By Annabel Schofield



By Annabel Schofield

Chapter 14: West London 1996


Now, a bit of mild bondage had never unduly bothered Angelika, as long as there was a line definitively drawn in the sand; a line which said “no pain” clearly on one side and “pain” clearly on the other in neon frigging lights. Angelika did not like pain in any form; hence she had not borne children, considered dentists to be vicious sadistic bastards and thoroughly enjoyed copious amounts of alcohol and mind numbing drugs. Pain was not Angelika’s bag, as bourgeoisie as that sentiment may sound to a sexual omnivore such as Christophe.

                            Christophe, however, did seriously embrace the dark side and Angelika realized this with sudden and terrifying clarity as she felt her wrists and ankles beginning to chafe raw from the constricting silk ropes and from the scratchy blindfold that was tied just that little bit too tight around her temples to be on the business end of fun anymore. Still, in spite of her natural desire for self preservation, Angelika figured that she’d give it her best old school try as it was actually the last time she’d ever have to endure what had now become a rather ridiculous charade.

                            Christophe, on the other hand was most definitely enjoying himself. He loved to humiliate her sexually, it made him feel even more of a man than everyone perceived him to be already; and Angelika had previously played along like a good little girl. It had been novel to her, as she’d always been rather a control freak prior to meeting Christophe and she found being submissive in the bedroom quite suited her lazier side, feminism be damned. Angelika didn’t rely on men for anything but sex; she’d looked after herself and had paid her way ever since she’d turned sixteen and so a little submissive role-playing now and again could only be a healthy balance to the control that she wielded in every other area of her life.

                            However, as Christophe’s penis thrust it’s violent way down the back of Angelika’s delicate throat, feminist politics weren’t exactly much of an issue as her eyes welled up and she gagged reflexively.

                            “Oh mon dieu, essucer ma bite,” screamed Christophe, “encroyable, je t’adore.” he gasped, coming with ever more savage and salty thrusts. Angelika, while hoping virulently that Sam, Jon and Leo had not been privy to this rather filthy but hopefully incomprehensible declaration of his undying love, had also definitely experienced the overriding sensation of something going “click” inside her skull. As Christophe lay on top of her, convulsing and panting heavily like an asthmatic walrus, Angelika surreptitiously tried to close her mouth. No dice. With a moment of hideous realization, it transpired that Angelika’s jaw was by now most definitely locked open. Angelika attempted to alert Christophe to this rather glaring fact.
                           
                            Nghgh….” she grunted, but what with being blindfolded, bound and having a tumescent cock shoved half way down her oesophagus, her current predicament didn’t exactly lend itself to crystal clear communication. She then tried to eject him forcibly using her throat and chest muscles and Christophe finally got the non verbal message and mercifully withdrew, crawling down her now stiff and panicked body and then kissing his way delicately from her belly, up to her neck and then on to her lips, which were now most unerotically parted - way parted. Christophe was weeping exquisite tears of joy and was obviously impervious to her not inconsiderable discomfort.

                            “Oh, my Angel, you have never pleased so much as this day…” he whispered, between passionate sobs.

                            Nghgh..” responded Angelika as bitterly as she could, considering that she had only an arsenal of guttural animal noises at her disposal, while praying that Christophe would get over himself just long enough to at least remove the poxy blindfold. Christophe finally twigged and ripped the blindfold roughly off of her face, which was now frozen in an uncanny approximation of Edward Munsch’s “The Scream”.

                            Nghgh…” she again grunted while glaring accusingly at Christophe.

                            Christophe for once in his life, was lost for words and he found himself torn; although his ego was positively pumped by the idea that his humongous member had caused this startling turn of events, and although he would have loved to have been able to carry around a photograph of this moment to show his amis and also to impress any future potential girlfriends, even he knew that something had to be done as it was pretty obvious that Angelika could not function like this. Christophe briefly toyed with the idea of running downstairs and asking Sam if he could borrow the Polaroid camera to commemorate the occasion, but the virulent look in Angelika’s eyes gave him pause. He correctly sensed she might not be 100% behind that particular plan.

                            “Samanta!” he yelled for all of Ladbroke Grove to hear, “We need an hambulance, now!” and with that, Christophe shot out of the room while hastily pulling on his pants.

                            NGNGNGNGNNNNNNNNNNN!” grunted Angelika, who was by now thrashing about on the bed in an attempt to free her hands and feet from their bindings. She was incredulous. Like most men, he was fucking useless in a crisis and now everybody would know her shame. She couldn’t bear the thought of Jon, the coolest rock star in the world witnessing this. She was forever doomed to infamy.

                            Sam tore up the stairs behind Christophe as quickly as she could considering her pregnant state, screaming, “What the fuck have you done now, Christophe?”

                            Sam had long considered Christophe to be a one-man wrecking crew and nothing would surprise her at this juncture, but she found herself totally unprepared for the vision that awaited her in the spare bedroom.

