One Decadent Life: Part Two



Angelique’s Diary Entry
Christmas Morning 1985, 11 AM
Saint Barthelemy


Waking up with a blasted brain, hangover sickness, oh my gods and goddesses what did I do to myself last night? I think I absorbed David’s bile and actually BECAME the bastard. Because there I was, doing coke — and I’m thinking he didn’t. Orestes would say something along the lines of: You want to cure a person? Get sick like the person.

Feel like sheer HELL! And I think I even SAW Orestes last night — a vision brought on by The Daddy, Eunice’s Daddy, what was his name?

And that guy Luc, gorgeous yes, but what a dysfunction. Another bastard now how has it happened that I am surrounded by bastards



Angelique stopped writing, hearing a light knock on her door — “Yesss?” she hissed, head splitting.

It was David, just arriving home: “How are you? May I come in?”


As he pushed the door to, the tiny green monkey shot into the hall — “Oh my fucking GOD! What is THAT? AND it reeks like a zoo in here!”

“Good morning to you too.”

“No really, Angelique — I warned you. Somebody finally sold you a monkey.”

A short pause as they stared at each other; then both starting shrieking in hysterics. Angelique pounded on the bed, nearly weeping, David doubled over, guffawing as Angelique took a tissue, blew her nose. The results showed up all bloody.

“Angelique, yech, ugh! Look what you did to yourself.”

“I have very fragile nasal passages.”

“Bad girl, you did coke!”

“You love saying that, don’t you? So what in hell, where in hell did YOU end up?”

“Those bitches AWL and OOL? They threw me in the pool…”

Angelique shrieked, “It’s a limerick! ‘There was a young lady… er… young female called OOL

‘Short for OOL-timate Breaker of Rules
She snorted cocaine
with a sneer of disdain
And died stuck to the floor by her drool.’ “

“Hmm, you’re good at that! But I didn’t hear anything about a ‘pool’ in there.”

“Drool, pool, same thing… but okay —

‘There was a young slut name of OOL
Who drowned the fiend Dave in a pool
Ool and pal Alt
Were ignobly at fault
For this deed so dastardly cruel.’

“And you, did you get laid?”

“Sort of… though not by whom you’d’ve imagined.”

“The two blonde chicks?”

“….. And how did you know about that?”

“Your paramour summoned them, as you were going upstairs. They probably work for the pimp!”

Angelique sighed, “I only realized later…”

“Angelique, the whole ship was crammed with drugs AND hookers. You and I were probably the only two people there NOT for sale. For a change.”

“Stop it! So you got thrown in the pool, THEN what?”

“The slaves took my wet clothes, got me a bathrobe and put me to bed. And I just plain passed out. Slept like a baby, in the middle of the riot.”

“Party pooper!” They screamed again.

“In the morning my clothes came back, cleaned and pressed like they haven’t been for a century. I wasn’t the only one who passed out on that tugboat. Like some kinda crazy nightclub-spa… I think some never did locate their clothes, saw a few of them leaving in bathrobes.”

“So — did you see Luc this morning?”

“You poor thing!”

She tried to swat him and almost fell out of bed, “OOOH my head!” Her nose was dripping blood.

“No, no Luc. Only about a hundred of his minions. They bathed me, clothed me, whipped me up some eggs, on top of a few superior croissants, and finally limo’d me back here, I believe, in one piece.”

Angelique got up and looked in the mirror, “HORRORS!” She couldn’t brush her hair. It was gummed up with the glitter, and stuck in clots by the spray. He felt compelled to go on teasing her…

“So you do coke, do you, Angelique?”

“And so I do. That’s a privilege reserved for those of us who aren’t addicts.” She gave him her superior sidelong glance. “Yaaas… WE actually get to have FUN with drugs. Now and then.”

“And did you have fun?

Giving up on her hair, she considered. “The first snort, yes. The first one’s always the best. Dancing… yes, fantastic. But later it got stupid. Those two blondes serviced me, with Luc watching. All the time I was high, it was fine. Then? I felt awful. Absolutely AWFUL! I saw he was a freak. I CANNOT believe myself. I had a crush on something… that was just like a client.”

“Well I think that’s sort of normal, isn’t it?”

“Normal? For whom? Maybe… such as he is the only thing I attract anymore — yet another freak. Anyhow, can we stop talking about it? I just know I hated it. And him. Though I made him give me a pair of shoes…”

“He has ladies’ shoes stored in his closets?”

