SHYLY INTO THIS Tuesday night party in May of 65. The year the
world hinged. All of seventeen. Here on West 57th Street. Do
come. With your erection. It may wish to emote. In tune with
Truth. What am I looking for? And tomorrow, at Yale, where I'm
supposed to be tonight, the last examination. In Ancient Greek.
Which I'm failing, and if I fail tomorrow, I somehow sense. Some
great Big Break in my life.
In this giant artist's studio on this hot drinking night full of
fame. And the matching music, frugging bosoms. Painters and
moviestars. And plebians in the street passing and pointing and
looking up with disappointment at the giant picture windows.
Silhouettes of souls who never worked a day in their lives. Why is
it so? That we work and they play. And yet we marvel. At the
wetness of Fame. These people wrapped about the bark of a tree.
Famous and never to be famous. This columnist of the gray hair.
That moviestar. A tropical growth of eyelash guarding her
eyecave. Embarrassed to be here. With the black hairdressers
who introduce themselves as Socrates and Caesar. Designers with
long curly hair, earrings and boyish sweet-sixteen faces ready to
undergo the popper and the knife. Glittering metal dresses. And
bosoms caked with white makeup.
Such colors! What a party! For the truth is, it is. And that one,
the tall strange-looking one with the long red hair? Who paints
magnificent photographs. With neon tubes. And in that corner.
With his wife. The novelist. Born in Bulgaria. Boozing down gin
into his pot. Really want to talk to him. But I won't....
Waiter delving in drinks. Various people, with stony faces,
casting about the room to let you know you are held in cherished
contempt. Who are you?
"What is he?"
"Actually he's a woman now--I know--he looks just awful,
but don't tell anyone I told you, or he--I mean she--just would
kill me!" Bzzz, bzzzz.
"How marvelous an idea, come talk to me about it." Heh heh,
"I'm bored, baby. Let's split. Cha-cha."
Seals, undismayed, sunning in summer. Seal summer. Their
insunsilent light beetling over the merry sea. Mother's portrait
painter, Otavio, in his whiny Chilean voice complaining, "Now
there're so many famous people, don't you think it's much more
fashionable to be anonymous?"
Titters and bored laughter.
O who was that who simply left? I think that was whom I
was looking for. Was I? Will I remember this party in future
years? When I'm a doctor and bring hope to the sick, when I'm a
lawyer and bring clarity to complexity, when I'm a financier and
bring bigness to smallness, will I ... will I? Are you alive, Oliver?
In this room full of fame. I touch the top. With my fingertips. And
with my toes, do I really feel anything?
Though not one neurosurgeon. Or handyman. Servant of
mankind. Too dull. I wish I could meet a banker or a strongman.
Models three thousand feet high. Long aloof noses. Airy
tread. They slip through the crowd like panthers in the night and
from the treetops contemplate the bald heads of wealthy males.
Might marry. Then, their fickle souls willing, they dance. Sovereign
and suave and sinuous, tepidly without charity. So nice. But
beware the morning. When you awake and, seeing your
bedpartner, squawk and squirm away. Because she or he hasn't
read a book in ages. Though she or he does watch television.
It scares me sometimes, it scares me very much. That I am
not a faker. Looking with lust. As they retire to the toilet.
Pretending to be witty. To be gay. Pretending that I am what I am
not and wanting to be what I am. But confused. By it altogether in
sum. I am paranoid because it is as if the imminence of my
greatness were an open secret. Seriously now. There's this
immense gap, as deep and dark as the interstellar night through
which the cold wind blows. It lies in the feeling that everything of
the present is overshadowed by the past. I stub my toe, I curse, I
think on the battle of Cannae, and I ridicule my hurt. I hear of
courage and I think of Caesar marching into Gaul. I dislike
somebody and I tell him so, not so much because my emotions
outlaw him but because just a quarter of a century ago, some forty
million people were brutally killed. What point could there be in my
pain, you see, what significance?
