”Aw, hell!” I said. ”It’s too early in the morning.”
”There you go. And you claim you want to be a writer too. You’re only a newspaper man. An expatriated newspaper man. You ought to be ironical the minute you get out of bed. You ought to wake up with your mouth full of pity.”
”Go on,” I said. ”Who did you get this stuff from?”
”Everybody. Don’t you read? Don’t you ever see anybody? You know what you are? You’re an expatriate. Why don’t you live in New York? Then you’d know these things. What do you want me to do? Come over here and tell you every year?”
”Take some more coffee,” I said.
”Good. Coffee is good for you. It’s the caffeine in it. Caffeine, we are here. Caffeine puts a man on her horse and a woman in his grave. You know what’s the trouble with you? You’re an expatriate. One of the worst type. Haven’t you heard that? Nobody that ever left their own country ever wrote anything worth printing. Not even in the newspapers.”
He drank the coffee.
”You’re an expatriate. You’ve lost touch with the soil. You get precious. Fake European standards have ruined you. You drink yourself to death. You become obsessed by sex. You spend all your time talking, not working. You are an expatriate, see? You hang around cafés.”
”It sounds like a swell life,” I said. ”When do I work?”
”You don’t work. One group claims women support you. ”You don’t work. One group claims women support you. Another group claims you’re impotent.”