A Conversation

Picture by Toyin Ibidapo

As part of her thesis interior design project, my friend Amanda is publishing a book of short fiction by various writers, each story taking place in a different location at the same New York hotel. This was my contribution.

—I want that bellboy.
—What bellboy?
—Oh my god, look at him, fumbling around with those suitcases. He’s so, like, weirdly hot.
—That guy down there? With the limp?
—Fuck, what is it about him? I’d totally let him bend me over the front desk and…
—I think he might be a retard.
—How do you mean?
—I mean I think he’s retarded. Like actually. I passed him in the lobby before and I’m pretty sure he’s like slow or has a mental disability of some kind.
—Do they hire retarded people to work at hotels? To work as the bellboy—the first person you see when you walk in the door? I doubt it.
—I don’t think you’re meant to call them bellboys anymore. It’s un-PC. I think you’re meant to say “hotel porter” or just “the service.”
—How is the term “bellboy” offensive?
—I forget. Something to do with, like, slaves or whatever.
—The randomest.

We’re sitting in the guest lounge of some New York hotel, I forget the name. From here you can look down one floor into the lobby. We’ve been sat here for hours, scouting for any hot guys checking in but have spotted none apart from said bellboy, who I really don’t think is retarded but Audrey is insisting he is. We’re here on business, Audrey and I. I sort of hate her. Her parents are these weird, semi famous artists from I forget where in Texas. They home schooled her until she was 17, although they never actually taught her anything, they just left her on her own to play around with clay and beads all day. She was practically raised by her therapist, apparently. That’s why now she’s super dumb and always wants to talk about her feelings.

—I don’t think he’s retarded. And anyway, so what if he is? Haven’t you seen that movie, what’s it called… Storytelling?
—Who’s in it?
—Selma Blair. She has pink hair.
—Oh yeah, I saw it. Or I saw the trailer at least.
—Well basically she dates a retarded guy in it. He has cerebral palsy or something. And it’s actually sort of cool and hot which makes me think fucking a mentally disabled guy could be OK in an experimental, Angelina Jolie sort of way.
—I fucked a guy with Lyme Disease once.
—Although his dick would need to be, like, working properly. Obviously.
—Should we order more drinks?
—I couldn’t deal with a dysfunctional dick.

You probably know someone like Audrey. She’s the sort of person who’s constantly posing for a photograph no one is taking. The girl who’s always in designer clothes but never looks good in them. Tonight she’s wearing a skin tight canary yellow dress—I think it’s vintage Halston—which accentuates her wide, curveless waist. She really should wear looser tops. She has nice legs—I’ll give her that—but her waist is basically nonexistent and she really should hide it. For someone who works in fashion she’s totally clueless about what looks good on her. At the moment her hair is dyed this offensive red color that does nothing for her skin tone, and she has this stupid flower tucked behind her ear that she thinks looks cute but actually just makes her look like a waitress at Denny’s. Some people are so tragic and they don’t even know it.

—Is that dress Halston? It looks so cute on you.
—Oh, yeah, thanks.

I wonder if Audrey’s just telling me the bellboy is a retard because she secretly wants to fuck him. I bet she’s planning to make a move on him when I’m not around. That’s so something she would do. Oh my god, look at her awkwardly readjusting her dress. I think she’s gained weight. It’s amazing to me how someone with so much money can look so cheap. She looks like Julianne Moore in Boogie Nights, minus the sexiness.

—Were you being serious when you said he’s whatever you said he is or not?
—The bellboy.
—Oh, who the fuck cares. Look at that guy checking in now. He looks like Kevin Bacon before he got randomly old.
—Oh my god I’m so fucking horny I haven’t masturbated in over twelve hours.
—Are you OK? You seem not OK. Are you still depressed?
—I was never depressed.

Audrey’s definitely gained weight. She looks really bloated. Did she actually just say something about masturbating? What is this, the 90s? Ugh, the thought of her pleasuring herself makes me feel physically ill. Lying on her back, fucking herself with her curling iron or whatever she does to get herself off. Who the fuck fucks her anyway? I bet she only sleeps with old, desperate men. Well, I don’t know, I guess she’s sort of pretty underneath all that makeup. If you’re into, like, homely girls. She should change her hair. She should work out her arms. She should get a chin implant. She really does have a weak chin, now that I think about it. She’s so unfortunate looking, poor thing.

I’m so glad I’m not ugly.



10 Replies to “A Conversation”

  1. You should use your powers for good.Except that this is still very, very good even when I realize that people do actually think this way on occasion. Maybe more than that? I don't know. I've never been one of those catty girl types. Maybe I might be happier if I was. Honestly, though. Top notch. Wish I had your talent.

  2. You should watching the movie Pumpkin. Christina Ricci dates a mentally handicapped boy in it and it would totally be your thing.

  3. haha, i love your blog & writing in general but that was one of the worst short-stories i've ever read! or i just didn't *get* it. whateverr.

  4. I'm glad to hear you mention Storytelling. Several of you posts, stories, whatever have reminded me of that girl from "Fiction."

  5. K you have a great talent but here you're just doing what you know you can do and is familiar to you, What you're good at rather than what is good. Note the emphasis is all on the vain thoughts that are going on in someone's head and there is no story no events no action.For your next exercise I want you to write a story than at no point descirbes or alludes to anyone's internal dialogue. If you don't find this very challenging then you are not doing it right.See you next friday

  6. This is very well written. It pulls the reader into your conversation like they were sitting on the next barstool straining to catch the conversation. You also have excellent comic timing. Being both smart and sexy is very intimidating to men, but then, i don't have to tell you that do I?

  7. @UnivtutorI think it's strange that you are criticizing her for what is essentially having her own style of writing. It's not a bad thing to have your own "voice," if you will.

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