New York with Judith was a special treat. Leaving Gandee for the Plaza Hotel was like moving from a garbage dump into a palace. The bellhop had hardly left their suite when she drew him into the bedroom and they went at each other like a pair of long lost lovers. Judith could take the kid out of Gandee and make him forget he had ever been there. The city was an aphrodisiac while the Plaza added dignity to their passions.
He had never before spent full time with any woman, never really believed that the magic could be sustained. He had always been intimidated by New York, moving from the Roosevelt Hotel to Shea Stadium and back like a commuter, concentrating on baseball as if the city were a hostile distraction that would threaten his performance. Corky would take him to Smith and Walensky's for steak dinner and laugh at his reluctance to go elsewhere. Judith, however, liberated him. She introduced him to exotic restaurants, took him to Ragtime on Broadway, to jazz at the Blue Note, one treat segueing into another. With Judith, fun was built into living. Life had no other function than seeking pleasure. When she spoke of her history, nothing that ever happened to her was so sacred that she couldn't make mockery of it. As she recounted the end of her marriage, she made it sound like a sitcom: bored at another formal dinner by her husband's endless stockbroker bullshit, she simply rose from the table to dance a striptease around them, then jiggled out the door and filed for divorce in the morning. On another day at breakfast, she told about an affair she'd had at Bryn Mawr with her handsome blue-eyed married professor of