Monday, October 2, 2006
The Minnow and The Marlin
It was one of those minimalist spaces—lines, lines, lines, no comfort— that I had seen in big Hollywood flicks and Scavullo fashion layouts. The plasma screens, refrigerated pyramids of Sancerre, black and white shots of a naked Nadja Auerman (legs, legs, legs) and strangely shaped furniture both mesmerized and bewildered this new Manhattanite. I had just come from swivel chairs, mice along the floorboard and cheap coffee (fake creamer, generic “Sweet & Low”). Now this. SoHo and trendy office spaces were a long way from 6th Avenue and the conservative’s budget.
“He’s in St. Barth’s recouping. He requires 2 faxes a day—morning and night—and an evening phone call. Tell him everything is smooth as silk and we can’t wait for his return. Bastard. Breaks his leg skiing in Aspen so he takes downtime in ‘the islands,’” the diminutive blonde said, adopting a posh British accent for the conclusion of her diatribe. “In by 10:00 out by 7:00 and lunch runs about an hour. You can go out or order in—lotta great places around here. Most of us just get take-out and watch movies on the flat screen, you’re more than welcome to join.”
Her name was Emma and I’d grow to adore her, trust her. The state of Mississippi, “Studio 54,” and Fabio were the major influences in her life. She was like no one else in the office and gave me a run for my Confederate money with her accent and occasional use of double negatives. Between her blonde, silken bob and tales of racy sex with Fabio on their romance novel cover shoots, she pulled off the fish-out-of water shtick with élan. Once again, I was the minnow trying to keep up with the trophy Marlin.