Rick – I don’t wanna talk about me. I took care of myself. What about you?

Jen – I’ve been on my own since I was sixteen. Mama was good to me, and I set her up with a house and a… um, I don’t know, it’s this thing where you set some money aside so it gives a yearly return? I don’t do money but I wanted her to be set, you know?

Rick – And then you moved out?

Jen – Yeah, she was still nervous, jumpy. She hadn’t been on a date for fear of the guy hurting me and I thought it would be better for her if I was out of the picture in that way. And I didn’t need protection.

Rick – That why you can punch like a mule?

Jen – Mules don’t punch, they kick. Know you nothing?

Rick – Right. So, you’re on your own, and you start dating a bunch of celebrity little boys.

Jen – Only the gay ones.

Rick – What?

Jen – Oh, yeah, celebrity dudes are too shallow for a serious anything and the straight ones expected things… payment in exchange for the honor of their company. I liked being a beard for the gay guys. Probably would have been better for them if they just came out but if they wanted to live their life a certain way and needed my help that was cool too.

Rick – So, living alone, you took up karate?

Jen – Jiu Jitsu, but I hated it. Just wanted to punch stuff so started boxing. Great workout. You work out with weights but-

Rick – No, I got some weights but mostly I work out like a boxer too. You should come down to the basement and work out with me some um… just thought of you skipping rope. Bouncy. Uh maybe that’s not a good idea… Have you ever been on a real date before?

Jen – Not exactly. I mean yes and no. There were some guys but they always, well, hard to explain. Even the nice guys seemed to treat it like a game, like I was a notch on a bed post and not a person. Didn’t want to be an achievement. I don’t know if that makes-

Rick – Makes complete sense. Don’t worry about it. Hell, when I was touring with the Last Rogues I had groupies tossing themselves at me and I don’t even know if they were interested in me or just interested in telling their friends they’d got with me.

Jen – And how many of those groupies got to tell those stories, hmmm?

Rick – What? No. I was dating-

Jen – Tina, and you never cheated on her?

Rick – Not Tina, Bea, and no I never cheated on her. Yeah, I was on the road and she was at home-

Jen – You were living with her?

Rick – Yeah, her parents and her family wanted her to break up with me when we were dating and she left their house and moved into mine.

Jen – I take it that it didn’t go well.

Rick – No, it was fine but not… right. We didn’t argue but she never, um, she liked me too much and tried to be like me.

Jen – So she got mean. Nasty. Dismissive-

Rick – Yeah, thanks for that, but yeah, you’re right. She changed from a sweet if a little sarcastic girl to an acerbic, nasty, angry woman.

Jen – She was angry at you?

Rick – No, yes, maybe. More the world. Bea wanted to be a lawyer but didn’t like that everybody else wanted her to be a lawyer. Like she wanted her own path but her own path was the path that everyone was clearing for her.

Jen – So she made it hard on herself by dating you? Her family didn’t like you? They disapproved.

Rick – Her family is my family. More like a family then my own family to be honest. I called her mother Mama K. They saw this little jewish boy who hardly ever saw his parents and-

Jen – Jewish? You’re Jewish?

Rick – Half, dad was Jewish. Why does everybody have a problem with that?

Jen – Not a problem, just some surprise-

Rick – Listen, Lenny Kravitz, Sammy Davis Jr., Whoopi Goldberg, William Shatner, all Jewish so-

Jen – No, no, the surprise isn’t about how you look. I can see it a bit in your cheekbones now that you mention it, it’s about the whole Elvis/Heaven thing.

Rick – Oh, yeah. I don’t get that either. The heavenly gates have looked very catholic all the times I been there, maybe because mom is Dutch protestant. I dunno. Not that concerned to be honest.

Jen – Not that concerned? I thought Elvis was watching you, as like a parole officer slash guardian angel?

Rick – Who told you that? Elvis isn’t supposed to go near you.

Jen – He hasn’t, and what do you mean he isn’t supposed to?

Rick – Listen, he grew up at a time when attitudes… and um he can walk through walls, and um showers and getting changed and such, I put down some rules.

Jen – I’m touched. But haven’t you-?

Rick – Yeah, but I’m mostly joking. Wait, so if it wasn’t Elvis-

Jen – I met Tina. But I’m not allowed to talk about it. She’s not allowed to go near you or the kids.

Rick – Oh, that’s… good. That’s actually… exactly what I asked for.

Jen – Moving back, if you told Elvis to stay away from me, why didn’t you tell Mud? He’s been hitting on me since I moved in.

Rick – Mud’s a grown man, you’re a grown woman, and he’s the only one you could go out with if you wanted to for the next couple years. I’m stuck with not telling anybody that our going out is fake but Mud knows. Don’t worry, I knew about it and I’m not pissed. I mean, I don’t think he’s got much of a shot but-

Jen – Oh? And you think you do?

Rick – Me? We’re not dating and it would be inappropriate for us to…. Listen, your future depends on this working and dating, a relationship, is fraught with possibilities for disaster so don’t worry, I’m not going to be pursuing you.

Jen – That’s… good. I guess. But why do you think Mud’s got no shot? He’s cute enough-

Rick – Cute. That’s why he’s got no shot. I think your taste runs to bigger guys-

Jen – Oh? Bigger guys with blond hair and blue eyes by any chance?

Rick – C’mon, we’re talking real here, okay? I’m not being arrogant, I’ve just noticed that you treat him like a brother and if I remember correctly you did the same to Ryan Seacrest. Your type is bigger, so what? You’re allowed to have a type.

Jen – Just what I needed, your permission to find you attractive.

Rick – You’re much too quick. I like that.

Jen – So why aren’t you concerned about the Elvis thing again? I’d be concerned if Heaven thought I needed a babysitter.

Rick – I prefer the term parole officer. Makes me much more badass.

Jen – No more dodging. And no dodge puns either.

Rick – Dang it. Alright, listen, Heaven seems to want me to tone down my music criticism, to stop being nasty and raise the level of music discourse.

Jen – And you won’t do it?

Rick – Not a chance. I believe what I believe. I say what I believe. I do what I say I will. I’m not tracking back on my honesty and calling it all a lie. They can go hang for all I care. And if I’m wrong I’mma-

Jen – Stay wrong. Hm. That sounds awfully familiar.