By Clellan Stearns Ford
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Jimmy sat up straight. When he saw Dennis, the rescuer, he began to yell, “He’s almost a priest! Hey, that guy’s almost a priest! Get your hands off him or you’ll all go to hell! ” But they didn’t stop. Either they didn’t understand any English or they didn’t understand the irony that they were making sexual advances on somebody who was nearly a priest. And Dennis Bacchus, earnest seminarian, made a minor discovery laid out there on Table Nine, his head in a little mustard, pelted with French fries: perhaps they did understand irony, but they just didn’t care for it.
If he craned his neck too much, it might look like desire to the Dutch couple. Longing, Dennis maintained, has a uniform look that transcends cultures, as did any uncontrollable urge of the senses: pleasure, frustration, fear. Down the narrow passage, examining compartment after compartment, the girl with the small suitcase came. She looked in on Dennis and the Dutch, smiled, and entered. Why? Couldn’t she ﬁnd another seat? Dennis wondered. The train was nearly empty. Perhaps she could smell the clean air in here, and surmised that the three 39 of them didn’t smoke, or would mostly be quiet.
So she squirts holy water on the vampire and his skin is burning and he’s shrieking, but he still hangs on. ’” 25 Say fuck, thought Dennis, or even damn. But Rigo never swore. Dennis believed certain good and beautiful things in the world coexisted with—required— obscenity. Behind him, Sue the nurse breezed in. Her hello to Rigo and Dennis was sunny but vacant, a pretty, rentable apartment. This was the second time in his life Dennis had seen her. The ﬁrst time was when he came in to have his blood drawn for the test.