"But where?" she asks, more tears welling up. "Where are you going?"
Everyone in the restaurant within a particular aural distance seems to be looking the other way.
"Where are you going?'.' she asks again.
I make no comment, lost in my own private maze, thinking about other things: warrants, stock offerings, ESOPs, LBOs, IPOs, finances, refinances, debentures, converts, proxy statements, 8-Ks, 10-Qs, zero coupons, PiKs, GNPs, the IMF, hot executive gadgets, billionaires, Kenkichi Nakajima, infinity, Infinity, how fast a luxury car should go, bailouts, junk bonds, whether to cancel my subscription to The Economist, the Christmas Eve when I was fourteen and had raped one of our maids, Inclusivity, envying someone's life, whether someone could survive a fractured skull, waiting in airports, stifling a scream, credit cards and someone's passport and a book of matches from La Cote Basque splattered with blood, surface surface surface, a Rolls is a Rolls is a Rolls. To Evelyn our relationship is yellow and blue, but to me it's a gray place, most of it blacked out, bombed, footage from the film in my head is endless shots of stone and any language heard is utterly foreign, the sound flickering away over new images: blood pouring from automated tellers, women giving birth through their ass**les, embryos frozen or scrambled (which is it?), nuclear warheads, billions of dollars, the total destruction of the world, someone gets beaten up, someone else dies, sometimes bloodlessly, more often mostly by rifle shot, assassinations, comas, life played out as a sitcom, a blank canvas that reconfigures itself into a soap opera. It's an isolation ward that serves only to expose my own severely impaired capacity to feel. I am at its center, out of season, and no one ever asks me for any identification. I suddenly imagine Evelyn's skeleton, twisted and crumbling, and this fills me with glee. It takes a long time to answer her question - Where are you going? - but after a sip of the port, then the dry beer, rousing myself, I tell her, at the same time wondering: If I were an actual automaton what difference would there really be?
"Libya," and then, after a significant pause, "Pago Pago. I meant to say Pago Pago," and then I add, "Because of your outburst I'm not paying for this meal."
Tries to Cook and Eat Girl
Dawn. Sometime in November. Unable to sleep, writhing on my futon, still in a suit, my head feeling like someone has lit a bonfire on it, in it, a constant searing pain that keeps both eyes open, utterly helpless. There are no drugs, no food, no liquor that can appease the forcefulness of this greedy pain; all my muscles are stiff, all my nerves burning, on fire. I'm taking Sontinex by the hour since I've run out of Dalmane, but nothing really helps and soon even the box of Sominex is empty. Things are lying in the corner of my bedroom: a pair of girl's shoes from Edward Susan Bennis Allen, a hand with the thumb and forefinger missing, the new issue of Vanity Fair splashed with someone's blood, a cummerbund drenched with gore, and from the kitchen wafting into the bedroom is the fresh smell of blood cooking, and when I stumble up out of bed into the living room, the walls are breathing, the stench of decay smothers everything. I light a cigar, hoping the smoke will mask at least some of it.
Her br**sts have been chopped off and they look blue and deflated, the ni**les a disconcerting shade of brown. Surrounded by dried black blood, they lie, rather delicately, on a china plate I bought at the Pottery Barn on top of the Wurlitzer jukebox in the corner, though I don't remember doing this. I have also shaved all the skin and most of the muscle off her face so that it resembles a skull with a long, flowing mane of blond hair falling from it, which is connected to a full, cold corpse; its eyes are open, the actual eyeballs hanging out of their sockets by their stalks. Most of her chest is indistinguishable from her neck, which looks like ground-up meat, her stomach resembles the eggplant and goat cheese lasagna at Il Marlibro or some other kind of dog food, the dominant colors red and white and brown. A few of her intestines are smeared across one wall and others are mashed up into balls that lie strewn across the glasstop coffee table like long blue snakes, mutant worms. The patches of skin left on her body are blue-gray, the color of tinfoil. Her vagina has discharged a brownish syrupy fluid that smells like a sick animal, as if that rat had been forced back up in there, had been digested or something.
I spend the next fifteen minutes beside myself, pulling out a bluish rope of intestine, most of it still connected to the body, and shoving it into my mouth, choking on it, and it feels moist in my mouth and it's filled with some kind of paste which smells bad. After an hour of digging, I detach her spinal cord and decide to Federal Express the thing without cleaning it, wrapped in tissue, under a different name, to Leona Helmsley. I want to drink this girl's blood as if it were champagne and I plunge my face deep into what's left of her stomach, scratching my chomping jaw on a broken rib. The huge new television set is on in one of the rooms, first blaring out The Patty Winters Show, whose topic today is Human Dairies, then a game show, Wheel of Fortune, and the applause coming from the studio audience sounds like static each time a new letter is turned. I'm loosening the tie I'm still wearing with a blood-soaked hand, breathing in deeply. This is my reality. Everything outside of this is like some movie I once saw.