10 Angles of glamour

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10   Angles of glamour

At nine next morning, referring to the letter of intent that Marc and I signed, I make a round of calls from my home phone to several high-powered intellectual property lawyers, to ascertain which one I'll be instructing with regard to the protection of my and Alaia's rights in this broadcast. Once that ball is rolling, I head to my workplace in the mid-morning, to take charge of the pressing of the button to the SEC at noon on behalf of the prospectus team, which goes as smoothly as I could have hoped. The customary post-button-pressing celebrations pass with great and forgettable pleasantness, whereafter I take immediate advantage of my hard-earned brownie-points by arranging to take a couple of weeks off, citing vague holiday plans. In the early afternoon I visit the lawyer I've selected to represent Alaia and me, one Bedford Pickering III, in his offices on Broad Street, sign some paperwork with him and make an advance payment against some very fat fees.

Then in the late afternoon Alaia and I have an appointment at the General Network, to meet a trusted deputy of Marc's who will oversee our broadcast—one Jason Carax. When she and I arrive, Marc is not in evidence but a receptionist shows us to a conference room and tells us Mr Carax will join us soon. As soon as we are left alone, we find ourselves gripped by such a sense of anticipation at the whole direction of events, that with very little warning our usual professional demeanour devolves into a fit of whispering, nudging and uncontrollable girlish giggling. Angry at myself, I whisper furiously to her that this is hardly our best self-presentation to the General Network and we should cool it, because it's quite possible we're being seen and heard right now through cameras and microphones hidden around this conference room. Alas, this just sets us both off even more, till we are heaving and drooping off our chairs for minutes on end, with tears of adolescent mirth streaming down our faces.

At last we get it together.

Really, what was that about? Ridiculous silliness. Mustn't happen again. Especially not during the broadcast...

But now there are voices down the corridor and the sound of one person approaching. Curious to see who will enter the room, I see a tall, middle-aged man in a pale grey designer suit coast in through the door with a laid-back tread. His longish, gently streamlined black face is friendly and mild, but his eyes acute. He inclines his head a moment, in a suave and understated bow: "Jaymi, Alaia. Congratulations, you are both now icons!" he purrs. Though there's interest and mirth in his eyes, his emotions are hidden. He takes a seat across the conference table. "I'm Jason Carax, VP Live Events. I'll be executive-producing, and I'm delighted we could help to put this broadcast event together. Unfortunately this meeting will have to be a brief one, but we'll no doubt catch up again presently. I'm afraid the Asbury Park sound-stage won't be available until the day of the broadcast, but we have world-class facilities here in the city, which my assistant will show you. Meanwhile, if I can be of any help, please don't hesitate to give me a call," and he hands us his card.

Tickled by this smooth opacity, I'm curious to take a quick look inside him—strictly a passive one, of course ... and the first thing I find, Jason Carax, is a memory of twenty years ago. You're boarding a bus, on which you slip away west across the marshes on the highway from New York to the airport, sealed in your headphones, through airport lounges, over moving tunnel-floors, through the gates to a plane, and the music seals you off while you shoot down the runway and climb through the air and curve around and streak across the ocean, sunset-crystal through the moving glass, and down again, through gates and further tunnels, to a city where you bus, train and quick-change and out through the streets under European skies... You walk, meet and talk, part and meet, look and ride and run and drink, then you head for another town and start the show again and fix those Internet connections and make a rendezvous and shine again with the people, then slip away, blurred in an audio-electrical cultural haze of many countries, chic hotels and continental glamour, plane-wheels and plastic, foreign coins and fluid motion, from nation to nation: "London—Paris—Rome—Berlin—Athens—Barcelona," say your eyes, "cities never-ending—a playground, almost like a video. So come with me now, we'll escape, don't you think?"

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