For Every Tib and Tom Cat

dilluns

14th and 15th chapters



14.





With Bobby sedulously taping her words away with his tiny tape recorder, Marietska, comfily ensconced in an armchair, was recounting some canard of hers…



—My uncle Jaroslaw pledged never to relent as a church’s sycophant… One more, the umpteenth… He would get into a terrible lather, take out his fists, ludicrously bellicose, if any body for instance would take out its middle finger and point to the heavens with it, saying some heretical thing, sacrilegious and so on, as with this sing lies your salvations, in hoc signo salus… He drove it low, the first thing he’d do, serving a kick to the shins of the offender, if at reach at all… Oftener than not, my uncle Jaroslaw would fall on his ass…



—Of course, this is the uncle to whose house you went to live after your parents died in this arson-prone edifice, and now, an orphan, everybody in your uncle’s family raping you at their heart’s content, and Jaroslaw the first and most assiduous. And now insisting that you do the streets in order to bring in some dough…



—Exactly. Only that then one day he was angry against some swearing boys and he had an apoplectic fit. Since then he had a…, how you call it, a sickness of the psyche… He was unable to communicate even with relations… The body so frail, unmasterable… With electronic gadgets, he was always in dire conflict — they, the objects, always threatening to go haywire, to explode, to electrocute him, soon as he dared touch them… With the kitchen garden also, the dirt itself tilting, barren, unproductive, losing all the topsoil… With books, the missal, the gospels, contrary to his approach, refusing to yield, himself unable to read them, too tired and nauseous, incapable of opening the covers, needing a burglar’s iron to pry them, and then of course unable to turn a page… Ah, and to get up, so painful, the pain in the legs, insufferable… The plants around the house, even the vegetables coming from the grocer, they wither and die as soon as they smell him — the dirt itself rots and dries, dead cinders, if he as much as walks on it, much worse if he rummages in it… Incapable of playing at any game, everything confused, don’t know where anything, any pebble or piece or männchen or figure or spark or dice belongs in or at or with or against… Or…



—Shit, poor man!



—Now he swears in German. “Unsre blöde existenz,” and so on and so forth. Did you know that the “bloody” the English make use of so much is just the word “blöde,” meaning stupid, not bloody, of course, but the contrary, bloodless, discolored, flat, disgusting, without taste nor stamina…?



—Somebody must have told me that already. In some Germanic novel must I have it, I’m sure. Limit yourself to the Polack garbage. The German one I’ve already covered.



—Ok, just trying to be helpful.



—You’ve forgotten about poor depressed Jaroslaw, the bigoted rapist?



—He became the fall guy..



—The fall guy for whom, for the scams of the church…?



—No, he would fall continuously, and continually. Every step, bang. Down the stairs, topsy-turvy. Badading, badadang. Falling all over the house.



—How nice!



—Then the bishop, fed up with missing the dough my uncle would give the church, sent a posse of bullies, a choir of young priests bent on making him soft… I saw them getting up the stairs. They were blöde angry. “Fucking scamp, fucking bootleg, fucking squirrel,” they were cursing.



—Blackleg…?



—Whatever. Awful insults. And “I shit on his mother’s head,” and so on. One of them, he seem just the caporal of the punishing squad was looking at me, taking out his tongue, saying I want to lick you little snatchie up… The lieutenant very stern, in front. His head collided on a wooden beam, he cursed, he shat on the divinity, our house not the richest in the world, the lieutenant, enraged, took the rotten, insect-eaten beam and took it apart, bam! Pieces of ceiling falling on all of them. And little critters, millions of them… Falling like squirming rain on their heads… The young caporal going bonkers, thinking a very poisonous spider has taken hold in the hollow of his head, at the center of his pate, and gnawing away at his brains already… He runs down, taking some of the soldier-priest in his fall. Everybody falling helter-skelter, pell-mell, the horror, and me laughing, and uncle Jaroslaw, closed in the hermetically closed closet, shivering and sitting himself with fright. The apocalypse arrived. The lieutenant shouting: “A tornado, a tornado!” A tornado of what…? Nobody knows which kind of tornado he is talking about. He meant a tornado of swarms… For swarms of deadly little beasts are turning around his head… He has been fingered by the devil. His ideas have become in his brain crazy bugs who eat at his cranium… He fucks off from the house pledging never to return and pledging at the same time to resign from the devilish church…



—Excellent episode!



