The elevator was wood paneled with a dark reddish luster, and the doors were covered in gold leaf. We stepped inside and began our ascent, above the rest of the city. Madison Avenue and 77 th street, top of the world. The doors finally opened to reveal a dimly lit hallway with three doors. Mike knocked on the first one to the right. A thin girl wearing tight jeans and an even tighter black tank top opened the door. Her eyes, covered with eye shadow, seemed as though she peered out from two cavernous holes in her face.
The skin on her forearms was barely visible due to the innumerable bracelets which covered her arms.
Mike quickly brushed past her without any sort of salutation. As I walked up to introduce myself she quickly turned her back to me and followed Mike deeper into the apartment.
“Mike, did you bring me my cigarettes?” she whined as she trailed after him through the apartment and into the kitchen.
I paused a moment in the doorway to imbibe the surrounding atmosphere of the apartment. I looked around incredulously at the elaborate decorations of the house. To my right hung some sort of old portrait which could have dated back to the colonial America. The entire floor of the apartment was lavishly covered with an immaculate white carpet. I thought that these kinds of apartments were merely myths.
I proceeded to explore the depths of the apartment in search of Mike. As I looked around I noticed a door cracked open, I peered inside and opened it slowly. There was indeterminable number of people on the bed watching a movie. I stood there for a moment debating whether or not I should I go in and introduce myself, until someone got off from the bed, walked briskly to the door and closed it in my face. I decided not to go in. I hurried into the kitchen.
The kitchen was at least twice as large as any room in my house. Mike stood by an industrial sized fridge and beckoned me towards him. As he rummaged through the fridge he paused, and reached into his coat pulling out a pack of cigarettes, he tossed them to the floor in front of the girl with too much eye shadow. She lunged fervently for the box and began to tear it open. Mike reached into the fridge and passed me a coke, while retrieving one for himself as well.
“I’m telling you man this girl is so rich—Just look around!” he exclaimed.
Mike spent the majority of the taxi ride uptown divulging exactly “how rich this girl was.”
Natalie walked over to Mike and looked at me carefully from head to toe.
“He looks like an icky homeless guy” she said decidedly. “What’s his name?” she inquired.
I looked up, a little surprised.
“Ben meet Natalie—Natalie meet Ben,” he said in a slightly restless way. After this cordial introduction Mike quickly took a seat in front of the television and resumed his concentrated video game playing. I smiled jovially at Natalie to show that I wasn’t annoyed, she merely looked past me. I proceeded to sip my coke quietly as we both watched Mike play Nintendo silently. As we stared out into nothing my eyes drifted to Natalie’s; those black holes in her face. She looked up at me and for a split second, her eyes begged for sympathy and escape.
“Excuse me, I need a Perrier,” she whined.
She quickly turned from me and went to the furthest point of the kitchen to get one. Mike turned to me with a look of enthusiasm in his eyes, “how ridiculous is this house?” he exclaimed enthusiastically.
Before I had a chance to answer he resumed his playing and began muttering exactly how rich and how nice Natalie’s house was. A raspy almost seductive voice called from the doorway:
“Mike! You’re here, finally it’s been so boring here, let’s go somewhere! Do something already!” she exclaimed desperately.
This voice belonged to a girl wearing a blue slip with feisty green eyes. she had a voluptuous body which filled her blue slip nicely.
“Yeah, whatever soon, just chill! I’ll figure something out” Mike said coolly. He turned to me and shot me a smile as if to say: hey look I’m in charge here.
I stood up to introduce myself, and just as I walked toward her she walked through me and sat in my seat at the table.
“I need another cigarette. Pass them here Ashley” whined Natalie.
“You know those things will kill you” I said teasingly.
She abruptly turned to me and glared out from the black holes that were here eye sockets. She smoothly turned her back towards me once again, and proceeded to take another cigarette out of the carton bringing it to her lips and slowly lighting it.
A small, black poodle which defied Darwin’s laws of Natural selection pranced into the kitchen yapping and jumped around. Ashley picked up the dog and placed it on her lap; she took a drag on her cigarette, and subsequently exhaled a cloud of smoke into the dog’s face. The dog, assaulted, leaped down and retreated to the safety of her cage.
A small grin slowly creeped across Ashley’s faces, and faded just as slowly. It was the first sign of emotion I saw from her all night.
“Let’s get out of here, I’m like so bored just sitting here!” Ashley winced almost painfully.
“We could go to John’s house, I heard that he was gonna have people there” suggested Natalie.
“Eww I really just don’t like John, his house is so cramped and small” Ashley complained.
We all sat in silence for a few moments until Ashley finally got up and proceeded to the kitchen door; she paused and shot Mike a seductive smile. Mike quickly followed her out of the kitchen.
This left Natalie and I alone in the kitchen together. Natalie sat at the table while I sat on the floor.
“So do you have these sorts of gatherings often?” I inquired.
Her eyes remained fixated on the wall ahead of her as she answered me.
“Meh, they just sorta show up” she paused looking a bit downtrodden “I don’t mind though, their friends of mine” she continued with a twinge of forced cheeriness in her voice. We sat in silence for several moments until Natalie went to rejoin everyone else in the bedroom. I sat in the kitchen alone. I let myself out and rode the elevator back to reality. I walked along the deserted Madison Avenue under the pallid glow of the street lamps overhead.