“Darling he’s the type who has EVERYTHING in closets. Including his penis.”

From upstairs they heard the monkey squealing and chittering.

“David we have to catch him. Otherwise he’s gonna shit the whole house. I know — I had a monkey when I was a kid.”

“We’ll have to find a cage!”

“ ‘There once was a monkey so green
One noticed not he was obscene
He pranced, and he posed
And then it arose
That his penis was not very clean.’ ”

“You have a sick mind.”

“So I have been told. We’re on our own today. Why don’t you fix me some breakfast?”

“Why don’t you take a flying fuck Angelique my darling and fix ME some breakfast?”

“I thought Luc’s slaves had already fed you?”

She emerged from bed, enrobed herself, tied a scarf around her damaged head, and applied lipstick. Together they managed to
find the kitchen.

“So I escaped Luc, looked for you, the minions said you had left. When I finally exited that fucking yacht, aykayay shithouse, aykayay whorehouse, I went down to the dock, found Eunice and her Daddy, met lots of people and partied on on the docks! Only THEN did I start really having fun!”

“And the monkey..?”

“Yeah, and the monkey… who said ‘Hello’ by crapping my Balenciaga.”

“Your dress?”

“I traded the dress for the monkey.”

Joyfully they shrieked some more. Angelique found him newly adorable; this was what she had been waiting for. Fun, silliness, wit, craziness, total liberty to say or do whatever. So she whined like a child, “I’ve got a hangover.”

“No I’VE got the hangover here. I drank more alcohol than you took coke.”

“You don’t know HOW MUCH coke I took.”

While they were squabbling the phone began ringing.

“Answer it Angelique. If it’s my sister, tell her I left.”

“Golleee, you are the bossy one. I am NOT answering any goddamned telephone. I’m on vacation. And don’t you answer it either, David. It could be that sleaze, Luc.”

“Or OOL. Or ALT! Brrr! Don’t you have the feeling? That we ought to get out of here?”

“Back to Manhattan?”

“No, I don’t think I’m strong enough yet to face Manhattan. But elsewhere…”

“Where? Paris, Rome, Milan?”

They began laying waste to the provisions.


An hour later they had the monkey in a bird cage Angelique had discovered in a storage closet. David was feeding it pieces of an orange, and she was working on her hair. She had her head hanging over the railing on the veranda, separating each fluffy strand laboriously with a small comb.

“Your hair looks like cotton candy,” he remarked.

“It behaves like it too. Always breaking off and falling apart.”

The phone rang on and off, intermittently. They amused themselves by imagining who was calling.

“Sixteen… seventeen rings,” he counted. “That’s my sister.”

“If it’s really important, they can send a telegram.”

They had been discussing where else they might go, as well as David’s present condition, which both agreed seemed to have improved.

“How many days HAS it been,” Angelique asked her friend.

“I have no idea… Maybe three weeks?”

“Yes… we’ve been gone at least that long.”

“It’s not long enough to face down Manhattan though.”

You did resist doing any drugs all night long.”

“But really — my ‘all night long’ only lasted about three hours. I was in public, in a strange place, on a strange boat full of people I didn’t know. It will be entirely different, seeing all my friends in Manhattan again. To then, somehow, NOT get high with them?”

“You’ll just need to find all new friends.”

David decided to fill Angelique in on a few things about Tere — what Tere had gotten mixed up in.

“Dealing! Gods and goddesses but you were DOOMED.”

“I was… we were. I thought running away might help her. But she lasted about three days. She lost her stash, started kicking, panicked and couldn’t stay.”

“I’m sorry…” and Angelique actually was.

“She’s gone to London, where you can register as an addict. So to begin with, she can get dope for free. She’ll never get sick. PLUS she can deal — because people still buy it on the black market.” David lit a cigarette, looking miserable, “I just have this feeling that I’ll never see her again.”

“So ALL your pals are junkies?”

“All of them. Every single, accursed one of them. Even my sister. She’s a pill junkie!”

“What’s a pill junkie?”

“Her doctor keeps her loaded on uppers and downers. Uppers for weight loss, downers to sleep. Uppers for a good mood… downers to keep anxiety at bay. It’s almost like, well yes… I guess it’s true,” he grimaced and drank down a third cup of coffee, “I don’t have ONE straight friend. Except you.”

