I awaken only when one of them touches my wrist accidentally. My eyes open and I warn them not to touch the Rolex, which I've kept on during this entire time. They lie quietly on either side of me, sometimes touching my chest, once in a while running their hands over the muscles in my abdomen. A half hour later I'm hard again. I stand up and walk over to the armoire, where, next to the nail gun, rests a sharpened coat hanger, a rusty butter knife, matches from the Gotham Bar and Grill and a half-smoked cigar; and turning around, naked, my erection jutting out in front of me, I hold these items out and explain in a hoarse whisper, "We're not through yet..." An hour later I will impatiently lead them to the door, both of them dressed and sobbing, bleeding but well paid. Tomorrow Sabrina will have a limp. Christie will probably have a terrible black eye and deep scratches across her bu**ocks caused by the coat hanger. Bloodstained Kleenex will lie crumpled by the side of the bed along with an empty carton of Italian seasoning salt I picked up at Dean & Deluca.
The colleagues I have to buy presents for include Victor Powell, Paul Owen, David Van Patten, Craig McDermott, Luis Carruthers, Preston Nichols, Connolly O'Brien, Reed Robison, Scott Montgomery, Ted Madison, Jeff Duvall, Boris Cunningham, Jamie Conway, Hugh Turnball, Frederick Dibble, Todd Hamlin, Muldwyn Butner, Ricky Hendricks and George Carpenter, and though I could have sent Jean to make these purchases today, instead I asked her to sign, stamp and mail three hundred designer Christmas cards with a Mark Kostabi print on them and then I wanted her to find out as much as she could about the Fisher account that Paul Owen is handling. Right now I'm moving down Madison Avenue, after spending close to an hour standing in a daze near the bottom of the staircase at the Ralph Lauren store on Seventy-second, staring at cashmere sweater vests, confused, hungry, and when I finally took hold of my bearings, after failing to get the address of the blond hardbody who worked behind the counter and who was coming on to me, I left the store yelling "Come all ye faithfull" Now I scowl at a bum huddled in the doorway of a store called EarKarma and he's clutching a sign that reads HUNGRY AND HOMELESS... PLEASE HELP ME, GOD BLESS and then I find myself moving down Fifth toward Saks, trying to remember if I switched the tapes in my VCR, and suddenly I'm worried that I might be taping thirtysomething over Pamela's Tight Fuckhole. A Xanax fails to ward off the panic. Saks intensifies it.
...pens and photo albums, pairs of bookends and lightweight luggage, electric shoe polishers and heated towel stands and silver-plated insulated carafes and portable palm-sized color TVs with earphones, birdhouses and candleholders, place mats, picnic hampers and ice buckets, lace-trimmed oversize linen napkins and umbrellas and sterling silver monogrammed golf tees and charcoal-filter smoke trappers and desk lamps and perfume bottles, jewelry boxes and sweaters and baskets to hold magazines in and storage boxes, office tote bags, desk accessories, scarves, file holders, address books, agendas for handbags...
My priorities before Christmas include the following: (1) to get an eight o'clock reservation on a Friday night at Dorsia with Courtney, (2z) to get myself invited to the Trump Christmas party aboard their yacht, (3) to find out as much as humanly possible about Paul Owen's mysterious Fisher account, (4) to saw a hardbody's head off and Federal Express it to Robin Barker - the dumb bastard - over at Salomon Brothers and (5) to apologize to Evelyn without making it look like an apology. The Patty Winters Show this morning was about women who married homosexuals and I almost called Courtney up to warn her - as a joke - but then decided against it, deriving a certain amount of satisfaction from imagining Luis Carruthers proposing to her, Courtney shyly accepting, their nightmarish honeymoon. Scowling at another beggar shivering in the misty drizzle at Fifty-seventh and Fifth, I walk up and squeeze his cheek affectionately, then laugh out loud. "His eyes how they twinkled! His dimples how merry!" The Salvation Army choir harmonizes badly on "Joy to the World." I wave to someone who looks exactly like Duncan McDonald, then duck into Bergdorf's.
...paisley ties and crystal water pitchers, tumbler sets and office clocks that measure temperature and humidity and barometric pressure, electric calling card address books and margarita glasses, valet stands and sets of dessert plates, correspondence cards and mirrors and shower clocks and aprons and sweaters and gym bags and bottles of champagne and porcelain cachepots and monogrammed bath sheets and foreign-currency-exchange minicalculators and silver-plated address books and paperweights with fish and boxes of fine stationery and bottle openers and compact discs and customized tennis balls and pedometers and coffee mugs...