"I've seen you looking at me," he says, panting. "I've noticed your" - he gulps - "hot body."
He tries to kiss me on the lips but I back away, into the stall door, accidentally closing it. I drop my hands from Luis's neck and he takes them and immediately places them back. I drop them once again and stand there contemplating my next move, but I'm immobile.
"Don't be... shy," he says.
I take a deep breath, close my eyes, count to ten, open them and make a helpless attempt to lift my arms back up to strangle Luis, but they feel weighed down and lifting them becomes an impossible task.
"You don't know how long I've wanted it..." He's sighing, rubbing my shoulders, trembling. "Ever since that Christmas party at Arizona 206. You know the one, you were wearing that red striped paisley Armani tie."
For the first time I notice his pants are still unzipped and calmly and without difficulty I turn out of the stall and move over to a sink to wash my hands, but my gloves are still on and I don't want to take them off. The bathroom at the Yale Club suddenly seems to me to be the coldest room in the universe and I shudder involuntarily. Luis trails behind, touching my jacket, leaning next to me at the sink.
"I want you," he says in a low, faggoty whisper and when I slowly turn my head to glare at him, while hunched over the sink, seething, my eye contact radiating revulsion, he adds, "too."
I storm out of the men's room, bumping into Brewster Whipple, I think. I smile at the maitre d' and after shaking his hand I make a run for the closing elevator but I'm too late and I cry out, pounding a fist against the doors, cursing. Composing myself, I notice the maitre d' conferring with a waiter, the two of them looking my way questioningly, and so I straighten up, smile shyly and wave at them. Luis strides over calmly, still grinning, flushed, and I just stand there and let him walk up to me. He says nothing.
"What... is... it?" I finally hiss.
"Where are you going?" he whispers, bewildered.
"I... I've gotta..." Stumped, I look around the crowded dining room, then back at Luis's quivering, yearning face. "I've gotta return some videotapes," I say, jabbing at the elevator button, then, my patience shot, I start to walk away and head back toward my table.
"Patrick," he calls out.
I whirl around. "What? "
He mouths "I'll call you" with this expression on his face that lets me know, that assures me, my "secret" is safe with him. "Oh my god," I practically gag, and shaking visibly I sit back at our table, completely defeated, my gloves still on, and gulp down the rest of a watery J&B on the rocks. As soon as I've seated myself Van Patten asks, "Hey Bateman, what's the right way to wear a tie bar or clasp?"
"While a tie holder is by no means required businesswear, it adds to a clean, neat overall appearance. But the accessory shouldn't dominate the tie. Choose a simple gold bar or a small clip and place it at the lower end of the tie at a downward forty-five-degree angle."
Courtney calls, too wasted on Elavil to meet me for a coherent dinner at Cranes, the new Kitty Oates Sanders restaurant in Gramercy Park where Jean, my secretary, made reservations for us last week, and I'm nonplussed. Even though it got excellent reviews (one in New York magazine; the other in The Nation) I don't complain or persuade Courtney to change her mind since I have two files I should go over and The Patty Winters Show I taped this morning hasn't been watched yet. It's sixty minutes about women who've had mastectomies, which at seven-thirty, over breakfast, before the office, I couldn't bear to sit through, but after today - hanging out at the office, where the air-conditioning broke down, a tedious lunch with Cunningham at Odeon, my f**king Chinese cleaners unable to get bloodstains out of another Soprani jacket, four videotapes overdue that ended up costing me a fortune, a twenty-minute wait at the Stairmasters - I've adapted; these events have toughened me and I'm prepared to deal with this particular topic.
Two thousand abdominal crunches and thirty minutes of rope jumping in the living room, the Wurlitzer jukebox blasting "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" over and over, even though I worked out in the gym today for close to two hours. After this I get dressed to pick up groceries at D'Agostino's: blue jeans by Armani, a white Polo shirt, an Armani sport coat, no tie, hair slicked back with Thompson mousse; since it's drizzling, a pair of black waterproof lace-ups by Manolo Blahnik; three knives and two guns carried in a black Epi leather attache case ($3,200) by Louis Vuitton; because it's cold and I don't want to f**k up my manicure, a pair of Armani deerskin gloves. Finally, a belted trench coat in black leather by Cianfranco Ferre that cost four thousand dollars. Though it's only a short walk to D'Agostino's, I put on a CD Walkman anyway, with the long version of Bon Jovi's "Wanted Dead or Alive" already in it. I grab an Etro wood-handled paisley umbrella from Bergdorf Goodman, three hundred dollars on sale, off a newly installed umbrella rack in the closet near the entranceway and I'm out the door.