What a party! Oliver in the corner full of facts, his mindlips
churning with pros and cons and contretemps. People pointing,
frowning. A few weeks ago an essay was returned to me, it was a
humilifying experience but no more different from a thousand
others. This testicle of an English teacher telling me I had a
preponderant dislike of the way things were done, that I made
things up, and he was smirking through the cancer at what he
thought was the approving reception of his words; he was entirely
bald and he was laughing, his hairless arms crossed on his
white knuckles in delicate equipoise and private insanity, smelling
of soft buttersweat and repressed fantasies. Laughing and
laughing, he laughed without reason; and the whole class began to
laugh, until they were all laughing and laughing, because they were
laughing at me. Haw Haw Haw! Haw Haw Haw! All the ribs
quivering and going Haw Haw Haw!
Haw Haw Haw!
Everybody. People. Party. God. And above all, women.
O but I know I'll be rich someday. Faraway.
For the time being
And marvel at the wetness of fame. This girl in golden
horsehair. On every billboard on every highway in America.
Sipping coca-cola. Looking for virgins. American dream. People
pass and wish. Now she's coming to me. Is she? With
cloven-hoofed Andre, who walks like a female but has breasts like
a male, Pan God sent for a handjob. "Ah, Olivyeah! Ca va? Tu
connais Samantha? Sammie?" Nervous as I speak I know not what.
Oui, save baby. Your polite little breasts. Lay my triste head. And
your trunk. Around which, raving footloose maniac as I am, I
would like to wrap myself in storm, snow, or sleet.
Greek. Eeek! Must possess that tongue because if I don't
they shall not promote me. And promotion is what ...
Samantha putting the cigarette to her lips. Krak! a cigarette
bolt, kernel of the Swiss night. Now enwombing it with a gentle
ovoidal greeting, smoke eggchanting, tumefying, the cancer devour,
dentists in dreams see sets of teeth clacking through the night
and I see cells of iridescent convicts in my hell, private hell. Whip!
Krak! Owled deep in her throat of birth, she says in a voice deeper
than mine, remotely rumbling German-Swedish in its design:
"I know your mother," she says. As if that defined me. Her
gold hair flowing in the wind.
"Yes," I skip by it, pained by the thought of her vast
usurpation, everybody I know knowing my mother. "Are you
enjoying the party?" I ask, not knowing why because I'm not.
"Are you?" she asks back, the prophetess.
"Oh yes." Not really. No. Who knows? Pause. "You know
you're very pretty." God what stupidity comes from this whiny
voice of mine!
"Am I?" She acknowledges me, growing a little bit bored, I
can see. "I don't think so."
"You are!" I blurt again. Oh God!
Then without any warning, she wonders, "Why don't you
look in people's eyes when you speak?"
O? What does that mean? Pretend not to listen. Can't possibly
look her in the eye. Would die. And her thigh. My. How do I
measure love? What is the smell, what is the sound? Clickety clack.
Her earthy good-looking feet in high-heeled shoes clicking down
Fifth Avenue and her shaved Dior armpits sweating silver dollars
in the springsun. And under her dress. A surprise. Don't look! But
in the interval. To be misunderstood. All prophets are.
Unrecognized. How old I feel. For my age. Busy probing to the
bottom of life's meaning. Its flesh, its bones. Reading Lawrence's
Seven Pillars of Wisdom. His fever. Wrestling with the devils.
Emerging to lead the Arab hordes to independence. Me too. Want
to be a common man--Nostromo. Bonded with the earth. Must
So, what do I say now? O this nervous nothingness. Have
another drink. Say it's hot here. I do like the sun though. Especially
in Lisbon, and you? Over there in the corner. Changing the
subject, do you see her? The star of La Comedie Francaise back
in the 1920s, yes. Friend of my mom's. Ho ho, has she had her day
in the sun! Looks like a lizard. Or a harlequin. Withered harlequin.
