01 April 2009

Murray Hill was always good for The Times. Pick a doorway, any doorway, and it was there. There was always a tall brown bag of fresh bread outside the Italian place ripe for the taking too - if you got there early enough.

I told her to meet me on the corner near the guy who sells the children's coloring books with the pages missing.

She got in the car. It was a gun metal gray Jaguar. Before they were owned by Ford. So it was nice - unreliable, but nice. As soon as the door clicked a warm wood shut she said, "Do you party?"

"Do I what?!", it was a green light.

The cabin was burlwood and warm. Clayelle Dalferes was on WQXR 96.3 and it was raining. She knew I was in a good mood because I was wearing my favorite dark blue pinstripe suit, a pink shirt with a red Brooks Brothers tie. Francis Poulenc sounded best through six or eight strategically place Bang & Olufsens. She handed me two new gold sleeve garters wrapped in Tiffany-turquoise tissue paper and said, "Happy Anniversary." I smiled and put my hand on her thigh and finally made the left down 34th Street and jumped on the FDR headed South.

She was from Southern Louisiana. Her parents were French by trade, so the original spelling of her name was Gallicized, but we'll get to that later. One thing at a time. First, before I forget, remind me to tell you later about the banker with the magnetic collar stays and the new boss with the old pacemaker.

By now we were late to meet Avi, the diamond dealer. Not to mention I had a table waiting for us on Old Fulton and Front underneath the Brooklyn Bridge. It was a standing order every Thursday night. Sometimes we showed up, sometimes we didn't and by the way the day was going this was going to be one of the nights we didn't.