“Don’t look now, but there’s your girlfriend.”

“What! Where?” Jason looks around eagerly but feels stupid for doing it at the same time. Two months. Two months of a few days of crazy infatuation and lust and attention inevitably followed by days or weeks without a word. No emails, no returned phone calls, silence until she would surface again as if nothing had happened.

“Up there.” Jess points across the intersection of Houston and Broadway up toward the top of an office building where Elsa stands four stories tall in a grey bejeweled Chanel gown against a flat white background. She is standing with her back to the street and is turning around to look over her shoulder as if someone has disturbed her and she’s angry about it.

“That’s great.”

“Well, look, let that be the last time she comes into your head tonight, okay? We haven’t been out on a Friday night in waaay too long. You’re not gonna’ not have fun on my watch.”

“Yeah. All right,” he says, uncommitted.


They kept walking deeper into Soho while Jess tells him about a shoot she’d been on a week before, and about how, oh my God, the model was so ridiculous. Late, for starters. And she seemed totally out of it. But Jason just winces because he can’t help but feel like Jess is making unfair comparisons. She’s not. He knows. She’s making light of the situation, trying to get him to laugh. But no matter what, he wants to remind Jess that Elsa is not like the others.

Three whiskeys into the night at Merc Bar, Jess says, “You just don’t get beautiful women, Jay.”

“Oh, c’mon,” Jason says, rolling his eyes.

“No. You genuinely don’t understand,” and she points at her head to illustrate. “They’re not like normal people. They grow up in this society surrounded by televised image of privileged, pretty people. They grow up realizing that they can have whatever they want—that they’re worshiped.”

“Yeah, well, Elsa grew up in Germany, not the US.”

“It’s not malicious. They don’t know they’re doing it, you know. I mean, do you think about it when you act all quiet and bashful with a girl to get her to like you?”

“I don’t do that.”

“Not on purpose, but you do it and it works.”

“I don’t do that.”

“Well it’s not like you’re Steve McQueen. Jay! You’ve been moping for the last two hours. I know you. When was the last time you saw or heard from her?”

Jason was silent.

“You’re just waiting for her to call. She’s got you.” Jesse paused and then, “How many times has she done this to you since you started going out?”


“And, not a word? No ‘I’m gonna’ be busy for a few days, hon’? No calls to say good night. C’mon, Jay. I’m not picking on her. If you did that to someone I’d tell you you were being an asshole.”


“Yeah. I mean, you’re an asshole anyway, of course…”

He sighs. “You’re right.”

“You know what’s worse?”


“If you say anything to her about it, you’re gonna sound like a girl.”


“Yeah. We got sacked with that suck-ass stereotype.” She puts her hands up to her face in distress. “You don’t call enough. You don’t come around enough. We don’t talk enough. All that crap.”

“I guess so.”

“It sucks.”

“That is sort of a girl-thing.” Jason sits back in his seat and spins his glass. “So what do I do?”

“I think the next time she comes around you gotta’ tell her you’re busy. You gotta’ throw her off her game.”

“Ya’ think?”

“You’re not a challenge to her right now. I mean, I’m sure she thinks you’re cool—I’m sure she likes you—but you’re a pushover to her. You need to let her know that you’re not on-call.”