Horse Crazy by Sarah Maslin Nir

Horse Crazy by Sarah Maslin Nir

Author:Sarah Maslin Nir
Language: eng
Format: epub
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Published: 2020-08-04T00:00:00+00:00


It was so dark I couldn’t tell where the gorse ended and the horizon began. In the Hither Hills of Montauk, the dark was like snow: a soft, dampening quiet that blanketed everything so completely it almost seemed like something you could touch.

It startled me, that deep dark, and I realized that this night was the true, impenetrable kind that I’d never found in New York City. There, the dark is perpetually neon-tinged, buzzing like a faulty halogen. In my city, that night light never ebbs; it’s simply glowed-away by dawn. I was in high school at Brearley, where I had recently learned of the city’s unwinking night firsthand as I tried on the cloak of a new identity: bad.

I’d spent nights that school year perfecting the art of tiptoeing past my sleeping parents and the Cerberus of doormen. Beyond them was a world of bleary sunrises squinted at from Lower East Side tenement rooftops. Weekday nights and weekends, I’d pad through the marble lobby of our apartment building barefoot so as not to let the flat-capped doormen hear me click over the stone. They were the watchful big brothers that my own were not: once, when I splattered myself out of a taxi, my favorite doorman, the one who had the whole building’s birthdays memorized, carried me over his shoulder into my empty apartment and tucked me in, my coat and shoes still on. I gave him a doughnut a day for a month for not telling my parents.

At the door to the street, I would sling on stilettos my mother didn’t know I owned and dive into a waiting yellow cab of girlfriends. They were fellow private school ne’er-do-wells and girls I’d met astride ponies in Long Island who had grown up too. The night was a new thing to us all.

The year I turned eighteen, when I was not out on Long Island at the barn with Willow, I was in the thrall of that most urban snake charmer: the party promoter. Hired by elite clubs, promoters are supposed to get out the word and fill the venue. But let’s be straight here: they don’t promote parties; they pimp them. Their true purpose is to pump events full of young, beautiful girls. They’d meet us at tamer parties, house parties thrown by us high schoolers, and scrawl our numbers in little black books. Our phones would ring later with their invitations, summoned for the sole purpose of accessorizing a nightclub. We didn’t know enough then to mind.

I was paid for my time in glamour: entrée to the city’s elite night world, no ID necessary (useful, because few of us were anywhere near twenty-one years old). To get in the places of the era—clubs like the palm-tree-lined Bungalow 8, where your camera was confiscated on entry lest you snap a celebrity, or Tunnel, where there were no rules at all—men then and now had to buy access. Tickets to the party came in the form of overpriced bottles of Cristal or other alcohol.


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