We stood in front of the Grove Street entrance to Davies Symphony Hall. Her much-younger friend had gone inside to call her brother, who was coming to pick them up and return them to some place she was embarrassed to admit. The last of the crowd was making their way home and the staff were dismantling the bars, tables, and other items which less than an hour before had created a kind of pop-up beer garden on Grove Street, albeit an elegant one with jugglers, stilt-walkers, and musicians.
"So I've only been back here for a little while. I've been living in Europe."
"Oh. What were you doing there?"
"Living," she replied.
"Ah, I see. Were you a performer of some sort?" I asked.
"Sometimes," she replied.
"Where in Europe were you living?"
"Paris. But I've also lived in Sweden. And Jerusalem. But I was born here. In Southern California."
"I see. Were you an actress? A dancer?"
"Yes. It's so flattering you recognized me from the play. I think I remember seeing you in the audience."
"Perhaps it was after the show, while you were leaving the theater?"
"No, I think I remember you from the audience. Is there anywhere to sit down? I'm getting cold."
We went into the lobby, which was still open, and sat down on one the benches. She crossed her legs, exposing a vintage-looking garter. I felt a slight pressure rise behind my eyes at the sight. Though she had been revealing much throughout the evening, the sight of this garter, so reminiscent of another time, and another kind of woman, made an impression on me altogether different.
"I didn't really like the play," I said, "but you were quite memorable."
"What didn't you like?"
"It was essentially a short skit that lasted over an hour. And the casting didn't make sense to me."
"I can see that. I talked to the director about some of the cast, but there was nothing she could do by that time.
"I've been to Stockholm. It's a lovely place."
"You know I'm married?"
"No, I didn't. How would I?" I paused for a moment and then also asked, "He's younger than you, isn't he?"
"How did you know?"
"I just know these things."
"But I'm not monogamous."
"He's Irish. I like women- I have a girlfriend."
"I'm going to guess... she's older than you?"
"No, but she's not as young as my husband. She's four years younger than I."
Her friend came out of the hall and into the lobby, and stumbled to a seat next to me.
The friend turned to her and said her brother would be here in a few minutes. She then turned to me and slurred,"Tennessee Williams. Fucking Streetcar Named Desire. It's the most brilliant thing ever written, don't you think?"
This led to a digression into theater, living on the down-low, and the film Far From Heaven.
"I love that film," said the one with the garter.
"It's wonderful," I replied.
"Oh, he's here!" the other said.
The gartered-one smiled, whispered something in my ear, bit it gently, and then off they went, back to wherever it was they came from.
As for the concert? You can read a highly accurate account of it here, though I wasn't as taken with the Bolero as everyone else was. I wanted more of a thrust, and a larger climax.