American Psycho

Page 148

In the kitchen I try to make meat loaf out of the girl but it becomes too frustrating a task and instead I spend the afternoon smearing her meat all over the walls, chewing on strips of skin I ripped from her body, then I rest by watching a tape of last week's new CBS sitcom, Murphy Brown. After that and a large glass of J&B I'm back in the kitchen. The head in the microwave is now completely black and hairless and I place it in a tin pot on the stove in an attempt to boil any remaining flesh I forgot to shave off. Heaving the rest of her body into a garbage bag - my muscles, slathered with Ben-Gay, easily handling the dead weight - I decide to use whatever is left of her for a sausage of some kind.

A Richard Marx CD plays on the stereo, a bag from Zabar's loaded with sourdough onion bagels and spices sits on the kitchen table while I grind bone and fat and flesh into patties, and though it does sporadically penetrate how unacceptable some of what I'm doing actually is, I just remind myself that this thing, this girl, this meat, is nothing, is shit, and along with a Xanax (which I am now taking half-hourly) this thought momentarily calms me and then I'm humming, humming the theme to a show I watched often as a child - The Jetsons? The Banana Splits? Scooby Doo? Sigmund and the Sea Monsters? I'm remembering the song, the melody, even the key it was sung in, but not the show. Was it Lidsville? Was it H. R. Pufnstuf? These questions are punctuated by other questions, as diverse as "Will I ever do time?" and "Did this girl have a trusting heart?" The smell of meat and blood clouds up the condo until I don't notice it anymore. And later my macabre joy sours and I'm weeping for myself, unable to find solace in any of this, crying out, sobbing "I just want to be loved," cursing the earth and everything I have been taught: principles, distinctions, choices, morals, compromises, knowledge, unity, prayer - all of it was wrong, without any final purpose. All it came down to was: die or adapt. I imagine my own vacant face, the disembodied voice coming from its mouth: These are terrible times. Maggots already writhe across the human sausage, the drool pouring from my lips dribbles over them, and still I can't tell if I'm cooking any of this correctly, because I'm crying too hard and I have never really cooked anything before.

Chapter Twenty

Taking an Uzi to the Gym

On a moonless night, in the starkness of the locker room at Xclusive, after working out for two hours, I'm feeling good. The gun in my locker is an Uzi which cost me seven hundred dollars and though I am also carrying a Ruger Mini ($469) in my Bottega Veneta briefcase and it's favored by most hunters, I still don't like the way it looks; there's something more manly about an Uzi, something dramatic about it that gets me excited, and sitting here, Walkman on my head, in a pair of two-hundred-dollar black Lycra bicycle shorts, a Valium just beginning to take effect, I stare into the darkness of the locker, tempted. The rape and subsequent murder last night of an NYU student behind the Gristede's on University Place, near her dorm, however inappropriate the timing, no matter how uncharacteristic the lapse, was highly satisfying and though I'm unprepared by my change of heart, I'm in a reflective mood and I place the gun, which is a symbol of order to me, back in the locker, to be used at another time. I have videotapes to return, money to be taken out of an automated teller, a dinner reservation at 150 Wooster that was difficult to get.

Chase, Manhattan

Tuesday night, at Bouley, in No Man's Land, a fairly unremarkable marathon dinner, even after I tell the table, "Listen, guys, my life is a living hell," they utterly ignore me, the group assembled (Richard Perry, Edward Lampert, John Constable, Craig McDermott, Jim Kramer, Lucas Tanner) continuing to argue about allocating assets, which stocks look best for the upcoming decade, hardbodies, real estate, gold, why long-term bonds are too risky now, the spread collar, portfolios, how to use power effectively, new ways to exercise, Stolichnaya Cristall, how best to impress very important people, eternal vigilance, life at its best, here in Bouley I cannot seem to control myself, here in a room that contains a whole host of victims, lately I can't help noticing them everywhere - in business meetings, nightclubs, restaurants, in passing taxis and in elevators, on line at automated tellers and on  p**n o tapes, in David's Cookies and on CNN, everywhere, all of them having one thing in common: they are prey, and during dinner I almost become unglued, plummeting into a state of near vertigo that forces me to excuse myself before dessert, at which point I use the rest room, do a line of cocaine, pick up my Giorgio Armani wool overcoat and the.357 magnum barely concealed within it from the coatcheck, strap on a holster and then I'm outside, but on The Patty Winters Show this morning there was an interview with a man who set his daughter on fire while she was giving birth, at dinner we all had shark...

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