Page:Manhattan Transfer (John Dos Passos, 1925).djvu/245

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Went to the Animals’ Fair

233

"Dont lie; there's no reason why you should. . . . I think I'm going to kill myself tonight."

"Heavens! dont do that. . . . What's the matter?"'

"You have no right to tell me not to kill myself. You dont know anything about me. If I was a woman you wouldnt be so indifferent."

"What's eating you anyway?"

"I'm going crazy that's all, everything's so horrible. When I first met you with Ruth one evening I thought we were going to be friends, Herf. You seemed so sympathetic and understanding. . . . I thought you were like me, but now you're getting so callous."

"I guess it's the Times. . . . I'll get fired soon, don't worry."

"I'm tired of being poor; I want to make a hit."

"Well you're young yet; you must be younger than I am." Tony didnt answer.

They were walking down a broad avenue between two rows of blackened frame houses. A streetcar long and yellow hissed rasping past.

"Why we must be in Flatbush."

"Herf I used to think you were like me, but now I never see you except with some woman."

"What do you mean?"

"I've never told anybody in the world. . . . By God if you tell anybody. . . . When I was a child I was horribly oversexed, when I was about ten or eleven or thirteen." He was sobbing. As they passed under an arclight, Jimmy caught the glisten of the tears on his cheeks. "I wouldn't tell you this if I wasnt drunk."

"But things like that happened to almost everybody when they were kids. . . . You oughtnt to worry about that."

"But I'm that way now, that's what's so horrible. I cant like women. I've tried and tried. . . . You see I was caught. I was so ashamed I wouldn't go to school for weeks. My mother cried and cried. I'm so ashamed. I'm so afraid people will find out about it. I'm always fighting to keep it hidden, to hide my feelings."