It’s nighttime in the City That Never Sleeps. We’re having expensive drinks in the Blue Room bar and there’s a buzz in the room — a TV star and his Broadway star spouse just sat down at the opposite booth.
But I’m not buzzing. I’m listening to the voices I’m hearing from the other room.
Dorothy Parker says, succinctly, “Brevity is the soul of lingerie,” then shouts “Don’t look at me in that tone of voice!”
She’s speaking to Robert Benchley, who raises his eyebrow and comments wryly, “Drawing on my fine command of the language, I said nothing.”
S.J. Perelman has fallen asleep but now awakens to declare, “Love is not the dying moan of a distant violin. It’s the triumphant twang of a bedspring.”
James Thurber summarizes the proceedings with “Early to rise and early to bed makes a man healthy, wealthy, and dead.”
Yes, I’m in my element. Yes, this feels like home. Yes, I’m at the Algonquin Hotel. Yes, the ghosts of the Round Table are glad I’m here tonight — tonight, when everyone’s ogling a TV star and a Broadway star, when no one sees their shimmering ghosts and no one hears their witty murmurs….No one, that is, of course, but me.