Me: I love you, Laura.
L: I love you, too. You make me very happy.
Me: But you're an angel...I thought you didn't need anyone to make you happy.
L: I don't need you. I want you. Wanting is higher than needing.
Me: You may have a point there, Princess [I have so many pet names for L, and they are all sickening...].
L: No one needs God, or Shakespeare or Virginia Woolf or Louis Armstrong....on the earth plane, you need to breathe, you need to eat, you need water and sleep, you need an operative excretory system...but what you want calls you higher.
[We're sitting on the screened porch in cool, delicious night air, sipping Grand Marnier; I'm nursing a cigar that won't stay lit--]
L: This Grand Marnier is the Exhibit A of higher civilization. Who needs it? Someone wanted it...wanted a sweet, warm, orangey-sexual drink...had they wanted to just get pissed, they'd have glutted themselves on potato spirits.
Me: Rien, cette écume...
L: No one needs pianos, or needed Duke Ellington to play one like he was Wallace Stevens.
Me: No one needs scat singing--[I'm really thinking not of Satch but of "Are You Shivering?" by Coil, which seems the most perfect song ever in this caressingly chill night breeze--]
[Silence...we sit, sip, hold hands, shift in our seat to hide eyes from the street light (false moon).]
Me: I love you, Laur [another nickname]. Are you real?
L: Are you?
Me: According to that Science News article, maybe not.
L: I'm as real as you are.