In the mid 80’s I met a beautiful woman named Kath. We moved in together and we stayed together for about 3 years. She was a wonderful person. Slightly older than me but so open to life that I doubt anyone could not be drawn to her no matter of age. People flocked to her like moths to a flame.
In her youth she had travelled to San Francisco in a multi-colored Volkswagon Beetle with flowers in her hair. She roomed with Linda Rondstadt and later, with Jim Morrison. She sang backup with “The Stone Poneys” for a time. She was a wonderful singer. Thinking about her voice even now brings me close to tears.
I still adore her to this day, although sadly, we’ve been losing touch since I moved back to Ireland from LA in 2007. Hi Kath, you know who you are.
Both her parents were big time movie stars and either due to the pressures of growing up with famous people for parents or just the madness that that lifestyle entails, she had had a very difficult childhood. I’m not going to say who they were out of respect for Kath and the fact that it has no bearing on this story.
I have mentioned The Sunset Saloon in previous stories, a biker bar at the end of Washington Blvd. Two guys I became friends with throughout my 25 years in Venice Beach who were named Michael and Seamus, both from Belfast, frequented this bar regularly and that is how I got to know the place too. Until this particular incident I hadn’t been in there except during daylight hours. I’d met some of the Heathens [an outlaw motorcycle gang] and, even though they could be quite rough and had a reputation around Venice Beach, I got along well with all of them.
One night, Kath and I had eaten dinner, watched some TV and gone to bed around 11pm. Kath was having some medical problems in recent days and so was somewhat restless. I knew she was on various medications but didn’t pay much heed to what they were. I feel asleep.
At 2am the phone rang by the bed. I knew it was 2am because the bright red digital numbers glowed beside the phone,
“Yes?” I answered grumpily.
“Alan? Kath’s down here if you’re looking for her?” said Seamus shouting above the noise of The Sunset.
I sat up and looked over to her side of the bed, no sign. At first I thought he was joking, but he wasn’t.
“Thanks, be right down” I said pulling on my jeans and heading down the stairs, grabbing a T-shirt on the way.
When I pulled up in the car five minutes later I noticed approximately 20 Harley Davidsons lined up against the curb. To say I was a bit nervous would be an understatement. I walked in and spied Kath at the end of the bar perched on a stool, legs crossed, wearing the beautiful white long cotton nightgown she’d been wearing to bed a couple of hours before.
Four of the Heathens were grouped around her. She was laughing and enjoying their company as only she could. Kath was a real genuine girl and I loved her for it. As I approached I could see the red rose tattoo on her left buttock quite clearly. She never slept in underwear, why would she.
“Ally my darling! Come meet my friends!” She said reaching out her arms.
I held her tight as the guys shuffled around us. Seamus walked down the bar with a grin,
“Alan, how’s it going?”
“I was asleep, so I’m not sure how it’s going” I replied.
Kath had her arms wrapped around my waist as she introduced me to the bikers. It became obvious to them that she was with me and so after a few minutes they moved down to their group of friends. I met many of them again over the years and always had the best of times.
“Come on darling” I whispered to Kath, while helping her down off the barstool.
As she walked around the bar hugging everyone in the place I could see just how see-through her nightgown really was, but they were all gentlemen and kindly bid her and I a good night.
We got home and I held her tight, sleeping until dawn. We never mentioned the night before, whether she didn’t remember walking barefoot the 8 blocks to the bar or not, I’m none the wiser….. although Seamus did call me a couple more times over the 3 years we stayed together….always between 1am and 2am in the morning.
I Love you Kath, hope you’re okay x