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Kevin McGowin
12 ... In Which Frankie Minot Explains His Unconsidered Pacifism Previous to a Conversation with Fenton ...

I, like many of the gentlemen whose company I keep, prefer to Stay out of the Ruckus. I don't own a television, I don't own a computer, and while I write a theatre column for the local paper, I don't subscribe to or even read that paper. There is enough Ruckus in Life as eet is. I'm a Luddite and I'm Proud of EET! I write all my reviews in longhand, which is the only way to do eet, and then type them up on an old Olympia manual. However, I have learned a few valuable things these past two weeks of Economic Uncertainty, not the least important of which is that Inver House is actually some pretty good Scotch.
        I remind myself of a Decadent Roman Emperor. I'm essentially on SPEAKING terms with that Art Teacher, Fenton Rochilieu — he has quite a mind, that boy. Though his streak of Social Activism is simply inSUFFerable. To his credit, he leaves that shit at home or he keeps eet to himself on the infrequent occasions on which he visits my Sunday night Soirees, but damned if I can't get that boy to realize he's queer YET! He's always in the company of his ex-student, a Melanie Hassler, who's a charming enough girl but could never give Fenton what a Gentleman could. I told him as much, and he, to his credit, retorted, "My Dear, Melanie betters 100 SUNDAYS of Men" and I had to respect his conviction. Eet's not that I don't LIKE women — as friends. Otherwise they're just vaguely distasteful.
        I come from OLD Southern Money, not much of which is left but the silver my family was prescient enough to bury during the Threats in the War of Northern Agression. But I still love to Entertain, and will until the end of my Days, I suppose, though I'll be goddamned if that slimy River Rat Kermit Broadmeyer gets his necrophile hands on ME! I wish to be cremated. And to live as well as possible before that happens, because of course everyone who Dies in New Orleans goes straight into Hell. Not many people realize this, at least consciously. I believe Henry James or his brother William may have. Lyle Saxon certainly did.
        I'm a Lapsed Catholic, and Proud OF EET! Though some of my best friends to this day are priests. But I know why they keep coming by here, Sunday Nights on Dauphine Street. Beautiful, beautiful theatre boys. They want a good review in their next production. Ah, Boy, well you can KEES my Ring. Either one you choose, in fact.
        Yet I, unrepentent sinner though I am proud to be, have an eemPEccable lineage. I'm what many people who reside in this town pretend to be: a True Creole. My name will be pronounced in the FRENCH way, not the bastardized Mississippian pidgin of Street Names in this Town.
        But when Fenton asked a favor of my after I'd Emancipated his niggah friend and he out of Slavery and had my way, I had JUST enough interest to listen. But I said, "Do NOT bore me, Boy. We will not be amused."
        Yet his ideas as outlined that evening to me were so absurd, I'm afraid my weaker instincts took over and I was enthralled. I didn't say YES and I didn't say NO, but I heard the boy out and was granted a smidgeon of free entertainment into the Bargain. Because I never pay for eet.
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