Before I could gather all the necessary detail, Bailey and her illustrious friends decided it was about time to hit the next party at the W; our taxi guy was waiting outside and ever fearful of evading his car since getting a taxi on a Saturday night in this city is about as hard as an invite the Getty 80th birthday party--we moved on.
*Bailey was a smart and cool lady; she was just north of 40 and had a simple notion in life: live good and well, party hardy and enjoy the finer things in life.
I met her one Monday evening at Kokkari --she worked in the TV ad business locally and was fond of older guys and fiercely independent. I have a tendency to talk--so you didn't already know? We were both immediately smitten so naturally I made the first move. I told her I had VIP invites to one of the more lavish gatherings: a big group of 50ish guys and gals who rented out one of the nice spots in North Beach. She naturally was busy but insisted to call her because she was wanting to get a smidgen of the media blogger's soiree at the newly renovated Tosca. She loved Tosca; maybe it was the fact that all native San Franciscans love Tosca and well, according to her, why the hell not? I believe her. She was too smart not to have an interest and I was not about to go soft after the first hint of indifference. We saddled at the corner bar about mid-evening. Naturally, the place was packed. Broads, big guys with hats everywhere and the holiday mood in full display. Spirits and adult libations abound, it was all about me and the ad lady. I didn't really expect her to be demure but for god's sake could she make a room lighten up and offer all the reasons why my initial attraction was so focused and pronounced.
Bailey was your quintessential "IT" girl. She appeared to have circled the wagons. I mean, the experience box was evident. She told me, between our second glass of the house cab, that I appeared "suspicious." Hell yes I was. "Why", she asked? "We'll, first off, you're hanging out with me." She laughed. I was slightly half-kidding but she really didn't fit the proverbial SF/Marina image, you know, the over-thin chickies who nightly protrude the bar at Balboa. She looked the part but her personality was decidedly more Gotham than Marina. She'd been married, twice, and she made it clear that she wasn't "auditioning anymore." I told her to "relax"--I wasn't looking to Larry King her and let's just have a good time at the Christmas party. She agreed and thought my persona was beginning to come out full circle. She wouldn't admit but I think she liked me. Maybe it was the wine, who knows, but deep down inside I sensed she had a thing for me, could you blame her? I had more evidence when she ran into one of her girlfriends, Celeste, who was out with her boyfriend, some old dude with a heavy Boston accent, he was some hightail BofA exec who looked slightly annoyed that Celeste began an earnest conversation while ignoring him. "Da nerve." Well, I made it a point to carry on. Bailey went to the bathroom and I scouted the scene. Two women in full "hot-mode" made a mad dash to the empty seat right next to me. They were talking loud. And they looked mad for some reason. Apparently their boyfriends had some extended time at another party. I'm thinking they were probably at the Gold Club doing inventory. In any event, Bailey returned and looked extra excited. The lipstick was magical, freshly puckered, a fire-engine red with enough gloss to de-ice a United 747. What the hell, I didn't care, I was having a good time now and the neurotic angry chicks were well in the rear-view mirror. Good. They were really starting to annoy me and destroy the momentum.
Bailey wanted to dance. "Oh shit!" Was she tipsy? No but seriously, I'm no dancer and it wasn't like she was waning me to head straight for the taxi and ready to show her my wares later on at the hotel. I reminded her that dancing was not in the equation. We were at Tosca, not the Starlight room. Just as I mention that, who walks in but Harry Denton, the famous front man and one of my many 415 allies. Harry lost a ton of weight and looked swell. "You still on the wagon, big H!," I shouted. "Damn straight." Bailey was impressed. Again, not that it mattered but she could sense the "Lieb power." We were hungry and passionate. It was nearing late 10ish. In this city, might as well be midnight even on a Saturday night. I asked the bartender if he could get the goldfish cheese cup re-stocked because Bailey nailed the whole damn thing and besides, we didn't have any dinner. The hors d'ouevres didn't look that exciting and I was ready to talk turkey anyway with my succulent lady. We moved on.
We ended up at the old standby, North Beach Restaurant. It was packed, of course, and I was able to snag the window table right square in the front. Bailey was again, impressed. We talked a lot. She was fun and seemed to be having a good time. Nice ebb and flow. The wine was flowing and the prosciutto and melon was damn tasty as ever. We ordered. She had the filet of sole and I went with the sand dabs. Always a good choice. We poured more wine before it eventually began to reek of a possible nightcap up the street but that wasn't in the making. Bailey again had a girlfriend moment and it was shortly thereafter that we decided to rev it up in the homestretch. We had a ball but there remained some unfinished business. Ha ha!, don't you dare go there! We'll, truth be told there was a lot of there, there, but that's another story.
Bailey and I conducted the orchestra. She's a fun lady. Canadian too as a matter of fact. She's thinking of going back to Montreal to take some high-up retail position but she loves her flat in lower Pacific Heights and the weather here. Maybe a few other things too if you know what I mean.
It was a splendid night.
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