Category Archives: Books

Smoke Out Free Excerpt

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(March 2003, Manhattan)

I’m dressed in black as I exit the taxi (which is another story in itself) and walk into Molly’s.

Today has been pretty typical. I hit the snooze button a hundred times, cut myself shaving, was unable to get a taxi (it’s raining), and arrived at my corporate job where in the elevator I was greeted by an ex-Winston Lights smoker wearing a red jacket whom I’ve never met before who announced to me and all willing to listen “It’s Friday” like that is supposed to make me feel better.

All day long I deal with people who know how their day is going to go based on the day of the week. Today, I heard the phrase “It’s Friday” fourteen times. Tell me it’s Saturday and I’ll be happy.

It’s dark and smoky inside Molly’s and a man dressed in gray smoking a Camel Light is talking with an Irish bartender wearing a black tie and smoking a mini-cigar. They’re discussing the new anti-smoking law scheduled to go into effect Saturday at midnight and neither seems pleased with the new legislature about to be forced on entertainment establishments across Manhattan.

Both are drinking whiskey on the rocks. The bartender is explaining the law to the man smoking a Camel Light who just continues to reply “How can they do this, it’s a bar?” The man smoking a Camel Light smokes only when he drinks. He never has a cigarette in the morning, never in the evening, and never during stressful situations, unless there’s a drink in front of him. Then he smokes non-stop.

The news is on a small television hanging in the far corner and the headline stories are center around war, terrorism, and violence. The bartender puts down his cigar onto a glass ashtray shaped like half a football, says to gray shirt “I know”, and walks over to me. I light a Marlboro Light and order vodka on the rocks. The bartender brings over my drink and asks me if I’m going to be there Saturday night for their “Smoke them if got them” party and I tell him I’ll try even though I have nothing planned and will definitely be there. “We’re flying in authentic cigarette girls from the Stardust Casino in Las Vegas” says the bartender and I wonder for a second what makes them authentic and then I’m side tracked by a woman wearing an orange tank top who is sitting next to me annoyed by my smoke.

Apparently I look illiterate to this woman who for now we’ll call Dawn because she is quick to inform me that smoking cigarettes is bad for you and that she can’t wait for the new law to go into effect. I smirk and say “I know.” We talk for five minutes which seems like four hours (not in a good way) and I find out that she is from Long Island and smoked Newports for several years, finally quitting two years ago. Now during Dawn’s off hours she goes around informing people how bad cigarettes are for people. We all know Dawn We don’t enjoy Dawn’s company. We wish Dawn would just go away.

I light another Marlboro Light, Dawn leaves, and I check my messages on my cell phone. There’s no messages so I call Rachel who isn’t answering her phone and hasn’t returned any of my calls the last few days. I leave a message telling her about the party on Saturday at Molly’s and that I hope she’ll be there. Then I call Trent who also isn’t answering his phone, but don’t leave a message because Trent may in jail, and I’m guessing you’re not allowed to retrieve messages if you’re doing time for possession with intent to deliver. I order another drink, smoke another cigarette, and then I leave.

A sticker on the dividing window reads NO SMOKING ALLOWED IN THIS TAXI as we move toward Union Square. The taxi reeks of cigarette smoke and both front windows are open despite it being only forty degrees outside. The taxi driver is wearing a dark blue (almost black, maybe an old Yankees hat with the NY removed, I’m not sure) knit hat and is having a conversation, with someone unknown. I remove my pack of Marlboro Lights as I empty my pockets while looking for my wallet and the driver (who is watching me as he almost rear ends a yellow Honda) stops, turns around, and points to the sticker. I hold up my wallet that I’ve found and say “I know.” The taxi pulls up outside Kelly’s Tavern and as I exit the taxi I hear the driver lighting a Parliament Light. Don’t ask me how I know the brand, I just know.

I don’t see Rachel or any ashtrays as I walk into Kelly’s with my pack of Marlboro Lights in my right hand. I order a vodka rocks and then see a sign that reads: We’re one step ahead of the city, NO SMOKING ALLOWED.

I look over to a woman wearing a green shirt with a pink bow who is watching me read the sign and shake my head in disgust. “You know, each cigarette takes three minutes off your life.” Sitting to my left is a man dressed in a black suit smoking a clove cigarette. Comedian smoker. He’s telling jokes to the bartender and using his cigarette to accentuate the joke by jerking it when he hits the punch line. I leave.

