Yesterday I met a woman, very beautiful, it was in one of those groovy modern art galleries, you know the kind of place, all grey paint and grey steel chairs with big holes where you’re supposed to sit and a grey-jacketed assistant whose haircut seems to be part of the exhibit, and I looked her up and down, thought I’d give it a try, so after I had smiled and introduced myself, noting – casually – that her eyes were those of Leonardo’s Madonna, her grace was that of a Degas and her cool allure would have left Renoir powerless, while her intellect, her intellect shamed the Tate Gallery’s entire twentieth-century collection, after I told her that my one remaining desire, the only thing of any consequence to me now, was to beach my life, wreck it forever if she should only wish, so I could spend a few moments, an hour, perhaps a night, even a lifetime in her company (oh God, I exclaimed, I’m out of control, I don’t believe I’m saying this, I adore you, it’s everything, from your thick, dark eyebrows which don’t quite meet to your slim legs tucked into blue socks and Doc Martens, I have a pair also, no, not legs, though obviously I do, no Long John Silver me, but shoes like that, cue: cheesy chuckle) and after I had produced the yellow carnation bud kept behind my back until this moment, she smiled in return and asked me to repeat my name which was the cue for further word-play (it was like fencing, I swear: lunge and thrust, parry, thrust again with one hand and with the other beat death aside, rinverso tondo, ELA!) and then off to a hotel, it was easier than her flat, she lived in Baron’s Court or somewhere beyond the back of beyond, where we drank cool wine from tall glasses, slowly, undressed, slowly, kissed slowly but with a growing and eager passion, and whispered and laughed and licked and bit, then fucked each other to oblivion.

Didn’t happen.

Another of those rare occasions: me, telling a lie. That’s not what I want. This is not the story of my life, at least not the story of all of it, but it is the story of my father. And what a story!


The Structure of Things Here
Noël, Noël