Cocktails and Cuddling

Harold G. Hargill preferred to begin his daily cocktail hour during the work week at a civilized 2 PM. As a flexible and tolerant man, he permitted his cocktail hour the intrinsic freedom to stretch out and expand from there. He considered it the most productive part of his day. There was no more need to waste time playing with food. Inspiration struck, often. His wit was at its most dazzling, often.

As a smaller man Harold had grown to know big and bigger. As a rich man Harold knew rich, richer, and richest, of which he was titanically all of the above from birth. The conditions of his employment presented no obstacle to his intrinsic freedom because he was the sole owner of Harold G. Hargill Associates, at 33,000 square feet of splendor the largest and most luxurious showroom in The Dallas Design District. To the simpatico few who knew, The Dallas Design District was the heart and soul of elegance in Big D, where big was never big enough.

Harold’s top salesman of many years, dapper Jack Bowie, along with many of his better clients, also for many years, would join him for cocktails, often. Plenty of ice in silver buckets was on hand. They would sit in finely carved and stuffed reproductions of Louis XV furniture, a classic vignette featuring a pair of awkward and uncomfortable fauteuils, and a misshapen settee upholstered in a blue/gold silk damask, a favorite. Harold would smoke one of the many Benson & Hedges Gold cigarettes that would collude in history with genes and the abundance of alcohol to cause a good man to die young, and maintain good cheer. After the cocktail hour, he liked to cuddle, suck, kiss, fuck, and get as well as give, but not so much in the ass.

As it turned out, Jack Bowie enjoyed it in the ass just fine. He was not the ace crackerjack salesman at the top design showroom in Dallas because of his good looks alone, which were certainly at least better than just okay. Nothing wrong with that. Many interconnected parts are required to construct a cohesive whole. He also worked tirelessly around the clock sipping classic martinis with Tanqueray gin alongside vendors from companies in the interior design trade who possessed inexhaustible expense accounts in pursuit of high class representation in the booming Dallas market. The stylish lounge of the Mansion on Turtle Creek was the preferred venue. Sparkling glassware was hoisted. Many pinkies were raised in salute. From there, more flexibility was again likely to occur, often.

Jack Bowie liked to entertain his out of town prospectors by employing his most ironic Texas cowboy accent, saying, often, “Shall we?”

He was engaged in just that, giving and getting juicy gossip of the trade in a plush standard room on the second floor from a darling of a national sales representative for Jack Lenor Larsen Fabrics in New York when he became aroused.

“Did I just hear what I just heard?”

“It depends on what you heard.”

“I know I did.”

“Did I say something?”

“It’s something I’m remembering.”

“If there’s anything I can do.”

The national sales rep, whose name was Ronnie Medrano, traveled on a regular schedule to design showrooms in twelve cities pushing his dated line of boring screen prints thought clever by prisoners inside of tiny New York apartments. He knew everyone who knew anyone in the D&D Building, in the Pacific Design Center, in the Merchandise Mart. He was not only darling, but cute as a button, flat belly, just the right amount of hair on his chest. And smart, and disciplined. And going places.

Big D, however, did not do tiny.

“I’m sorry. It’s not you, it’s me.”

“But wait,” Ronnie said, “until you get a load of this.”

Ronnie had an ace slipped way up his handsome sleeve. He had beautiful, graceful hands. As soon as he started to speak, he became excited. His hands danced a cha-cha-cha. The longer he spoke the more excited he became. Jack Bowie was well known by many of the national sales representatives in the incestuous interior design trade to be a sucker for a well slipped ace. Jack Bowie soon became excited as well. And then some.

Jack Bowie absorbed as much raw information as he was able to digest before he had to stop so he would be able to digest again.

“Would you be able to repeat that?”

“I’ll slow down this time.”