On my way out as I’m finishing my drink I eavesdrop on a conversation happening by a cigarette machine where one man who is smoking and wearing a black T-shirt that reads SUPERSTAR is saying to a man not smoking wearing a white T-shirt that reads LOSER how his friend Jamie is “Bigger than Mark.” A second later he is discussing an exam and describes a professor he has at NYU as “Smaller than Mark.” This is too much for me, and I need a cigarette so I step out into the street where two bartenders, the bouncer, and four others from the kitchen are smoking cigarettes. All of them are one step ahead of the city.

Trent calls as I get into a taxi and he tells me to meet at a bar called THE SMOKEHOUSE in Midtown. I tell him I’ll be there shortly and then ask the taxi driver if he knows where the bar is and he says he does and asks me how my night is going. I say it’s going all right and we continue a pleasant discussion mostly about the weather and I’m enjoying myself (partly due to the vodka) despite a sticker on the dividing window that reads ABSOLUTELY NO SMOKING. Oh. Absolutely. Got it. I ask the driver what he thinks about the new non-smoking law and he says he’s trying not to think about it because it makes him mad and wished I’d never brought it up. Then my taxi is cut off by a black BMW being driven by an Asian man, who is smoking a Kool, and my driver screams “Kung Fu motherfuckers!” and then hits the gas hard. We proceed to almost hit four more vehicles with the driver yelling the following phrases in an Arabic accent: “Learn to drive you dumb mother fucker!” to a woman eating Yogurt while driving a red Jeep; “Die motherfucker” to an elderly ex-smoking woman driving a white van; and just plain “Motherfucker!” to another taxi being driven by a man wearing a black tie smoking a Raleigh. The taxi driver in the black tie flipped us off, and mouthed something with the word motherfucker in it. The new law hasn’t gone into effect yet and I’ve already almost died.

Checkout Smoke Out at Smashwords today!


The Devil Wears Black Leather Excerpt #5

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Chapter 8

Jagger calls and asks what he should wear to Vegas. “I’m really the last person to ask”, Is my response to which he replies, “So you’re wearing Chuck Taylors? That’s Interesting.” Lucy then sends a text to call her so I do and she tells me she has a publisher “one of the big ones” she says interested in my novel and any short stories I may have. She also says they want me to write a screenplay. “Isn’t that the devil’s work?” I ask. She laughs (more of a snort) and then tells me I just have to tell them I’m working on a screenplay, I don’t have to actually write one. She says they want to add me to their catalog of writers. Being called a writer makes me feel uneasy, sort of like someone does one adult movie and refers to themselves as a porn star. In my mind being “in porn” is different than being a “porn star”. Why do they want me? Do they think I can write a screenplay? My palms begin sweating. Lucy asks me if she can take me out and I agree and then she says she has something “VERY SPECIAL!” planned.

Still in my sweatpants from sleeping I strip my clothes and then do pushups. I get to ten, stop and then put boxers on because I’m feeling self conscious, and continue my pushups. After I stare at the MAKING IT RAIN manuscript for twenty minutes I experience a slight bout of writer’s bloc. I scan my daily journals looking for a story or situation or even a word to inspire me and instead come away with nothing. Well, that’s not entirely true; I come away with a feeling of boredom, raising my anxiety. I walk to the door, planning to go to the deli to buy cigarettes, but stop and go back to my computer.   In college I had a writing instructor that used to tell me that the journey of writing was the reward. I contemplate this and then wonder what the point is. I browse the internet looking for writing jobs, finding nothing. I open up my work folder, open up my document for XXX Vegas Girls and type “GIRLS GIRLS GIRLS – all types – WANT TO MEET YOU TONIGHT.” The journey of writing. I check my latest blog entry, scanning the comments that range from hurtful to embarrassment. I bring my knees up to my chest, sitting at my chair in the fetal position. I text Lucy to ask what I should wear tonight and she responds with a text that reads I’M GOING OUT WITH A BOTTLE IN ONE HAND AND A BABY IN THE OTHER! I guess I’ll wear Chuck Taylors.

Motto of the Day: YOU HAVE TO LOOK UP BEFORE YOU LOOK DOWN!

