May 3, 2006

American Psycho: Oh God, will it ever end?

The three of us, Todd Hamlin and George Reeves and myself, are sitting in Harry's and it's a little after six. Hamlin is wearing a suit by Lubiam, a great-looking striped spread-collar cotton shirt from Burberry, a silk tie by Resikeio and a belt from Ralph Lauren. Reeves is wearing a six-button double-breasted suit by Christian Dior, a cotton shirt, a patterned silk tie by Claiborne, perforated cap-toe leather lace-ups by Allen-Edmonds, a cotton handkerchief in his pocket, probably from Brooks Brothers; sunglasses by Lafont Paris lie on a napkin by his drink and a fairly nice attaché case from T. Anthony rests on an empty chair by our table. I'm wearing a two-button single-breasted chalk-striped wool-flannel suit, a multicolored candy-striped cotton shirt and a silk pocket square, all by Patrick Aubert, a polka-dot silk tie by Bill Blass... (p. 87)

"There are no girls with good personalites," we all say in unison, laughing, giving each other high-five.

"A good personality," Reeves begins, "consists of a chick who has a little hardbody and who will satisfy all sexual demands without being too slutty about things and who will essentially keep her dumb fucking mouth shut."

After a deliberate pause I say, "Do you know what Ed Gein (graphic) said about women?"

"Ed Gein?" one of them asks. "Maître d' at Canal Bar?"

"No," I say. "Serial killer, Wisconsin in the fifties. He was an interesting guy."

"Bateman reads these biographies all the time: Ted Bundy and Son of Sam and Fatal Vision and Charlie Manson. All of them."

"So what did Ed say?" Hamlin asks, interested.

"He said," I begin, "'When I see a pretty girl walking down the street I think of two things. One part of me wants to take her out and talk to her and be real nice and sweet and treat her right.'" I stop, finish my J&B in one swallow.

"What does the other part of him think?" Hamlin asks tentatively.

"What her head would look like on a stick," I say. (pp. 89-90)

It's at this very moment that Luis Carruthers, a closeted homosexual with whose girlfriend Patrick is sleeping, decides to walk up and impress the chaps with his new business card.
While Hamlin and Reeves are profoundly impressed, Patrick is struck with a jealousy and envy all his own. Luis heads upstairs for the men's room, and Patrick decides to pay him a little visit.

Like Superman walking out of the phonebooth, Bateman transforms himself into "Psychoman". And I must say, the delicate balance (between taut suspense and campiness) the movie's creators had maintained up until this point begins to fall apart.
It's Psychoman!

The men's room is deserted. All the stalls are empty except for the one at the end, the door not locked, left slightly ajar, the sound of Luis whistling something from Les Misérables getting almost oppresively louder as I approach.

In slow motion, my own heavy breathing blocking out all other sounds, my vision blurring slightly around the edges, my hands move up over the collar of his chasmere blazer and cotton-flannel shirt, circling his neck until my thumbs meet at the nape and my index fingers touch each other just above Luis's Adam's apple. I start to squeeze, tightening my grip, but it's loose enough to let Luis turn around--still in slow motion--so he can stand facing me...

...he looks down at my wrists and for a moment wavers, as if he's undecided about something, and then he lowers his head and...kisses my left wrist, and when he looks back up at me, shyly, it's with an expression that's...loving and only part awkward.

"God Patrick," he whispers. "Why here?"

And Bateman reacts as any heterosexual man (yes, even Psychoman) would--with complete revulsion (sorry, but it's the truth), and procedes to wash his gloves.
note the Hitchockian camera angle

"I've seen you looking at me," he says, panting. "I've noticed your"--he gulps--"hot body."

"Where are you going?" he whispers, bewildered.

"I...I've gotta...I've gotta return some videotapes," I say.

Patrick flees, flustered and, well, psychotic, nearly knocking over waiters and customers in the process. He turns to look back up to where the bathrooms are located only to see:
He mouths "I'll call you" with his expression on his face that lets me know, that assures me, my "secret" is safe with him. (pp. 158-160)

  • Quotes with page numbers are taken directly from the Bret Easton Ellis novel
  • It ain't over till it's over, and it ain't over...


    Fuzzball said...

    Aaaaaaaaah it's never going to end!

    Dammit, I'm hooked.

    Blush said...

    nacogdoches eh? i bet few of your readers know where that is. i, however, am from lufkin. i know exactly what you mean by exquisitely bored.

    Chris said...

    Like any respectable pusher, your addiction is my happiness, fuzzball.

    blush, there is a reason this town has been called "Nacognowhere". But I love it, sometimes. No offense, but I'd much rather be here than in Lufkin.