The golden girl looking at me, her eyes like Greek Goddesses
of judgment. This malice comes, you know, from nervousness and
nothingness. I too am a part of all I have met. Heh heh. She
mumbles something to cloven-hoofed Andre, distracted now by
two boys giggling suggestions in his ear, is that a popper I saw
flash me by?
And by the way, I add, trying to regain her attention, you know
in the corner over there, the former reigning beauty of Paris, La
Comtesse Je Ne Sais Pas Quoi? Yes, that one. Former protege of
Picasso. Still has it, don't you think? Oh that name! Anyone could
take a dump here on the floor and call it a "picasso" and they'd all
worship at the fecal altar.
My schoolboy cynicism hangs there, like bad morning mouth,
Samantha sniffing it. All these words. Opinions. Yours, mine. Who
cares? Why speak? Making now for the backstairs of my mind,
like Edward Hyde, mounting them at a fugacious speed. Reaching
my solitary quarters. Little cackles of malignancy. I am crept in
favor with myself. Like a spider who speaks. And crawls.
Suppose I actually looked like Edward Hyde? Wouldn't be my
fault. Walking down the street and somebody's heart stopped while
staring at me. No. Though I must admit. Some strangeness
pricking in my head. As if a krait snake had escaped my intestine
and was mad and loose among the sundrenched rocks of my brain.
Samantha's body leaning more and more to Andre, excluding
me. My eyes wandering off to hide somewhere beneath the
growing mountains of sweat which come on so so fast in moments
like these. Amazing how quickly my cells burn their molten wax
onto the surface of my pores and into the waters of the world.
Why do I even bother wearing clothes? Nothing for me to hide.
Everybody knows everything. It's too late now. The alienation
started the day they stole me. From the womb. In Paris. I
remember. The long swim. Acidic passageways. It was dark. My
sperm tail wiggling. I was a nervous baby. And thus never was the
center of things. A Galahad in a sea of troubles, as strong as I am
witless, and Samantha, yes, Sammie, please, what: be nice to me.
Lock me in your thighs. Bury me. Me o my. In the earth. With
the worms. Hide the world. By hiding me. Sweet deception. As
the waters gurgle by. And from the liquid cave I poke my head
and see. What Eve first knew in Paradise. Which is the roar of the
Planets. And the sweet retort of the Kataract.
And then she, who calls herself a fabulous beast, she who sets
afloat a thousand pavilions, of blue and white, and red and gold,
which sail softly, like a coif in a snow-laden squall, over the
whitewinter Alps and settle themselves like parasols on the
Champs-Elysees in the spring. Ah! she reaches over softly sweetly
and, with a thousandshipped face, in dismissal lays her parfine
hand on my squalid pathetic claw, not without sympathy.
"You're hot," she notes with disgusted empathy. Anxious to
leave. I'm slipping fast ... grab it now! "Nice to meet you."
"No, please! Don't go!" I don't say. As she goes away.
Forever. Nor look at your thighs, no nor tread on graves of grass,
nor enjoy yourself unwholesomely, nor fuck other women, nor do
this nor that, believe me, he smiled weakly,
like a gentleman, in a gesture of congenital forfeiture. As her
fingerflowers move away, on their hundred and twelve odors, and
Samantha smiles at another in the Spanish sun.
No doubt I am worth one brief comment. Thinking me sad and
scholarly. And possibly boring. Looking at my clubfoot. A pity.
And pity by pity reach into the stars. And with my great big meaty
hairy paw. Smash much glass! O why! Have I not done what they
tell me to do in the books? And that is to care, to be a man, to
flatter the rest of humanity! My person. Murderer. Dreamer.
Intellectual. Like a little gibbon trapped in a tree. Monkeyskull.
And yet I've failed Physics, Economics, and now most likely
classical Greek. Strange sad sample of thought. That I've come
under the influence of the Polishman. A world never clearly
defined, neither humorous nor tragic, yet expressive of my
deepest, most unconscious desire, is there really such a thing as un
paradis artificiel, an oasis of frangible understanding? Or are these
the ravings of an ancient sailor living oh so sensibly in London
clubs dreaming of old storms in the Southasian seas?
