This being Miami, his relative stature in the national pantheon sort of beside the point, although way too many fame-smitten guests -- of both sexes -- kept making pitched lust assaults. The party unraveling in a splendid manner, within and without Ellis: a crashing queen from Holland pawing people and making secretive calls to the homeland; the producer of Caligula mingling with a famed songwriter; Damian Dee-Vine doing a salute to Evita with an Esther Williams touch, jumping in the pool for a grand finale. Everyone clustering around and gaping at the shimmering water, eerily like the cafe society in La Dolce Vita, momentarily captivated by the spectacle of a miraculous beast. The moment passes, the evening pivots -- someone noting that the whole scene really smacked of The Damned, save for the lack of sexually arresting Nazi gear -- Ellis long gone as the die-hards hang on, clutching at possibility. And so we all travel, party to party, heedless and feverish, lost in the great engine of society, chasing the mirages of the night.

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