I go for a walk to clear my head. I walk William Street and am at the corner of Pearl when an elderly woman approaches me. She points to the cap of her water bottle unable to open it. I take the bottle and unscrew the cap for her. “Oh thank you, thank you so much” she says. She reaches into her purse for a pill. I feel good, helping her with her medication. “I can never wash down these pills”, she says and I nod. She then says, “I’ll never make it through the day without my Ambian.” She walks away, leaving me standing. I watch a cockroach with a racing stripe along its side dart across the sidewalk. Across the streets two Wall Street guys give each other a high five. There should really be a rehab program for quitting high fives, maybe not give out chips, but there should be a reward of some kind.

I continue to Battery Park where there is a lone “hippie” playing a guitar. Why is it they are always the worse guitar players? I grab a seat on a park bench to think. I am deep in though over my book, my lack of Twitter followers and hippie guitar players when I get a text from Jagger that reads: 911 IZZY BLOOD.

I jog over to Jagger’s apartment and he is out front waiting for me. He shows me the escalating texts from Izzy that range from TIME FOR BLOOD to THE END STARTS NOW to STICK IT TO ME, I’M DONE. Jagger thinks we should first check the hospitals. I ask which one and Jagger looks at me strange and then grins, “Downtown, of course.” We go to the downtown hospital and it takes thirty minutes to find out he is not there. While we are there we witness a man who comes in screaming “MOTHER FUCKER’S SHOT ME! MOTHER FUCKER’S SHOT ME!” over and over. Paramedics rush over to the man, but it turns out he is just crazy and was not actually shot.

Next we go to Tribeca, to the club BITE where the “vampire” crowd is known to hang. It is dark and strange and no one has seen Izzy all night. On our way out someone runs out of the club and asks us if we’re looking for Izzy. We nod and they tell us to check the tattoo parlor at 6th Avenue and Bleeker. We hop into a taxi and are there in ten minutes. With ten tattoo joints on the block we split up. I run first into VILLAGE TATTOOS and then into NY PIERCING and then PINS AND NEEDLES and that is where I hear someone in the back discussing the latest vampire show. I peek my head into the back room and there is Izzy getting a vampire bat tattoo on his arm. I sigh, relieved and text Jagger. I talk to Izzy and he seems okay so I grab a seat next to him and ask one of the artists to touch up the sun tattoo on my left shoulder. I don’t think he speaks English so I point and he nods and says “thirty dollar” and then I turn and try to talk to Izzy, but since I don’t watch True Blood he’s really not interested. Jagger shows up and sees Izzy and smiles. He looks at me and then walks over to look at my shoulder and his eyes light up. I look down at my arm and see that the artist is not touching up my sun as requested, but rather he is putting a vampire tattoo around it. He has already completed one wing. I scream and stand up, cursing at the man and looking at the guy who is working on Izzy. He shrugs his shoulders and says, “Hey man, it’s Vampire night.” We wait for Izzy outside and then leave. On our way out a guy wearing a bow tie walks in and Izzy leans over and says he’s a vampire. We ask how he can tell and says all vampires have a tell – it’s in their eyes, it’s their Oreo cookie.

Exhausted after chasing down Izzy, I meet Lucy at El Cantinero’s Mexican restaurant. There is a brief wait for a table so we have a drink on the second level. The music continues to get louder and the bar area is turning into a club and then Lucy kisses me and says she’s not hungry and we should go. We jump into a taxi and arrive at the Four Season’s hotel. “You got a room here?” I ask. “I know people”, she says and then I notice the room is hot and say, “You must know someone important”, and she says, “Something like that, stop asking so many questions”, Lucy giggles, “I told you I have a surprise for you!” This all happens very fast and there is a door man that winks at Lucy and she winks back and then tells me “He got his last night”, and then giggles. I’m about to ask what she means, but then realize it (probably) doesn’t matter and I’m (probably) not going to like the answer anyway.

We walk into a suite that has three rooms, two bathrooms, a living room, and hot tub. Lucy stares at me and sighs, “Like I said, I’m not who you think I am”, looks around the suite, “You should really use me for your own good, your own fame!”

