Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Did I Ever Tell You About the Time I Tripped on Psychedelic Mushrooms with a Young Nathanial Rothschild?

Yes, that one. Nathaniel Philip Victor James to be precise. I know I alluded to this once, in my masterpiece Critical Thrash thread, when that knucklehead from Blackwater was being seriously threatening, leaving me no recourse but to pull international oligarchic food-chain rank on him. However, since I meant it as a discrete code, I couched the reference within a food metaphor---and if there is any topic on the planet less suitable for English language tropes, it would have to be hallucinating with a Rothschild!

That Tamsin Greenhill woman was there, sharing the experience of an off-schedule weekend trip. I was called at the last minute to come out and bring my inimitable hospitality services to that aptly tear-drop shaped isle with the rare riparian rights---the island that dare not speak it's name. Shush! I don't know what it was about her, but anyone who by way of contrast can make a Rothschild look like a naif, is much too sophisticated for my tastes.

All I did was serve dinner in the kitchen Friday evening, as they were already beginning to peak, when he kindly offered for me to join in with them. I weighed my usual commitment to ordinary reality, along with the possibility I might have to answer the telephone, but gave in to the once-in-a-lifetime chance I was being presented with.

I must say, the two of them both ate like horses, which surprised me. We of the middle class will fast, will flush our intestines even, before starting such a heavy psychic experience---scrubbing diligently under our fingernails so that we may achieve liftoff. Aristocrats must need more of a tether, or anchoring, lest they slip the surly bonds of Earth and go out into the stratosphere and not come home. In any event, they know how to stay thin, so I shouldn't talk.

When I met Nat Rothschild in 1998, he was already at age 27 a chronic alcoholic, who often appeared stumblingly drunk in public. To me he was the spitting image of the Dudley Moore character from the movie Arthur---except Nat was quite tall, so he was constantly banging his head on things. But his behavior changed suddenly, when on April 29, 2000, his French cousin Raphael de Rothschild overdosed on heroin at a party in Chelsea, with his fellow guests carting him downstairs to lay him in a New York City curbside gutter, where he was found dead at the age of 23.

Reminds me of Father Mychal Judge actually.

Nat had a psychic and personality conversion of the immediate kind in consequence. I can still picture him with the New York City tabloids carrying this senseless news tucked under his arm, as he gravely began to talk of the Earl of this or the Duke of that---people who were absolutely out of control, and in need of fast intervention---as if he and Betty Ford were the closest of friends!

A New York Times profile in March 9, 2007, said he was still "serv[ing] his guests the best wines from the Rothschild vineyards, which he himself will not drink."

Good word has it that several other of the younger party lions in that circle also got and stayed sober, seemingly as a millennial resolution.

It's not like this story has a trick ending or anything---far be it from me to distinguish my own reptilian brain from its later mammalian neo-cortexualizing layers---or cast stones, especially if all we're doing is sitting around caves and watching movies anyway. But I can state for the record that Nat lacks even one iota of le goût anglais for what that's worth.

It would serve my fancy to image all these sober people as being as deeply concerned about the state of the world as I am, but I really don't. Synthetic events like the 1rst Gulf war were enormously profitable to a rapacious few on the inside. But it does give me comfort to imagine men such as this with clear heads as they turn the screws. And I know the truly operative level is higher than even these machinations.

When I came to New York in 1977, the holy grail within the wholesale European antiques business that I joined downtown was the catalog of the just-concluded sale of the Rothschild country house Mentmore, which I relentlessly devoured. I still own multiple copies of the five hardbound volumes, from an uncracked set in crisp onion skin to the scribbled and notated copies.

I can even trace my fascination with French furniture to a Rothschild origin. It came out of reading a book on the holocaust published in the 1960's when I was about ten years old. To my memory, the head of the Viennese branch of the Rothschild bank was taken away and placed in local custody. Given his stature, arraignments were made to have some furniture sent over from his house to make his jail cell more comfortable, but he was appalled when the authorities placed a Louis XV clock on top of a Louis XVI pedestal. I thought to myself, "Gosh, you have to learn 16 different styles!" I was delighted to discover that essentially we only have to deal with three---the baroque, the rococo, and the neo-classical, and that the challenge was met.

In what I can only describe as an act of God, my relationship with Nat and everyone else on the island came to an abrupt end shortly after his conversion experience. I mourned my banishment from Elba for a long time afterward, but hush money succored me. Now I only mourn that I was never able to take up Nat's kind, if vague, offer of a housekeeper's tour of his father's house, Waddesdon Manor, which can be seen as part of the British National Trust, but only in groups, and only downstairs. I do have multiple copies of the multi-volume catalog of the house's contents, published over a period of a decade---all except for the volume on the Sevres, and that's very hard to find. Oh well, perchance to dream!

P.S. You should have seen all the spinning, twinkling and winking Stars of David at the televised Michael Jackson memorial recently. The I's were dotted---even LOVE was spelled L۞VE. You know that means Jackson really didn't die, don't you? He just made a Cabala career change?

In honor to his Lordship:
I Got That Peanut Butter Pussy

No comments:

Post a Comment