Tuesday, November 2, 2010

The Book of Sarah

I went out. It's me. It's Sarah. Tomas went out too. He'll be all right. He says he's going to wander around on South Street. The crowds should keep him safe. Annie, or The Shaky Hand Man, or The Enemy or the WWF or  even the God damned Republican National Committee should leave him alone around there. But I won't be out on the street for long. I'm going to Baylah's, her piano bar. It's warm. It's cozy, like a small, velvet jewel box tucked away on a cute, little corner of Sansom Street.. I can really go for some heartfelt Broadway melodies tonight. A little Cole Porter. A little George Gershwin . Her piano player is really good. He sings nice too. She picked him up off the sidewalk outside an aids clinic. Seems his money and his luck ran out at about the same time. He was pulling into that final tunnel. He was squinting into the light and everything. But that's exactly the kind of challenge we like. Baylah just scooped him up and carried him back to her place. Then, after giving him a tiny sip of a freshly made 'Bloody Baylah' (as opposed to a Bloody Mary) he was one rejuvenated Michael Feinstein wannabe. Well, he does sound exactly like him. Doesn't have the patter down quite right yet, but that''ll come. He'll get it. I'm going in right now. I love this place. It's perfect, like an urban boite right out of the holodeck of the U.S.S. Enterprise. The dark burgundy watered silk walls, the bronze sconces, the matching velvet banquettes, the warm, little table lamps, plush rugs where there should be rugs, gleaming hardwoods where there should be hardwoods, the mirror-like, ebony Steinway and an ever-so-slightly cramped feeling.... Shhh, listen. He's singing 'There's a Place For Us' from West Side Story. I like that song. Most nobile vampires like it too. I catch his eye. He winks. I go to the little bar and take my place next to Baylah and The Pow Wow Woman. Actually, her name is Edith. Some of the regulars call her Edie, but she likes Edith. I order my favorite, a small, specially spiced votive candle in a crystal shot glass. It's very subtle, perfect for the highly developed olifactory capabilities of a vampire. The mortal patrons never even notice.  Gus, the bouncer, smiles and waves. I still don't know what she needs a bouncer for. Baylah is more than able to handle most any situation herself. I suppose it's because she doesn't want to make a scene. And he does look nice in that 1930's tux and all. The table girls look nice too... little bell hop outfits, only with hot pants and high heels. Baylah's got taste. They already listed this place in the 'Ten Best Lounges' column in Philadelphia Magazine. She's got a table full of assistant D.A.'s sitting in one corner and a high-priced decorator giving a hard sell to her new-to-the-city, wide-eyed clients in the other. Shhh... He's going into 'And the Way You Look Tonight'. I love this song. But Edith nudges me and points. I look out one of the small partially draped windows. There's Bob hurrying down the strreet. And two big, menacing,  rottweilers are  padding along right behind.. So much for an evening of sophisticated music and stylish repartee.

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