I’m completely ignoring the hell that is trying to buy a house at the moment. The news is not good – but far from decisive – so I’ll just distract myself and tell another tale.
I had drinks with the Tiffany’s gal last night. We’ve been emailing back and forth over the past week and she wanted to grab drinks so she could tell me her side of the story.
We met in this ridiculously old school steak house near Penn Station called Keen’s. I’m not sure words will do it justice but of course I’m going to try. Every imaginable surface was wood – floors, wall, ceiling, stools, bar. This endless sea of wood was all stained a dark brown – almost the same color as the vast array of brown liquor available behind the bar. I swear they had seven different flavors of Laphroaig. Almost every bottle within sight had the word “Glen” on it somewhere. Fortunately they also had Sauvignon Blanc.
As I sipped my wine and waited for Melora to arrive, I took the artwork in. Above the bar, stretching nearly to the ceiling and filling a space at least six feet wide was a memorable oil painting – a naked young woman, lounging on a lion skin, with a strange serpentine head dress. Beneath the painting was a small brass plague that simply read “Miss Keens.” Apparently she was a big fan of the depilatory creams. Amusingly, my view of her…endowments…was partially obscured by a two-tiered hard-boiled egg stand. I looked left and right – there were more of these things? People (read older men in gray suits) were plucking them from the stand and cracking them on their cocktail napkins. No bowls of nuts on this bar – just hard boiled eggs and the occasional plate of ribs. This place screamed old school NYC and it was fantastic.
Melora arrived wearing her ridiculously flattering bracelet and ordered a drink. Once all settled, she walked me through the events that had brought her to Tiffany’s. Apparently, about a week before we met, she had been out with a group of friends to celebrate one of their birthdays. While out on the town, Melora spotted a unusually short drag queen as she walked to the back of the restaurant to visit the restroom. On her way back, she stopped to ask The Queen if she might join her at the front of the restaurant to sing “Happy Birthday” to her friend. (I know! A gal after my own heart!)
So The Queen sashays to the front, prepared to belt out the tune, and lo and behold she knows the birthday boy! Apparently they grew up together in Quebec and the two start squealing at each other in french. Long story long, it turns out The Queen actually sells diamonds at Tiffany’s. Melora mentioned she had a gift certificate to spend at Tiffany’s and The Queen begged her to visit and redeem her certificate on his floor.
Fast forward about a week…Melora is visiting with a friend from out of town. Seems this friend is an elephant wrangler and is town with the circus. So the night before our encounter, she and Melora decide to watch the march of the elephants down 34th Street. Her friend told her she’d been blessed by the elephants, and would have a great day.
So the very next day, Melora heads to Tiffany’s with her gift certificate in hand. The Queen finds her the most gorgeous diamond ring, then breaks out the Tiffany’s champagne flutes and some bubbly to celebrate. So Melora is heady from her purchase (and maybe from the champagne) as she leaves the floor. When the elevator doors open, she sees me holding up the bracelet in question and talking to my fellow passengers and enthusiastically shouts, “I love that bracelet!”
You know the next few scenes from my earlier post. When Melora got home she called her friend and told her the story. Then she added, “and you’ll never believe what her name is.” The elephant wrangler went nuts when she heard.
You really, truly, can’t make this shit up.
We both howled and giggled, then ordered another glass of wine.
“You know, for a little while in grade school, they called me Elly the Elephant,” I told her. I then proceeded to recite a passage from a text box that somehow never left my brain. “Elephants remember everything. Elly remembers everything. Therefore Elly is an elephant.”
Weird how things come around full circle. Weird and wonderful. That bracelet was the best gift I’ve ever gotten – and it just keeps on giving.