Guy Manfellow is waiting for me at the stylishly obscure bar. It is quiet, perhaps only half the seats are are taken, but every head in the stylishly obscure bar is turned just a little ways towards Manfellow, every eye drawn to his long legs, carefully crossed at well turned ankles. It's the legs you notice first. Guy Manfellow's legs are long and his ankles, if you could see them beneath the black dress socks poking out from beneath the cuffs of his perfectly pressed Ralph Lauren pants … well, those ankles are perfect.
Guy Manfellow smiles when I mention his perfect ankles.
''Everyone says that,'' he smiles and his smile is kind, if a little weary at fending off compliments all day. ''But I'm about more than my ankles.''
Yes, yes he is. Guy Manfellow is a very important man who does things. Important things involving other things. But none of those things are as important right now as the powerful thighs I see stretching the fabric of his pants like old redwoods wrapped in Indian cotton, or perhaps his calves that are famously so geometrically perfect that evolutionary scientists and intelligent designers both cite them arguments in favour of their cause.
We meet because Manfellow's important thing that he is being important about is more important during the next two weeks than it would be at most other times of the year when he remains important but without something to sell. It's winter, but there is no chill anywhere in this bar because Manfellow is steaming it up. His very presence raises the ambient temperature, but in one of those meta-fame moments that must frame every day in the life of a man as important as Manfellow, his image appears on the wide flat screen of one of the televisions suspended over the bar.
There is Manfellow, hovering over Manfellow, steaming up the pages of Man Monthly Magazine's February issue with a super-sexy photo shoot that features the important and powerful man we know as Manfellow in little more than his underpants.
Somebody starts clapping and a woman across the bar wolf whistles.
''You'd be surprised how often that happens,'' says Manfellow.
No, no I would not, because I am sitting across from Guy Manfellow and I cannot keep my eyes off him. My eyes are drawn up the inverted V-shape of his flat stomach and wide flaring shoulders, they hurry past the genuinely shocking symmetry of his face. The same small, wry curve bends his lips up on the left as it does on the right. He has two eyes and they are the same colour. His brow, which furrows when he thinks about all the things for which he is important, is perfectly balanced, like a problem of logic, that can only be solved by the furrowing of Guy Manfellow's brow in this exact fashion. He is handsome, of course. But you knew that. You knew it because the truth of it leached into you from a thousand magazine covers, and a million online photos and hundreds of YouTube videos. What you didn't know is Guy Manfellow's particular type of handsome is closer to the sublime, to a force of nature, like a tsunami of handsome sweeping down his face and across the subject-object division that separates you from him and him from the imperfect world in which he must exist as the sole example of handsome perfection.
''Are we going to talk about my thing?'' he asks, all business. Say one thing about Guy Manfellow, and if it isn't something about his ankles or thighs or rock hard abs, it's that Guy Manfellow is all business. In an industry of high-stakes deals about things, Manfellow wears his carefully tailored image as a man who does important things as carefully as the carefully tailored shirt that barely hides the barely hidden power of his powerful upper body. His full head of hair is both soft and hard, because he is a man of contrasts.
His partners, and there have been many, have been women of contrasts. Millionaire ad ladies and celebrity florists. He never talks about them, but it doesn't matter, because we do and will in a separate article for each of the best looking women to have been associated with Manfellow, or even rumoured to be associated with him. Even if we made up the rumour ourselves.
They're important, these women, because when it comes to important men doing things, we cannot help but be preoccupied with their image, their age, their weight, whether they had children or not, and whether they regret not having children. Manfellow doesn't buy into it. He's the age he is and he's looking good. The women he dates are also looking good. So good they make him look even better, as if this were possible. His face shows no sign of cosmetic surgery; rather, he simply looks like someone who takes good care of himself. He walks with a self-confidence that says ''I take good care of myself.'' And as if to make that point, last year, he wore a black tuxedo to the Thing Awards and he looked good. Very good.
''I'm no male model,'' he says. ''I have wrinkles. But being a man who does things, it hasn't been an issue and I've not been made to feel like I need to go to the nearest plastic surgeon. Who cares at this point? This is me.''
Yes, yes it is.
This is Guy Manfellow.
He does things.