Uit: Some Men are Lookers
“Whose name is Tuffy?” asked Virgil, switching off the television. “Is he some rough boy of the streets?”
“Is he?” I asked Lionel. “He certainly puts on a hard act, as I recall. Ferocious triceps.”
“Tom always liked it down and dirty, you know.”
“I could be Tuffy,” Virgil ventured.
“And I could be Tuffy on weekends,” said Cosgrove.
“Look,” said Dennis Savage with his famous weary patience. “Tuffy and his like are for people who cannot live in reality. People who go through their time on earth like a teenager at his first fuck. People who have no sense of responsibility or fairness or loyalty. Tom Driggers is the Circuit personified—drug up, dance, screw, sleep it off, and do it again. He got rich organizing service industries for other people like himself. He ran buses to the beach, he ran whores to the closeted rich, he ran discos till you drop. He had, and he had, and he had—and when the rest of us appetitive sexboys looked around and saw that our appetites could kill us and backed away, Tom Driggers went right on having. That’s why he is on the verge of defunct. I’m sorry to say so, but if someone has to die of this cursed poison, it ought to be Tom Driggers. Because he took his choice, and this is his consequence.”
Somewhere in all that, Dennis Savage had left Virgil and Cosgrove and had resumed addressing Lionel, not gently.
“And you can stop begging me to visit that disgusting, putrid piece of Texas redneck trash, because he’s going to die with his kind around him, not with me!”
“For pity’s sake—”
Dennis Savage chopped out the following words: “He has what he created!”
There was silence.
“Someone,” said Virgil, finally, “is rather snarky today.”
“He is very desperately threatened,” Cosgrove quickly added.
“I’ll quit while I’m behind,” said Lionel, getting up to go. Virgil saw him to the door, where Lionel turned to Dennis Savage, regarding him mildly but holding it out into a stare.”
Ethan Mordden (Pennsylvania, 27 januari 1947)