A door slams shut behind me, two pairs of hands grab my shoulders and I’m shoved into a chair, and under the fuzzy haze of a black light, silhouettes and shadows come into focus: Damien’s goons (Duke but not Digby, who was recast after we shot yesterday’s breakfast) and Juan, the afternoon doorman at Alison’s building on the Upper East Side, and as the lights get brighter Damien appears and he’s smoking a Partagas Perfecto cigar and wearing skintight jeans, a vest with bold optical patterns, a shirt with starburst designs, a long Armani overcoat, motorcycle boots, and his hands—grabbing my sore face, squeezing it—are like ice and kind of soothing until he pushes my head back trying to snap my neck, but one of the goons—maybe Duke—pulls him away and Damien’s making noises that sound like chanting and one of the mirror balls that used to hang above the dance floor lies shattered in a corner, confetti scattered around it in tall piles.
“That was a particularly hellish greeting,” I say, trying to maintain my composure once Damien lets go.
Damien’s not listening. He keeps pacing the room, making the chanting noises, and[…]”
“I’m thinking, Jesus, the zeitgeist’s in limbo.”
I don’t say anything. Damien spits on me, then grabs my face, smearing his saliva all over my nose, my cheeks, reopening a wound on my mouth where Hurley hit me.
“How do you feel, Victor?” he’s asking. “How do you feel this morning?”
“I feel very … funny,” I say, guessing, pulling back. “I feel very … unhip?”
“You look the part,” Damien sneers, livid, ready to pounce, the veins in his neck and forehead bulging, grasping my face so tightly that when I yell out the sounds coming from my mouth are muffled and my vision blurs over and he abruptly lets go, pacing again.
“Haven’t you ever come to a point in your life where you’ve said to yourself: Hey, this isn’t right?”
I don’t say anything, just continue sucking in air.
“I guess it’s beside the point to tell you you’re fired.”
I nod, don’t say anything, have no idea what kind of expression is on my face.
“I mean, what do you think you are?” he asks, baffled. “A reliable sales tool? Let’s just put it this way, Victor: I’m not too thrilled by your value system.”
“Please continue, O Wise One,” I groan, rolling my eyes. “Fucking spare me, man.”
He smacks me across the head, then he does it again, and when he does it a third time I wonder if that third slap was in the script, and finally Duke pulls Damien back.
“I may park wherever I feel like it, Victor,” he growls, “but I also pay the fucking tickets.”
Damien breaks free from Duke and grabs my cheek at the place Hurley’s fist struck and twists it upward between two fingers until I’m shouting out for him to stop, reaching up to pull his hand away, but when he lets go I just fall back, limp, rubbing my face.
“I’m just like …” I’m trying to catch my breath. “I’m just like … trying to fit this into … perspective,” I choke, slipping helplessly into tears.
Damien slaps my face again. “Hey, look at me.”
“Man, you’re shooting from the hip.” I’m panting, delirious. “I admire that, man.” I take in air, gasping. “I go to jail, right? I go directly to jail?”
(This is an excerpt taken from the book, Glamorama by Bret Easton Ellis. This material may be protected by copyright.)