Lucy goes into one of the bathrooms and tells me to open champagne. There are three buckets containing champagne so I grab to one closest to me and open up the bottle. I find two flutes on top of a dry bar and fill them to the brim. Lucy comes out of the bathroom and she is completely naked. She walks up and grabs a flute from my hand and even though she is nude I stare into her beautiful green eyes. She takes a sip of champagne and then moves closer, kissing my lips. She tells me to get undressed and walks over to her purse. I take off my clothes and then ask which bedroom and she says, “All of them!” Again I pick the closest bed and she follows, carrying her flute of champagne in one hand and a small black case in the other.

I sit on the edge of the bed and grab her legs, pulling her in. She squirms and whispers, “Just a second, we’re not quite ready.” She opens the black case and pulls out two small bottles and two needles. “What the fuck is that?” I ask. “Just a little insulin”, she whispers. I move backward, crawling away from Lucy to the top of the bed. She stops and smiles, “Oh come on, you’ve never?” She winks. “Never what?” I ask. Lucy laughs and moves to the bed. She puts one syringe into the top of the bottle and fills it with clear liquid. “Just the right amount of insulin increases the orgasm ten-fold.” I don’t believe I’ve ever actually gasped in my life. For the first time in my life I gasp. An actor gasp. A full on Oscar worthy gasp. “Insulin?” Lucy kisses my neck, I’m watching her hand holding the full syringe. “Insulin shock at the moment of release is the greatest gift the world of medicine ever created.” Lucy’s tongue runs down my neck as her arm comes down hard, pressing the syringe into her ass, releasing the liquid inside her. “Of course, it takes two to tangle”, she backs up and loads the second syringe. “What do you say?” I look into her eyes and say nothing. She reaches between my legs with left hand and uses her right to plunge the needle into my right ass cheek. Lucy pulls out the needle and says, “Don’t go too fast, we have ten minutes until it peaks.” Lucy kisses me and we are just getting started when I black-out. My last image is Lucy’s eyes.

I wake up an hour later and Lucy is getting dressed. I ask what happened and she seems very satisfied so I get dressed and walk over to my glass of champagne and drink it down. On our way out of the room Lucy grabs my arm and says, “I need to talk to you.” I ask “What, I didn’t know, I-“. Lucy puts a finger up to her lips, “No, I want to ask you about your arm.” I look blankly, not sure what she is talking about and then she asks, “Is that a vampire wing on your arm?”

Check out The Devil Wears Black Leather at Smashwords


The Devil Wears Black Leather

Check out my new novella, now available!

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Allow me to present, The Devil Wears Black Leather, an intertwining Grindhouse genre novella of a struggling New York writer and a Las Vegas Elvis impersonator, who is also a serial killer.

In New York, the narrator is a writer making ends meet by taking side jobs that include writing the “porn cards” for Las Vegas escort services.  You can find his work littered up and down the strip of Las Vegas.  His friends?  Jagger is a bisexual art dealer who spends most his time at strip clubs and the racetrack.  Izzy is very pale and believes he is turning into a vampire and is often found at a club in TriBeCa named BITE.   Discussions and thoughts around fame versus success consume their lives and often discussions (except when consuming handfuls of Ambien or shooting insulin).

In Las Vegas, Elvis Eddie is working the impersonator circuit: bachelorette parties, off-strip Elvis-O-Rama appearances, as well as numerous tribute shows.   What sets this Elvis apart from the others is not his refusal to meet Nic Cage, but rather his unique (wine corkscrew, saran wrap, etc…) murders on those he finds morally wrong.

Back in NY, our narrator meets a girl who may or may not be the devil, named Lucy.  Immediately his life starts looking up with invitations to the right parties, publisher interest, and money.  Our narrator eventually takes a meeting in Vegas where he meets Elvis Eddie and becomes at odds with the serial killer.  The story climaxes in a showdown with Elvis and a possible deal with the devil.

Check out my new novella today at Smashwords.


Presenting: “Hollywood Ending”

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Lights. Camera. Reality Star.

Hollywood Ending, a break-neck novella about a corrupt agent and the quick deceptive world of the movie industry.

Hollywood Ending begins in an L.A. bar surrounded by cops where Johnny is planning his escape.  From there the story takes you back days earlier, a time when Johnny actually thought he’d caught his first break and was going to star in the movie The Heist.  The problem?  His agent, Reggie, felt Johnny needed help in researching the role so he put him in touch with Rasheed, a psychotic bank robber.  Working with Rasheed, Johnny becomes paranoid, believing people are following him as well as noticing cameras that may or may not be a figment of his imagination.  The research quickly turns into an actual bank robbery where a man is shot and the group flees to the bar.