                            Poor Angelika, her naked limbs akimbo, was flailing around on the disheveled bed like an oversized beached grouper; her facial features were locked into a perpetual howl and she was uttering the most disturbing animal noises heard this side of the Discovery Channel. As a result, Sam rather inappropriately burst out laughing, which she was wont to do at moments of high tension so Angelika glared at Sam, indicating for her to untie her hands.

                            NGHGH…” she grunted, in her most threatening tone, the underlying gist of which was ‘you’ll pay for this later, bitch.’  Sam got the message, loud and clear and hurried to untie the knots at Angelika’s wrists and ankles, while unsuccessfully stifling a giggle. Christophe busied himself uselessly behind Sam, pulling on his clothes and boots and occasionally offering up the odd Gallic shrug of inculpability.

                            Finally free and steaming mad, Angelika quickly dressed and found herself a suitably floppy hat and a pair of large sunglasses with which to hide the ignominious evidence that was her newly deformed visage.

                            “NGHO ANG U ANCE.” she grunted, acting out the words ‘ambulance’ and ‘no’, just as if they had all been playing a particularly heated and competitive game of charades at a country house party. Sam then bustled downstairs in search of her car keys.


                            There ensued a short and frosty ride to the hospital and on arrival in the thronged waiting room, it became evident that Angelika would have to sign in with the young nurse on duty, who sat multitasking behind a glass window, busying herself with last week’s Hello magazine while simultaneously filing her nails and pointedly ignoring the constantly ringing phone. The sight of Angelika in her impossibly stylish hat and shades perked her up no end. It was rare that they got a celebrity in here, at least not on a gloomy Sunday lunchtime in March. Celebs were usually more prone to nightclub fighting, coitus-induced heart attacks or cocaine overdoses and those generally happened in the small hours, as a rule.

                            Angelika was the currently conflicted owner of a rather famous face due to her appearance on the cover of virtually every womens’ monthly in the UK and also from her previous incarnation as a TV soap star; she frequently got stopped in supermarkets, and especially by taxi drivers, who immediately recognized her unusual features. Angelika realized as she furtively glanced around the over-subscribed and sweaty waiting room that she was at that hideous moment, smack dab in the belly of her fan base; and that they were all now furtively eyeing her while pretending to read their copies of The Sunday Sport. Could things possibly get any worse?

                            Head deeply bowed, Angelika approached the nurse and grunted politely, “HE O.”

                            “Sorry?” replied the nurse, innocently enough.

                            “I AH AH E I KA DU GU.” grunted Angelika, as coherently as she could.

                            “Sorry, madam? I don’t understand.” said nursey loudly, her eyes twinkling with unspoken pleasure at Angelika’s humiliation.

                            Sam rushed forward and whispered to the nurse, “She’s Angelika Douglas.” Angelika then attempted a smile of gratitude, but none was forthcoming, nor physically possible.

                            “And what happened to you, Miss Douglas?” continued the nurse, who had actually seen a few of these cases in her time, but never such a high profile one as this. They would love this one down The Rose & Crown. Ooh, and she’d always looked so la-di-bloomin–da on the telly. Just goes to show.

                            E U E?” grunted Angelika stupidly, who for some reason had not countered on having to explain her predicament.

                            “How exactly did this,” the nurse pointedly indicated Angelika’s gaping maw, “happen?”

                            Sam swallowed, as Angelika shot her a ruinous glance. “I YAW ” Angelika spastically signed yawning and the nurse raised a disbelieving eyebrow and responded,

                            “Of course you did, Miss Douglas.”

                            Angelika noticed that the nurse’s shoulders were shaking with unsuccessfully suppressed mirth as she scribbled her name on the register, and then she added an exclamation point next to Angelika’s name which didn’t seem entirely necessary nor particularly professional.

                            “Please take a seat, doctor will see you as soon as.” The nurse then glanced away gratefully, as her strangulated look of amusement was threatening to explode into guffaws and she was about to bust a nail, if not a gut.


                            Angelika, flanked by Sam and Christophe, sat low in her seat, her face virtually obscured by her hat’s brim, horribly aware of the eyes of all present boring into her when they thought she wasn’t looking. It was hell. Sam, to be fair, was attempting to lighten the situation with constant chatter, but it was hopeless. As soon as she or Christophe as much as looked at Angelika, they both fell apart. Angelika sat silently glowering as one, then two slow, painful hours crawled by. Well, if she’d had any doubts as to her feelings at ending things with Christophe, they were well and truly dispelled after this debacle.  She just wished she’d bitten off his cock when she’d had the chance.

                            Mercifully, Angelika’s name was finally called and dragging Sam forcibly in tow, Angelika scuttled off behind the on-call nurse to an examination room beyond. Inside, there was seated the most unnecessarily dreamy-looking, unfeasibly young doctor that Angelika had ever had the misfortune to see, outside of ER reruns. This could not be happening. The Doctor looked up at her with a delighted smirk.

