Mr Lush sits in his black three-piece dinner suit at the Catoy hotel bar. His lustrously polished John Lobster Opera Pumps complete with a silk bow made of double ribbed silk (inspired by the great bows his great-grandfather always wore) perfectly complement the slightly larger silk ribs of the facing of his well-maintained broad lapels, the braids on his trousers, his jetted pockets, and his silk covered buttons. He also wears crimson, silk over-the-calf socks (matching the shade to the colour of his skin charmingly), and an off-white shirt made from Sea Island cotton. The simple French cuffs are held together by subtle white-gold chain cufflinks harmonising beautifully with the white-gold studs of his shirt. That afternoon, he had asked the hotel staff to starch the well-worn cuffs, the chest, and the aging high removable collar (all Marcella piqué, of course). The bow tie is an old bespoke commission of his father’s: a single end bow tie in soft black satin. His hair is held in place by a structuring, matte paste. As for jewellery, he has opted for a simple bracelet of rose gold from the family collection and his golden signet ring.
The glass, filled with French 75 to prolong his good mood, always sounds like a glockenspiel when he places it on the marble counter – the joy this sound provokes allows him to ignore his conscience and the matte black cover expressly positioned to avoid such a cacophony.
The conversation with the tailor had been a revelation. Rarely did he get along with anyone so well. He felt approximately one thousand years younger. And this despite his having emptied five bottles of Italian red wine and half a bottle of whiskey with his new friend (one his former circle of acquaintances would surely have disapproved of) the day before. The conversation centred on topics ranging from art to music to the beauty of the female form – the vocabulary of this particular snippet of conversation taking on more concrete dimensions as the night progressed. Reflecting on this, Mr Lush cannot suppress a smile.
A hoarse and ragged-looking ocelot in a rather dashing tailcoat – wherever he got that from, thinks Mr Lush, perhaps Pawnderson and Leopard – takes a seat next to him, orders a martini, drinks it in one gulp, raises his glass, and signals the bartender: This glass seems to contain only air. Could you perhaps help me with that.
Hard night, smirks Lush.
You could be a little more grateful! To sleep with a beautiful cat is easy. However, this this one has decided chocolates are her favourite food, Olivier snarls back. He takes a sip of the second martini, and begins to relax his claws.
From your silent benefactor, the bartender utters to the ocelot with a malicious smile, surpassed in malice only by Olivier’s own in response.
So you did it?, whispers Lush into the pointed ears of his irritable carnivore companion.
Did you ever have any doubts? I’ve learned from the best, Olivier quips, while inspecting the beautiful shape of the glass.
Both share a hearty laugh and Olivier’s mood begins to lift.
What next, Olivier?
Make new acquaintances. The ocelot’s paw pushes Lush in the direction of the long-legged beauty who has just sat down next to them at the bar. The young lady is wearing a stunning trouser suit cut from a black worsted wool. Owing to the oversized lapel piped beautiful in a black satin, and the pronounced pagoda shoulder, he is almost certain that the suit was designed in Knightsbridge by Ednot Sexward. The look is rounded off with a black silk turtleneck sweater and slim, black Oxfords with complete with silk laces. Her wavy shoulder-length, dark blond hair is sharply parted. The only splash of colour is worn on her lips, a stunning burgundy tone. Her perfume is subtle yet bears a slightly melancholy Parisian touch – probably Carnal No 5. She sips on a white cosmopolitan.
You really think…?
What should I do?
I am not Cyrano. You’ll figure it out.
Alright… Alright… I’m going, grumbles Lush, his cheeks bearing a more and more striking resemblance to the colour of his socks.
May I sit next to you?, Lush asks politely.
That seat costs on cigarette! she replies, her smile somewhat forced but not unfriendly, and turns to face him.
Lush pulls out his pack of Bentson & Drudges (purchased from his tailor friend), and fiddles around in the packaging with slightly shaky fingers. He lights the cigarette hanging loosely from her lips with a flick of his golden lighter from Duncehill. She inhales with relish and puffs the smoke towards the ceiling of the hotel.
You have the air of one coming off a busy day.
A fucking hard day it was!, she answers indignantly before lowering her eyes, ashamed at the volume – and the vulgarity – of the expression, Lush presumes.
Did you happen to catch the weather forecast for tomorrow by any chance?
What does that have to do with anything? She chuckles, amusing by the sheer suavity of the transition.
Because on sunny days, our tears dry quicker.
This promises to be a good night. DC/MM