"Oh don't be silly," Evelyn says. "I know you're having dinner at Kaktus with Hamlin and McDermott."
"How do you know that?" I ask, not caring if I've been caught in a lie. "Anyway, it's Zeus Bar, not Kaktus."
"Because I just talked to Cindy," she says.
"I thought Cindy was going to this plant or tree - this bush benefit," I say.
"Oh no, no, no," Evelyn says. "That's next week. Do you want to go?"
"Hold on," I say.
I get back on the line with Craig and Van Patten.
"Bateman?" Van Patten asks. "What the f**k are you doing?"
"How the hell does Cindy know we're having dinner at Kaktus?" I demand.
"Hamlin told her?" McDermott guesses. "I don't know."
"Because now Evelyn knows," I say.
"When the f**k is Wolfgang Puck going to open a restaurant in this goddamn city?" Van Patten asks us.
"Is Van Patten on his third six-pack of Fosters or is he still, like, working on his first?" I ask McDermott.
"The question you're asking, Patrick," McDermott begins, "is, should we exclude the women or not? Right?"
"Something is turning into nothing very quickly," I warn. "That's all I'm saying."
"Should you invite Evelyn?" McDermott asks. "Is this what you want to know?"
"No, we should not," I stress.
"Well, hey, I wanted to bring Elizabeth," Van Patten says timidly (mock-timidly?).
"No," I say. "No women."
"What's wrong with Elizabeth?" Van Patten asks.
"Yeah?" McDermott follows.
"She's an idiot. No, she's intelligent. I can't tell. Don't invite her," I say.
After a pause I hear Van Patten say, "I sense weirdness starting."
"Well, if not Elizabeth, what about Sylvia josephs?" McDermott suggests.
"Nah, too old to f**k," Van Patten says.
"Oh Christ," McDermott says. "She's twenty-three."
"Twenty-eight," I correct.
"Really?" a concerned McDermott asks, after pausing.
"Yes" I say. "Really."
McDermott's left saying "Oh."
"Shit, I just forgot," I say, slapping my hand to my forehead "I invited Jeanette."
"Now that is one babe I would not mind, ahem, inviting," Van Patten says lewdly.
"Why does a nice young babe like Jeanette put up with you?" McDermott asks. "Why does she put up with you, Bateman?"
"I keep her in cashmere. A great deal of cashmere," I murmur, and then, "I've got to call her and tell her not to come."
"Aren't you forgetting something?" McDermott asks me.
"What?" I'm lost in thought.
"Is, like, Evelyn still on the other line?"
"Oh shit," I exclaim. "Hold on."
"Why am I even bothering with this?" I hear McDermott ask himself, sighing.
"Bring Evelyn," Van Patten cries out. "She's a babe too! Tell her to meet us at Zeus Bar at nine-thirty!"
"Okay, okay," I shout before clicking back to the other line.
"I do not appreciate this, Patrick," Evelyn is saying.
"How about meeting us at Zeus Bar at nine-thirty?" I suggest.
"Can I bring Stash and Vanden?" she asks coyly.
"Is she the one with a tattoo?" I ask back, coyly.
"No," she sighs. "No tattoo."
"Oh Pat rick," she whines.
"Look, you were lucky you were even invited, so just..." My voice trails off.
Silence, during which I don't feel bad.
"Come on, just meet us there," I say. "I'm sorry."
"Oh all right," she says, resigned. "Nine-thirty?"
I click back onto the other line, interrupting Van Patter and McDermott's conversation about whether it's proper or not to wear a blue suit as one would a navy blazer.
"Hello?" I interrupt. "Shut up. Does everyone have my undivided attention?"
"Yes, yes, yes," Van Patter sighs, bored.
"I am calling Cindy up to get Evelyn out of coming to dinner with us," I announce.
"Why in the hell did you invite Evelyn in the first place?" one of them asks.
"We were joking, you idiot," the other adds.