I want my two dollars!
-Better Off Dead
As Teddy wearily pondered his sad cigarette situation, Rosie walked into Tré’s place feeling pretty good. She’d had another epic night, lighting up the clubs and feeling more and more like a rock star every day. She was the resident Madonna; a skinny, white Queeen Latifah. It was her scene for now. Soon she’d be onto greener pastures.
She took a quick shower and then crawled naked into bed with Tré. The pink dawn light streamed in through the windows; fresh from the shower she was as pink and healthy as the morning. Tré opened his arms and she snuggled in.
“Did I wake you up, sweetie,” said Rosie, cozily nestling into his arms.
“I’m only half awake,” Tré said sleepily.
“You’re warm,” she said.
“You smell good,” he said.
Rosie lazily moved her hands up and down Tré’s body. Tré’s fingers wandered across her back, her thighs, her belly, her breasts. She kissed his neck. He kissed her mouth. They made sweet, sleepy love in the dawn light. When they were done, they fell happily sleep for an hour or so.
A sharp knock at the door woke them up.
“Who’s that?” asked Rosie, unpleasantly startled out of a nice dream. She looked at the clock. “Jesus Christ, Tré, it’s 7:15. Who knocks on a door at 7:15?”
Tré knew who it was.
“Just go back to sleep, baby,” he said, kissing her forehead. “I’ll take care of it.”
But Rosie got up, put a tee-shirt on and stood in the doorway to the living room. She watched a tense conversation between Tré and his landlord unfold.
When it was over, she walked over to Tré and wrapped her arms around him.
“Fuck him,” she said. “Let’s just get out of here. It’s cold and always winter and I’m sick of Chicago. Let’s go to L.A. or New York and just start fresh.”
“Rosie,” said Tré, sitting heavily on the couch. “If I can’t afford to pay my rent, how can I afford to trek off to L.A.?”
“I can get some money from my parents,” she said. “They can stake us a few thousand dollars to get out there and get started. I know us – it won’t take any time before we get good work. I’m getting good at this DJ thing. And they pay for that out there. Come on, Tré. Let’s just get out of Chicago.”
“I can make money here,” said Tré. “I am making money. I just got behind. Once I finish this job for your father, I’ll be able to get more money and catch up. I’ve worked too hard to just pull up stakes. I’m keeping my head down, working hard and I’ll catch up soon.”
“I don’t want to keep my head down,” said Rosie. “I don’t want that. I want to go. I’m ready now.”
“I’m not, Rosie,” said Tré. “I want to finish what I started. Besides, it’ll be summer soon and you’ll love Chicago again.”
Rosie sighed. “I’m done with Chicago.”
“But I’m not.”
“Fine,” said Rosie. “But I can help you now. I’ve got a couple of hundred dollars. Just take it and give it to your landlord. Maybe once you’re even with him, you’ll feel less stressed. We can start going to the clubs again. It doesn’t cost that much.”
“Well, maybe not for you,” said Tré, leaving unsaid that two hundred dollars wouldn’t resolve anything. “But I don’t have people beating down the door to buy me drinks. Besides, I don’t want to start that up again. I want to succeed.”
“I miss you,” said Rosie. “I all but live here and never see you.”
“Stay home with me some nights,” said Tré. “I would like to hang out with you again. Here, where it’s quiet.”
“So, what, Tré?” said Rosie. “Your way or the highway, huh? I want you to come out with me to Lobo and be on the scene with me, but no. I want you to move to where it’s warm and where I can make a name for myself, but no. I feel like I’m doing all the wanting around here.”
“I want you, Rosie,” said Tré. “I want you all the time. But I had plans before I met you, and I’m not ready to ditch them yet. I’m going to be someone here.”
“You already are someone,” said Rosie. “I want to be someone too.”
“Rosie, everyone knows who you are,” said Tré. “You’re amazing. And you’re important to me. Can we please just make up and go back to bed. I don’t have to be at work until 10:00 and I want to sleep some more. I want to sleep with you and feel like everything is OK for a little while.”
Rosie nodded, but was unsatisfied with the conversation. She didn’t understand why Tré was so inflexible about this stupid job and this stupid town.
Rosie was dead set on getting out of Chicago. She intended to be famous. He aspirations for celebrity were concrete and viable. She would, soon, walk down Rodeo Drive in some fabulous, barely there outfit. She’d be waved in past the line at the Viper Room and hang out with River Phoenix and Johnny Depp. It was all bound to happen. But she didn’t know how to make it happen. And if Tré would just come with her, he’d help her figure it out.
Tré was just as committed to staying in Chicago. He intended to be successful. His aspirations for man-about-town, corporate success were also concrete and viable. He would, soon, be approached by venture capitalists seeking to put his brand on top of a hot new nightspot. He would, soon, be the scene-maker in Chicago, the man who made it cooler than New York or L.A. This was all bound to happen. But he had to succeed at this project first.
Tré knew that Rosie really wanted to leave Chicago. But he didn’t know she was scared to strike out on her own. He didn’t know how much she relied on him to maintain her façade of extreme confidence.
Rosie knew how much Tré wanted to succeed. But she didn’t know how scared he was of failure. She didn’t know how much of himself was invested in succeeding at Lightweight.
Tré and Rosie were both incredibly good looking. They both wore the right clothes and had the right attitude and always knew how and when to turn a smile on or off. They were both smart and funny. They were sublimely cool. But they had built all that sublime cool on flimsy foundations. Both of them were due for a collapse. But, in the meantime, they could share a bed, wrap their arms around each other and stave off the crumbling for a little while longer.