The story climaxes with the foursome in the bar.  Rasheed is smoking blunts, Victory is singing Tina Turner songs, and Johnny is planning his escape.  A dead Chinese bartender lies at their feet.  As planned by Rasheed, Johnny crashes through the doors expecting to hear gunfire, but instead gets the surprise of his life…

Review (excerpt from Nights and Weekends)

Anyone who has read my reviews knows that every now and then I love to read an unusual and quirky novel that doesn’t follow any set formula. Because of its hilarious ending, David Grant’s Hollywood Ending is one of the best so far.

As an actor, Johnny has been able to score some bit parts and a short stint on a soap opera, but he’s best known as the Honest Guy in a toothpaste commercial. So when a big-time agent named Reggie gives him an interview, he’s all set to be disappointed.

Instead, Reggie wants to sign him for an upcoming crime thriller, for which Johnny might get a chance to work with Wesley Snipes. However, Reggie tells him that his acting isn’t worth crap, so he needs to do exactly what he’s told if he wants to keep the part.


Per Reggie’s suggestion, Johnny meets with a known bank robber named Rasheed to learn how to be a criminal. When they start planning an actual hit on a local bank, Johnny wonders just how far he’s willing to go just for the chance to star alongside Wesley Snipes.

As I neared the conclusion of Hollywood Ending, I had a sneaking suspicion that I knew what was going on, and I began snickering. Then, when it was all over, I couldn’t help but laugh out loud. I simply loved this short, innovative tale about a down-and-out actor named Johnny. Anyone who’s chasing a dream can relate to him—I know I did.

Every character in Hollywood Ending stands out—each with his or her own quirks and personality traits—making it a lively and thoroughly entertaining tale. Johnny comes across as a confused and desperate man who’s looking to make his acting dreams come true in any way he can—but that doesn’t make him appear naïve. Instead, it makes him an endearing human being—and you’ll hope with all your heart that he’ll succeed.

Moments of suspense mixed with off-the-wall humor make Hollywood Ending a smile-inducing, feel-good read that you simply can’t miss—and that makes David S. Grant an author to keep an eye on.

Check out Hollywood Ending Today!

“Stuck somewhere between J.D. Salinger, Chuck Palahniuk and Bret Easton Ellis, author David S. Grant delves into the life of a modern misanthrope whose drug usage would make Hunter S. Thompson envious.  …  David S. Grant is an author to watch.  He could easily become the next Chuck Palahniuk with his fragmented style and stream of consciousness writing. ”   -Stefan Halley, Pop Syndicate

 


Happy Hour, a novella

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Happy Hour, the new eBook from SynergEbooks, is a life in the day of Will and Sara.  They are having guests over for a dinner party disguised as a Happy Hour.  One of the guests, Jack, is on the verge of rock stardom if only if lifestyle will allow such success.  Josh and Katherine are dealing with a past of children, a stressed marriage, and prison time.

The story begins with preparation then takes us to Jack and his guest as they enjoy pre-dinner cocktails while trolling for women in all of the wrong places.  After a dinner (that entails more drinking than eating) tragedy finds some of the guests and the answer to the underlying question “How many people are needed to be considered an orgy?” is answered.

Happy Hour is a story of scary conversation and remembering a past that maybe better forgotten.  The only constants are surprise announcements and the flow of vodka in this tale of an evening in Manhattan.

***

“Stuck somewhere between J.D. Salinger, Chuck Palahniuk and Bret Easton Ellis, author David S. Grant delves into the life of a modern misanthrope whose drug usage would make Hunter S. Thompson envious.  …  David S. Grant is an author to watch.  He could easily become the next Chuck Palahniuk with his fragmented style and stream of consciousness writing. ”   -Stefan Halley, Pop Syndicate

***

Excerpt from Happy Hour:

Jack is watching Donny with the two girls across the bar. For a second he is jealous, then he sees one of the girls pull a knife. The second punches Donny right in the face, causing him to trip over a bar stool and fall flat on his back. Gasping for air, he is pulled out of the bar by a bouncer-type bartender

By the time Jack gets off his stool and into the street, the bartender is gone. In broad daylight Donny is sitting in the street, his nose bleeding onto his shirt.