                            “Ah, Miss Douglas….” he cooed while his charming, blue – eyed bedside manner romped soundly to the fore, “and how exactly did this happen?”

                            Angelika raised her eyes, they being the only part of her face that were actually capable of any perceptible motion, “I YAW!” she responded, miming yawning again, albeit rather unconvincingly. She also felt herself flushing horribly, which she sensed must be immeasurably improving her studied air of nonchalance.

                            “Yes, of course you did.” murmured the doctor, with as much conviction as he could muster. “Let’s have a look, shall we? Say ah!” He obviously thought this last remark absolutely hilarious, but Angelika was in no mood. She glared at him silently as he pulled on a pair of pervy-looking latex gloves and proceeded to insert his entire fist into her mouth. Oh, yeah, that’ll help no end, thought Angelika bitterly, while resenting the fact that she had no choice but to overcome the urge to bite down, and hard.

                            After unsuccessfully attempting to manhandle Angelika’s mandible back into its God-given position by using a wily combination of elbow grease, brute force and grim determination, the handsome young medic finally decided that he would need to call for back up. Sam, who up until now had been fluttering away at the doctor, was momentarily silenced by the entrance of unfairly gorgeous Doctor No. 2, and this one could have been a GQ model, that’s how buff, chiseled and all round delicious he was; in fact he suddenly made Doctor No. 1 look like a right old dog. Sam practically swooned, and she was no swooner. The whole situation was just too, too unfair.

                            “Miss Douglas,” breathed Dr. GQ, smiling sexily at Angelika, “my mum is a big fan of yours.”

                            Angelika attempted to be gracious, but she’d had just about enough of the entire medical profession by now and she found that she’d never missed the power of speech quite as desperately as she did at this particular moment.

                            FU O, DO O.” she replied with a wink.

                            “And how did this happen, again?” asked the confused doctor after a beat, as he was not sure if he’d interpreted the girl’s grunts correctly. Had she just told him to fuck off? No, it simply couldn’t be true - he was a gorgeous doctor. Women loved him. No one had ever told him to fuck off. Well, apart from his ex-girlfriend but that was only because he’d suggested a three-way with his hot new Philippino intern. Anyway…

                            Angelika sighed and looked over at Sam for help.

                            “She yawned,” replied Sam, “just please help her, Doctor.” Sam was actually batting her eyelashes at this callow imposter. Angelika wanted to puke but she couldn’t imagine how that might work as her jaw was now actually set in a perpetual puking position.

                            Dr. GQ was suddenly wielding the longest needle known to western medicine and purposefully bearing down on a wide-eyed Angelika.

                            AAAAGH!” she gurgled, but it was of no use. The needle was inserted deep into her painfully expanded jaw and heavenly intravenous Valium followed quickly thereafter.

                            Comfortably, deliriously numb, Angelika’s beautiful jaw was thus finally relocated and with that one glorious click of bone against bone, Angelika silently swore off Frenchmen and felatio for life.


The Thrill Is Gone…. on why I left the City of Angels (and Demons).


I was raised in a house heavy with disease and unfulfilled dreams. My mother, sister and I lived with my maternal grandparents who died in slow succession from disparate, yet equally debilitating and humiliating illnesses.  As a child, I had to be silent and to tip-toe, always praying never to disturb.  No dancing, singing nor artistic tantrums for me.  “Shush” was the word most often heard chez Schofield; medical treatments and funeral arrangements the commonest topics of hushed conversation.


Into this darkness burst the ecstatic ├ęclat of Fred Astaire and the radiant Ginger Rogers. They whirled magically into our shadowy living room on a Saturday afternoon via the tiny black and white telly; these glowing, effervescent faerie creatures, leaving a trail of ostrich feathers and glitter in their glamourous, frothy wakes.  They were perfection, and although there was no colour visible, in my youthful mind I visualized peach, gold, mint, silver and lavender. I was immediately hooked. Hollywood became my drug, starting with hare-brained ‘30’s musicals, I was soon mainlining Monroe, the Kelly’s (both Grace and Gene) the Hepburn’s (both Audrey & Kate), Natalie Wood, James Dean, Sean Connery, Ursula Andress, Grant & Gable, Jane Fonda, Newman & Redford, Brando, McQueen & McGraw, Elvis, Maclaine, Beatty, Dunaway and Deneuve. Their talent, charisma and iconic cool magically transported me from the bland gloom of life in that tenebrous house, in that grey and violent town where to express a love of art and beauty was to place a large target on one's callow young back. 
                                                         
So I kept my feelings closeted, and secretly devoured everything glamour- and Hollywood-related that I could find: James Bond novels, books on Art Nouveau, Alphonse Mucha, Art Deco, Erte, Edith Head, Isadora Duncan, Biba, Givenchy, Ossie Clarke, Norman Mailer’s Monroe biography, everything about Elvis, Ann Margaret, Barbarella, The Valley of The goddamn Dolls…I had a subscription to Vogue by the time I was eight and I proceeded to copy all the exquisite couture gowns; hand-sewing mini-me versions for my beloved Daisy Doll (who, by the way, was usually costumed by the iconoclastic designer, Mary Quant – how presumptuous was I? ).

