Scandal’s was like a woman who dressed down every night, progressively shedding her layers of respectability. For dinner she wore her business clothes—hosting those who were out to impress a client with trendy insider dining and phony “I bumped into so-and-so” stories. The poetry slam loosened things up—definitely casual—but some basic coherence was still required to deliver words from the stage. It was after hours when Scandal’s jettisoned her inhibitions and stripped to her undies, sleek lingerie, thongs, whatever was handy. At that point it was my job to prevent bad things from happening—to keep an eye on what went on in the bathrooms that wasn’t related to hygiene, to listen for voices that crossed the boundary from boisterous to confrontational, and to make sure it was the drinks, and not the police, that kept coming.
Eleanor comes closer and sits on the edge of the bed, placing her feet flat on the floor, as if to ground herself before speaking. "Everyone thought she was well adjusted in spite having to flip back and forth between worlds. You know, one black and one white. It can be a terrific strain on a bi-racial person. I don't think it got to her until after college, when most of her friends left town. She started complaining about our lifestyle, comparing it with the living conditions she saw when she visited black relatives in Watts. I guess she woke up to some stark realities. Moving to New York was a natural progression, given how uncomfortable she was in Beverly Hills."
Michael takes his wife’s hand. "Be honest with us, Ms. Epstein. What do you think has happened to Leslie?"