The discipline to write only came to him when he was inspired. He often thought himself a terrible writer because of that. Wine made him write. Making love made him write, or a fuck. The smell of a rose, or the memory of jasmine bushes. Or whatever that, at the time, awoke something in him that grew like an angel or monster that it must be given birth to or spitted out. When the sun started to set on Soho, men gathered around the pubs and clubs. He would look at them and wonder if they could be made into characters. It was often the case - and most did not understand this - that the habit silenced him among his company. He found others more interesting, and his own company - unless they were extraordinary - a poor fit for his literature.
'So he writes too, you said?'
'Any good?' She paused awhile;
'He can be good.'
They walked on and he laughed under his breath. She must have noticed this and resented him. He looked up from the road and saw that there were men who dressed up like women, and women who dressed up as things he could not recognise. By now, they were halfway towards Leicester Square.
'Have you painted anything?' He asked.
'I haven't had the time. But I've been writing a little.'
'I always told you to write.'
'I could never write when I was with you,' she said.
'I'd always be under your shadow.'
'That's ridiculous - but you can when you're with him?'
'His shadow isn't as big.'
He read once that loneliness killed us even in our sleep - through our dreams. It must the reason she chose to bed one man after another. It was easier to love a hundred than it is to love one. When he took other lovers, they were sweet, they were bitter, they were easy and they were difficult. But they were all ordinary. His greatest worry was to accord the place he reserved for her to another; he feared diluting her memory. A writer needed a poison so strong that it left him with life enough only to write about it. She was venom and he had written about it - now it was time to spit it out. When two who do not belong together are broken, they are saved, from each other's poison.