Then she races around her apartment, flies out the door (past the night doorman who always gives her dirty looks) and jumps into a cab.
“Oh, hiiii,” Mr. Big says when he opens the door, naked. He says it half-sleepy, as if he’s surprised to see her.
They get into bed. Letterman or Leno. Mr. Big has one pair of glasses. They take turns wearing them.
“Have you ever thought about getting a new air-conditioner?” Mr. Big asks.
“Yes,” Carrie says.
“You can get a new one for about $150.”
“I know. You told me.”
“Well, it’s just that … you can’t always spend the night here.”
“Don’t worry about it,” Carrie says. “The heat doesn’t bother me.”
“I don’t want you to be hot. In your apartment,” says Mr. Big.
“If you’re only asking me over because you feel sorry for me, don’t,” Carrie says. “I only want to come over if you miss me. If you can’t sleep without me.”
“Oh, I’d miss you. Sure. Of course I’d miss you,” Mr. Big says. And then after a few seconds: “Do you have enough money?”
Carrie looks at him. “Plenty,” she says.
There’s something about this heat wave. It’s loosening. You feel almost drunk, even though you’re not. On the Upper East Side, “Newbert’s” hormones are up. He wants to have a baby. In the spring, his wife, “Belle,” had told him she could never be pregnant in the summer, because she wouldn’t want to be seen in a bathing suit. Now, she says she could never get pregnant in the summer, because she doesn’t want to have morning sickness in the heat. Newbert has reminded her that, as an investment banker, she spends her days behind the green glass walls of a coolly air-conditioned office tower. To no avail.
Newbert, meanwhile, spends his days puttering around the apartment in a ripped pair of boxer shorts, waiting for his agent to call with news about his novel. He watches talk shows. He calls Belle 20 times a day. She is always sweet. “Hello, Pookie,” she says.
“What do you think about the Revlon stainless steel tweezers with the tapered ends?” he asks.
“I think they sound wonderful,” she says.
One night during the heat wave, Belle has a business dinner with clients. Japanese. A lot of bowing and shaking hands, and then they all go off, Belle and five dark-suited men, to City Crab. Halfway through dinner, Newbert makes an unexpected appearance. He’s already quite drunk. He’s dressed like he’s going camping. He decides to do his version of the Morris dance. He takes cloth napkins and stuffs them in the pockets of his khaki hiking shorts. Swinging the napkins in both hands, he takes a few steps forward, kicks up one leg in front, takes a few steps backward, and kicks up the other leg behind. He also adds in a few side kicks, which, technically, are not part of the original Morris dance.
“Oh, that’s just my husband,” Belle says to the clients, as if this sort of thing happens all the time. “He loves to have fun.”
Newbert pulls out a small camera and starts taking pictures of the clients. “Everyone say robster,” he says.
Cannibals at Le Zoo
Carrie is at this new restaurant, Le Zoo, having dinner with a bunch of people she doesn’t really know, including the “It” boy, Ra. The restaurant has about three tables, and it’s overbooked, so everyone stands on the sidewalk. Someone keeps bringing bottles of white wine outside, so pretty soon, there’s a party on the street.
Inside the restaurant, Carrie sits in between Ra and a female friend. Someone from The New York Times keeps taking everyone’s picture. Ra doesn’t talk much. He stares a lot and touches his goatee and nods his head. After dinner, Carrie goes back to Ra’s friend’s house with the friend and Ra to smoke. It seems to be the right thing to do at the time, and in the summer, in the heat…