I met Saul on a trolley in San Francisco. He was with some girl named Lola who was a handful. They were drunk without alcohol with their crazy love. They were cuddling and joking loudly and blissfully unaware of all the Asian tourist eagerly snapping photos of the young lovers. Saul was dressed like new bohemian dandy. He had some scuffed black dress shoes with threadbare dress pants that used to be jet black. Now they were a sickly gray color with small patches awkwardly placed all over them. This was contrasted with a bleach white dress shirt with an unbuttoned silk vest. Topping it all was golfing hat just because he could. His girlfriend Lola seemed to be wearing some of Saul’s clothes. She had some dress pants on that almost completely covered her work dock martens. She had a man’s long-sleeved shirt and a blue blazer (also a little too big). The way the clothes hung on her made her look like Annie Hall and a few years younger than she actually was.
You could tell that neither of them had been in the city for long. They were simply riding the trolley until they saw something interesting. After a few minuets they came over to me and asked if I knew any breezy cafés in the city. I told them that there was one down on the wharf and I offered to show them. As we took the long stroll to the Sea Side Café they began to talk about themselves and their ridiculous lives.
Apparently they were not restless but vehemently opposed to any hint of spatial stability. They were addicted to chaos. Lola and Saul had met in New York sometime the year before and when they got together it was like fate decided to fight fire with fire. They burned through life with unbridled abandon and loved every minute. This not to say that they left the world to burn behind them, it was more like they put a fire under the butt of everyone they met and sent them running around hysterically with them.
It took us and hour and a half to get 10 blocks because they felt a deep seated need to screw around. Lola would run up behind unsuspecting victims and jump on their back just for fun. Needless to say she looked quite Mad but she had this way about her that meant that no matter how crazy, ridiculous, and intrusive a thing she did she always got them to smile. It no surprise to any of us that all this shouting and disturbing the peace that the police rushed onto the scene. Though by the look on Saul’s face he not only expected it but was looking for it. Saul ran up to the officer and shouted
Saul: stop, stop, Mr. officer.
Cop1: Sir we have reports that that young lady over that has been running up to people and jumping on their backs. Please tell me that this was a prank call.
Lola: reports are overrated.
Saul: (quickly) I’m afraid so officer.
Cop2: may I ask…
Lola: for the record I also grabbed that lady’s ass. Just in case you needed to know that.
Cop1: you have to…
Lola: and I peed in the alley.
Cop2: My I ask why
Lola: yes officer, it’s a free country, the constitution allows you to ask why. Politely
Cop1: Are you on drugs
Lola: ‘lil bit. Not a lot officer, just a ‘lil bit.
Cop2: why were you…doing whatever it was that you were doing.
Saul: Excuse me, Officer…?
Cop1: Detective Bryan
Saul: of course, Detective Bryan, my sister here is…disturbed
(Lola begins to drool)
Detective Bryan: disturbed?
Saul: yes she has neonphycosisdoses. In fact she probably has it worse that most of the .00001% of Americans that have it.
(suddenly Lola falls to ground and starts convulsing)
Cop2: quick, call an ambulance.
Saul: oh my god. Not again. PLEASE SOMEONE CALL THE COPS. Call 911. Call the F.B.I
Saul: (shrugs) you never know
And so it went. We got 10 blocks and were then driven to the hospital. I think this is where they both shined. Lola’s depiction of a delusional young women with schizophrenic/rabbis like symptoms was Oscar worthy. Saul’s silver tongue was unparalleled. He was actuallly convincing the doctors that neonphycosisdoses was a real condition, and quit fatal condition. The doctors rushed around trying to create an elixir for all of her ailments. They were shouting out give me 100mg of trioxine or 50mg of senthetic insulin. All of which, as Saul informed them, Lola was undoubtedly allergic to. Finally, as Lola stopped convulsing and started breathing and acting normally, they decided that bed rest was the best they could do for her.
Two days later Lola was released from the hospital much to the relief of the nurse in the trauma ward who was all too happy to see her go. She came out beaming and quite proud of her and Saul’s Broadway premiere. I had to decided to tag along with the two trouble makers because, well, I was addicted to them. They give you a sort of rush, a blend of a breathe of fresh air and speed. Pretty soon they had me bouncing off walls and skipping through the streets of San Fran.
One night after a serious seris of ridiculous events we found our selves laying on the wet grass in Balboa Park looking up into the stars. She replied to an unasked question that was hanging in the air that night, times like these make her believe in endless possibilities. Like each star was a door that you could walk through. “I wonder” She Said “If there is door with my name on it.” Saul then stood up and said stars remind him that he will never run out of place to go. All around the world, he said, there are millions of people looking at these stars. Each person out there is, in all likely hood, looking at their own star. One star that reminds them of themselves. A star that wishspers into their ears images of their own destiny. So to him, if each star represented a person then there were millions of stars he could runway to. Millions of people he must meet. Then maybe, after visiting all the stars he will find one that is unclaimed and that would be his.
I was far too drunk at that moment to decide whether what they said was profound or cliché. Stars have long been symbols of journey, adventure, and even memory. Yet, there was a glimmer in there eyes that said they was looking at the stars in a way that no other man had before or since. It was a look that I believe meant that they understood them, that they could read and that they would lead the two of them wherever they wanted to go. Looking back on it I think it might have been a little of both.
The next morning, after the park district police woke us up, angrily, we took a long, slow stroll back to my apartment. From the looks on their faces I could tell that this was the last day I would ever see them. They knew the way back. They knew all the names and faces of the shop owners who got up right after dawn to stock the selves and prepare for the new day. They knew the feeling of the ocean winds on their cheeks. They that this was the day of their leave taking.
After we ate breakfast they went silently to go and back their bags. Once they had all of it in their backpacks I asked Saul if he would help more the mattress they had been sleeping on back into the basement.
When we got back upstairs Lola was gone.