“What’s he doing now?” Samantha asked.
“The usual,” Caryn said. “He went through all the girls in New York, and when they finally got his number, he moved to L.A. From there, to London, now Paris. He said he was back in New York for two months, spending time with his mother.”
The two women screamed with laugher.
“Get this,” Caryn said. “He tells me a story. ‘I really like French girls,’ he says. He goes to dinner at the home of this big shot Frenchman with three daughters. ‘I’d take any of them,’ he says. He’s at dinner, he thinks he’s doing pretty well, he tells them about his ‘friend,’ some Arab prince, who has three wives, all of them sisters. The French girls start glaring at him, and the dinner ends almost immediately.”
“Do you think these guys get it? Do you think they realize how pathetic they are?” Samantha asked.
“Nope,” Caryn said.
The next day, Simon Piperstock made several calls from the first-class lounge at Kennedy International Airport. One of them was to a young woman he’d dated several years back.
“I’m on my way to Seattle,” Simon said. “I’m not good.”
“Really.” The woman sounded almost happy about it.
“For some reason, everybody is telling me that my behavior is reprehensible. They say it’s disgusting.”
“Do you think it’s disgusting?”
“A little bit.”
“My relationship with Mary isn’t working out, so I took a beautiful young girl, a friend of mine, to this party. She’s a nice girl. And she’s a friend. And everybody was on my case about it.”
“Your relationships never work out, Simon.”
“Then I ran into a woman at the theater who I’d been fixed up with a couple of years ago. She came up to me and she said, ‘You know, I would never want to get involved with you. I would never want any of my friends to be involved with you. You’ve hurt too many women.’”
“What am I supposed to do? I suffer from the problem of never thinking that I’ve met the right person. So I take people out. Geez. Everybody’s done it.”
“When you were sick yesterday, in bed alone, did you wish you had someone to take care of you?”
“Not really,” Simon said. “I mean, I was only sick for a little bit. Yes. I did think about it. Do you think I have a problem? I’d like to see you. Talk about it.”
“I have a serious boyfriend now,” the woman said. “I think maybe we’re going to get married. Frankly, I don’t think he’d appreciate it if I was seen out with you.”
“Oh,” Simon said. “O.K.”
“But if you want to call, feel free.”
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.