Phoenix Rising

This morning I was particularly eager to get to work. But when I opened the door to my office I could’t help but notice how much it looks like a desert, a mostly empty, barren place filled with dust bunnies and gray light. Just last week my office was a film set, filled with a director, a cameraman and an assistant, big lights set up on stands, wires everywhere. I was being filmed for a documentary about Steve Madden, the shoe designer who went to jail for insider trading some years back, and whose company’s stock has been rising — up literally one thousand percent over the past decade – since he was sprung. Add to that trajectory Madden’s recent portrayal (albeit in a somewhat bit part) in Martin Scorcese’s Wolf of Wall Street and voilà! you’ve got the makings of a phoenix-rising-from-the-ashes true greedy American capitalist story. Or Shoes, Drugs and Rock ‘n Roll as the director described it. I wrote about Madden for New York magazine back in 2001, after he was indicted and before he made his plea deal, and that’s why they came to see me, asking about things that happened and people I met in what feels like a lifetime ago, my pre-children life, my practically all about me life. Sure I prepped for the interview and gave the best, most honest and entertaining answers that I could. And though when the crew arrived I felt a little resentful – I had given up all the work time I had for the day to work on someone else’s creative project – I nonetheless had the most fun I’ve had in a very long time and was sad to see them go.