“I’ll have a virgin Kir Royale, please.”
Only in New York City, does a fifteen-year-old know what a “virgin” drink is, let alone a “Virgin Kir Royale” (Does anyone know what a “Virgin Kir Royale” is, besides the bartender at a Dalton School Bar Mitzvah?)
“Well Kit,” I say. “Sorry– can’t do the cassis, but I can get you–”
“Soda and pineappe; just a splash of pineapple will do,” she replies.
Kit isn’t “putting on” being thirty-two. She is a convincing adult socialite in every way (sans the job, or income), but probably with just as much of the sex, alcohol and therapy bills.
Kit is a lanky blonde, with a cherub’s face. She is dressed in ’90’s retro, like Mayim Bialik in Blossom (I forgot how awful the introducing credits really were), with purple leggings, leather boots, a belted baggy thrift dress, and an outlandishly large rimmed hat. She is out with her dad, a sixty-something Texan-turned-New-Yorker, who talks of nothing but smart bombs and missile tracking devices, over their foie gras and virgin drinks (He insists on not drinking if his daughter is not permitted to imbibe.)
Kit is a trip. One might think her pretension bothers me, but I find it fascinating, if not freakish. Clearly she has eaten almost every meal of her life in a restaurant. She has already mastered the art of talking to waiters, and uses a knowing tone, both charming and insistent. She doesn’t even bother looking at the menu.
“Just send us whatever you think’s best. I trust you. But can you make sure to space it out. And I know you wouldn’t do this, but, no chicken. Pleeeeez.”
This kid is too much. What is she going to be like in twenty-years? If she is already “over” chicken, how long will it be before she is over filet mignon, before she is over Burgundies, bourbon, blow? Might she ever be over… dare I say it… chocolate?!? Poor Kit.
After the espressos, Kit is in a hurry to get home. She slips me her credit card for the bill. The Amex is indeed issued to her, and when I place the bill on the table, she gives me one of those “thank you’s” that implies an apology, as if to say, “Can you believe he’s still talking about Weapons of Mass Destruction?” She glances at the bill for two seconds, just enough to garner a total, before tipping and signing it like a businessman at lunch –quick, nonchalant, pre-calculated–.
It is Tuesday night. There’s still homework to be done. Romeo and Juliet must be read by 8am. There are boys to be called, and prenuptials to be hashed out over a real Kir Royale, or maybe a cosmo, or maybe just a Xanax.