Bobby handed her five bucks. Marietska curtsied ever so faintly. Then she went on.



—The uncle in his little closet… With the conniption from the commotion, he went completely bonkers… He had to be committed into an asylum. The bishop asked for me to go to public assistance. Actually, when he saw me, he decided to hire me himself… He made me a maid of honor…



—Did he rape you too…?



—You bet.



—How odd. The happenstance of it. First example I hear about. I always thought most bishops went for boys…



—Polish bishops, that characterizes them above all others — they mostly go for girls…



—Well, I’ll be… You learn a new one every day!



—At Krstrnska’s airport…



—How do you spell it…?



—I don’t, we’ll have to research into an atlas.



—Okey-dokey. Proceed.



—At Krsnamrta’s airport, we the select, the church’s elect, had nonetheless to share our first class space… We were going to a bishops’ congress…? A council. A concilium.



—Quite.



—Me disguised, as always, as a choir boy, an altar boy, a tyro beacon, canon, deacon… The skirts and flounces fitting me, you bet. Soon, I was already claustrophobically hot. The scent of steel… You know airplanes. I was glued no longer to the bull’s-eye glass, outside of which the spectacle only got gaggingly worse… I was afraid, first time flying, making ca-ca in my knickers… And then incensed, but for real, longing to shoot holes all around, dreaming of sudden spray on decks and leeways… And, lo! — that high profile charred-neck-like representative made his entrance. I said, aiming my fury at the faggot: “Thank the double odium the idea of him provides,” much relieved, somehow, for then I knew exactly who was the Turk’s head of my unease.



—The Turk’s head of my unease. How classic sounding. Here’s five smackeroos more.



—“Some tribes of natives are nothing but a bunch of soulless criminal cretins, swarms of insect-people much underneath the nobility of higher animals!” The faggot said. Next he checked himself, pivoted his chameleon eyes so that he might unexpectedly control every possible side concurrently, and, no doubt convinced that with his carelessness he had not flustered up after all any pigeon better left unruffled, now much sobered up, he evenly continued: "—Oh, I know, I should maybe display a greater understanding, considering my enviable position as a privileged spokesman for the greatest of beings, allay my rabid coyote of a righteous rage perhaps with an ounce of a toad’s alleviating spit, but, no matter, charity is stretchable only to a certain limit… After that crucial point it’s gotta break, of sheer necessity; that’s fortunately dogmatic, otherwise we might as well be somberly knelling any other night, what, in honor of whose suicide…? God’s only wife, verily, no less, worth more than a whistle, if you ask me, knock on wood.”



—Was that the bishop…?



—No, he was a Lithuanian. One of those orthodox creeps, a blackmail bishop, a pope…



—A pope? A dervish…?



—One of those, yes. He weren’t Polish, so he was rather interested in boys. And he thought I were one… So I answered, coquettish: “Talking of which, your marvelousness, if I’d be so bold — would you allow me a dearest confession…?” In order to further deviate his attention from my flounderings in such a dangerous position as the present then, where somehow I felt I had put my four hoofs in, oops, I jumped above the sticking mud instead, and trillingly flew… He took a shot at me with his tongue and got me. Thank his heavens, how glad I was when I saw he had bitten, gobbled really, hooked.



—For deep down you wanted to surprise him, him the shock of his life. Looking for boy treasure and finding the snake’s pit of your womanish sex…



—Something like that.



—Where was your holy protector, the Polack bishop.



