It was a crumbling old mansion in a crumbling old resort town, covered in mossy green stone cherubs. Inside the walls were poison green, red paint thrown up in bloody spatters or swirled into mottoes in unexpected places. Some ceilings still had original frescoes, while from another hung a forest of plastic daisies. Everywhere strangers were curled in giant plush red chairs, laughing decadently, smoking Gauloises and drinking beer out of fine crystal. We made the rounds of the varied groups, joking with men in moth-eaten wool sweaters and women in vintage '20's diamonds. It got impossibly hot, and beads of sweat ran down his forehead. "Take off your jacket!" I advised. "Still wouldn't look half as good as you," he answered smoothly. I met an old friend at the bar, and, bored, he wandered off to the dance floor. He wasn't alone long.