I’m awakened by a few yellow streams of light breaking through the window, accompanied by soft guitar plucks played by a handsome young man in a black turtleneck whom I have hired to strum moody guitar melodies each morning as I get ready. I nod at him ever so coolly, sit up in bed, humming along as I stretch my arms out wide. I nudge Ryan (Did I mention that I’m Norah Jones living my life? I am. I’m Norah Jones living Tiffany’s life.) and my long black hair tickles his cheek and he awakes with a smile.
“Good morning, Norah Jones, my wife,” he says.
I make toast for the kids, using really tasty dark bread that I buy at a little bread shop owned by a robust Frenchman who is always suggesting new lyrics for me on paper napkins. He’s sweet. On the toast I spread mango chutney, because, let’s face it—we in the Norah Jones household are just way too cool for Smuckers.
“I love you, Norah Jones Mommy,” they say as we kiss chic-ly on each cheek.
I send the kids off to school and sit down at the piano. Ryan sits next to the piano with a copy of The New York Times and a cup of steaming cinnamon milk. I play softly, humming and singing, closing my eyes and taking the notes wherever I please. Ryan looks up from the paper occasionally to say, “Wow, that was really good.”
“I know,” I sing to him, “I’m Norah Freaking Jones.” (By the way, the guitar is still plucking softly in the background.)
The phone rings and I answer. It’s a telemarketer. I listen for two seconds before I interrupt and say, “Sorry, cat. I don’t buy what you’re sellin’.”
For lunch, Ryan and I sit on our balconey, overlooking our quaint city. The guitar player is gone now. He has a girlfriend he misses, and I’m way understanding and cool about it. Ryan is wearing a beret because this is my daydream, and I feel like dressing him funny. He also has a scruffy beard, which I like even when I’m not Norah Jones.
The phone rings again and this time it’s Barbara Walters. She wants me to be a co-host on The View. She’s firing Rosie and Elizabeth, she says, and the show is mine if I want it. She’s nice, if not desperate-sounding, and I tell her, “Sorry, cat, I’ve got music in my head and love in my heart.” She says she understands and to call if I reconsider. “For sure,” I sing into the phone as I flip it shut.
“What do you want to do today?” Ryan asks.
“I want to wander city streets with you,” I say, “then lie on our backs in a grassy meadow, eating wild berries and reading poetry.”
“That’s what I want to do too,” he says.
“We should make the most of our time,” I say, “before you go off to the war.”
He wants to speak, but he can’t. He can’t even look at me.
“Love in a time of war isn’t fair,” I say to him.
“Let’s run away,” he says as he places his hand on mine. “We’ll check the kids out from school early and we’ll flee.”
“Oh, cat, I’ve always wanted to flee with you. But, where will we go? And what about your troops?”
“I’m not worried about the troops,” he says gazing into my eyes, “I’ve never even joined the army, so I don’t really know what you’re talking about anyway, Norah.”
“Oh. Okay, cat,” I say wiping tears from my eyes, “then I guess we don’t need to flee after all.”
“Let’s flee anyway. I’ll call the school.”
“But where will we go?”
He takes my chin in his hand and whispers, “To Utah.”
So we do it. We flee together. Me (Norah Jones), Ryan, Christian, Max, our guitar player, and his girlfriend (because we don’t believe in hindering love).
But in our rush, we forget the mango chutney.