ALICE LANE & DANIEL ARNOLD

ALICE LANE & DANIEL ARNOLD

FADE IN:

INT. TROPICAL 128, LITTLE ITALY, NEW YORK CITY — AFTERNOON

An unusual quiet occupies Tropical 128, a lounge on Elizabeth Street in lower Manhattan that’s decorated to recall an island tiki bar. The smell of drinks spilled the night before still lingers in the air. A lone employee tidies up before opening for the happy hour crowd.

CUT TO:

ALICE LANE and DANIEL ARNOLD enter with a personal six-pack in tow and walk to a billiards room in the back. They settle on a table in a far corner, rack a set of balls, and each crack open a beer.

DANIEL
Miller High Life is my hometown pride.

ALICE
It’s the champagne of beers. Are you going to break?

DANIEL
Do you want me to?

ALICE
I’m not good at breaking. I hate it.

DANIEL
You hate breaking?

ALICE
It’s not where my skill is.

DANIEL
Where is your skill?

ALICE
You’ll see. I’m always asking you to meet me for a beer; you’re one of those, “Yeah, yeah. I’ll be right there.” Two years later, here we are.

DANIEL
We met on a photo shoot, through the stylist Susan Winget, who’s this myth of a woman —

ALICE
That lives in the Chelsea Hotel.

DANIEL
Yeah. She would invite girls up to her apartment and have them professionally done up and dressed. I’d be lurking down the street, and Susan would text me a girl’s picture so I could follow her to the subway and covertly photograph her on my phone. And you were one of her girls.

ALICE
At the time, I was deathly afraid of the subway. I couldn’t ride it without having a small panic attack.

DANIEL
At the time? You got over it?

ALICE
I got hypnotized!

DANIEL
Luckily, we’re like similar brands of lunatic and we hit it off right away. I sent you into all these places to pretend you were jewelry shopping or buying pizza.

ALICE
Pizza, right. And I was wearing a white Oscar de la Renta fur coat.

DANIEL
I was still working with Nickelodeon at that point, making Spongebob Squarepants personality quizzes for six year olds.

ALICE
What character would I be?

DANIEL
You’re definitely —

ALICE
Don’t say Squidward.

DANIEL
No. I’m Squidward. You’re Sandy. Although, I think you could be a Spongebob candidate, too.

ALICE
I do like his house.

DANIEL
We didn’t really see each other again for a long time after that first shoot with Susan. It was probably a year — but felt more like three lives — later, when I got hired to shoot a proper Vogue fashion story about fall coats, in the middle of July. You were involved, thank God. I remember being so excited to see you.

ALICE
It was hot.

DANIEL
Hot as hell.

ALICE
But my coat was Prada, so I sucked it up. Vogue wrote to me ahead of time asking, “Would you mind wearing fur? It’s Prada.” And I was like: Yeah, I’ll put it on.

DANIEL
You were accompanied by two children. One was your actual son, Walt, and the other was this little prima donna, first-time boy model.

ALICE
Male model.

DANIEL
He was like five years old.

ALICE
Walt was so much cooler. But I said the most awful thing to him on the taxi ride to the Vogue offices. “Listen,” I said, “We’re going to Vogue. You have to be on your best behavior.” He had the fear of God in him.

DANIEL
That was the first time I met Walt, and while you were still getting styled, he had to go to the bathroom. So you said, “Well, you can go by yourself or you can go with Daniel.” And he replied, “I’ll go with Daniel.”

ALICE
He’s very trusting.

DANIEL
So we went to the bathroom, which was cavernous. There was a guy in there wearing a suit, and in I walked with a little boy. Walt went all the way to the handicapped stall in the back, and when he finished, was like: My mom usually wipes my butt, can you wipe it? He was so matter-of-fact. I was like: Okay…

ALICE
But he poops clean!

DANIEL
The guy in the suit was still in there, and I completely avoided eye contact with him. I could see Walt’s little legs, with his pants around them, march up to the door. It swung open, and by the time I got into the stall, he was completely folded in half.

ALICE
Touching his toes, right?

DANIEL
Waiting for me. So, I wiped his butt — which was completely spotless.

ALICE
I told you he poops clean!

DANIEL
When we walked back into the room full of Vogue women I was like: So you know, in case it comes up later, I just wiped his ass. And that was that.

ALICE
Walt is amazing. He thinks I’m nine years old. I have a question: do you have Instagram on your phone? Is it constantly going mental?

DANIEL
I get alerts about comments and activity by people I follow. So I don’t hear about strangers, but if my friends like stuff, I still see it. Instagram recently sent me a desk calendar with pictures of dogs from Instagram. Is that a judgemental look you just gave me?

ALICE
Does that mean you’ve made it?

DANIEL
I always took photographs, and I never thought anybody would care. Out of some snobbiness, I almost shudder to admit that none of the opportunities I’ve had would’ve happened if not for Instagram. Susan Winget found me on there, so without it I never would have met you, and probably would’ve killed myself. Instagram was the right thing, at the right time, in the right place. But, like Dr. Frankenstein and his monster, it changed my life and then I wanted nothing to do with it.

ALICE
I feel so cheesy when I post my own work on Instagram; I understand why people do it, but I’m not good at that stuff. The secret to my success is that I look a little bit special, like I’m not sure what’s going on. But I am completely aware at all times. Even when the French are saying mean things about me — I don’t understand, but I know.

DANIEL
I think the same thing about myself, that I’m this blundering weirdo.

ALICE
No. You’re gifted and talented.

DANIEL
And so are you.

ALICE
I’ve literally been running at forty percent capacity my whole life. I remember my teachers saying, “If you could just apply yourself…”

DANIEL
Oh yeah. I’ve had that conversation.

ALICE
I’m such a spaz that my father still calls me to ask if I remember to eat.

DANIEL
Do you?

ALICE
Of course I fucking eat. I have Seamless!

CREDITS

Photography byRyan Petrus

Conversation moderated byAnthony Rotunno

Special thanksTropical 128

Alice Lane is a makeup artist based in New York City.
Daniel Arnold is a photographer based in New York City.

Did you see? Street style photographer Phil Oh shoots his first fashion editorial, inside the studio of lenswoman Pamela Hanson.

THE END