LoLo Reynalds (a 30:30 report)

08/21/2020 0 By BuddyCushman

LoLo Reynalds was a friend of mine when I was serving pizza on the walkway at Venice Beach, which that would have been ’76 or ’77, even if it’s only seven years back I never seem to keep dates fresh in my mind. There was this guy named Kevin, he worked at one of the hotels over by the Marina, I think he was maintenance or security one of them or maybe the business office, anyway he was a regular, up to the window three or four times a week for a slice, sometimes throw in a salad with that, our salads were appreciated by pretty much everyone on the walkway which is a good example of keeping things simple and predictable with attention to good quality ingredients and, then there was the “secret” salad dressing from my bosses’ grandparents which is a story by itself, but this guy Kevin who knew LoLo was a friend of mine one day after he’d finished eating at one of the permanent tables in the courtyard and thrown the paper plates and the plastic beer cup in one of our barrels he came back up to the window and I was there by myself having sent the kids – Mary and Keith – off on cigarette break which I knew might be pot smoking and then they’d be giggling and mostly useless though I do have to give credit to Keith who watching him step it up during one of the mostly unpredictable rushes we can get while he was cleared wacked on the local high-powered Maryjane, why I was calm about the afternoon prospects, even being a Friday and the walkway picking up with people screwing out of jobs early to start the weekend.

Anyway here comes Kevin back up to the just-me-in-it window and says he knows that girl LoLo is a friend of mine and he wants to tell me, which he changes his voice and looks all around like this is some state secret, he tells me that he has it on guarantee that she is a witch, what he says an honest-to-God witch meaning though she may not walk down the boardwalk or sit in the little bookstore nick-knack place she runs over on Pacific wearing a black cape and tall pointy hat or anything so obvious witchy she is for sure a flat-out actively practicing witch doing spells and black magic and who knows, he says, what other kind of demented shit and he knows I am friendly toward her and wants me to have all the information regards who I pal around with or not, and to this I tell him thanks for the tip which as he turns to head back to the hotel I immediately file under fuck that because a) if LoLo is a witch, which I doubt, I don’t give a shit, and b) that would be kind of sexy when you think about it and plus who wants someone “normal” for a life partner, a fact – me and LoLo being what gets called “a couple” – I haven’t mentioned yet but it’s true, and the fact I cannot speak with certainty one way or another as to her black-magic tendencies if any is only because we are pretty much brand new in the relationship thing, me sleeping over to her cottage off Ocean on Fourth in Santa Monica last Friday night for the first time after we’d found ourselves in more and more serious and even heavy conversations about this life and what we do with it and it became real clear, I think I can say for both of us, that we have similarities in the way we see people and in our obligations toward doing the right thing and fighting for fairness – she told me she hated bullies, her younger brother was a kid who was getting bullied regularly mostly because he was gay – and I do not remember her saying she was going to find out the identity of the bullies and turn them into toads or pieces of dog shit by the sides of the alleys that run between Lincoln and Pacific so see there is not witch evidence in our conversations but you can never rule anything out, well, that’s totally wrong you can rule out that big time bullies will suddenly become kind and generous and empathetic toward the downtrodden and weaker kids and adults but what I’m saying is that that statement you hear that anything is possible is pretty much right on in that it doesn’t hold anyone back, so if someone sets a goal to say go live somewhere exotic like Hawaii or New Orleans or someone says they want to become a movie star or start their own chain of fast food exotic foods and everyone they know say you’re dreaming and that ain’t going to happen, well, going back to anything’s possible, yeah, you could say they are dreaming and they are dreaming big dreams and here is where the truth falls out because how many times have we all heard all our lives that people did things everyone else considered amazing and unbelievably improbable and overcame tremendous odds and all that,

We, all of us, tingle with happiness and encouragement when those stories come up and having said those things I go back to where this started which, I suppose, because anything is possible it is possible that LoLo Reynalds is indeed a witch, a practitioner of the occult and potions and spells and all those tendencies and I haven’t spent enough time with her yet to know — or it’s even possible she has put me under a spell where she’s doing all kinds of witchy things right under my nose but my eyes are clouded over (spell-wise), though that last thing I just said I don’t really think that is likely because as I was saying in the time we have spent together and the more, you could say, intimate time we have started spending together we are sure we have this big feeling good connection so she would know I would be cool with whatever she was doing as a pastime or a hobby or a side of her I wasn’t aware of yet, I’m not going to be judging her negatively in other words because I have so clearly already judged her positively, like she has with me, and as I said therefore I don’t give a shit what Kevin said and I don’t give a shit why he would say that or what he’d say about how he would know that and biggest of all I will have not one teeny little concern if it’s true and my new girlfriend is a witch.

And this is what I was thinking when, first, Keith and then Mary came back in from their break and all you have to do is look in their eyes which are twinkling and bigger and shinier than usual and how they were before the break and I just shake my head like there’s no fur on this cat’s ass or whatever that saying is about you aren’t fooling me and Mary ducks into the back room and starts mixing up another round of pizza dough in the industrial steel mixer but Keith walks up to the open window which remains free from customers and turns around and leans up against it and just gives me this big grin like he knows that I know and he knows that I’m cool with it so long as he doesn’t fuck things up taking orders and dishing out lunches or burning the shit out of his arms pulling pies out of the ovens – though it’s kind of a badge of honor to have old burn scars on your arms, like we go all in on the scene here at Wonder Pizza, Bro, and the fact is both Keith and I have a number of scars on each of our arms and if we went back into the kitchen area you could pin down Mary and have her pull up the sleeves of the peasant blouse she has on today – which I think she may actually have bought in that used clothing place next store to where LoLo has her shop — and we’d see Mary with some of those same burn marks, and just thinking about this causes me to feel good because I hired both of them and I haven’t been wrong with either of them yet and it’s nearly a year with Keith – who is this glowing young black kid from Venice, and over seven months with Mary, she’s a kind of pretty white sun-burnt surfer girl with a ton of freckles from up the street in Culver City, and they already both like LoLo from the times she’s been in here and they both have kidded me about her and how do you go wrong when life is this rich?

So, pretty much fuck Kevin and I can’t wait to hang out with LoLo later this afternoon and now there are three couples coming up to the window and we all hop right back to it.


Which – back to the beginning – you just heard a seven-year-old story, and me and LoLo married on the honeymoon North Shore of Oahu four years back, Mary still works with me at Wonder Pizza, if you can dig that, and Keith is over running some recording studio in Boston, Massachusetts. Where he has written me from a few times saying the pizza is pretty damn good.