Thursday, October 26, 2023

“The Song of Himself”

Another maniac, thought Milford. But then, who am I to speak critically?

“Hey, don’t keep me hanging, chum,” said the big guy. “I’m asking you for a handshake, pure and simple, one hearty chap to another, and I assure you my hand is clean.”

Milford sighed, for the twelve-thousandth-plus-one time this day, and extended his hand, which the big fellow took and squeezed.

“Perhaps you’ve heard of me,” he said.

“Walt Whitman? Sure,” said Milford.

“So you are a reader of poetry?”

“Uh, yeah, sure –”

“Splendid. And have you read my work?”

“Walt Whitman’s work?” said Milford.

“Yes, my work.”

The man still held onto Milford’s hand, squeezing it with great strength.

“Okay,” said Milford, “look, uh, sir, can I have my hand back now?”

“Do you fear the honest handshake, flesh to flesh, of your friendly fellow man?”

“Yes,” said Milford.

“Ha ha,” said the Walt Whitman impersonator.

“And anyway,” said Milford, “I just want my hand back because I want to get out of this men’s room.”

“Oh, very well,” said the man, and at last his large hand released Milford’s small hand.

“Thanks,” said Milford. He could feel the sweat of the big man’s hand on the outside of his own, and he stretched out and flexed his fingers to restore the flow of his thin blood.

“I hope I did not cause you physical pain with my powerful grip,” said the man. “I am a great devotee of physical exercise, and from my youth it has been my daily practice to go to the gymnasium and climb ropes with the agility of our simian forebears, toss medicine balls with abandon, and swing dumbbells quite vigorously. It also goes without saying that I adore a good stout perspirant bout of Greco-Roman wrestling.”

“Great,” said Milford. “Look, nice meeting you, but I really have to go now.”

The madman took a step sideways, blocking Milford’s path to the door.

“At first I conjectured by your rough attire that you must be a slightly undersized seaman or longshoreman. But, having now felt the gentle silken softness of your lily-white hands, I’ll venture that you are, like me, a poet.”

Milford added one more sigh to the sighs of his day, bringing their number up to 12,002.

“Yes, I’m a poet,” he said, “but a bad poet. And now if you’ll excuse me and let me pass.”

“I know what you’re thinking,” said the big man. “Walt Whitman has been dead and buried lo this more than two score and ten of years, so how could he now be standing before me, a burly bruiser in the prime of his life, here in this jakes of a Greenwich Village trattoria?”

“Yes, but I was born and raised in this neighborhood, and have become used to its profusion of lunatics, so I can’t say I’m surprised.”

“Take a dekko at what I’m gonna show you, pal.” The guy was wearing a sturdy brown woolen coat, and he reached into one of its pockets and brought out a book. “Here, open this up and turn to the frontispiece.”

Milford took the book and obediently opened it up, but only because he was a coward. Sure enough, the book was an old edition of Leaves of Grass, and there opposite the title page was a photograph of a man in a workman’s coat and slouch hat who looked exactly like the man who now stood before him.

“Okay,” said Milford. “Great. You’re Walt Whitman.”

He closed the book and proffered it back to the man.

“You’re convinced now?”

“Yeah,” said Milford, “sure.”

“You don’t sound convinced.”

“Look, mister, what would you think if some dead poet suddenly appeared to you and said he was alive?”

“I wouldn’t think anything of it, because I associate in brotherly good comradeship with deceased poets all the time.”

“Okay, well, that’s good to hear, but, look, here’s your book back because I really have to go.”

“Smoke a bowl with me first.”


“Share a fraternal pipe with me.”

He held up the pipe, which had gone out.

“No, thank you,” said Milford.

“I don’t have cooties.”

“I’m sure you don’t,” said Milford, although he was sure of nothing of the sort.

“This is my special blend,” said the man. “The finest Kentucky  burley mixed with Lebanese hash.”


“Hashish. Dynamite shit, man.”

“Oh, no.”

“I thought you were a poet.”

“A bad poet, yes, but I just smoked marijuana not long ago, and just now I ate some mushrooms which I suspect are the mind-altering kind. Also, I foolishly drank some wine, which I shouldn’t have, because I am an alcoholic.”

