It’s another wonderful evening together – Lucy and me at the rooftop lounge. The margaritas are going down like water with hors d’ oeuvres to die for. The moon is rising over a turquoise sky with a velvet breeze rustling our hair as the soft pop tunes from the late 70s so appropriately score the scene with an undercurrent of melancholy.
Could she be the one? I ask myself – a fleeting thought comes to me before I stop it in its tracks. Let’s just take it easy and enjoy our time together, I reassure myself knowing the challenge that lies ahead.
My life with Lucy is developing into a thrilling love story but still, there is but one giant hurdle to conquer before we reach the next level, and she doesn’t even know it. I wander and wonder, looking for a way to break it to her gently: I am an openly obsessed Kenny Rogers fan.
That’s right. The Gambler. The Coward of the County. Kenny Rogers Roasters fried chicken restaurants and the duets with the ladies.
Maybe Lucy will take it well. Maybe she’ll love me and maybe she won’t, but I hope if she leaves that she believes in me. I’ll just have to suck it up and go home singing “you picked a fine time to leave me Lucille.”
All of a sudden I decide it’s time to get this over with. I steady myself, puff out my chest, look Lucy in the eyes and announce loud and clear, “Lucy, I’m a big time Kenny Rogers fan, I’m proud of it, I’ll never stop loving his music and if you leave me as a result, I’ll take it like a man. All I ask is that Lucy… don’t take your love to town.”
I can see she’s uncomfortable, wriggling in her seat, looking at her hands, and I find myself deeply concerned with the condition that her condition is in.
“Lucy,” I stammer, the words crashing into the lump in my throat. “You’re my lady. I don’t expect you to fall in love with a dreamer, but you’ve decorated my life in ways you’ll never know. I’ll understand if you don’t need me baby but if you accept me for who I am, through the years, we can love the world away.”
Out of the blue Lucy sings out, “Islands in the stream!” I start to smile but I don’t know where she’s going with this. “That is what we are,” she continues in her best Dolly Parton.
“No one in between,” I respond at the top of my lungs in my stellar Kenny impersonation, hopping on top of our table. “How can we be wrong!”
“Sail away with me, to another world!” Lucy sings out as she joins me on the tabletop, in the cutest, most adorably shilling, delicate Dolly impersonation anyone has ever heard, as if she’d spent years pretending to be Dolly… as I had Kenny.
Then we sing out in unison, for the whole lounge and the whole world to hear:
“And we rely on each other, uh huuuhhh.”
Tags: bob deakin, coward of the county, dolly parton, don't fall in love with a dreamer, islands in the stream, kenny rogers, kenny rogers roasters, love the world away, Short Story Humor, the gambler