Donny is holding his nose, trying to stop the blood from pouring out. “Lesbians; I forgot about lesbians.”

Jack calls Tina and tells her it’s time; they are going to pick her up and head to the happy hour.

Donny cracks the window, listening to the Ferrari purr up Madison Avenue as he wipes some excess blood seeping from his nose. “So why is it called a happy hour anyway?”

“Don’t know, I guess because Will likes vodka.”

“Sounds like an orgy to me.”

Go HERE To Purchase or More Information on “Happy Hour”


Bliss for 99 cents!

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Novella Bliss Now Available

Bliss is a story about children growing up in the school parking lot. A prequel to the double novel Bleach|Blackout, Bliss follows Chip, Stoner, and Jeremy through their senior year of high school. This fast paced novella begins with a drug deal gone bad and ends with a drug deal gone right. In between these exchanges, the narrator tells of his struggles in school, with the law, his psychiatrist, girls named Mary, and what it’s like to attend blizzard parties (same as a normal party, just with lots of cocaine). For those searching for a feel-good story of adolescence, look further—it’s not here. That being said, this tale does end with a nice cozy fire that is sure to bring a good laugh… or a gasp.

 

“Bleach and its sequel Blackout are going on my favorite reads of the year. These aren’t happy stories and there isn’t too much uplifting metaphor behind the story, but satisfying? Oh yes, that it was. This is a keeper and will find a nice home on my shelf between Bret Easton Ellis and Jay McInerney—I think it will find this a cozy spot.”
—Joanne, The Book Zombie (Bleach | Blackout)

“Moments of suspense mixed with off-the-wall humor make Hollywood Ending a smile-inducing, feel-good read that you simply can’t miss—and that makes David S. Grant an author to keep an eye on.”
—Margaret Marr, Nights and Weekends (Hollywood Ending)

“Grant’s novella The Last Breakfast is something very engaging and banks a lot on the power of dialogue.”
—Sri Lanka Sunday Observer (The Last Breakfast)

Download Bliss Today!


Excerpt from “Blood: The New Red”

 BLOOD

Always look like a rock star. This is the number one secret on how to be famous. I’m wearing chains, lots of chains. Eye shadow, lots of eye shadow. I wouldn’t say my pants are tight, but then again, my balls might disagree with you at the moment.

I’m standing on the second level of the Grand Hotel, overlooking the bar area. My manager tells me this is where I need to be standing. In five minutes I will move across the room and stand next to a long mirror where one of the Hiltons will walk by and notice my reflection. A photographer will be close by and be sure to get the picture. This mirror has been placed here for this sole purpose. My manager tells me not to stare at the mirror. If you asked me to list my weaknesses, this may be my number one fault.

DJ Shingles, the newest (which means hottest) DJ, is playing on a middle level between the first and second floors. There is barely enough room for him let alone the overflowing ashtray and oversized stocking cap. Rumor has it this is his last show, despite this being his first. There is talk that he is moving into production and will be working with a major player in the hip hop industry, depending on who is hot at the time. DJ Shingles is wearing an Armani black button-down shirt with the sleeves ripped off. Very last year, but this is more a statement than a miscalculation on his part. Last season is the new season.

My manager signals for me to make my way across toward the mirror. A reporter from GQ is following me and asking me questions about who I’m going to sign with and whether or not my past will affect my future. I get her number, tell her I’ll call her later, and then blow her off as I approach the mirror. Always leak your press, never tell. This is secret number three on how to be famous.

Four widescreen televisions are fastened to the wall behind the bar. All are showing TMZ. An orange haired girl wearing a Betsey Johnson dress sees me staring at the television sets. She walks over and whispers in my ear, “It’s the new CNN.”

A waiter carrying a tray of wine from 1980 is walking by. Every 15 minutes another waiter, another tray, another year will walk by. Welcome to the world of fashion parties. Ten percent content, ninety percent presentation.

A man who goes by the name Dontay hands me a coffee cup that is full of scotch. My manager tells me to sip it and not cheers anyone. Any buzz that insinuates I’ve been in rehab and have put my porn career in the past is good press and can only help my modeling career. As scheduled, I’m approached by someone with the last name Hilton.

