The Deal With The Devil

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Photo: JH.

Wednesday, January 11, 2023. Cold out there again, low 40s by day, under 30 by night. Overcast and occasional spurts, but brief. Today on the quietist month on the New York social calendar we are running a tale of Whoa! a tale about a girl and her money.

She is an heiress. American. Always. Married a few times. Two or three. First husband had a title. Which meant she had one too. For awhile. A fairytale princess, an only child, in her youth she was beautiful and sexy in that pampered, spoiled, willful little-girl way. In her youth. In her no-longer-youth, after sundry affairs and some get-down living, she is not beautiful. She is nevertheless attractive, beautifully dressed, beautifully bejeweled. And still that pampered, spoiled willful little-girl, too. 

Meaning, a tough cookie. After her first marriage, all of which was quite proper, she felt inclined to live a little. Or a lot. She liked exotic men. Foreign men. Creative men. Difficult, emotional men. Fun men. Gay men. Any or all of the above. A rich young woman who liked male companionship and having it her way. So? She’s not alone. A sign of the times.

The problem with having to have it your way in a relationship is inevitably … the other person. They always end up wanting it their way, too. This revelation often comes as a surprise to a girl like the girl in our story today. Like: how’d that happen?

Eventually, however, after a good long ride on that high road, the very same girl gets wise. Or paranoid. Or both.

He. He is younger. Quite a bit. Maybe twenty years. Maybe more. He is international. He is exotic. In every way, her opposite. He is also smart. Or at least very clever. And charming. Very charming when he wants to be. He was also, at least up until the time they met, gay.

He. He was ambitious in his career. And he was moving right along, seemingly having come out of nowhere. He was talented. Is talented. And all those others things. A comer. And a tough cookie himself.  Few got or stayed in his way.

And, he was gay. Tres gay, as they say; worldly-wise in that way.

So He and She met somewhere. I forget where. Maybe at a party of a mutual friend. And She was just emerging from another fatal Zut alors love affair. It was a long re-emergence. Living here and abroad, with the house in the Hamptons that mainly went unused.

He was at the time living with a lover, someone who’d also recently come into his life. In short time after She and He met, however, the lover was gone, and then the apartment was gone and he’d moved in with her.

She’s famous among her friends for her lavish lifestyle. Drawing rooms on a museum scale. Luxury at its most sumptuous and refined. A very sophisticated looking world.

There had been a lot of sex-drugs-and-rock-and-roll too. This was not new for her, or for that matter, not new for a lot of people she knew. It was the ’70s. And then the ’80s. And then, the ’90s.

So, He and She met somewhere, some one night — He and She — and if anyone had seen them leave together they would have figured he was putting her into a cab and going off to be with his lover. They would have figured wrong, for He and She went off together and partied. Sex, drugs and rock and roll.

I’m sure it was intense. These are two intense people. Furthermore they were both challenges to one another. The game of Catch Me If You Can.

One thing led to another. What, I have no idea. But from that night, something changed in both their lives. Soon they were always together. An unlikely combination, but always. For a long time no one believed it was really so.

They became bosom buddies. And then lovers. No kidding, real lovers. He had switched. And both of them were ecstatically happy. And inseparable. And ecstatically happy, courtesy of  substances of a “recreational” nature.

Yes I’m being coy. It’s just the way the story has been laid out in the local rumor mills. However, you’ve now got the picture.

They are Together. He has transformed, transmogrified. He’s her man and She’s his woman. And so it was.

Then they got carried away again. With the recreation. And then they cleaned up their act. Then they got carried away again. With their recreation. And then they cleaned up their act again.

Whatever they did, they were inseparable, often traveling. First class of course. Private jet, yachts; across the world. The world that counts to certain people, anyway. 

Often, however, according to those in their company, they were fighting. Wow! Loud!

In the meantime, her mother died, and she also came into the main part of her fortune, which is estimated by some (which is the same as a wild guess) to be close to a billion.

He had now more or less (more) given up his career just to be with her. His beloved. They were even together when she met with her estate lawyers. And investment advisors. And other lawyers. And antiquaires. And art galleries. And butlers and maids and drivers. And managing the apartments and managing the staffs. My god you don’t know the work!

There was more talk (rumors again) of marriage. And more rumors about that “recreational” stuff. And maybe some heavier stuff too. Maybe enough to send their verbal exchanges through the roof. George and Martha, home at last.

Some of her longtime “friends” believed that He was her perfect match, that He could be just as cold and brutal and unyielding as She in her best little willful-child way. She had met her match. And it was He.

Others, who’d known her for a long time saw it as just another stop along the way for her. That eventually she’d tire of him. She’d be on her private jet to Paris, and he would be … phhttt! Out the door.

However, years passed, nevertheless. Speculation waned. And then, out of nowhere, just when everyone thought She and He were about to tie the knot, things came undone. She’d “thrown him out.”

He, she claimed, had a “big problem.” Using. Big enough for rehab. Which she insisted he do and which he said he’d do. And so he did. And he cleaned up his act. And then, she needed to clean up her act. So she cleaned up her act.

They were deliriously happy again, living their international nomad lives, Paris, London, New York, Los Angeles, all points east, south, west.

But then, it got uncleaned again for him. The act. And she didn’t like that. And even though hers got uncleaned again too. She didn’t clean up her act. She hadn’t felt she needed to. After all, she could afford it. Or whatever. 

But He, him, he needed to. Clean up his act. Or else! So he went into rehab. At least he told her he did. Go to rehab. She wasn’t so sure. She’d call him on his cell to check up and talk to him. Then one day she couldn’t reach him. Was it paranoia or was it just old-time experience? She didn’t like the feel of him not answering the cell. What was he up to anyway? Huh?!

She was on the trail. Don’t fool with Mother Nature. 

And then she caught him. Aha! Gotcha!! From gotta-have-ya to gotcha. There he was. In bed, en flagrante. With … another man (it wasn’t Mickey Mouse). Aha! Again! Gotcha!

She was fit to be tied, as my old New England aunt used to say. Fit-to-be-tied. Fyoo-ree-usss! Forget George and Martha. She was finished. She wanted him out. Out of her house(s) and out of her life.

So out He went. And into a hotel (on her charge). And in comes the bodyguard. Because that’s who She’s feeling most comfortable with these days.

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