He’s sitting there staring at a piece of paper in front of him. He’s trying to break it down. He says,
I’m breaking it all down. The ticket was $600 and then after that there was more for the hotel and food and so on, for just ten days. Say $80 a day, no, more like $100 a day. And we made love, say, once a day on the average. That’s $100 a shot. And each time it lasted maybe two or three hours so that would be anywhere from $33 to $50 an hour, which is expensive.
Though of course that wasn’t all that went on, because we were together almost all day long. She would keep looking at me and every time she looked at me it was worth something, and she smiled at me and didn’t stop talking and singing, something I said, she would sail into it, a snatch, for me, she would be gone from me a little ways but smiling too, and tell me jokes, and I loved it but didn’t exactly know what to do about it and just smiled back at her and felt slow next to her, just not quick enough. So she talked and touched me on the shoulder and the arm, she kept touching and stayed close to me. You’re with each other all day long and it keeps happening, the touches and smiles, and it adds up, it builds up, and you know where you’ll be that night, you’re talking and every now and then you think about it, no, you don’t think, you just feel it as a kind of destination, what’s coming up after you leave wherever you are all evening and you’re happy about it and you’re planning it all, not in your head, really, somewhere inside your body, or all through your body, it’s all mounting up and coming together so that when you get in bed you can’t help it, it’s a real performance, it all pours out, but slowly, you go easy until you can’t anymore, or you hold back the whole time, you hold back and touch the edges of everything, you edge around until you have to plunge in and finish it off, and when you’re finished, you’re too weak to stand but after a while you have to go to the bathroom and you stand, your legs are trembling, you hold the doorways, there’s a little light coming in through the window, you can see your way in and out, but you can’t really see the bed.
So it’s not really $100 a shot because it goes on all day, from the start when you wake up and feel her body next to you, and you don’t miss a thing, not a thing of what’s next to you, her arm, her leg, her shoulder, her face, that good skin, I have felt other good skin, but this skin is just the edge of something else, and you’re going to start going, and no matter how much you crawl all over each other it won’t be enough, and when your hunger dies down a little then you think how much you love her and that starts you off again, and her face, you look over at her face and can’t believe how you got there and how lucky and it’s still all a surprise and it never stops, even after it’s over, it never stops being a surprise.
It’s more like you have a good sixteen or eighteen hours a day of this going on, even when you’re not with her it’s going on, it’s good to be away because it’s going to be so good to go back to her, so it’s still there, and you can’t go off and look at some old street or some old painting without still feeling it in your body and a few things that happened the day before that don’t mean much by themselves or wouldn’t mean much if you weren’t having this thing together, but you can’t forget and it’s all inside you all the time, so that’s more like, say, sixteen into a hundred would be $6 an hour, which isn’t too much.
And then it really keeps going on while you’re asleep, though you’re probably dreaming about something else, a building, maybe, I kept dreaming, every night, almost, about this building, because I would spend a lot of every morning in this old stone building and when I closed my eyes I would see these cool spaces and have this peace inside me, I would see the bricks of the floor and the stone arches and the space, the emptiness between, like a kind of dark frame around what I could see beyond, a garden, and this space was like stone too because of the coolness of it and the gray shadow, that kind of luminous shade, that was glowing with the light of the sun falling beyond the arches, and there was also the great height of the ceiling, all this was in my mind all the time though I didn’t know it until I closed my eyes, I’m asleep and I’m not dreaming about her but she’s lying next to me and I wake up enough times in the night to remember she’s there, and notice, say, once she was lying on her back but now she’s curled around me, I look at her closed eyes, I want to kiss her eyelids, I want to feel that soft skin under my lips, but I don’t want to disturb her, I don’t want to see her frown as though in her sleep she has forgotten who I am and feels just that something is bothering her and so I just look at her and hold onto it all, these times when I’m watching over her sleep and she’s next to me and isn’t away from me the way she will be later, I want to stay awake all night just to go on feeling that, but I can’t, I fall asleep again, though I’m sleeping lightly, still trying to hold onto it.