“That doesn’t mean you have to be with him all the time,” said Skipper.
“Don’t you get it, Skipper?” River said. “He’s here. His things are here. His underwear. His CD’s. His hairballs.”
“He has a cat.”
“Oh,” Skipper said. Then: “You let a cat in your apartment?”
Skipper called up Carrie. “I can’t stand it. It’s Christmas and everybody is in a relationship. Everybody except me. What are you doing tonight?”
“Big and I are staying home,” Carrie said. “I’m cooking.”
“I want a home,” Skipper said. “I need a house. Maybe in Connecticut. I want a nest.”
“Skipper,” Carrie said, “you’re 26 years old.”
“Why can’t everything be the way it was last year, when nobody was in a relationship?” Skipper moaned. “Last night, I had the most amazing dream about Gae Garden,” he said, referring to the famously frosty socialite in her mid-40’s. “She’s so-o-o beautiful. And I had a dream that we were holding hands and we were so in love. And then I woke up, totally bummed because it wasn’t true. It was just that feeling. Do you think you can ever have that feeling in real life?”
“Sometimes,” Carrie said.
The year before, Skipper, Carrie and River Wilde had all gone to Belle’s Christmas party at her family’s mansion in the country. Skipper drove his Mercedes and River sat in the back seat like a papal personage and made Skipper keep flipping radio stations until he found some music he could tolerate. Afterward, they went back to River’s apartment and River and Carrie were talking while Skipper complained about how his car was parked illegally. Then skipper went to the window and looked out, and sure enough, his car was being towed. Skipper started screaming, and Carrie and River told him to shut up and do a line or smoke a joint or at least have another drink.
The next day, Stanford Blatch went with Skipper to get his car out of the pound. The car had a flat tire, and Stanford sat inside the car, reading the papers, while Skipper changed the tire.
“I need a favor,” Stanford Blatch said.
He and Carrie were having their annual Christmas lunch, at Harry Cipriani. “I have to sell some paintings in the Sotheby’s auction. I want you to sit in the audience and bid them up.”
“Sure,” Carrie said.
“Frankly, I’m broke,” Stanford said. After losing his investment in a rock bad, Stanford’s family had cut him off. Then he’d gone through all the money from his last screenplay. “I’ve been such a fool,” he said.
For the past year, Stanford had been pursuing a male model he nicknamed the Bone. He’d been writing a screenplay for him, and paying for the Bone to get acting lessons. “Of course, he said he wasn’t gay,” Stanford said, “but I didn’t believe him. Nobody understands. I took care of that kid. He used to fall asleep at night while we were talking on the phone. With the phone cradled in his arms. I’ve never met anyone who was so…vulnerable. So mixed up.”
The week before, Stanford had asked the Bone if he wanted to go to the Costume Institute benefit at the Met. The Bone freaked out. “I told him it would be good for his career. He screamed at me,” Stanford said. “Insisted that he wasn’t gay. That I should leave him alone. Said he never wanted to talk to me again.”
Stanford took a sip of his Bellini. “People thought I was secretly in love with him. I thought I wasn’t.
“He beat me up once. I was in his apartment. We got into a fight. I set up an audition for him with a director. He said he was too tired. That I should leave. I said, let’s talk about it. He threw me against a wall, then he literally picked me up and threw me down the stairs. Of course he lived in a cheap walk-up. A beautiful boy like that. My shoulder hasn’t worked right since.”