Surprisingly, I am not a big Bret Easton Ellis Fan. This is not to say that I don’t admire his writing, or the specific cultural sentiment of the Reagan era his novels encapsulate (excluding, of course, those that don’t — but they’re good, too!) — I just don’t necessarily remind myself when I walk into my neighborhood bookstore that, “I NEED A COPY OF GLAMORAMA FOR REASONS!” But despite a pleasant lassitude toward Ellis’ canon, I may or may not have the appearance of being a huge fan. I have read a number of his books: Less Than Zero, The Rules of Attraction, American Psycho, Lunar Park, and Imperial Bedrooms. In accordance to the books he has written, this renders my score of Ellisian well-readedness at around seventy-two percent. My percentage is entirely coincidental. Some of these novels were given to me as birthday or Hanukkah gifts (I actually have two copies of The Rules of Attraction – any takers?), and others were on display in the homes of friends while I was visiting from out of town, or extremely hung-over, or both, and seemed like a good idea at the time to read. So, in one form or another, I can perceivably consider myself familiar with the transgressive, deceptively laconic, fictive way of B.E.E. (I apologize for any obnoxious acronyms… now.)
This asseveration lead me to the undeserved conceit of imagining life as Ellis (“…after all, who am I compared to him?” says the Woody Allen sequitir in my head), and thus, to imagining what I would do if I were B.E.E. for a day. The following is what I concocted.
- Wake up at around noon to my alarm, which plays my deepest, darkest, guilty pleasure: “Tik Tok” by Ke$ha (the money sign in her atrociously-spelled name speaks to my upbringing and the spearhead of Reaganomics, after all). Sing along to the pop hit, substituting the line “Wakin’ up in the morning feeling like P.Diddy” with, “Wakin’ up in the morning feeling like B.E.E.” Proceed to interpret a number of lyrics as directives: grab my Ray-bans (for I will hit this city), brush my teeth with a bottle of Jack, drop-top to my favorite CDs (Huey Lewis and the News, Joy Division, that new band that is made up of half of the members from an old band I once pretended to like), note to self to kick dudes to the curb unless they look like Mick Jagger, and so forth.
- Apply a clear facial mask to keep my skin intact, redolent of my years at an elite, (very) liberal Northeastern college, despite my roots in California. Wash off with a pricey, top-notch facial cleanser. Everything is minty-fresh.
- Push-ups. So many push-ups.
- Call up my bro Jay McInerney, the other half of “The Toxic Twins;” argue that we should have formed a band. Proceed to speak to each other entirely in the second person, though we are, in actuality, referring to ourselves. End our amiable conversation with, “BRIGHT LIGHTS, BIG CITY, BITCHES!”
- Recall the time during my formative teenage years that I ran over a coyote with my red convertible. Moments of existentialism ensue.
- Look up clips from the movie version of Less Than Zero, but only those featuring Robert Downey, Jr. (Kiss my ass, Andrew McCarthy. Don’t get me started on Jami Gertz. James Spader, you’re okay.) Curse the compelling, dew-ridden nature of his brown puppy-dog eyes, and the similarity of his lips to the handsome statuary of Greek antiquity. Maniacally laugh when I remember that he starred in Gothika and The Shaggy Dog.
- Tweet to my thousands upon thousands of followers that, “Yeah… everything sucks.”
- Ponder if my next book should be a pseudo-memoir or a sequel to one of my early semi-autobiographical works. Maybe a screenplay — it worked for Michael Chabon.
- Venture out into the annals of the chic Manhattan neighborhood I reside in. Forego my ‘hood and trek to the restaurant Hubert’s. Realize it has been replaced by another restaurateur. Damn that bastard. Walk a few blocks to Le Cirque. Discover that the owners have switched locations. Damn those bastards. Repeat three times. Frustrated and flustered, walk to Au Bon Pain. At least they have free Wi-Fi.
- Prank call Tama Janowitz from the last working payphone in the Upper East Side. In a cool, pithy tone reminiscent of my writing style, I tell her that it was sad that she wasn’t an upper-middle class white male, or else she’d be wrangling the big bucks. I hang up.
- And now… drugs. So many drugs.
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