I find this so stupid. Miles Davis and Donald Barthleme were involved with the same woman, a children’s writer named Karen Kennerly. Kennerly didn’t want them to meet, though not for the obvious reason. “I thought Miles would outcool Don, and Don had a very big investment in being cool,” she says. But the meeting happened, and it was at Elaine’s, of course.
When we got there — it was very early, about 6:30 — Miles was sitting at a table by himself, already halfway thru dinner. It wouldn’t have occurred to him to wait on anyone.
He had on these big sunglasses. Finally, Don said, “Hey, man, why don’t you take off your shades?” Miles said, “Why? It’s all black.” After that the conversation was very stiff.
Yeah, I guess it would be.
Then Miles got up and said, “Bye. Gotta go. Good to meet you.” Don and I barely got thru dinner. It was very painful. We asked for the check and the waiter said Miles had covered it. Don said, “No, he has not. I am paying for this meal. Put his money on his tab.” The waiter didn’t know what to do, because Miles only came in about twice a year. Finally I took the boy aside and said, “Just consider yourself lucky that you got a big tip tonight.” He kept Miles’s money and let Don pay for the dinner.
Barthelme also had a really douchey beard. Miles, as noted, had those sunglasses.
Text quoted from Hidden Man: A Biography of Donald Barthelme by Tracy Daugherty