Bogart is not in attendance. He was invited, but he has opted to remain home for a quiet evening with his wife.
The floor is littered with the remains of Palmer's luau party. Leis and ukuleles crowd the wall. "It's like they've been absorbed into the house," remarks her assistant, Hayley, a chipper woman in a Tegan and Sara T-shirt.
Palmer emerges in black trousers, suspenders, and an SS hat — seriously, straight out of Tom of Finland. When most of the guests have arrived, Palmer recruits Wright as her stylist. They settle in a corner and a small klatch of revelers settles in to watch.
She vamps for our camera, stopping the photographer every few shots to appraise his work. "Suck it in," Wright instructs, tilting her head toward the skyline. Someone grabs me to look at another corner of the attic, where hardwood gives way to Plexiglas and there's a view of the third-floor bathroom.
"It's time," Palmer says. She takes off her top. There are her breasts, unveiled at last in their full glory. The crowd cheers.
A British couple in their 80s, veterans of the Old Vic, clap politely.
"Oh, ta-tas!" the wife says. "How darling!"
Eugenia Williamson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.