—I learned afterwards he was sick in the plane’s loo, vomiting his guts, plane-sick with the movement.



—And now the Lithuanian dervish said…



—“Follow your blessed soul’s nose, sonny,” he cooed, “only scorpions ignore the lifting of the conscience’s strict curfews — they behave like cannibals not only in company, of course, but when in their veritable solitude too, gone loopy-loop-loop in solitary, nobody to clear for them what are regrets and what remorses… Muddled heads, stinging their own shadow, devouring it whole, leaving none for the savior, a mess!”



—I said: “Well, your tempered explications sure took their toll on the two factions of my warring inclinations, male-female, right-left, unique-dichotomous, straight-schizo, you know, many and none, one and the other, reality, mirage, solipsism, objectivity, self, the universe, the inter and the outer egg, truth and shameless propaganda... What I mean, your graciousness, I feel so pure only by the sheer proximity of your odorous sanctity, yep-yep, my father. You’ve managed to kill in my inner battlefield so many of those darting bluebottle flies keen on laying their eggs on the rottenness of the flesh of the ideas that just conceived have died already…, that, in verity, I’m resuscitating almost.”



—He must have been impressed.



—Seduced. I said: “Clear-headed and valiant, then, I will, yes, I will deposit in your motherly lap the egg complete of my most cherished doubt for you to crack and expose to the air vivifying — born at last like a little personal messiah…?”



—Messiah…? He weren’t a Lithuanian kike on top of it!



—Well, listen, he had a big nose for starters, ok? I might have savior, who knows? Messiah seems now more appropriately suitable, or moot.



—Hmmm!



—“Talk, talk, my neglected, negligee-ed fetus!” With a genuine knot in his throat, the pope parlayed. Unless, of course, he was playing the game, or the fool’s role, for later attacking at all fronts.



—Negligee-ed because you had on pajamas provided by the company for the first class costumers…?



—Why not?



—And fetus, because you were so curled…?



—Right on the nail again.



—And you answered…?



—I said, coyly: “Well, you see, the mystical case is — I always wanted, even since I was two and half or so, always desired more than toys or rubbish like that, you know what, to get famous, extremely famous. At any price, in whatever legitimate category, get famous. Mother and dad incessantly fighting: “There is god, you whore! No, there’s none of it either, you priest-buggering buckethead!” The both of them all day like this. You’ll excuse me the harsh sincerity, no? For the sake of the document and its future epistemological value, we owe it to ourselves too, when our sanity’s last stand needs all the ammunition possible, no buzzing bumblebees of false prejudices distracting…, am I right? And least of all in a loaded confession.” “I’m all with you, my pet. How must you have suffered. Fear of dying, is that it…?” “In a way. Yes. The point was to get famous, of course. Get invited by the pope, I mean, the archimandrite, of course.” "Ah, the archimandrite, ever so lavish. Splendid choice, my boy!” “In his awing presence, representative, most true and only true one, with all the papers cleared from on high, of god his father, father… When I’ve kissed his ring, I get readily up, try to hit him edgewise with a question I’ve got prepared in my chest since I’ve been aware I’ve got a conscience to take care of too… So, without warning, there’s my fling, I batter away, I smatter: “Archie, say, do you really believe in god…?” “The gall, my little dear, you must have really ached. The agony, I imagine.”



—De Gaulle? De gueule degueulasse…? Is that the big-nosed didonk general…?



—What…?



—You said, let me rewind… Here, when the archimandrite…



—He is not the archimandrite, the archimandrite’s his boss.



—Well, he says: De Gaulle, my child, how harrowing, and so on…



—He means: the balls you have of asking the fucking pope of the popes such a stupid question, does he believe in god.



—Yeah, heavy-loaded. He must have been abashed.



—His regard was fixed at my crotch, trying to see the impossible — my little pee-pee boning up…? A quandary or a mystery to solve deeper than the existence of the gods… A girl sporting a bona fide boner.



