Full Panic by Elizabeth Victoria Aldrich


Quinn asks what drugs I’m on when he catches me vomiting into a trash can behind the venue in Chicago. I don’t bother to act like I’m ashamed because I’m not and so I tell him and he lets out a low whistle, sounds impressed.

Asks conversationally, “You’re kind of a fuckup, aren’t you?”

“Aren’t we all?” I swipe the hem of my dress across my face and pull out my Zippo and a tube of Pat McGrath Full Panic to run damage control. He’s staring at me and I raise an eyebrow. “What?”

“Do you need them or are you just drug-seeking?”

“There’s no such thing as just drug-seeking. Look,” I say, between easy, creamy swipes of bright pink. Why do you take drugs?”

He’s silent for at least two minutes but my makeup is fine and I re-enter the club.

Someone on the TV starts to preach, “Rest assured the government will—” but the rest of it is drowned out by the groans and jeers of the live audience.

“I guess...” Quinn looks at me in the mostly dark and answers my question from three hours ago, “I just want people to love me. You?”

I’m entirely honest when I say, “I only take drugs ‘cause I’d rather be tired than angry all the time.”

“I spend all of my time blogging and online window shopping which is, I know, super pathetic, but there it is,” I’m like, because these are the only real weaknesses I can think of and if she didn’t want to know, she wouldn’t have asked. “And someday I’m going to be more famous than Kate Moss.”

The manager at American Apparel looks at me like she’s trying to see into my soul and somehow I’m coming up short. This is, of course, unbelievable, because of the two of us, I am not the one who is wearing gold lamé short shorts. She looks at my résumé again, says, “Oh.”

So yeah like I’m pretty sure I’m not getting the job.

I don't exactly need a job.

Really, I'm just bored. Summers at home are the worst thing in the world, but I didn't have the money to stay in Seattle for the summer. Probably I could've sold some of the stuff that I got when dad felt guilty about not being a Positive Male Presence for my entire life in the spring and gotten the cash together that way, but I couldn't bear to sell my dresses or my shoes or necklaces or anything to just anyone and you just don't have any control when you sell things online! What if I sold a practically priceless replica of that little Calvin Klein number that Alicia Silverstone wears in Clueless to someone who had never even seen Clueless, and only knew about fashion from those Lara Stone ads?!

It would be such a tragedy.

This may seem dramatic, but honestly? I would never recover.

“So I guess I'm just, like. Done with boys now,” I say to the girl behind the counter at Betsey Johnson where I've just set down a pair of tights that cost $24.00. I've also just shoplifted three pairs of socks but she doesn't know that. But if she did, she’d probably approve. I mean, whatever, like I'm going to pay twenty dollars for socks? That's ridiculous, they're socks.

Pulling a very serious face, she nods at me. “I've been there.”

“Not that I'm into girls.”

“Yeah, no,” she agrees.

“I like your lipstick,” I say absently, trying to figure out what exactly I mean to say. I am also trying to figure out exactly where my AmEx is, but that's less important. Being articulate is very important to me.

Incidentally, I don't like her lipstick, but it's important to be nice to the people above you. This girl isn't exactly above me, Betsey Johnson is probably paying her minimum wage, but I make no money, so. She's winning, in this game I like to call life and also like to call Ara Eats Chocolate Chip Granola Bars And Watches America's Next Top Model.

If there were a movie about my life, that would probably be the title. Or at least the tagline. It's probably too long to be a title.

I still can't find it.

This is getting annoying.

What's more, I think I'm starting to make a scene.

I give up and pull out my debit card. Now, there's nothing exactly wrong with my debit card, it's just that when I blog about this later I won't be able to say and then I paid with my dad's American Express which I think makes more of a statement than and then I paid with my Chase debit card that now only has $2.31 left on it.

I don’t want to go home, so I go to see this band, The Downers, because they're playing a free show for some of the kids over at the Art Institute and I really have nothing else to do. I get there late, of course, and catch the last few bars of their last song which is annoying as hell until I'm out front trying to get my lighter to spark when a guy comes up to me and is like, "Spare a smoke?"

He's hot and I'm pretty sure he was in the band so I'm like, "If you can light it."

He gives me this really big bright white movie star smile and digs into his pocket, pulls out a scratched up, engraved Zippo, says, "Not a problem."

We're outside Liberty Memorial when his phone goes off and he's like, "What?"

I whisper, "Who is it?"

Except I'm sort of drunk and it's maybe not as much of a whisper as I thought it was.