“A couple of hits aren’t going to kill you, buddy. Here, look.” The man reached into a pocket and brought out a wooden match. He struck it on the engraved outside of the bowl of his pipe, and, putting the mouthpiece into his bearded lips, his drew the flame in, puffing quickly and deeply, then held the smoke in. “Wow,” he said, after holding it in for a minute and then exhaling in Milford’s face.

He held out the pipe, the stem pointed at Milford’s mouth.

“Your turn.”

“I don’t want it,” said Milford.

“You’re gonna hurt my feelings,” said the guy.

“Oh, Christ,” said Milford.

“Don’t bring our lord and savior into this, Mimford.”


“Milford, sorry, but leave the Big Fellow out of this. This is between us, two manly troubadours. Like the noble native red man, I offer you the pipe of friendship, and I shall take it as the gravest insult should you refuse.”

“Oh, all right,” said Milford, because he didn’t want to make a scene, and because he was afraid the man might become violent, and thrash him, leaving him bleeding and unconscious here on the stained and butt-strewn tiles of this men’s room. He took the pipe. The man’s match had gone out, so he tossed it to the litter on the floor, and brought out another one from his coat pocket, striking it expertly on the thumbnail of the hand that held it. Milford wiped the stem of the pipe on the sleeve of his coat and put it in his lips, and the man gave him a light.

Five minutes later (or was it a half hour?) Milford was still standing there and holding the pipe, which had been passed back and forth to the man several times, and refilled at least two or three or four times from a leather pouch the man had fished out of his work coat. 

Up from the depths of Milford’s brain arose the bubble of a thought which burst with the words, Will I ever learn?

he answered himself, I’ll never learn.

“Oh, shit,” he said.

“What’s the matter, Mungford?”

“I have a lady friend waiting for me out there. She’ll be wondering what happened to me.”

“Are you entirely sure of that?”

“I am entirely sure of nothing.”

“In my experience,” said the man, “other people very rarely wonder what has happened to us.”

“I have to go. Here’s your pipe back. Oh, and your book.”

“Keep the book.”

“But it looks valuable.”

“It is.”

“I can’t accept it.”

“Yes you can.”

“Wait, are you really Walt Whitman?”

“Of course.”

“Oh. Christ.”

“Again, my dear fellow, leave the son of God out of this. All you need to know is that I – and you, and all men – exist outside and independent of that concept we call ‘time’.”

“Uh, okay.”

“Come with me, my good fellow, and I shall show you where all your favorite allegedly dead heroes live and thrive, and raise and down tankards of strong ale and get roaring drunk but never hungover.”

“I can’t, I just remembered, again, that my lady friend is waiting for me.”

“Maybe she’s waiting.”

“Maybe,” said Milford. “But, look, I have to go.”

“Bring her along.”


“Bring this alleged ‘lady friend’ with you. Is she nice?”


“Contrary to what you may have heard I have nothing against the fair sex. I am quite good friends with Mistress Bradstreet, with Harriet Beecher Stowe, with Emily Dickinson. Oh, If I were not a gentleman, sir, I could tell you tales about Miss Emily Dickinson! I know she has the reputation of a shy, sensitive spinster, and I’ll admit there is some truth in that characterization, but, believe you me, you get a couple of sherries in her while down the tavern listening to a Negro jug band play their ribald minstrelsy, and just won’t little Miss Belle of Amherst leap up and dance the Black Bottom with the best of them!”

“Um, uh –”

“Give me the pipe.”

Milford gave the man the pipe.

“Now put that book in your pocket.”

Milford stuffed the book into the pocket of his pea coat.

“And now,” said Walt Whitman, “my new good youthful friend, let us strike out, and strike forth, to a very special place that only the select few have visited this side of the grave.”

“What place?”

“Valhalla, my friend. Yes, it is a place we not so very jokingly call Valhalla.”

“Oh,” said Milford, with a feeling of both dread and wonder.

{Yes, this is the 200th episode I’ve composed in this series since we started it in November of 2019! Please go here to read the unexpurgated “adult comix” version in A Flophouse Is Not a Home, illustrated by the illustrious rhoda penmarq…}

Thursday, October 19, 2023

“Haul Away Joe”

Through the crowd of drinkers Milford stepped, and before he knew it he felt himself rising above it all. Yes, once again his inner being had separated from its corporeal host, and he looked down on the awkward dolt in the pea coat and newsboy’s cap, jostled and elbowed by careless bohemians.

