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…..