The Edison (Part One)
It’s Friday, and I have nothing to do. Douchefriend calls me up and asks if I want to “party down” and try getting into the Edison, which is the club that he had previously been denied access to because of his lax definition of “semi-formal attire”.
“Why not?” I say. “What’s the worst that can happen?”
Famous last words.
I’m wearing a navy blue sports coat and a silk navy tie with white pin dots, both by Ralph Lauren, medium gray wool pants and white shirt, both by Brooks Brothers, and walnut oxfords by Allen Edmonds. Douchefriend is wearing an extremely baggy striped dress shirt, by Lacoste, no tie, loose slacks by Merona by the look of them, a gaudy big H, Hugo Boss belt, and a dirty pair of plain cap toe Bruno Maglis. We pull up to the club in his Mercedes Benz (I’m driving because he has already started drinking) and we see that valet parking is available for the very reasonable price of 9 dollars.
“Fuck this! I’m not paying that!” he screams. “Let’s walk.”
The closest parking is at least 4 blocks away.
“Look, I’m not going to walk 4 blocks in these shoes. They are new and not broken in yet.”
“I’m not paying 9 dollars!”
“Look, how about this? I’ll pay the 9 bucks for parking, and you cover tip.” He ponders this for awhile. “How much tip, 10 percent?” I look at him.
“You’re going to tip him 90 cents, when I’m paying 9 dollars for parking?”
I let it be and leave the car with a young man with a scowl on his face and square toed Kenneth Coles on his feet.
The line is gargantuan, and I am not looking forward to waiting an hour to get into a lounge.
“Hey, let’s try and bribe the bouncer,” Douchefriend mumbles, a look of excitement washing over his face.
“You didn’t want to pay for valet parking, but now you want to bribe the bouncer? You know what, whatever. Go on. Bribe him.”
I watch from a safe distance. I see him palm a dollar in his hand as he walks up to the burly bouncer, who is wearing a loose polyester suit, black, probably made by some child in a third world country. I’m pretty far away, but I can see a look of confusion then anger on the bouncer’s face as Douchefriend tries to slip the dollar bill into the bouncer’s jacket. I can’t make out what Douchefriend is saying, but I know he is raising his voice because I can hear him from where I’m standing. Normally, I would let him make a fool of himself, but I really wanted to get into this lounge. I walk over to calm him down.
“Just take the money and let us through!” Douchefriend exclaims.
“I’m sorry sir, you can’t just bribe your way through the line,” the burly bouncer replied.
“You let those fuckers through! Those white fuckers earlier. Just because I’m asian my money is no good here?” Douchefriend was fuming.
“Look, calm down. Just come to the back of the line with me, it’s not that long,” I try to reason with him.
“No! This is fucking ridiculous. I want my dollar back!” Douchefriend tries to grab at the dollar but the bouncer takes a step back, getting ready to swing at him.
“Sal?” A somewhat familiar voice rings out. “Sal, is that you?”
A clean cut gentleman, I think his name is Henry, walks up to me in his A. Testoni loafers, brushing some lint off of his magnificently tailored Ralph Lauren Black label suit, and fixing his red patterned tie, by HermÃ¨s.
“Sal, long time no see! How’s Mike?”
Mike was my brother.
“Look at you, all grown up. Woah!” He fixed my Kent Wang pocket square. “Have you been raiding your brother’s closet? You look legit! Love the suit!” He looked at me, then Douchefriend, then the bouncer. “What’s going on here?”
“You work here?” I grin. “The line is tremendous and we’ve already been waiting an hour,” I lie.
“Oh no. No, no, no. No waiting for you, my friend. Your brother would kill me if he knew that I kept you outside in the cold,” he says. I roll my eyes. “ Bruce, let him through.”
I cross the velvet rope and start walking to the door when I notice that the bouncer has extended his hand between me and Douchefriend. I grin as I take a few steps then wait a few delicious moments before saying “He’s with me.”
The club is lavish, elegantly designed and filled with well dressed people. Projections of silent films fill the brick walls, and servers dressed as flappers and fairies pushed carts of glowing liquor around the floor. We made a beeline for the bar. The bartender is wearing a green vest, the last button done, made by some costume company, I guess.