Is there an exotic world? Is there adventure? Is there
Conrad's world draws me. "Beware all ye who enter here,
Abandon Hope!" And one day live in China. Manage a factory full
of women. Little caps on their heads. I wouldn't be embarrassed.
Volleyball games on Saturday afternoon. I'll blow the whistle.
Keep score. Referee disputes ... yes.
What a party! And in the morning, I will awake and, in amaze,
masturbate. These feline faces, bones of china, tiger women
laughing, reality reeling behind the laughing crying face of Fun Fun
And lastly Mother who, sweeping aside fun for fucking,
makes her entrance. The cynosure of discriminating eyes.
Classical features. In her gown. Growing out of the ground.
Knows everybody. Even me. Invited me. She has aged a bit yes, with
time, but grows more attractive, more complex, more radiant. Her
limiting factor in the past had always been her Virtue. Now,
without a husband, she blooms. Like a huge orchid which brushes
aside all other flowers in the field, and opens its empirerich mouth
to swallow all the million billion trillion bees spiders and birds, she
As her son, thinker, thinks in the corner, perplexed, grown too
old with thinking, and too little fun. And murder.
"Antony," her lover coming through these crowds to greet me
bigly. Used to play water polo back in the Colonies. Till he got
serious and came to the City. To meet the women who could
afford him his cups of wine.
"Allo Ollie, 'ow ya bin," in his Australian bushman.
I murmured, "Fine. And you?"
"O can't cry, I'm 'igh."
"How so?" I inquired.
"'Ere," 'e said, and proffered a freshbaked cookie. I declined,
secretly frightened of him. Married three times, two children, tried
to kill himself more than once. Like my father, frightened of that
which I could not comprehend.
My father and I had had lunch that afternoon at the Palm, his
favorite redmeat haunt, cartoons on the wall, the smell of beef and
smoke. We talked. Of many things. Such as his insurance policy.
My chances. His chances. Slipping on snowy streets. Skiing
without his glasses. Being clawed to death by a falcon on his way
to work. "What would you do if I died, Huckleberry?" Death. His
ultimate frustration. Every morning at three dread stalks his
atmosphere. When I sleep I sleep. Not he. Frightened of
philosophy. He coughs, he groans, he totters on the brink; and
when he breathes, he rauks on his rhythm, and his rhythm
damns his dream. An arthritic doglike friendly
scotchsmell that clings to his body and clothes. In my sleep I smell
him through the wall. The static breathless irrevocable commotions
of Death: promotes, haunts, and wracks his scotchmind! Moors
and ghosts and an insane soul to bagpipes whistling over the mists.
It is not strange that the purpose and passion of his noctambulation
is urination. He must urinate for fear that if he didn't render the
yellowed pomp from his system, he would be cold and corpsed by
morning. Because he knows in his gut that Death steals by night,
twixt two and five; and so each night, he fights, fights viciously, to
In the eleventh year of life, I fought madly with my father and
under the influence of my rage cried, "I hate you, I've hated you
from the day I was born!"
I remember particularly his face then, shivering with mute,
incomprehensible hurt, numbed, turning and gasping for breath, he
was so surprised, so anguished. His face revealed all this to me in
a moment, and I immediately regretted what I had said. "Forgive
me please, forgive me Daddy!" ... and I remember feeling a very
strong urge to be cradled in his arms, to be perhaps blessed. He
was not an affectionate man, not given to displays of emotion, but
he was a powerful, barrel-cheated man, very much similar in my
imagination to a Jewish patriarch who commands the unfailing
obedience of his Son and who in turn raises his Son to be a Father
unto his own Son. But!-and thus perhaps the reason why--his
soul knew not really the word of God, he accepted not the
resurrection of Jesus, nor comprehended the grandeur of the spirit
world, all of which by instinct I knew and yes! wanted wished him,
my preacher my Father, to teach and pass on to me, as in my
knowledge, God-fearing Abraham had done with Isaac and when
called upon yes! to sacrifice his Only Son to the Lord God, he did obey!
