Say Goodbye preview
Signs and portents
"It was my first Friday night in LA," Laurie says in her press kit for the album. "I was stuck on the Santa Ana Freeway, thinking about buffalo. A vast single herd covering the earth from one horizon to the other, the way they used to, placid, lost in their own grassy thoughts, then suddenly careering off at top speed, all of them at exactly the same time.
"So there I was, cheek to bumper with all the other cloven-tired, sun-roof-humped, klaxon-horned metal ungulates, stalled on the concrete plains, watching the hot breath steam from their tailpipes, when the sky blew up.
"I didn't know if it was terrorists or nuclear war or the Big One that was supposed to drop us all in the Pacific, but it was clearly the end. Huge concussive explosions and fat orange cinders trailing fire out of the sky. Ashes on the windshield. Cars veering off onto the shoulder and me pretty sure I could feel the freeway shake under my Little Brown Datsun. I kept driving, though, because, really, this was what I'd been waiting for all my life: Armageddon.
"Anyway, I finally rolled my window down and looked up and realized it was nothing but the fireworks show at Disneyland. They launch the rockets, apparently, a few feet from the highway and the damned things go off right there over the cars. Some freak atmospheric condition was pushing the debris back down before it completely burned up.
"So that's where 'Just Another End of the World' came from. That thought: If this is really the end, I won't have to do laundry tomorrow. My rent check will never bounce. Of course it was just one more false alarm, not even a sign from God, only a sign from Unca Walt, in his block of ice under the freeway, and it had no more cosmic message to convey than 'Hey, look at me.'
"Though I will say this. Once I was over my initial disappointment, it was a hell of a show. The human mind can't leave something like that alone. It's always going to read signs and portents wherever it can. And I remember sitting straight back in my seat, both hands on the wheel, and saying, 'Thank you. I'm glad to be here.'"
The Silk and Steel
I meet "Fernando"—not his real name—in a bar called the Silk and Steel on Sunset Boulevard. It's Monday, the 11th of November, 1996, and he is my first official interview for the book.
It's chilly and overcast in LA, and even the clouds seem to be rushing off to somewhere important. I'm easing into the writing process by going to the people that are publicly available, the ones that I know will be willing to talk to me. "You'll recognize me," Fernando has promised on the phone, and he is right. He's six-foot-three, lavishly tattooed, pierced four times in the right ear, five times in the left, once in the left nostril. He's shaved his head, but not recently, and he has a soul patch beneath his lower lip.
"This is where it went down," he says, in a somewhat high-pitched, nasal voice. The walls and ceiling are painted flat black, standard decor on the Strip, and the brown shag carpet has mostly unraveled. Afternoon sunlight trickles in the open back door where a kid in shorts and a baseball cap wheels in cases of beer. It's the kind of place that needs its darkness. "I thought you should see this," Fernando says, "because it's the first place Laurie sang in LA. It was an open mike night, like they do every Monday—they'll be doing it again tonight. I put her and Summer together that same night."
Fernando works in one of the better-known Hollywood music stores. "You get jaded," he says about the job. "A lot of the big touring acts come in when they're in town. I've met Clapton, Page, both Van Halens—all three if you count Valerie. All the hot studio guys, of course. I must see a hundred kids like Laurie every year, coasting into LA in cars that barely made it over the mountains, desperate for a break. They've read about the Viper Room in Rolling Stone or they've noticed the LA addresses on the backs of their CDs, or they've seen palm trees in too many MTV videos."
He met Laurie in June of 1994. She'd only been in LA for a week. "How it happened was, she called the store looking for a four-track recorder. I sold her the same Tascam I sell all the wannabe singer-songwriters, on special for one-ninety-nine. I remembered her, one, because she was cute—skinny and intense, with this bright reddish-purple hair that was kind of eighties retro. Also she's one of those people that are a little more, I don't know, tuned-in or something. Like they're sucking everything in through their eyes. So when I ran into her a couple of days later at the Silk and Steel, it only took me a minute to place her."
Fernando might forget a face, but never a guitar. Laurie's, he recalls, was "a cream-colored mid-sixties Strat, very clean," but not suitable for the Unplugged-style format of the Silk and Steel. Fernando found her "trying to reason with the bartender, not upset or anything, just like, 'I can't understand why playing an electric guitar in a folk club is still an issue 30 years after Dylan played Newport.' As if this kid behind the bar had any idea what she was talking about. She was very naive that way, she didn't understand that places like this aren't about music, they're about the acoustic guitar as fashion statement."
