Dr. Hackenbush Gains Perspective Sample Serialization Part 6 of 6

“News travels fast,” she said. “That’s what I get for betting on Lola Rae to do anything sane.”

“I hear she’s comin’ back,” Cody said.

“Figures. You gonna come see me in my suffering?” she asked.

“I might fall by. Arty said he’s tired of being the only Negro at his nightclub.”

Hackenbush shrugged, but Ross thought it was funny.

“He said that? Hell, Cody, maybe I should come by, too, except lute music gives me hives,” he managed to say between guffaws.

“Laugh it up, cats, at least dinner comes with the gig and you know how good the food is there,” she said on her way out. Eddy was packed up and tapping his foot waiting for her to get with it. They went back to her place; she’d spent part of her afternoon cleaning it up and changing the sheets.

Hackenbush was going to be on a tight schedule that week. Her temp job in Glendale ended at five; she had to get home to Echo Park, warm up, change into the modest and severe black silk jersey gown she’d picked up secondhand, which she now thought of as her “recital” dress. Then she had to be in Pasadena at seven to sing art songs with the lute-playing rocket scientist from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

The bet she’d lost was that Lola Rae and Mark Wilson would stay together even if Lola went to dance in San Francisco for a month. Hackenbush had bet on love and lost because Mark took a gig in Japan and left town a few weeks later; Lola still wasn’t back. Hackenbush could be forgiven: she was in love herself and her judgment was a little off. But off in a good way, it was “La Vie en Rose”, something she’d never believed in, much less thought would ever happen to her.

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