The locomotive surge of the vanishing V12 and a busty bottle of breakneck Barolo.
Me and Herr K have history, we go back beyond the swinging student days of London – this time, this late Thursday, we hook up by the classy Beau-Rivage at Lausanne Ouchy, to go a little moitiÃ©-moitiÃ© over a cheese fondue and vin blanc from the region’s own grapes. It is either that, or buy a Rolex – I am in Switzerland.
Later at the pad, we gossip incessantly and imbibe, among others, a splendid red Mas La Plana that really threw a party in my mouth/brain. Perhaps you understand me better when I say “deep dense cherry colour, with a touch of mahogany, simply a wonderfully intense bouquet, with hints of cranberries, cherries and truffles, and an incense-like quality developed during ageing in wood.”
Herr K. in a certain Kafka-novel did not own a metallic black Mercedes Benz CL 600 with tan leather interior, but this one does. On Friday we park our asses in said interior, and head out on the highway in damned dandy style. I am benched in the scary place, but silently I sit and plot to weasel my way into the driver’s seat, as six litres of twelve pots purr and the road drops beneath us.
We zoom around and up and down with Lac Leman stretching out besides us, framed by Alps of different nationalities. Somewhere along the line we reach pittoresque Montreux, where among many others our own Marshal Mannerheim spent his last years. I quip “This is truly the place you come to in preparation for death” when we strut along the shoreline. But the show must go on; we drop in to have a glas of rosÃ© in a cosy chalet. My oral orifice is adorned by a white-filtered Yves Saint Laurent.
The evening is spent at the White Horse pub in Lausanne, where we abuse the happy hour rules to maximum… i.e, two for the price of one will always be a go-go green flag for boys waving the white-and-blue.
Later, having further sampled whiskeys and desperados, we manage to find our way home, where we feast in late-night time. Was there parmesan in honey, thick slices of prosciutto, big juicy olives, and a nice mouldy and ripe Italian cheese that smell like a potato cellar? Yes, there was.
After a late English breakfast on Saturday, we devote the day to Geneva and the Palexpo, 76e Salon International De L’Auto. I am a magpie – I can just not resist beautifully gleaming hypnotical things. Aesthetics, oh the cotton of my ragged soul.
This exhibition was a celebration of excess and I walked around making orgasmic sounds to the beat of visuality. The Bugatti Veyron, Porsche 911 GT3 and Turbo, Masers and Lambos and Aston Fucking Martin and Bloody Hell Bentley, Pagani and Spyker and freaky concepts of strange hedonism… well, I’m just gonna stop.
I completely raped my feet walking around there, but it was worth it. Just a few more days and I’ve recovered…
K bought some Benz accessories. The innocent girl at the stand asked “What kind of Mercedes do you have?” “CL 600”, K stated. Naturally, I had to ask him how good that made him feel. His belly bounced as he confirmed his loud satisfaction.
Then the bus took us back to the parking lot… no, it was not here… or was it… passed it… further… and further. We jumped off somewhere. It was raining. We got seriously lost. I felt like laying down in the street. My feet were killing me. Fury. I summoned up my dark powers. Started walking. Found the car.
After later sitting in a traffic jam in downtown Geneva for a few hours, it felt rather good to get back to K’s penthouse. The view from his huge balcony is fabulous, with naked Lac Leman in front of you, the long lights of the city of Evian on the French side of the lake, and behind that, the Alps up in the clouds, white-nosed and menacing.
I sat back on the couch and chilled in the company of a late GQ, while K hustled the kitchen like a man possessed. Fresh asparagus micro-steamed, some butter and salt. For the main course we eat a sauced-up GrÃ¥lle, who was once an old pÃ¥lle, but he can go down in history knowing he tasted yummy. Horsemeat is not common in Scandinavia…
My iPod connected to K’s Vaio was pushing out songs from new band The Editors when we cracked open the Barolo. The inside of the mouth turns into a raisin, goes into a deep coma of lust, violent convulsions of tastebud love, the taste lingers like the perfume on your pillow of last night’s girl.
At 2 am and a few bottles later it starts snowing, heavily. The Merc is shod with summer rubber. I am supposed to drive it tomorrow.
Wake up early Sunday morning and utter a yuurghh. The whole of Switzerland is covered in chaotic white powder, and I curse my deep-down dirty rotten luck. But lo and behold, the sun comes out for the first time – ever, it feels like. After some sightseeing in old city Lausanne, z.B. climbing the endless stairs to the cathedral and enjoying a splendid view, K hands me the key with the star on.
I am an automatic transmission virgin. The streets are new to me, wet, lined with snow, really narrow and packed with traffic. The car is big and too expensive. But I am the best driver in the world! Let’s rock and roll!
I punch the accelerator in the face and we boom off along the tricky special stages that line Lac Leman. The car is a pussycat, a sophisticat, so sweet and willing, so quiet and refined… but I am not here for sweet. I am bad. When traffic clears I do the same – I clear the space between the floormat and my right foot, unleash the beast. We are up to warp speed in no time, and K fidgets in the passenger seat. The push in the back is very strong and seamless, and you get the feel you could pull the moon to earth if you could just get your lasso around it.
Up in the vineyard mountains we go. Did I say the roads are narrow? Yes, they are. Once in awhile I hit a snowy spot, and the ESP lights up like a christmas tree. But the sun is shine, and the view is diamond. We find a great location for the diamond shine, I park the car, we say oooh and aaah, and notice a restaurant. Soup d’jour, I try to say to the woman, but the timing is off, so we settle for hazelnut petit-choux and tea.
We are waiting for the lights to turn green. I am impatient. Hungry. Eager. I look over to the left, some other guy in some other car looks back. I give him the cool smile of a man with the confidence of 12 cylinders. Yellow… gr.. I hit the loud pedal and the CL 600 squirms on the wet tarmac, finding grip, fucks off like a bat out of hell and becomes a vanishing point.
At the local Agip it seems to be a good idea to hand over the keys to K. I take some photos of him filling it up…
We eat Chinese for dinner. I make the nouilles vietnamese disappear with classic Tsingtao and chopstick bravado.
A Mouton Cadet by Rothschild acts as the sensual evening mistress, accompanied by the last YSLs, fading into continental night. I’ll see you in Nagu this summer, K. Remember to bring the Benz.