Elaine’s was still open, so this happened maybe in the early 90s? It had to be around that time. I honestly can’t remember, though. I’m guessing early 90s because things had stopped being so fun for me... but I can’t pinpoint the exact year.

I had been at a party. The party. I was a guest of a guest, as usual. The party was a cross of European aristocracy, novelists, fresh models, aging models, designers, and their precocious children and their children’s precocious friends, hosted by a flamboyant billionaire-eccentric who was a cross between Peter Sellers’ character from Lolita and Dr. Evil.

As I got older I found parties like this stressful. As I mentioned earlier, things were no longer fun. I wasn’t rich or famous or any of the other things that would have made me desirable there. I was witty but that only got you so far. I needed another plan, otherwise I was headed for permanent status on the guest of the guest list. No thanks.

This party was more of the same, Beautiful apartment, beautiful people and loads of hoops to jump through. I was bored and ready to go.

Finally my friend and I decided it was time to leave; she also had little patience for this kind of socializing, but her reasons were different than mine. There were a few other girls we knew, so we all left together. I think we were 5 in total.

While we waited for the elevator in our host’s vestibule, the white lacquered door to the apartment swung open, and out stepped Phil Spector. The hair, the shades, the black disco suit, the high heeled boots - the works. He sized us up and, more as an order than an invite, offered us a ride. “My driver will drop you where ever you want because I’m a nice guy and I know all your mothers.” Then fixed his gaze on me and said, “Except yours”. I had heard that before.

So we all piled into his limo - a bunch of nice daughters of not-so-nice mothers who would not be thrilled to know their girls had accepted the lift. While crossing the park, Mr. Spector suggested we all get a drink at Elaine’s. I was game. I guess the other girls were too? I can’t remember if we leapt at the offer or if there was some attempt at brushing him off. Who knows -- that was another game I was tiring of. Anyway, we all sort of agreed, in that way that nice girls do, that we’d go. There was some clever banter back and forth. It was all sort of like that; a harmless adventure. At Elaine’s. I got up to go to the bathroom, and when I came out Mr. Spector was on the payphone. He hung up immediately when I exited and offered me some cocaine. Which would’ve been not at all surprising in those days, except he didn’t really have any. He was pretending. Miming, in fact. He was holding onto an invisble vial and sniffing invisible cocaine from a non-existent spoon. I politely declined the offer and returned to the table. He picked up the telephone receiver and continued his conversation – which I now realize was also not real.

After a round of sodas he said it was time to go, so we all stood up and followed him back to the limo. Driving down Park Ave he decided he would drop himself off first. He was staying at the Waldorf. There were some protests since all of the girls lived on the upper east side. Seemed silly to go down to come back up, but it’s what Mr. Spector wanted and so, once again, we went along.

At the Waldorf, we pulled into the valet.
Good night, ladies.
Then he looked at me.
Come on.
You’re coming up with me.
No, I don’t think so.

To be totally honest here – because, why not -- I actually entertained it for a split second. I did! I’m telling you, I was at a real crossroads in my life, and I was itching to make some bad decisions. I was trying to find an identity and, for me, bad behavior seemed like the quickest way to do that. Don’t worry, I got the chance later -- just not this time, and thank god for that for obvious reasons.

Anyway, back to the limo: I was next to him in the center, with a girl next to me and three girls facing us and -- as if in slow motion -- I watched him turn his gaze from me to his high-heeled boot. As he leaned down, I looked at the other girls sizing them up, and that’s when Mr. Spector pulled a very real black gun out of his high-heeled black boot and pointed it at me.

So, you’re not coming up?
Before I could answer, one of my girlfriends screamed:
B, he’s got a gun!
Correct! I do. That’s why I’m the boss! Last chance. You coming up or not?
No way!
Then all of you, out! I’m not giving you rides!
He jumped out, disappearing through the revolving doors of the Waldorf. Quickly, we all got out and got a cab home.

I don’t remember what we discussed on our way uptown. But whenever I think about that night, I’m less disturbed by the gun than I am about the fact that I even entertained the thought of going up to his room. Why would I have put myself in that situation? I can’t answer that. No self worth? Perhaps. No accountability, probably. Boredom, absolutely. But who knows - and it doesn’t matter now, it was so long ago. But I did literally dodge a bullet.

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