Pleased Oscar now takes out five crisp single hundred dollar bills and puts them in Andrews pocket. He then as if suddenly noticing me turns and asks me what I think, asks if there was anything I would change. It’s at this point the buff young man in his G string outfit turns to offer an opinion when Oscar tacitly turns and cuts him off.
“Dalton dear, we have guests, one mustn’t ever speak out of place when one is entertaining. To do so would be considered rude.”
I stand there wildly shaking my head, except I’m the only one who can see from inside me shaking my head. The whole thing is rude and debauched and yet despite this an affront to order and civility is being mandated.
Andrew’s buzzer starts to go off and to be frank he lets it go off. He’s really having the time of his life. He reaches into his pocket and places an envelope onto the table.
“Uncut, just the way you like it.”
We all proceed to raise a toast before Andrew motions to me that it is time for us to go.
Heading somewhere back downtown or is it another version of another weird fantasia Andrew looks and reflects.
“See, people have this really terrible opinion of what us ‘drug dealers do.’ But really look at the opulence, the glamour, the grandness. Do you realize who that just was? Really Christopher …for every time I have heard people talk about how it’s some sleazy underworld I just have to laugh. There’s more honor and decorum here than most people can muster in a lifetime. Promise me you will write that. I just want people to know.”
I must be looking at heaven or thinking that heaven is looking at me. Speeding down the first avenue freeway I look at all the stars, the lights, the ambitions, the aspirations and the millions of souls looking for a moment of respite- legitimate or not.
“How did you get into this Andrew?”
“How does anyone get into anything? How does someone become an axe murderer, a quarter back, a porn star, a celebrity photographer? You think I chose all of this. It chose me. This is the way I make sense of the world. I used to think I could do the nine to five but I couldn’t. See there’s a reason why people do what they do- it’s because God ordains them. You either have it or you don’t.”
At this point Andrew looks at me and pumps a shot up his left nostril, lights a smoke one for me and for him. “Look out that window- we are in the center of the universe, and all I do is occasionally help you leave that center of the universe. Sometimes you have to go to the edge. But trust me at the end of the day it’s still business, no matter what they say…”
We turn left onto Delancy and wait halfway up the block as two Amazon Goddesses get in the back and gently kiss Andrew on his forehead.
“How was Paris gorgeous?”
“Oh, Anthony, we wish you were there- those Frenchies have got nothing over you.”
It’s at this point the girls end up spilling half the contents as they sniff eternity and glamour up their central cortex.
For a while I just look and smile at the disarray, loving it and at the same time repulsed by it. Andrew in no shortage is in heaven and in many respects beyond it, whether he’s making more money than you and I put together or not. Yet it’s never really just about the money, cause the truth is – no one really chooses what they end up doing it- it comes to them, as long as of course they want it to come to them.
The girls finally get out and a block further I finally I have Andrew drop me off. I look at the sky and reflect on eternity and the desire for eternity…light a cigarette and trudge up the street looking for a cab to get me home.
It’s somewhere just after one in the morning and Andrew will probably be making the rounds until four until he returns back to his boudoir and ponders the melting of time…