Fernando introduced her to his girlfriend, Summer Walsh, who'd been on the LA folk scene for ten years. "Next thing you know Summer's offered to loan out her Martin D-15. We all sat together, and when Summer got up and sang I could see Laurie was really blown away. Have you heard Summer sing? You know she wrote that song on Laurie's album, 'Tried and True?' She is so awesome, man. She could be where Alanis or Joan Osborne is, and she would be if—" He shakes his head and shifts around in his chair. "Don't get me started on record companies."
After Summer's set Laurie's confidence seemed to falter. "Summer really wanted to hear her, so she pulled a couple of strings and got Laurie up on stage before she could chicken out. Laurie, she was nervous at first, but she did good. And her songs, you could tell she knew what she was doing. They were structured, you know, nicely put together. And hooks that fully dug into your brain.
"She was quiet sitting around the table, but onstage she had this, like, eagerness. Like at the end of each song she couldn't wait to get to the next one. It was some very contagious shit."
Afterwards the three of them went down the street to the Rock and Roll Denny's, a musician's hangout for decades. "You could really see the energy happening between Summer and Laurie. It's like...it was enough for me to have done that, to have introduced them. I'm happy just being around the buzz, I don't have to be the buzz, if you know what I mean.
"Not Laurie, though. She had that bone-deep hunger. I liked her from the first, but that hunger made me scared for her too."
Miracle on San Vicente
Bobbi DeAngelo is in her forties, her blonde hair a little brittle, her voice rough from chain smoking. She—"and the Bank of America, honey"—own the Bistro d'Bobbi on San Vicente. It's upstairs in a small, exclusive strip mall: burgundy window treatments, tasteful neon signage, tiled balcony with umbrella tables. Inside, behind the garlic and oregano, you can smell the yeast in the dough that waits on steel trays near the oven. A hostess in black pants and a tux shirt shows me to a small, cluttered office next to the kitchen.
The restaurant, Bobbi explains, grew out of her divorce settlement from "a very rich asshole." She lights a Virginia Slims menthol and says, "Sooner or later I'm sure I'll get in trouble for it, but until somebody puts a gun to my head, I'm not hiring any men here. No offense, doll. We're a self-sufficient little matriarchy, and Laurie fit right in. All the girls have their noms du pizza—builds morale, keeps a little extra distance between them and the customers, like this joke we're all in on. We knew her here as Gladys."
Bobbi seems to remember every detail about each of her girls, as if they were her daughters. "She was pretty desperate when she first came in. She'd been looking for work for a couple of weeks, and it was all either fast food or topless or prep work. I hired her on the spot and put her to work that night. She used to say it was her Miracle on San Vicente.
"She was good with people, got along with the other girls, hell, I didn't even know she was starstruck until the week before she quit. She'd been with us four months, and then one night she started writing the words to a song on the back of one of her tickets and that's how I found out."
Bobbi knows firsthand about being starstruck. "I arrived here in 1966, with a few hundred thousand others. I was just 18 and I knew in my heart of hearts that Destiny had her hand on the telephone, about to dial my number. I was something then, you wouldn't believe it to look at me now. Smart, good-looking, ambitious. I stuck it out for two years. All I ever got were walk-ons, which I took, and propositions, which I didn't. Finally I ran out of money and hope and I went back to North Carolina and married Michael, who was in love with me in high school and incidentally heir to a textile business. I hated myself for being a failure and a quitter, and I drank for a while and slept around a little bit and I spent more than one afternoon with a bottle of pills in front of me, wondering if I might just take them all.
"Everybody in the world—my various agents, my roommates, producers, casting directors, strangers on the bus—all of them had reasons why I wasn't famous. Maybe I had no talent. Maybe I had too much. Maybe I needed bigger breasts. Smaller breasts. A different agent. To stop changing agents. The one thing nobody could accept—least of all me—was that it might not be anybody's fault at all."
She seems eager to distance herself from the 18-year-old beauty that I can still clearly see behind the makeup and the cigarette smoke and the sardonic tone. "If it's nobody's fault," she says, "then everything is random. It's out of control. It means being a star doesn't really prove you're a good actor, or beautiful, or, God help us all, lovable.
