• Vol. 01
  • Chapter 10


I have made my peace in this little blue room. To it and all its component parts, I apologise for the impoliteness of my past and present functions. May the porcelain forgive me my many insults. May the cistern enjoy more restful days.

Poor, dear little room. It has taken all my mortal panics, all my ghastly expulsions with such good grace and in such fine colour. What a time we have had! I have racked my wits on what will never be. I have been as heavy as stone and as filthy as a newborn. The cycles are tedious. I will go no more to painful places.

My old loves conspired against me. They polluted my humour. Breugel and Bosch are rolled and tubed and exiled to the airing cupboard. So too grotesque Grunewald, morbid Memling and the fearful old Fra - damn their engaging daubs! All that bug-eyed, bony-fingered Renaissance hysteria spoiling the mood. They can suffocate in the heat together with those wretched scribbled Doré's. Lying, gifted souls! Allegory has lost its allure. They pictured hell half-dreaming of supple girls and filthy ale. I have the monstrous clarity of the mirror. A desiccating landscape past restoring. "Principal work of the Ablutionist School". Hell enough for these cloudy old peepers.

"Exhibit removed."

I have scrubbed clean the bath. I shall recline like Marat in oils, unblemished and unpained. Nembutal will be my unseen Corday. My masked David will make his study with a busy lens and little blue bags on his shoes. Would it greatly move the old stuffed shirts at the Koninklijke Musea to neighbour me in pastiche...?



There is no safe place to balance the stereo. I will have to hum my dirge instead. You are smiling now, I know it. I have seen that reflected here too. All the days I have needed to.

I can hardly contain my happiness. I am pollinated stardust! I am tarnished gold! Take it all, dear heart. Take the bloody lot. Spare nothing.

They will find me when the milk turns sour. Burn the bills.