"What are you going to do?" I ask. "Isn't there a reward of some kind?"
"No. No reward," he mutters, shuffling the bills with one hand, the gun, still pointed at me, in the other.
"How do you know I'm not going to call you in and get your license revoked?" I ask, handing over a knife I just found in my pocket that looks as if it was dipped into a bowl of blood and hair.
"Because you're guilty," he says, and then, "Get that away from me," waving the gun at the stained knife.
"Like you know," I mutter angrily.
"The sunglasses." He points again with the gun.
"How do you know I'm guilty?" I can't believe I'm asking this patiently.
"Look what you're doing, ass**le," he says. "The sunglasses."
"These are expensive," I protest, then sigh, realizing the mistake. "I mean cheap. They're very cheap. Just... Isn't the money enough?"
"The sunglasses. Give them now," he grunts.
I take the Wayfarers off and hand them to him. Maybe I really did kill a Solly, though I'm positive that any cabdrivers I've killed lately were not American. I probably did. There probably is a wanted poster of me at... where, the taxi - the place where all the taxis congregate? What's it called? The driver tries the sunglasses on, looks at himself in the rearview mirror and then takes them off. He folds the glasses and puts them in his jacket pocket.
"You're a dead man." I smile grimly at him.
"And you're a yuppie scumbag," he says.
"You're a dead man, Abdullah," I repeat, no joke. "Count on it."
"Yeah? And you're a yuppie scumbag. Which is worse?"
He starts the cab up and pulls away from me.
While walking back to the highway I stop, choke back a sob, my throat tightens. "I just want to..." Facing the skyline, through all the baby talk, I murmur, "keep the game going." As I stand, frozen in position, an old woman emerges behind a Threepenny Opera poster at a deserted bus stop and she's homeless and begging, hobbling over, her face covered with sores that look like bugs, holding out a shaking red hand. "Oh will you please go away?" I sigh. She tells me to get a haircut.
On a Friday evening, a group of us have left the office early, finding ourselves at Harry's. Group consists of Tim Price, Craig McDermott, myself, Preston Goodrich, who is currently dating a total hardbody named, I think, Plum - no last name, just Plum, an actress/model, which I have a feeling we all think is pretty hip. We're having a debate over where to make reservations for dinner: Flamingo East, Oyster Bar, 220, Counterlife, Michael's, SpagoEast, Le Cirque. Robert Farrell is here too, the Lotus Quotrek, a portable stock-quotation device, in front of him on the table, and he's pushing buttons while the latest commodities flash by. What are people wearing? McDermott has on a cashmere sport coat, wool trousers, a silk tie, Hermes. Farrell is wearing a cashmere vest, leather shoes, wool cavalry twill trousers, Garrick Anderson. I'm wearing a wool suit by Armani, shoes by Allen-Edmonds, pocket square by Brooks Brothers. Someone else has on a suit tailored by Anderson and Sheppard. Someone who looks like Todd Lauder, and may in fact be, gives thumbs-up from across the room, etc., etc.
Questions are routinely thrown my way, among them: Are the rules for wearing a pocket square the same as for a white dinner jacket? Is there any difference at all between boat shoes and Top-Siders? My futon has already flattened out and it's uncomfortable to sleep on - what can I do? How does one judge the quality of compact discs before buying them? What tie knot is less bulky than a Windsor? How can one maintain a sweater's elasticity? Any tips on buying a shearling coat? I am, of course, thinking about other things, asking myself my own questions: Am I a fitness junkie? Man vs. Conformity? Can I get a date with Cindy Crawford? Does being a Libra signify anything and if so, can you prove it? Today I was obsessed with the idea of faxing Sarah's blood I drained from her vagina over to her office in the mergers division at Chase Manhattan, and I didn't work out this morning because I'd made a necklace from the bones of some girl's vertebrae and wanted to stay home and wear it around my neck while I masturbated in the white marble tub in my bathroom, grunting and moaning like some kind of animal. Then I watched a movie about five lesbians and ten vibrators. Favorite group: Talking Heads. Drink: J&B or Absolut on the rocks. TV show: Late Night with David Letterman. Soda: Diet Pepsi. Water: Evian. Sport: Baseball.
The conversation follows its own rolling accord - no real structure or topic or internal logic or feeling; except, of course, for its own hidden, conspiratorial one. Just words, and like in a movie, but one that has been transcribed improperly, most of it overlaps. I'm having a sort of hard time paying attention because my automated teller has started speaking to me, sometimes actually leaving weird messages on the screen, in green lettering, like "Cause a Terrible Scene at Sotheby's" or "Kill the President" or "Feed Me a Stray Cat," and I was freaked out by the park bench that followed me for six blocks last Monday evening and it too spoke to me. Disintegration - I'm taking it in stride. Yet the only question I can muster up at first and add to the conversation is a worried "I'm not going anywhere if we don't have a reservation someplace, so do we have a reservation someplace or not?" I notice that we're all drinking dry beers. Am I the only one who notices this? I'm also wearing mock-tortoiseshell glasses that are nonprescription.