"I told all this to Gladys—to Laurie, I mean. Not because I thought it would change her mind, but so that when it happened to her she would maybe feel a little less alone. She said something about how I hadn't turned out so badly. But the truth is I set myself up to get hurt when I was just a kid, and by the time I got over being hurt it was too late to do anything else. Like get an honest job, say waiting tables. Like go to college in my spare time, write some film criticism, get my jollies at some local theater if I absolutely had to be on stage.
"I could have saved my breath, of course. She was convinced it was all going to be different for her, even if she had the decency not to say so. We all want to think that, don't we?" Bobbi grinds out her cigarette. "Then, a year or so later, there she is on VH-1. You could have knocked me over with a feather."
Over the hills and far away
On Tuesday afternoon I take 101 north, over the Hollywood Hills to Ventura Boulevard, then make my way back uphill to Sunshine Terrace. I park across the street from 11163, a wood-sided bungalow nestled in front of a row of apartments. The air is vastly sweeter here than on Ventura, and magnolias and fruit trees and cedars arch over the street. I get out and stretch my legs, hearing the ticking of the rent car's engine, the low murmur of a TV, and distant, childish laughter.
I take a few pictures of the front of the house. Someone is obviously living there; they've put out a blue patio umbrella, a single lawn chair, pink mums in a bed along the front wall. I walk down the driveway a few feet, hoping for a glimpse of something beyond the louvered wooden shutters that line the windows. The high-pitched, snorting laugh comes again, and then a woman's voice says, "If you're looking for Laurie, she doesn't live here any more."
I turn to see a woman in her late twenties, bending over to pick up a puckered beach ball. She has long red hair, gray jeans and a pink sweater. From behind the house a girl of about four, dressed in brand-new overalls, runs out saying, "Who you talking to, Mommy?" Seeing me, she is instantly paralyzed by self-consciousness.
I wiggle my fingers at the girl, explaining to her mother that I know Laurie is gone, that I am writing about her. I go back to the car for a paperback of my latest book to provide credentials.
"I'm sorry," the woman says, turning it over in her hands. "I'm afraid I never heard of you." A light breeze animates her fine red-gold hair, trailing a wisp of it across her face.
"Don't worry. Millions haven't." I convince her to keep the book, which I autograph, and that earns me a proper introduction. Her name is Catherine Conner, originally and intermittently of Salem, Oregon. Shannon, age four, is by this point hiding behind her mother and unwilling to shake hands, even when asked in a very nice Donald Duck voice.
Eventually Catherine invites me in. Over a glass of herbal iced tea, with Shannon watching The Rescuers Down Under in the next room, Catherine talks about meeting Laurie. "I used to see her come home from work in like her uniform thing, with her hair up and the black pants and the white shirt, and then a few minutes later there would be this electric guitar playing. Not loud or anything, but I always knew it was there. I thought it was so cool, and so one morning when I heard her I went over and I was just like, 'Hi, I'm your neighbor.'
"I mean, my own life is such a mess. I spent four years at Oregon State without ever fully getting a handle, you know? Came to LA to see the bright lights, got pregnant by this underemployed actor, and now I'm living from day to day on temp work and child support. And here's Laurie, so full of ambition and working so hard for it, day and night, you know?"
As I listen I can tell that Laurie's life has became more real to Catherine than her own. It's a feeling I can relate to.
"I would go see her sometimes when she played," Catherine says, "and sometimes we would stay up late afterwards, just talking all night long." The memories light up her face, and she's happy to go into Laurie's background. Some of it I've read or heard about elsewhere, but many of the details are new.
"Her family is basically her mom, who's divorced, and her younger brother Corky, who is this kind of slacker screw-up. That's me talking—Laurie always went the long way around not to criticize anybody. She was also real close to her Mom's father, who she always called Grandpa Bill. They used to go listen to jazz and stuff when she was growing up.
"It was some friend of her brother's who used to live in that apartment. He ran out of money and was looking for somebody to take over the lease. And Laurie was living in San Antonio with this creepy guy, and her brother was like, 'You have to do this. It's a sign or something.'"
Laurie had been going over the bank statements and mentally loading up her Datsun for a couple of weeks. She was living in a rented apartment with rented furniture, and at that moment her relationship didn't seem very substantial either. "Jack is like this insurance adjuster," Catherine says, "good-looking from the picture I saw, but not Mr. Sensitive. The kind of guy who takes you to a sports bar on a first date, if you know what I mean?"
