I am not sure that Tuesday’s dinner, which was a relatively staid affair with David and Greg, is really worth describing. There were no real shenanigans; no wanton drunkenness, and, since Patrik isn’t here, no towering, uncontrollable vikings.
I will say that I feel that my stacks are an act of rebellion. So is being lost. I’m supposed to be meeting David outside the Tie Your Tie (I maintain that this is a terrible name for a brand, but apparently they do well enough) thirtieth anniversary party so that he can take me inside. Even with several screenshots of Google maps, finding anything is an impossibility. I don’t know if it’s really my fault - trying to figure out what Google means when it says to turn left then right in the middle of the same Piazza is a difficult task. And so I ask a hotel concierge for directions in Italian, which is an error because he responds in Italian, which is not a language that I speak.
Another kind lady takes one look at me and speaks to me in English, at which point I am found. David collects me. The imposing women at the entrance to the elevator let me in, which is awfully nice of them, because my name isn’t even close to being on the list. Good thing David speaks Italian. He could be telling them anything, though - maybe that I start weeping if we get separated. Maybe I should learn Italian.
We ascend to an open-air third floor party, where I take pictures of the sunset and drink Prosecco. It is a fancy affair. I am the only person not in a coat and tie. Perhaps this is offensive. Perhaps it merely shows off what a rebel I am. Another Styleforum poster, whose name I can’t remember, is there as well - as are the well-dressed people from The Armoury. We stand around and drink wine, I talk briefly to Greg about Dries van Noten, and then we go over and drink our drinks next to this table with some sort of floor-based floodlight beneath it that shines directly into my face all night long. I try to cover it with the tablecloth, and then the man whose name I can’t remember tells me that that’s probably a fire hazard. He’s right, damn him. So I stand there with one eye closed and listen to the others talk about whatever it is old, boring people talk about. Right now they're talking about canvassing and it hurts my head.
The Armoury guys walk past again, sort of floating by us; elegant and untouchable. I can't tell if I smell cigarettes or if my pants are on fire. I check the floodlight, but see no scorch marks.
We move on. Greg wants to go somewhere for a drink. "It's called…Jee-lee, or something?” he says, and we oblige him with good-natured groaning. We are so cool. We are Pitti People. We make bad jokes and fake-punch each other and talk about shoulder construction. They do. I don’t. I don’t know anything about shoulder construction.
We go to the same cocktail bar where I went with Steph last January. The drinks take forever, but they’re good. Moscow Mules; nothing special - but they have a nice bite to them from, I assume, some sort of Extra Super Bonus Ginger Syrup. David talks about women, as usual. The bar is full of American girls. Every bar is full of American girls. Nothing but American girls. I wonder who they think they’ll meet? Perhaps they’re only interested in other American girls, which would make a lot more sense.
David goes to secure our table at the restaurant, and Greg and I sort of forget about him for a while, which is probably cruel of us. He doesn’t seem to mind, though. We talk about changing diapers, picking up dog poop, and Greg demonstrates how to wipe a baby with a napkin. I mean, he demonstrates as though his cell-phone and silverware is a baby with extremities, and covers his high-tech voodoo doll with the napkin as if it is a cloth diaper. I suppose we’ve all been there. As babies, I mean.
We get beers. There’s a lot of discussion of the economics of retail. It bores me, but I don't tell them. Our waitress has very noticeable BO.
“None of this is particularly great,” Greg finally says about our antipasti misto. “Thank you for saying it,” I tell him.
Greg and David can’t believe that I’ve never been a strip club. Not that they’re necessarily proponents of the institution, you see (although David might be - he seems untrustworthy); they’re just surprised that it’s never come up. I’ve never given it much thought. “I love anchovies,” says Greg, so instead of strippers or diapers we talk about Bologna. The place, not the lunch meat. I swirl my wine a lot. It's a nervous habit.
We talk about Wooster, and the upcoming press conference. Greg says his team looks like they were all recruited on Mykonos. I laugh, as though I’m very worldly, but I have no idea what sort of person you would find on Mykonos.
Greg thinks his pasta, which is - shockingly - covered in duck, not spicy meat, is ok. I think mine is one step up from United Airlines. It’s pappardelle with rabbit, but really it could be any kind of meat. The noodles are wet and flaccid and unappealing. I consider not bothering to eat them, but I do anyway. Finally, I learn who produced the Best Made Axes video. We seem tired. We are tired. The table goes quiet. We look at our phones. We do not opt for desert.
David asks if I’ve ever read “The Style Girlfriend,” which I don’t think I have. It doesn’t sound like I need to. David says he once trolled her by linking to her blog via his tumblr. I talk about women finding me attractive when I wear a sport coat, which is rightly dismissed as uninteresting. I think it's fascinating, though: no one ever compliments my skorts. The world is full of mystery.
Talking about the Internet in person is still very surreal - when David says “troll,” my eyes sort of roll back in my head and the world tilts beneath me, as though maybe I really am a troll, and by naming me he’s stolen my powers. He’s a troll, though; a real life one - he wants to interview random people at Pitti and ask them why the hell they’re wearing what they wearing and if they wear it when they’re not at Pitti. It’s a fair question. I wonder what the Style Girlfriend would say.
Apparently I got a tie. Rad.
At this point, the restaurant is empty. We don't go to Gilli. We don’t have the energy. We part ways. I think I pass the Church where Steph and I saw the old people getting it on in January. On a street corner, silhouetted in the dim Florentine streetlights, is another man in a double-breasted coat. We scope each other out as I pass by, strangers in the night. I give him the Pitti nod, and he reciprocates. Secure in the knowledge of our brotherhood, I return to the hotel to watch weird Italian infomercials. How come beer commercials never show the stars really having to pee while dancing? That’s what happens to me. I have like two pints and I spend the rest of the night shuttling back and forth to the men’s room. In my dreams people speak gibberish and pretend it's Italian.
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