In 2003, when I moved to Los Angeles, White Orchid was the hottest club. You could stand in line for a long time and still not get in; or you could make dinner reservations, and be in, guaranteed. When I discovered the latter, my friends and I would go regularly.
Pretty early on, the club’s hotness was not what drew me there every weekend. I had grown close to the DJ. He and I became lovers, and eventually he would get my friends and me in. I’d eventually go to White Orchid every Saturday night. For the first hour from 9-10, the music he’d play was not the mainstream club music he’d save for the rest of the night; it was music that we both loved and would discuss when we were together. One night, he played an entire list of songs that I’d sent to him in a letter. For months, I would arrive at White Orchid at 9pm and dance non-stop until closing time. There was a stage on which my friends and I would dance. When we were there, the stage was ours for the night. One night, I even got Cindy Crawford to leave her husband on the dance floor and come up and dance with us. It was a blast. I have never dressed better than when I went to White Orchid every Saturday night during the summer and fall of 2003.
One night, I decided to wear a dress. It was a backless halter. I never wore dresses to the club, but doing so made me feel really sexy. I had a few drinks in me, so I was also feeling pretty good. My good friends, Cherry, Aubrey, Kristen and I were busy dancing on stage when Cherry noticed two gentlemen looking up at us. She pointed them out. They were staring like we were strippers at the strip club. They were admiring us. It was strange and intriguing at the same time. The guy below me was really attractive. I noticed him, but at the same time I dismissed him because I was there for my DJ lover, and I enjoyed dancing for him.
When I came down from the stage, he came up to me and introduced himself as Billy. He offered to buy me a drink. One thing I never did was talk to other guys or dance with them in front of the DJ. He had gotten jealous once, and I didn’t want it to happen again. I politely declined, but I told him that he looked really familiar.
Meanwhile, Cherry was talking it up with Billy’s friend, Ryan. As the night continued, Cherry and I continued dancing. The guys continued to be entertained. I was buzzing by now which was rare for me, but I was looking forward to a fun night with the DJ.
At the end of the night, Cherry told me that we were all invited back to Billy’s house. Of course, I was hoping to get an invitation back to the DJ’s house. Standing in the lobby of the club while waiting for everyone, Billy and I continued talking. I couldn’t shake how familiar he felt. Since I was pretty buzzing, I kept telling him that I knew him from somewhere. Normally, under sober conditions, I would never be such a groupie, even in a hot, celebrity-filled Los Angeles club. I must’ve been obnoxious, but he politely smiled. He stood there looking very handsome. I could tell he was shy and modest. He didn’t boast or tell me who he was. He just let me go on telling him how familiar he was. Then I started remembering details like when elements from a dream I’d forgotten slowly come to me in the middle of the day. I remembered a guitar and singing and it was on TV. That’s when he saved me from myself and told me the name of the TV movie starring him and a popular singer. They made music together. That’s right! I told him I loved that movie. Unfortunately, at the time, I wasn’t aware of the other, bigger productions he’d starred in.
I didn’t get an invite back to the DJ’s place, which was common (he was my first LA Lover, and I had lots to learn about love and sex, and how they aren’t the same thing, especially in LA). So, I agreed to go to Billy’s house with everyone. Cherry and Ryan were really hitting it off. All the girls kept telling me how into me Billy was, but I didn’t care. I was pining away for, and feeling rejected by, the DJ.
Billy’s house was in the Hollywood Hills. The inside was really cozy. During the evening, Cherry and Ryan began cuddling while Billy shared more of himself with me and my friends. He was from Oklahoma. He had a country band. He was a real gentleman. The new Dido song, White Flag, had released and he sang it for us while he played his guitar. He shared some of his own music too. When he would leave the room, my friends would egg me on. Two things were going on: I’m not aggressive; and while Billy was really sexy, smart, talented, and into me, even if for just the night, I was hung-up on someone else.
Cherry and Ryan ended up sharing a bed that night while the girls and I stayed out in the living room. At 4 am, Billy went off to bed alone. My friends and I left around 7am. On the ride home, Aubrey expressed her frustration with me pining away for the DJ while I was there with Billy. I felt lame. I thought I was in love with the DJ. It was later that Aubrey pointed out to me all of the TV shows and movies Billy had starred in. That didn’t matter either.
During the next few months, Cherry and Ryan continued seeing each other. He had returned to Oklahoma where he was from. He was a pilot and would visit Los Angeles often to see her. They were falling in love and struggled with the distance. Cherry would tell me that Billy said hello. I’d say hello back. I slowly fell out of obsession with the DJ. I liked that Billy was still thinking of me.
One day, a couple of months later, I was at another very popular club with Leslie, a co-worker of mine. She was known for sleeping with celebrities. I once helped her literally chase down a very well-known action star in my vehicle. She’d given him her number, and he never called. So, it was kind of awkward when we pulled up to him, and she started asking him why he never called. Leslie happened to be estranged from my roommate, Stephanie. I never knew why, but any time I would mention one to the other, they seemed disgusted. Turns out, they’d both slept with/dated an actor I’d had a huge crush on when I was kid. He now stars on a hit TV show too, and looks completely different, though still cute. I digress.
So, back at this popular night spot. While I was ordering a drink, I saw Billy across the bar staring at me. I went to him and hugged him. We engaged in small talk and big talk when we discussed Cherry and Ryan, who, by now, were heavy into their affair and in love. He was sexy, handsome and still very quiet and modest. It was comfortable. I was actually prepared to go for a second chance when Leslie walked up. She knew him. The air was instantly suffocating. Suddenly, I felt like I was standing in the middle of a break-up. She questioned how we knew each other. He really didn’t have much to say to her. She gave attitude. I don’t know what she said to him to make him say this, but he told her “she and I are different” referring to us. Basically, he and I were friends who had more to discuss than a fling or booty call. Leslie and Billy had slept together. Los Angeles had just gotten too small.
This was nine years ago. Billy is now on a hit TV show. I see his commercials often. Sometimes, I watch his current show or episodes of his old show or a movie in which he co-starred. I’d definitely have a fling with him today. But I’m glad I didn’t sleep with him then because of Leslie. I ended up really not liking her for myriad other reasons. One of my girlfriend’s is IN LOVE with Billy. She berates me for not having got some of him. I know. I know. I do too some days. He’s really nice to look at. I’m sure he’s great in the sack. You can look at him and tell.