Other names I could’ve used for this column: Adderall Logic, Vyvanse Logic, XR Logic, Time-release Logic… It’s 2012 in Manhattan, the island of cell phones and no clocks. Of dead Blackberry batteries, New Museums, old money—trust funds, angel dust funds, acid rains, and dead brains. Ritalin kids are generic adults living on vampire schedules. The Lost Boys soundtrack is always playing at the Dream Hotel and everyone’s forgotten their iPhone chargers: Yo, what time is it? Oh hiii babe! [kiss] What time is it, you say? Well. It’s a time when time’s stopped.
And I’m spinning like a top.
If you live in my neighborhood in Manhattan, maybe you’ve seen me. If you like reading beauty and style blogs, or the “Page Six” in the past week or so, you’ve probably at least heard of me. My name is Cat Marnell.
I’m the one with $40 French beauté self-tan who’s dressed like a sort of slutty Commedia dell'Arte Zanni, in white rags, a Dior slap bracelet, a Winston—I know, inexplicably—tucked behind my ear, a nameplate necklace that says “methadone” in cursive (indeed, roll your eyes; please), filthy white Topshop flats, three plastic rosaries in pastel colors that are all chewed up. I’m all PCP eyes and Adderall thighs, gagging down Gatorade at the encouragement of a bored friend, vibrating like a mild seizure. That’s me tonight with the shorts falling down, all Skeletor, blasting “Gimme More” from my janky headphones. Under the shorts is one of those cheap-to-the-point-of-unwearable rhinestone pink thongs Betsey Johnson gave out for years at every Fashion Week show. I’m in front of you in line at the deli at 5:30 in the morning, clutching a box of tinfoil. I notice you watching me, so I start to caress my own ribcage. I am fucking high. I smell like Ligne St. Barth sunscreen oil, the underground afterhours across from Planned Parenthood on Elizabeth Street that I disappear down into like a rabbit hole, and Bumble shampoo. Weight report from the previous afternoon: 102. I’m cracking my cinnamon gum like a whip, jangling my house keys around on my wrist. “How Will I Know” is playing on the radio.
I dust-stutter, “W-W-Whitney.”
Someone—I think me—has shakily written “P AY R E N T” on my forearm in Sharpie. What does that mean? I think, frowning. Genuinely not getting it. Who? The New York Post arrives. Last week I told a reporter that I was quitting my job to “smoke angel dust on the roof of Le Bain and look for shooting stars.” Then I disappointed my boss, who I loved, one last time and by doing drugs all weekend at Soho House instead of writing the farewell essay we’d agreed I’d do for following Monday. After that I gave some dumb interviews. By the end of the week, my (former) boss wasn’t answering my emails. I’m used to this stuff: It’s what anyone with any sense has to do to distance themselves emotionally from me. “K—K-KK-EVINNNN,” I’m stuttering over the music. Again, that’s the dust; duh. I’m rummaging through a huge Lanvin tote bag full of garbage: Juicepress bottles, two New York Posts, broken cigarettes, old earrings, empty orange pill bottles.
“I c-c—c-an’t find my d-d—debit okay, this is on credit okay, and can I get Marlboro Ultra Lights and uh Newports NO N—N-NOT 100s K-K-Kevin!” “Ahhh, I love you, Cat,” says Kevin, who is Korean, always drunk, and possibly gay. He tries to lean in to kiss me, but honestly I think he’s just pretending to not be gay; anyway, I grab the bag and a lighter and I’m out of the deli, and there, that is me. This is exactly who I am, all of the time, say, at least three crack of dawns per week—at the end of the angel dust nights. Have I had fun? You bet. “THE PLEASURE PRINCIPLE” I have scrawled at the top of my bathroom mirror in YSL Rouge Volupte lipstick, #17, a bright coral. Now it’s home to my friends to smoke some coke. I’ve got Chanel bath towels and big sheets of black silk from Helmut Lang tacked up over my windows. My apartment smells like Diptyque Essence of John Galliano until my best friend SAME wraps the tin foil around him like a scarf and lights it up. Then we all get high, and eventually they go uptown. I pop Ambien, Xanax bars, and like six melatonin, berries on top, and this is a Tuesday in June. (Don’t you do that. Mixing pills kills.) I haven’t seen the beach yet, of course, but my bed’s from Design Within Reach; a famous DJ gave it to me when he moved to LA. I’ve just quit my job, which I know was right; whatever. My eyelids are getting heavier.
I am stressed out, no doubt, but I feel free. This is actually where I want to be… Maybe tomorrow I will go to the park. Which is so corny and so…boring but people keep telling me nature is “what I need” or whatever. Why? It is so confusing being me. And I am happy here, home alone again. And now I’m starting to cry—again. It isn’t anything; I am just too high. God, just help me sleep. I am PCP-weeping; these are crocodile tears babe I want to be exactly where I am right now watching Bambi on MUTE in the dark. Eventually I start blinking over and over. Blinking—thank God. That’s the benzos. Now. Ready? BLURRR ---> BLOBBY SPOTS ---> BLOTTO --->
Mmm, babe. There we go.
Have you fallen for her yet? Here's more Cat: