West Side of Beverly Hills, Calif.
Just when I was planning a somewhat self-pitying final entry (Working title: "Next Time, Less Stuckey, More Nookie"), Elizabeth showed me a side of her I hadn't seen before, a warm, affectionate side. Out of the blue last night, she asked if we could go out drinking, and--well, let's say I think I finally broke through to her. It began with a point I made about urban sprawl--how when you drive across the country, you realize the issue is to a large degree phony. There's plenty of space! We should stop worrying! E. seemed to loosen up right away. She even put her hand on mine. I always heard you could score if you talked policy to her. Not that we had sex. But I will say I have high expectations for the future. If only the trip had lasted one more day.
On the final drive across the desert into Los Angeles, E. seemed as if she had blossomed. Suddenly, after wearing sweatpants and T-shirts for five days, she put on this skimpy little black dress. Perfume, too. We sped across the desert, the futon on the roof threatening to blow off, in order to make an appointment she'd made at a ritzy hairdressing salon. She said, "I feel so sad this is ending. I'm going to miss you so much." We even had a road-trip bonding moment. She said she was tired of being an elusive commitment-phobe, and was ready to start a long-term relationship.
We pulled up to 2 Rodeo Drive only five minutes late. E. didn't want me to use the valet, because, as she diplomatically put it, "with all this stuff, we look like the fucking Clampetts." I told her I'd see her later that night to unload her things. She said that "didn't work" for her, but we arranged to see each other tomorrow morning--"late." I mentioned again that I'd probably be driving back in a week or so, and that it would be fun if she could come. She smiled. I think she may say yes.