Sunday, December 23, 2012

Excerpt from The Road to Los Angeles by John Fante

They went to bed.  I had the divan and they had the bedroom.  When their door closed I got out the magazines and piled into bed.  I was glad to be able to look at the girls under the lights of the big room.  It was a lot better than that smelly closet.  I talked to them about an hour, went into the mountains with Elaine, and to the South Seas with Rosa, and finally in a group meeting with all of them spread around me, I told them I played no favorites and that each in her turn would get her chance.  But after a while I got awfully tired of it, for I got to feeling more and more like an idiot until I began to hate the idea that they were only pictures, flat and single-faced and so alike in color and smile.  And they all smiled like whores.  It all got very hateful and I thought, Look at yourself!  Sitting here and talking to a lot of prostitutes.  A fine superman you turned out to be!  What if Nietzsche could see you now?  And Schopenhauer - what would he think?  And Spengler!  Oh, would Spengler roar at you!  You fool, you idiot, you swine, you beast, you rat, you filthy, contemptible, disgusting little swine!  Suddenly I grabbed the pictures up in a batch and tore them to pieces and threw them down the bowl in the bathroom.  Then I crawled back to bed and kicked the covers off.  I hated myself so much that I sat up in bed thinking the worst possible things about myself.  Finally I was so despicable there was nothing left to do but sleep.  It was hours before I dozed off.  The fog was thinning in the east and the west was black and grey.  It must have been three o'clock.  From the bedroom I heard my mother's soft snores.  By then I was ready to commit suicide, and so thinking I feel asleep.


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