Lorelai turned to see Ms. Patti leaning on the railing of the dance studio.
“Hi, Patti!” Lorelai greeted her with a smile. “Why are you smoking a carrot stick?”
Patti waved the carrot absently. “The doctor has ordered me to cut down on smoking. Something about my health.” She took a slow drag. “I really wouldn’t care, but Kirk found out and showed me all these horrible videos about lungs, and then Taylor found out and now he wont sell me any cigarettes!” She puffed on the carrot stick irritably.
“Oh, Patti. That’s terrible!”
“Oh, I will put up with it for now. They will be bored eventually.”
Lorelai blinked. “I meant, your health.”
Patti waved the carrot stick again. “Well, maybe my lungs will get bored with this mess too.”
“That’s a novel way to look at it.”
“Honey, I’ve done just about anything there is to be done. With the exception of bungee jumping and seducing sheep. I’ve had a good run. If my lungs give out, they give out.” She shrugged.
“Patti, we like you here. You do realize there is no one else in town who can sing in three languages, twirl a baton and balance a book on her head all while tap dancing on a giant drum, don’t you?”
Patti smiled. “Don’t worry about me, Sweetie. I’ve got plenty of time left.”
Lorelai patted her hand. “I’ll bring you some more carrots later.” She gave Patti a half hug and turned to go.
She turned to see Patti examining her carrot stick.
Patti looked up to examine Lorelai with the same level of scrutiny.
“I just wanted to let you know. The town is watching.”
Lorelai looked around and laughed nervously. “What are you talking about? No one is looking.”
“I know you and Luke are dating now, Sweetie, and I think that’s great.” Patti’s smile was a little on edge. “But I’ve known that boy since he was a baby, and a more loving man I’ve never seen.”
“Well, he is one of the good ones.”
“I don’t think you are understanding me, Lorelai.” Patti fixed her with a stern look, the edged smile never leaving her face. “We all care about that boy very much. And we won’t be putting up with your normal devil may care attitude about him.”
Lorelai stared. “Patti. I’m..a little lost here.”
“Lorelai, we love you. But you need to be careful with that man. We won’t let him get broken. We had a hard enough time putting him back together after Rachel left.”
“I’m not Rachel.” Lorelai straightened up.
“No. And that might be worse.”
With that cryptic statement, Patti flicked her carrot stick into the street and vanished into the dance studio, leaving Lorelai staring open mouthed on the street.
END FOR NOW