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This report is taken from PN Review 243, Volume 45 Number 1, September - October 2018.

from ‘The Notebooks’
of Arcangelo Riffis
Marius Kociejowski

15 March, 8.21 p.m. Mild. Many of the young women here have an odd & disagreeable habit of cutting men who approach them to ask directions. An hour ago, well-warmed with Burgundy & spleen I walked out of La T e and met a girl coming in. Wanting to find a box to mail a letter to my Dutch friend in London, I approached her to ask if she knew where I could find one. She cut me & started toward the stairs. This whole miserable month snapped inside me, and I started after her down the hall; I grabbed her right arm, swung her around, and struck her hard across the face. She fell at the foot of the stairs, did not scream… just a sharp, amazed cry. A rather pretty chick, she’ll have a black eye tomorrow. How will she explain it? This solitude during the past months has been eating at what little balance & fortitude I have left. I’ve more reason now to be afraid for myself than any other time since 1963.

16 March, 6.22 a.m. Mild. That was one of the cheapest, most sordid things I’ve ever done – and I had the incredible lowness to smirk about it afterwards. There can be few more terrible things than to awake in the morning & immediately recall a disgraceful act of the night before. In Denver, and again in L.A., I fought & laid a fellow on the curb for doing almost exactly the same thing. I should have been kicked from pillar to post. I will frequent La Te in hope of seeing her ...

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