melancholy comes to the occult 2

“Can’t you leave? I’m fine… I’m the best white man ever.”

“If you want to be the best white man ever, be more like your brother and buy a brownstone.”

“You know there’s no capital in my family any more.”

“Don’t talk nonsense. Anyway, you’ve wanted to buy yourself a brownstone for years … why do you look like that?”

“It’s just so silly.”

“What is? What’s silly?”

“All of it. Everything.”

“Sure it is. But it will all hurt less when you own a couple of brownstones. You could do them up a bit. Add some personal flourishes. All those damn flourishes that you have.”

“You know I don’t like you visiting me here.”

“And what a good friend I am for doing it anyway.”

“You shouldn’t come.”

“If I didn’t, you would only ever see Margaret. And that doesn’t count for much.”

“Yes, I’m going to be alone, with no friends, — I don’t know how: … any of it.”

“What a thing to say… Real smart. Look. Here’s a newly advertised four-storey on 53rd street. I know a guy in the group that owns it. They’re breaking up the group and he wants to buy a half-share. The rest is yours. Or ours. Whatever you like. You can let my lawyer do all the dirty: you don’t even have to visit. I’ll send you a picture or something. A selfie of me and the guy and the brownstone. All chummy.”

“You’re revolting.”

“I’ve already convinced Margaret.”

“You hate Margaret.”

“But I’m charming. And I don’t hate you.”

“Not yet.”

“No. And not if you don’t do what’s best for you and take a share.”

“Fine, you can send the signing pack to my office.”

“Good. Correct answer. And I’ll see you on Tuesday.”

“No — I’m flying to London tomorrow.”

“What for?”

“Well, — why do you ask?”

“I’m curious about your life. I’m showing an interest. I like you.”

“Yeah. Christ. I don’t know anything anymore.”