Blonde on (Very Famous) Blonde
Jul 5 2012
It’s the Purple Magazine party during Fashion Week and I’m at a booth with my friends.
And then there's Lindsay Lohan.
“You guys are exactly alike,” our mutual friends have told me over and over again. And so when she’s in town, I—or perhaps that moron, Amphetamine Logic—keep expecting us to get along.
We sure do look alike: a couple of Bony Joanies in the club, our Balenciagas full of prescription bottles that rattle like maracas. We’ve both got hair so white-blonde it glows in the dark. She’s wearing heavy black eye makeup—photo-shoot makeup—ubiquitous false lashes, darling, and of course so am I.
And, then there’s the permeating toxicity that we wear like heavy clouds of perfume—to keep the boys away and all. (“I never have boyfriends either,” I’d like to imagine our giggly girl talk going, were we ever to become—HA—friends, as my other female friends actually are friends with her. “My dad is totally, like, a way abusive pathological narcissist mega-asshole who terrorized my whole family until I left home at 15 just like you did, too.”)
Am I wrong? I don’t think so. And we’ve got those mutual friends, so… Lindsay, you know I sort of know all about it.
We’ve both been black inside for a very long time, you see. Or, to look at it another way, we’ve been sealed off from the light.
When’s the last time you saw joy on Lindsay Lohan’s face in a magazine?
If you know me, when’s the last time you saw joy on mine?
There’s a “pinched amphetamine expression,” as doctors call it, that I’ll explain more to you in another column—but let’s get back to Le Bain.
It was recently reported in the tabloids that Lindsay claimed she doesn’t even drink anymore, and I guess I… vaguely believed this. I mean, at this point in my own life, I take so much amphetamine that I just sip one glass of champagne per hour, and that’s not drinking, really.
But now, as I’m sitting next to her and even trying not to watch her, doubt is creeping in. She is a fucking mess.
You just can't help but see it.
Tonight my supposed doppelganger (I’m not gonna go that far—my Instagram celebrity matcher game said I looked like Uma Thurman, OK?) is wearing a red chiffon halter dress with a pleated skirt, like she’s stuck in some sort of cheesecake Marilyn Monroe 20th Century Fox picture: Monkey Business! Don’t Bother to Knock!
And hey, she’s got the comedic timing nailed: every 20 minutes or so, she slips off the ledge of the booth where we’re perched and onto the seat below. Whoops!
And all her friends giggle and help her up. “Oh, Lindsay!”
After about an hour of this, I watch as all of her friends—and our mutual friends—happen to drift away from our booth at the same time. Oh dear, I think.
I’m not… scared of her or anything, but she’s definitely never been nice to me. Or really anyone I know personally, except for our mutual friends and people I’ve worked with in magazines that have shot her.
Our previous encounters, over the past seven years or so, have been very few and very brief.
“Can you PLEASE stop sitting on my DRESS?” she hissed at me years ago when I was squished up next to her at Bungalow 8. (I was not sitting on her dress.)
“She can’t come,” Lindsay once said on 28th Street, during that same Bungalow 8 era, pointing a finger at me as bunches of us piled into SUVs for an afterhours.
Things like that. I have about four more stories, but enough.
The common theme was: We’ve always had the same look. And Lindsay, I have come to understand, does not like that anywhere around her.
I get it.
So there we are at Le Bain, in this massive room lined with floor to ceiling glass way above the city, looking out over the Hudson River, with 500 hundred people packed inside. But they all—and I—keep a distance from her, like there’s some strange force field repelling us.
And among all of this commotion we are now alone.
She turns to stare at me.
She’s got Bloody Mary eyes, sings Amphetamine Logic, the devil always on my shoulder, wickedly flickering its tongue into my ear.
Passersby gawk as they walk by the booth. Five full minutes pass, and I understand that the only reason she has not told me to get away from her is because she doesn’t want to walk anywhere alone and she don’t want to sit alone and she isn’t sure where everyone has gone.
I’m not that uncomfortable.
I smile and she scowls back. Big puffy lips and a face full of fillers—good God, girl. It’s a bizarre world up close. I scoot a few inches over from her, still sitting on the ledge of the booth.
I look away.
And we both just sit there. The DJ is playing N.O.R.E.
“WATCHU WANNA DO (nothin)/ WHATCHA TRYIN TO DO (nothin)”
Her knees buckle and her eyelids droop as she sloppily pours her drink. My addict instincts tell me she’s popped a painkiller or something with whatever she's been drinking.
Ever the narcissist, I feel like I’m watching a hologram of myself.
“ADIOS KILL YOUR SOUL THEN WE BODY YOUR GHOST,” raps N.O.R.E.
