You can’t live on love. Lynne told me one night as we stood next to the Special Occasions Gown department register at Nordstrom.
What do you mean? I asked. Frank was arrested yesterday she said, his travel visa has been expired for five years, he never renewed it or did anything about it, he just kept living here. No one noticed until the night before, when he was arrested for some simple landlord issue- he didn’t give his tenant his $300 rent deposit back when he was moving out.
Frank was Lynne’s new boyfriend, a person whom she said she could share everything with, a man that she felt something for in which she had never felt before. Lynne was 64 and outrageous. She lived with her husband whom she hated and had no clue about Frank. They had divided their house and bills so her obscure night-life didn’t really matter in the first place. She, like all the other women I met while working at Nordstrom had always advised me the same thing- don’t live on love. I thought it was so strange back then.
What am I gunna do even if he does get out? What am I supposed to do? Get a divorce and move somewhere else with him? He won’t have a job anymore; and look at me, I just work here, sell dresses here. Sure I love him but we don’t have money and I need my things, really I do. Like my face creams, my Alberto Makali clothes that I buy here and there, life has to be kinda practical. Love just isn’t. At least not for her. Anymore; and it strikes me now because Lynne always said she’d finally found someone whom she could be her real self with, and that meant a lot since she was already a loud and vociferous lady.
She told me about the bittersweet moments when she would visit him in jail before his deportation. Saying that the glass window and phone connection was just like the movies and then went to on complain on how she couldn’t dress sexy, there was a strict dress code with visitors. It was sad to hear her love was being shipped back to Germany without a last tangible goodbye. Just a cold and censored look, with a teary smile.