Kim Kardashian looks me in the eyes. When I smile, she looks me in the teeth, then back to the eyes. Not once does she glance elsewhere while talking or listening -- rapt attention the likes of which is seen in the rarest of the professional classes (Donald Trump, Al Gore, the best cocktail waitresses).
Kim still owns the clubs in Vegas, not with personal financial investments, but by reigning over celebrity culture with paid appearances. She is like an ornament on the front of a Mercedes, signaling a coming distinction; also a tow hook on the back, pulling people in where she goes.
What's in between the ornament and the hook? Does anyone outside of her inner circle have the slightest idea?
It's midnight Valentine's Day at club Marquee at The Cosmopolitan. Kim appears, a damsel in a dress (a nude Wesley Nault, and Giuseppe Zanotti stilettos). She glides as a Mercedes, with her famous bumpers, posing for dozens of photographers on a red carpet, then chatting with entertainment writers.
There's not much to quote from the luscious lips of Kim Kardashian.
Her first interviewer asks about Valentine's Day. Her boyfriend couldn't come. He had to work on Valentine's Day. She understands. He plays professional basketball. He has a good heart, she says. This is a girls' night out.
She addresses me.
Question: Since you own Vegas clubs (in spirit), have you thought about going into the nightclub business?
Answer: "I've thought about it before. It's definitely something, when I get a little more time, I would love to really consider."
Q: What would it take?
A: "It really depends. It would just have to be the right deal. A few things have come up and, you know, it just hasn't been right. It has to be right in so many different areas."
Q: What's different about clubs here compared to clubs around the world?
A: "Vegas has so many different tourist sites. It's a different vibe every time, because there's so many, like, bachelorette parties and just, like, wild fun stuff going on in Vegas. But when you travel and go all over the world, every place has their own group of people and personalities. So I love going and traveling around the world just for that reason."
Q: You're always so positive on Twitter. Do you ever stop yourself from putting something negative on Twitter?
A (Kim seeming as if she had never considered this): "Really?"
Q: America can be a cruel world, but you're so supportive of everybody.
A: "Sometimes I retweet people that say really nasty things, and I just say something really funny back, and it just kills them with kindness."
She bids farewell: "Thank you for the posi-tweet thing."
She turns. Her handlers on the carpet beckon. Reporters call out, "Thanks, Kim." She disappears into an elevator full of so many large security guards and impossibly thin friends, the car bounces scarily.
Inside the loud, thumping club, she takes her place at a VIP table and sips concoctions of Midori melon liqueur.
This carpet interlude, photos to interviews, lasts 10 minutes in Kim Kardashian's life, and by morning it will be transmitted via videos, photos and words to millions online, as a snapshot enticement of Marquee, the Strip and the queen of Vegas clubs who decrees but little.
Doug Elfman's column appears Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. E-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org. He blogs at reviewjournal.com/elfman.