One lovely summer evening, I readied myself for another of these blind dates, not
really looking forward to it, even though a friend had arranged for it. “A man I know is
going to be in town this weekend, but I already have plans,” she said. “Please, please will
you go out with him? He hates to dine alone.”
I hesitated, not really in the mood for chit chat with a stranger. On the other hand,
maybe it was better to have dinner with a stranger than to stay home and doodle on an art
pad. “Okay,” I said. “But you owe me big time!”
John Doe arrived exactly on time. He was older than former dates (about thirty) and
that took me aback. He was certainly more mature than I was. By far. He lived in
Chicago and was in Los Angeles on business, but he knew Los Angeles well. “I have to
come here pretty often,” he said.
He was attentive, affable, gentlemanly and a dusty blonde with sparkling blue eyes. I
“I’ve made reservations at a small restaurant near my hotel,” he said, once he’d
escorted me to his rented Lincoln Capri convertible and taken his place behind the wheel.
He chatted about his love for the city and state and its access to an ocean. “We have Lake
Michigan, which can seem like an ocean at times, but it’s not the Pacific.”
I listened and offered a few shy smiles.
The maître d’ led us to a booth near the back of the dimly lit restaurant. We talked
about my interest in art and, of course, about Daddy’s career as an orchestra leader. It
was a subject I could comfortably discuss. I finally relaxed enough to enjoy my meal and
our conversation about the changing music scene.
And then the subject drifted to sex.
I twisted the napkin in my lap into a knot and peered at people seated near us at
tables and wondered if those in the booths backing both of us could hear. Uncomfortable,
I wanted to excuse myself and run. I could take a cab home. There would be lots of them
near the hotel. I sneaked a look at my watch. It was still early. We’d been together for
less than three hours.
“I’d love to have you meet a friend of mine,” JD said. “She lives in an apartment
only a few minutes from here. I think you’d like her.”
Flashing him a quick peek from under my hooded lashes, I decided my imagination
had gone haywire. He was looking at me with nothing but kindness. “All right,” I
muttered, thinking anything was better than continuing our current conversation. If I
didn’t like the girl, I could always call a cab from her place, and he could remain behind
to visit with her.
We drove to a street in West Hollywood and parked in front of a two-story apartment
building. JD took my hand and led me up the stairway to the second floor. As soon as he
knocked on the door, it was opened by a pretty girl. Well, to be honest, she was far more
than pretty. She was Vogue gorgeous. Slender, but voluptuous, with voluminous
bleached-blonde hair that tumbled over her shoulders ala Jayne Mansfield. She held up
her face for a kiss from JD on a rouged cheek and then smiled at me, her bright red lips
curving over amazingly white and perfect teeth.
She couldn’t have been more than a couple years older than I, but I felt like a dowdy
dowager in my conventional navy dinner suit, even though it came from an exclusive
Beverly Hills shop. JD introduced us and we shook hands.
“Please come in and make yourself at home.” She gestured toward a couch and a
nearby club chair. Chattering about the balmy weather and JD’s trip from Chicago, she
offered us both cigarettes from a box on the coffee table.
“Thank you. I don’t smoke,” I said.
She and JD lit up their Lucky Strikes and she poured scotch from a decanter into the
glasses she had on a tray, offering one to me.
“Thank you. I don’t drink,” I said.
“Oh, I’m sorry; I don’t have any soft drinks.” She and JD clicked glasses and sipped
the straight-up scotch while smoking. Then, she unexpectedly reached for a photograph
album on the end table next to her. “You might
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