Thursday, March 02, 2006

Underground with the Soho Vomit Princesses

It was late on a Friday night and I was waiting for the C-train to come and bring me back to Brooklyn. Besides me, the station was empty except for the token-booth attendants and two fantastically beautiful women. They stood chatting a few dozen feet down the platform, close enough so that I could hear most of what they were saying, yet far enough so that I could steal glances at them without being too obvious about it. I couldn’t help this. They had that spectacular Soho gorgeousness to them, all ridiculous height and perfect faces, with that skinny and big-eyed look that the girls in the glossy magazine fashion ads have. Considering where I was, under the epicenter of downtown Manhattan’s most chic streets, these may very well have been actual, real-life models. Sad to say, I’m a typical heterosexual male in this regard: put a fashion model anywhere near me and most of my higher mental processes shut off. I didn’t even have the wherewithal to consider it strange that these awesome creatures–who surely should have investment bankers and media moguls at their beck and call--were riding the subway at one in the morning. I was just happy they were there.

“And I was like, oh for Christ’s sake just give it up bitch...” the blonde one said and her voice was like the call of angels echoing through that dank and lonely station.

“I know! I know!” squealed the black-haired one and I decided she was the one I liked better. She seemed more “edgy” and “real” to me, but–keep in mind–I was a gibbering idiot. It took all my faculties not to drool on myself. Knowing me, I was probably fantasizing about the elaborate series of events which would need to occur in order for me to have an excuse to speak with them. A man jumping onto the third rail and electrocuting himself, a six foot rat lumbering out of the tunnel to menace us, a sudden blackout: these were the sorts of situations in which a shy young man like myself would feel it was appropriate to importune these lovely goddesses with my presence.

“And then she’s like, shut up, and I’m serious, I was like fuck you, you know?” explained the blonde one, with the sort of charm that melt any twenty-two year old’s cynical heart.

“Shut! Up!” concurred the black-haired one and she was so delicate and sweet it was like she was reciting Petrarch in the original Italian.

These were the days when fantasy came easily to me. After rescuing her from the six-foot rat, the black-haired one would be won over by my wit and wholesome Midwestern goodness, and soon she’d ask me to move into her Nolita loft. She’d then insist that I quit my job to write full time, since Prada and Yves Saint-Laurent paid her so generously for wearing their outfits and since she needed someone to keep her company at all her fashion shoots in Paris, Hong Kong, and Pittsburgh. The blonde one would remain a good friend, of course, and she’d periodically drop by for take-out Thai food and seven-hour threesomes. It would be a fine life for all concerned, and it could get underway just as soon as that giant rat held up his end of the bargain.

“She’s, like, the biggest bitch,” said the blonde one as I went on with my sordid imaginings.

“Totally!” chimed in the black-haired one, my eternal beloved.

That’s when the blonde one abruptly changed the subject “The train’s gonna come soon. You better do it,” she said.

“Ohmigod! I totally almost forgot!” the black-haired one exclaimed and then she stepped over to the edge of the platform, brushed her hair out of her face, stuck her finger down her throat and puked all over the tracks. I’m not kidding. I couldn’t believe my fantasy girlfriend would do such a thing. It was so bad I completely forgot that I was supposed to be staring discreetly. I just stared. I gawked, even. I stood there gawking at this ravishing girl as she wiped the vomit off her chin.

They were oblivious, though. “Do you, like, have some gum?” the black-haired one asked.

“Totally,” said the blonde one and, by then, the rumble of the train had filled the narrow station. It was a relief. Suddenly, I couldn’t get away fast enough. When it came, I rushed up to meet it and ducked into a car far away from the one they chose. I didn’t want to look at them anymore. They might have been gorgeous, but they were too gross for me.