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Chapter 17
Beyond the Reaches of Fame

Or more accurately there remained the motionless woman of my nightmares. There she stood in living color that delectable, detestable, daft, deranged bird that tackled me to the floor. My stomach curled merely at the sight of her, her, and her ever-changing look. Today was no exception, her once beehive hair now hung in curls along the edge of her face. I slumped into my chair trying to avoid eye contact at all cost.

Talking once with this psychopath was more than any man should have to do in a lifetime. She wasn't a true psychopath, just a mad genius who didn't know how to handle her emotions properly. In a way it made me feel bad for her she couldn't help her misfortune; it was only the semantics of a bad DNA combination or an imbalance of hormones.

John noticed my queer behavior but didn't poke fun like I had expected. He seemed entertained enough with that bird wrapped around his arm. I looked back at that helpless creature my compassion began to form into lust as I drank in her new hairstyle. Out of the three, it was definitely the most flattering to her stick thin features. I felt compelled to call her to the table something about my absolute contempt for her was erotic, a feeling I grew a taste for sitting there all alone.

Someone moved into my line of site and I couldn't see my lonely mud flower enjoying the scenery almost as much as I was. I leaned my chair back so she would come back into full view, when the clumsy body once again made it impossible to lust over her. I looked up my eyes full of anger ready to let them have it when I saw the happy cheery waitress setting my glass of wine on the table with the soup I ordered.

"Est-ce que vous ou votre amis aimerait qu'autrement mange?" she said perkily pulling out her pen and note pad.

"Non je suis beau mais les me permets de demander s'ils veulent n'importe quoi," said Ringo's date flatly, "Want order anything?"

"Yeah I'll have a beer and some of that soup Paul is havin," replied Ringo a bit taken back that his date spoke any English at all, "ooh and that pastry at the table next to us looks good?"

"No need to have her translate I know the basics of English," the waitress struggled, "or at least the ones surrounded with taking orders. Lots of tourist this time of year."

"Good cause none of us speak a word of French," John said frankly, "We would be fucked if we got caught alone by ourselves, wouldn't we George?"

"Yeah I know I can't understand a single word of it," George agreed, "it's too hard to conjugate those verbs and such. It hurts me head to even think about it. I'll have a beer and a club sandwich."

"Could you say that a bit slower?" she asked embarrassedly, "I have a hard time keeping up when you speak so quickly. You use a lot of phrases I don't understand."

"Il veut une bière et un sandwich," I translated half hazardly and turned to George, "see it's not as hard as you make it."

"I didn't understand French in school and I'll be damned if I try learnin it now," George muttered half in anger half in humiliation, "besides as long as one of us knows a lil' what's the point in all of us learnin it."

"In case you get separated, ass," Ringo replied chidingly, "but I'm with George on this one as long as Paul is out to impress women with his vast knowledge of French than I say there is no point in tryin to learn ourselves."

"Way to go, Paulie," John teased blowing cat whistles, "you load on that bullshit to catch her fancy. I know I've pretended I was into a lot of things just to get a bird to make out or other deviant activities."

"You're whole life is a lie," George snickered, "and if I know you as well as I think I can't imagine you only "making out." It seems so unethical, if you're goin to lie might as well make it a good enough one to go all the way."

"I never just "make out" with a broad," John rose up defensively, "I was just statin a for instance for a coward like Macca. Don't get me wrong I've gotten my fair share of slaps but once the birds on the couch you might as well add another tally on the bedpost."

"There he goes again him and that ego," Ringo growled bitterly, "I'm surprised he doesn't talk about himself in the third person. One of these days your gonna get the cold hard slap of reality and I hope I'm not within a fifty kilometer radius when it happens."

"Well John doesn't take kindly to rude remarks that don't reflect his character," John replied sarcastically, "John doesn't want to talk to you anymore. You hurt John's fellins, you insensitive bastard."

"See what you started," I harshly reprimanded, "he'll be like this all day until some gorgeous bird knocks some sense into him. Or her breast do but either way I don't care to listen to it."

"Paul's just jealous cause he's all alone," George pushed playfully, "what's a matter couldn't find anyone to sit with you? I know this nice librarian down the street who'll let you hold her hand on the first date."

"But don't even think about a kiss till you're goin steady," Ringo added, "She always thinks men are after her body. Even though she's a lil' overweight and her hair hasn't seen a brush in three or so years."

"Yeah you two would make a cute couple," John smiled sincerely, "I can see the headlines now "Cute Beatle Goes Blind." The shocking details of McCartney's engagement to former librarian."