Catherine said that Jack was stressed out at work, drinking too much, and staying out late at clubs, "with Laurie or without her." When Laurie mentioned the merest idea of a trip to LA, "Jack totally lost it. He took her guitar out on the back patio and smashed it. She was laughing about it when she told me, this kind of nervous laugh, but you could see that it scared her to even remember it."
Laurie ordered Jack out of the apartment, packed up, and hit the road for Dallas, where her father lived. "She talked about her father a lot. He was the reason she started playing guitar in the first place." Laurie's father, Michael Moss, played with a band called the Chevelles at Richardson High School in the mid-sixties. He gave up the guitar when he married Laurie's mother and moved to San Antonio. One Saturday when Laurie was in sixth grade her father came in from raking leaves, got the guitar out of the closet, and started to play. Until that afternoon she had never known what was in that odd-shaped tweed suitcase; when the guitar came out, Catherine said, "it was like the sun coming up in the middle of the night."
The guitar transformed her father into a creature of glamour and mystery and Laurie wanted that change for herself. She begged and pleaded until her father showed her a couple of chords. Years of piano lessons had never spoken to her as persuasively as her first five minutes of guitar, and "she would have kept playing all day except her mother came in and gave her father a look. She said it was the kind of look you would give your car as it was slowly rolling over a cliff."
It was apparently a defining moment for her father as well. He moved to Dallas and filed for divorce shortly thereafter.
"You know that's her father's guitar she plays on the record?" Catherine asks. "She talked him out of it on her way to LA. He didn't want to give it up, even though he never played it. But he had to have seen how determined she was, how bad she needed it."
She sighs and looks into her tea. "She really loved that guitar."
The Sly Duck Pub has been a fixture in Santa Monica since the forties, though it didn't come into its own until 1962, when it began to feature live music on its Tuesday hootenanny nights. By 1963 it was serving espresso and music seven nights a week, with big names like the Limelighters or Jim Kweskin on the weekends.
These days it's reverted to its English roots, serving draft ale in tapered glasses and sporting a menu of some 150 imports. The manager is a young, earnest man named Brad Mueck (pronounced "Mick") who wears wire rims and blue oxford cloth shirts and whose light brown hair is at least a third gone.
"If I'd had my way," he says, "Laurie and Summer would still be headlining here as a duo every Saturday." From his second-floor office above the bar, Brad can look out on 4th Street, which runs parallel to the ocean four blocks away. "This is not the way that history shall remember them. But together they were far more than the sum of the parts—like Joan Baez and Mimi Fariņa, or the Weavers. Summer has a fabulous voice and sincerity and an instinct for harmony. Combined with Laurie's wit and energy and guitar playing, it was magic. Magic, pure and simple."
Brad had heard about Laurie from Summer long before he ever saw her. "Then one night Summer called to tell me she's going to get Laurie up to sing with her. Laurie had apparently just written a song on the back of a ticket at some pizza place where she was working and Summer was enthralled with it. Laurie was calling it 'Teen Angel' at the time, though eventually she changed the title to..."
"'Angel Dust,'" I say.
"Naturally. So at the end of her first set Summer handed over the guitar and Laurie played 'Angel Dust.' If she was nervous I saw no sign of it. She connected with the audience the way a candle connects with oxygen, and you could see the light she gave off on all their faces. Summer kept her on stage and they did her song, 'Tried and True,' and dedicated it to Fernando, the married man that Summer was seeing."
I can't stop myself. "Fernando is married?" I ask.
"He was then. Still is as far as I know."
"I'm a little stunned," I admit. "Summer seems smarter than that."
Brad leans back in his oak swivel chair and takes a deep breath. "It's not a matter of intelligence. You know that. You've interviewed other musicians. How many of them act in their own best interests even a fraction of the time?"
"That's true of most of us," I say carefully.
"But entertainers are the worst. And the more damaged they are, the more we love them. Kurt Cobain, Judy Garland, James Dean."
"Oh yes. I can't tell you the details of her particular history, but she was absolutely the type. To flog my favorite hobby horse again, if all she truly cared about was a great setting for her material, she had that in abundance with Summer. But the maximum seating capacity here is one hundred and eighty. She needed more love than this place can hold."
