Rod Townsend (aka our commenter Momo) sometimes receives telephone calls from The Past, a mysterious entity that remembers where things used to be in New York before Starbucks and Whole Foods came to town.


"Oh, yeah, hi. It's The Past. I'm so glad you're home. I'm having a total clean-mergency. Any idea how to get cum out of red satin?"

"Red satin? Are you at a bordello or a prom after-party?"

"There's no time for joking about this. I'm really serious—these are my favorite pants, tinkletits!"

"Red satin pants? Where in the world would you get red satin pants?"

"What ridiculous questions you ask sometimes. Pat Field's place over on Eighth Street, of course!"

"On Eighth Street? Oh, just add a couple dashes of white vinegar to Woolite and hand wash in cold water, by the way."

"You knew this and were making small talk all this time?"

"No, I was searching Google for the answer."

"Google? I'll have to see if they have it at The Strand the next time I'm there. Seems useful."

"Um. Well... Okay, so I'm assuming by Pat Field you mean Patricia Field, right?"

"Yeah, Pat. I see her and Rebecca out and about from time to time. "

"And by Eighth Street, you're talking between Fifth and Sixth? A little down market isn't it?"

"Down market! Eighth Street is fabulous! First of all, I can't imagine buying shoes anywhere else. Tia works at Juno and always holds a pair of the best things in my size when they come in. And most of the shoe stores there always have the most current looks that, if they aren't on sale, can be talked down. And it's not just shoes. All the trannies love, love, love Joyce Leslie. It's like the clothes there were specially made for tranny body-types. And then there's the temple, the pinnacle, the place to shop and be seen"

"Patricia Field."

"Exactly. The more couture items are upstairs for people with cash, and the more standard club things are downstairs with for people with flash. Granted, some of it is very Club Kid 101 with your silver-painted platform boots, Seuss-inspired stockings, and of course, a plethora of patent leather. You can even come in and get full makeup and wig treatment from Perfidia or one of the other trannies."

"No offense, but aren't trannies known to be, well, thievish? Probably not the best people to hire for a retail store."

"Shame on you, curdlecock! Sure, there are girls that have worked the streets forever and don't know how to behave when they get a job that doesn't involve jumping into Puffy's passenger-side door. But Patricia gives everybody one chance. Granted, it's just one, though. She's very 'fool me once,' you know?"

"So Patricia is in the store looking over things?"

"She used to be, but not so much lately. She got really busy doing costume design for this move Miami-something-or-other."


"Maybe. Some chick flick. Anyone, she got really friendly with this girl who used to be in Square Pegs. Not the hot one who ended up in Less Than Zero. One of the homely ones."

"Sarah Jessica Parker."

"Yeah, I think so. Anyway, they got to be all buddy-buddy, and now Patricia's been working on this thing for HBO that Sarah..."

"Okay. Stop right there. Dude. Wow. This is a total moral dilemma. Fuck!"

"Shimmershaft! Snap out of it! What are you going on about?"

"I've never done this before. I've always respected the fact that me being in the future and you being The Past means that I can't tell you certain things. Things that could change the future. But this time, I have to break the rules. We, you and me... we can save New York. We can stop the influx of assistant editwats before it actually happens."

"But I really need to get the stain out of these pants, nappynads. Can it wait?"

"The show that Patricia Field goes to work for becomes a huge hit with self-absorbed women across the U.S. They end up coming to New York by the thousand thinking they are 'just like' the characters that they saw on television. Then, once the television show ended, they all start having babies and their self-absorption mutates and creates a nanny-state government. Seriously, you have to save Patricia from this show. Save Patricia Field. Save the world."

"Um, okay. If I see her at Lipstick Room tonight, I'll try to mention it. But I really have to go for now."

"Wait! Save Patricia Field! Save the—hello? You still there? Dammit!"

Earlier: Past, Over