He says into the phone, "No, Quinn, I didn't," and Quinn is the lead singer of his band who got passed over for an Oscar this year which was totally uncool because he was actually really good for someone who isn't actually an actor. He played, like, a drug-addicted prostitute or something who gets stabbed in a mental hospital. It was a real trip but he lost out to the star of that one movie. By that guy who did Fight Club and the Facebook movie. This is, I think, a sure sign of nepotism. Or not nepotism but. Prejudice. Or. Or something.

If Ryan Fisher is Brad Pitt, Quinn Salvaggi is George Clooney. Just ten times younger, and ten thousand times better looking. He comes down from the hotel suite to the lobby to get us because Ryan can’t find his card key and the concierge won’t let him up without “proper identification.” Quinn comes down in boxer shorts and scratches at the jut of his hipbone, mumbles at Ryan, “Who’s the hot girl, Fish?” which I am exceedingly flattered by because this guy was on the cover of GQ in May.

GQ, for fuck’s sake.

“Ara, this is Quinn,” Ryan says, rolling his eyes. People are staring at us — the few people still at the hotel bar and a couple of late check-ins, and all the hotel staff on the floor — but I’m not embarrassed because I’m assuming that they’re only staring because there’s a half naked bona fide celebrity in their midst. “Quinn doesn’t know how to put clothes on.”

“I was about to shower, fuck you,” he says, not at all venomously, stumbling into the elevator. Grinning and shaking his head, Ryan wraps his fingers around my wrist and guides me along after him.

People are still looking when the mirrored elevator doors close in front of us.

The suite is a mess.

It’s like what Johnny Depps’ hotel room would’ve looked like in 1992.

Or Frankie Munizs’ in 2004.

Quinn slips into one of the rooms and then a door closes and a shower starts running, so I guess he was telling the truth and a girl wanders out of that room and her hair is fucked up and I think oh so they’re having sex. She says to Ryan, “Have you seen my—” and then she stops, hands on her hips, rolling her eyes. I know that look. That is the why am I talking to a boy about fashion look. I practically invented that look. She looks at me and tries again, “Have you seen a Kiki de Montparnasse slip?”

It’s this charming blue scrap of fabric, possibly silk, with black lace, and of course it’s a Kiki de Montparnasse and I saw it on the way in, beneath the daybed in the corner and I point in that direction when I go, “Yes.”

The girl with the great taste in lingerie happens to be named Ivy O’Donnell.

She has to go to the airport to catch a 6:25 to JFK. We eat huge cinnamon rolls at 4 am because she says it’s bad taste to hang around after a guy kicks you out.

“Did he tell you to leave?” I ask curiously. No guy has ever told me to fuck off after sex. There haven’t been that many guys, but there have been enough that I’ve never encountered this before.

Ever.

“No,” Ivy says. “But he meant it. ‘I’m going to have a shower?’ Like, seriously, right after you fuck me and call me your dirty little slut you need to shower, are you kidding? Either you have serious Catholic guilt and you need me to leave so you can recite ten thousand Hail Mary’s, or you’re a fucking asshole and if I stay you’ll be a passive aggressive douchebag until I leave.”

It’s as she’s ranting about this that I realize that I usually have sex at my place.

I’m like, “Oh, right,” because I’ve just realized that I’m always the passive aggressive douchebag, but I don’t say so because I don’t want to ruin the feelings of womanly solidarity we have going on here.

When Ivy leaves, I have her number saved to my contacts lists, and we’re following each other on Twitter.

I have Ryan Fisher’s number too, and a message from him that says were leaving tomorrow if you want to come by later ryan

I go home, shower, and sleep for three hours.

By the time I wake up, Emma has posted a new video to her blog so I check that out and promote it to all my friends.

I have a message from this writer in LA who wants to interview me for a piece he’s doing, a list of questions for me to answer. The thing about this writer, Thirst, is that I saw his name written on a wall in Sharpie in Portland over spring break, and then ordered a book of his short stories online because his shit was dope. His tarot thing seemed like a really cool idea. And then it was a really fucking great idea and I sent him an email so I could tell him how fucking brilliant he is, and this is the first response I’ve gotten back, a hey, thanks, I was on your blog, you seem cool, want to help me with this book I’m writing? You just have to answer a few questions, a really informal interview...

It takes twenty minutes to answer all the questions and then I’m in the shower getting ready to go see Ryan.

