Ilost my left ear from a bite. I think it was in a fight with another human. Through the thin slit that remains I can hear the sounds of the world. I can see too, but with difficulty, and things look somewhat twisted. That bluish protruberance, the one to the left of my mouth, is an eye, although I realize that at a glance it doesn’t look like one. The fact that it’s there, taking in shapes and colours, is a prodigy of medical science. I should have been condemned to perpetual darkness owing to the fumes from the great fire – I can’t remember if it was a bomb or an attack – survivors were left blind and bald. I was lucky to lose only one eye; the other was saved by the ophthamologists after sixteen operations. It is without an eyelid and it waters continuously, but it enables me to watch television, and, above all, to detect the appearance of the enemy.

The glass cube I am in is my house. I can see through its walls but nobody can see me from outside: convenient and secure. Such terrible traps can be set these days. My walls are bullet-proof, germ-proof, radiation-proof and sound-proof. They are permanently scented with the smell of armpits and musk which to me – only to me, I know – gives great delight.

My sense of smell is very developed. It is through my nose that I experience my greatest pleasure and my greatest pain. Should I call it a nose, this gigantic, membraneous organ that registers so many smells, even the most subtle? I refer to the greyish lump with the white scabs: it starts at the level of my mouth and drops, getting bigger, down to my neck, which is fat like a bull’s. It’s fat not because of a goitre or an Adam’s apple but because it has been enlarged by acromegaly. It’s my nose. I know it’s neither beautiful nor useful, and its excessive sensitivity becomes an indescribable torment when there’s a rat rotting in the neighbourhood or when foul-smelling material is passing down the drains that run through my house. Even so, I venerate it. I sometimes think that my nose is the seat of my soul.

I don’t have any arms or legs: only four stumps. They have healed properly and they are tough, therefore I can get around on the ground and quite easily – even with speed, if necessary. My enemies have never managed to catch up with me. I cannot remember how I lost my hands and feet.

My sexual organs are intact. I can make love provided that the young boy or the female acting as my partenaire lets me position myself so that my boils don’t chafe: if they burst, stinking pus gushes out, and I suffer excruciating pain. I like fornicating, and, in a certain sense, I would say I’m a voluptuary. It doesn’t always work out and there are instances of humiliating premature ejaculation. But at other times I have prolonged and repeated orgasms that make me feel as if I am airborne and radiant like the archangel Gabriel. The disgust I inspire in my lovers changes into attraction and even into delirium, once they’ve overcome – almost always with the help of drink or drugs – their intitial reluctance and have agreed to entwine themselves with me on a bed. Women come to love me; the boys become addicted to my ugliness. In the depths of the soul, beauty is always fascinated by the beast, as so many fables and mythologies remind us, and it’s rare not to find a streak of the perverse in the heart of a handsome young boy. None of them ever regrets being my lover. They learn that everything is and can be erogenous; that, when linked with love, the lowest functions of the body, including those of the bowels, are spiritualized and ennobled. They dance the dance of the gerunds – belching, urinating, defecating – and this descent into slime – to which we are all tempted but rarely succumb – remains with them afterwards like a melancholy memory.

Thursday Night in Tokyo