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Part 8 Chapter 1

At one thirty I called on Van Norden, as per agreement. He had warned me that if he didn't answer it would mean that he was sleeping with someone, probably his Georgia cunt.

Anyway, there he was, tucked away comfortably, but with an air of weariness as usual. He wakes up cursing himself, or cursing the job, or cursing life. He wakes up utterly bored and discomfited, chagrined to think that he did not die overnight.

I sit down by the window and give him what encouragement I can. It is tedious work. One has to actually coax him out of bed. Mornings – he means by mornings anywhere between one and five p.m. – mornings, as I say, he gives himself up to reveries. Mostly it is about the past he dreams. About his "cunts." He endeavors to recall how they felt, what they said to him at certain critical moments, where he laid them, and so on. As he lies there, grinning and cursing, he manipulates his fingers in that curious, bored way of his, as though to convey the impression that his disgust is too great for words. Over the bedstead hangs a douche bag which he keeps for emergencies – for the virgins whom he tracks down like a sleuth. Even after he has slept with one of these mythical creatures he will still refer to her as a virgin, and almost never by name. "My virgin," he will say, just as he says "my Georgia cunt." When he goes to the toilet he says: "If my Georgia cunt calls tell her to wait. Say I said so. And listen, you can have her if you like. I'm tired of her."

He takes a squint at the weather and heaves a deep sigh. If it's rainy he says: "God damn this fucking climate, it makes one morbid." And if the sun is shining brightly he says: "God damn that fucking sun, it makes you blind!" As he starts to shave he suddenly remembers that there is no clean towel. "God damn this fucking hotel, they're too stingy to give you a clean towel every day!" No matter what he does or where he goes things are out of joint. Either it's the fucking country or the fucking job, or else it's some fucking cunt who's put him on the blink.

"My teeth are all rotten," he says, gargling his throat. "It's the fucking bread they give you to eat here." He opens his mouth wide and pulls his lower lip down. "See that? Pulled out six teeth yesterday. Soon I'll have to get another plate. That's what you get working for a living. When I was on the bum I had all my teeth, my eyes were bright and clear. Look at me now! It's a wonder I can make a cunt any more. Jesus, what I'd like is to find some rich cunt – like that cute little prick, Carl. Did he ever show you the letters she sends him? Who is she, do you know? He wouldn't tell me her name, the bastard… he's afraid I might take her away from him." He gargles his throat again and then takes a long look at the cavities. "You're lucky," he says ruefully. "You've got friends, at least. I haven't anybody, except that cute little prick who drives me bats about his rich cunt."

"Listen," he says, "do you happen to know a cunt by the name of Norma? She hangs around the D?me all day. I think she's queer. I had her up here yesterday, tickling her ass. She wouldn't let me do a thing. I had her on the bed… I even had her drawers off… and then I got disgusted. Jesus, I can't bother struggling that way any more. It isn't worth it. Either they do or they don't – it's foolish to waste time wrestling with them. While you're struggling with a little bitch like that there may be a dozen cunts on the terrasse just dying to be laid. It's a fact. They all come over here to get laid. They think it's sinful here… the poor boobs! Some of these schoolteachers from out West, they're honestly virgins… I mean it! They sit around on their can all day thinking about it. You don't have to work over them very much. They're dying for it. I had a married woman the other day who told me she hadn't had a lay for six months. Can you imagine that? Jesus, she was hot! I thought she'd tear the cock off me. And groaning all the time. "Do you? Do you?" She kept saying that all the time, like she was nuts. And do you know what that bitch wanted to do? She wanted to move in here. Imagine that! Asking me if I loved her. I didn'............

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