The Hilton is wearing a blouse that is considered the color Ocean, the new blue, but since Aquamarine blue was in fact the new blue for last season and last season is in this season, no one should be caught dead in Ocean. Unless of course she is being ironic. If so, she will have to mention this to at least three people during the course of the evening.

“Mickey, you’re back! I mean, uh…” Hilton looks at the coffee cup. “Welcome back!” She tips her coffee cup to me.

I glance around at the guest list, wondering who has the most juice at the party, but am distracted by the waiter walking through with wines from 1990.

“Good year for cabernets,” Hilton says, then grabs her blouse. “Last season is the new season, huh? Fuck that.” She laughs and looks fidgety as lights pop around us. At one point Hilton puts her arm around me and kisses me on the cheek. FLASH. Mission accomplished.

“I miss you, Mickey. We should get together sometime, you know, have a cup of coffee, fuck, or something.”

Sure, I tell her and then she leaves because she has a rule about spending over forty hours a week on the Lower East Side and this season many Fashion Week parties have been in LES, the new SoHo.

According to my manager, I need to make my way to a reserved table next to the bar where Paul Johnson is sitting. My manager also says to ignore the temptation of champagne. I have a job to do tonight.

When I approach, Paul gets up from his table and gives me a hug. “Welcome back, Mick. We’ve missed you.” I tell Paul great show and congratulations on the new line, then look at the table and see they are all drinking 1986 chardonnay and there’s a small mountain of cocaine in the center of the table. Paul looks at my cup and asks me if I need another coffee and I tell him I’m okay and then he proceeds to introduce me to the guests at his table, which include Lindsay Lohan, Jay Z, John Stamos, and four models I’ve never met but have bumped into during my previous job. One is a brunette with piercing blue eyes that I may have even shot a scene with but am not positive since I never saw much of her face. I pull out a pack of Camel non-filtered cigarettes and light one up. Paul asks me to join them. My manager agrees, so I grab a seat. The brunette tells me I look familiar, John Stamos says the same, and I grab a random razor from the ashtray and cut a line for myself.

Paul follows my lead, does a line and then lifts his head. There are still remnants of powder on his nose, but judging from his smile, he doesn’t care. “Mickey, I want you to be my feature model, and I want to use you for my next project. What do you say?”

No one has ever turned down an offer from Paul Johnson, one of the top two designers in New York City. I consider saying no, just to make history, but my manager doesn’t agree with this decision, so I put some cocaine on the razor blade and turn toward the brunette. On cue she lowers her dress, revealing her left nipple. I dump the coke onto the top of her left breast, move in, and snort it. She giggles and then says, “Now I remember you.”

I excuse myself from the table because my manager has me scheduled to bump into Sandy Johnson near the men’s restroom in three minutes. On my way to my spot, Dontay walks past and hands me a full coffee cup and slips me the number of John Stamos, “Just in case,” he says.

Sandy exits the bathroom with his fly unzipped, hand in hand with Stan, his boy toy for the night, laughing and then flagging down a waiter holding a sign: 2002. My manager has strategically placed me between Sandy and the waiter so Sandy notices me and walks over. “Mickey! My God, you look fabulous!” Sandy gives me half-hug and cups my buttocks, then mentions that he has heard a lot of rumors involving me and the porn industry. I just laugh and tell him there’s nothing wrong with franchising my body.

“Amen to that.” Sandy turns to Stan and tells him to fetch him a glass of 2002 because he needs to talk business. Sandy surveys the scene and leans in to me. “Fabulous, isn’t it?” I nod and then Sandy says, “Just murderous!”

Sandy moves next to me and puts his arm around my shoulder. “Did you see my show today?” It was great and congratulations I tell him but am cut off as he tries to say something, pauses, then finally says, “So I see you were talking with Paul.”

I take a drink of Johnnie Walker and then say, “Yeah, actually he just offered me a job.”

Sandy grabs his heart. “Oh, the betrayal! I think I’m going to faint.” Stan appears out of nowhere with a chair for Sandy to sit down in and hands him a glass of wine. Sandy takes a drink and agrees that it is indeed 2002 and this seems to settle him. “Mickey, baby, we go way back. Your first runway, I believe. Honey, you need to come work for me, not that…” Sandy flickers over toward Paul, “beast!”

My manager tells me that I need to step outside because Juanita, my girl, can’t get inside because she refuses to wear shoes and has just put out a joint on the bouncer’s arm.