Laurie's guest shot impressed Brad enough for him to offer her work. "I would say I used her every week or ten days. She would do the opening sets at 9:30 and 11:30." Summer at that point headlined every Tuesday, but it turned out to be almost three months before the two of them wound up sharing a bill.
"I'm embarrassed to say they came up with it on their own, with no prompting from me. Summer would only tell me she had a surprise for me. The surprise was that they'd gotten together over the weekend and rehearsed, and that Tuesday—I'm going to guess this was about late January of '95—they played all four sets together. Summer was on acoustic, Laurie played electric through a little practice amp under her stool."
For all his criticism of entertainers, Brad's own emotions run very near the surface. He seems close to tears as he describes their debut as a duo: "It was not polished. There were songs of Summer's where Laurie just played guitar, and songs of Laurie's where Summer just improvised a harmony part. Mistakes were made. But my god. What I wouldn't give for a tape of that night."
After a moment he pulls himself together. "Well. I may be slow, but I'm not stupid. I offered them the headline spot on the next Saturday I had open. The irony, of course, is that by that time Laurie had already met Gabriel Wong."
"I'm a session player," Gabriel Wong says on Thursday afternoon. "My heroes were always session players, even as a kid. Sly Dunbar. Tony Levin. Session players sleep in their own beds, they make top money, they don't get in a rut of the same set every night."
Gabe's apartment is small, clean as an operating theater, and organized for maximum efficiency. He is sprawled at one end of a tasteful oak-and-taupe-cotton couch that is not much larger than an armchair. He's wearing black jeans and running shoes, and a black collarless linen shirt. He has a rangy build, cocoa skin, three-inch dreadlocks, and lively eyes.
The night he met Laurie he was backing a local favorite named Dick O'Brien, an irregular gig always advertised as "Dick at the Duck." "Let me paint you a quick portrait," Gabe says. "Short, thin-skinned, hairy. Knows a minute or so of every song ever written. Buys a drink for any woman who'll come up to the stage and show him her bare chest. Thinks it's the height of humor to put a condom on a beer bottle.
"O'Brien doesn't like me, but he needs me. His bass players have a tendency to quit on him. And since part of his thing is doing instant requests from the audience, and since it so happens that I myself also know a minute or so of every song ever written, every now and again he finds himself paying me more money than he wants to."
Laurie was O'Brien's opening act. "O'Brien's reputation had preceded him, and Laurie was headed for the door before we even started, so that she wouldn't have to listen to us. Somehow she got hung up talking to friends and heard the first song. It turned out she really liked my playing."
In fact she liked it so much that she made a poor first impression. "She came up after the set and she was totally nervous," Gabe remembers. "She kept saying one wrong thing after another. Like, she couldn't seem to process my name. I'm adopted, see, and my dad was Chinese and my mother was Korean, so I've gotten a lot of shit about my name all my life. And Laurie, you could see that she just couldn't understand how a black man could be named Wong, but she was raised too nice to come out and say it.
"My girlfriend L'Shondra was there and she thought Laurie was some groupie or something and kept trying to pull me away. But I had a feeling, and I waited her out until she could get it together to say what she wanted."
What she wanted was Gabe's signature style, which is heavily influenced by reggae and ska. "The timekeeping is solid, but you leave out notes and move the accents around. It makes the audience hear the music instead of the singer, which gives Dick O'Brien apoplexy. I do it to him whenever I can."
In an interview with the British magazine Q, Laurie describes Gabe's playing as "a taste behind my tongue, a pressure in my solar plexus, a color behind my eyes. It wasn't discovery, it was recognition. Yearning backbeat. Precise, articulate silences. I'd been waiting for it all my life and probably several other people's."
"I hadn't seen any of her set," Gabe admits, "so I was copping this real cool, superior attitude. She said something like, 'I've never heard anybody play bass like you before,' and I was like, 'Funny, that's what Dick kept saying all through the first set. At least that was the gist of what he said.' And she was so sincere, it was scary. She looked like she was about to cry and she said, 'As far as I can tell Dick is a real asshole, and you're the greatest bass player I've ever heard.' How are you supposed to respond to that? I just kind of said, 'Well, you're at least half right.' So I introduced her to L'Shondra and said, 'This is Laurie Moss. I'm the greatest bass player she ever heard.' It's really kind of amazing that Laurie didn't turn around and walk away, I was being such a smartass.
