I’ve always regarded Europe as more or less of a restaurant.
"Still trying to wrestle reality down and have your way with it, Toad?"
But he was OK in small doses, and was one of the three or four hundred people I could really be myself with.
"So what’s that you’re digging, a hole?" I says. We pulled our chairs closer.
It’s not easy having to start over at my age. When you get to my time of life what you want is a little dignity. I’m just going to sit here and think about all the women I’ve treated badly.
But there was solace to be found neither in the achievements of culture nor the amusements of the mob. This was fun!
I don’t know, I’m of eighty-five minds about everything. I just try to lie still and not think.
Some kind of music came on with furrows in its forehead.
The problem as I see it is to embrace life without gutting yourself on an altar.
Self-condemnation is its own reward.
Of course my frivolity about it is a mask but it does convince me.
He came from a long line of get-out-there-and-get-that-money types and was I think inclined to question my seriousness. Considered me a mere fun-haver, which I think is a legitimate goal in life, though I regard the word mere as value-laden.
I had almost died of grief myself when it hadn’t worked out but, when I investigated the size of her dowry I found little choice.
I-could-not-love-thee-dear-so-much-loved-I-not-moi-même-more sort of thing.
It was after dawn. Not really my country, after dawn. I don’t like to see after dawn unless I sneak up on it from behind.
I needed sleep. Sleep is I guess you might say my passion. The ideal state. Be good to sleep and sleep will be good to you, is how I see it.
For goblins loom up at us from all sides, do they not? The average person needs enormous courage just to make it through the day. I spend most of it in bed.
Unless the child is there. The child is the Anti-Sleep. It enters the room and stands silently by the night table directing thought waves at me. For it is malign, the child. A thing of evil disguised as a small girl.
"Oh, I know, I know," said Count Clarence, "she's much the best part of me. I really can't stand her anymore."
Your-vulgarity-varies-as-the-power-of-your-music-system-and-the-visibility-of-your-shoes sort of thing.
All right, I hadn’t been the best possible person, I can admit that. I hadn’t always put the other guy first. I had chosen perhaps to cultivate some sensations over others, that’s true. I wasn’t even going out with a fully integrated personality.
No, I had forsaken the project of self-improvement to be borne along on a tide of whatever. Delinquent even to the discipline of accumulating income. Adrift, in the ultimate sense. No anchor. Thirty-eight years of trying to work my wang into life and what did I have to show for it? Waist-high in water and about to achieve total moisture.
"Well," I said, putting my hands behind my head, "I’ve sure learned my lesson. I’m not going to be so conceited any more!"
A sequel to Foreign Matter (the order matters not at all), 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