It all started out innocently enough - I was just trying to get over you, and the void you had left in my heart, my life. After meeting Harold Parker Wadsworth IV at Coffee Bean and Teal Leaf, we began the standard married-geriatric-courting-young-hottie-with-wife’s-knowledge affair. I thought I'd be sleeping with him right away, interlacing young limbs with old, soft-smooth with soft-saggy. Yet apparently there is a sequence - lunches at the Four Seasons, shopping sprees at Gucci and Prada, having tea with his aging (and by aging, I mean 33) wife, Greta - leading to the consummation.
"I want you to promise me something," he said once, his octagenarian voice croaking. "Never, ever call me Harold. It’s Parkie. If you do this, I will cater to your every whim, as long as you desire." If this odd request meant a second Kelly, it was simple enough. He was Parkie, and I was Annie. All this time, I was preparing to navigate the transparent flaps of old man skin in order to reach my ultimate goal. Sure, it had changed slightly - Louis Vuitton’s latest collection is amazing - but still. Means to an end.
Yesterday, the day had come. Parkie came to my apartment to pick me up - we were going to fly to San Francisco for the weekend. First Class. He stood on my stoop, gingerly holding a bottle of 1970 Dom. He remembered. There was a twinkle in his old, cloudy eye...or maybe that was just a cataract. I couldn’t tell.
I invited him in, knowing I’d need to team that bottle with some Xanax before getting on the plane. I had outfitted myself appropriately for my weekend getaway, just like Liz Hurley does when she travels. Elegant and expensive. I don’t understand how women let themselves get so sloppy on flights, no less be photographed like that. What could they possibly be thinking?
Parkie entered my apartment, peering around with obvious approval. He knew he had chosen his mistress well, with the overabundance of Eames, Adler, Noguchi and of course, Steph Goldstein. I took the bottle of Dom from him, and went into the kitchen. He settled on the chaise. I came back, a few minutes later, having hastily downed three glasses of champagne and a couple of pills to ease my anxiety. As I walked into the room, I looked lovingly at my benefactor. How sweet, I thought. He’s asleep. An hour later, after finishing the bottle, straightening my hair, retouching my makeup and changing twice over, he was still there. Same position. At that point, I started to feel slightly irritated. We have to leave soon, and he's STILL napping? I called his name, snapped my fingers, coughed insistently. Still no movement. Ugh. This is taking up my precious time. Reluctantly, I walked the four steps to the chaise and bent over him. He looked fine. I mean, he’d taken his wallet out and sat it down next to him, which made him appear shorter than before. It was so beautiful, overstuffed, almost bursting at the seams, bathed in the warm afternoon sunlight. I sighed longingly. Vintage Louis, no less. I could feel my juices begin to stir...but then, my attention snapped back to Parkie when I realized he wasn’t wheezing as usual. With emphysema, there is a familiar, almost Vader-esque quality to his breathing, but silence hung in the air like stale flatulence. Like cheap, supermarket Old Spice.
This cannot be for real, I thought, panicked. Parkie up and died on me before he had a chance to change his will. A million thoughts echoed in my head: who do I call? Steph? Greta? 911? How do you hide a body? I don’t want this in the papers; it would be the end of my social life. I paced the room in my Blahniks, fighting the urge to flee, to pack my Prada bags and cab it to the nearest bakery. Come on, Annie, breathe. Think. It's not that bad. I mean, let's face it - he was pretty old anyway. Pretty light, too. I could just toss him out the window - gently, of course - and the police would think he had a heart attack on the street. But what if someone sees me? What if I end up in Camp Cupcake? That would be akin to suicide, like white shoes after Labor Day. Jail was a terrible black mark on Martha's glossy image. I picked up the phone, and slowly, hesitantly, with trembling fingers, dialed the only number I could.
If only you could see the mess you have made.