Quinn gets the door again, dark denim slung low on his hips, and a pair of Tom Cruise in Top Gun aviators on his face.

He asks me, “Yes?”

“Ryan invited me.”

Quinn tilts his head both ways a couple of times, like he’s considering me, but without doing that disgusting up and down thing that men are generally fond of.

“Fisher?”

“Yeah,” I say, and he shakes his head and opens his mouth then shuts it, turns and shouts, “FISHER!” and I realize he wasn’t talking to me.

Ryan walks up behind him and says, “Jesus, Quinn, let her in or housekeeping’s going to think we ordered another hooker.”

“That’s funny,” Quinn sneers, snatching the joint out of Ryan’s hand and taking a hit before shoving it towards me. As I take it, he adds, “You’re so fucking funny.”

Fucking Ryan is okay but it’s not mind-blowing. There’s a part of me that wants to get out of bed and go the hell home but there’s another part of me that wants to stick this out and start a relationship with a rock star who will buy me pretty things. It’s kind of a tough decision so I roll out of bed and go to the bathroom and then wander into another room. Quinn is sitting cross-legged at a table, knitting something dark red.

Knitting.

I’m like, “What the fuck.”

“It’s relaxing,” he says to me, like he’s used to saying it, so it’s not defensive, not anymore. Then he says, easy and casual, “Your phone rang. I told your boyfriend I was your brother. He says hi.” He stops knitting, smiles at me. “He’s kind of stupid, isn’t he?”

“Are you going to te—”

“Fisher won’t give a fuck.”

“Then what’s the problem?”

“The problem is you can’t just fuck with people for fun.”

“What happened to be a slut, do whatever you want and Slutever and like I even have a list still of everyone I’ve even kissed! Like that Ladytron song! Also you’re dumb fuck off.”

“Oh fuck you. I am not being a misogynist.”

“Oh my god you know you’re not allowed to talk about feminism with me. I go nuts. I hate it. I turn into a skeleton jazz wizard. I learned too much and GAHH! YOU WON’T MAKE ME!”

“Yeah whatever whatever. I wouldn’t ever do that to a girl. If you want to see someone new, you stop seeing your boyfriend first. It’s that easy. Just like you,” he adds brightly, before he finishes quietly, rolling his eyes, “Apparently.”

He picks up the needles again, and there’s a call from outside the door, “Housekeeping!”

“Could you come back later, I’m jacking off,” he shouts and I guess the housekeeping woman moves on and there are three groans from the rest of the suite: did you really have to, Salvaggi, Jesus and oh my God, you’d fucking better be and thanks Quinn, you’re dealing with that when it’s on TMZ!

I go home when the bands’ moved on and Ryan promises to call and he texts me from the tour bus a couple of times.

I don’t have an email from the writer, but I have one from the New York Times Op Ed section. There’s the expected form letter rejecting a piece I submitted to them last week, along with a note advising me to maybe submit it to Frankie Magazine or Thought Catalog.

Thought Catalog?!?!

I knew I shouldn’t have linked my Tumblr page in my two sentence long autobiography.

That was clearly a mistake.

In fact, it feels dangerously like this is absolutely discrimination against hot hipster girls but I’m exhausted so I figure I’ll just let it go.

Transcription of Emma’s video blog dated 07/14/12

There is this kid in Los Angeles who is writing a novel. Maybe a girl or maybe a guy, I don’t know. I know because Ara and I had a long conversation about it today over Skype because Ara is in Kansas City and I am in Sydney and we have never actually met. The kid sent a list of questions for Ara to answer and she told me what some of them were. One was like. (in an obnoxiously high-pitched voice) What time do you take your vitamins in the morning. Ara told me she hadn’t considered it before but maybe this kid is actually like six years old and just incredibly precocious. I told her I thought that was definitely a possibility.

Ara still answered the questions and emailed them back. I think this is because she is desperate for attention especially since uni let out and she has nothing to do.

I told her that she should tell the writer kid to not even bother if it was going to be a novel about vitamins.

Ara laughed and said she didn’t want to be mean so she wouldn’t, but again. Attention starved.

Ara wants to be famous like how everyone wanted to be famous five years ago.

Famous is out now, I’ve been trying to tell her.

She never listens.

Verret v. Oliver (2012) – Frenemies or Besties?

The students of Cornish College of the Arts are in good form despite the unfortunate weather. When I mention it to 22 year old Auriga Verret, she stares at me from behind tortoise-shell cat eye reading glasses as though the fact that it’s raining cats and dogs is news to her.

