Mrs Hollingsworth's Men - Padgett Powell

Mrs Hollingsworth's Men - Padgett Powell by Padgett Powell

Book: Mrs Hollingsworth's Men - Padgett Powell by Padgett Powell Read Free Book Online
Authors: Padgett Powell
herself. She had
made herself into a model companion for other people who themselves
were not waiting to become themselves but who were also modeling for
companionship. So they had all become model companions.
    It went without saying that she had not waited for
the person she might have loved, either. So it was not surprising
that now, when her station in life suggested she was mature and sane,
she was dreaming of wildly improbable men like a schoolgirl. Well
beyond a schoolgirl: she was in a scalding tub of water in the throes
of bourgeois idleness dreaming up the most ornery sonsofbitches she
could. She had lost her mind. It was fortunate that that did not
matter. There were certainly so many excess idle minds about that it
did not matter if a few, or a lot, strayed. She could {ire out of
this tub and make chicken cacciatore and Jell-O and plan a dinner
party and buy some symphony tickets and sell a house and do Jane’s
video workout, or not. Not looked right.

    My existence is fairly tenuous, if you would have no
objection to a man called Rape, whose demeanor and rhetoric thence
would not allow you to anticipate it, using such a word. My tenuosity
(there, that’s better, isn’t it?) is in fact what allows me to
be, well, tenuous even in speech. I am in one sense but a figment,
and a figment is nothing if not unstable. I can as easily, at her
whim, say “I only exist, you want to put it that way, by just
keepin on keepin on.”
    I am fortunate she likes me, or liked me. It came to
that rather capital evening in which I got to eat with Mrs. Mogul and
sleep with the hostess. It was a heady evening. No one could have
predicted old Roopit’s crying like that. There are two explanations
for that, or let us say one explanation in two forms: he was under
considerable pressure, and everybody has their limit. She was hot, I
can say that. She got what she wanted out of me, and done quit me.
That is not a behavioral pattern in women with which I am unfamiliar
with it. They regular animals it comes to getting what they want.
They have learned to weep and coo to mask it. We buy it. Or let me
elevate that; enthralled within the tyranny of desire, we pay all our
cash and then apply for credit. We see no practical end to what we
will pay The pedestal philosophy was a shrewd business intended to
get the lioness off the ground. Give us some time to lick ourself in
between rounds, in other words, moreso, so to speak, per se—I can
be as ridiculous as you please. She preferred me that way, and I
cannot maintain I mind it altogether. The labor of being colorful
does not exceed that of being sane.
    But I would have you note that she prefers the other
old boy to me, a matter on which even she is clear. This should
surprise no one. To my publicly masturbating, a scene she lifts from
one in her own life that she witnessed at a mental health hospital,
over the unattainable and ineffably beautiful woman she tyrannized me
with—I the only man articulate enough to come up with “tyranny of
pussy,” therefore the one to pay—she prefers and allows numbnut’s
having the woman, first, and then his lying there in a contemplative
fugue so long he loses her. He loses her because he shows evidence
that he is not fully under the tyranny of desire. He gets away, as it
were. So it is he who must be pursued. I am thrown a cursory sexual
favor, fed, given a bad haircut, and dismissed. There is nothing end
a shaky relationship like a bad haircut in my experience, in other
    But cot boy, he gets off with a bad shirt. He limps
on. She don’t know exactly where he’s at. He don’t either—to
be precise, she would have you believe he doesn’t know what he is
about. I have other information on this, which I will not share.
Suffice it to say, before I leave here——which I am doing it as
quick as I can (because after you have seen me sleep with the master
you are not going to see me masturbate on a sidewalk again, which was
not as fun

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