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Part 3 Chapter 1

Sunday! Left the Villa Borghese a little before noon, just as Boris was getting ready to sit down to lunch. I left out of a sense of delicacy, because it really pains Boris to see me sitting there in the studio with an empty belly. Why he doesn't invite me to lunch with him I don't know. He says he can't afford it, but that's no excuse. Anyway, I'm delicate about it. If it pains him to eat alone in my presence it would probably pain him more to share his meal with me. It's not my place to pry into his secret affairs.

Dropped in at the Cronstadts' and they were eating too. A young chicken with wild rice. Pretended that I had eaten already, but I could have torn the chicken from the baby's hands. This is not just false modesty – it's a kind of perversion, I'm thinking. Twice they asked me if I wouldn't join them. No! No! Wouldn't even accept a cup of coffee after the meal. I'm delicat, I am! On the way out I cast a lingering glance at the bones lying on the baby's plate – there was still meat on them.

Prowling around aimlessly. A beautiful day – so far. The Rue de Buci is alive, crawling. The bars wide open and the curbs lined with bicycles. All the meat and vegetable markets are in full swing. Arms loaded with truck bandaged in newspapers. A fine Catholic Sunday – in the morning, at least.

High noon and here I am standing on an empty belly at the confluence of all these crooked lanes that reek with the odor of food. Opposite me is the H?tel de Louisiane. A grim old hostelry known to the bad boys of the Rue de Bud in the good old days. Hotels and food, and I'm walking about like a leper with crabs gnawing at my entrails. On Sunday mornings there's a fever in the streets. Nothing like it anywhere, except perhaps on the East Side, or down around Chatham Square. The Rue de l'Echaudé is seething. The streets twist and turn, at every angle a fresh hive of activity. Long queues of people with vegetables under their arms, turning in here and there with crisp, sparkling appetites. Nothing but food, food, food. Makes one delirious.

Pass the Square de Furstenberg. Looks different now, at high noon. The other night when I passed by it was deserted, bleak, spectral. In the middle of the square four black trees that have not yet begun to blossom. Intellectual trees, nourished by the paving stones. Like T. S. Eliot's verse. Here, by God, if Marie Laurencin ever brought her Lesbians out into the open, would be the place for them to commune. Très lesbienne ici. Sterile, hybrid, dry as Boris' heart.

In the little garden adjoining the Eglise St. Germain are a few dismounted gargoyles. Monsters that jut forward with a terrifying plunge. On the benches other monsters – old people, idiots, cripples, epileptics. Snoozing there quietly, waiting for the dinner bell to ring. At the Galerie Zak across the way some imbecile has made a picture of the cosmos – on the flat. A painter's cosmos! Full of odds and ends, bric a-brac. In the lower left-hand corner, however, there's an anchor – and a dinner bell. Salute! Salute! O Cosmos!

Still prowling around. Mid afternoon. Guts rattling. Beginning to rain now. Notre-Dame rises tomblike from the water. The gargoyles lean far out over the lace fa?ade. They hang there like an idée fixe in the mind of a monomaniac. An old man with yellow whiskers approaches me. Has some Jaworski nonsense in his hand. Comes up to me with his head thrown back and the rain splashing in his face turns the golden sands to mud. Bookstore with some of Raoul Dufy's drawings in the window. Drawings of charwomen with rosebushes between their legs. A treatise on the philosophy of Joan Miró. The philosophy, mind you!

In the same window: A Man Cut in Slices! Chapter one: the man in the eyes of his family. Chapter two: the same in the eyes of his mistress. Chapter three: – No chapter three. Have to come back tomorrow for chapters three and four. Every day the window trimmer turns a fresh page. A man cut in slices… You can't imagine how furious I am not to have thought of a title like that! Where is this bloke who writes "the same in the eyes of his mistress … the same in the eyes of… the same …?" Where is this guy? Who is he? I want to hug him. I wish to Christ I had had brains enough to think of a title like that – instead of Crazy Cock and the other fool things I ............
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