YOUNG, OLD, LOADED, BROKE – New Rules Novel | New Rules Novel

EMMA - CHAPTER 25 - (4 Min Read)


I find the best parties always had some kind of unknown property to them, you are invited with little information or the venue is new. With a house like this you can’t really go wrong. The crowd was always a good measure, the diversity between young and old, loaded and broke – the more contrast the better. It fueled the value exchange.

“Isn’t it cool? Most of this is his work. It sells for millions.” Viv said, looking it over. I loved the mystery art created, how it amassed hidden value to the few that knew it’s background. Context is a powerful layer, like listening to Nirvana for the first time, then listening again after learning who Kurt Cobain was.

Despite it still being winter we drink round after round of margaritas and shuffled to the disco tunes. I felt under dressed for the abundance of exuberant high fashion numbers. I felt plain. I hated feeling plain. In a world where it was our collective responsibility to push the limits, to discover something new everyday, I hated being the one that was playing it safe. At least Viv had funked things up, wearing leggings that looked like snakeskin crossed with Jackson Pollock.

Photo: Rebecca Smeyne

Photo: Rebecca Smeyne

“How do you know this guy?” I ask.

“Weird story. Met him at this fashion party last year, he was being a loaner, so I took him a glass of Champagne. Next thing you know, we are back at one of his friends places for this crazy party.”

“Pays to talk to strangers I guess.”

“Indeed. His name is Virgil, we have to go say hi.”

Anyone that has lived in New York for more then a few years can tell you that it is a small place for those that run in circles, and everyone runs in circles. To get into a scene, to explore it – you need to go to a series of events, meet certain people that act as the connective tissue. Once you go down the rabbit hole this huge city can become very small, you see a bunch of familiar faces after a few weekends, and that familiarity amongst the chaos is what becomes intriguing.

Like this guy. I point him out to Viv. Mason. I’d been seeing him everywhere lately. The focus quickly switched to the girl he was speaking to, and the benefits and pitfalls of having such long hair. I’d always wanted really long hair but lacked the patience to keep growing it. With my hunger for reinvention it was always too easy to create change through scissors.

Photo: Rebecca Smeyne

Photo: Rebecca Smeyne

We refreshed our drinks, spoke to a German artist that I could barely understand then eventually, as you did at any decent party – I found myself in a conversation with him.

I was ready to roll off the same old speech, where he asks about East & Low and I give a high level rundown of the day to day, that yes it is cool but it can be hard work. But he never asked. Instead we riffed on the possible outcome of this party, how crazy it might get – how many people here were actually around for the Studio 54 days – and how often they still got loose. I couldn’t decide if he was good looking, he was cute – although a bit scruffy. Somehow we got around to the fact he worked in music, as a producer and DJ, I followed by telling him what East & Low was like, but he didn’t press.

Photo: Rebecca Smeyne

Photo: Rebecca Smeyne

We all danced, chatted. He was comfortable in a way that Michael never was. Mason seemed like he could just roll into any situation and make it his own. I’d never met someone called Mason before. Viv seemed to like him as well, starting to flirt as I had seen her do hundreds of times. Head to the side, a smile that slowly grows and hangs on her smile with a gaze.

We are joined by a girl he obviously hadn’t seen in a long time. She is super enthusiastic and gets us all to hug in for a photo in front of a massive paintings. “Give us your free thinking artist facial,” he says, tucking me under his arm as he reaches up to take the shot. He has exceptional selfie skills for a guy. The girl is kind of annoying, I wonder if they were ever together. She doesn’t seem like his type.

He asks for our Instagram tags. I get a follow notification a few minutes later. A guys Instagram game says so much about him. I was looking forward to analyzing him with Viv later on.



 Thanks to Rebecca Smeyne for this chapter’s photos.

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