“I suppose we should probably get rid of that.”
Zigzagging toward Chemical Bank by the new Gap it’s a Wednesday but outside feels Mondayish and the city looks vaguely unreal, there’s a sky like from October 1973 or something hanging over it and right now at 5:30 this is Manhattan as Loud Place: jackhammers, horns, sirens, breaking glass, recycling trucks, whistles, booming bass from the new Ice Cube, unwanted sound trailing behind me as I wheel my Vespa into the bank, joining the line at the automated teller, most of it made up of Orientals glaring at me as they move aside, a couple of them leaning forward, whispering to each other.
“What’s the story with the moped?” some jerk asks.
“Hey, what’s the story with those pants? Listen, the bike doesn’t have a card, it’s not taking out any cash, so chill out. Jesus.”
Only one out often cash machines seems to have any cash in it, so while waiting I have to look up at my reflection in the panel of steel mirrors lining the columns above the automated tellers: high cheekbones, ivory skin, jet-black hair, semi-Asian eyes, a perfect nose, huge lips, defined jawline, ripped knees in jeans, T-shirt under a long-collar shirt, red vest, velvet jacket, and I’m slouching, Rollerblades slung over my shoulder, suddenly remembering I forgot where I’m supposed to meet Chloe tonight, and that’s when the beeper goes off. It’s Beau. I snap open the Panasonic EBH 70 and call him back at the club.
“I hope Bongo’s not having a fit.”
“It’s the RSVPs, Victor. Damien’s having a fit. He just called, furious-“
“Did you tell him where I was?”
“How could I do that when I don’t even know where you are?” Pause. “Where are you? Damien was in a helicopter. Actually stepping out of a helicopter.”
“I don’t even know where I am, Beau. How’s that for an answer?” The line moves up slowly. “Is he in the city?”
“No. I said he was in a helicopter. I said that he-was-in-a-heli-cop-ter.”
“But where was the heli-cop-ter?”
“Damien thinks things are getting totally f**ked up. We have about forty for dinner who have not RSVP’d, so our seating list might be interpreted as meaningless.”
“Beau, that depends on how you define meaningless.”
A long pause. “Don’t tell me it means a bunch of different things, Victor. For example, here’s how the O situation is shaping up: Tatum O’Neal, Chris O’Donnell, Sinead O’Connor and Conan O’Brien all yes but nothing from Todd Oldham, who I hear is being stalked and really freaking out, or Carrie Otis or Oribe-“
“Relax,” I whisper. “That’s because they’re all doing the shows. I’ll talk to Todd tomorrow-I’ll see him at the show-but I mean what is going on, Beau? Conan O’Brien is coming but Todd Oldham and Carrie Otis might not? That just isn’t an acceptable scenario, baby, but I’m in an automated teller right now with my Vespa and I can’t really speak-hey, what are you looking at?-but I don’t want Chris O’Donnell anywhere at my table for dinner. Chloe thinks he’s too f**king cute and I just don’t need that kind of awful shit tomorrow night.”
“Uh-huh. Right, no Chris O’Donnell, okay, got that. Now, Victor, first thing tomorrow we’ve got to go over the big ones, the Ms and the Ss-“
“We can pull it together. Don’t weep, Beau. You sound sad. It is now my turn to get some cash. I must go and-“
“Wait! Rande Gerber’s in town-“
“Put him under G but not for the dinner unless he’s coming with Cindy Crawford then he is invited to the dinner and you then know which consonant, baby.”
“Victor, you try dealing with Cindy’s publicist. You try getting an honest answer out of Antonio Sabato, Jr.’s publicist-“
I click off, finally push in my card, punch in the code (COOLGUY) and wait, thinking about the seating arrangements at tables 1 and 3, and then green words on a black screen tell me that there is no cash left in this account (a balance of minus $143) and so therefore it won’t give me any money and I blew my last cash on a glass-door refrigerator because Elle Decor did a piece on my place that never ran so I slam my fist against the machine, moan “Spare me” and since it’s totally useless to try this again I rustle through my pockets for a Xanax until someone pushes me away and I roll the moped back outside, bummed.
Cruising up Madison, stopping at a light in front of Barneys, and Bill Cunningham snaps my picture, yelling out, “Is that a Vespa?” and I give him thumbs-up and he’s standing next to Holly, a curvy blonde who looks like Patsy Kensit, and when we smoked heroin together last week she told me she might be a lesbian, which in some circles is pretty good news, and she waves me over wearing velvet hot pants, red-and-white-striped platform boots, a silver peace symbol and she’s ultrathin, on the cover of Mademoiselle this month, and after a day of doing shows at Bryant Park she’s looking kind of frantic but in a cool way.