—What happened next? How thrilling!



—I said, demurely: “Alas, at my age, eight and half, there’s practically no chance already I’ll ever reach the secret goal of my life; too late indeed — bar the odd miracle, of course. No, I don’t despair, but I sure oughtn’t let pass this opportunity. I guess you are the next best thing to the archimandrite, saving the distances, I know… Providential, really. Here, unbelievable luck, I’m telling myself, from the moment you deigned sit at my humble side… I being nobody, god only knows when another possibility like this will present itself again… A learned pope! Zero prospects, I’d bet, really. Small wonder if... So, anyway, I ask the same of you, please, your vicariousness… — should I amend myself…? — your surrogateness…? Your saintliness…?” “Whatever,” he said, red in the face, his hands nearer and nearer to the blank point between my thighs, “but I will answer you with outright truthfulness and clarity, and I will dispel all of these silly girlish qualms unworthy of such a sturdy little boy as you, I’ll respond and truthfully, like I’m your goody-goody witch, done…? Are you ready…?” I heard… The long tirade… Futile timber falling alone bothers not sounding the tiniest of alarms — I know, he knows, wrong clue… Everything is god-willed, -sent, -juggled… The movie director almighty, greatest authority, unflinchable, unavoidable, unjiltable, impossible to discuss the scene with… — hell, paradise, purgatory, limbo, a deadly VD, a plane crash… — the all-obeying fatalists get the best parts, the favorites they are, Pascal, saint Ignatius… It is his movie (god’s,) forget it not; moves the tables (timetables, tabulae rasae, geological, astronomical, medium’s, media’s, mathematical, ask me if I know,) moves them at will, every time his own belch tells him — divine whims — we, nothing but his listeners, his watchers, his claque… Don’t you feel him fumbling even in the intimacy of your body — it’s called soul, conscience — robots, preprogrammed… Plus even the more worthless natives adore, even the animals higher, the plants aspiring, nature, the universe, you can’t explain something from nothing, the contrary neither, I know you are afraid of dying, yes…? Meanwhile, in the best of the typical style scholastic, he indoctrinates the pupil, feeds him the usual pap, boring for him and for you, but — ah, delicacies! — he caresses meanwhile the obedient pupil’s inner thighs, softly milks his cock, appraises, delicate tennis man, the pupil’s couple of irregular balls… All so predictable, though, alas, a tree of knowledge stunted since the stoned age. No surprise shoot, oops, unexpectedly branching off with an amusing pirouette, no climbing mooning starbound pretty callipygian Sally of a boutade of the healthy sort would’ve created havoc in the nicely molested boy’s spirit, long ago, in his tender mint condition stick-it-to-him face pincushion of a credulous age. No. Well, no heathenish overtones, no atheistic fun poked at the resistible incumbent… “God, my son…? A chest of jokes, a barrel of laughs; philosophically speaking, the delirious flare of a tumbling dog too fond of the dust of its mongrel arrears of a genealogy; historically (but anybody knows that,) the crude excuse for all the crimes the huge ever incurred in, of all the tantrums the middlemen threw in (into the social bargain, and — let the understatements roll — to paltry national tyrannicide they counter with a state genocide; a man-god, a king is worth many an ant hill with millions of people small…, ricochet to nebulae the cruel reprisals…,) last and least, the overly repulsive revenges the microscopic underdogs were ever able to muster up during the lulls, after the poking and the probing of their little bug communities, after the extremely annoying in-roads and the sticks of dynamite…? As for the hopeful behind, his Manichean