"Perhaps I just feel like bein alone," I said starkly, "I don't feel much like correspondin with anyone after the barnie me and Jane had last night. The one girl I did want to talk to last night left because of that scene so THAT'S why I am spending the day in solitude."

"How romantic," George's date bubbled giddily, "the way you talk about her your whole face lights up. She must be very special. I hope I find a guy that'll love me as much as you do her."

"I don't love her," I denied quickly, "I'm merely intrigued by her and wanted to carry on a conversation. The REAL reason I'm alone is cause the hooker I talked to thinks she can pocket more if she waits a lil' bit for George to arrive."

"Cheap shot," George said offendedly, while the rest of the lads laughed forgetting my current forlorn situation, "I don't need a hooker thank you very much. In case YOU forgot I'm not the one sittin by meself."

"In case YOU forgot I am the "cute Beatle" and I am choosing VOLUNTARILY to sit by meself," I reminded, "a mans got to have a day off once in a while especially when he is as busy as ME."

"Oh just sod off, you wanker," Ringo replied irritatedly, "looks like Lennon has some competition for biggest ego. We ALL know that you are just depressed cause Miss Asher dumped your ass again."

"First of all I dumped her," I said clearing my throat, "and second of all she'll be cryin back to me before the day is out and then we'll see who's the one that's "so depressed." Just a lil' hint for ya, it's not gonna be me."

"Ooh cocky, are we?" John smiled devilishly, "I'm so proud. I taught you well, didn't I? No don't answer that it was meant to be a rhetorical question but SOME people with SMALL minds might have turned that into a mean comment."

"Yeah we wouldn't want to set ourselves up to get caught into a pun that would make US look bad, would we?" George teased, "Who am I kiddin about we, more like just lil' Johnny, the smart ass, over there."

"Yeah some people might not like what's left of there face if they got 'round to makin fun of me," John said cracking his knuckles, "they might not be a pretty sight after I'm through with 'em, even Paulie."

"I didn't say one word," Ringo shielded himself from John's eyes, "you can't prove it. I was just sittin here all by meself mindin me own business. I may be short put I can throw one hell of a punch."

"The only thing you'd throw is your back when you reeled back to release that SCARY punch you had in mind," John quipped, "I'm shakin in me boots now Ring is gonna hit me. I better get on me girl boxin gloves cause this is gonna be the biggest cat fight of the century."

"Meow, meow, meow," George taunted repeatedly in a high screeching voice, "My monies on the pussy. Any takers? Or is everyone to AFRAID of me winnin all their money. I know I can find some REAL gamblers who could give me some odds worth while."

"What's with you and those one in a million bets?" I asked curiously, "do you like throwing your money away or are you just a compulsive gambler. At least I can respect you if that's the case."

"A lil' from column A and a lil' from column B," Ringo answered, "but mostly he just likes to talk a lot of shit. I'm a lover not a fighter so there won't be anythin to bet on in the first place. But if you get me angry you'll experience first hand that punch I was talkin about."

"Yeah talking is about all it would amount to," John snickered insensitively, "but enough fightin I have better plans for what's left of this afternoon. Julie said she was gonna show me the sights, didn't you Julie?"

"Yes," she smiled unknowingly as John clasped her hand and walked away. This girl was in for a lot of trouble if the only thing she knew in English was yes... John would likely have his way with her if she didn't stay close to her sister who at least at a vague understanding of the language.

"Yeah I'm ready to head out its already half past three and we need to be at the theater by five for a quick rehearsal," George reminded, "Come on Jacquelyn we must hurry if we plan on making it to that museum you were talking about."

"You mean go all the way to Bibliothèque-Musée de l'Opéra National de Paris?" she said starry eyed, "I don't think you would be able to make it to your show if we did. Perhaps we could go to Galeries nationales du Grand Palais instead. It is on 3 avenue du Général Eisenhower not far from the theater."

"Well you're the artist so whatever is fine by me," George conceded, "I'm mostly just looking at the beautiful statue in front of me. She has the most intriguing smile, more so than the Mona Lisa if you ask me."

"Oh you don't really mean that," she said trying to hide her blushing cheeks with the white napkin on the table, "you're just saying that to be nice. Or romantic I've yet to decide."

"Why don't you come with us Paul?" she glowed at her perfect idea," Your all by yourself, and you should have some fun. Besides you could get lost Paris is a big city and not everyone is nice to foreigners."

"That is mighty generous of you but I would hate to impose," I shrugged hoping she would take the hint that George wanted to be ALONE with her, "besides I already have plans for the rest of the day so you and George have a good time."