Is this it? he wondered. Have I at last lost my mind? But I am still in my mind, so how can I be lost? What difference does it make if I am floating up here beneath this flaking tin ceiling embossed with its patterns of dead flowers and vines instead of being trapped inside my skull? Better by far to drift over to the door and wait for someone to open it so that I may float outside into the falling snow and up into the vast interstellar reaches of outer space…

But then he was back inside of his egg-like skull, standing by the bar as Polly chattered away to Addison and Bubbles.

What was she saying? Words were coming from her mouth but all poor Milford could hear was the jukebox music, a song of love unrequited.

Polly turned to him.

“Don’t you think so, Milford?”

“Yes,” his voice said, and then he realized he needed to urinate, and urgently. All those ginger ales, and then the forbidden wine. Sometimes it seemed that his whole life was bounded by trips to and from toilets.

“Are you quite all right, dear boy?” said Polly, still speaking in her Katharine Cornell voice. Or was it Katharine Hepburn? “You seem somehow distrait.”

“I wonder if you’ll excuse me for just a minute,” he said.

“Oh but why.”

“I just have to, uh –”


“I need to, I have to, I’ll just be a minute, I promise –”

“Why so mysterious?”

“Oh, it’s not mysterious, it’s just that I have to, you know –”

“He has to visit the gents’,” said Addison.

“Oh,” said Polly.

“Even poets got to strangle the worm sometimes,” said Bubbles.

“But whatever does that mean, to ‘strangle the worm’?” asked Polly.

“He has to make pee pee,” said Bubbles.

“Oh,” said Polly. “Oh!” She turned to Milford again. “I live quite close by if you can hold it in.”

“I prefer not to,” said Milford.

“So it’s quite urgent.”

“Yes,” he said.

“Go ahead, Milford, old boy,” said Addison. “Bubbles and I shall keep the lovely Polly amused.”

“Oh but do hurry,” said Polly. And she leaned in close to him and whispered: “I am ever so eager.”

Eager? To make love? With him? How extraordinary.

“Yes, I’ll hurry,” he said.

He caught Bubbles’ eye, and she was shaking her head, and there was Addison, grinning, and Polly, smiling.

“Go then!” said Polly. “And godspeed.”

He turned and set forth once more, toward the rear of the barroom, his consciousness roiling inside his head, and he hadn’t gone five steps when Mr. Eliot called from the round table he sat at with those other fellows from earlier tonight, which seemed like a year ago.

“Grimford! Get your ass over here!”

Milford obediently made his way over to the table.

There sat Mr. Eliot, with that guy Detroit Slick, and that other guy Lucas Z. Billingsworth, and the other four, what were their names?

“Pull up a chair, my lad,” said Mr. Eliot. “We can always squeeze one more in.”

“I’m sorry, I can’t, I have to, uh, use the rest room.”

“What is it with you and rest rooms?”

“I have to relieve myself.”

“Yes, of course, but first you must partake of the sacrament with us.”

“The what?”

The one guy with glasses and dark hair held out a crumpled paper bag.

“Mushrooms,” he said. Was Allen his name? “Go ahead, take one.”

“A mushroom?”

“Yeah, it’s our sacrament. We’re all taking it to celebrate the birth of our new literary movement.”

“The Beat Movement,” said the handsome dark-haired guy. Was it Jack?

Milford took the bag, looked into it. It looked like a bunch of dried mushrooms all right.

“Don’t hesitate,” said the thin blond guy in the suit. Bill was it? “You hesitate, you’re fucked.”

“Go ahead,” said the little curly-haired guy. Gregory? “We all took some, and now you got to.”

“Live dangerously,” said Lucas Z. Billingsworth.

“Don’t be a chump,” said Detroit Slick.

“Go on, Bumford,” said Mr. Eliot. “Don’t be afraid.”

“I’m not afraid,” said Milford. “It’s just I really have to urinate.”

“Then pop one of those bad boys and then go urinate,” said Mr. Eliot.

“I just had dinner.”

“Oh, for Christ’s sake, Gumford,” said Mr. Eliot. “Give me that fucking bag.”

He took the bag from Milford’s hand. “Now hold out your hand.”

Milford held out his hand and Mr. Eliot shook some of the contents of the bag into the young poet’s palm. They did seem to be dried mushrooms of some sort.

“Now stick those in your gob, chew them up thoroughly, and swallow ‘em down.”

“If I do that, can I go to the men’s room?”

“Yes, and with my blessing.”