Jerry Hall 1975
A very strange and creative child, living a double life under the roof of an unimaginative and over-burdened mother who could not quite fathom her youngest’s arcane reading habits, nor why her diaphanous underpinnings would suddenly disappear from their lavender-scented habitat, only to be miraculously reincarnated as tiny bespoke doll clothes. I was equally obsessed with Norman Parkinson and David Bailey’s iconic Vogue editorials of those mythical glamazons, Marie Helvin and Jerry Hall.  Because the Seventies referenced the Thirties, and Thirties Hollywood was my gateway drug, fashion-wise.  Chiffon, silk, bias-cuts, tea gowns, turbans, bugle beads, satin, feathers, liquid jersey -  these were my chosen opiates, in a world meekly offering me drab denim and burgundy polyester.

                                                                 

But dear reader, all was not lost for this repressed and glamour-obsessed tyke, for my father and his model slash artist girlfriend, Sally moved to Los Angeles. After several years
Sally Marr 1975
of circling the globe, these two feckless nomads finally settled in West Hollywood! My young heart sang with unfettered joy, and although it would be another 5 years before we would actually visit them, at last I had an in. There was a klieg light at the end of the tunnel. And fabulous Sally, bless her - she saw a kindred spirit in me – having been brought up in a violently fundamentalist Christian burg in Texas, and having escaped to the catwalks of Paris at an early age. Sally was my pusher, and she frequently sent photos of parties that they had attended – Sally perpetually swathed in some outrageous costume, combining ostrich feathers, a million noisy bangles and perhaps a turban or embellished headband to complete the look. My personal Auntie Mame combined with a dash of Tony Montana, I don’t know how I would have survived childhood without Sally and those images; and the delicately lovely gifts which arrived wrapped perfectly, all fuelling my innocent passion and obsession for glamourous Hollywood.
Bette Davis

My sister and I finally visited California in 1977. My father and Sally lived in a glorious apartment (no prosaic 'flat' this) on the penultimate floor of the Colonial House on Havenhurst, which is an example of golden age Art Deco perfection made concrete. I nearly died on arrival, only to discover that Bette Davis lived in the Penthouse.  Bette fucking Davis!  And one evening we saw Lyndsey de Paul and James Coburn in the elevator. In 1977 this was HUGE as she had just represented the UK in the Eurovision Song Contest and was radiantly blonde and elfin. Google it, children. Naturally, Sally drove a 1969 silver-green E-Type Jaguar, and the household was completed by a snooty Borzoi named Boris who was perhaps the most beautiful (and brainless) canine ever to paw the earth.  He even had his own agent.

                                                                      
Our family: 1978
My father and Sally were part of a rather racy, yet impossibly gorgeous and creative set, all of whom appeared to be sleeping with one other.  Well, it was the Seventies. But the oddest part was that everyone was genuinely nice, and complemented me and encouraged my previously closeted dreams.  Suddenly, I was being told I was beautiful which I honestly thought quite mad, as it was widely accepted knowledge that my sister was the pretty one, and that I was smart and gawky; but it was our gorgeous mother who was the undisputed beauty of the family.  But who was I to question these Californian weirdoes? I felt reborn within their kindness and attention, and I blossomed that summer, as Sally dressed me up in her fabulous designer clothes and then proceeded to photograph me, paint my portrait and finally parade me, her freakish little creature at all these amazing parties, before all these exotic people.   Finally, I was home.

                                                                   
Sunset Blvd 1979

Even I, a mere country bumpkin sensed there was something special happening in West Hollywood during those drowsy, halcyon days. It truly was a Bohemian place, welcoming to all creeds: gay, straight or otherwise. Dad and I would walk the dog along Sunset Boulevard, the heady air scented with honeysuckle, night blooming jasmine and the odd illicit whiff of marijuana, while gleaming convertibles cruised stunning transvestite hookers. Dad knew all “the girls” by name, and I was immediately smitten by their outrageous glamour and cheeky humour (still am!).  Boris loved them too and gave each carefully sequined crotch a respectful sniff.  In West Hollywood, everyone was creative, everyone was most definitely stoned, but it resembled a Utopian village filled with beautiful actors, musicians, writers, painters and directors, all of whom smiled and welcomed me in. The perpetual late summer sunshine bathed the world in a treacly and hypnotic golden glow, all set to the distant throb of a dissolute disco beat.

