My brain and my belly needed a rest after our large noontime meal. The plate of Christmas leftovers–brie en croute, crabmeat salad, roast venison, artichoke casserole, pickled shrimp, asparagus spears–were doing the Texas Two Step in my lower abdomen while my my head throbbed with invasive family questions. Par example:
“Exactly what page are you on in your manuscript?” (Dad)
“Whenrya’ goin’ to set me up with Paris Hilton? Y’all are tight, aren’t ya?” (Cousin)
“What’s a Bud on tap run ya’ up there? Do they throw in the bar nuts for free?” (Uncle)
“If you have babies up in the City, they’re going to turn out crazy. You know that, don’t you?” (Sister)
“It’s done when it’s done, Paris is not part of my inner circle, I drink Sancerre–not Bud and procreation is the farthest thing from my mind at present. Y’all satisfied?” (Me)
Like I was saying, the chintz-covered couch had never looked so welcoming. Nap time. I dimmed the living room lights and removed all but one of Mamma’s 2 dozen throw pillows, carefully stacking them on the coffee table. I had just nuzzled my head onto the shantung, poppy-red cushion embossed with an enormous pine wreath when a sudden
rang out from the fields. Silence. Five minutes passed–time enough to shut my eyes, ease my shoulders from up around my ears. Lovely thoughts crept into my mind… visions of Paris, Rome, Southern Boy feeding me oysters and champagne…
Damn it to hell. Quail season and the cousins were all home from college. New York’s fire alarms, sirens and bickering upstairs neighbors had been replaced by the unmistakable sound of my cousins’ shotguns piercing the still December air, echoing off the lake.
It’s good to be home for the holidays. I think.
Today, I’m flying South for the holidays. My Christmas carry-on contains:
champagne, shoes, party invitations on proper Crane stationary, a blue silk dress for the family cocktail (in case Delta loses my checked luggage), Anita Loos’ slim little book, “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes,” three hard-boiled eggs and salted pecans for the layover in Memphis. Am I missing anything? I’ve got sustenance for the mind and body…that should cover it all.
Happy Holidays, y’all!
Our initial descent depressed me. The dry, rust-colored Alabama hills were marred by winding clay paths, paths that didn’t so much snake around the curves of the knolls and valleys as they instead, made senseless turns, cross-backs and forks. Slow, faltering, lazy, just like the people, I thought.
It’s okay, I can say it—I’m one of them.
The book I had been reading slid through my fingers and into my lap as I stared out the plane window, saddened and transfixed. We hovered above the hills at the same altitude for a good long while, long enough to depress me… long enough to make me think of having 2.4 children and buying a 3-bedroom ranch-style house…long enough to ponder living in a city w. exactly 2 good restaurants… long enough to make me remember a few weeks ago back down South…
A friend had recently gotten married and invited Southern Boy and I over for drinks. Eight o’clock in the evening, we walk into her home, her palace, her reason for going to junior college and never crossing the state line. Brown wall-to-wall plush carpeting, a living room furniture set from “Haverty’s” and the smell of Shake N’ Bake pork chops wafting out of the kitchen greeted us. She and the husband scoot off in search of their last bottle of Myer’s coconut rum (yes—rum for an aperitif) and leave us to the delights of their living room. Wedding pictures, embroidered pillows and—what was this? What had they chosen for coffee table reading? Last year’s subscription to Playboy Magazine. January through December were fanned out to delight us—g-strings, lightening-shaped pubic hair, ass-shots, come-hither stares and all.
Southern Boy laughed. I grimaced. $20 martinis at the Four Seasons had never seemed so appealing.
Good God, get me back to the City.
We’re a motley crue, four very unpredictable women that get together when the sun tucks behind the Hudson to…eat, drink, talk (men, writing, Gawker, Page 6 and the like). My birthday was no different. While some thought we were charming that night, our host Georgio de Luca didn’t quite know what to do with us. Well, in fact, I think he did know what he wanted to do with “Jolie NYC…”
My birthday at Georgio’s meant flutes of champagne, prosecco and beautiful little plates from the kitchen. A first snow had just dusted the pavement of Spring Street when the 6th bottle arrived. This was exactly what I wanted—a night like any other but, with a certain energy to it, certain people to surround me. I sat back and took in the scene, the stories that we traded around…
Bigger, better, more. “Opinionista,” “Mimi,” “Jolie” and I had moved to the city for all the obvious reasons. In our 20’s, ambitious, attractive, determined to find the only down-to-earth-hedge-funder-on-the-face-of-the-planet, we moved to the epicenter of it all. Then, something happened. Rather, many separate events transpired. Love, life, career—Manhattan-style—bit us in the ass. Our web musings chronicled it all.
Four women. Four anonymous blogs. Four scandals. One city.
The television journalist, corporate attorney, Cambridge-educated stripper and beauty columnist turn the island on its head and set tongues wagging with the daily web chronicles of corporate secrets and VIP loves. The gossip rags can’t get enough while the jilted lovers just want to get even. For their own protection and sanity, the women band together to take the city by storm… and take down the house.
“Georgio’s coming over again—should I tell him that we want more champagne?” Jolie asked me.
“Champagne, Birthday Girl,” Jolie said with a smile and quizzical look. “What’s going on in that blonde head of yours?”
“Nothing more than what’s at this table,” I said, smiling at her and then the others.
The credits rolled on our evening five hours later. The pilot episode had gone well. Now all I can hope for is that someone orders more episodes for 2006… maybe even bump us up to Primetime (perhaps “ABC,” before “Desperate Housewives?”)
I’d watch it. Would y’all?
The one emotion that brought me to New York City, the one emotion that I must feel throughout my life:
What emotion must y’all have to keep going? More to the point, if hope is gone, what is its substitute?
Why can’t we all just write like Joan?
“…quite simply, I was in love with New York. I do not mean “love” in any colloquial way, I mean that I was in love with the city, the way you love the first person that ever touches you and never love anyone quite that way again. I remember walking across Sixty-second Street one twilight that first spring, or the second spring, they were all alike for a while. I was late to meet someone but I stopped at Lexington Avenue and bought a peach and stood on the corner eating it and knew that I had come out of the West and reached the mirage. I could taste the peach and feel the soft air blowing from a subway grating on my legs and I could smell lilac and garbage and expensive perfume and I knew that it would cost something sooner or later—because I did not belong there, did not come from there—but when you are twenty-two or twenty-three, you figure that later you will have a high emotional balance, and be able to pay whatever it costs. I still believed in possibilities then, still had the sense, so peculiar to New York, that something extraordinary would happen any minute, any day, any month.”
That being said, I’m glad a certain Dallas Curow enjoys my daily musings…