I have returned from my Latest Tragedy.
Shall we resume our badinage?
This keeps me surprisingly busy.
Our correspondence may suffer as a result.
Can you be more specific?
Death is specific.
I am not.
Should I be afraid for you?
Should I pace?
A cousin is pacing for me.
Two cousins some of the time.
They seem to have perfected the art form.
They both studied it at that Academy of Pacing.
Founded by that bilious old queen.
It's known to produce the best mourning pacers in the country.
So I shouldn't step to.
If I were you.
They are a wonder to watch.
They dress up just for the occasion.
They pace wondrously.
Take no umbrage but...
Your pacing would suffer.
By comparision, I mean.
You could offer something else, I suppose.
I am the offering type.
But how can i fail to notice that you are avoiding mention.
Of the je ne sais quoi.
The je ne sais quoi nearly killed me.
So you will pardon me if I do not mention it again anytime soon.
How are your pards?
Jaded in the Hedges,
The pards are fine.
I have hired someone to exercise them.
He sets up off the mountain with them every morning.
While the fog lies thick about.
He is a young German author.
He writes poetry. Sometimes other hindrances like novels.
Fancy an assignation?
The fog around here is looking particularly ripe for a non-vanilla assignation.
Need I remind you what happened the last time I agreed to meet you in a fog?
Don't play dumb.
I should have known not to mix moors and fog.
You surely don't blame me for the disorientation and the loss of those several days?
Well, walking 126 miles in the wrong direction in a single afternoon is something we shall both remember.
It's a good thing we stumbled upon that abbey.
Even though there was the vampire incident.
Fog. And vampires. Who woulda thunk, huh?
Sometimes we can be such idiots.
The vampire was vanilla though.
I expected better.
I seem to recall at the time you were amused by the "vampire incident."
Did you receive the hartshorn I sent?
And the memento mori woven in hair?
I cut the hair of the young German poet.
He wrote a poem about me cutting his hair.
It was horrid, but I sent it to the Kappelmeister.
One horrid artist deserves another.
What is it?
I keep looking at it and can't make it out.
Some sort of sportiveness in the center of the hair wreath?
About artists: agreed!
The only use for two moldy slices of bread is to make toast.
That's an allegorical scene!
It's meant to be The Albatross of Grief Placed around the Neck of the Jollity of Indiscretion.
I thought you would recognize the tableau.
We stood before that picture a very long time once.
In the Museum of Not Quite Sure Artists.
You loved the MNQSA once.
Have you changed?
Oh, the Not Quite.
I haven't been there in donkey years.
I hear they are having a retrospective of their janitor's works.
You should go.
I should go.
Or we should go?
I will suffer pointedly until I hear your response.
You should go.
I am racked.
Would you use you instead of we?
For the love of God and the Muses...
Because it's the second person singular.
Should go to the Not Quite Sure.
Are you wallowing again?
You turn spiteful when you wallow.
I live with a wallower (the German poet) so I believe I recognize the signs.
The pards whelped.
Would a pardlet cheer you up?
I have been swallowing and wallowing.
The swallows arrived last night.
And cousin Frederick and I decided to follow them.
They led us horribly astray.
These swallows are apparently drawn to death and destruction.
It was worse than that Pilgrimage I went on last year.
The one that ended in the death of the Heathmaster.
Now who tends to the heath?
Absolutely no one.
The heath is horrid.
The heath suffers horribly.
P.S. I should like a pard. Send the most ferocious of the tiny lot.
Why don't you play that game to cheer you up?
The one where you blindfold a servant and then you all leave him or her in the fogs on the Moors.
The several weeks until the creatures finds its way home are usually rife with merriment.
We did play that game.
Nobody has seen Jacinda.
Although several wayfarers have heard her.
She is poised to become a legend.
What shall become of me?
Don't answer that.
I sent you a new mirror for your Observatory.
It should arrive by Friday.
When you look at the winged creatures that fly about in the flames of Venus, Think of Me.
