A Night At Perch


Said the rye whisky, through my mouth.

The fog is doing the reverse cowgirl on that tall building next to the ONE WILSHIRE PLAZA building. Mist is insatiable over downtown Los Angeles, engulfing the edifice tops, everything is obscenely wet, and I am so graciously drunk.


I should’ve made reservations, but I have this “musician self-righteousness” thing when I know the band, and it brings about bad assumptions. I’ve been kicked out of several table settings, reserved for reservation people, and I’m sitting now on a folding chair under an ambitious heat lamp. This chair is unworthy of my peacock tights. Whatever, I’m a fucking artist. Peons. Kick me off the drizzling deck for “safety concerns." Do you know who the fuck I am?


I’m still sitting on the folding chair.

I’m writing this on post-its, I’ve gone through four.

Kevin Kanner has come,

“Come hang with us in the break room.”


Told you I was somebody.


I follow Kevin back to the band set-up, and then Brian Swartz leads me through the back stairway, “the catacombs,” he said. I first hired Brian, in 2001. He did my gig on the condition that we play two of his original compositions in my set. I agreed. I always respected him for his insistence on that. Brian is the best kind of pain-in-the-ass. The true artist kind. I mean that with love.


And Brian eats steak like a man. We talked about his kids, and divorce, and life fazes. I envy his red meat consumption capability. He makes it look like it tastes good because it seems to go down easy. Big cuts, red in the middle. Juice. I can’t finish a steak. He asks what I’ve been up to, I genuinely have no idea.

I feel like there’s a big answer in me though.


We leave before the rest of the band, because Brian says the managers have been coming in and out (I didn’t notice) and eyeballing the crazy-hair, beatnik black-turtleneck-sweater girl. We leave and take the stairs back up through the catacombs.


Back at the bar now. Kanner says,

“The room is balmy with people trying to get laid.”

Brian is singing “All Of Me." I'd never really listened to him sing, and it's genuinely lovely.

Kevin sounds amaze too, like he always has. Missed him.

I'm getting soft and sentimental.

My drink is wearing off.

I want to drink something sharp and sudden, something that tastes bad. My first drink was a whisky-based cocktail called “Writer’s Block,” but clearly, 8 post-it-notes later, that didn’t work. I’m gonna get one called a “Lolita.” Maybe I’ll end up on the lap of an English professor, twenty years my senior.


The band begins “Let’s Get Lost.” I agree.


Lolita arrives. I drink her. I didn’t show up to get drunk, I showed up to get lifted – and in my defense, I totally am.

It’s not drinking alone if I’m surrounded by other people, right?

I text Tai Woodville. She gives me the thumbs-up on the cocktail.

So there.


I decide to make toasts.




To the Donald!

May he drown in his own rectum.




To America!

I thought we had something, but you joined a cult, and you left a swastika up my country.



To Earth!

All your children are to blame, and half of us know it.



To my husband!

You’re too good for me. And we’re out of coffee.



To my Lover!

You have no idea what you’re missing. Or maybe you do. Which is why you’re not here.



To God!

I love you for all of this.



Drunk and dazed in lights and stone deco facades. It’s my meditation. Boundless, amorphous, jukebox shapes, hung with fog.I love you Los Angeles. I see apartments lit with purple from within, laticed with string lights. I don’t know who lives there, but I love their luminous vacancy, I love their lives.


Brian is playing “Misty.” Steve Cotter is soloing now.


I’m coming back here next time with a slammin’ bitch like Leah Zeger. She makes me look good.

Nobody’s going to read this.

Raya Yarbrough

Singer, Composer, writer of absurd stories about LA, chanteuse on Outlander, BSG, DaVinci's Demons, & I used to date Dick Grayson.