"I'd want to bring a Harrison AK-47 assault rifle to the ceremony; " I say, bored, in a rush, "with a thirty-round magazine so after thoroughly blowing your fat mother's head off with it I could use it on that fag brother of yours. And though personally I don't like to use anything the Soviets designed, I don't know, the Harrison somehow reminds me of..." Stopping, confused, inspecting yesterday's manicure, I look back at Evelyn. "Stoli?"
"Oh, and lots of chocolate truffles. Godiva. And oysters. Oysters on the half shell. Marzipan. Pink tents. Hundreds, thousands of roses. Photographers. Annie Leibovitz. We'll get Annie Leibovitz," she says excitedly. "And we'll hire someone to videotape it!"
"Or an AR-15. You'd like it, Evelyn: it's the most expensive of guns, but worth every penny." I wink at her. But she's still talking; she doesn't hear a word; nothing registers. She does not fully grasp a word I'm saying. My essence is eluding her. She stops her onslaught and breathes in and looks at me in a way that can only be described as dewy-eyed. Touching my hand, my Rolex, she breathes in once more, this time expectantly, and says, "We should do it."
I'm trying to catch a glimpse of our hardbody waitress; she's bending over to pick up a dropped napkin. Without looking back at Evelyn, I ask, "Do... what?"
"Get married," she says, blinking. "Have a wedding."
"Is your kir... spiked?" I ask.
"We should do it," she says softly. "Patrick..."
"Are you proposing to me?" I laugh, trying to fathom this reasoning. I take the champagne glass away from her and sniff its rim.
"Pat rick?" she asks, waiting for my answer.
"Jeez, Evelyn," I say, stuck. "I don't know."
"Why not?" she asks petulantly. "Give me one good reason we shouldn't."
"Because trying to f**k you is like trying to French-kiss a very... small and... lively gerbil?" I tell her. "I don't know."
"Yes?" she says. "And?"
"With braces?" I finish, shrugging.
"What are you going to do?" she asks. "Wait three years until you're thirty?"
"Four years," I say, glaring. "It'sfour years until I'm thirty."
"Four years. Three years. Three months. Oh god, what's the difference? You'll still be an old man." She takes her hand away from mine. "You know, you wouldn't be saying this if you'd been to Jayne Simpson's wedding. You'd take one look at it and want to marry me immediately."
"But I was at Jayne Simpson's wedding, Evelyn, love of my life," I say. "I was seated next to Sukhreet Gabel. Believe me, I was there. "
"You're impos sible," she whines. "You're a party pooper."
"Or maybe I didn't," I wonder aloud. "Maybe I... was it covered by MTV?"
"And their honeymoon wasso romantic. Two hours later they were on the Concorde. To London. Oh, Claridge's." Evelyn sighs, her hand clasped under her chin, eyes tearing.
Ignoring her, I reach into my pocket for a cigar, pull it out and tap it against the table. Evelyn orders three flavors of sorbet: peanut, licorice and doughnut. I order a decaffeinated espresso. Evelyn sulks. I light a match.
"Patrick," she warns, staring at the flame.
"What?" I ask, my hand frozen in midair, about to light the tip of the cigar.
"You didn't ask permission," she says, unsmiling.
"Did I tell you I'm wearing sixty-dollar boxer shorts?" I ask, trying to appease her.
There's a black-tie party at the Puck Building tonight for a. new brand of computerized professional rowing machine, and after playing squash with Frederick Dibble I have drinks at Harry's with Jamie Conway, Kevin Wynn and Jason Gladwin, and we hop into the limousine Kevin rented for the night and take it uptown. I'm wearing a wing-collar jacquard waistcoat by Kilgour, French & Stanbury from Barney's, a silk bow tie from Sales, patent-leather slip-ons by Baker-Benjes, antique diamond studs from Kentshire Galleries and a gray wool silk-lined coat with drop sleeves and a button-down collar by Luciano Soprani. An ostrich wallet from Bosca carries four hundred dollars cash in the back pocket of my black wool trousers. Instead of my Rolex I'm wearing a fourteen-karat gold watch from H. Stern.
I wander aimlessly around the Puck Building's first-floor ballroom, bored, sipping bad champagne (could it be nonvintage Bollinger?) from plastic flutes, chewing on kiwi slices, each topped with a dollop of chevre, vaguely looking around to score some cocaine. Instead of finding anyone who knows a dealer I bump into Courtney by the stairs. Wearing a silk and cotton stretch-tulle bodywrap with jeweled lace pants, she seems tense and warns me to stay away from Luis. She mentions that he suspects something. A cover band plays lame versions of old Motown hits from the sixties.