Then come September, I would have to return home.  Cue the ugly, cheap  comprehensive school uniforms, the endless drizzle and the incessant teasing. I would retreat into my shell and hibernate, endlessly reliving those hot summer nights in my fervid, teenaged brain.
                                                       
My Hollywood summers continued until I was 16, when I left school to start my own
The author by Bailey for Vogue
fashion career in London. After a slow start, I did make a go of modeling and was lucky enough to not only travel the world, but also to work extensively with one of my idols, the great mentor and artist, David Bailey.  Awestruck as I was in his presence, those Bailey shoots were the highpoint of my photographic career, where grubby commerce was left behind and pure creativity blissfully took over.
                                                              
I loved London in the early eighties, also Paris and even New York, but always at the back of my mind was my golden, Hollywood dream. Its siren song was strong, and I finally made the move west in 1986, from New York where I’d been feverishly studying The Method in the Village.
                                                                 
Sally and my father had split by this point, but on arrival, I stayed with her on Sweetzer at  El Mirador, another exquisite Art Deco apartment, then shortly after, I moved  into my Dad’s larger version on Sunset and Doheny Drive. I dove headlong into the culture, and soon I was enrolled in acting classes and driving lessons and meeting many other like-minded young people, all chasing their own magic-hour version of the Hollywood dream.
                                                                
Charlie Sexton
1986 Los Angeles was lit by Ritts and shot by Weber. It was the Rebirth of the Cool set to a Hip Hop beat.  Everyone drove a classic car and slowly cruised around checking each other out. The smell of sex, sensimilla and gasoline lay heavy on the air. And the beauties! My god – on any one day you could see Paul Simonon and Charlie Sexton steering their Triumphs down Melrose, helmet-less perfection, trailing Mickey Rourke and a score of other too-cool eighties icons with vertiginous cheekbones, their Levis cut just so.  At night, we went to The Olive, to Smalls, to Smokey Ho and to Power Tools, and to underground warehouse clubs too dodgy and illicit to mention. 

And the girls – these rare beauties – yes, of course there was Christy and Cindy and Tatijana, but what of the other girls? The real girls: Jade, N’Dea, Misha, Fabian, Janelle, Kat, Lola, Lisa Ann, Lisa Marie. The list goes on, such wild, stylish
Herb Ritts
beauties – their only artifice, a slash of scarlet lipstick and an omnipresent, sticky lip-hanging cigarette; their natural bodies devastating in cinched black vintage cocktail gowns from
Aardvarks, or upscale from Maxfields with ripped fishnets, high-heeled boots and their boyfriends’ leather jackets.  Such cool girls – their beauty unsullied by Botox and filler, just a little tired and dissolute from having too much fun - their wild, teased hair in a perpetual state of just-fucked disarray.
                                                                            
And boy, did we have some fun.  There was Botswana – Sean and Maria's tiny boite on Sunset where I first encountered (and secretly fell hard for) that troubled young genius, Robert Downey Jr; the after-
 Bruce Weber
hours, Compton BBQ joint
BJ’s, which one entered through a swiveling bookcase, and which served groovier sustenance besides its special sauce to us nefarious night crawlers; my 25th birthday party at a historic, haunted mansion which was gate-crashed by Malcolm McLaren and whence he quietly played the grand piano all night, while chaos, B-Boys and drag queens spun all around him, this supernaturally calm force of cool.  Boys and Girls and the infamous blue drinks where we played psychedelic charades with baby Bryan in 
shadowy corners until way past dawn.  The week that Big Audio Dynamite slayed The Roxy and every rock-star in the known universe came to bow down and pay homage – and the mad after parties we had at the Hyatt House (at least I think we did –  although little is remembered).


Helena’s in Silverlake – eternal king of cool, Jack Nicholson and Boy Toy, Madonna's club where I was laughingly thrown out for misbehaving with a certain member of Pink Floyd (you know who you are!); and of course, our royal leader, Prince’s surprise after-show gigs, which will ever go down in funk history and with which he continues to grace us to this day.  All Hail the King.

Prince




Yes, Los Angeles was cool then, and Downtown was the final Frontier. The corporations and the condominiums had not yet taken over, and we all jitteringly cruised Sunset and Melrose in our classic cars, the jasmine-scented night air blowing through our high-teased up-do’s while funk, Hip Hop, reggae and soul mix-tapes by Mike, Matt, Rick, Jon or Duff blasted from our soon to be ripped-off stereos.   Yes, Los Angeles was cool once.
                                                      
And what of my lady now? Now she just makes me sad. Like watching an ex-lover or a close friend distort her beautiful features with plastic surgery, in a dangerous attempt to slow, or deny the natural aging process; El Lay is bright and hard and shiny and desperate, lousy with anorectic, "enhanced" octogenarians, and with scarily entitled teenagers, all gagging for a reality show, no charisma nor talent evident in their lifeless eyes.  

Kim K and friend
Was it always thus? Was my romantic love for her just that? An infatuation? A cinematic projection of all my childhood dreams made manifest, and then somehow chemically altered? I don’t know. But it’s no place for a Hollywood ending, which is what I’m now looking for. Fame used to be something magical that was bestowed upon the truly gifted and dedicated, but now it's a cheap, black-market currency available to anyone with an Instagram account, a video camera and an equally desperate lover.