Oh, I love watching those winged creatures on Venus.
I did some drawings of them the other day.
They are mostly winged monkeys in fezzes.
I'd give anything to have one as a pet.
I will appreciate the mirror.
I know how much polishing it takes.
To make a mirror like that.
Sometimes I think my life is an Observatory mirror.
Tell the German poet to put that in a poem.
And then burn it.
The German poet is a misery.
Of course, he's consumptive, as all poets.
But he insists on bringing the fog into the chateau.
He has invented a device which gathers it up though some strange suction.
He built it with parts I had lying around in Monsieur Mercure's lab.
You know, the Enlightenment guy?
So he has this horrible Fog Machine and he turns it on in his bedchamber and begins writing poetry.
He writes in a fogged state and his poetry seems befogged.
But he loves it.
Its a new Period for him or something.
You know poets.
They are like garden hoses.
Always lying about and always dribbling something.
Oh, I made a bon mot.
And bon mots lead to the guillotine.
So I had best close.
Can I borrow the young German poet.
And his Fog Machine.
I have a dreadful Aunt coming to nest here.
She's my Aunt but I refer to her as my cormorant.
She suffers horribly in fog, so I'm hoping to place the German poet in the bedchamber next to hers.
But he must keep quiet about his invention.
The German poet is on his way.
He's Swabian, actually.
So forewarned is forearmed.
Oh God, Swabian?
It just gets better and better.
I realize I am writing out of turn.
But I have decided to no longer be completely indifferent to you.
And I wanted you to be the first to know.
I decided Thursday.
I felt your indifference melt.
I was walking on the heath and I suddenly said to myself, "She is no longer indifferent."
I have designs on your Not-Indifference.
Please do not ever refer to yourself as "Phil" again.
Verbum mofo sap.
We are in deal-breaker territory.
Will the fact that I am gay present any difficulties?
None at all.
I mean flaming.
They call you "The Conflagration" around here.
Does that answer your question.
I'm still writing you, aren't I?
Will we share men?
Is that how it works?
I hope you are at least good at home repairs.
Because that can come in use when one has 342 rooms.
Somebody felt the need to add a Viperarium last week.
I'm saying I hope you are good at home repairs.
Because you seem to have a great deal of trouble with the Obvious.
I studied the Obvious at Miss Mannersham's Academy.
I took several certificates in the Obvious.
So if opposites attract.
We should be fine.
I just realized I have no visible means of support.
And yet I am still exceedingly wealthy.
Should I be worried?
No, that's not a problem.
The same state of affairs here.
We have no idea where the money comes from.
It just appears.
I think the Dead left instructions.
And the money just keeps moving according to their plans.
People we never met.
I suppose we should thank them.
But I have no idea who the fuck they are.
I know the sparrows in the garden better.
Life is strange.
A Bit Tetched,
I have decided to build a Natatorium on the Moors.
Out in the middle of nowhere.
I saw some handsome young men out there chasing each other about and they had nothing to do.
So I thought: swimming pool!
The constant rain should keep it amply supplied.
Are you in?
When I said gay was okay, I didn't mean swimming pool gay.
I meant more just flounces. Funny fabric choices.
And men in our bed.
A swimming pool is a big step.
That involves general contractors.
If we involve general contractors there may be erotic slippage.
There is usually erotic slippage around general contractors.
Are you prepared?
I am willing to take the risk.
A gay man without a swimming pool is like a parrot without an idiot staring at it.
Let us treat our parrot to an idiot.
We should get married shortly.
Your Swabian poet has vanished and is presumed perished.
One of his pards returned to the Estate, carrying a poem in its mouth.
I suppose this is good news for his posterity.
A poet's work is immeasurably improved by his vanishing, don't you find?
I looked at some of the poems I hated, and already thought them a little improved.
Some of the adverbs seemed to sparkle a little.
I think it was my pardlet that devoured him.
It grew so quickly!
I've named it Overweening.
I want him in our wedding.