twin, his name, what, Ahriman Satan, whoever, the nasty-fellah principle, bad cop of the other’s good one, I only wish I could tell you that is him I serve in reality. Point of fact, though, my son, that’d be but the complement of the same lie. Whom do I recognize as master, then…? Necessity, ambition, a career… You see, go at it, fuck, arrive somewhere, a ledge fine enough up the climb to old age, and now sleep in tranquility, leave my life dormant, on its own, rolling along, latent and purring… A dream… The alternative is nix... I’m a kid again, the chosen almost among the protégé’s of my Jesuitical philosophy teacher. His finger teasingly circumvolutes around my sphincter… While I repeat the lesson with a dutiful mien, somewhat bashful, blushing sweetly as a tulip about to bloom, I am panting for the real adherence, the proof of his appreciation true. Finally — ah, what pleasure, what a reward! — he reams his rascally finger up my rectum. Down over there, on the common folks’ stalls, that side of the ex-cathedra platform, the rest of the boys of my class envy my luck… See my flawless expression of bliss… Know I’ve earned myself for sure an optimal note again… Most of them, the lumpen bag, what, grab in spite, under their particular desks, their mean penises… Wish they got them longer, fonder of games, much more responsive, malleable, fun to play with…, two rosary nuggets for balls, the thrilling soft skin of a fawn’s beautiful ass, and so forth on that exciting bouquet of a line…, but their kits, what, by comparison they are each a blunt unhandleable fraud of an invalid’s morbid excrescence…, nothing to boast about…, so, while I’m being publicly selected on account of my superior gifts, and, better yet, privately pampered and loved, future-propelled, I feel sorry for them, secretly administering that torture, that uncouth castigation to the future insurers of their matrimonial peace… I mean their testicles, only asset we are provided the rest of a body to protect… For what’s life but the passing of the genes…? Same ass for a dog than for a chicken than for a monkey than for a lizard than for a human. An asshole near a cunt or a prick, as the case might be, but all the wherewithal only there in order to keep very temporarily, fleetingly safe the eggs… The eggs only, the eggs… The top egg, the archimandrite, no more than an egg-carrier than the littlest, meanest egg-carrier among the worse sinners… Egg-carriers all… And the rest of the song, added garbage… Oh, but I know what you are thinking across this balderdash; skipping the lines, are you, the in-betweens even, eh…? Naughty boys. You are telling yourself: Get up, relay the cops, rely on swift justice, ride the cobbled roads to the ambassador, interrupt the pilot, the pastor rouse, the mayor interpellate, tell on him fast, and so on… Shun the wedding spiel now, don’t be a fool, leave it for later… A few perturbed children, their minds defiled by a criminally idiotic ideology, so, what’s new…, they spun out their phalli, nervous, wretched wrecks, until they got ’em looking like those of pigs’, twisting to the winds… They’re all ignorant farmers now, the villains of the stories…, become ‘the other’ each one of them, the fall guy indeed, a fallen prawn, pawn, in the mass uncounted…, villains in vile tales…, and all the rest of the boring lie-riddled stories in the romantic world of history, novel and romance… What a bore! But here you’ve got already the denounceable attempter on your life, why go on… Contact the guy, he is the culprit. The fellow is the link of the ‘Secret of Life’ on this country, Lithuania, Poland, Italy, maybe, secret society, cabal of shit-licking priests to Mammon, me, him, one of the ‘Secret-of-Lifers’ principal chiefs himself on his repellent episcopal flesh, thus disguised… My boy, life’s so sad… I must do penance, let me cry above your lap…”