But he had no such Father my Father, and thus by indirection I had no
Father because I could not obey him.
And thus it went, on and on, Father insecreting three vodka
martinis to his brain, more than usual, and me one, more and more
ruthless. "Dad, don't you understand, don't you understand? I have
desires, wishes, that are different from yours!"
"We're all different, kiddo," he replied, reflecting his own fears
of the Depression and not getting a job back in '31. Until Dad, not
having read fiction except Mark Twain millions of years ago, not
believing in such journeys as Lord Jim's and Tom Jones', said,
"You can't be an individual in this world, Huckleberry, and expect
to get away with it. Only a few do." Then added, "You're a bright
boy--if you drop out of Yale, you'd be making a big mistake! You
want to be a rebel, but the rebels don't win in the end." Or
something like that, it's hard to remember how a long-dead father
And then I, exasperated and familiar with the several
examples of Goethe, Mill, Wordsworth, and Plato, who all
experienced despair at a young age, and wanting furthermore the
rough life, wanting to flex my mare's muscles and be a hero, and a
killer besides--if necessary--exclaimed something to the effect of
"I'm not bright! You mean jaded, the very finish of wit. I am as an
ape to Ruskin, and we as a century are as apes to the nineteenth
Father, his red face swaying from side to side under the
demented martini moon, then made some condescending remark
about the need for common sense in a confused century. Ignoring
the interruption, I continued, "Why, what's happened in the
interval? Two World Wars? But why, how does that explain the
loss of intellect since the Victorian days, what does war do to the
soul? You see, Dad, I must leave this country
which I hate but I also love because it is big and beautiful and
undeveloped and pure despite talk of its perdition, and yet it is
intensely uneducated. That is why, don't you understand, I am
leaving. To learn why we are what we are."
And finished, something to that effect, enrapt with the truth of
my statement. I don't exactly know what my father then said. All I
heard were the words, "You're nuts!" That in effect was what he
meant. That neither he nor my mother had ever really believed in
me, unable to realize I was a person separate from himself,
something other than his flesh and blood, someone with a soul of
his own. I don't believe you. It rings to this day in my ears,
challenging me to take the untenable position. I was fatally furious,
the dialogue proceeding apace to an unnatural conclusion that
ended with me rising from the table in the hidebound restaurant
full of laughing dying red faces, the vein in my forehead visibly
swollen, I shouted at the befuddled figure almost thrice my age,
"Don't you understand, shithead! I'd like to kill you, you're such a,
sucha, sucha ..."
And swept out, knowing I had said something not only illogical
but also too ugly for repetition. Father in the redmeat restaurant, in
spite of his state, shocked. At his plumrose plethora.
One innocent day,
Stole a summer's stroll on the street
When the big wind came up
And whoo... whooo
Went and blew his son away
Poetry. Fire. Flew. I go. Smash the barriers, fight off the
bloody scholars; they read and they read, they read until their
eyes go blue. And yet they never understand. Sad scholars who
see not the sunset at sea, the fastfading margin of experience, the
nature that is one with Ulysses, who dared strive with the gods.
Scurry forth to sea. At once, at once. Sad scholars. Sit by your
magic lanterns in gabled rooms. Refine your rhetoric. Become
as perfect as possible in every thinking way. Ye have toiled hard.
Ye merit the laurels. Sad scholars.
Sad little Olivers. In the vice. Who am I, in my little college
room, going home and saying, "Father, you're wrong, Eliot's poem
is structured on the belief that ... " as each eight-thirty morning,
two million workers pour into Wall Street to give their souls. In
hordes that pass me by. Fear stepping down to my simple level.
The plexus of irongray life. Even Father, who makes five times
more than the average man, says he's poor. The women who want
this and that, bric and brac. What right me, what right life?
Squeeze me, you fleshridden pythons of eternity. Coils of slime, as
the day is long, despair distinguishes itself in extinction. Of this
special species. Stone people. Novelists write about us. I belong in
a book. Not in a life. Where it is looney. Where do I belong?