“All right, then,” said Milford, and he stuffed the mushrooms into his mouth, and began to chew. They didn’t taste good, but they didn’t taste really bad. They just tasted like something you would spit out if you had any good sense at all, which Milford knew he didn’t have.

“Good boy,” said Mr. Eliot. “Now you are officially one of us. The Beat Generation, daddy-o!”

The other fellows at the table all laughed.

“All right,” said Mr. Eliot, “I know you’re anxious to take a slash, so go. Come back and join us when you’re done.”

“I can’t.”

“Why the fuck not?”

“I’m with this young lady.”

“Then bring her over too.”

“But we were just on our way out.”

“Oh, okay. I get it. You want to get your end in.”

“Um –”

“No, it’s okay, Bumstead. I get it. I was young once too, believe it or not. So go. Split. Get your rocks off, and God bless. Oh, but don’t forget our lunch date tomorrow.”


“You forgot already. The Prince Hal Room at the St Crispian. One o’clock. No, make it two.”


“Unless you got somewhere else to be.”

“I have nowhere else to be, ever.”

“See ya then, kid.”

“Goodnight, Mr. Eliot.”


“Goodnight, Tom.”

“Go on, go.”


Mr. Eliot turned back to face the rest of the newly-born Beat Generation, and Milford turned and launched off again into the alcoholic throng, still chewing the mushrooms, and by the time he made his way to the men’s room he had just about swallowed the last of them.

Inside a big bearded fellow stood smoking a pipe between the sink and the paper-towel dispenser. The smoke smelled odd, a little like the marijuana Milford had smoked not long ago, but thicker and deeper.

“Hi,” said the man.

“Hello,” said Milford.

He went over to one of the two urinals.

“Don’t mind me,” said the bearded man. “I’m just enjoying a quiet bowl before I head out there again.”

“Okay,” said Milford.

“Once more unto the breach, ha ha.”

Milford said nothing, but unbuttoned the fly of his dungarees, and fumbled out of his boxer shorts his alleged organ of masculinity.

“I hope I don’t make you feel awkward,” said the guy. “Standing here. Please feel free to ask me to leave if you’re pee shy, or just if I, you know, make you feel at all uneasy or awkward in any way, shape or form.”

Milford felt awkward, but it occurred to him that he nearly always felt awkward every moment of his life, and what did one more awkward situation matter?

The bearded man began to hum, and then to sing, “’Way haul away, we’ll haul away Joe…”

And, despite the presence of the singing and humming bearded man with the pipe, after only half a minute Milford’s urine flowed of its own volition through his appendage and out into the stained porcelain.

“Ah, the joy of a good pee,” said the bearded man, interrupting his song. “We drink the wine, the rich red wine, and the beer, the yellow or brown beer, or the cider, or grog, and then, yes, as enjoyable as it was coming in, perhaps even more enjoyable it is when it comes out!”

Milford made no comment to this, but concentrated on emptying his bladder, and when at last he had finished, he buttoned up his fly, and headed to the sink.

“Good to see you wash your hands,” said the bearded man. “I don’t approve of these chaps who just take a piss and don’t bother to wash their hands. Kind of gross, you ask me.”

Again Milford said nothing, but pumped some liquid soap from the dispenser and began to wash his hands. He must get out of here and rejoin Polly at the bar. Perhaps it wouldn’t be so bad with her. He was only glad he had urinated here rather than waiting and going at her place. What if she lived in a small apartment, and would be able to hear his urine splashing into the bowl?

He finished rinsing his hands and when he turned toward the paper-towel dispenser the bearded guy beat him to it, cranked out a length of coarse brown paper, tore it off and handed it to him.

“There you go, fellow.”

“Thanks,” said Milford.

“What’s your name?”


He perfunctorily dried his hands and crumpled the paper. The man stood between him and the wire trash basket by the wall. He stepped aside. Milford went past him and dropped the paper into the basket, and as he turned away from it the man was standing there with his hand outstretched.

“Whitman’s the name. Walt Whitman. Put ‘er there, pal.”

{Please click here to read the “adult comix” version in A Flophouse Is Not a Home, profusely illustrated by the illustrious rhoda penmarq…}

Thursday, October 12, 2023

"True Love"

 “Look at those two,” said Bubbles, swiveled around on her bar stool and pointing across the crowded café. “True love.”