Contumacia is desiging costumes for all the pards.
It should be a lovely affair.
Whatever will you wear?
I have had my dead father exhumed and his graveclothes removed.
I must wear his gravesuit to our wedding.
It has to do with a sacred vow I made to him.
He was certain I would never marry.
I suppose he thought the "gay thing" was an insurmountable impediment.
He said, "If you ever marry, did me up, take the clothes off my back, wear them to your wedding, and throw me back in my grave bare-ass naked."
And I promised I would.
And I did. Just now.
Don't worry, I'm getting the garments dry-cleaned.
And we are the exact same size.
I found he had squirreled some pelf away in his jacket too.
Vulture did take it with him.
For a while anyway.
The one minister was getting squirrelly so I had him Burked and Hared.
Plans continue for the Great Day.
We should marry in St. Harridan's, I believe.
St. Harridan's has the most incredible stained glass windows: the largest features Judas Iscariot's Shopping Spree.
Of course, it will be another foggy day, so I hired a bunch of young louts to be hoisted up and hold flambeaux to the stained glass.
So the colors of the Iscariot window should fall beautifully on our entire wedding party.
How many of my male lovers would it be prudent to invite to our wedding?
I'm thinking somewhere between fourteen to twenty, but I don't have a definite number in mind.
The wedding is off.
I am marrying Sir Jameson Japes, the noted Astronomer.
Sorry. I get these things confused. Wait a moment.
I just checked.
He's definitely an astronomer.
Do you want to come?
We need someone to handle the pards.
I am heartbroken but happy for you.
Isn't he eighty something?
I always knew you would marry a gay man, an octogenarian or an octogenarian gay man.
I just thought it would be me.
We will continue our correspondence, which is the Main Thing.
Why let little things like matrimony or a shared bed or sexual congress interfere with the really important thing, which is Conversation.
My future husband doesn't talk.
He looks at stars and draws diagrams.
He's deliciously insane.
He doesn't even believe there are winged creatures in the flames of Venus.
Because his eyes are so poor.
Yesterday, I had to show him where his right hand was.
The poor dear had misplaced it.
I trust you won't think this is the result of pique or dudgeon at your having dumped me.
But you will notice I had the Observatory moved off your property in the night.
It took a cadre of forty Swedes and thirty Poles and a team of engineers.
I slept with half of everyone.
I am not well.
Why do you languish?
Gay languishing is an oxymoron.
Nature detests an oxymoron.
I think that's a scientific principle.
Keep the Observatory. Indian giver.
You would have made a horrible gay husband.
Poo poo on you,
I note you did not respond to my last epistle.
Shall we go to war then?
And where are my pards?
The pard tender said they vanished in the night Thursday.
They didn't all just "run off" either.
I suppose I have been Indian gifted again?
You would have made a terrible gay husband.
I am marrying the Duchess of Orgones.
So you will please excuse me if our correspondence suffers.
For a few years.
You are not marrying the Duchess of Orgones.
You know very well she is already married to a different gay man.
And you would never suffer yourself to live in her ghastly design scenarios.
The woman marbleizes, for Pluto's sake!
She would marbleize the Venus de Milo if she could get her grubby fat paws on it.
This is ridiculous. This contretemps.
Snap out of it!
Why is it that terrorists always get offended at counter-terrorism?
You're so gay.
Not just today.
Since the dawn
You're so gay
turned all the
Philip is a queerbo crybaby sissypants who's jealous of an 88 year old astrologist. Astronomer! Whatever.
The Duchess of Orgones and I enjoyed a lovely walk through the fog today.
We walked our pards all the way to Shuffleoff Bluff.
We could see your winter palace from there.
The Duchess said it's looking horribly decrepit.
And then she made a simile which I shan't repeat.
But which you might intuit.
That Orgones bitch started the syphilis epidemic four seasons back.
Everybody knows that.
I hope you have a good mercury enema kit near you at all times.
I mean, if you are stupid enough to eat where you bank.