—Good copy, by gingo! All this of the plight of priests… Let me amend, of priests and writers… We’ve all been messed at, with, as infants… I liked my messing masseurs too, fond memories of being wanted… But, what then…? Did he then discover your little twat…?



—What…? Listen, wasn’t that a mouthful, though…? I’m done for now. I’m going to get some tea, want some…?



—One more thing, Marietska, my pet.



—Later.



—Please… It will be worth twenty bucks… But no nonsense, no rigmarole, no strings of words with neither reason nor rhyme, and then I’m left holding the candle of shame…, so abstain, ok?



—I’m thirsty…!



—It’s about the invitation I’ve got to write. For the 25th anniversary…? Look, I’ve some experience… More than twenty years, a girl a month… I recognize most of your tricks by now. I don’t mean you. But most of those girls, all so profane, and repulsive… Some of them pretty scurrilous bitches… So, don’t imagine I don’t know you girls; you girls are very canny…



—Come on, come on!



—So no fibs, no obscenities, no scatological whammies that time, ok? I’ll check it in a dictionary, I warn you.



—I’m dying…



—I just want you to write me, in a nice Polish way, the following: “25 years of happiness are 25 year of bliss in your wallet…” We’ll pass it as an old Polack peasant ditty or hoary hallowed adage… Agreed…?



—Pass the twenty. I’ll write it in the kitchen.







15.







Coralline had been crying over the old photos. As Nina entered the apartment, she immediately realized what had happened. The red eyes on her friend’ and boss’ gaunt pallid bulbous splotchy face…



On the table, landslide-like tumblings of mountains of old photos — those old photos in the old shoe boxes, the sole bequest Coralline got after Chuckeline’s passing…



A mock grin now on Coralline’s suddenly aged face. Plus a bogus yawn. Faking sleepiness… Stretching a bit, pretending extreme fatigue…



—Poor Coralline… Thinking about old times… The sleight-of-hand of the pitiless hours… Disappearing wholesale before even leaving a mark.



—A mark or two they leave… Ha! Look at my goggly eyes, at the arthritic claws that used to be hands…



—You are plugging yourself with a rap not even the bad egg of the bad-egg—good-egg routine of the two turdy cops would plug you with. You are in good company here. Let’s hear about it… What ails you so deeply… Is the passing of everything so fast, isn’t it? Old photos kill with lethal little pills of sorrow… Millions commit every second suicide in front of shitty piles of shitty old photos… You want me to burn them…? Little impish murderers in mufti… Well-disguised little nasty creeps…



—No, you are so funny…! But it is true, I’m in there, depicted, myself, in the some of the most recent ones, a few years back only… It is me, and yet how different…! How much of another, an unknown, a nobody that never existed…! I was thinking: Who were I then, who have I ever been…? Just a figment. Even now, while I speak, just a figment speaking…



—I’m fixing you a strong grog, eh?



—Look…, here, enhanced, is Dick’s sister, dead at thirteen.



—At thirteen, poor thing!



—She was murdered. They found her corpse, headless, on a bench on a public park.



—Headless! How did they know it was her then…? They could’ve dressed the young dead broad with the clothes of Dick’s sister and take the sister to Turkey, to be another crappy Caucasian whore there; very appreciated, you know.



—Well, the cops’ doctors must have had the tools to ascertain if…



—Wait! DNA, duh!



—Yeah, but was it already invented…? I don’t think. The murder happened fifty years ago or so. Of course, when I say invented, I mean, discovered, made apparent, made to be… For it was already existing, it was there hidden, a mystery to be unveiled, DNA, I mean…



—Have a swig of that.



—Good. Thanks. You know, many things are but don’t exist… Like god — a concept, a word, a belief, but nobody there — no existence, zilch… It is, but just a fiction — like a teeming emptiness, a black whiteness, an elephant-sized flea…, any oxymoron you care to name. By naming it, it is, but still this doesn’t make it exist, in fact it can’t, for it is an impossibility.



—Isn’t it good? You want a little bit more?



—On the other hand, can you ever exist without being…? Yes, for being is only the awareness of presence — for instance, DNA — there it was, existing by itself, but without being recognized, without the status of being at all, because its presence wasn’t acknowledged by anything, a word, a concept, a hunch, an intimation, a belief… Nothing. So it existed, but as if didn’t, nobody the wiser as to its existence, in reality then not being… If you are not there, you go uncounted. Remember the party for Chuckeline’s good-bye…?