Where if they wanted me, would they send me; would theology
explain why and say, dear butterfly, your locus naturalis is? South of
simplicity and east of evil? I read of this theology. It makes me feel
good. Theologians are warm and good people, they reach out from
the page and say you are sick rotten ugly and addled, and forget it
Oliver, unless you turn your fear to faith. Faith in Jeesus. And love
in God. And kiss the lipless Holy Ghost. How does it go--"neither
death nor life nor angels nor principalities nor powers nor things
present nor things to come, nor height nor depth nor anything
else in all creation, shall separate us from the love of the Lord?"
Or my father's favorite quote on the Temple walls, "Love justice, do mercy
and walk humbly with thy God." 'Tis beautiful 'tis that. Tit for tat.
I'll give you my Beauty. You give me your Truth. But don't
Taking leave of the vulgar novelist, Mother at last making her
way to me in the corner. Hi Mom. Was that you there on the day I
was born? In '46? Could you, so bright, so beautiful, really have
been in that hospital? Occupied totally. In bringing me to the light?
Kissing me and saying, "Oliverre!" in an attention-getting French
olive accent, "Why are you staying in ze corner, zere are so many
girls wanting to meet you?"
You me. He she it. These girls. Meet me. Why?
"Zese are girls you should know, not the whores your fadder
Warm waxen well-known breath. Her telephone was
Templeton Eight: tee:eee:ate. Her son, by now maudlin and drunk
and embarrassed, looking at Mommy, my mommy, beginning to
birth the pain in his throat, it aches so. Your age. Your age.
Admit! Admit! How old you are, how old? I don't know! cried the
voice born of Kafka. Always lying Mother--her age, her
operations, the divorce, reasons to dump me in these camps they
call summer. "Just a white lie," you always said, but how could I
trust you ever?
"Don't start, willya. Leave Dad's girls out of this!" My
sarcastic manner, angry at her, who are you to judge? Tell me all
the time whom I should see. And whom should fuck.
"Living zere off 'im, taking 'is money, tramps! It's not a place
for a boy to grow up. Fucking every thing he saw, he was a pig
your fadder ... his whores ..." Steam pouring from her nose with
the unsaid words but so terribly hurt had she once been, Mother,
she broke a broom over his head three months pregnant into the
New World. In decadent later years, regaling her friends at
endless dinners, "O zen she call me a beetch,
this leetle floooozie Lou like, and she hit me with her zandbag you
know, but she don't know me! I take her dress like this! and I tear
it all ze way down ze front! She look so surprise! She scream at
me, 'You beetch!' and then oop! I hit her with my wight hand! Zen
she fall down, Lou is white, he never believe this!"
Her friends all laughing as I listen. Mother, revved on wine
and weed, launches on into another tale of a late evening in the
snow, wearing her long leopardskin coat. When she took a lengthy
leak in the shadows off Fifth Avenue, so long it sounded like a
horse stalling, and her tuxedoed manscort, giggling, grew impatient,
"Come on, Jacqueline!" And Jacqueline saying, "Yes, yes, I am
coming, don't leave me!" in the shadows in her leopardskin down
the taxpayer's drain pissing. Until a traveler came out of the white
waste and asked, "What's that there, in the shadows?" Mom trying
to be inconspicuous, crouched in her great fur. And the manscort,
laughing, said, "O that? That's my sheepdog." And the table
tumbled into tears of moon gas, and I thought to myself, the fabric
of fantasy is rent when fiction to fact is lent.
"I never see you," she to me says now, "you never come by,"
as the waiter gorges us with new drinks and Otavio asks her if
she's coming later? Of course I am! Because later is the place
where Mommy always goes. And she's right. We never do. See
each other like mother and son could, should. As close as we could
ever get, in the summers in France, naked in the shower, Mommy
would ask me sometimes, "Oliverre, bring me ze soap, darling."
