During one of my many break-ups with Khrystyne (a.k.a., the perfect girl), I briefly dated a beautiful 22 year old named Renee who I’d met after a show in L.A.. She was eerily taciturn and secretive about her life, like she may be part of some covert orginization or touched inappropriately as a child. I often wondered if she was some high class call girl on the side. Either way, it gave her an air of mystery that piqued your curiosty to levels that could easily be confused with love. She would command the attention of any room she was in without saying a word. I brought her to the Coach and Horses, my usual hangout on Sunset. Guys would line up to hit on her, unsolicited and oblivious to my presense. I swear they would have interrupted her blowing me to try to buy her a drink, which more than likely, she would have accepted.

The Coach, at that time, was a regulars bar and Renee was quickly at the epicenter. One night Renee and a few of my other friends were sitting in a booth and I, standing in front of the booth, had ordered a round of shots for the table. The shots, (April Bombs, a sour apple kamikaze named for our lovely bartender), had just been set down on the table when a guy slid into the empty seat between me and Renee and helped himself to one of the shots.

The guy was named Lorca and was one of the regulars that I knew only on a "hey-how-ya-doin" basis, a regular once removed from the circle I was close to. I'd seen Renee talking to him a few times and couldn't tell if he was trying to be an asshole right now or if he was just a sloppy drunk. I told him politely that the shots were not for him and he just sat there leering across the table, creating an uneasy tension until finally he muttered something benign and stumbled off.

I assumed that he was trying to bone Renee, as everyone else was, and although Renee and I had no commitment, spoken or otherwise, she was my rebound. And sometimes you clutch onto rebound pussy with ten times the zeal as the relationship you're recovering from, for fear of an empty bed. I'm sure this put me a bit more on edge. I'm against violence as are most people who aren't good at it, and while Lorca in no way threatened me physically, the mere hint of it gave me the creeps the rest of the night.

The next night I'm back at the Coach with Mat Becker and Fat Ralphie May, sitting at one of the round tables up front, away from the cool end of the bar but more accommodating to Ralphie's admirable girth. Not late into the evening Lorca again stumbles up to our table, pie-eyed drunk, and sits down without saying a word, leering around the room. When he finally left, I asked Ralphie and Mat if this guy was trying to be a dick or if I was just being paranoid. Mat, a huge conspiracy theorist who assumes that everyone in the bar is on the verge of assaulting him at any given time, went with the "he's a dick" theory and Ralphie, not one to go against the flow, agreed. Still, he hadn't done anything outright to warrant me saying something to him. I'd be hard-pressed to take him aside and say "Quit being creepy," so I just allowed it to again silently ruin my night.

April called last call and shortly after we were all invited to get the fuck out. The bar cleared out onto the street. Ralphie, Mat and I turned left up the sidewalk towards the car and Lorca, a few steps behind, ran right out into Sunset Boulevard and was killed by a car.