Andy Warhol was right of course. In the future everybody will be famous for fifteen minutes. Well the future is now, and ain’t it grand?  

The thrill is gone. 




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Chapter Two: New York, 1984


 HOSPITAL - LA – JANUARY, 1st 2000

                “She did not!”  said an astonished Athena. The sky outside the hospital was orange-black now. “I don’t believe it!”

               “Oh yes she did,” replied Angelika, smirking at the memory,“It certainly was an eye opener, that trip.”

               “What happened to Sophie?” asked Athena.

               “Well she dumped Raphael soon enough, married an earl and now lives in a castle in Scotland with her three adorable tow-headed children and is frequently featured in the pages of Field and Stream magazine. She also breeds pedigree Highland terriers. Quite successfully, by all accounts.”

               “Wow.” Athena marveled at this. “But that experience must have put you off, surely?” Angelika looked at Athena, a naughty grin playing at the corners of her dehydrated mouth.

               “Oh no, I was just getting started. It was the adventure, you see?  I was totally addicted to the adventure...”

NEW YORK, 1984

Angelika, clad in a silver Stephen Sprouse mini dress exited a yellow cab outside The Palladium nightclub on 14th Street. She was closely followed by Samantha, a drop dead gorgeous brunette who was wearing her habitual evening attire – a skin tight, black rubber Daniel James confection. They were the living embodiment of the term ‘dressed to kill’. In fact, any flying viscera would have wiped right off their shiny clothing with consummate ease. Their heels were high, their hair was big, their lips were liquid red and they were fierce.

               Angelika had met Samantha on a particularly depressing lingerie shoot in London, a few months after she had arrived in the city. Angelika had never seen anyone quite like Samantha before. Most models wore jeans and T-shirts to work for comfort, but not Samantha. Samantha did not believe in comfort, nor did the word exist in her vocabulary. She had arrived at the studio in her lipstick red Mercedes sporting a leopard print mini skirt, a crimson leather jacket and thigh high stiletto boots. How she could manage to walk in those heels was anybody’s guess, but when one looked like Samantha, it follows that one never had to walk overly far.

               Angelika’s first impression was that dusky Samantha must be some kind of a Brazilian hooker, but Samantha soon set her straight. Under her slutty, exotic exterior beat the warm heart of a died in the wool East London daddy’s girl. She was Catholic, loved her close-knit family and was possessed of a biting wit and a deep intelligence. They bonded immediately and co-owned the elitist London club scene shortly afterward. Once that had become tired, they had made the inevitable westwardly mobile move to New York City.

               Angelika’s career had exploded immediately and she’d been shot for the cover of Vogue during her very first week in the city, and although Samantha also worked steadily, she was even more curvaceous than lush Angelika and therefore was not considered ‘editorial’;  a term which meant that she would always be consigned to well-paying, but not overly glamourous, catalogue and lingerie work. Samantha was totally unfazed by this and proceeded to feast lustily on the rock and roll lifestyle that embodied early ‘80’s New York.

               Angelika and Samantha coolly sashayed down the street towards The Palladium which was the hottest nightclub in New York at that white-hot moment. A horde of hopeful club-goers and paparazzi thronged the velvet rope. The former were desperately trying to convince the guardian of the guest list that they had enough cash, coke or clout to be admitted; while the latter ravenously eyed the arrivals for a glimpse of anyone worth wasting a flashbulb upon.

               The cross-dressing doorperson, for it would be considered deeply square to label such a fabulous being by something as mundane as mere sex, instantly spotted the girls.

               “Angelika! Samantha! Walk this way, ladies!” The girls squeezed through the crowd of scowling untouchables and entered through the instantaneously raised velvet rope. They air-kissed the shimmering creature, who immediately pressed a wad of drinks tickets into their perfectly manicured hands. The photographers surged forward and proceeded to blind them but Angelika and Samantha posed expertly, proffering perfect head tilts, and then with exemplary timing, they turned on their precipitous heels and strutted away into the cavernous club.

               The girls stalked through the grandiosly baroque lobby, up the wide staircase and along the balcony where they stopped briefly to gaze down at the dance-floor. Things were just getting started. Early bird yuppies were busting out their twitchy coke moves to Grace Jones’ ‘Slave to the Rhythm.’ Angelika and Samantha looked at each other in perfect syncronicity.

               “Mike Todd Room?” Samantha raised a quizical eyebrow.

               “Mike Todd Room.” concurred Angelika.

               The Mike Todd Room was The Palladium’s VIP area and the enclave of the truly fabulous and it was tougher to get a pass to than the war room at the Pentagon. Angelika and Samantha were whisked straight through by the doorman and then they headed directly to the bar. Party fixture Anita Sarko was spinning records while dressed in a gloriously lurid costume topped with an outrageous lime green wig. She raised a glass of champagne in a toast and winked at the girls as they paased by her DJ booth.

