ertion hanging wettly down his leg.
        "But why," I asked over the rushing in my ears, "why is it
called Monty Python's Flying Circus?" Tears streamed down my cheeks, fell and froze before they reached the mire. In the distance, I could see the last of the baby seals disappearing, dragged behind the silo. The red snow was streaked and rumpled like brothel bedsheets.
        His sad lips pulled into a mild smile. "Because," he gently intoned, "there's no one named Monty Python, it doesn't fly, and it's not a circus."

        So ended my innocence. Thus began my ragged descent into the desperate, the wretched condition in which you find me now. Oh, I could speak of some fruitless, feckless quest for redemption ... of endless gray days, of the eternally impersonal stars that glance like light caught in corpses' eyes, too remote to know even indifference, let alone contempt. I could speak, could so speak, I could. But why? You see it in my scars.

That's how my first roman à clef ended. Good, isn't it. Well do I remember that madcap year. I was feted across Manhattan like Capote, rebirthed. I wore a dapper disco-blue bikini-tux, with fairy dusty glazing my boyish shoulders like powdered sugar -- in fact, that's what they called me, Powdered Sugar, on account of my downy blonde hair, no doubt. Mae West was still alive in those days, and I was the toast of one of her 78-hour soirées -- toward the end, only I and Buddy Ebsen retained consciousness, and don't get me started about what we got up to. Let's just say it wasn't illegal ... then. But I've said too much. The hour is late, and The Sheikh is calling.

And so, to bed.

With love,



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