I was invited to a dinner at a very nice, very swank restaurant on Sunset Ave. When I arrived, I asked my friend who else was coming. Several people I didn’t know, as well as Bruce Douglas. I also learned Bruce’s brother owned the restaurant.
I had met Bruce several times before (Each time, he hadn’t remembered the last). The first time was at a steakhouse in West Hollywood. He was dining with his girlfriend, and gave her a necklace. I assumed it was a birthday or anniversary. Our group left the restaurant at the same time they did. At the valet line, he put his girlfriend in her car and kissed her goodbye, then followed us to the Beverly Hills Hotel lounge and spent the time there picking up on women and collecting phone numbers.
Two women arrived—Cherise and Megan—both very pretty, both actresses. Soon, Bruce arrived, wearing a tight, black t-shirt. Everyone stood to greet him. “Good to meet you,” he said and shook my hand.
He saw Cherise and his eyes did a quick scan. Up and down. Very subtle, almost unnoticeable. Cherise turned to Megan. “He’s wearing Balmain jeans. Leathers are $4000. The denims are $3000.”
“Are those Balmain?” she asked.
“Balmain,” he repeated.
I checked out his jeans. Dirty white with a zipper for a front pocket and strange ribbing at the knees. His Calvin Klein underwear showed prominently above the sagging waistline. He left our company and went inside.
“He’s my favorite designer,” said Cherise. “He’s French.”
Bruce returned shortly, a bottle of sake in hand. He took a seat next to Cherise. “Cheers,” he said.
I noticed his skin was a little looser than the last time I had seen him. Sideburns grey. The skin around his eyes a little more creased. Moments later, Cherise slipped a folded piece of paper into his hand. He kept it there, picking up a piece of edamame with the same hand. He stood and disappeared inside again.
“What jeans are those?” my friend asked.
“Balmain. I love his designs.”
“How much did you say?”
“Leather pants are four to six thousand. Jeans are three to four thousand. His t-shirts usually run about eight hundred.”
I couldn’t pretend indifference after that. “Eight hundred dollars for a t-shirt?”
“At least. Some go as high as $1000.”
That’s Los Angeles. Man, I will miss it.