—Poor Chuckeline, and the girl, so young also, poor thing! But enough of depressive thoughts, that’s what brought you down to begin with…



— We were all there, anybody could count us… Thirteen, fourteen bitches all told. Now, there’s only two — you and I. Same room, same locality, but the existences severely curtailed… And, as you say, if we should invite the same party-goers, there at least would be two of them missing altogether. And the rest altered, maybe in subtle ways, maybe in awfully crippling ways, but all altered all the same by the passing of the space between the then and the now… The two missing still would be, for they are in our memories, but they would not exist, for they are dead, I mean, my mother-in-law, and that poor mousy girl, Naveline, her stupid father killed them both…



—He could have died falling down the stairs, the enormous sack-of-shit, our friends would still be alive.



—…they would be missing, but by being missed, they’d be, even when non-existent any longer.



—Yeah, very deep.



—Wow, and how many “things” then there must be that exist without being, without anyone of us, or anybody else, being conscious of them…! Well, let’s count, let’s count nonentities…! There are all the mysteries, all the undiscovered recipes for definition… Who knows what there is in store for the “forscherungists,” the progressive investigators…? What if there are other beings with better definitions of the quandaries and formulae of being…? They are there, perhaps, but they don’t exist, for us, because we’ve never seen them. A contrario, we’ve seen, in films and in cartoons, plenty of odd-looking others inhabiting the planets of far-flung stars. They are, for we’ve seen them in picture, we can picture them, they are; if you want, they even exist in our fancies, but there’s a safe bet that they don’t really exist anywhere else; they are godlike in this aspect — existing or rather being but only in the barren wildernesses of our minds… There is maybe an infinitude of items existing, but not being, for us, in regard to what we can catalogue as extant — they are not there, because as yet unconceived — and, because we don’t have an inkling of them, they are unnominated, unnamed, unfathomed — they exist, if they do, in their unrecognized aloneness only, but they are not on the ledgers of what’s know, what is. Not in anybody’s mind… Like what, for instance…? Well, here’s the rub. As soon as you name them, they start existing, even if non-existing, they become — and, if they become, they are…



—Wow indeed. Nasty philosophers, the garbage they come up with; damn them, all this useless pedantry…! No wonder sometimes you can’t sleep at nights… If instead of all that heavy stirring and peppering of the already hot enough and boiling and overcrowding broth in the brain, you’d be reading about Nero Wolfe or Donald Lam…! Perfect anodynes… The prose so luminous, the action so tame… You finish the page, shut your eyes with a smile, such worthless shenanigans the smoothies in the page go through… Wallow in the anticipation of what they will come up with next page or chapter… Some silly twist or other, leisurely told, to slow exhaustion… Yeah… Tomorrow a little spoon more of them as a nice sleep-inducing dose…



—Donald, Nero, a dog’s name, a duck’s… Names for the children I never had… And now’s too late…



—Com on, no regrets now; that’s the hormones, some deprivation of the blood; with it, every word associates itself with sadness…



—Consolation, yeah, that I need so much of… Thanks for you friendship, Nina. You are a true friend. Always there in my hours of need. I only hope I can be so nice to you if ever the situation arises where…



—The hell is that…! Is that Norwegian…? No, it ain’t. I don’t understand a word of it…



—It’s Maximine’s. Their 25th anniversary celebration invitation, written by that awful disgusting slug, Bobby…



—It’s all in gibberish!



—Except by the end, where he says, “by the grace of god, be there.”



—Too weird! Let’s talk about that hapless driveling imbecile, Bobby. Otherwise I’m afraid tonight I’ll be haunted by that headless girl…



—He was always spying through holes… When caught in flagrant violation of the most basic norms of conduct, he’d sneer, and he constrained the discoverer of his heinous crime, even when armed with a rifle or a shotgun, threatening to explode his fucking spying head, he’d oblige them to see his wounds — horrendous holes where his stomach and bowels and balls and prick should have been — he’d swallowed a live hand grenade in Korea…



—I didn’t know Maximine’s husband had ever been anywhere…



—I’m talking about Dick’s sister’s murderer.



