In addition to being a resplendent social gateway, Payam will also be a powerful discipline/influence. After a full 14 months outside of the East Village, he considers himself a full-blooded European, obsessed by the absurd notion of the "average American's 80-hour work week." In four hours with him he's already repeated his new slogan five or six times: "Get real, Laura. You don't think Puffy Combs would be producing Mariah Carey if he hadn't worked day and night for a decade first?" At any rate, I want aboard?he's the only person I know, myself included, with artistic ambitions who is indisputably going to Hit It Big. Maybe a few 80-hour work weeks are all I need: Next month Payam is actually pitching his film idea to Luc Besson's production company in Paris. I've no doubt that spending time with him will make me feel a little guiltier about enjoying my movie channels as much as I do. If I write a great novel Payam vows he'll "option" it, which means nothing to me, but it certainly sounds more promising than microwaving maple-pecan danishes (which, incidentally, if I do for one day longer, may actually kill me).
So that night we ate and drank well and I met a lot of Payam's "design friends." I think that means he met them in architecture class or something?from what I could tell, their only unifying feature was the Prada loafers and APC jeans with implausibly thick cuffs they were all wearing. It was great fun to be around people again. But I am still shy of such social intercourse after my hermit-spell, so I sneaked off early, somehow drunker than I'd been in ages.
Payam and I live 14 stops apart on the same tube line?a remarkably convenient setup for sprawling London?but, in my condition, the train's constant lurchings made me uncomfortably woozy. I kept trying to focus my attention on the hot guy across from me in the otherwise empty car. He was carrying a big portfolio case and I wondered if perhaps he might be yet another of London's famed "design people." Unfortunately he wasn't hot enough to distract me from my growing nausea; and, right as we stopped at Great Portland St., I raised my hands to cough and ended up throwing up into them.
Somehow the whole experience was a delight. I felt giggly again immediately, marveling at how the hot guy hadn't seemed to notice my little indiscretion. He did, curiously, alight at the next stop, but I think it was to meet other design people, not to avoid me. I felt extremely sordid and racy, wiping my hands on the seat and changing places and smelling like a bona fide bum and gazing proudly at my misdeed from across the aisle?I've just never done anything so gross and gotten away with it before. The crown of my whole evening occurred when, two stops from Ladbroke Grove, my beloved station, a guy got on the?empty, remember?train and sat directly on top of my still-wet masterwork. It was hilarious. I realized at that moment that I have become something of a manhater of late because I felt totally triumphant and not a bit guilty or dirty: Ha, I'll bet that schmuck asked some terrified 14-year-old for her phone number tonight, and I'm the one who gets to pay him back. It was as close as I've ever come to feeling godlike.