From Book 3: Hazing

While working one day at my desk, which was separated from the bank lobby only by a partition, I looked up suddenly into the grinning, absurd face of Benjamin Péret. “Kind sir,” he oozed from that wide mouth of his while Breton hung back to laugh at me, “the authorities have decreed that every bank box receive a spurt of my gizzem. I should like to get this business over with quickly, if you please. It’s difficult to cum without also pooping after having eaten pâté.” On cue he passed an obnoxious, evil-smelling volume of gas.

I poked my head around my wall to see if my manager was nearby. The lobby was nearly empty. These two had no timing. “Ce n’est pas possible, buzzard anus,” I replied, using Desnos’s pet name. “Your gizzem is missing a vowel between the X and the Y.” Since coming back to Paris, Péret had found work as a proofreader.

“He’s a stickler for spelling,” Péret said to Breton. Then he fixed me with a jaunty stare. “Lend me your cock to replace my hand, and I’ll write you a kid in your glove, Jack.”

I realized he was parodying one of his poems, but I did not know them as well as I did the works of Desnos. I decided to satirize “Ebony Life.” “All farts, the quietest and the loudest,” I told him, “will be silent but deadly, and all the suckling brats will expire. By the way how’s your bratty brat, proud Papa?”

“He thinks me a proud Papa.” Péret turned back to Breton. “Do I gush much about Geyser?”

“You erupt frequently,” Breton replied.

“Old Faithful is about to blow again.” Péret’s face strained and there was another foul bomb, this time accompanied by a repulsive squishing noise. “Fartoff Dickhead thinks it’s funny,” he told Breton and they both headed for the door, giving me contemptuous glances as they laughed.

When I told Louis about it later he declared, “It sounds like Breton might invite you to join them!”

“Well, I won’t,” I resolved, among other reasons imagining Artaud’s rage, but no message ever came. I suspected Breton and Péret were hazing me out of jealousy, for my job paid more than theirs and allowed me to write and even, if I was careful, to read a book or Artaud’s drafts.

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