“Oh, it’s usually way worse than this,” she explains.

Verret is currently in her senior year of college, working towards a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts, with concentrations in Photography and Video/Digital Media. “I wasn’t really interested in either of them,” she confesses. “My mother said I had to do something, and my father said he’d pay for whatever I wanted to do, so I was like, okay, whatever, and went to art school, but it turns out I can’t draw or paint or anything so I was kind of backed into a corner.” That aside, Verret has recently been tapped as one of Young Hollywood’s rising photographers.

“I don’t really know too many people,” Verret admits, humbly. “Ivy [O’Donnell, 24] and I have been friends for a few months, and I met Ryan [Fisher] around the same time, but we were a lot more casual than I think people realized. He took me to [Spring Summer 2013] Fashion Week with him because he knew I had, like, an interest? And I took a lot of pictures of the band and stuff like that, and Henry Oliver [19] was doing an article on Quinn [Salvaggi, 21] who’s in his band, and I was back at school when my roommate literally called me when I was taking a midterm and I got kicked out of the exam room,” she groans playfully. “And, uh, he goes, ‘You have to come home right now!’ and he won’t tell me why, and I’m rushing home thinking that maybe someone set fire to the kitchen which would suck because none of us cook so I keep my shoes in the oven, you know? And I get there, and Henry Oliver is sitting on my sofa and she says to me, “Hey, do you still have those pictures you took at Fashion Week? I’ll pay you for them.’ And I mean,” she sighs, the slightest bit irritably. “I don’t know if you’ve ever met Henry Oliver, but you can’t really just say no to her.” The way Verret tells it, she sent Oliver the pictures that day and three weeks later, the article was out online and in the print edition of Dazed and Confused—both featuring her photography. “People were like coming up to me between classes, all ‘you worked with Henry Oliver?!?!’ And I’m like, ‘no, I just slept with her boyfriend’s ex-boyfriend for a little while.’”

Verret’s work can be seen in the December issue of Dazed and Confused, as well as on her blog.

...Meanwhile, The Downers frontman Quinn Salvaggi was conspicuously absent from every post Grammy party in Los Angeles last night. Instead, he was spotted the morning after signing paperwork AMA (Against Medical Advice) to be released from Cedar Sinai Hospital.

“Someone overreacted,” the musician would only shrug. “I said something and, like, someone thought I meant I wanted to die, it was stupid. I’m okay, just upset I missed all the good parties, you know. And the strippers. God, I bet there were strippers.”

No one at the hospital was able to comment, and no representatives from Salvaggi’s record label or PR team have made statements on his behalf as yet.

Did he really try to off himself after winning the most prestigious award there is in modern music?

Vote below!

It’s two in the morning when I get in and I have a message from the guy I saw twice last month. He’s drunk but he’s a poet and they’re always drunk.

He starts, “I never tell the truth to my therapist.”

I kick off my Louboutins and think, she’d probably be insulted if you did.

He says, “I just show up twice a week and tell increasingly depressing stories about my, like. Abusive parents.”

I think, I’m sure she thinks you’re progressing really well.

He’s like, “I miss you, baby.”

I know for a fact that he fucked my best friend last time he was in town so I say out loud, “Fuck you, asshole.”

He goes, “I get in Tuesday. Suite at The Standard. I’ll DM you the room number.”

It is now Wednesday.

At least that number he tweeted at me makes sense now, but I’m exhausted and so I go to sleep.

“Don’t look now,” Kate says, so of course I turn to look, “but Quinn Salvaggi is coming this way.”

“The guy with the teeth?”

“Fuck you, yes, like you don’t know exactly—Hi!”

I smile as the guy with the teeth leans past me to grab a bottle from behind the bar. There was, in fact, a bartender when the party started but I saw him go off with a girl who might’ve been a Greek journalist or an Australian socialite a few hours ago.

“Hi,” he grunts, twisting the cap off of a sealed bottle of Jim Beam. “Who’re you?”

He directs this at me. I can tell because Kate only knows the names of boys she’s slept with, so they must be acquainted. We saw Ben Affleck out shopping a few days ago and I pointed him out quietly and she said, totally honestly confused, “Who?”

“Ivy O’Donnell. Hi.”

“Yeah, hi,” he mumbles, rooting around behind the bar now. Bent over, I can see the small of his back where his shirt’s riding up and he’s not wearing underwear. He’s the kind of guy who goes for Kate, so this doesn’t surprise me at all. He stands up straight, goes, “You don’t know where the ice is, do you?”