“Well there’s one good thing about New York. It’s so enormous you can always start over, and without moving away.”

David thought of Anya, Caroline, the Organization. And since Tere had robbed them, and he was her friend… “I should not even go back to New York. Maybe I’ll move to LA. There’s sort of an art scene there.”

“David, you can’t move to LA. It’s full of Philistines. Plus, you can’t drive.”

“Well, I could learn! I think…”

They spent the day ruminating about where else to go; doing nothing, wandering on the beach. The weather was not very comforting. The palms clashed in the wind, there was a presage of storm.

Angelique laid out an early dinner for them, with all the conventional Christmas fixings: turkey, cranberry sauce, mashed potatoes laced with garlic, all cooked up by Eunice to perfection. Angelique was pleased to see David eating with good appetite.

As they finished the meal, David had a thought, “You know — I have a friend named ‘Soleil’ who has this house in New Mexico. Up north, an hour past Santa Fe. It’s in a tiny town called Archuleta, on top of a mesa. I don’t even think the place has a phone.

“Let me try calling him, see if it’s free. He collects these strange little old places, adobe huts, run down and isolated. All over the state. At one point he even owned a frontier church. The townspeople rose up against him, though. Thought he was a Satanist. He had to have a public deconsecration ceremony so they’d stop slashing his tires.”

“Sounds… magicky.”

“I’ve stayed in that church. But there’s too many people around. Hippie townsfolk. But this house in Archuleta is on a private mesa, three-hundred sixty degrees of mountain views, and not another house in sight. Soleil had a big party there one night, a spring equinox thing, completely wild for three days. And it’s nearly impossible to find.”

“Sounds VERY magicky. Is there a typewriter there?”

“Yes… we’d just have to stop in Santa Fe and stock up on food. And typewriter paper.”

“Well… I think I may be able to stay away another week.”

“A week?” David sounded disappointed.

“Well… a week at least. Maybe two. I just have to make some phone calls.”

“I’ll call Soleil and find out, get directions, ” and David got up, clapping his hands in sudden, strange excitement.

After this for her rather long exclusion from New York, Angelique realized she had been looking forward to reattaching to civilzation. The possibility of further isolation, more time spent alone with her difficult friend, did not please her wholly and she considered the new plan with some trepidation.


Angelique’s Diary Entry
Christmas Night 1985, 9 PM
Saint Barthelemy


We’re leaving tomorrow morning for an alleged ‘remote location’ in the mountains of New Mexico. David said the place is a converted trailer, on top of a mesa. When I balked at the idea of a trailer, he explained that everyone lives in them in Northern New Mexico, that it’s converted, covered in abode, with a greenhouse attached. Well it still sounds altogether too remote and rusticky. Back to winter and snow! We’re flying to Albuquerque, then I’ll rent us a car.

He’s refusing to go back to New York. Now that he’s finally admitted he’s a junkie, he can admit he is still in the throes of detox. He said he’s on Day Twenty-Two.

And we’re talking again. My obsession, being “in love,” is somewhat abating… as an active, involved friendship comes more to the fore. But the prospect, being so alone with him?

So the Pastoral Ideal continues! As we continue to deny Manhattan its power. This Ideal has always flourished in a time of Decadence. The more artificial our lives, the more we crave a few blades of grass, a green landscape without any human influence.

Is that an antidote to decadence? While it does seem absurd for two over-civilized, late-twentieth-century artists to play at being natural… naive… even innocent? it’s better than going down the drain. Dying on heroin, or degenerating as a filthy rich courtesan with no lovers. It’s the only thing we have left, as we try for redemption.

I called Polonia and wished her a Happy Christmas, told her I would not be back until the New Year. She’s instructed to open the Chambers on the 27th, keep the phones warm for a couple of hours. She said she’d put Mistresses Remi and Marlene on call, as they are the most eager to work. And anyone else… Lady Helena, or that Gloria Hotspur whom I trust as far as I might throw her… will help us make the January rent.

Do not relish the thought of coming home to nothing, having to scrabble in the dead of winter. After Xmas business is quite diminished: all the poor slaves paying off their credit cards. But I’ll leave it to Polonia. I can’t go back now. David needs me.

TIme to pack, but first take little monkey back to Jose. I wish I could keep him, but I can’t see checking him into baggage. And he could freeze out there, on the wild frontier.



for the Novel “ONE DECADENT LIFE”




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