"Yes, Mommy," in my nerve-wracking charcoal gray suit and
neatly combed black hair, the pith of tiny gentlehood, I would pass
the soap, gazing upon her corpus nudus, the sensation as exciting
as an airplane first dipping into a lacuna, swooping off with my
genitals. Oh I had seen my mother naked
many times in the gargoyled bathrooms of old Paris--always late
morning, she never woke before eleven, and then in irritated
humor, abhorring all questions till noon, a silk shade above her
brows as she sipped from a tall orange juice glass with wine and
cigarette mouth, wincing as the light tumbled over the rooftops into
her regal bedroom.
At her toilette, where in ancient France the courtiers watched
the Sun King pee in his chamber pot, little "Oliverre" would stand
in obeisance at bathroom's edge stealing glimpses from the many
angles of the many mirrors, anxious most of all to know where she
would leave me that night. Waves of her deep black cunt hairs
appearing and disappearing through the steaming shower glass. A
silly pink flower cap on her head. Suddenly she looks bald and
ugly. But no matter how disgusting I've seen her, sick or on a toilet
seat, I'm still deeply drawn to her femininity, to her all-knowing,
forgiving body with its earthy black bush. We talk through the
water in French. "Where you going tonight, Mom?" Tension
overflowing. She mutters something I cannot understand.
"Oliverre, bring me ze soap." Yes, of course.
"But am I coming with you tonight? ... Please!" Such a
gentleman I was then. You and I, Mother, when the evening is
spread against the sky, shall stroll down the "Champs Eliza," as the
English say in their frightful French accents, arm in arm, mother
son, and I shall treat you to tea and eclair, an orb of white bread
baking hot and sweet, unkissed, unbit. Psss! The shower has been
wrenched on in this eloquent bathroom. But still no answer. She
adjusts the rubber wedge on her head. In she goes. "Mommy?"
Speak to me. Her rubber flesh, seen at intervals through the
"No, darling, I can't ... not tonight. I 'ave to go to the
Remoulades, it's too adult for you. But tomorrow night, we go to
the movies. O zut! No, I can't. I forget about ... but we'll be
together all afternoon, hokay?"
"I really want to talk to you," she says now, trying. "I never
see you, you never come by," she repeats herself, the noise of the
party robbing her of much memory. Her face more masklike now
at forty. "Really ..." her attention now taken by someone else.
Calling out to him, "Out, cheri, tout de suite!" I'll be there, as I
split my infinitives with my son, because I belong to the world. And
I am everybody's friend and know any name worth dropping.
After all, I am Madame du Vin, the biggest whore of all!
O Mom, once indeed you were my mother, one of the
sweetest kindest gentlest of mothers. I loved you without bounds,
and now, and now to force my face to look upon you, to hear these
words, to batten on this moor, my God! can I not say I have been
most foully deceived? "But what!" she protests, "I have been the
best mother! I have always loved you...." the denial and the denial
and the denial, creeps out this petty pace, O Mother! For all the
liquor I've acquitted myself with here, do you know how long
it's been since I've touched a girl? How long? A year, Mother, a
year. Yes, and in its stead, the cruel sickness of masturbation. In
the tub. In the early morning hours, and worst of all, in toilets
furtive, O Mother, I am ashamed to say this to you, forgive me but
I shall lose my sanity if I stay at Yale! You guarantee me future
wealth and position if I graduate, and I guarantee you the vanity of
insanity! O Mother! Is it so difficult to sleep with a girl? Is it so
difficult to be an animal?
Mother looks at me, understanding, pitying me and, contrary
to what I expected, says, "but you're not the only one
who hasn't had zex, darling. Antony and I haven't made love in
two months, he drink too much and he..."
Two months. A year, Mother, a year!
Well, she says, that helpless fear in her eyes, what can she do
for a grown son, what would you do if you weren't in school?
O a steamer to Australia. I'll farm! A wild people, divided into
three parts, fierce in their beer, where the women are tall and
marsupial and at night leap over the moon.