There was me at my table in Bucci’s, new Italian on Lexington up near the Chrysler Building, been there about a year and I liked it a lot. Got tired of that place on Sixth and Sullivan, great fuckin Bruschette but not much else, with one of those third generation Italians who thought he was straight out of fuckin Tuscany but had probably never even been there.
Was wearing a white Brioni tux and black bow tie, just been to the theater and my shoes were shined up like great big black jewels. Face felt a little bloated, cheeks red, like I’d eaten too much friggin cheese. Turned and looked at my reflection in the mirror. In the low light, features looked hard and threatening, but that was okay with me, always looked that way.
Smiled as I brought my hand to my mouth and the lump of gold on my finger shined. Put the Cohiba to my lips – they let me smoke in there, had a special table for me under the skylight, because I spent so much friggin money – chomped and sucked on its bit, savored that un-burnt taste, so clean and fresh, then drew on it long and hard, it flared orange as it burned, and as I exhaled the orange became ash, a kind of dull gray.
My fifth wife sat next to me. Jamie, twenty years younger than me, uptown, sensitive and beautiful. But that night she looked sad and depressed. Watched two waiters scurry back and forth, one serving us food, the other wine, a Screaming Eagle, second bottle of the night, and Jamie wasn’t drinking, just sipping on friggin water. And then I started shouting…
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