               Two champagne-filled flutes miraculously appeared and were placed unbidden into the girls’ hands. Two grinning yuppies in Brooks Brothers suits, both exuding Wall Street sweat and reeking of Polo and new money, sidled up either side of Angelika and Samantha. How the fuck did they get in there? The girls silently wondered as they exchanged a subtle look of ‘not in this lifetime’ and politely smiled their thanks. One of the yuppies leaned in, whispered in Samantha’s ear then he discretely handed her something. She beamed at Angelika and then winked and whispered, “Join me in my office?”

               Angelika elegantly extricated herself from the second yuppie’s clammy and proprietal arm and carrying her glass of champagne, followed Samantha’s swaying, rubber-clad butt towards the bathroom.

               The bathroom at The Palladium was unisex, whether by design or by default, nobody knew for sure. It was easily as entertaining inside these hallowed walls as was the freakshow in the club proper. Drag queens were intently fixing their lashes, their lipliner and their stocking seams; beautiful boys with chiselled cheekbones were openly snorting cocaine and poppers; a couple of indeterminate gender was having noisy, uninhibited sex in one of the stalls. It was just another Wednesday night in Manhattan.

               Angelika and Samantha sauntered into a vacant cubicle and shut the door purposefully behind them. By force of habit, Angelika immediately crouched at toilet lid level, produced a cut-down drinking straw and a Gold American Express card from the recesses of her purse and  looked up to Samantha expectantly.

                “No, love, look what I got! Pressies!” Samantha then opened her hand, revealing a transparent golden plastic capsule which was filled with a sparkling white powder. 

                “What is it?” asked Angelika, a little disappointed, as she’d had her young heart set on a nice juicy line of the yuppies’ cocaine; yuppies often got the best coke, because God knows they could afford it.

                “MDMA. Ecstasy?” replied Samantha, knowledgeably.

                “I heard it was bad for you.” said Angelika after a moment, being in her own mind, the voice of reason.

                “Your point being?” replied Samantha, nonplussed. 

                Angelika looked at Samantha and then back at the glistening capsule. “So what do we do with it?”

                Samantha grinned devilishly as she placed their champagne glasses onto the closed lid of the toilet. She expertly twisted open the capsule, emptying half of the powder into each of their glasses.  Taking Angelika's straw from out of her friend’s hand, she swirled the powder into each glass of the effervescing liquid. Then the girls picked up their respective glasses, raised them in a toast and swallowed the mixture down, fast. The metallic chemical taste was disgusting and Angelika grimaced as Samantha burped elegantly and said through gritted teeth,  “No pain, no gain!”

                The girls laughed conspiratorally and after carefully wiping their glossy mouths, they exited the stall.

                                                                                                                                 
    The mulicoloured disco lights wheeled dizzyingly above the heaving dancefloor as the tiny but smoking hot latino DJ, Jellybean Benitez tantalizingly dropped ‘Get into the Groove’ by new pop wet dream,  Madonna. The crowd went crazy, fuelled by an unstoppable combination of chemical energy and youthful libido. Angelika and Samantha were to be found at the epicenter of it all, surrounded by writhingly hormonal admirers, each one trying to outdance the next. The yuppies from The Mike Todd Room had finally recognized that they were outclassed and out-sexed, and were hanging back hopelessly, mutely watching the two gorgeous girls with wide eyed lust from the Siberian edge of the dancefloor.

                Samantha threw back her beautiful head while flirting with one of the dancers - a stunning Puerto Rican rocker boy sporting a leather jacket and a ripped, Vivienne Westwood T-shirt. The sexy, snake-hipped androgyne grabbed her waist, pulling her into his shiny and enticing crotch, but she pulled away, laughing. Samantha shook her head admonishingly at the boy and then she glanced over at Angelika, who had suddenly stopped dancing and was looking rather unsteady on her stilettos. Samantha calmly approached Angelika and grabbed her wrist and then they stared into each others’ dilated black pupils for a long moment. Angelika reeled slightly, her eyelids were blinking unnaturally quickly along with the whirling, schizophrenic lighting.

                Samantha gently put her arms around her friend and said, “Hey, it’s OK, love, it's supposed to be like this at the beginning. Just breathe and give in to it.”  Angelika looked at Samantha again, trying in vain to calm the beat of her too-fast heart.

                Suddenly, an incredible wave of physical sensation was overtaking Angelika; she felt as if exploding dancing pixels of light were traveling from her brain, through her breasts, down to her crotch, melting all tension along the way and turning her body into a hot molten liquid. She felt unbelievably horny, but also incredibly affectionate and expansive all in the same moment.

                Through chattering teeth, Angelika stuttered, “Oh my God...”

                She grinned and looked around her; everyone present was beaming, beautiful, glowing with warmth and empathy. She then threw her long slender arms around Samantha and kissed her, saying sincerely and without irony and for the first time since they’d met, “I love you so much.”