"Well I hope all of you have lots of fun but we really must be headin off if we plan on makin it to that arch thingy all the tourists go see," Ringo interrupted grapping onto his arms date and waving as they made their way hurriedly to the nearest cab.

"Have fun," I yelled out to them before they sped into the cool winter air. George's date seemed a bit reluctant to leave me behind by myself but George rushed her along before she verbally pushed the issue further, so here I was once again all alone with no one to talk to but myself stuck with the bill these cheap bastards skipped out on paying. I fumbled around with my wallet half hazardly looking for the right amount of franks when I saw her once again from the corner of my eye.

"Où est-ce que vos amis sont allés?" the waitress asked thoughtfully interrupting my exquisite view, "Vous remercier pour votre pointe généreuse."

"Vous êtes l'accueil," I smiled recognizing the word thank you among the long list she spat out so quickly. Her eyes were so kind and the warmth still burned with a fervent passion as I walked away from the quiet café. I didn't know where I was walking to exactly just that I would know when I arrived. I was ironically waltzing straight to the bench where the thin crow was perched so elegantly.

"Hello, how do you do?" I asked cheerily but her cold eyes never once left the statue that had stolen her mind away from all other conscious thought, "Do you mind if I sit here? I can always sit somewhere else if you would rather be by yourself." She did not say a word to me only sat there mesmerized by the statue in front of her, so I decided that her lack of response was acceptance at my proposal to stay.

"You're awfully quiet," I reminisced about our previous conversation, "Why are you sittin here all alone instead of havin a good time?" I never met a woman in Paris who didn't want to have a good time."

"You have a good memory for someone who seemed quite content to forget I ever existed," she laughed, as the trance was finally broken, "I didn't think I would be seeing you any time soon though."

"Well I am a man of a thousand places," I teased feeling a sense of rejuvenation, "You seemed almost like you were meditatin because of how transfixed you were by that silly statue. What's so intriguin about that statue anyways?"

"Nothing particularly intriguing, it's just the cultural find of the century," she replied sarcastically, "no it's an unusual piece done by an angry man who had a few choice words of what he thought about women. He called it "Fertility" sort of mocking the whole process of human life."

"I've never heard of it before," I admitted quizzically studying the indentions created by this man's loving anger, "it must have taken years to complete. I can't honestly see the animosity though perhaps it was a visaud to the double meanins and passions he felt toward them. Is it a modern piece?"

"Yes it is actually," she smiled impressed by art categorizing, "but you're looking at the wrong side if you want to see the abhorrence. I don't think he intentionally meant for it to display two sides of the coin, he was much too subjective to have given even a resemblance of pity to the other side."

"Many people have two sides the world can't see," I mused, "it's all rather based on the individual perception of themselves and the others around them. Only the artist can truly understand the meanin within the masterpiece."

"Ooh getting philosophical on me, are we?" she smiled devilishly, "you might find yourself in a sinking ship rather quickly if you try to say anything intelligent. Art is one of my hobbies, but philosophy is my true passion."

"I think I've already experienced enough of the slash of that sword of yours, so I'll pass on another go at it," I declined thoughtfully, "but perhaps you might like to chat about something more personal or remotely sexual."

"Why doesn't that surprise me in the least?" she said disgustedly, "All men can seem to talk about is sex. There's over four million words in the English dictionary and their mind can only comprehend one."

"Well you know how lil' brainpower we have," I replied sarcastically, "I mean sex only has only syllable so since we can pronounce it we stand a better shot at understanding what it means, right?"

"I can think of a lot of words that are easy to pronounce but most people don't have the slightest clue what they mean," she commented, "for example legerdemain. I bet you wouldn't even know if it was a verb or a noun?"

"I know that legerdemain is an adjective," I sustained my head up with pride, "but as far as the meaning I would have to hear it in a sentence to be entirely one hundred percent sure of it's definition."

"As if I would give you the satisfaction," she laughed delightfully, " first of all it's a noun. And second of all synonym for the word deftness or for the denotatively impaired a skill or talent."

"I never claimed to be intellectually inclined and vocabulary wasn't my forte," I defended, "I was a good writer in grammar school and several of me essays got good marks but it was never cause of a strong vocabulary."

"Well for someone who never finished school you are rather in touch with your surroundings," she admitted hesitantly, "our conversation yesterday definitely touched on some subjects requiring more thought than opening a jar."

"Like I said last night I am an expert at twistin what people say," I replied cockily, "I merely have to play off what others say to sound like I know whatever the hell we're talkin about at the time."

"That's a dangerous power you have on your hands," she warned warily, "be careful not to miss abuse the privilege. It might seen simple and easy but it could all turn sour over night and you would be caught in a trap like a fly in a web."

