American Psycho

Page 19

Price pulls it out and though he's acting nonchalant, I don't see how he can ignore its subtle off-white coloring, its tasteful thickness. I am unexpectedly depressed that I started this.

"Pizza. Let's order a pizza," McDermott says. "Doesn't anyone want to split a pizza? Red snapper? Mmmmm. Bateman wants that," he says, rubbing his hands eagerly together.

I pick up Montgomery's card and actually finger it, for the sensation the card gives off to the pads of my fingers.

"Nice, huh?" Price's tone suggests he realizes I'm jealous.

"Yeah," I say offhandedly, giving Price the card like I don't give a shit, but I'm finding it hard to swallow.

"Red snapper pizza," McDermott reminds me. "I'm f**king starving."

"No pizza," I murmur, relieved when Montgomery's card is placed away, out of sight, back in Timothy's pocket.

"Come on," McDermott says, whining. "Let's order the red upper pizza."

"Shut up, Craig," Van Patten says, eyeing a waitress taking a booth's order. "But call that hardbody over."

"But she's not ours," McDermott says, fidgeting with the menu he's yanked from a passing busboy.

"Call her over any way," Van Patten insists. "Ask her for water or a Corona or something."

"Why her?" I'm asking no one in particular. My card lies on the table, ignored next to an orchid in a blue glass vase. Gently I pick it up and slip it, folded, back into my wallet.

"She looks exactly like this girl who works in the Georgette Klinger section of Bloomingdale's," Van Patten says. "Call her over."

"Does anyone want the pizza or not?" McDermott's getting testy.

"How would you know?" I ask Van Patten.

"I buy Kate's perfume there," he answers.

Price's gestures gather the table's attention. "Did I forget to tell everyone that Montgomery's a dwarf?"

"Who's Kate?" I say.

"Kate is the chick who Van Patter's having the affair with," Price explains, staring back at Montgomery's table.

"What happened to Miss Kitt ridge?" I ask.

"Yeah," Price smiles. "What about Amanda?"

"Oh god, guys, lighten up. Fidelity? Right."

"Aren't you afraid of diseases?" Price asks.

"From who, Amanda or Kate?" I ask.

"I thought we agreed that we can't get it." Van Patten's voice rises. "So-o-o-o... shithead. Shut up."

"Didn't I tell you - "

Four more Bellinis arrive. There are now eight Bellinis on the table.

"Oh my god," Price moans, trying to grab at the busboy before he scampers off.

"Red snapper pizza... red snapper pizza..." McDermott has found a mantra for the evening.

"We'll soon become targets for horny Iranian chicks," Price drones.

"It's like zero zero zero percentage whatever, you know - are you listening?" Van Patten asks.

"...snapper pizza... red snapper pizza..." Then McDermott slams his hand on the table, rocking it. "Goddamnit, isn't anybody listening to me?"

I'm still tranced out on Montgomery's card - the classy coloring, the thickness, the lettering, the print - and I suddenly raise a fist as if to strike out at Craig and scream, my voice booming, "No one wants the f**king red snapper pizza! A pizza should be yeasty and slightly bready and have a cheesy crust! The crusts here are too f**king thin because the shithead chef who cooks here overbakes everything! The pizza is dried out and brittle!" Red-faced, I slam my Bellini down on the table and when I look up our appetizers have arrived. A hardbody waitress stands looking down at me with this strange, glazed expression. I wipe a hand over my face, genially smiling up at her. She stands there looking at me as if I were some kind of monster - she actually looks scared  - and I glance over at Price - for what? guidance? - and he mouths "Cigars" and pats his coat pocket.

McDermott quietly says, "I don't think they're brittle."

"Honey," I say, ignoring McDermott, taking an arm and pulling her toward me. She flinches but I smile and she lets me pull her closer. "Now we're all going to eat a nice big meal here - " I start to explain.

"But this isn't what I ordered," Van Patten says, looking at his plate. "I wanted the mussel sausage."

"Shut up." I shoot him a glance then calmly turn toward the hardbody, grinning like an idiot, but a handsome idiot. "Now listen, we are good customers here and we're probably going to order some fine brandy, cognac, who knows, and we want to relax and bask in this" - I gesture with my arm - "atmosphere. Now" - with the other hand I pull out my gazelleskin wallet - "we would like to enjoy some fine Cuban cigars afterwards and we don't want to be bothered by some lout ish - "

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