“J & B straight onto the rocks,” Douchefriend said. I suppose he has been working on his delivery because he says it with feigned confidence and real condescension as he pointed at the bar counter and did a little “hit me” flick towards himself, as if he wanted the dealer to deal him another card. A singular eyebrow raised as the bartender glared at Douchefriend.
“We don’t have J & B. We have Johnny Walker Black, Red…a nice single malt—“
“Wait, you guys have Absinthe right?” Douchefriend looked like a kid in a candy store. “I love British liquors, gets all the girls hot, you know? I’ll have some Absinthe.”
“Do you want it straight, or blended in a drink?” the bartender is wiping a shot glass down as he says this.
“Blended.” Douchefriend looks smug.
The bartender does his magic and mixes Midori, some flavorings, a small shot of absinthe and a gallon of sugar and pours them into a martini cup. The drink is glowing green and garnished with a cherry and sugar on the rim. It is obviously a woman’s drink.
“Dude, you do know that is made for people with vagina’s…right?” I whisper this to him.
“Fuck that. If it’s good enough for British guys, who can deflower any girl they want, then it’s good enough for me.” He began to gulp the drink down like a cirrhosis livered detective one day away from retirement.
I order a 12 year Glenlivet and keep my tab open. We make our way onto the floor, spying a prime spot by one of the decorative industrial pipes in the middle of the large “mingling” area.
I can tell these two cute asian girls, wearing flashy dresses (probably from Forever 21) are checking us out, and my suspicions are confirmed when they one of them comes up to me, holding out a tiny pink camera.
“Hey, would you mind taking our picture?” the shorter one smiled (unfortunately) showing a row of pearly yellow teeth, jagged as the day is long, and more crooked than Lombard street. I take their picture and they begin making idle conversation. I notice the taller one has a beautiful necklace on, I recognize it from Nordstrom’s. I decide to comment on it.
“Wow, that’s a magnificent necklace…where did you get it?” She blushes as I say this and thinks for a second.
“I think I got it at Tiffany’s. You like it?” She bats her eyelashes at me.
“Yes, very much so.” I mumble ‘bullshitter’ under my breath as I continue, “ My girlfriend would love something similar.” She looks disappointed. Not to be ignored, Douchefriend chimes in.
“Hey, do you have a boyfriend?” he asks shark tooth. She holds up her finger and shows off a tiny diamond ring, at least I think it’s diamond but I can’t tell because it is so small.
“I’m actually engaged.” She looks proud.
“What are you doing here then? Cheating on your boyfriend?” Douchefriend spits out, the Absinthe smoothie affecting his reasoning.
“No! She’s just here to keep me company.” the taller cuter one says, staring at him, then me, then at the ground. “I don’t like to go out alone.”
“Bullshit!” Douchefriend continues. “Let me guess, your fiancÃ©e is asian, correct?”
“Yeah, why?” she looks thoroughly flustered.
“Oh, so you come out here to find someone better. Maybe some white guy, or even some British guy if you can find one. Just for one night of fun before you let the asian man take care of you.” Douchefriend takes out his wallet. “Look at this,” he holds up his Chase Sapphire card. “Look at it! Bet you none of the white fuckers in this club have this. But oh, no, being a stylish stock broker with a Chase Sapphire isn’t enough for ladies, they only want British cocks.” Douchefriend is clenching his fists and I fear that he is going to strike out at the poor asian woman. The girls are rendered speechless, and I am covering my face with my palm, trying to hide the redness of my cheeks.
“Well, it was nice meeting you ladies,” I say, grabbing Douchefriend by his collar and dragging him away. “ We’ve got to meet some friends, but maybe I’ll see you later.”
They stare blankly as I drag Douchefriend to the corner.
“Dude, what the FUCK are you doing?” I try to choke down my rage but it’s not going down. “I’m here to relax, man. Why do you INSIST of making a fool of us whenever we go out?”
Douchefriend actually looks embarrassed and puts his head down.
“Look man, sorry I snapped right now, but it’s getting really ridiculous. Just chill, okay? We’re here to have fun, drink, maybe get you to talk with some cute girls…maybe you’ll even find someone to make you forget about…what’s her name?”
“Andrea…” He looked like he was going to cry. “That French whore.”
I pressed my palm to my throbbing temple. It was going to be a long night.