It was in June. Circa 1995. A sticky late afternoon. I jump in a Yellow Cab to visit a client’s home to inspect Fine Art collateral. The cab pulls up to his building. A massive, black granite stone polished to a high sheen. Money.
I offer the doorman my name and the purpose for my visit. He reaches for the phone to confirm. Sir, I’ll escort you up.
The Doorman holds the door as I enter the elevator. Hat. Uniform. White gloves. He presses the button. Penthouse.
Hi. Good to see you again. Would you like me to show you around our place?
I graciously accept. My feet are damp in my wing tips; they clop on the white Italian marble floor. The echo ricochets off the vaulted ceiling, off the contemporary furniture with its sharp lines, and off the floor-to-ceiling windows. I look out over the city – - a spectacular view – - and then look down below. I note that my hands are trembling. Take a deep breath. It’s acrophobia. Step back and away.
Would you like something to drink?
I thank him and pass. I can’t have anything near my stomach now. I’m nauseous. Stomach is churning. I’m breathing rarified air. I don’t belong here.
The air conditioning, noiseless, offers a cooling feathery touch. I shiver. Fine Art and humidity are not friends. The temperature, constant and cool, preserves.
Here’s what you came to see.