“Aries are, like, the only people who can stand up to me. They’re the only ones who won’t put up with my shit.”
I am sitting across from a Taurus with puffy cheeks and words that have begun to slur. And, true to the cosmos, I am not putting up with her shit. I want to punch her, maybe not hard enough to break her jaw, but hard enough to knock some sense into her, realign her brain cells with something resembling normal. This is the same girl who once told me the entire history of how she got “really big in Japan.” – a statement that seems only relevant if you’re Michael Jackson or Justin Bieber.
For the record, I do not like Corey. Corey is everything that is wrong with the New York “scene.” She is, was, will be one of the fashion girls who runs a blog and is written up about in the Style section of New York Magazine mostly because some writer was too lazy to dig up something better. She’ll get a gig as a DJ that will eventually snowball into some form of notoriety until she’s magically scored the cover of Nylon. Corey and her breed make me certain that Andy Warhol’s little Factory was likely a horrible, overhyped place filled with arrogant, bored individuals with a collective undue sense of accomplishment and cultural significance.
After she’s explained to me her relationship with her mother (also an Aries), she yells, “ARE YOU FUCKING RETARDED?” into the peaceful, creamy calm of our French restaurant, following my claim that Bushwick still isn’t safe for girls.
“Bushwick is like fucking Disneyland compared to Crown Heights.”
Corey lives in Crown Heights in what used to be a butcher shop. She wants to move. “It’s a long story,” she says. “I don’t want to get into it.” Until she does get into it, telling me about how freezing cold it is in the butcher shop abode, probably because the place doesn’t have a heater, how the neighborhood is dangerous, how she’s just a tiny white girl making the twelve-minute walk from the subway on her own. Corey has been forced to rethink her living situation. Her roommate, someone equally abhorrent, is in Salt Lake City taking a second spin at rehab.
Corey rolls her eyes with an exasperated lack of sympathy.
Corey has problems of her own, to be sure, ones that my friend told me she was working through, or has at least brought from a boil to a simmer, evident in the fact she is still alive. Skeletor, that’s what John called her last summer, only he didn’t know Corey yet. At said point in story, Corey was just another anonymous coke waif.
“This chick came in with this huge shirt and these bony little arms and…” John had moved on to a description of the groupie that came to hang out and do drugs with his musician friends when I stopped him after Googling the name Corey Seymour. I flashed him a photograph of an emaciated blonde. “That’s her!” he said. “That’s her!”
Like shooting anorexic fish in a fashion barrel.
Only Corey isn’t anorexic; Corey is bulimic. At dinner, she routinely orders three-course meals. She clears each plate, dragging slices of white bread against the china’s surface in order to sop up every last drop of buttery sauce, scraping her spoon against the dessert bowl until no chocolate remains. Tonight, she asks the waiter if they have any sauce and then dips every piece of her seared steak tartar into a thick homemade mayonnaise. She drinks her wine and then orders another. And another. After each course, she excuses herself. “I have to pee,” she says, and then she is gone for an undue, extended period of time.
In the seconds that follow her disappearances, an awkward silence pervades, where everyone knows what is going on and no one says anything.
If there were anything charming about Corey, I would find a sympathetic space within my heart. Only there is nothing charming about Corey, nothing engaging or compelling or intelligent, her brain living in some slow-blinking, starved, Percocet haze. She tries to explain to us the cultural importance of Velvet Goldmine, how it opened up a movement for gays and existed on the precipice of great societal change and upheaval. But her explanation doesn’t make sense, follows no logic, and comes out in a warbled, unintelligible fog that makes me want to go back to college to avoid moments such as this, moments I experience with a frequency that I find terrifying.
This is your brain.
This is your brain on drugs.
This is your brain on drugs and body dysmorphia.
This is your brain on unchecked narcissism.
This is your brain on fashion.
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