I’ve tried before being at Bemelmans nursing a ginger-ale, but it’s like taking a tuna salad sandwich to the 21 Club. What’s the point. Part of the charm of popping into the Carlyle is the whole caboodle that goes along with it. The Madeline mural gracing the wall, a shiny mahogany bar glimmering in the overhead light. Ah, if it could only talk, the tales it could tell.
I actually went in to use the ladies room when I ran into the barmaid who beckoned me in. “But I’m not drinking right now,” I said wistfully, wishing it wasn’t so smelling freshly cut lemons lingering on her hands.
“Come have a coke, rest a while.”
I actually hate coke, never drink it, ever since I dropped a ring in a glass and it turned another color, but I agreed to a Schweppes she served in a tall, ice cold beer glass.
“Are you off chips too?”
“Never, I’ll be eating them on my deathbed. You know, one more Lays, for the road?”
So there I sat sober as a freshly showered sailor scoping out the room. It was only 2ish, leaving the bar pretty much empty, while a table of businessmen sipped scotch across the way. They were rather loud having a liquid lunch insisting the lights be turned up where they sat. It was a little like watching a play on stage, the rest of the room wrapped in inky darkness.
I was all set to get seriously depressed when the designer Tom Ford walked in. Let me just say, though not too tall, he’s one of the handsomest men around. He was wearing a dark blazer over well-pressed jeans, a white button-down peeking out over its folds, the same way he looks in his magazine ads. He glanced around obviously looking for someone, his eyes resting momentarily on me. I smiled my best, if only you liked women, smile he politely returned.
I immediately texted my pal Camille to tell her, knowing how much she loves everything about him. Keep him there, she texted back, as if I could chain him to the banquette. He quickly checked his phone, then left.
In my sober boredom I decided to have a little fun with my friend.
You better hurry up Camille if you want to see him. How elegant he is sitting at the bar – legs crossed, handsome. Wow, he’s so fucking handsome.
I’m getting my legs waxed. She has one to go. Is he alone?
Quite, and there’s hardly anyone here so you could sidle right over to him. Buy him a drink even.
OMIGOD!!! I’LL BE RIGHT THERE.
Twenty minutes later she comes dashing through the door breathless as can be, and naturally Tom was nowhere in sight.
“I knew I should have hopped in a different cab,” she said, picking wax off her knee. “The driver I had drove like a damned turtle.”
“Sit down,” I said, have a ginger-ale, on me.”
“No, I’ll just go back to the House of Wax and get my other leg done.”
“You left only waxing one leg?” I started to roar.
“You think that’s funny? She hadn’t even started my Brazilian yet.”
“In that case, we should both have a drink. I mean, that’s the least a girl can do for herself if she’s about to be unmercifully scalped.”
“Does that mean you’re joining me?”
“I could use a little clean-up.”
I signaled for the barmaid.
“Excuse me Laurie, could you come over? I’m about to jump, leg first, right off the wagon.”