A party for the blind that Bacardi rum is sponsoring somewhere in midtown that my newly acquired publicists at Rogers and Cowan demanded I show up at. Among the VIPs: Bono, Kai Ruttenstein, Kevin Bacon, Demi Moore, Fiona Apple, Courtney Love, Claire Danes, Ed Burns, Jennifer Aniston and Tate Donovan, Shaquille O'Neal and a surprisingly swishy Tiger Woods. Some seem to know me, some don't. I'm having a Coke with someone named Ben Affleck while Jamiroquai plays over the sound system in the cavernous club we're all lost in and Gabe Doppelt just has to introduce me to Bjork and I have to pose with Giorgio Armani and he's hugging me as if we go a long way back and he's wearing a navy-blue crew-neck T-shirt, a navy cashmere sweater, navy corduroy jeans and a giant Jaeger-Le Coultre Reverso wristwatch. And there are so many apologies about Chloe, almost as if it was her fault that she died on me (my information is "massive hemorrhaging due to the ingestion of fatal quantities of mifepristone-also known as RU 486"). Mark Wahlberg, fire-eaters and a lot of blabbing about generational malaise, and everything smells like caviar.
"That sounds a little too commercial for me right now."
"What are you saying? That Space Cadets doesn't rock your world?" I hear Bill tapping his headset. "Hello? Who am I speaking to?" Pause. "This isn't Dagby, is it?"
"What else could I do?" I'm sighing, checking my face for blemishes, but I'm blemish-free tonight.
"Oh, you could play someone nicknamed `The Traitor' who gets his ass beaten in a parking lot in an indie movie called The Sellout that is being directed by a recently rehabbed Italian known only as `Vivvy,' and your per diem would be twenty Burger King vouchers and there would not be a wrap party." Bill pauses to let this sink in. "It's your decision. It's Victor Johnson's decision."
"I'll let you know," I say. "I have a party to go to. I've gotta split."
"Listen, stop playing hard to get."
"Not to be crass, but the dead-girlfriend thing-an inspired touch, by the way-is going to fade in approximately a week." Bill pauses. "You have to strike now."
I laugh good-naturedly. "Bill, I'll call you later."
He laughs too. "No, stay on the line with me."
"Bill, I gotta go." I can't stop giggling. "My visage is wanted elsewhere."