12 September 2004


Ninety-nine. Twenty-two, he was, from the local paper. I had a war, six dead brothers, influenza and an abortion to my name by twenty-two. He said To what do you attribute your longevity? Very good grammar, most unusual in a boy so young. I said it's probably all the cocaine I took in the Twenties. They won't print that. They've all gone home. I never liked cake. That's what I should have said. I chalked up ninety-nine because I never liked cake. I made cake every year for James. Sixty-six cakes. No more children to outlive. Ninety-nine. Time for bed.