The Sunday before David came back she found herself strolling up in the canyon with Jackson. It was afternoon, and the first time she’d ever been for a walk in anything approaching countryside. They’d been at Billy’s when Jackson had suggested they head up on foot to see Cass. Since everything they’d done together over the past couple weeks had been real fun, Juno’d readily agreed. Things always seemed to turn out right with Jackson around. Something always seemed to happen, and yet he was also a lot more… relaxing to be with than David.
Emerging from their side road they hit Laurel Canyon Boulevard and turned left up the hill. Juno had no idea how far it would be. She’d only ever done this trip in a car. It was an LA spring day and the warm sun flashed down on them through palm and pine branches as they followed the turns of the road. Jackson took off his shirt. ‘Isn’t it amazing?’ he said.
Juno was more than ready to agree where his chest was concerned but not so sure if that was what he’d meant, so she just went, ‘Hmm…’
Jackson took her hand and gently pulled her around. And there below them, distant as if in another world under a dome of glittering haze, was the city. For a brief moment Juno really felt as if she was above things, beyond time, hand in hand there with Jackson in this high shady garden and nothing but the fresh smell of eucalyptus in her head.
They stood like that until Juno noticed the music. It seemed to come from all directions, some piano here, a waft of mandolin there, and maybe it was because she was holding Jackson’s hand that somehow it all blended together perfectly with the rustling of the branches and the birds’ singing into the canyon’s own melody that rang around its leafy walls.
‘Who is it?’ she finally whispered.
‘Its… everybody,’ replied Jackson. ‘Everybody lives up here now. We just passed Danny Hutton’s house, Frank Zappa’s down that way, Arthur Lee’s a little further up now, most of the Monkees have been here a while…’
They leisurely carried on up the road which got steeper and a little narrower. The valley became even more wooded and lush, and the sun’s highlights kept on dancing on Jackson’s head as the scented air bathed Juno’s mind. The music continued. They were still holding hands.
Juno didn’t know it, but her times with Jackson were the reason she would have anything left in her coffers at all.