Chapter XVI

She tosses, not used to or fit for un’companied bedtime. Too hot, then too drafty. Her mind drifts unmoored.

She cycles her gallery of notable beaux, seeking to alight on some sensual idée fixe. Purchase Collier, perfect devil, he’d do rather anything, utterly base, such a cad, smells like heaven ~ That lad from the Opéra who likes her to jog him at Salome ~ Tybalt; pass for now ~ And Futkas!

Oh… Futkas. Well — it doesn’t bear thinking of. It was always at just this blank hour of the night he would come to her, incubus Futkas. No lights, and she had to picture that gorgeous mug of his — an outrage! — forced to call upon her ill-used imagination even as the Thing Itself breathed upon her! Filthy business, all of it, but such a black hole of wetness they made. Futkas Agopolos. Sure did roil the water on that one, didn’t I, she thinks with a twinge. Going and closing up shop on him like that, when he’s been more than generous to all of us here. Poor Finch getting shafted. Terrible, filthy business.

She flips over feverishly once again, then props herself up, grumbling, “Big day tomorrow. I refuse to be slack at the temples.” She leans toward the end table drawer and takes out the SlumberFast. “Just one spoon now,” she thinks, “We must absolutely be sparkling bright.”