—Ah!



—His face was angelical, it seems. He’d spy just to rake his brains with undefined, unqualified remorses… Thronging, throbbing… With desires unrealizable… He’d go to the parks…, he had the ability to pluck any girl he fancied, even from the arms of her lover. The girl would grow immediately disgusted with the other fellow. She, as mesmerized, would follow the angel home.



—He could do that? A magician, an arch-druid, a warlock.



—His piss was deadly. He’d piss with a canula. A little reedy spout down there… You know how human piss — and also Dalmatians’ piss — not the piss of other dogs or cats, or what have you, which is harmful — but human piss is so good for plants, such healthy nourishment…



—So is shit, I’ve heard. The best salads growing on human shit.



—Yeah, well, that fellow, the sister’s beheader, before each murder, he’d make a point about pissing on the base of a stately oak or beech or sequoia or whatever in the park. The bigger the tree the better. Well, the big tree would be killed outright…



—Spooky, a devil of a devil if there was one. Imagine killing a millenarian tree with a single jet of piss! If could do this, he was an angel indeed!



—At length, this is how the stupid cops knew when the murderer would behead another divinely enticed, angelically allured girl. By seeing, from one day to another, another enormous tree dead overnight by the killer’s piss. They, the cops, killed a great many number of them tree bole pissers before they caught the bloke…



—Don’t piss behind trees. Too suspicious, my friend. Be frank and open-faced. Piss only in the middle of the meadow.



—At last they raided the phantom’s lair…



—It was under the opera house?



—What? No, nothing to do. It was a little rambler house not unlike the one Chuck owns… Eyewitnesses reported — all this I know because Chuckeline once told me — that when the cops came, destroying everything they encountered, he had already died… Died and buried himself with girls’ head, a million or two…



—That many!



—Over that macabre tomb, a marble flagstone, with this classical caption etched on top: “Sta, Viator — Heroem Calcas” — “Fuck off, walker, for you are standing on a hero” — still remembering, to the bitter end, his life in the military…



—The high point of his wretched magic-blessed life.



—There were romantic sentimental spectacular photos of fjords on the walls…



—Fjords, how creepy indeed!



—He had been ruthless, that bilge pump of a Peeping Tom with no guts nor glory of even a minuscule cock… He thought he had been toast that day in Korea when he had swallowed the live grenade as a stupid military dare… And yet he’d survived all those many decades…



—Many decades?



—Well, one and a half.



—The bitch, nonetheless.



—To ingratiate himself with his A-grade gods, to whom he had many little temples set up all about, on every corner, around the chambers of his house…



—Was he a Jap, a Chink, a Buddhist…?



—So I’m told, one of those, an idol worshipper, a pagan.



—A pagan, a barbarian, still!



—Once three burglars had entered his house, when he was abroad, killing, seducing with his killer smile... Once inside, they didn’t know what the fuck to rob… There were only temples and the offering, in front of the grotesque figurines, of heads and heads of little girls… The three burglars panicked. Raised a ruckus just trying to scamper, too terrified… The angel had a pack of vicious starved dogs… They couldn’t eat the heads, the heads had been dipped in a varnish which repelled the big beasts…



—The burglars were eaten…



—You bet, not a bone left. Just the prying iron bars, the bunch of old rusted keys, the jute sacks full of nothingness… There was a tattoo on his chest — the angel’s, learned witnesses reported, some of those fellows that caught him spying into their warm family lives and he then horribly exposed himself to them, revealing the true nature of the beautiful angel he, once again dressed in whites and shiny grays, was… It quoted Horace (I think): “Olim truncus eram ficulnus,” “I used to be the bole of a fig-tree…” And underneath another verse, though in a tiny type, “Now I’m just an itchy fig.”



—Hmm. How sexist, the male-chauvinist prig.



—Don’t you think…? Boy, my thought precisely when I learned about him!







16.

















Never so well

Never so well
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Inosculated

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