I can admit it, I started off this year in a bad way. When I moved in I didn't own a scrap of paper, I wrote my epics on the backs of bank slips and I hardly had a job. Shouting out slogans in the street brings in enough to scrape by but after a good

"Happiness is the enemy of creation!"
and a

"Where is my fortune this month?"
you're about ready to pack it in, so I got my job on the subway, which was a better fit. My crew had the unsightly job of scrapping inscriptions from the sides of the train tunnels so they wouldn't distract the multiplying businessmen, chiseling and leaping the hell out of the way of trains and I'll tell you, it's real work, this.

Three men on the crew have wives named Elanor and I can pretend this does not bother me.

Elanor is gone, she called me a layabout and a know-nothing and a writer and worse and what's worse is that not a word of it is true. She's on a veranda (the very word makes me choke) in the New South between two skyscrapers with a gentleman who's genteel and oh-so-humble and quiet. And doves, for God's sake.

One of the inscriptions today said "Dearest Elanor" and I choked until I saw "Novr 1918" and I kept walking but I chiseled in a quick epic,


, my first in months and it wasn't ten minutes before Andy scraped it off and muttered about teenagers.

Elanor do you hear me? I'm here under the city, I can wait. I can wait for Charleston to flood and the highways to come crashing down and then where will you be, the peasantry at your door demanding, demanding ladies' favors and freezer bags full of rice? I'm not thinking about you anymore El-a-nor, I'm thinking of rats and trains, mice and trains all day long and that suits me fine. It's rightly fitting, miss you awfully.