“Oh, yes, so it would seem,” said Addison. “If one can speak of the concept of ‘true love’, without first defining what one actually means by the term ‘love’, not to mention that oh so slippery adjective ‘true’ –”

“What’s up with this Gilford pal of yours? He on the level or what?”

“I think it’s Milford, actually.”

“You what?”

“His name, our youthful friend, it’s Milford actually –”

“I knew it was something swishy like that. Like your name, Atcheson.”


“Oh, right. Why can’t I remember that?”

“I haven’t the faintest idea. Although, as I think I’ve mentioned to you once or twice, Addison is not my real name either, but, rather, a nickname or sobriquet given to me by the wags at my local, Bob’s Bowery Bar, which you really must visit with me sometime, I’m sure they’ll all love you there, but, one night these poets who habituate the pub started calling me Addison after the character played by George Sanders in the film All About Eve, and I admit that at first I was ever so slightly abashed, but now I have come to look on the name not as an insult, but rather as a nom de guerre if you will –”

“Hey, whatever your name is, you know what you’re doing, don’t you?”

“Talking at too great length?”

“Yeah, Jesus Christ, Hatcherman, I told you once, I told you a million times, stick a sock in it once in a while, will ya?”

“Yes, of course. I’m so sorry, Bubbles. You see, the last thing I should want to do, the absolute last thing, would be to displease you in any way, or –”



“Shut the fuck up.”


“Is that clear enough for you?”

“Yes, I think so –”

“When I’m in the mood to hear some of your bullshit, I’ll give you the high sign. But until then do me a favor and just keep a lid on it.”


“Look at them,” she said.

“I’m sorry, who?”

“Your buddy Gayford, and that little frail from the automat.”

“Yes, Polly, a quite intelligent and well-read girl in point of fact. She simply adores the work of George Eliot. Also George Sand –”

“I don’t get it.”

“George Sand? Or George Eliot.”

“I don’t get your pal, Gaylord.”

“In what sense, dear Bubbles? Because I confess I do find him a somewhat trying young fellow –”

“When you and that mouse were jabbering he told me he wanted to have a date with me tonight, but now he’s like dime store perfume all over her.”

“Oh. Well, you see, I believe they are in point of fact here tonight on a ‘date’ themselves.”

“Then why’d he try to make a date with me?”

“I can only speculate, but I daresay he was stricken by your ineffable beauty, your air of haughty insouciance, your what the French call je ne sais quoi –”

“What’s je ne sais quoi?”

“It means I don’t know what.”

“Then why didn’t you just say that instead of dragging the French language into it?”

“Heh heh.”

Suddenly Addison remembered the twenty-dollar bill in his old Cub Scout wallet. The twenty dollars Milford himself had given him earlier this evening, with the express admonition that he should use ten dollars of it to divest himself finally of his virginity.

Did he dare ask Bubbles? What if she said no. She might be tired from her day’s exertions. Or, indeed, she might find the prospect of making one-half the beast with two backs with him to be abhorrent. And, really, Addison could not blame her if she did, in truth he found himself abhorrent, and only put up with himself because he was sentenced for life to this particular corporeal host and the personality that inhabited it.   
Another consideration was that ten dollars was a lot of money. Think of all the beers, shots, cocktails he could buy with ten dollars!

What a quandary: on the one side the loss of his virginity, on the other the loss of ten dollars. A quandary for the ages!

Across the room, Milford and Polly stood up from their table.

“Oh, do you want to say goodnight to your friends?” said Polly.

“My what?”

As far as Milford knew he had never had any friends.

“Your friend Addison,” said Polly. “And that stunningly beautiful creature Bubbles!”

“Oh,” said Milford. “Them. No, I think it might be better if we just slip away quietly.”

“But they’re looking directly at us!”


“We must bid them good night.”

“Yes, well –”

And Polly forged forth through the drinking and laughing people, through the noise and the jukebox music and the thick swirling smoke, while Milford paused for a second, a second in which he thought a thousand thoughts, including one in which he ran desperately for the door to escape into the snowy night, and then he followed her.

{Kindly go here to read the unexpurgated “adult comix” version in A Flophouse Is Not a Home, profusely illustrated by the illustrious rhoda penmarq…}

Thursday, October 5, 2023

“And Now What?”

The waiter brought the cheesecakes, and the expressos.

“Oh, lovely!” said Polly, expanding her arms and her open hands, and then closing her fingers into fists, and shaking them. “This is going to be so good!”

