U Don't Have To Be Rich
August 4, 2007
In the New Yorker, Bruce Wagner tries to live my life:
The performance began at two in the morning and took place in a bungalow at the Beverly Hills Hotel. It was amazing. I was so close to Prince that I was injured during the six-and-a-half-hour set. A few lucky ones, who paid an additional hundred and seventy-five thousand dollars--twelve of us, to be exact, including Simon Cowell, the body of Christopher Isherwood, Shia LaBeouf, Michael Moore, the lissome Emma Watson, and the physicist Stephen Hawking--milled about after the show. We were all gregarious and high from the experience....
After Prince stopped playing, the two of us had brunch together. I was sitting so close to the diminutive legend that, as he ate, flecks of his omelette fell into my mouth. The privilege of this intimate meal cost an additional eighty-five thousand dollars, but it was worth every penny.
For a few weeks afterward, I was depressed. Going out to dinner with friends--for, say, two hours of convivial overfamiliarity and banal, rehashed conversation--seemed like idiocy, and the emptiness was only exacerbated when my friends jumped for the check. Even my normal morning ritual held no joy. Usually, one assistant comes into the bedroom with a pot of Indonesian coffee (the brew, six hundred dollars a pound and DHL'd from England, where it is rumored to be a favorite of the Royal Family, is sifted from the dung of wild civets) while a second factotum presents me with a freshly bound volume containing selections from every blog and Twitter and Facebook entry that has mentioned my name in the past twenty-four hours--hundreds of pages, with "BRUCE WAGNER" in convenient boldface--but even this lost its allure.
This is exactly what my experience was like, only my freshly bound volume is slightly thicker than Bruce's.