Mr. Garamond Weeps


A little room devoted to the purpose. Couch green and gold, like Keats’s cot in Rome. Thick curtains drawn. Door barred. Do not disturb us: we are not at home.

I shoot my cuffs, remove the studs of pearl, place tie pin, collar stiffeners, signet ring in notches of a baize-lined case, set fob and watch down tenderly, let down the spring, undo my tie, suppress a minor sob, shed my suit piece by piece, sort, fold, and furl, and lay the neat stack on a nearby chair.

Shake out my pocket square. Place it in easy reach. (She used to fold the silk into a dove, complete with tiny beak.) Adjust a violet nodding on its stalk.

I am standing in one sock…

Now I am facedown, laid out on the cot as if sewn into it. I clutch it like a child I once saw riding a dog around a field. I shake it, but the best antiques don’t break…

some kind of joke some kind of sick mistake she’s gone she’s gone she’s gone she’s gone she’s not here not with me somewhere with him right now fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck let it not be true let him be struck dead let my suffering summon her somehow you mean the way her suffering summoned you all right all right but but but but but what my throbbing head my ribs my sobs my snot my nakedness this shaking cot they’ll pass they’ll pass this ugly room will pass you too you stupid ass. You ass. You ass. You ass.

Wobbling a little, Mr. Garamond stands. I step back into him. Put pants on. Tuck tails into waistband, wind my pendant watch, retie my tie, relink my cufflinks, pluck each collar stiffener from its plush green notch, slide each in place, reproach my shaking hands, make of my sob-soaked, snot-soaked pocket square a goddamned peacock, and walk out of there.