Something isn’t right.
Of course, I’d never help her. I have no idea how to help anyone. Nor do I have any interest in it.
Because, let me tell you, there’s nothing I hate more than histrionic people who insist every drug user who appears to be in bad shape needs to go to a hospital. Or is going to die.
“I’m never going to worry about you and be all ‘Are you OK?’ when you’re on drugs and freak out like everyone else does,” I once told my friend Same, who takes more drugs than anyone I know. “So, the rule is you have to ask me for help if something feels wrong. And that’s the same thing for me. Unless I say something, I’m fine.”
Only once did I ask Same for help, and he carried me out onto the West Side Highway, where I collapsed on the ground, blacked out, and threw up: a Roxicet and angel dust and sitting in a warehouse full of spray paint fumes for an hour will do that to you, and two summers ago I was that stupid.
The moral of the story: Drug users don’t make a thing of something except upon request from the sickie. It’s not cool.
But back to Lindsay, who certainly has not requested any kind of help from me or anyone else. (Although I wonder why she’s still here in the booth with me, a nobody who she knows of and has always disliked; maybe she’s not in the best shape to walk alone—and when you’re that famous, I imagine, all eyes from here to there are gonna be on you.)
I have to do something.
So I look at her for a second, full in the face. Which she doesn’t like me to do.
Are you OK?
Like I’d ever say that out loud.
She gazes dopily back at me with those bloodshot eyes, half-closed, like a bobble-headed demon that’s about to nod off.
Then she narrows them a little—don't look at me.
There we go—a sign of life! She's not dying! Case closed.
I do decide, though, that Lindsay needs a little pick-me-up.
I’ve taken three different kinds of prescription speed pills in the past hour and a half and feel very on top of things. Maybe she could feel the same way, if I offer.
Oh, for God’s sake, Amphetamine Logic snaps. She rolls her eyes. Bitch is fine.
I scan the room for coke dealers and see none.
There is only one thing I can think of to do that would possibly revive this person.
I take a Vyvanse out of my purse (black Prada tote, fringed) and open my palm to her.
She looks at the blue capsule in my hand.
“DO YOU WANT A VYVANSE?” I shout over the music. Now playing: “Brooklyn Zoo.”
“Huh?” she slurs. And then she comes alive. Her face is suddenly animated: Bitch looks pissed.
“IT’S, UH, LIKE DESIGNER ADDERALL,” I shout. “IT’LL PERK YOU UP.”
I realize that I have definitely done something spectacularly tacky.
Too late now, Amphetamine Logic titters.
She shakes her head, disgusted, and slouches down into the seats of the booth, and then moves to the other side. I try not to watch as she sort of drowses off for a second, chin-to-chest. And then she gets up clumsily—she’s wearing big shoes—clomps off, and then she’s gone.
I turn and look out the window at the twinkling lights on the other side of the Hudson.
I’m staring at the black water and peering at the round moon, thinking about all the marbles I’ve lost, as they say in rehab: quite a few.
I’m looking at the water, which is flat as a black sheet, and wondering how anyone could look at this scene from this height and not be hideously drawn to it.
I start scrolling through my phone for someone to fuck. Then I stop caring about that, too, and decide to just go home.
I never feel the drugs I've taken as hard as when all of my friends are gone—and eventually, they always slip away from me at some point in the night. Because no one takes as much speed as me; no one wants to keep up with that. They have girls to bone or whatever; I get it.
(And though I can’t say for certain, I bet Lohan is often stranded on her own lonely island like this at this time of night, with all of her friends gone from her. Or why else did she wind up with me?)
You know what speed is like? It shrieks you up through the sky… explodes over and over again with durrr ideas, florescent-rainbow nothings like fireworks that scatter sparks and ash.
Then you come down. Your whole life can whistle horribly through the air until it plunges SPLASH into the river. A burned-out brain sinks like a stone. Amphetamine Logic fizzles out, dark and deep beneath the water. Girl drug addicts sleep alone.
Also by Cat Marnell:
Tao of Terence: Psychedelic Drugs, Art, Music, and Other Drugs: An Interview with Finn McKenna
Why I Stayed in an Abusive Relationship
Weediquette: Stoned At the Doctor's Office
The VICE Reader: An Excerpt from John Darnielle's 'Wolf in White Van'
This Tinder Addict Is Also a Virgin
Getting Drunk Off a Humidifier Isn't All It's Cracked Up to Be
Kristin Cavallari Hosted Fashion Week’s Worst Party
My Father Was a Terrorist
Ryan McGinley's 'Yearbook' Show Shut Down an Entire City Block
I Worked for a Puppy Mill