Swelter

A nice crowd of right-thinking, reasonable people, but still, drawn to the three graces of the netherworld at the bar. One of the graces, a high-spirited vixen in black, transcending the natural Protestant aversion to physical contact with an impassioned speech about club protocol. "I go out all the time with this crowd of fifteen really fun people, gay and straight, but we don't do drugs -- we drink. But we don't like to pay at the door, you know, the principle of the thing, and it's nice to get a round for free once in a while. We might go to I Tre Merli at 10:00, spend a thousand dollars, and stay until three...Then we go home."

Being constitutionally incapable of enjoying the pleasures of home and hearth, letting the nightlife marathon wind down to a civilized conclusion at Four One One, this time for a perfectly peaceful dinner. Cesare Bruni of New York's Boom restaurant, in town overseeing the construction of his new Beach outpost. Madonna's brother, Christopher Ciccone, remaining oblivious to the homage-to-material-girl medley on the sound system. An after-dinner stroll through the provinces of Pleasure Island, two Latin thugs and a trashy-looking harlot looming up on the deserted horizon. A shiver of terror, and then the woman suddenly begins to sing a Spanish folk song, a miraculously beautiful voice coming out of nowhere, reverberating through the streets. Stay out late enough in this small lovely world, and something is bound to happen.

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