He-who-is-tired-of-fooling-around-in-Mediterranean-countries-is-tired-of-life sort of thing.
"Would you say Dee was beautiful?" "I would if I were you."
"If you’re not making a fool of yourself," I said, "you’re not alive." I was on surer ground here. Speaking from experience.
"Chinese-wise I’m a pig," I admitted. She was something of an oinker herself.
I felt a kind of responsibility for it but it was the kind of responsibility God feels. Sympathetic but so what.
"There’s something noble about you. You make promises in the dark and it never occurs to you that they’re meaningless. You’ll walk away without a backward thought." "Noble," I said, "It means stupid, I looked it up."
Marriage qua marriage was out, of course, I could see that now. Sex, money and the law in one cocktail, I mean that’s crazy.
"There’s a difference between being charming and being respectable—that’s what scares me about you."
Some women like you with a little stubble but she has you scraping your face every day and incurring ingrown hairs so you won’t burn her inner thighs when you’re paying the rent.
Her look said I’d tricked her into trapping me. "I think naivety is a form of cynicism, don’t you?" "Men are such fools," I agreed. "Oh, don’t be such a B-movie chimpanzee. You haven’t got the brains to be glib."
Now, don’t worry. It happens. Relax. Don’t boss your body around, it’s got its own timetable. Lay off.
"He sleeps nude! Guy’s a priest! He sleeps nude!"
Would you let me hurt you if I promise not to get carried away, watch out for that one. So the kid is screaming for the police, the neighbors, anybody...
Do I have to go through life weighed down by a character?
"What’s frightening about women?" "I don’t know, I don’t understand them. Even when you’re intimate with them they come out of the bathroom wearing towels. They worry about how food looks. They iron underwear."
You have seen certain movies, you regard tenderness as the final fact. Is this just the reflection of your self-pity?
"Just think about something for a minute." Which when I had it translated meant shut up.
I simply couldn’t allow anybody that good-looking to suffer.
Yes but are you in love? Do you have the equipment to measure depth, is what I think I’m saying. Or does it depend what kind of music is playing in the taxi?
It doesn’t seem to matter what kind of fool you make of yourself, when they love you they love you.
I’m a guy, feels an opinion coming on, bangs his head on the wall till it goes away.
"You don’t think much of me, do you." "I don’t think much at all," I said. "It wears me out."
Sleep is me, sort of thing. I get my teeth cleaned, I want a total anesthetic.
"Great sermon, man, I told him. I think I’ll get drunk and fuck somebody."
It was dark. Life was bad. Not uniformly bad. Even in the abyss you make distinctions. But bad.
I took a bottle of gin out and drank off a few capfuls. You want to relax before a flight? Gin.
"Maybe there’s just—nothing. Darkness and—nothing." He edged out and peered over his knees. Kind of belief system you pick up in a cold climate.
"A whole life here and I never did find out how to do anything."
Meanwhile I was just going to lie there and be passive. Try to be a little more economical with my energy. When it’s a matter of faith or works I rely on the former.
It doesn’t really matter what actually happened, if they think they’ve had a good time it’s the same thing. Reality escapes us just as we escape it sort of thing. I pretty well deal in illusion.
A prequel to Foreign Matter (the order is disregardable), New York, Atheneum/Macmillan:
“A very, very funny book."—The West Coast Review of Books
“Fresh and spirited.”—Publishers Weekly
“Enormously enjoyable.”—Kirkus Reviews
“A complete success.”—Books in Canada
“A delightfully comic creation.”—The Montreal Gazette
“Funny, ebullient comedy of errors.”—Santa Cruz Sentinal
“The feel of a Peter Sellers movie.”—Wichita Eagle-Beacon
“Fast-moving and funny.”—Anniston Star
“Could bode well for his future.”—The New York Times
On the Kindle:
"This was the most hilarious book I have ever read. I laughed out loud again and again….and then I would hit another part that had me laughing some more. I was kind of sad when I finished it." Pat Thompson, Goodreads
"Physical comedy sequences on par with the best of Chaplin and Keaton." Jon Zelazny, Amazon