“Listen, Abdullah. I just want to make sure that no one is gonna get in who we don’t want in. I don’t want anyone passing out invites to other clubs. I don’t want some little waif mo handing Barry Diller an invite to Spermbar during dinner-got it? I don’t want anyone passing out invites to other clubs.”
“What other clubs?” Peyton and JD wail. “There aren’t any other clubs!”
“Oh spare me,” I wail back, moving across the first floor. “Jesus-you think Christian Laetner is gonna fit under one of those things?” It gets darker as we move into the back of the first floor, toward the staircase that leads to one of the dance floors located in the basement.
From the top floor, Beau calls down, “Alison Poole on line fourteen. She wants to speak to you now, Victor.”
Everyone looks away as the Details girl writes something down on her little notepad. Camcorder guy whispers something and she nods, still writing. Somewhere old C + C Music Factory is playing.
“Tell her I’m out. Tell her I’m on line seven.”
“She says it’s very important,” Beau drones on in monotone.
I pause to look at the rest of the group, everyone looking anywhere but at me. Peyton whispers something to JD, who nods curtly. “Hey, watch that!” I snap. I follow Camcorder’s lens to a row of sconces he’s filming and wait for Beau, who finally leans over the top-floor railing and says, “A miracle: she relented. She’ll see you at six.”
“Okay, folks.” I suddenly turn around to face the group. “I’m calling a sidebar. Bongo, you are excused. Do not discuss your testimony with anyone. Go. JD, come over here. I need to whisper something to you. The rest of you may stand by that bar and look for specks. Camcorder man-turn that away from us. We’re taking five.”
I pull JD over to me and immediately he starts babbling.
“Victor, if this is about Mica not being around and us being unable to get ahold of her, please for the love of god don’t bring it up now, because we can find another DJ-“
“Shut up. It’s not about Mica.” I pause. “But wait, where is Mica?”
“Oh god, I don’t know. She DJ’d at Jackie 60 on Tuesday, then did Edward Furlong’s birthday party, and now poof.”
“What does that mean? What does poof mean?”
“She’s disappeared. No one can find her.”
“Well, shit, JD. What are we-no, no-you are gonna fix this,” I tell him. “I have something else I want to talk about.”
“If Kenny Kenny’s going to sue us?”
“The seating chart for dinner?”
“The awfully cute magician downstairs?”
“Jesus, no.” I lower my voice. “This is a more, um, personal problem. I need your advice.”
“Oh, don’t drag me into anything sick, Victor,” JD pleads. “I just can’t take being dragged into anything too sick.”
“Listen…” I glance over at the Details girl et al., slouching against the bar. “Have you heard anything about a… photograph?”
“A photograph of who?” he exclaims.
“Shhh, shut up. Jesus.” I look around. “Okay, even though you think Erasure is a good band, I think I can still trust you.”
“They are, Victor, and-“
“Someone’s got a, let’s just say, incriminating photo of me and a certain young”- I cough-“young lady, and I need you to find out if it’s, um, going to be printed sometime in the near future and maybe even tomorrow in one of the city’s least respectable but still most widely read dailies or if by some miracle it will not and that’s about it.”
“I suppose you could be more vague, Victor, but I’m used to it,” JD says. “Just give me twenty seconds to decode this and I’ll get back to you.”
“I don’t have twenty seconds.”
“The young lady I’m supposing-no, I’m hoping-is Chloe Byrnes, your girlfriend?”
“On second thought, take thirty seconds.”
“Is this a That’s Me in the Corner / That’s Me in the Spotlight moment?”
“Okay, okay, let me clarify: a compromising photo of a certain happening guy with a girl who… and it’s not like that bad or anything. Let’s just say this girl attacked him at a premiere last week in Central Park and someone unbeknownst to them got a, um, photo of this and it would look… strange since I am the subject of this photograph… I have a feeling that if I make the inquiry it will be-ahem-misunderstood… Need I go on?”
Suddenly Beau screams down: “Chloe will see you at nine-thirty at Doppelganger’s!”