"Listen, I don't want to start a fight - "
"But you are," the girlfriend says, bored yet still managing a sneer.
"Oh my," Evelyn murmurs behind me, looking over my shoulder.
"Listen, we should just do it here," the girl, who I wouldn't mind f**king, spits out.
"What a bitch," I murmur, shaking my head.
"Listen," the guy says, relenting. "While we're arguing about this, one of us could be in there."
"Yeah," I say. "Us. "
"Oh Christ," the girl says, hands on hips, then to Evelyn and me, "I can't believe who they're letting in now."
"You are a bitch," I murmur, disbelieving. "Your attitude sucks, you know that?"
Evelyn gasps and squeezes my shoulder. "Pat rick."
The guy has already started snorting his coke, spooning the powder out of a brown vial, inhaling then laughing after each hit, leaning against the door.
"Your girlfriend's a total bitch," I tell the guy.
"Patrick," Evelyn says. "Stop it."
"She's a bitch," I say, pointing at her.
"Patrick, apologize," Evelyn says.
The guy goes into hysterics, his head thrown back, sniffing in loudly, then he doubles up and tries to catch his breath.
"Oh my god," Evelyn says, appalled. "Why are you laughing? Defend her."
"Why?" the guy asks, then shrugs, both nostrils ringed with white powder. "He's right."
"I'm leaving, Daniel," the girl says, near tears. "I can't handle this. I can't handle you. I can't handle them. I warned you at Bice."
"Go ahead," the guy says. "Go. Just do it. Take a hike. I don't care."
"Patrick, what have you started?" Evelyn asks, backing away from me. "This is unacceptable," and then, looking up at the fluorescent bulbs, "And so is this lighting. I'm leaving." But she stands there, waiting.
"I'm leaving, Daniel," the girl says. "Did you hear me?"
"Go ahead. Forget it," Daniel says, staring at his nose in the mirror, waving her away. "I said take a hike."
"I'm using the stall," I tell the room. "Is this okay? Does anybody mind?"
"Aren't you going to defend your girlfriend?" Evelyn asks Daniel.
"Jesus, what do you want me to do?" He looks at her in the mirror, wiping his nose, sniffing again. "I bought her dinner. I introduced her to Richard Marx. Jesus Christ, what else does she want?"
"Beat the shit out of him?" the girl suggests, pointing at me.
"Oh honey," I say, shaking my head, "the things I could do to you with a coat hanger."
"Goodbye, Daniel," she says, pausing dramatically. "I'm out of here."
"Good," Daniel says, holding up the vial. "More for moi."
"And don't try calling me," she screams, opening the door. "My answering machine is on tonight and I'm screening all calls!"
"Patrick," Evelyn says, still composed, prim. "I'll be outside."
I wait a moment, staring at her from inside the stall, then at the girl standing in the doorway. "Yeah, so?"
"Patrick," Evelyn says, "don't say something you'll regret."
"Just go," I say. "Just leave. Take the limo."
"Patrick - "
"Leave," I roar. "The Grinch says leave!"
I slam the door of the stall and start shoveling the coke from the envelope into my nose with my platinum AmEx. In between my gasps I hear Evelyn leave, sobbing to the girl, "He made me walk out of my own Christmas party, can you believe it? My Christmas party?" And I hear the girl sneer "Get a life" and I start laughing raucously, banging my head against the side of the stall, and then I hear the guy do a couple more hits, then he splits, and after finishing most of the gram I peek out from over the stall to see if Evelyn's still hanging around, pouting, chewing her lower lip sorrowfully - oh boo hoo hoo, baby - but she hasn't come back, and then I get an image of Evelyn and Daniel's girlfriend on a bed somewhere with the girl spreading Evelyn's legs, Evelyn on all fours, licking her ass**le, fingering her cunt, and this makes me dizzy and I head out of the rest room into the club, horny and desperate, lusting for contact.
But it's later now and the crowd has changed - it's now filled with more punk rockers, blacks, fewer Wall Street guys, more bored rich girls from Avenue A lounging around, and the music has changed; instead of Belinda Carlisle singing "I Feel Free" it's some black guy rapping, if I'm hearing this correctly, something called "Her Shit on His Dick" and I sidle up to a couple of hardbody rich girls, both of them wearing skanky Betsey Johnson-type dresses, and I'm wired beyond belief and I start off with a line like "Cool music - haven't I seen you at Salomon Brothers?" and one of them, one of these girls, sneers and says, "Go back to Wall Street," and the one with the nose ring says, "Fucking yuppie."