I tell Sandy thank you, and he says he’ll be in touch. I lean into his ear and let him know his pants are unzipped and he says, “I know, it’s the new sign.”

I finish my cup of scotch and walk outside where Juanita is not only not wearing shoes but is also not wearing any pants, only a light purple Versace thong. The bouncer notices me and tells me that he doesn’t have a problem with the thong, but there’s a policy regarding the shoes. I let him know I understand and then buy a gram of cocaine off of him. I put Juanita in my limo and give her the gram to keep her busy. “I need to go inside and finish some business. I’ll be right back,” I tell her but she doesn’t hear a word, already ripping open the gram and cutting three lines. “Thanks baby!” I hear her yell as I shut the door.

Back inside, my manager wants me to be on the right side of the bar because the glow from the light accentuates my features best. I look over and see Paul Johnson telling a story that I’m guessing involves a Hollywood movie star, too much champagne, and no panties while he decides which two models he is going to take home tonight. On the other side, Sandy Johnson is whispering into the ear of Stan and undoubtedly outing many of the stars here tonight. Presently, in between sips of three-hundred-dollar glasses of wine, they are pointing at Andy Garcia and nodding.

Paul Johnson versus Sandy Johnson, the two top designers in the city, fighting for the top spot. Fashion Designer of the Year. Earlier today Paul introduced a new line of furs despite the protest of PETA outside their tents at Bryant Park. At the end of the show Paul had all of his models come out onto the stage wearing nothing but fur and had a man with a wiry mustache throw goat blood all over all of them as Paul screamed, “It’s the new red!”

Meanwhile, across the park, Sandy Johnson displayed his new men’s line on the runway by having his male models hold the garments as they strutted naked and hard. Rumor has it there was no “fluffer” required. Sandy Johnson can be hands-on when required.

Both shows received standing ovations. The debate over which show was better continues. Paul versus Sandy, good versus evil, although in this case it is not clear who is playing which role. There was talk at one point that for Paul’s next line, Eternal, a model would be executed on the runway.

As I light a Camel, my manager notifies me that Paul is approaching. “Mickey, be in my office first thing tomorrow.” When Paul says tomorrow, he means 8AM tomorrow.

Too quick for even my manager to notice, Sandy comes up and asks me if I’m seeing anyone and I mention Juanita, which leads to a disappointed face and he tells me to stop by in the morning to discuss working for him. When Sandy says tomorrow morning, he means never.

My manager is noncommittal but pleased. We have accomplished our goal for the night. I glance over at Paul Johnson, then over at Sandy Johnson, the two kings, bitter rivals and not related. Simply known around the city as The Johnsons.

Walking out of the Grand, I look over at my limo. The window is rolled down and Juanita appears to have passed out. I walk over to my driver and tell him to take her home. As I turn back toward the club there is a TMZ camera in my face. “Mickey! Mickey! Who are you going with?” I light a Camel, remove my aviators, and look into the camera. “I’m going with Johnson! You can use that!” FLASH.

I reach into my pocket and grab the number of the GQ reporter and call her. We agree to meet at Lucky Sevens at Rivington and Stanton.

After we talk, she sends me a text message that reads: CAN’T WAIT TO GET MY LIPS AROUND YOU.

I go back to the doorway of the Grand (where I can hear “Mama Said Knock You Out” over the speakers), score another gram, stop off in the bathroom for a line, and then catch a cab to Lucky Sevens. In the cab the song “Suspicious Minds” by Elvis is playing. I cut a line and offer it up to the cab driver, who can’t snort it fast enough. I do a line and sit back, smiling.

Act like you’ve lived this moment a hundred times over. This is the forty-third secret on how to be famous.

 

“Stuck somewhere between J.D. Salinger, Chuck Palahniuk and Bret Easton Ellis, author David S. Grant delves into the life of a modern misanthrope whose drug usage would make Hunter S. Thompson envious. Grant’s laid-back style makes the misadventures of Jeremy and his drug addled buddies an easy pill to swallow. David S. Grant is an author to watch.”
—Stefan Halley, Pop Syndicate

“Grant writes like an artist paints. There is a lot left to interpretation. Is this book for everyone? No. It is for those who truly understand the artistic side to writing.”
—Stephanie Rollins (Emotionless Souls)

Check out Silverthought Press for more information and how to purchase!