gee pop whizzie bang something is in the air.
"Hey Paul? It's Benj. I'm going to the Soho House to lay by the pool. Wanna come?"
"No. I'm a fucking idiot."
"Yes, Benj. I'll be right there."
The Soho House is a mark of class - so I dug through my IKEA hamper to the bottom of the dirty clothes and found my old navy swimsuit that was still wet from jumping in that puddle in the Bronx and I put that fucker on. I thought - you know what - maybe I should bring some fans. So I packed three fans into my backpack - which was already stuffed with shit, much like a closet owned by a budding hoarder or like Rachel Zoe's husband when he pretends to watch football (did anyone else notice that he was looking through a magazine and that the only football term he was able to yell at the tv was "Miss!"?).
I jumped on the subway -- which is slowly becoming a joke -- like a friend that you're like -- i'll see you in 5 minutes? and they're like - yeah totally - and then they show up 25 minutes later and they're like ok let's go and you want to be like fuck you and do something else but they're your only ride to the Semisonic concert and Closing Time is one of the best songs you've ever heard and you bought your ticket already and you don't want to go home because your parents are fighting so you get in the car and try to maintain a level of anger but somehow being mad has become your fault and then you doubt your right to have negative emotions and you grow up to have some damaged self respect so you spend your life selling fans and waiting for the subway? You know what I mean? Oooo - it's a vicious cycle.
So there we are at 14th street. My friends Benj and Andrew. Standing side by side, Andrew, Benj and I look like those Russian Dolls that hide inside one another. Andrew is petite- and as a 25 year old actor, he often portrays children born post 9/11. He was actually just doing a show in Texas where he was playing a 17 year old, and one day he came to rehearsal and they were like SCRIPT CHANGE, and the only change was that his character was now 13. Benj is normal sized. And then there's me, who hits his head on car ceilings and retrieves things for giraffes when they cant reach it themselves.
So as we Russian Dolled down 14th street, Benj spots some gray hair ahead of us. Benj is the mayor of the West Side and must secretly be a pharmacist cause this guy knows every person over 60. We caught up with his friend - who was a very pleasant old lady and she knew it. Who else responds to "So what's new with you?" with "Well both my cats died, it's almost my birthday, and my life expectancy is 13.4 more years. So I'm getting my apartment painted! I can see you don't read my emails. What's new with YOU?"
As we boiled in the ball sun, we approached the magical doors of the exclusive club with the exclusive roofdeck with the exclusive pool where cool people go when they're hot and hot people go when they're banging someone cool.
The Soho house. Nestled quietly and subtly in the eloquently named Meatpacking District, the Soho house provides a getaway for New York's elite --- and up to three of their poor, drunk friends at a time.
So for affect's sake - picture the three of us entering the lobby - with sunscreen on our noses, Andrew decked out with goggles, a snorkel, and flippers, me shirtless with one of those big tin foil things people use for tanning their face already in place around my neck, and Benj with the ability to share it with both us - happy to be there for his friends.
"Hi Benj!" They say as he enters.
"Hello! Hello there!"
"Are these your friends?"
"Who? These guys who are beaming ear to ear? Ready to escape the testicle heat and be hand fed grapes while rocking on a hammock? Yes these are my friends."
"We're just going to spend some time by the pool."
Straight out of a sitcom. Apparently they do renovations on the pool once a year, and seeing as it was summer and fourteen frying pans hot outside, I'm guessing the Soho House completes all of their scheduling by throwing darts at a calendar.
We go up anyway. There are about 4 people around the empty hole in the ground and a bar tender who wanted to shoot himself.
And it was hot. Did I mention it was hot.
So we decide - no this is cool - let's bake a little bit - my organs are feeling a little underdone. But that turned out to be a good thing for me.... you see two more of Benj's friends showed up - Brian and Helene - and somewhere - someone had the great thought to ask - Hey Paul - do you have your fans?
Why yes pool-less friends. Yes I do.
And look at that - I have three. I think Helene wanted one but she was too late on grabbing her purse. I had already made the sale PLUS a one dollar tip.
So time goes by, and Benj heads to the bathroom when I hear a mature woman yell "WHERE?!?!"
Benj enters with two women - two classy broads in their 50s I'd say - who want a fan and they want it now.
"You're selling those!?"
"I'll take two!"
Dammit Paul - not again.
"I think I might have one at the bottom of my -"
"NO! It's two or none!"
Ok, lady, I know you made your money SOMEHOW. But that two or none shit is fucking reet.
"Benj! Give her your fan! I'll get you another one!"
And Benj kindly extends his arm.
The she says to Brian "Give me your fan too."
This bitch is sort of a bitch.
"Can't do it."
"Nope. Need it. Sorry."
Hold on a second. Let me get this straight. There I am on the subway, losing sales to WHISTLE MAN on the hottest day of the God Damn year, but here I am at Soho house and there might be a fist fight over these trinkets?
People who are used to treating themselves. What have I been thinking. Only a self-hating masochist would live in New York City and go through all of the New York City shit everyday. They'll never buy something to make life easier. They're in it for the pain.
But the rich...
But the rich...
I think I've found my market.