you would if you didn’t know any better.”
Paul sighs and hands John the smoke. John takes a drag and leans back. “Fine Juli, don’t use it, leaves more for us anyhow.”
I’m left for the next half-hour painfully sitting through their senseless giggles and get the sense that I might as well be talking to a wall. The smoke gets to me and I walk outside. I sit on the top step. I realize a more effective way to pass time is to call Pam and approach the nearest pay phone, coin purse handy.
More to come! Stay tuned for Chapter 6!
Go back to the hostess' page!