I read the except. At least I tried to. But it’s spread out over seven fucking pages and if there’s one thing I hate, it’s visiting a website that wants to inflate page hits, extend the time readers stay on the site, and lessen bounce rates by keeping your ass on stuck reading an article that needlessly takes up multiple pages. So I didn’t finish it.
Mind you, this type of fuckery also minifies what little goodwill I still have for The Carrie Diaries series (which isn’t all that much right now, though I still do love Candance Bushnell very much).
Ryan and Capote Duncan are at the White Horse Tavern, seated at a table on the sidewalk. There’s a pot of coffee in front them, and they look rough, like they went to bed late and just got up. Ryan’s eyes are puffy and Capote is unshaven, his hair still damp from a shower.
“Hey,” I say. They’re next to the entrance, making it impossible to avoid them.
“Oh. Hi,” Capote says wearily.
“This is my friend Maggie.”
Ryan immediately perks up at the sight of Maggie’s fresh-faced, all-American prettiness. “What are you girls up to?” he asks flirtatiously, which seems to be his default mode with women. “Do you want to join us?”
Capote gives him a frustrated look, but Maggie sits down before either one of us can object. She probably thinks Ryan is cute.
“Where are you from, Maggie?” Ryan asks.
“Castlebury. Carrie and I are best friends.”
“Really?” Ryan asks, as if this is supremely interesting.
“Ryan and Capote are in my writing class,” I explain.
“I still can’t believe Carrie got into that class. And actually came to New York and everything.”
Capote raises his eyebrows.
“What do you mean?” I ask, slightly annoyed.
“Well, no one ever really thought you’d become a writer.” Maggie laughs.
“That’s crazy. I always said I wanted to be a writer.”
“But you didn’t really write. Until senior year. Carrie worked on the school newspaper,” she says to Ryan. She turns back to me. “But even then you didn’t actually write for the newspaper, did you?”
I roll my eyes. Maggie never figured out I was writing all those stories for the newspaper under a pen name. And I’m not about to tell her now. On the other hand, she’s making me sound like a dilettante in front of Capote. Who already seems to believe I don’t belong in the class.
Fantastic. Maggie’s just added fuel to his fire.
“I’ve always written a lot. I just didn’t show you.”
“Sure,” Maggie says, grinning as if it’s a joke. I sigh. Can’t she see how much I’ve changed? Perhaps it’s because she hasn’t changed at all. She’s the same old Maggie, so she probably assumes I’m the same as well.
“How was the fashion show?” I ask, diverting the conversation away from my supposed lack of writing.
“Great,” Capote says listlessly.
“As you can tell, Capote is a man who knows nothing about fashion. He does, on the other hand, know quite a bit about models,” Ryan says.
“Aren’t models really stupid?” Maggie asks.
Ryan laughs. “That’s not really the point.”
“Ryan’s engaged to a model,” I say, wondering if Becky broke up with Ryan after all. He certainly isn’t acting like a man who’s been dumped. I glance at Capote inquiringly. He shrugs.
“When are you getting married?” Maggie asks politely. She and Ryan seem to have developed a connection and I wonder if she’s disappointed he’s not available.
“Next year,” Ryan says easily. “She went to Paris this morning.” Aha. So no need for a formal breakup after all. And poor Ryan, sitting here without a clue. On the other hand, Capote is probably perfectly capable of lying about the situation. He might have told me Becky was going to dump Ryan because he wants Becky for himself.
“Interesting,” I say, to no one in particular.
Capote puts five dollars on the table. “I’m taking off.”
“But—” Ryan objects. Capote gives a small shake of his head. “I guess I am too,” Ryan says reluctantly. “Nice to meet you.” He smiles at Maggie. “What are you doing tonight?”
“Carrie’s making us have drinks with some guy.”
“Bernard Singer is not ‘some guy,'” I point out.
Capote pauses. “Bernard Singer? The playwright?”
“He’s Carrie’s boyfriend,” Maggie says dismissively.