“I mean, I don’t know what I’m doing yet. I told some other people I would go over to their house for dinner.”
“So we’ll go together.”
Skipper lowers his voice. “I don’t think I can do that. It’s kind of business, you know what I mean.”
“My little mogul,” Rebecca says.
‘Is It Elle?’
Monday evening. Carrie, Mr. Big and Mr. Marvelous are on their way to a cocktail party. Mr. Marvelous drives his big Mercedes slowly up Mecox Lane, past the horse farms. The sun is beginning to go down. There’s a little hill, and when the car comes over the top, there’s a woman awkwardly Rollerblading. She’s wearing a tight white T-shirt and tiny black shorts. She has long dark hair tied up in a ponytail, but it’s her legs that get you.
“I’m in love,” Mr. Marvelous says. When she turns off down a side road, he drives the car straight on, but then stops and puts his hands on top of the steering wheel. “I’m going back.”
They pass the girl and Mr. Big says, “Is it Elle? She looks like Elle.”
Carrie’s sitting in the backseat, smoking a cigarette. “To young for Elle,” she says.
Mr. Big rolls down his window and says, “Hi.”
The girl comes up to the car. “Hi,” she says smiling, then looks confused. “Do I know you?”
“I don’t know,” says Mr. Marvelous, leaning across the seat.
“I’m Audrey,” says the girl. She looks at Mr. Big. “You look like someone I know.”
Mr. Marvelous hops out of the car. “Do you know how to stop? You’ve got to know how to stop. Rollerblading can be dangerous.”
The girl is laughing. “Here’s what you do,” Mr. Marvelous says, demonstrating by squatting down with one foot in front of him and sticking his arms straight out.
“Thank you,” the girls says. She began to skate away. “Are you a model?” Mr. Marvelous says.
“No,” she says, over her shoulder. “No, I’m a student.”
Mr. Marvelous gets back in the car.
“She had a ring on her finger. What’s her husband doing letting her go Rollerblading by herself? I would have asked her to marry me. Did you see her? What was her name? Audrey. Kind of old-fashioned, huh?”
The Boy in Blue Chintz
Robert Morriskin finally arrives by seaplane. Stanford sends the chauffeur to pick him up in the old Ford station wagon. Stanford has arranged a dinner at Della Femina’s for Robert. Afterward, they all go back to the house on Halsey Neck and smoke pot. At 2 in the morning, Robert begs off, saying he’s got to plow through that pile of manuscripts in the morning. Stanford walks him to his room, which is decorated in traditional Southampton chintz. “I’ve always loved this room,” Stanford says. “You can’t get this blue chintz anymore. I hope you won’t be too hot. I still think it’s best to sleep without the covers in the summer. We used to do that when we were kids.”
Stanford sits down in an armchair as Robert gets undressed. Robert doesn’t seem to mind, and Stanford keeps up a patter of chitchat. Robert gets into bed and closes his eyes. “Tired?” Stanford says. He walks to the bed and looks down at Robert, whose eyes are closed. “Are you sleeping?”
Tuesday, Fourth of July. The cellular phone: It’s Rebecca. “Hi, honey. Everybody’s going back early, and I don’t want to. When are you going back? Can I get a ride?”
“I’m not going back until tomorrow morning,” Skipper says.
“Oh. Well, I could go back tomorrow morning. I’ll call my office.”
“Sure,” says Skipper, unhappily.
“Don’t you just love the end of the weekend when everyone’s left and you’re still out here? Let’s go to dinner.”
“I don’t think I can. I promised some friends…”
“No problem,” Rebecca says lightly. “We’ll definitely see each other next weekend. We can plan it in the car tomorrow morning.”
Tuesday, early evening. Mr. Marvelous turns his Mercedes into the road where he’d last seen Audrey. He gets out, opens the trunk, and after a struggle, puts on a pair of Rollerblades. He leans against the side of his car and waits.
Candace Bushnell began Sex and the City as a column in The New York Observer in 1994; it subsequently became a book and a series on HBO. She is also the author of Four Blondes, Trading Up and Lipstick Jungle, which is being filmed as a pilot for NBC starring Brooke Shields. Ms. Bushnell is also the host of Sex, Success and Sensibility, a live weekly talk show on Sirius Satellite Radio. She lives in Manhattan with her husband, New York City Ballet principal dancer Charles Askegard.
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