We’re in the lobby of whatever hotel it is, down at the bar because he says my dress is low-cut enough that if I lean over the bar just a little, the bartender will give me whatever I want without carding me. I tell him I think he’s probably right, but I know he’s right. I paid enough for my chest, okay, this isn't exactly why, but it's definitely a side benefit.

“Unless of course the bartender is gay,” he says suddenly. I stare at him because the guy is, aside from the teeth, a walking wet dream, and so seriously, I don’t think that’s going to be an issue, but he says, “But the bartender is almost never gay, so.”

The bartender isn’t gay.

We get ice and he hits the emergency stop button in the elevator and we get drunk and he fingers me with the hand that isn’t clinging to the bottle of bourbon and he’s got my panties in his pocket when he starts the elevator again, leaves me to go back to Kate, kind of stunned. She looks me over and says, voice reeking of faux-comfort, “Oh, baby,” and hands me her martini glass and I stare at the floor numbers as they light up.

12

11

10

9

8

7

6

5

4

3

2

1

“Do you ever feel like people should just not question your brilliance,” the voice on the other end of the line says.

Again, I say, “Hello?”

There’s a loud frustrated sigh right against my ear so I move the phone away and when I put it back I can hear the telltale sounds of the city — that’s definitely the rumbling of a subway train, taxicabs stopping and starting every five seconds.

“I’m in New York,” the voice says, like it’s a given. “You live here, right?”

“What... part of New York?”

Manhattan.”

We agree to meet at Fred’s at Barney’s, and he’s eating chicken soup when I get there an hour later.

I sit down and ask, “So, like, how’d you get my number?”

“Kate.”

“You,” I barely manage to choke out, the words are literally caught in my throat. This is why she hasn’t been talking to me all week?! “You asked your ex-girlfriend for my phone number?

“I... just said that.”

“You know that she knows that we...”

He slurps a noodle into his mouth. “We...what?”

“You know.”

“I totally don’t,” he bites into the celery that came with my Bloody Mary and grins unrepentantly and I shouldn’t find it charming but I do. “Sorry.”

The walls are all glass and we’re fifty seven stories up from the pavement when we fuck in the hall at his older brothers’ apartment.

“So, you live in LA?” I ask, trying to make conversation. I’m mostly trying to find my left stocking, but also, like. Conversation.

“Yeah, sometimes,” he says, idly. He’s puttering around the kitchen in his socks — and who fucks in socks anyway? He stumbles over a pack of cigarettes—Gauloises, I can tell by the packaging. “Fuck.”

“Have you seen my other stocking?”

“No,” he says, not even turning to look. He pours a cup of coffee and asks, unlit cigarette dangling from his lips, all James Dean, “Do you even know my name?”

“Quinn.”

“Do you know my last name?”

Would you believe? I actually don’t.

Salvaggi,” Kate sighs heavily at me over the phone. I’m in the elevator to the ground floor and Kate is saying, “Salvaggi is his last name, God, I can’t believe he actually called you, what a dick,” and I’m saying, “Yeah, I know, right, Jesus” and I don’t tell her that I had sex with him because she seems really fucking upset and I’m kind of her best friend and I don’t want to fuck that up with the new collections coming out soon.

She always gets the best stuff after the runway shows are over, and we’re more or less the same size.

He doesn’t call me again but I see him, hilariously enough, at Barney’s a week later, in Beverly Hills.

“Are you going to the Oscars?” I go, desperately, before I remember that he’s been nominated so of course he is.

He says, though, “Maybe.” Running a frustrated hand through his hair, he explains, “I don’t know what to wear.”

We’re in couture men’s, and he’s wearing sneakers and jeans and a hoodie, too-long sleeves coming down over his fingertips, but there are a bunch of salesmen milling around him anyway. I’m fairly fucking sure they’re going to find him something to wear and that must be obvious or something because he snaps, suddenly, “I don’t like any of this. It isn’t me.”

I watch silently as they bring out suit after suit and finally I say, “You know, you could get a stylist.”

“No,” he sighs sadly. “They always try to put me in weird shoes.”

We don’t go to the Oscars together but I’m sure it seems that way afterwards. I go with the star of some stupid MTV show who was in a movie that I guess did really well. I don’t really watch movies for the actors. I like the clothes more than anything else.

