Summary: And what would be the point of telling you the rest? How he put out his cigar, and where?
Published five years after Veidt's death, the authenticity of these memoirs is still disputed. Most likely, it always will be.
When we saw each other for the first time after our traumatizingly dreadful first encounter, he offered me a puff of his Cuban cigar. I frowned and pushed my mouth to one side of my face, a habit I retain even now.
"Thank you," I recall saying, "but no. I'm all right, thank you. Besides, I'm sure you only want to see my mouth around a symbolic cylinder."
I never broke his gaze. "I don't," Blake said. "Symbolic my ass. Always expect you to have a lollipop anyway, in the backa my mind. You're just a fourteen-year-old girl, Ozy. Taller and a little bulky around the shoulders, is all."
I thought my gaze was level, back then, but I've learned more since, about how a face operates. I can close a deal, now, with a well-timed twitch of the lower lip. Then, though, I only answered him with, "I have a few years on fourteen, though not as many as you do. I expect to masculinize as I age." I returned my face to my book for a moment. My hair brushed the collar of my costume -- I'm sure Blake noticed my letting it grow long, a self-important nod to Bohemian fashion. How sweet and stupid I was.
"I hate educated girls," Blake said. "I hate books. Think I'm a Philistine, Ozy?"
"You're playing with me," I replied, careful to keep my voice light, and turned a page. "If I'm an educated woman, you'd be better off making a quick exit. I don't want to upset you again, god knows. Would you hand me that bookmark?"
To my surprise -- I still felt surprise in those days -- he did, slipping it over my shoulder. I took it in one hand and placed it between the pages. As I set the book down on my chair's arm, I felt Blake's hovering presence on my neck and shoulder. I remember it now. I remember how it recalled the sensation of an approaching mugger at my back. The hairs on my neck uncurled like the fronds of a new fern.
I have transcribed the below conversation with perfect accuracy, exactly as it occured.
"Tilt back your head," the Comedian said to me.
"No," I answered.
"Tilt back your head," said the Comedian again.
"You'll wrench my neck," I answered.
"No, I won't."
The tone of it made me turn, and I saw a slight confusion in his eyes. "Yes?" I asked. It gives me only a little shame to recall that I may have sounded incredulous.
"You remind me," said Blake, "of boarding school."
I exhaled shortly though my nostrils, stifling a laugh. (Had it come out, it would have been a giggle.) I knew this direction well. Then I thought him naïve for thinking I'd be shocked. Now I know that he wanted me smug, wanted to make my thinking facile. It wasn't hard in those days.
I reminded him of the halcyon days of sodomy before woman, the voluptuous oppressor, had invaded his world. At times, when my life is at its most bloodless and austere, that still flatters me. Mostly, though, it only makes me pity him.
And what would be the point of telling you the rest? How he put out his cigar, and where? What particulars of situational homosexuality he recalled most fondly from his wasted youth? What I said to him in mockery of his eternal adolescence, though I was only a boy myself, and with what viciousness he answered me?
If you'd rather, you can find stories about such sordid aspects of my life in any number of adorably disreputable publications. (James Bondage, Midnight Memoirs, The Eumenidean Vigilante, Among the Bedposts, and Discerning Kink are particularly good, I hear.) I am aware that I have become a part of the erotic public consciousness. It's the natural consequence of spending a good deal of your life jumping off of tall buildings wearing spandex. I'm sure these erotica authors record my life more titillatingly than I ever could, whether their tales issue from their own minds or from my admittedly manifold exploits.
Read the work of these admirably liberated scribes; that's my best recommendation. Do not waste your time with my dry recollections of a life that has been too long and too painful. Besides, I will be absolved of the need to verify the sexual incidents you use to arouse your baser pleasures, and you will read of my hypothetical exploits in more carnally directed prose than mine.
I will tell you four things of absolute truth.
One, that I have never had any part of Edward Blake inside of me, unless we're speaking in terms of moral philosophy, in which case I will admit to having internalized a few of his views on the paramount importance of efficiency.
Two, that he was the only man with whom I ever took a dominant position.
Thirdly, that I can count on one hand the number of occasions on which we made mutually agreeable physical contact.
Fourth, that his murder is the act I regret the least in all my life.