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Part 8 Chapter 2

The Danish cunt seems to have electrified him. He's lost all his sluggishness now. His eyes are popping out of his head. And of course one thing reminds him of another. He wants to get out of the fucking hotel because the noise bothers him. He wants to write a book too so as to have something to occupy his mind. But then the goddamned job stands in the way. "It takes it out of you, that fucking job! I don't want to write about Montparnasse… I want to write, my thoughts. I want to get the dirt out of my belly… Listen, get that one over there! I had her a long time ago. She used to be down near Les Halles. A funny bitch. She lay on the edge of the bed and pulled her dress up. Ever try it that way? Not bad. She didn't hurry me either. She just lay back and played with her hat while I slugged away at her. And when I come she says sort of bored like – 'Are you through?' Like it didn't make any difference at all. Of course, it doesn't make any difference, I know that goddamn well… but the cold blooded way she had… I sort of liked it… it was fascinating, you know? When she goes to wipe herself she begins to sing. Going out of the hotel she was still singing. Didn't even say Au revoir! Walks off swinging her hat and humming to herself like. That's a whore for you! A good lay though. I think I liked her better than my virgin. There's something depraved about screwing a woman who doesn't give a fuck about it. It heats your blood…" And then, after a moment's meditation – "Can you imagine what she'd be like if she had any feelings?"

"Listen," he says, "I want you to come to the Club with me tomorrow afternoon… there's a dance on."

"I can't tomorrow, Joe. I promised to help Carl out…"

"Listen, forget that prick! I want you to do me a favor. It's like this" – he commences to mold his hands again. "I've got a cunt lined up… she promised to stay with me on my night off. But I'm not positive about her yet. She's got a mother, you see… some shit of a painter, she chews my ear off every time I see her. I think the truth is, the mother's jealous. I don't think she'd mind so much if I gave her a lay first. You know how it is… Anyway, I thought maybe you wouldn't mind taking the mother… she's not so bad… if I hadn't seen the daughter I might have considered her myself. The daughter's nice and young, fresh like, you know what I mean? There's a clean smell to her…"

"Listen, Joe, you'd better find somebody else…"

"Aw, don't take it like that! I know how you feel about it. It's only a little favor I'm asking you to do for me. I don't know how to get rid of the old hen. I thought first I'd get drunk and ditch her – but I don't think the young one'd like that. They're sentimental like. They come from Minnesota or somewhere. Anyway, come around tomorrow and wake me up, will you? Otherwise I'll oversleep. And besides, I want you to help me find a room. You know I'm helpless. Find me a room in a quiet street, somewhere near here. I've got to stay around here… I've got credit here. Listen, promise me you'll do that for me. I'll buy you a meal now and then. Come around anyway, because I go nuts talking to these foolish cunts. I want to talk to you about Havelock Ellis. Jesus, I've had the book out for three weeks now and I haven't looked at it. You sort of rot here. Would you believe it, I've never been to the Louvre – nor the Comédie Fran?aise. Is it worth going to those joints?

Still, it sort of takes your mind off things, I suppose. What do you do with yourself all day?

Don't you get bored? What do you do for a lay? Listen… come here!

Don't run away yet… I'm lonely. Do you know something – if this keeps up another year I'll go nuts. I've got to get out of this fucking country. There's nothing for me here. I know it's lousy now, in America, but just the same… You go queer over here… all these cheap shits sitting on their ass all day bragging about their work and none of them is worth a stinking damn. They're all failures – that's why they come over here. Listen, Joe, don't you ever get homesick? You're a funny guy… you seem to like it over here. What do you see in it?… I wish you'd tell me. I wish to Christ I could stop thinking about myself. I'm all twisted up inside… it's like a knot in there… Listen, I know I'm boring the shit out of you, but I've got to talk to someone.

I can't talk to those guys upstairs… you know what those bastards are like… they all take a byline. And Carl, the little prick, he's so goddamned selfish. I'm an egotist, but............

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