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I climb onto the bed and lie there, pretending to pant. “Baby, where did you learn to give head like that? Sotheby’s? Oh man.” I reach over for a cigarette.

“So wait. That’s it?” She lights a joint, sucks in on it so deeply that half of it turns to ash. “What about you?”

“I’m happy.” I yawn. “Just as long as you don’t bring out that, um, leather harness and Sparky the giant butt plug.”

I get off the bed and pull my jeans and Calvins up and move over to the window, where I lift a venetian blind. Down on Park, between 79th and 80th, is a black Jeep with two of Damien’s goons sitting in it, reading the new issue of what looks like Interview with Drew Barrymore on the cover, and one looks like a black Woody Harrelson and the other like a white Damon Wayans.

Alison knows what I’m seeing and from the bed says, “Don’t worry, I have to meet Grant Hill for a drink at Mad.61. They’ll follow and then you can escape.”

I flop onto the bed, flip on Nintendo, reach for the controls and start to play Super Mario Bros.

“Damien says that Julia Roberts is coming and so is Sandra Bullock,” Alison says vacantly. “Laura Leighton and Halle Berry and Dalton James.” She takes another hit off the joint and hands it to me. “I saw Elle Macpherson at the Anna Sui show and she says she’ll be there for the dinner.” She’s flipping through a copy of Detour with Robert Downey, Jr., on the cover, legs spread, major crotch shot. “Oh, and so is Scott Wolf.”

“Shhh, I’m playing,” I tell her. “Yoshi’s eaten four gold coins and he’s trying to find the fifth. I need to concentrate.”

“Oh my god, who gives a shit,” Alison sighs. “We’re dealing with a fat midget who rides a dinosaur and saves his girlfriend from a pissed-off gorilla? Victor, get serious.”

“It’s not his girlfriend. It’s Princess Toadstool. And it’s not a gorilla,” I stress. “It’s Lemmy Koopa of the evil Koopa clan. And baby, as usual, you’re missing the point.”

“Please enlighten me.”

“The whole point of Super Mario Bros. is that it mirrors life.”

“I’m following.” She checks her nails. “God knows why.”

“Kill or be killed.”


“Time is running out.”


“And in the end, baby, you… are… alone.”

“Right.” She stands up. “Well, Victor, that really captures the spirit of our relationship, honey.” She disappears into a closet bigger than the bedroom. “If you had to be interviewed by Worth magazine on the topic of Damien’s Nintendo stock, you’d want to kill Yoshi too.”

“I guess this is all just beyond the realm of your experience,” I murmur. “Huh?”

“What are you doing tonight for dinner?” she calls out from the closet.

“Why? Where’s Damien?”

“In Atlantic City. So the two of us can go out since I’m sure Chloe is tres exhausted from all dat wittle modeling she had to do today.”

“I can’t,” I call back. “I’ve got to get to bed early. I’m skipping dinner. I’ve got to go over-oh shit-seating arrangements.”

“Oh, but baby, I want to go to Nobu tonight,” she whines from the closet. “I want a baby shrimp tempura roll.”

“You are a baby shrimp tempura roll,” I whine back.

The phone rings, the machine picks up, just new Portishead, then a beep.

“Hi, Alison, it’s Chloe calling back.” I roll my eyes. “Amber and Shalom and I have to do something for Fashion TV at the Royalton and then I’m having dinner with Victor at Bowery Bar at nine-thirty. I’m so so tired… did shows all day. Okay, I guess you’re not there. Talk to you soon-oh yeah, you have a pass backstage for Todd’s show tomorrow. Bye-bye.” The machine clicks off.

Silence from the closet, then, low and laced with fury, “Seating arrangements? You-have-to-go-to-bed-early?”

“You can’t keep me in your penthouse,” I say. “I’m going back to my plow.”

“You’re having dinner with her?” she screams.

“Honey, I had no idea.”

Alison walks out of the closet holding a Todd Oldham wraparound dress in front of her and waits for my reaction, showing it off: not-so-basic black-slash-beige, strapless, Navajo-inspired and neon quilted.

“That’s a Todd Oldham, baby,” I finally say.

“I’m wearing it tomorrow night.” Pause. “It’s an original,” she whispers seductively, eyes glittering. “I’m gonna make your little girlfriend look like shit!”

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