A married banker named David, who lived in Scarsdale on the weekends but whooped it up in the city Monday through Friday, usually enjoyed simply having me over to his apartment, one of those Mission furniture and leather jobs that are so masculine one rightly suspects the decor to be making up for some internal fear on the dweller’s part. But an old friend had invited him to a party uptown one night, which he thought would be a treat for me. “I can’t imagine you get to go to many of these parties, do you?” he smiled patronizingly. I tried to look appropriately grateful.
When we arrived, it was obviously one of those shindigs where no one knew the host or hostess. David was cornered almost immediately by a client begging to know which stocks were safe. I zigzagged through the crowds until David was safely obscured. With one hand around a champagne coupe and the other insouciantly jammed into my pocket, I surveyed the crowd.
The attendees were the usual slightly demimonde who piled into the apartments and penthouses of their betters, all of whom preferred to advertise their superiority through slumming. A woman in pearls laughed gaily at a tall man, obviously already drunk, whose tie had come undone and who still wore a top hat perched precariously on the back of his head. I took a long swallow in an attempt to erase the sound of her careful trills.
A beautiful blonde, slightly blurred around the edges, swayed over to me.
“He was right,” she said to me. “You do have a blistering smile.” Continue reading