Getting reacquainted with old friends
"...The greatest drug of all, my dear, was not one of those pills in so many colors that you took over the years, was not the opium, the hash that you smoked at houses on the beach, or the speed or smack you shot up in Sutherland's apartment, no, it wasn't any of these. It was the city, darling, it was the city, unreal city, the city itself. And do you see why I had to leave? As Santayana said, dear, artists are unhappy because they are not interested in happiness; they live for beauty. God, was that steaming, loathsome city beautiful!!! And why finally no human lover was possible, because I was in love with all men, with the city itself. And Malone was crazier than I. You could tell from his face how deep the disease has eaten into his system. The life of his flesh dwindled, but his spirit ascended like the angels into a perfect love--and yet he was still stuck with his mortal body and his mortal lusts and mortal loveliness: You can't live on the promise of a casual smile which passes while you sit on the stoop waiting for the breeze from the river--demented queen! You can't love eyes, my dear, you can't love youth, you can't love summer dusks that washed us out of our tenements into the streets like water falling over rocks--no, dear, madness that way lies. You must stick to earth, always, you must love another man or woman, a human lover whose farts occasionally punctuate the silence of your bedroom in the morning and who now and then has bad moods that must be catered to." -- Andrew Holleran, Dancer from the Dance. 1978.