(I apologise for consecutive French titles—I’m just in that sort of mood, I guess.)
I find it quite charming that I’ve received a few emails asking about Christopher’s whereabouts. It’s sweet that you care about someone who is, ultimately, globally inconsequential.
It’s true Christopher has been somewhat absent from Everyone Needs An Algonquin in recent weeks. This is partly because business has been relatively serious as of late and let’s face it, Christopher’s critical analysis skills aren’t really his strong points. But I’m afraid there has also been some trouble between us.
It’s potentially problematic mixing the professional and the personal in relationships. I learned that many years ago when I worked as a seamstress for Henry Kissinger. My remit was purely stitchery, but the Secretary of State and I eventually grew quite close. We were both taking a lot of heat in the press (for him, it was his role at Columbia, and for me, it was the breath-taking but room-dividing ensemble I debuted on the red carpet at that year’s Oscars ceremony). I felt comfortable sharing my opinions when it came to his choice of haberdashery, but when I saw my own views on the Balkans coming out of his mouth during a television interview, I realised that a boundary had been crossed.
Christopher and I have maintained a very solid balance for most of our time together. I thought we were both quite content with the set-up: he was available to do whatever I wanted whenever I wanted and in return I was willing to expose him to glamour, prestige and excitement that otherwise he could have never even dreamt of accessing. Win-win, no?
Sadly not, according to Christopher’s friend, Apollo, whom he met earlier this spring at an event sponsored by one of their boys-only clubs (which I have never had a problem with Christopher joining, even though their very nature excludes me and half of the world’s population). From the very first day I met him, I knew Apollo was what the kids call “bad news.” However, Christopher is his own person and therefore permitted to make whatever mistakes he chooses to.
I noticed little changes in Christopher early on in their friendship. He started combing his hair into a very peculiar style, his shoes grew pointier and I know for a fact he booked in to at least two spa treatments in one month. But I said nothing. I am his employer and also his friend, but I am not his mother (DNA has confirmed this). Eventually, though, Apollo’s influence began to affect Christopher’s work and therefore my own life, which came to a head during what should have been an enjoyable trip to Castle Howard. This is where I had to put my foot down.
I encouraged Christopher to take some time away—to think about his priorities, clear his head and (I was hoping) come to his senses. In the end, the righteous won out (as we so often do) and Christopher has returned home to my side. It turns out Apollo was not all that he seemed to be. I don’t doubt you’ve seen reports in the local paper, so I shall save all of us the embarrassment of rehashing it here.
So there is the explanation for Christopher’s brief absence. The equilibrium of our household has been re-established and all is well in the world again. Except, of course, for all the recent tragedy around the globe, most of which, I don’t doubt, Apollo has probably had a hand in.