We’re making dinner in Thomas’s kitchen and the lettuce is covered with little snails and slugs. Each new creepy-crawly discovered gives rise to a long debate about how best to dispose of it — down the sink? In the trash? Outside? In the salad, for protein?
We sit around drinking wine and listening to Thomas read out loud from my Henry James novel while his flatmate makes bolognese sauce. It is a scene my aristocratic high school English teacher Mr. Hagar could be present at without flinching. After this we discuss the existence in London of a place called Gropecunt Road and I recite the following poem, which I found in Thomas’s book Night & Horses & The Desert:
I would that all wine were a dinar a glass
And all cunts on a lion’s brow.
Then only the liberal would drink
And only the brave make love.
We talk about how cunt is kind of an acceptable swear word here in the U.K., whereas at home it is one of the few words I would not say in front of the Moms. I wonder to myself whether Mr. Hagar would be more offended by all this cuntishness or by my failure to properly cite my source just now.