With apologies to Dante Alighieri, who deserves much better:
The inscription above the Gate of
Hell Abercrombie & Fitch. The Ante-Inferno, where the shades of those who lived without eating carbs and without blame now intermingle with the neutral angels. The River Acheron. Charon. A middle-aged woman’s loss of her senses as the earth trembles.
THROUGH ME THE WAY INTO THE CITY WITHOUT FACIAL EXPRESSIONS,
THROUGH ME THE WAY TO THE ETERNAL SOUTH BEACH DIET,
THROUGH ME THE WAY THAT RUNS AMONG THE LOST AND THOSE WHO WATCH “LOST”.
JUSTICE URGED ON MY HIGH ARTIFICER,
MY MAKER WAS A FACTORY IN CHINA,
THE SHORTEST RISE, AND THE PRIMAL RINSE.
BEFORE ME NOTHING BUT IZOD WERE MADE,
AND I ENDURE UNTIL THE GAP FREEZES OVER.
ABANDON EVERY HOPE, WHO ENTER HERE (IF OVER 40).
Greeting us at the door (by greeting I mean staring into space) a shirtless young man in jeans (see photo–it’s the eggzact same guy). Leaving the sunlight of Fifth Avenue, the floor fell away. All was blackness and throbbing remixes of songs from the Eighties (which were much better in the Eighties, just saying), with glowing stacks of identical shirts and jeans.
The darkness and the din, and the anesthetic fog of Eau de Fitch, caused me to remark (shouting), “It’s like going to the Palladium and your date has on too much after-shave.”
Tween: (Shouting, but also rolling eyes) And you know this from…. experience?
Me: (Shouting). Uh….YEAH as a matter of fact.
We got the Sacred Overpriced T-Shirt. We made it out alive. The hearing loss and respiratory distress were only temporary. One of us thought she had seen Paradise.
I thought I wasn’t “that old”.
I thought I wasn’t “dead yet.”
How could I have been such a fool?
Don’t make me go back there.