"We all sat down at her table and I asked her, since she liked me so much, if she happened to have a record contract or anything. That was when she told me she was doing a four-track demo in her living room and wanted me to play on it. She was real embarrassed about it, but at the same time she had this absolute determination, like, 'I have to ask this guy, so I'm going to do it, no matter what.'"
"What did you say?"
"I told her I'd listen to her second set and see what I thought."
"She had something. She's one of those people that seems too weird or intense until you see them on stage. Then it all clicks. Good songs, you know, where everything dovetails. Good with the audience. She got them to where they really liked her and were pulling for her. And that was Dick O'Brien's crowd, total animals, not the kind of house you'd want to show fear in front of."
After her set Gabe told Laurie he'd do four songs for a hundred dollars. "Chicken feed, compared to what I usually get paid. But she'd made me like her too."
Gabe kneels by his stereo, which is almost at floor level. The much narrower shelves above it are full of alphabetized CDs and neatly hand-labeled cassettes. He puts a tape in the deck and listens intently to the faint hiss before the music. A crisp electric guitar starts in the left speaker, then pans to the center as the bass and the simple but effective lead guitar come in.
It's "Angel Dust." Laurie's voice, a little tentative, with no reverb or sweetening, starts to sing about stepfather's hands that make you burn with shame, the hot breath of boys in crowded halls, the bright flash of gunfire on TV, the red-orange coals of forbidden cigarettes on a window ledge in the sleepless night. Burning, burning, turning these angel's wings to ashes.
It's not the bravura performance on the album, but it makes up in intimacy what it lacks in raw power. "It's all there, isn't it?" says Gabe, enjoying my surprise. "That's her playing both guitars. From the start she knew exactly what she wanted. Not that she acted like it when I first got there for the session."
She had the four-track set up on the dining room table, along with headphones and lyric sheets with the chords penciled in. "She said she wanted me to play the way Dick O'Brien hated. I remember I made some feeble joke about her not having my parts written out for me, and I swear she went so pale I thought she was going to pass out. Nothing I said seemed to calm her down, so I went ahead and did a take.
"You have to understand, I was wearing the only headphones, and I was plugged straight into the recorder, so she had practically no idea what was happening. I had to turn my back to her because she was starting to make me nervous. That's my first take you're listening to right now.
"When it was done I handed her the headphones and she listened to the song, just staring down at that cheap veneer table—apartment furniture, you know—and this time it's me who can't hear what's happening. All I know is she looks like her dog just died. Then she turns off the machine and jumps up and goes into the kitchen. So there I am, standing in the kitchen doorway going, 'Listen, if it's that bad, I won't take your money.' She's actually crying into a dishtowel. I start to apologize again and she looks up and says, 'No, it's perfect. I love it.'
"I said, 'Has anybody ever told you you're a little weird?'
"'Actually, no,' she says. 'I've done a pretty good job of hiding it until now.' Maybe she was pulling my chain, but I believed her. I believed I had walked in on the first stage of her metamorphosis from something kind of ordinary and simple into, like, the refined essence of Laurie Moss. It was like this other person was coming right out through her skin, and it was intensely, physically painful for her.
"She said another thing that really touched me. She said, 'Listening to that tape just now was the first time, ever, that I believed something might happen with my songs. That somebody might actually want to buy an album to listen to them.' And she said it was me that made that happen, which is ridiculous, but it was still a really nice thing for her to say."
They wrapped up the other three songs in less than two hours. "One or two takes was all it took. I mean, I still remembered them from hearing her play them, once, at the Duck. She wrote me a check while I packed up, and I started out the door, but I couldn't do it. I couldn't just walk away."
Suddenly Gabe switches off the tape player, puts the tape back in the case, and hands it to me. "Here. I've got another one. I can see that you really need to have this."
I protest unconvincingly and then let him give me the tape. The insert, obviously produced at Kinko's, features a fuzzy photo of Laurie, her name, and the title Red Dress of Grievances. "Thank you," I say. "I can't tell you..."
"You don't have to," he says. "I basically feel the same as you do about her. I was already feeling it when I played on that tape. Which I guess is why I turned around in her doorway and asked her what she was doing the next night. She stood there and stared at me—I mean, she obviously thought I was coming on to her. So I said, 'It's not like that. It's just that there's some people I think you ought to meet.'"