Glamorama

Page 98

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12

Just another sunny day and semi-balmy but with a constant headwind and I'm at the pool deck holding a towel, wandering around, amiably spacey with rock-star stubble, wearing a tight Gap tank top, sunglasses lowered at the girl with the total Juliette-Binoche-if-Juliette-Binoche-were-blond-and-from-Darien-Connecticut look lying on a chaise longue in a row of twenty: tall, statuesque, killer abs, a little too muscular maybe but the hardness offset by large, soft-looking br**sts straining against a white gauzy half-shirt, the prerequisite curvy legs outlined beneath leopard-print Capri pants. On the table next to her, copies of Vogue, Details, a W Chloe and I are in, Vanity Fair and Harper's Bazaar are kept from flying overboard by a small pitcher of iced tea placed on top of them and I'm instinctively moving into frame, hitting my mark. The girl suddenly rummages through an enormous Chanel tote bag-and then-a mascara wand falls from her hand which I gracefully stoop down to pick up-a rehearsed gesture I'm pretty good at.

"Thank you," she says demurely, a familiar voice. She retrieves a pack of Silk Cuts from the Chanel tote and with absolutely no difficulty lights one. A cue to motion toward the empty chaise next to her.

"Please, go ahead," she says a little too loudly because of the Walkman she's wearing. I notice the case of the new Tricky cassette sticking out of the Chanel tote and mentally brush up on the last Tricky CD, reviews of certain Tricky concerts I've read, any Tricky details from my own past I'm about to use on the girl with the total Juliette Binoche look.

Even though it's too cold to take off the tank top-and not like it's doing a good job of hiding anything- I slip out of it without removing my sunglasses, lay the towel down and ease myself on top of it, flexing my abs to get her attention. She's reading a book with the words MARTIN AMIS in giant black letters on the cover and I'm hoping she's not a member of Amnesty International. A waiter appears and I order a light beer and a large bottle of mineral water, which he brings quickly. I tip him, he's gone.

When the girl takes the Walkman off I remember a line, make a move.

"Hey, didn't we meet at that barbecue Kevyn Aucoin threw in New York?"

She takes off her sunglasses, stubs the cigarette in an ashtray, smiles without squinting and says, "I don't think so."

"Well, what's the story?" I ask. "How do I know you? You look disturbingly familiar." I lean on my side, staring admiringly. "Though it could be because you're the only person on this boat born the same decade I was."

But some element keeps distracting us. There is a couple-handsome and maybe in their mid-forties, dressed in fashionable beachwear that proves they're in pretty good shape-standing by the railing. The man camcords the woman clowning around in a semi-forced way against the backdrop of the ocean moving slowly behind them and occasionally they glance over at where I'm lounging, the woman with a harsh, almost severe expression that morphs instantly into a garish smile whenever she catches me looking at her. The man is basically a blank and I'm totally not interested.

"Are those your parents?" I ask, nodding toward the couple.

"No, my parents are in the States," the girl says, glancing over as the couple now shuffles out of her line of vision when they notice her paying attention. "Actually, though, I do know Kevyn Aucoin. I just haven't been invited to one of his soirees."

"They're quite fun as soirees go," I tell her, perking up. "The whole gang is usually there. Cindy, Linda, Kate, the Sandras-Bullock, Bernhard and Gallin. Oh, and I met Sheryl Crow there too."

"I take it you're also a bold-faced name, no?" she asks. "Just quasi-famous," I shrug.

The girl offers what doesn't seem like a fake smile.

"So maybe we've run into each other at various VIP fashion events?" I suggest. "Brushed by each other in the front room at Doppelganger's or Jet Lounge? Shared cocktails at a private screening where we weren't aware of each other's presence, hmm?" I'm arching my eyebrows faux-lasciviously but she's not amused.

"You're not a photographer, are you?" she asks suspiciously, her face tightening.

"Hey, no, baby, relax." I stall, then lift her iced tea and pick up W, flipping it open to the Star Spotting section, a photo of Chloe and me at a premiere at Radio City Music Hall. I hand it to the girl over the table. She glances at the page, then looks at me, then back at the photo.

"You're... Christian Slater?" she asks, confused.

"No, no, the one below that."

"Oh, I see."

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