you grope your own pants up and reach out the fifty dollars you had ready in the back pocket. He takes it and moves away with a smile, saying, as he goes, something to the effect of “goo’ night,” though it might well have been followed by “cocksucker” or “whitey” or some such epithet. It had, after all, been he who approached you, spoke to you, offered you sex for money; who tongued and fisted your cock hard; and who finally leant himself, his youthful arse, across the tombstone. The Golden Ass: Apuleius. Why didn’t he simply rob you, you wonder? The money was there all along.

It’s funny how a picture forms itself of many small items, half-apprehended. As you walk back up the slope to your car, through the dark whispering tracks of the cemetery, you think of a dream you once had, a long time ago, a dream where a stone statue turned itself head over heels through the grounds of a park, crushing its way, unstoppable, through ponds and woods and walls. His dark buttocks against the white of the tombstone seemed like an indignant sideways face, about to shout out hoarse commands. The rest of the black and white complex of leaves, shadows, trees might have been made to harmonise with this conception into an Arcimbaldo crowd-scene, faces made of bark and flax.

And what are they doing, the bizarre faces in this crowded canvas? They’re roaring blindly at the leper, the excluded one. Even a boy prostitute can be more in command of his moment, his place, than that bleeding face, shoulder bowed under the weight of a crosstree. So what does that make you? The crucified Christ? The martyr complex is the first thing to explode when the physical organism goes wrong. In this case, when the arsehole-fucking, graveyard-haunting, prostitute-poking, French novel-quoting, extreme experience-craving – Miracle-in-Mary-of-phlegm – blaspheming fucker cannot … cannot what?


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