He smells like whiskey and cigarette smoke and his hair is a wreck and he’s wearing sneakers with his suit and I can’t place it until someone asks and the girl behind him, all brown blonde curls and smudged red lips and ripped black stockings, drawls, “It’s a Devore.” and I’m pretty sure they’re together so I don’t say hello.

I see him again, at an after party, talking to one of the women who was on the nomination committee, who’s saying, “You should’ve gotten it, like, you were so good, seriously.” and he smiles, “I’ve already won a Grammy and it’s only February, so y’know, I’m good. There’s always next year.”

Once she kisses his cheek and walks away though, he says quietly to me, “I’m never acting again,” but he’s drunk, I realize, too drunk to walk, which is why he has very cleverly propped himself up against a wall and I take it upon myself to get him home.

Quinn’s apartment is nothing like Quinn but probably everything I would have imagined if I had imagined what his place would look like. Everything is in bags, like the luggage department of Bloomingdale’s exploded in the front room. He stumbles down a hallway and I follow to make sure he doesn’t trip and fall into a Louis Vuitton suitcase or something and he kisses me when I turn the corner and we do that for a minute.

He’s not as sloppy as I would’ve thought if I’d thought about it but he’s so drunk I don’t even know why he’s thinking about it until I remember that guys are always thinking about it.

“Hey,” I’m like. “In the morning, maybe, okay?”

He shakes his head, tries for another kiss and I step back and say, “You should go to sleep.”

“I can’t,” he rasps out and I’m realizing that he might cry and I don’t really want to be around for it because I barely know the guy but what can I do? His voice breaks when he says, “I’m on these meds; I can’t sleep.”

“You also have ten bottles of whiskey in you. You’ll sleep, trust me.”

I’m pretty sure I didn’t see any telltale orange bottles at his brothers’ in the Upper East Side so I go through his place in Studio City and find a bottle of Xanax, thirty count, TAKE AS NEEDED IN CASE OF PANIC, a bottle of Zoloft, TAKE TWO TABLETS EVERY MORNING WITH FOOD, a bottle of Klonopin, thirty count, TAKE ONE A DAY WITH FOOD, two untouched, still in their bags from CVS.

The Zoloft is half empty, but there’s no food in his apartment, at all, that I can see.

I text Kate and she writes at least the bastard isn’t happy but she apparently asks around a little and then she calls me back around four when I’ve just heard him stumble into the bathroom to vomit and she says, hushed, confused, shocked, “Ryan says he tried to kill himself last week.”

It's Fashion Week in New York, the Fall / Winter 2020 collections, and the band has been invited to a show, some hot new designer trying to stay cool without inviting Elle Fanning or Alexa Chung to sit front row. Or actually it might be some old still completely in vogue designer trying to stay in vogue without inviting Charlotte Free or Lana Del Rey to sit front row.

God forbid.

As the models walk by, the boys -- just Quinn and Ryan because the other two 'could give a fuck' (“direct quote!” Quinn had chirped cheerfully) about fashion -- quietly whisper about how good each girl is in bed.

Mostly to fuel the fire, I go, “There's no way the two of you have fucked all of them.”

“Well, I got the magic touch, what can I say,” Quinn's like. He glances sideways at Ryan, looks him up and down critically, drawls, “Unlike some people...”

“Fuck you,” Ryan says, tapping out something on his weird Swedish phone for narcs. “Remember that time you got the clap in high school, asshole?”

I make sure to get these little things down. Journalistic integrity and all that. Fisher's girlfriend, the singer songwriter model whoever, turns to me and says, “So whose girlfriend are you, again?”

“Mine,” Quinn lies, smiling brightly.

“You're a dick,” I say, and he makes an innocent face, is like, “Yeah, but off the record, right?”

“No, no, sorry, I meant that's the title of the piece.”

“Well hey, you've got the title down, only nine hundred and ninety some words to go, good for you,” he says in such an encouraging voice I suddenly remember why they tried to nominate him for that Academy Award. It's still pretty impressive, the nomination. He lost out to someone in a Fincher film, after all. There's no winning there.

The singer model girl looks confused and then tries to talk to me about the new Gucci collection.

“Train wreck,” I say sharply, trying to cut her off quick. There are not words for Gucci FW 2020 aside from 'train wreck'. I can not stress this enough. It would even end up in the piece, just as an aside before whoever at Dazed edited it out, except for how I refuse to talk about this. I am half convinced that Quinn told her to ask me about this just to piss me off. I really hate the new Gucci collection. Really really really.

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