                “That tends to be a known side effect.” laughed Samantha, fondly kissing her friend’s dewy cheek.

                Jellybean then masterfully mixed in ‘A Love Bizarre’ by Prince prodigy, Shiela E and the crowd started to chant along, their fists pumping the steamy air as one being. “A! B! A, B, C, D...” Angelika and Samantha hugged a long time, and then proceeded to abandon themselves to the intense electronic beat.


               It was much, much later and Angelika was glamourously lounging on a black velvet banquette back in The Mike Todd Room with Kirk, a fabulous Scottish hairdresser

whom she’d known since the rainy, low paid and mundane catalogue days. Since then, both of their careers had exploded along a parallel and rather stellar trajectory. But apart from that, Angelika just adored Kirk’s personality with his contradictory combination of knife-sharp humour juxtaposed with a familiar Celtic warmth.  Hilarious and irreverent, Kirk had of late become a legend in his field; he was now a revered magician of the follicles who, within minutes of weilding a skinny teasing comb and a whopping can of Elnett, could transform any ordinary shop-girl into the living embodiment of Polish supermodel, Paulina Poriskova. But Kirk didn’t need to work his genius on mere shop girls anymore; no way - Kirk's Glasgow salon days were well and truly behind him; there were eponymous hair-serum lines and nationally - aired infomercials in Kirk's bright, shiny and well-groomed future. 

  Kirk and Angelika were sweatily holding hands and sharing a damp Marlboro Light while idly taking the piss out of the nefarious night-crawlers who, in the manner of ravenous truffle pigs were schnuffling around the corners of the club on a desperately unsubtle quest for fresh and piquant new pleasures. Abruptly changing the subject while stating the bloody obvious, Angelika suddenly announced, “I took Ecstasy, Kirk.”  

              “You don’t say.” Kirk replied, patently unsurprised by this,, as his normally quite lovely but generally unaffectionate friend had never been quite this snuggly before. “Never would have guessed. And how does madam like her new drug?” 

               “I feel like the star of my own movie.” replied Angelika, smiling contentedly while cuddling deep into Kirk’s Gaultier-swathed shoulder. Kirk nodded and experly blew a smoke ring.  

              “Darling, you are a star, a superstar. Don't they throw money at you?”

              “They do, Kirk, they simply hurl it at me from great heights.” grinned Angelika, goofily.

               “Poor bairn. Now where’s the old tart?” replied Kirk while scanning the rapidly thinning crowd.        
     
               “Samantha?” muttered Angelika, who was relishing the sensation of Kirk’s bunny-soft cashmere against her cheek. “Last time I saw her, she was wrapped around Billy Idol. Or Matt Dillon. Either or.”      
          
               As if paged from above, Samantha suddenly materialized towing English punk rock 

star, Billy Idol in her sexy wake. Behind his studded and leather-clad back, Sam made a 
smug face at Angelika expressing her self-congratulation at her brilliant pulling skills. Evidently,
the rock’n roll gods had smiled upon her this particular evening. Angelika nodded her approval 
and then squinted as subtly as possible at "Billy". It wasn’t actually him, but in this smoky and forgiving light, he could pass.

               “Hmm...and how are my children of the night?” inquired Angelika. ‘Not Billy Idol’ had the cheekbones, the perpetual sneer and the Cockerney accent down pat.    

 “Al'right?”  he opined, patently a man of few words. Samantha grabbed his gloved hand, pulled him close and kissed him on his perfectly sculpted, sepulchre white cheek.

               “Living the dream, darling!” beamed Samantha, “Living the fuckin’ dream. Aisha's having a party. C'mon.”

                                “Aisha?” inquired ‘Not Billy’, looking endearingly baffled, an expression that his new 
               friends would come to know well. Kirk, Samantha and Angelika replied in unison.    

                                “The one who dropped the baby on the Vogue shoot?”

              “Old butter fingers herself.” responded Kirk, grabbing Angelika’s sweaty paw and manhandling her off of the banquette and onto her teetering stiletto-shod feet to join Samantha and ‘Not Billy Idol.’

  Angelika then quietly whispered to Samantha. “I hate to be the one to break it to you my darling, but that's not him, you know. It’s definitely N.B.I” 

  Samantha shrugged insouciently,  “Like I care! I snogged Matt Dillon!”

               They both gave out a subtle whoop of triumph, as they had made a mutual pact several months previously after a particularly fevered viewing of Francis Ford Colppola’s ‘The Outsiders’  that Angelika would make it her life’s mission to snog actor, Rob Lowe and Samantha, Matt Dillon.       
 
                “The dream indeed. One down,” grinned Angelika, “one to go. Onwards and upwards….”       
     
                And with that, the swaying but fantastically attired group headed towards the staircase, out onto Fourteenth Street and into a waiting yellow cab which whisked them off into the potentially choppy waters of Alphabet City…..