Hesser fights his compulsions against my recommendations. He always has ever since I have known him which is a long fucking time. I am trying to think of a famous army that lost a lot of battles because I would like to make a comparison between the two. Hesser is a sloth much as I am. Hesser lives with his parents most of the time. Hesser is probably one of the fattest people I have ever seen. There are some fat people who when you look at them in pity you can think to yourself, what a shame he would be quite handsome otherwise. With Hesser this doesn't happen. He's just always sort of been this monster. But Hesser believes in miracles. He actually believes that by sheer force of will one day he will explode from the hulking horrible man shell within which he writhes and emerge anew from the wreckage which I can only imagine as looking like blown apart scattered piles of bacon and hamburgers and hotdogs mixed up with pizza crust, spaghetti, mashed potatoes, and candy bars.
There is an Indian restaurant in town doing an excellent lunch buffet that Hesser and I are no longer allowed to attend. He is at fault more so than I it seems to me. On the other side of the street from there is a sandwich shop where we have found shelter and succor. From our seats in the window armed with bulging hoagies, salty fries, and tall sweating mugs of fountain soda we exchange rude gestures with the Hindi when they come out for smoke breaks across the way. Fucking dot heads. I ask you, when is a buffet not a buffet? When you secure for yourself every slice of naan that comes out of the oven for a forty-five minute stretch to the audible chagrin of a grousing mob of office drones and retarded housewives? When you upend a cauldron of goat doing battle with some wizened rail thin contemporary, but not disciple, of Gandhi over the last piece of tandoori chicken? Or is it when you have quaffed a urn of chai tea and then are denied use of the restroom and you wet yourself? It deserves inquiry. Two days after I realize that Marta is no longer living in the house I am sitting eating my hoagie and having the same discussion that I have with Hesser around this time every month. The First approaches. Whereas I am scrambling to lay my hands on the finances to forestall homelessness exasperated by the situation with Marta's empty room, Hesser is laying down the battle plans for yet another campaign against his generous gut. For if Hesser is anything, he is a man who puts his faith in cycles. He believes that dates and days are important. He must begin things at the beginning or else he reckons that he will descend into the gyre. Mondays are important. The first of the month is important. A Monday that falls on the first of a month is portentous. Of course this leads to many failures and setbacks as his reasoning naturally follows that if he is somehow trounced on that first day he must wait for the next cycle to arrive before he can launch anew his doomed warfare. In the interregnum all manner of degradations upon the land are encouraged and so it is that he retreats en mass roundly defeated time and again.
Marta has played her hand well. I was oblivious to her last remaining days in the house and I was oblivious to the fact that they were indeed her last remaining days. She planned her decampment, at some point ceasing to pick up my slack in the department of house chores. Once I found her note cataloging my crimes and announcing that she had in fact removed herself and her belongings I also came to the realization that the house was a filthy dump. The garbage had piled up almost to the rafters. She must have cringed those last days having to remain in such squalor in order to spring her plot. I applaude her for that. In that state there is no way I can show the house to any decent prespective roommates. She thinks that she has forced me into a position where I will have to take broom in hand and brandish dish rag. Methinks not.
Hesser has been talking for some time now about a new plan. He doesn't know what it is exactly. That's why, he explains, it is going to be new. And as I sit in deep contemplation of the joyous mastication of my hoagie in harmony with the salty mush of french fries and the syrupy surrender of soda flowing down my gullet, it dawns on me. I will rent the room to Hesser. I will make it a sort of prison. I will imprison him from himself. We will outfit the room with a mattress and nothing else. No, and a jump rope. We will seal the windows. We will install a tremendous lock on the outside of the door. The room has its own small water closet with a sink. A small trap through which food will be delivered can be cut into the base of the door. I call this room the diet chamber as I begin to sketch out my plan to Hesser. He listens thoughtfully as he crams his sandwich into his cavernous cake hole. See those Hindi over there, I ask him, they're laughing at you. In fact at that moment they are. Two of them. One is the waiter who'd refused me passage to the bathroom, the other is the cook who had screamed at Hesser. The cook wags his middle finger at us. Fucking curry stains. Let's show those assholes, I tell Hesser. His eyes glaze over for a moment, staring out the window and across the street at his gesticulating tormentors he begins to nod in assent his heavy head.
end part one