I want the pards back.
I will take you to Court for custody if I don't have at least two pards in time for my Wedding to the Astrologer. Astronomer!
Two of the pards fell ill with the dropsy and perished.
That leaves me only seven pards and I have already signed them over to the Duchess.
So any legal battles will be with Her.
I wouldn't if I were you.
She's richer than Crassus and has more lawyers than you have moods.
And the pards sleep in her bed.
They are lovely and photogenic creatures.
They have no interest in removing anywhere.
My husband is dead.
We were married at 4 o'clock in the morning (due to his exigent health).
And two hours later we were divorced by God.
I have inherited several noted Observatories, one strange university and dozens of scholars.
Do you have any interest in dating scientists?
If so, please come hither.
Or we could talk about a rapprochement.
If the stench of Orgones could be washed from your body.
TO: MIRANDA _________, COUNTESS OF MORBES
THIS IS THE DUCHESS OF ORGONES WRITING YOU. STOP.
IT IS NOT PROPER FOR YOU TO BE WRITING MY GAY HUSBAND. STOP
I UNDERSTAND YOU ARE CONTEMPLATING LEGAL ACTION CONCERNING MY PARDS. STOP
I WOULD ADVISE OTHERWISE. STOP
I WILL DEVOUR YOU AND YOUR ESTATE AND THE ONLY MEMORY OF YOU IN THIS COUNTRY WILL BE OF YOUR FOLLY IN STEPPING TO THE DUCHESS OF ORGONES. STOP
YOU WILL EXIST AS ALLEGORY ONLY. STOP
I STRONGLY ADVISE YOU. STOP
You're really being an asshole.
I mean a wiiiiide asshole.
Were you afraid?
I sniffed the telegram.
It didn't have her stench on it as it would have had she laid one finger on it.
So I knew it was you.
So is the astrologer really dead?
Deader than last year's fashions.
I had him mummified.
You know, like Jeremy Bentham.
He does sit at our dining room table.
The scientists I inherited like to argue with his corpse while they are eating soup.
I feed them only soup.
Mostly turtle soup.
Several of them are rather hot.
If you can get past the equations twaddle.
If the Duchess can spare you.
A little arsenic can go a long way towards fixing a marriage.
Trust me, I know.
But I could never even kill a butterfly.
In that Butterfly Killing class I took as a child.
A handsome young classmate killed all my butterflies.
I paid him in pleasant ways.
It was butterflies turned me to whoring.
Butterflies are my Tragedy.
You are such a girl.
My inheritance of young scientists are busy building all sorts of strange things.
I gave them a few more laboratories.
They reanimate the dead. They make flowers that never existed before. They turn straight people gay.
They could turn you straight. I bet.
That's not funny.
Take it back.
But they could.
Wouldn't it be wonderful.
You and me.
You're creeping me out.
I don't like you that way, Miranda.
I only want to be your gay husband.
Is the Duchess O. dead yet?
I despatched a scientist who would pretend to cure her lumbago.
I want those pards to come with you when you come too.
The Duchess of Orgones is my mother.
I forgot to tell you that.
And you just killed her.
You just killed my mother.
This puts a crimp in our future plans.
I am so sorry!
I should have known you would have married your Mother, eventually.
And I'm sorry about the jabs and jibes I made against her.
She was a lovely creature.
I always suspected I was doomed to a life alone.
You're not coming now, are you?
Now or ever.
I'm sorry I killed your mother.
I could have these scientists reanimate her.
She would be only a little bit homicidal.
Thanks for the offer.
But I prefer to remember Mummy as non-homicidal.
I am going away for a while.
I may come back someday.
I will miss you.
I suppose there's no chance you'll see fit to let the pards...
I drowned them all
In Queerbury Tarn.
Where we met.
They made a horrible sound.
The pards are in heaven.
And I think we will see each other there.
All of us.
We will all be reunited.
Like in that song.
HERE ENDS THE CORRESPONDENCE