“Hey Victor!” She keeps motioning even when I’ve pulled the Vespa up to the curb.
“It’s Anjanette, Victor.”
“Hey Anjanette, what’s up pu**ycat? You’re looking very Uma-ish. Love the outfit.”
“It’s retro-gone-wacko. I did six shows today. I’m exhausted, she says, signing an autograph. “I saw you at the Calvin Klein show giving Chloe moral support. Which was so cool of you.”
“Baby, I wasn’t at the Calvin Klein show but you’re still looking very Uma-ish.”
“Victor, I’m positive you were at the Calvin Klein show. I saw you in the second row next to Stephen Dorff and David Salle and Roy Liebenthal. I saw you pose for a photo on 42nd Street, then get into a black scary car.”
Pause, while I consider this scenario, then: “The second f**king row? No way, baby. You haven’t started your ignition yet. Will I see yon tomorrow night, baby?”
“I’m coming with Jason Priestley.”
“Why aren’t you coming with me? Am I the only one who thinks Jason Priestley looks like a little caterpillar?”
“Victor, that’s not nice,” she pouts. “What would Chloe think?”
“She thinks Jason Priestley looks like a little caterpillar too,” I murmur, lost in thought. “The f**king second row?”
“That’s not what I meant,” Anjanette says. “What would Chloe think of-“
“Spare me, baby, but you’re supergreat.” I start the Vespa up again. “Take your passion and make it happen.”
“I’ve heard you’ve been naughty anyway, so I’m not surprised,” she says, tiredly wagging her finger at me, which Scooter, the bodyguard who looks like Marcellus from Pulp Fiction, interprets as “move closer.”
“What do you mean by that, pu**ycat?” I ask. “What have you heard?”
Scooter whispers something, pointing at his watch, while Anjanette lights a cigarette. “There’s always a car waiting. There’s always a Steven Meisel photo shoot. Jesus, how do we do it, Victor? How do we survive this mess?” A gleaming black sedan rolls forward and Scooter opens the door.
“See you, baby.” I hand her a French tulip I just happen to be holding and start pulling away from the curb.
“Oh Victor,” she calls out, handing Scooter the French tulip. “I got the job! I got the contract.”
“Great, baby. I gotta run. What job, you crazy chick?”
“Matsuda? Gap?” I grin, limousines honking behind me. “Baby, listen, see you tomorrow night.”
“Baby, I already did. You’re mind-tripping me.”
“Guess?, Victor,” she’s shouting as I pull away.
“Baby, you’re great,” I shout back. “Call me. Leave a message. But only at the club. Peace.”
“Guess?, Victor!” she calls out.
“Baby, you’re a face to watch,” I say, already putting a Walkman on, already on 61st. “A star of tomorrow,” I call out, waving. “Let’s have drinks at Monkey Bar after the shows are over on Sunday!” I’m speaking to myself now and moving toward Alison’s place. Passing a newsstand by the new Gap, I notice I’m still on the cover of the current issue of YouthQuake, looking pretty cool-the headline 27 AND HIP in bold purple letters above my smiling, expressionless face, and I’ve just got to buy another copy, but since I don’t have any cash there’s no way.
From 72nd and Madison I called Alison’s doorman, who has verified that outside her place on 80th and Park Damien’s goons are not waiting in a black Jeep, so when I get there I can pull up to the entrance and roll my Vespa into the lobby, where Juan-who’s a pretty decent-looking guy, about twenty-four-is hanging out in uniform. As I give him the peace sign, wheeling the moped into the elevator, Juan comes out from behind the front desk.
“Hey Victor, did you talk to Joel Wilkenfeld yet?” Juan’s asking, following me. “I mean, last week you said you would and-“
“Hey baby, it’s cool, Juan, it’s cool,” I say, inserting the key, unlocking the elevator, pressing the button for the top floor.
Juan presses another button, to keep the door open. “But man, you said he’d see me and also set up a meeting with-“
“I’m setting it up, buddy, it’s cool,” I stress, pressing again for the top floor. “You’re the next Markus Schenkenberg. You’re the white Tyson.” I reach over and push his hand away.
“Hey man, I’m Hispanic-” He keeps pressing the Door Open button.