Milford sighed. And then he picked up his fork. He must get a grip on himself. He must eat cheesecake, with cherry sauce, like a normal person, and this he attempted to do.

“Oh, my goodness!” said Polly, swallowing, “Isn’t it delicious?”

Milford in his turn swallowed.

“Yes,” he said, and, yes, it was, but did it matter?

“Try the expresso now!” instructed Polly.

Obediently Milford lifted the tiny cup and took a sip.

“It’s the almost viscous bitterness and richness of the expresso immediately following that oh so exquisite sweetness of the cheesecake and cherries,” said Polly. “It’s heaven, don’t you think?”

Milford wouldn’t go so far as to say that, but he thought it best not to contradict Polly, and so he said anyway, “Oh, yes.”

“It’s these little things,” said Polly, lifting another forkful, “that give life meaning, don’t you think?”

She was still speaking in that odd voice, the Tallulah Bankhead, Katharine Cornell, Hyacinth Wilde voice. Could it possibly be her real voice? And what did Milford sound like? Did he sound like Alfred Lunt?

“Or do you disagree?” she said.

“Oh, no, I agree,” he said, taking another bite of cheesecake.

“These moments,” she said. “Brief, transitory moments. And then? Then what?”

“Then comes the night, lying in one’s bed, staring at the ceiling, and into the abyss,” said Milford. “Into the void of the universe. That nothingness from which we came and to which we will return.”

“Yes, there is that,” said Polly.

Soon enough, perhaps too soon, the cheesecake was all eaten, the expresso drunk. And now what?

Polly picked up the folded papers containing Milford’s poem.

“So you really don’t want me to read your poem?”

“Only if you want to read the drivelings of an untalented fool.”

“Is it really that bad?”

“Yes, it is.”

“Very well, then, I shan’t read it! Such a pity though. At last a chap writes a poem for me, and it turns out to be a bad poem! Here, do you want it back?”

“No,” said Milford.

“May I keep it then, if only for a keepsake?”

“I don’t mind,” said Milford.

“I shall then!”

Rather unceremoniously she stuffed the pages back into her purse, and clicked it shut.

“And now comes the moment of truth,” she said. “When we must decide the next move in our little mating dance. Should we go to my place?”

“Well, uh –”

“Or would you prefer yours?”

“I live with my mother.”

“Oh, that might be awkward then, mightn’t it?”

“I’m sure it would be,” said Milford. “But only if you consider an encounter with a certifiable madwoman to be potentially awkward.”

“My place it is then! I live quite nearby, actually. I must say I am rather excited. Are you?”

“I wouldn’t say excited,” said Milford.

“What would you say?”



“Maybe terrified is the better word.”

“Oh, don’t be terrified! It will be fun!”

“Somehow I doubt that, Polly.”

“Oh, Mr. Gloom and Doom! Milford, we are young, and alive!”

Milford sighed, again.

“You do sigh a lot, don’t you?” said Polly.

“Yes, quite frequently,” said Milford.

“You’re a gloom-laden poet, that’s what you are!”

“Well, I’m gloom-laden, but I’m not so sure about being a poet.”

“Oh, but you simply must be a poet!” said Polly.

“No,” said Milford. “I don’t think I must be anything, except perhaps a failed poet.”

“But you won’t know for sure unless you try! You do want to be a poet, don’t you?”

“Yes,” admitted Milford.

“Just as I want to be a novelist! We must stick to our guns, dear Milford, and not be discouraged.”

“I am incapable of not being discouraged, Polly. I was born discouraged.”

“See, there you are! Spoken like a true poet!”

It occurred to Milford that Polly used lots of exclamation points in her speech. She was enthusiastic. The opposite of him.

He sighed, for the twelfth thousandth time that day.

“Promise me you won’t give up!” exclaimed Polly.

“All right,” he said. “I promise.”

“You must write your poetry. Keep at it, and, just you wait, someday you will write something good.” Milford began to sigh again, but Polly said, “And please don’t sigh!”

“Sorry,” he said.

“So, do we go to my place now?”

With a great effort Milford stifled another sigh.

“All right,” he said.

“Oh, splendid!” she said, with an exclamation point. 


{Kindly go here to read the unexpurgated "adult comix" version in A Flophouse Is Not a Home, illustrated by the illustrious rhoda penmarq...}