Ronnie had heard of an opportunity from Tony, a designer of wallpaper, Choate Class of ’60, Princeton Class of ’64, who was in love though he knew it was wrong with Ian, Princeton Class of ’68, who heard from his most dearest ever friend Amy with a good heart who would always tell the most God’s honest truth, Bryn Mawr Class of ’71, who developed a deep bond and heard at a fat farm in Connecticut from the wife of Andy, still in the closet, Brown Class of ’81, feeling enough pressure without a wife who wanted to be an impossible size 12, though he knew who knew for a fact from a reliable childhood source trading worthless junk bonds at Deutsche Bank with no remorse, made millions, Alfred, Brown Class of ’77, due to the closeness of his sister, Anya, Sarah Lawrence Dropout, married to Carson, Cornell Class of ’74, formerly a major cocaine dealer in Coral Gables now in custom mini-mansion construction, who played poker in Palm Beach with Butch, Harvard Class of ’67, Harvard Law Class of ’69, Harvard Ph.d Class of ’71, who controlled billions in hedge fund program trading that unleashed proprietary cutting edge mathematical formulas he developed as a hobby, and brokered private money loans at Indian casinos while successfully counting cards, though he refused to do any business whatsoever with distant and removed Alfred.

“How sure?”

“Sure.”

It was confirmed by innumerable eyewitnesses, On paper, funds were deposited in the Cayman Islands.

Big plans going somewhere. All it takes to get in on at the start before it begins is ten million dollars.

“How big again?”

“Big.”

“This is Big D.”

“Still.”

“Why have I never heard of him?”

“You will.”

As it was, and is, and will be, because money does not blow away like leaves from trees, old money does not need to be cutting edge to work as well as ever. Money does not suffer arrested development or limp projections. It does not evaporate over long periods of time. It hangs in there like a champ. It learns to kick back and relax in the balmy Cayman Islands.

Jack Bowie, Fayetteville HS, Class of ’49, was in a position to know that Harold G. Hargill might not be overly concerned by the state of affairs represented by a minor ten million dollars if requested politely over cocktails. He might propose a toast. Nothing wrong with that.

“How big again?”

“Big in Atlantic City.”

“Ew.”

“Drumpf Tower.”

“So?”

“Big.”

“I don’t know.”

“You never know.”

“Why does he need to borrow money if he’s big?”

“Everybody needs to borrow money.”

Ronnie Medrano had heard right. It’s not only those who double down on dumb losing bets in Atlantic City who need to borrow money. Everybody needs to borrow money. Borrowing is the hormone on which round mounds of money depend to grow big and strong. Side effects like grotesque pimples are easily popped and forgotten. Addiction is sort of too bad but not too much. How else do crooked numbers get put up high above the bleachers on the big electronic scoreboard in the sky?

No one, however, knew how to sniff out deep pits containing money to borrow, wherever it was buried, any better than a genetic Drumpf. They had always been very close in clannish history to their dogs in the hunt. Insular New Yorkers tend to cling to traditional ways and borrow their money from known quantities on Wall St. Nothing wrong with that. But Drumpf did not care where. He had on call operators to speak any language. There were several large continents of land from which to pick. Drumpf broke ground somewhere near daily. Who or whom? Fuggedaboutit. Drumpf cared about how much.

“And you say there’s a finders fee.”

“I hear it’s a done deal getting ready to max out and close.”

After Harold G. Hargill, SMU Class of ’55, heard the unoriginal though amusing tale from beginning to somewhere near the middle from Jack Bowie, who was forced by call of duty to trot off and sell a sofa for $21,000 and change to a far-sighted friend from parched Odessa who just flat out simply adored her classic reproductions to pieces, and before he became too bored to speak glibly after retinting the amber in his drink, he relaxed on a dull modern sofa the color of watery oatmeal, and considered the weakness of a narrative that could use some fresh fruit in the blender. Though he would never personally be caught alive with his pants down anywhere nearly as garish and tacky as Atlantic City, he knew many who would, and drop everything on short notice and journey far for a thrill.

He picked up a red telephone with an extra long cord to accommodate traveling to distant locales, and dialed.

“Hello?”

“I just heard a story you’re going to adore.”

Nothing wrong with that.

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About marclevytoo

writer of fiction
This entry was posted in coming out, Commentary, culture, family, fiction, writing and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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