209 Summer 2012
He had good ideas in the shower,
he was sitting upright heroically typing away on his computer –
he improvised the filthiest, bawdiest limericks you can possibly imagine.
A magazine had commissioned me to write thumbnail sketches
of every war going on in the world —
‘unequivocally the most disgusting article I have ever read,’ he later said.
But provocation was fun
like the unbuttoning of a stripper’s overcoat, promising delights to come.
I made a circumcision joke about snipping his name,
and he remembered the old Fascist slogan – many enemies, much honour
but my heart is far too reptilian for that.
‘Hello, comrade,’ he said, his glass already gratefully extended, ‘This is a real revo.’
He could be a real shit if you fell on the wrong side of his favour.
‘I don’t usually start this early, but holding yourself to a drinking schedule
is always the first sign of alcoholism.’
I offered him a welcome-to-the-war shot of ‘Listerine’, just to be hospitable,
or for that jumpstart he could administer so well.
‘Fuck off!’ he replied – he later wrote a paean to the expression — and then
‘I see you were feeling eeyorish about Macedonia last week.’
By 1 a.m. I was speechless with drink and he was in spate.
He and I embraced each other on a street corner like parting lovers
dressed in preposterous hot pants and high heeled suede boots:
two cheese sandwiches, a couple of bananas.
‘Brunch? Sunday? Smooch.’
I think of it as Manhattan teatime.