So there I sat, three or four Budweisers and a vodka tonic deep, freshly powdered and squirming in a booth at the Cathay de Grande as Fred swapped pheromones with the unwitting accomplice to the crime I was about to commit. Other girls might have fought fire with fire — there was no shortage of leather-clad tattooed loveboys in the room — but I tend to prefer a more direct approach.
I wouldn’t call it premeditated unless the two seconds between my final gulp and my vampiric rush to the dance floor qualify as planning. It was, however, a long time coming — in teen years. A girl can only absorb so many blows to her confidence before she retaliates, the velocity of which equals her insecurity multiplied by her weight, divided by the other girl’s number rating and squared by her man’s douchery.
He never saw it coming. When the bottle made contact with the top of his skull, the sound was crushing and high pitched like a car accident. The release was transformative. With only the jagged top of the neck left in my hand, I calmly returned to my booth, wrapped a cocktail napkin around my gushing thumb and reapplied my lipstick. (In the process of punishing Fred, I managed to nearly sever an appendage.)
Michael Brennan, the Cathay’s owner, was a tall, dark-haired fellow with a good side you wanted to stay squarely on. He told me to exit the building or face charges. Someone’s girlfriend generously offered to drive me home to the Palisades from Hollywood and my relationship with Brennan remained amiable even after the club closed and surreptitiously became Raji’s. My first love ended under a shower of glass shards. It was time to cut my hair.