"Oh I would NEVER misuse my power," I said reminiscing the possibilities, "or at least that one. Unless I wanted to get laid than I might just have to borrow a couple ideas from it, you know to make it easier on me."

"You're impossible," she laughed resting her hand in my sweating palm. It was a magical moment that happened so spontaneously neither of us seemed to notice. We were more focused on our lighthearted conversation and the beautiful scenery that it became the silent bond neither of us shared.

Our eyes met no longer transfixed on the beautiful Parisian background we were a part of but on each other's bulging brown eyes. I leaned in to inspect them more closely as her warm breath rested against my frozen face. I stared more earnestly wondering who would blink first and end this eternal madness. What was so addicting about those eyes? They looked exactly like mine with a slightly more rounded lope and a pinch of a chocolate shade was blended with that hazel.

Her glasses were a rather unattractive barrier but behind them laid the mystery, I longed to discover. Those glasses allowed her to look beyond the exterior of everything around, a vision anyone with even the least curiosity would envy. As hideous as they might have been they added character to her face and made it stand out more vividly. Why hadn't she worn them at the party was she self-conscious about it? Men like John had a big superiority complex about it but she didn't seem so shallow and didn't look like she cared much what the world thought of her. She couldn't possibly care the way she was dressed when she planed to exit stage left, no pun intended.

She turned away from my undressing eyes back towards the statue. Once again, she was in her fetal position, her line of sight was like a damn umbilical cord that she never wanted to cut. I yanked her to face me and kissed her right on the lips. I don't know whatever possessed me to be so spontaneous but I felt a lurching sick feeling in the pit of my stomach the moment I did.

The guilt of cheating on Ms. Stevens stood there like a pink elephant in the middle of a living room everyone saw but no one talked about. Wonderful I was feeling guilty about a woman I wasn't even dating yet more less going steady with and she didn't even have the slightest clue I was so delusionally obsessed with her. Still I had to deal with the trauma I had just caused before I could focus on anything else around me.

She didn't look the least bit fazed by my un-thought out action, in fact, she looked almost as if she had been expecting it the whole time and was just waiting for me to get it over with. It wasn't something I planned, so how could she be so cocky. She wasn't exactly gorgeous, well at least she wasn't unpleasant to look at most of the time, but not a heartthrob my any means. I didn't just blatantly show any emotions I was feeling and I do not consider myself easily predictable. It was only the lustful pity that had made me act so irrationally, nothing else.

So I reasoned it was best to pretend that it had never happened. It was all a miscalculation of timing and our lips happened to collide. The sweet strawberry taste was a figment just like the pink elephant waiting so patiently to be summoned. I would simply walk away and go to our gig; after all, I wouldn't want to be late, would I? Should I say something first? What do you say when you just kissed someone and you don't know what on earth possessed you to in the first place? Perhaps you don't talk at all because it didn't happen, right? On the other hand, do you have to acknowledge it first, you know cause it's the proper etiquette? Thousands of questions raced through my mind as I over thought how to plan a graceful exit. Luckily, she put me out of my misery.

"Don't you have to go to that practice for your show tonight?" she asked thoughtfully, the actions now a part of a past, which ceases to speak.

"Yes, damn I am gonna be late if I don't get out now," I said staring at my watch in disbelief at how quickly the time had gone by, "I hope I can make it there in five minutes or Mal will have me neck for it."

"Well I hope you manager alright without a neck," she smiled thoughtfully, "cause there's no way in hell you can get there in less than twenty. Not unless you go in a helicopter or something else drastic likes that."

"You'd be surprised how much sway a couple of pounds has on the average cab driver," I replied seriously, "doesn't really take much to abandon what little moral obligations they have to drivin safely to help out society."

"Well you little mercenary, you," she laughed, "I wouldn't see you as the type to pay someone off as if it never happened. Hell, if I knew I had that kinda power I would of extorted you for money to keep my silence about our conversation."

"A lil' too late for should haves," I waved as the cab pulled up to the curb, "but who knows you might get your chance later. Or maybe I'm just bein daft and we'll never see each other again for as long as we live. You never know, do you?"

"Cyrano Theater, please," I said handing him a hefty tip in advance, "you wouldn't mind rushin a bit I am sorta late for a rehearsal I'm supposed to be at. I have more money to make it worth your while if you can get me there in the next ten minutes."

"Well this is quiet a bit already," he snorted before sounding the largest sneeze this side of the English Channel, "but I think I need a little more. Have a wife and kids to feed and they need their father back in one piece, right?"