Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Oatmeal and Noxema, Then Soak

In all my borne days I never dreamed--never, my crumpets--that Miles and I would actually plan and carry out a mission together, in tandem, côte à côte. Oh, we've been in the same place at the same time during a great many soirees. Goodness, I took out the Ghanan Prime Minister's mistress with a sniper's rifle, through the nook window of a quaint Barcelonan apartment as Miles lay beside me in bed, filing his nails and humming the overture from Kiss Me Kate. So I'm not adverse to killing in the presence of my dear friend. Hardly, my dears. Call me an exhibitionist (others have), but I find I get a naughty tickle behind my knees when an admirer is nearby to whisper, "Good shot, Vivian darling!"

And so the night that I thought would never end did, in fact, end at long last. Walter absconded with that carp in crinoline Zinnia (soon to be known as, "The-carp-who-went-to-rest-with-the-rest-of-the-fishes") and Miles whisked me away to the nearest five star, one of the few left in town that will still slip me in through the back door and pretend I am nothing more than a Czech immigrant dishwasher. Throw a drab smock over my head, snap at me in broken English and leave me alone in the presidential suite for the next twelve hours.

It looks to be a complicated venture, complicated in the worst way. It's bad enough that the target has to be someone who might well be missed (by the public, my bunnies, not by me--for I never miss a target!). But there are two to hit, and voluptuous as she may be, and certainly beginning her descent down the backside of that mountain we call life, Zinnia is not to be underestimated. It's not been too long since I've seen her scale a four-story walkup using only a pocket fisherman and saddle shoes (that, I might add, were two sizes too small). The girl still has a little left in her. The good news is, I know just which pockets she has that little bit stored in.

It's nearly dawn, and I'm exhausted dear ones. Miles is soaking in a bath of oatmeal and olive oil water, his face slathered in Noxema. The pillow is calling me, and I shall answer--for a little while, anyway.

bonne nuit

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Saved by Tiffany (again)!

Oh dear lord, where do I even begin? For that matter, my dears, where does it end? I suppose in all cases, at the beginning or, in this case, where I last left off.

I'd just finished my third piece of thin slice with cherry tomatoes and almond slivers when I saw them. There they were, Walter and my once-upon-a-time-saved-her-lunar-white-tush-more-times-than-I-can-count best friend. Yes, sweet bunnies, it was none other than that red-haired interloper Zinnia. Need I remind you that it was not long ago that I, unselfishly and at the risk of losing my own life and freedom, facilitated her own wretched husband's well-deserved exit from this world? I mean, really. What act of loyalty is more genuine--more raw than that of killing a woman's husband, when said's husband wife is too emotionally distraught to do it herself? In fact, as I stood there dabbing red sauce from my own saucy lips, there came a moment when I thought I might like to ring my own best girlfriend to return the favor, and send good old Walter on an eternal pearl-diving expedition deep to the bottom of the Hudson River. But then I realized, said "best friend" had her Orientally manicured tendrils already sunk into him!

My mind began a rapid fire, random thoughts shooting in and out like some tangled string of sparking Christmas lights. I felt my knees growing weak, and there was a burning in my eyes, burning, unlike anything I'd ever felt before. This was all so new to me, my sweet kittens, you must believe this without hesitation. In all my years of...cleaning house, let's say...every single time I've ever pulled the trigger, or cinched the pebble-filled stocking or roundhouse kicked a target from the building ledge, I have never felt this level of emotion. Nerves, yes--we all have them and should claim them proudly. In fact, the one who says that killing makes no dent in his armor has no soul. But this...I could only say that it was something I was not prepared to feel.

Perhaps, if I may be so bold as to surmise, it was--and is--love. For all the headaches, and the seeping nausea and the lousy jokes at my expense, I suppose I actually loved the old lunt. And that, my dears, is why it hurt so badly. For the two people in my life whom I loved the most, the two people whom I felt would be there for me until the last bullet left my pistol, had done to me what my chauffeur Miles was likely having done to him in some brownstone alley in Greenwich.

Which brings me to Tiffany.

Like I said, the flames were quite nearly literally shooting from my eyes, and I had had the luck (misfortune?) of spotting the curvature of the pizza pie slicer in my gauzy periphery. With lightning speed (for that is how I most frequently move) I snatched it into my quivering hands. I had reached far back behind me, probably as far back as the East Village dears, and just as I was to hurl the gleaming, yet tomatoey, weapon at the smarmy couple, I was lain usunder by something piercing and expensive against my breast. Perhaps it was the shock of the assault or the realization of 14 carat gold, but the cool dampness of the sidewalk was soon resonating on my rump.

And who should scoop me from the ground, and cradle me in his arms, and remind me that to kill these two gerbils in the broad clarity of Little Italy would spell my demise and ruin, was my dear chauffeur (and only remaining friend) Miles.

"It's been a rough night," he smiled, collecting the gleaming Tiffany cufflinks from the ground.
"Was there no one you would have rather spent the evening with than me?" I asked, sincerely. My voice by now was more of a bird's chirp than a woman's.
"No one," he promised. "Now let's get you cleaned up. And then we can figure out how to send them to Shanghai."

"Shanghai?" I asked. "Why China?"

"Oh," he smiled, pointing at the ground. "They might not make it there, but we can certainly send them part way."

Friday, April 9, 2010

I'll have the salad, please.

It's been a week since the fundraiser at the Waldorf Astoria--did I ever tell you how much I loathe those things? It's such a puzzle to me, these obscene parties. Spend twenty or thirty thousand dollars on champagne and caviar and bimbos with cigarette trays to stroke the egos of bloated and self-important politicians and executives and by the time the night is over, you have those same lunkheads ten percent poorer and twenty percent fatter. I say, take a week out of your life, make some phone calls and personal visits, take out an ad in the Times to thank them--and if you're so inclined, add the money you saved from putting a party and viola--you have one hell of a good fundraiser. But then, where would the cigarette girls go?

A good deal has arisen over the horizon that is my husband, Walter. After the Waldorf function I was quite famished. The lobster bisque smelled of last month's cheese and the bread was as leaden as the hostess's sense of humor, so I skipped both and stuck with the salad. Needless to say, I'd have given my right eye for a slice of pizza. So off I went into the Manhattan night to take my chances in Little Italy. For this venture, I put away my party dress and slipped on my denim trousers and best checked farmer's blouse. I was interestingly ravishing, I must say, a cross between Annie Oakley and some old broad who would be more comfortable under the carriage of a Buick than a man, if you know what I mean.

Anyway, I had my driver, Miles, drop me at the corner of Mulberry and Main, while I let him drive on to prowl Greenwich. No sooner did I turn into Vivaldi's for a slice of pepperoni did I catch a whiff of cheap tramp musk. I spun around and there they were--my Walter and that thing, attached to his arm like a sucking leech.

Now, my bunnies, I have nothing against men taking a lover--I believe I've made that amply clear. It's in the DNA--men need artificial sweetner like women need an occasional coiff. It reminds us that we are still pertinent and can still draw the eye. But there are rules, and rules must be obeyed. Be discreet. Never take a lover that would reflect poorly on your wife--either making her look foolish or frumpy, or stupid for having settled for a man whose standard are clearly in the gutter. And this..."woman" that Walter was dragging around like a fishing lure--she was clearly in the latter. And, I might add---she was my friend.