That Vast Self-Regard

Enough was never enough. He wore his mouth, that perfect pretty mouth, in a fashionably dissatisfied twist, like he’d just eaten a lemon out of overbred courtesy. His hands, his lovely longfingered hands, were never at ease, never at rest, but fluttered constantly between hip and chest, elbow and chin, inscribing graceful curlicues in the smoky air.


Gorgeous and weakheaded, stonehearted, he razed the fields, salted the earth, left women and men lamenting behind him. Sackcloth and ashes. Who cared? There was always another willing captive snared by the long curve of his neck.

A dreadful bore.

Politics, always politics; copper mines in South America, revolution in the Middle East, assasinations in Asia, fascism in Europe. He stood in a corner, beautiful and shallow, and filled his mouth with himself.