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Part 15
New York, Sunday January 9

11:15 a.m.
Mmmmm....Interesting night I had. Just experienced "Entertainment: Peerooz style". He was the host of a party at his luxurious "Ocean" penthouse near Battery Park. A mix of business and pleasure. I was a bit nervous to make my first appearance in front of his friends, colleagues and clients as "the girlfriend". This is kind of the "Masters of the Universe" rat pack, to borrow Tom Wolfe's eloquent designation. They are young professionals who work hard and play even harder. Mostly Ivy League grads, like Peerooz who graduated from Harvard and never let's me hear the end of it! Basically the same fratboys that you stayed away from during college, turning your nose up at their Phi Betta Kappa (Or as we liked to call them kRappa) house parties. Now they are Wall Street Boys, making six-figure salaries while you and your integrity are sleeping in an overpriced hole in the wall in some run-down neighbourhood. (Sigh)

I abhor their materialism and their attitude towards women, whom they consider merely window dressing: Beautifully seen and not heard. Obviously why they hang out mostly with model types. I know I know, it's a stereotype of the dumb model, and I am sure it does not hold true for all of them. But I guess when you're that young, with all that money and attention showered upon you, it has to affect your personality, and usually not very positively.

Speaking of, first thing I saw when I stepped in Peerooz's apartment was Miss Albino. Same discolored blonde model type who was with him at Sling Nightclub that time. Were they dating? Has Peerooz invited his ex-girlfriend to the party?! I guess the annoyance showed on my face because Peerooz took me by the hand and led me to the kitchen where he whispered: "If you're wondering about Cinnamon (Cinnamon?!) we went on a couple of dates but it never amounted to anything. I just needed someone on my arm at a couple of business functions and she was a friend of a friend's. In any case, she is dating my colleague Joe now and they are hot and heavy." I am still trying to get over the shock of someone ACTUALLY named "Cinnamon" but I managed to lie in my best nonchalant tone: "Thanks but you didn't need to explain anything to me. I didn't even recognize her." Peerooz just smiled.

Well, the party actually turned out okay, if by okay you are wondering if I managed not to slip and land on my butt in the middle of the salon. But I think I may have made a faux pas or two. It's not my fault, sometimes I can't help it. What forms in my mind finds its way out of my mouth before I have time to process the pros and cons of making myself heard. For example, there was this Jerk, some dot com millionaire holding court on the main couch before a salivating audience of traders and attorneys. He was expanding on how he made his fortune (40 million... AFTER the dot com crash) by installing 112 cameras in his loft and exposing his sexual exploits with Dixie (his porn star girlfriend) to a global net audience whom I suspect is composed of overweight and underworked people named Stan. This guy was amazing: He had set up cameras everywhere from the INSIDE of the guest toilet bowl, to the ceiling overlooking his bed. Dixie the porn star girlfriend, who looked as though she may have known better days but was still 800% better-looking than her fat short ugly millionaire boyfriend, kept explaining how this "experiment" had taught them to "grow as a couple" and "explore new horizons". I almost gagged in my Crantini. Mr. Dot Com on the other hand was bemoaning the fact that he felt "exhausted by the intrusion in his privacy" and was scrambling his brain trying to "find some solace in this crazy over-technologized world".

-- "I mean... You know what I mean?... Today the world is, like, so globalized... You know what I mean?... And, like, we are losing our privacy... .and, like... You know what I mean? How do we keep Big Brother from watching over us?... How am I going to get some privacy?"

-- "Maybe you can turn off a camera or two..."

I felt 12 pair of eyes turn towards me and my cheeks began to flush. Craaaap!!! Did I just say that out loud? I looked from the corner of my eyes at Peerooz standing within hearing distance. He had just unwillingly spat out the spanakopita he was munching on into his napkin and was trying to contain his laughter.

Mr. Dot Com just looked at me with the most murderous look in his eyes and went on: "Anyways... .."

Peerooz came over and gently led me away from the group. He kissed my hair, still half-laughing, and whispered:

-- "Don't worry the guy's a jerk... But he IS worth a lot to our firm... Maybe you better mingle..."

I didn't have much luck elsewhere either. Standing at the bar was this slick Armani-suited guy trying to pick up two French models who were doing next month's cover of Stuff magazine. They didn't understand a word of what he was saying, at least that's what I gathered from them (I picked up somewhat of a limping French after spending the summer of my junior year on an exchange program in Montreal). The Armani man seemed blissfully unaware of the communication barrier.

-- "Yeah, I do merger and acquisitions... It's a lot of responsibility... I'm talking about millions here... "

-- "Qu'est-ce qu'il raconte celui-la?"

-- "Quel emmerdeur!"

-- "Around the office, they call me Mergerman hehehe... you know... like Superman... except... you know... doing mergers... Just last year, thanks to me, we made over... "

I moved on to the hors d'oeuvre table. I felt uncomfortable in my Versus corset like top that pushed up my boobs like I was a courtesan in Louis 16's court. I hate being so brazen with my clothing but Peerooz loves this flashy trashy style and he bought me this thing especially for the party. I was just trying to humour him. As I was reaching for a Salmon and Asparagus Roll (Mmmm... much more tasty than it sounds believe me!), I was intercepted by a graceful perfectly French manicured hand. Hey this hand looks familiar, could it be?... Yes it was... Cinnamon was besides me giving me her best phony smile. We both excused ourselves and tried to out-taarof each other (No, you go ahead... No you, I insist... ). She looked me up and down and finally said: "Nice top... Peter's choice right?" It took me a second to remember Peerooz went by "Peter" in the "real world". I nodded:

-- "Errr... this thing?... Yeah... Yes, he bought it for me."

I bit my lip. Bought it for me? Made myself sound like some kind of kept woman. Grrrrr...

Cinnamon beamed:

-- "Thought so... Guess he has some taste after all..."

Then she waved to someone behind me and left me standing there. It wasn't after the end of the party, when I was safely back home in bed analyzing my performance of the evening when her words came back to haunt me. The more I thought about her "compliment" the more I thought it was as double-layered as a Mille-Feuilles pastry. Maybe I was just being paranoid? I mean, she just seemed too young and air-headed to know anything about nuance. I sighed. But if that was true, then why did I detect a sparkle of mischief in her eyes when she said those words to me?

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